Some people say I have the best job in the world because I get to drink wine all day. This week has been no exception. The lovely Liliane at Tesco sent me a case of wine to review (it’s a hard life) and I’ve tried my best to get through it. The great thing is that not only is it super cheap (£66 for 12 bottles, do the maths) but it’s a mix of red white and fizz so absolutely perfect for all types of entertaining.
The Cava was the first on my hit list. And I knew just the girls to help me drink it. It’s the Freixenet Extra Vintage Brut Cava 2009, Spain (below.) The sun was out and we sat out on the balcony and discussed.. As I’ve always said, I love the stuff and if it’s the same price as a bottle of white wine, why the hell not! It was crisp, packed full of citrus flavours and more importantly; absolutely perfect for the occasion! The fact that it’s vintage gives it that extra bit of body that really makes it stand out. For a food match, get yourself some fish & chips. Perfection. If you have any Creme de Cassis knocking about put a dash in the glass et voilà, Kir Royales!
On to the next. After a long day at work I really needed a glass of something cold and easy. I cracked open the Long Country Sauvignon Blanc, Chile. It’s not a complicated wine, but to be honest sometimes that’s exactly what you need. It was light in body, with plenty of gooseberry, grapefruit and lime flavours. This wine is perfect for drinking on it’s own or taking to a party (which I successfully did with the second bottle, this is also why there is no arty picture of it so use your imagination..)
The first bottle of red really intrigued me, the Jacktone Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2009, USA (below.) Wines from the States tend to be pretty pricey (apart from Blossom Hill & Echo Falls) so this was a nice surprise. One word. Chunky. Full of blackcurrants (alcoholic Ribena according to my housemate) and full of tart black cherries. Vanilla, cloves and toasty oak give this wine real character, do this wine some justice, give it a fat juicy steak.
I cooked up a mid-week chorizo and bean stew and I knew just the wine to match it. Introducing the Gran Fabrica Cariñena Gran Reserva 2001, Spain (below.) It seems obvious but matching red wine with food from that country (or region) is always a winner. Spanish wine and Spanish food = heaven. It was rich, smoky and had delicious spice that complimented the chorizo so well. I’ve still got a bottle left and I’m going to enjoy it with some Manchego cheese (one of the best cheeses ever..) and maybe a little more chorizo later on in the week..
My mother was on hand for the third bottle of white, she’s a huge fan of Old World Sauvignon so the Maison des Princes Sauvignon Blanc 2010, France (below) was sure to be a hit. It did not fail. Packed full of elderflower and zesty citrus and a really clean mineral streak which makes the wines from the Loire Valley so famous. The next night my housemate cooked a really fresh cod curry that was very delicate and had plenty of coriander, lime and tomato and it tasted amazing!
The final red was a typical Rhône blend, La Tour de Marrenon Côtes du Ventoux Réserve 2010, France (below.) I’m a massive fan of Syrah/Grenache blends (Syrah is the same grape as Shiraz) and this had plenty of jammy fruits and a really peppery finish. This is what I like to call a ‘dinner for two’ wine. Get a rack of lamb and smother it with garlic and rosemary, dim the lights and get romantic..
I’d like to think I’m a tough reviewer, but I was genuinely impressed by the mixed case. If you’re a beginner to wine it’s ace because you don’t have to spend hours deliberating about hundreds of wines that you actually have no idea about. It’s tailor-made to give you an interesting variety and hopefully you’ll discover some wines that you didn’t know about. You know me, I’m all about expanding your wine horizons.
And it gets better, this very case it up for grabs. If you subscribe to my blog then you’re in the running, if you’re already a subscriber (many thanks) your name is also in the draw. I’ll be using a real hat to pluck the winning name (hopefully a top hat) I’m old skool like that. If you win, 12 bottles will be delivered right to your door, all thanks to Tesco Wine by the Case. You’ve got 7 days and counting.
For more details about ‘The Ultimate Outdoor Entertaining Mixed Case’ and to see the case in full click here!
And another thing, they’ve got sweet competition running, check out the details below;
‘Win a once in a lifetime wine trip to New Zealand’
The fabulous prize includes:
Return flights from a London based airport to New Zealand, Luxury accommodation for five nights in Auckland, Two night accommodation at the Invivo winery, Private vineyard and winery tour at Invivo, Private wine tasting and blending session with winemaker Rob Cameron, Dinner with the Invivo team
There are three runners-up prize:
A fabulous mixed case of six Invivo wines, A limited production Invivo Pinot Noir in bespoke wooden gift box and an Invivo gift set, including a bottle of Invivo Sauvignon Blanc
Thanks for reading.