One thing emerged from the PM's speech over the weekend and that's that we can now sit outside without worry that we're not exercising. For those of us without a garden or outdoor space, that is a godsend. It also means we can explore some park wines. Smashable wines that you can drink plenty of. I've included a couple in this week's Taste.
Just before lockdown had started, I had planned to visit Ben Walgate in Tillingham to taste through his wines. The last time he and I spoke was when I recorded the first episode of the English wine podcast. Since then he's now got a dozen different wines and even some ciders available. He's now shipping these direct to consumer – I'll be tasting my way through these over coming weeks and shall share the highlights when I do. And finally, we've got two new roles open at Wine List. We are hiring full time in marketing, and a summer internship in video production. If you want to check out either here.
Smashable park wines
Georges Duboeuf Fleurie has a special place in my heart (£10 from Sainsbury's). It was the bottle that got me to think a bit more about wine. So at times of comfort like this, it's easy to head back that way. Great at room temperature, but a 30 minute chill in the fridge just before you take it into the sunshine will make it perfect: silky, elegant, fruity, lovely.
Marsanne is a great white wine variety. Aldi have a really great display of it for just £6.99 and it's well worth diving in to if you can find some. A real white flowers and stone fruits treat that is easily quaffable and a great drinker on a hot day. They call them classics for a reason.
Waitrose currently has 25% off Nyetimber's Classic Cuvee (£27.49) . For this price point of sparkling wine, this is now hard to beat.
Rhône white primer
The Rhône Valley is highly recognised for it red wines: whether Cotes-du-Rhône or Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
But they also have – for me – some of the most exciting white wines in the world.
They suit fans of chardonnay, and that's because these are full-bodied and big wines. They're dry, with acidity at the lower end, and a range of alcohol levels.
Flavour wise, expect white flowers, stone fruits, honey, and lemon in abundance. It was in a Rhône white that I first ever discovered the beautiful combination of peach and jasmine in a glass, and fell in love ever since.
The grapes are often blended and can include viognier, grenache blanc, marsanne, roussanne and ugni blanc.
Famous names are: Condrieu, Hermitage, and St Joseph. But it's not just in these high priced names that there's great wine to be found.
As a starting point, the Aldi Marsanne is a great place to begin.
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