This week's tips include an excellent Pinot Blanc which does a great job boosting the profile of this often under-appreciated grape. Plus a smooth and juicy Merlot from South Africa's 2020 harvest. I have also picked some highlights from the latest Waitrose promotion that may well include contenders for Christmas celebrations (whatever they look like this year).
2020 Daniel’s Drift Merlot (£6 at M&S)
Reds, as well as whites, from the 2020 southern hemisphere harvest are beginning to arrive. This guy, from South Africa’s Breede Valley, is the first new vintage red featured here.
Darker and denser than many conventional Merlots, the bramble flavours support its cherry centred backbone. It has good acidity, little tannin, and a smooth nutty, coffee texture but no oak.
Is This It? Pinot Blanc (£5.50 – instead of £6.50 until 24 November – at the Co-op)
Sadly, Pinot Blanc is the underappreciated relation of the Pinot family but this excellent, and great value, Hungarian example should help put that right.
Discover, and relish, its perfumed pear, peach and ripe melon flavours and the sherbet lemon freshness, textured nutty background and sweetish hints that accompany them.
If you're starting to think about wine for Christmas, the latest promotion from Waitrose has some impressive discounts on fizz and fortified wine as well as the usual reds and whites. Running until 1st December, the offers include the selection below. As always, check online or instore for the full range.
- Gérard Bertrand Syrah (Down from £9.99 to £7.49)
- Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon (Drops to £6.79)
- Beefsteak Club Malbec Mendoza (Down to £5.99)
- Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Quinci (Down 25% to £9.74)
- Yealands Reserve Sauvignon (Drops to £8.59)
- Paul Mas Viognier Sauvignon Blanc (Down to £6.74)
- Piper-Heidsieck Brut NV Champagne (Drops to £26)
- Graham's Late-Bottled Vintage (Down from £13.99 to £8.99)
At Tesco and Sainsbury's
New offers also start this week at Sainsbury's and Tesco. Check back next week for my picks from these promotions.
Join us on Thursday when we look at wine books for seasonal fireside reading or as relief from any “Stay Indoors” boredom.
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