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Discounter Options for Your Very Own “House Wine”

I have mentioned the idea of Personal House Wines before but make no apologies for doing so again.

The idea is to mirror restaurant House Wines with your own safe, board appeal, versatile choices that you enjoy (and which most visitors will enjoy too).

Aim for “uncomplicated and easy drinking” rather than “breathtaking quality and avant-garde experimentation”.

Value and flexibility will be important to – as will the need to keep a bottle or three handy for an informal impromptu glassful.  

The current craze for “25% off” multi-buys can help you out here, but premium discounters can also meet the need – as today’s selections reflect.

So, give some thought to your own liquid “spécialité de la maison” but do remember to refresh your choices as the seasons change.

Once again, pictures and hyperlinks are included where possible to make it easier to track down the wine in question.

From zero to hero

2021 Mimo Moutinho Portuguese Dão (currently £6.19 – instead of £6.49 – at Aldi and 13% abv):

Once upon a time Portugal’s touriga nacional grape was unpopular with growers.

It needed extensive and labour-intensive pruning and its yields were low – time to find a replacement, many thought.

Then the world started to laud the quality and intensity of wines the variety produced, and those downsides were quickly forgiven.

Full and dark, this example confirms that praise by delivering bold damson, mulberry and cherry flavours coupled with gentle tannin (but firm acidity).

Background components add slate-like minerality and savoury herb elements to make this wine even more attractive.

Centre ground sauvignon

2022 Deluxe Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Privada (£6.29 at Lidl and 12%):

Chilean sauvignon like this could be categorised as a “middle of the road option”.

It is midway between assertive New Zealand versions and those more restrained and subtle examples from France’s Loire Valley.

Try this one to see for yourselves whether that middle ground suits your palate.

Minty and vaguely herbal, it is centred around clean, slightly grassy, apple, lemon and orange flavours.

These are supported by a neat combination of firm citrus acidity and just a trace of minerality that provides a flicker of savouriness.

Join me again on Thursday when I take a look at an “own label” range now arriving in Majestic stores.

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Dave Porter

Sainsburys have 25% off 3 bottles of their Taste The difference range till the end of the month.

Brian Elliott

Hadn’t spotted that Dave., so many thanks for the “heads up”. That range contains some really reliable wines.

Eddie Walker

Good to see that Sainsbury’s 25% off buy-3 offer, a first time for that particular deal, that I hadn’t spotted but Dave Porter did! Some more flexibility than ”buy-6” but limited too when it only covers their TTD range, it goes until July 25th!

In line with Brian’s suggestion that it’s often worthwhile going for our own ”house wine” choice and stocking-in a few bottles when at its cheapest the Fronton Negrette Rosé jumps out as a good offer on a double dip when it can be £4.87 …. but only until July15th at that money. After that it would be £5.62 that is still a value offering for a very enjoyable, fresh and fruity rosé for the summer season.

A red I rather enjoy from the TTD range is their Barbera D’Asti, a variety often overlooked, but not for me, as a flexible Italian that could be a sound ”house wine” choice right now.–taste-the-difference-75cl

Brian Elliott

You are certainly right about barbera Eddie. A pleasant summer wine when young but gets nicely complex with a bit of aging.

Edwin Wood

Morrisons are also doing 25% off when you buy 3 from their “The best” range until the 8th August

Brian Elliott

They seem to have been the first to adopt that specific type of selective promotional mechanic, just as Sainsbury’s started the “25% off when you buy 6” juggernaut.

Eddie Walker

This is quite a useful Morrisons link ‘cos it takes us to the offer bottles to save having to go trawling through the whole catalogue … There is a bit of a drawback when it doesn’t cover the whole range of bottles over a £fiver. Useful that it runs until the 8th August though.

Brian Elliott

Thanks Eddie; as you say, a helpful link.

Paul Davies

I agree Brian the Portuguese Dao is great.A better than decent quaffable everyday “own” house white wine would be La Vielle Ferme (The old Farmhouse) white wine Rhone blend Tesco Clubcard price £6.75 until end of July.A reliable and consistent interesting blend of four grape varieties by Famille Perrin.Best served cool rather than cold which brings out food friendly flavours.

Brian Elliott

Agree La Vielle Ferme is a reliable brand that has popped up in several retailers, but I have not tried the rosé yet. Good point you make about avoiding overchilling – one that struck me forcefully with assyrtiko the other day. While sauvignon is powerful enough to maintain its flavours straight from the fridge, other varieties may not be – notably chardonnay. Dave Cronin suggested, a week or two back, taking whites out of the fridge 20 minutes before you drink them.

Paul Turner

I agree with the comments about The old farmhouse although the rose version is the one we have settled on. As far as red is concerned we have gone for the Yellow Tails Malbec when it on offer at Sainsbury’s or Morrisons which will bring it down to under a fiver. Yellow Tails are blended by the family Casella. They supply Laithwaites with their excellent Black Stump

Brian Elliott

Ah Black Stump with all that rich, powerful Durif – that takes me back. As I said to the other Paul, I have yet to sample the Ferme rosé – what makes it sing for you?

Paul Turner

I think the rose is smoother with more flavour

Brian Elliott

Thanks Paul, I will try to track some down.

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