JWL - #005

June 5, 2018

Wine labelling often seems done to confuse but in fact, once you learn a bit of the jargon can really help you out. Between region names, vineyards, wine producers, alcohol contents, village names, appellations, and the long list of required legal terms, there is a lot to learn admittedly.

This week, you can read some basics on rosé and learn to unpick a frequent French wine label term. Before all that, here’s a few really interesting things I’ve been tasting recently.

Taste

As someone brought up on red, I’m finding more and more whites really interesting to drink. The Colmeal Domino Blanco from the Beira region in Portugal had a really interesting nose of soft spicy cinnamon and roses. It was £5 a glass from Londrino during it’s happy hour. You can get a bottle for €13.60.

The Davenport Horsmonden 2016 is my favourite English white wine I’ve had this year (You can get the 2018 direct from Davenport, or the 2019 from Abel & Cole for £17.50). The acid wasn’t as overpowering as I was expecting for an English white, and lemon zest, peach and flowers came through on the nose.

The Kalex Alex K Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand (New Zealand Wine Cellar, £9.99) was bright but had a luscious lychee aroma on the nose. I loved this. If you like Kiwi Sauvignon and usually buy one from the supermarket: buy this and see what you think. It’s a great stepping stone to seeing a difference between supermarket and independent quality.

Learn

An Introduction to Rosé
A friend asked me this week for a ‘good rosé recommendation from a supermarket’. It mirrored a lot of feedback I’ve received for the newsletter, “I want to know how to buy better wine in the supermarket.” This is almost at the crux of everyone’s entire wine journey once they get going.

Wine labelling often seems done to confuse but in fact, once you learn a bit of the jargon can really help you out. Between region names, vineyards, wine producers, alcohol contents, village names, appellations, and the long list of required legal terms, there is a lot to learn admittedly.

This week, you can read some basics on rosé and learn to unpick a frequent French wine label term. Before all that, here’s a few really interesting things I’ve been tasting recently.

Jargon

Wine labels have a lot of guff on them 

Cru
Bottles have a lot of guff on them. What seems to be there to mislead the buyer was at some stage there to help. The word ‘cru’ will be on most French bottles and its existence is an indication of quality. Often to have 'cru’ on the label it will have been through some quality decision to be allowed into a protected region (might be see along appellation d'origine contrôlée (AoC). You will see 'grand cru’, which is better still, and 'premier’, eve better than that. Some wine lists or sites may shorten premier to the unpleasant on the eyes, '1er cru’.