Sometimes I am asked for the rationale behind the structure of these twice weekly posts.
Regular Top Tips that appear every Monday to highlight great value, inexpensive wines do, I think, speak for themselves.
Equally, news of deals at major retailers has an obvious appeal for folk like the guy who told me “I greatly value news of upcoming discounts”.
But why include Friday Treats and Sunday Best when some of them are often appreciably above the average price of a bottle of wine?
Well, here are three quotes from regular users of the site to answer that question.
“Although I would love to buy an expensive wine occasionally, sometimes I’ve been very disappointed when I’ve spent a lot more than normal.” says one.
Another tells me “What I want is wines which prompt words like characterful, flavoursome, individualistic, multi-layered, rich, interesting”, acknowledging that such qualities are not common at bargain prices.
Or another motivation is simply “I would like to widen the range of whites I drink”.
For all those MidWeekers and many like them, Thursday posts are designed to be a series of signposts which have them in mind.
I hope that today’s edition will, again, go some way towards meeting those needs.
In the customary way, pictures and hyperlinks should help you find the wine in question.
2021 Ripper Shiraz (£10.99 at Virgin Wines and 14%):
Of course, Australia has some brilliant shiraz superstars that are stylish, intense (and, justifiably, expensive) and which will age for many years.
Below that level, however, there are delightfully well-made, “drink now” (and decidedly quaffable) versions like this, with bold fruit and broad flavour ranges, yet which avoid being excessively heavy.
Dark and smooth, this one brings us ripe mulberry and bramble components coupled with menthol, dark chocolate and mocha suggestions integrated with firm tannin and balancing acidity.
2020 Chapoutier Vignes de Bila-Haut Blanc (from £11.49 at Laithwaites and 13.5%):
Here we find a distinguished Rhȏne producer creating a classic Rhȏne white wine blend (with a twist or two) but in an established Roussillon wine producing area to the north- west of Perpignon.
Despite its complex name, this wine is simply lovely and offers unusual, great food-friendly fare that is a shade more savoury than many.
Aromatic yet textured, it exhibits zesty marmalade, quince and tangerine flavours supported by rounded grapefruit acidity and suggestions of bergamot, woodsmoke and other savoury elements.
Ones ending shortly
We are approaching the main “turnover time” with three promotions ending before we meet again.
One is the Tesco Clubcard promotion that is due to end on 26 September.
As you can see though, from that hyperlink, some “25% off when you buy six” deals are available to Clubcard holders on selected wines for the final week of this promotion.
The next day sees the end of the Waitrose promotion that has run for the whole of this month so far providing an extensive range of “money off” opportunities.
27 September also brings the current Co-op promotions to an end to be replaced by one that runs until 18 October.
Details of those new promotions will appear here as soon after their “go-live” date as I have them.
And the new one
Sainsbury’ promotion periods tend to run a week ahead of that multi-retailer turnover cycle, so their new one started this week.
The new list is extensive with three wines from its SO Organic range, a batch of branded wines (5 Barefoot and 7 McGuigan etc) and 40+ items from its premium “Taste the Difference” wines. These start at £6 (Pecorino and 2 others) and go up to a £14 Barolo.
Star Buy from Promotions
2020 Badenhorst The Curator White Blend (£5.99 – instead of £8.99 until 27 September – at Waitrose and 13%)
Here’s a chance to nip in before the door closes on this promotion to secure a bright, lively party pleaser from South Africa’s vastly improved (and still getting better) Swartland wine area.
It is a blend of five grape varieties led, predictably given its country of origin, by chenin blanc.
Ripe tropical fruit elements abound here including peach, apricot, pineapple and mango flavours built into a slightly buttery, spicy texture and turbo charged by lemon, lime and grapefruit acidity.
After today’s glimpse of more expensive wine and current promotions, it’s back to budget (but great value) fare in Monday’s Top Tip selections. Do drop by then.
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