Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

The definition of affordable luxury….

Friday, December 6th, 2013

 [In song]
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a Harvey Nichols red, how fancy!

Q. What do you get when you cross one of the UK’s favourite red wines with a British fashion institution? A. A lust-after bottle of Argentine Malbec from Harvey Nichols.

As you’d expect, Harvey Nichols Malbec 2012* has been exclusively produced and is made from grapes grown in the Valle de Uco to the south west of Mendoza at around 1,000 metres above sea level. The height means the grapes get long, sunny days to ripen and chilly nights to lock in that flavour which helps to produce intense and fruity wine that’s full of character, layers and style.

It’s thought that part of Malbec’s popularity over here is down to it’s ease of pronunciation….. but surely it’s down to it’s charm, mouth filling texture and flavours. This one is as deep in flavour as it is in colour which is fitting for Malbec’s meaning which derives from the spanish term mala boca meaning “bad mouth”, a reference to the colour your mouth is left with after a glass or two! Intense in colour and flavour this one is pleasingly ripe and juicy with liquorice, melted chocolate, plum fruit and coffee characters on the nose; violets, red cherry and vanilla, ripe berries, cocoa, mixed spice and ripe tannins on a long rounded finish. Drink it with an alternative Christmas dinner of beef or game or gift it to a friend that has everything… or who thinks they do, this is the definition of affordable luxury.

* Available from: Harvey Nichols stores &, £11.00

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Charitable Christmas wine….

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

[In song]
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a robust red to help charity….

When Christmas shopping has drained you of all hope, good will and money you might be left feeling deflated by excessive consumerism and in desperate need of a drink! Piggy Bank wines have been designed to help you on both fronts.

Piggy Bank Grenache 2012* from the Languedoc in the south of France is not only a great party wine that would go down well sipping while you chat, with canapés and nibbles (piggy’s in blankets?!) or with a festive gammon or beef but is also jam packed with the feel good factor. For every bottle sold wine importers Guy Anderson Wines donates 50p to one of three chosen charities. Each Piggy Bank holds £10,000 and when it’s full the money raised is distributed between the charities based on the number of votes cast for each one. At the moment they’re raising money for Meningitis UK, Wateraid and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The wine itself is fruity and moreish, layered with fruits of the forest and cocoa characters and a hint of Christmas cake! Try a bottle for yourself and you’ll see there’s generosity in every bottle!

* Available from and the Piggy Bank Wine Shop, £7.99

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A favourite Aussie….

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

[In song] On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me some Chardonnay, a favourite Aussie….

Chardonnay is back, it never really went away, it has held its position in the list of the nation’s top 3 white wines for years and is the world’s best selling white year after year. It’s the mars bar of the wine world, while everyone is talking about their 70% cocoa bar of Green & Blacks (read Sauvignon Blanc for wine), they’re secretly looking forward to tucking into the squished mars bar at the bottom of their handbag on their way home (or unloved bottle of Chardonnay they sneaked into the basket at Tesco). ………

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Hot on the heals of Sancerre….

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

[In song] On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me a Touraine from the Wine Society….

A Christmas Day classic is Sancerre served with a starter of smoked salmon but finding a decent one for less than £15 is hard, and it adds up if you’re catering for more than a handful of people.

Touraine Sauvignon Blanc is also from the Loire Valley in France, same as Sancerre, it is made of Sauvignon Blanc, same as white Sancerre and over the last few years the region has been working with flying winemaker and Master of Wine Sam Harrop (who comes from NZ, the land of Sauvignon Blanc) to perfect the regions’ style of Savvy. Put a wine importing heavy weight like The Wine Society behind all that and you’ve got a seriously good alternative to Sancerre at half the price like Les Hauts Lieux Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2012 which is an honest steal at £7.50.

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As seen at the Ideal Home Show, Christmas!

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Here’s a little insight into what happened at the Ideal Home Show Christmas Drinks Theatre the other day, for a breakdown of my top wine picks and what they tasted like stay tuned for my seven days of Christmas series featuring all wines and gifts I presented at the show. Starting on the 1st December. There’ll be singing and everything…!

With huge thanks to Harvey Nichols, Piggy Bank wines, Hardy’s, Concha y Toro, Sopexa and the guys at who helped make my debut tastings at The Ideal Home Show happen.

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Hampering the wine efforts….

Monday, November 25th, 2013

All you need is love and a bottle of wine, apparently. Well, yes… and no. Both help if you’re trying to get pregnant, but right now it’s Christmas, a time of giving and a time when love and a bottle of wine never quite seems enough.

Ok then, how about love, wine and a few nibbly bits? I’m talking hampers. I’ve always been wary of them as an idea, never quite knowing what’s hiding under the cellophane. To me they slap of corporate gratefulness and a lack of imagination, invariably gifted to someone you’re obliged to buy for rather than want to gift to. And wine invariably comes as part of the deal but what can be said of the quality?


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