JWL Issue #140: Delicious supermarket wines for the sun

May 18, 2021

I went on holiday last week to Herefordshire, which has to be one of my favourite parts of England. We spent most of it wandering the Malvern hills, cooking (reverse sear Herefordshire steak being a highlight), and running more than expected.

A huge thanks to Isabelle for taking the newsletter reigns last week, who once again takes over the Taste and Learn sections below.

I also, naturally, got to drink a fair few great wines. Two standout highlights were first, Nicolas Carmarans' Maximus, which is one of my all-time favourite red wines. And second, a new one for me to try – Danbury Ridge's Chardonnay. Danbury Ridge reinforces the idea that Essex might just be one of our best grape-growing regions. This was exceptional.

We have launched By The Glass this last month and I welcome many of you to join us as new customers. If this is your first month as a Wine List customer, may I recommend you check out our digital course, our live Zoom tastings, and our shop. We also answer your questions, share your bottles and do supermarket highlights over on IG.

Watch this space for the next few weeks as we have a few very special products launching :)

Happy tasting,
Josh

Taste

For the fleeting moments of sunshine

It was sunny while I wrote this.

White malbec hasn't been around long. It’s made by having almost no contact with the skin to keep the colour as light as possible. This Argentinian white malbec (Aldi, £6.99) is bitter and plump with flavours of melon and red cranberries.

For those friends who claim they only drink New Zealand sauvignon, move them onto this Assyrtiko from Greece (Aldi, £6.99). It has the same sharp acidity but the fruits immediately strike you as more opulent, tropical fruits. Rather than sauvignon’s passion fruit, this has mango, orange and grapefruit.

I’m slowly making my way through M&S’s Found range and this rosé (M&S, £7) caught my attention. Much deeper in colour than the usual Provence rosé, with juicier fruits. It’s from the region of Vinho Verde in Portugal where they’re known for wines with an almost spritz to them.

Learn

What is corked wine?

The term ‘corked’ is short for cork taint. Cork is a natural material and can sometimes contain a type of fungus. If this happens, it can create a chemical called TCA.

You can tell if your wine is tainted with this because it will smell like wet cardboard or wet dog.

It used to be a much bigger issue, but after discovering the cause of cork taint in the 90s, wineries can now largely prevent it. These days, less than 5% of wines are corked. Having opened many bottles of wine every single day, I think the number is even lower than this.

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