Philippa's Wine Blog

Extra Special Barbera d'Asti

Have you seen our new wine advert? Hands up everyone who already knew that our own label and exclusive wines had won more than 200 awards this year … and now hands up every person who was just a wee bit surprised at our amazing quality? Umm, quite a few of you it seems. Well, I know how much care, experience and expertise goes into every bottle and I’m especially proud of our Extra Special wines, so it’s great the secret is out!

The star wine of the advert, our Extra Special Barbera d’Asti from Italy, has to be one of my absolute favourite wines from the Extra Special range. It won three awards in the big international tasting competitions this year, including an IWSC Silver Outstanding, which for a wine selling for £5 this Christmas is, I’m sure you’ll agree, pretty amazing.

We’ve been buying Barbera from the lovely people at Araldica for some years now and I reckon we were the first supermarket to launch it under own label. You see, if we find a wine that is good we want customers to enjoy it, even if, at the time, it seems a bit ‘out there’ (we were the first to launch Fiano, too and Falanghina and Marsanne…).

Lella and Claudio

About this time of year I head to the Piedmont region of northern Italy and, with Lella the winemaker at Araldica, and Claudio her husband who runs the winery, spend a couple of days creating the wines which will appear on our shelves in the Spring. It’s a very beautiful location and, you know, there is something in the idea that lovely wines come from lovely places.

So, the Extra Special Barbera d’Asti is on my shopping list this Christmas – smooth and ever so fruity with refreshing Italian acidity to cut through the richness of festive dishes like duck or turkey with all the trimmings. It’s also a brilliant party and supper wine – great with pasta, casseroles or big bowls of chilli. Happy days!

If you like the look of the other Extra Special £5 wines in the advert, here’s a little bit of background on them as well.

Try the Extra Special Barbera d’Asti for yourself!
Our giveaway offering 10 people the chance to try our our Extra Special Barbera d’Asti and provide feedback via social media using the hashtag #asdawine has now closed. Thanks to everyone who volunteered – we’ll be contacting the 10 chosen recipients shortly. Full terms and conditions.

Visit the Asda Wine Shop.

Posted in Philippa's Wine Blog on 09 November 2013

Giorgio Flessati

Whoever decided to call Giorgio Flessati a ‘Magician’ in the world of wine wasn’t far off the mark – a man who has won multiple medals from a small family owned winery in the remote and challenging environment of Chile’s Elqui Valley has to be some kind of crazy genius. And the fact that Giorgio is a smiley affable man whose wines are arguably some of the finest from South America only adds to his charm.

Built a decade ago at an altitude of 650 metres, the Viña Mayu winery is the source of some brilliant alchemy where Giorgio creates white wines which mirror the crystal clear skies of the Valley’s unpolluted night sky and reds that reflect the pure drama of the landscape.

Read more here
Posted by Philippa on 04 November 2013
Aisle Spy Philippa’s Wine Blog

After a rigorous blind tasting by the world’s leading wine judges, Asda’s own-label wines scooped up 140 medals at the world’s three most prestigious wine competitions – International Wine & Spirit Competition, Decanter World Wine Awards and International Wine Challenge.

The star of the show was our Extra Special Louis Bernard Premier Cru Champagne £19.75. It beat big brands and bubbly costing up to £135 to win a Gold Award and Great Value Award.

Asda’s wine expert and Master of Wine, Philippa Carr, says “If you’re planning something special – a wedding, a birthday, an anniversary, a birth (yes, Mr and Mrs Wales) here’s a Gold medal winning Champagne that would be just perfect – fine, floral, fruity and extraordinarily classy!”

Here’s some more top summer picks from Philippa
Posted in Aisle Spy Philippa’s Wine Blog on 23 July 2013

We’ve been putting in place a brand new project, helping to tackle food poverty with FareShare, for the last few months… and now we get to share the news with you in a guest blog below by Richard Mason, CSR Manager at Asda.

You might have seen some media coverage already such as that in the Observer at the weekend but Richard wanted to give my blog readers his inside track. At the end of last year he personally went on a mission to see how Asda could increase our support for those in food poverty – perfectly aligned with our mission of saving people money every day. Thanks to his efforts this project is massive and will make a difference to nearly 44,000 people every day. I’ve been working alongside him as he worked up this project and I’d like to congratulate him for delivering this amazing result.

Richard tells us:

Food poverty has been hitting the headlines recently, with a recent report finding that 3.5 million adults and 500,000 children can’t afford to eat properly. We’re working with FareShare, the national charity committed to fighting hunger. From time to time, we get surplus stock arriving at our distribution centres. Instead of letting it go to waste, we’re going to send it to FareShare depots. From there, they’ll distribute it to over 900 charities, where it’s cooked and served to people who really need it. So, perfectly good food will make a difference to people who really need it.

Find out more
Posted by Julian on 05 June 2013

The Sustain & Save Exchange, SSE, goes from strength to strength and one of the areas we decided to beef up is face to face activity. Last month Arla Foods hosted a visit at their Leeds Distribution Centre to showcase the financial and environmental benefits of LED lighting. Last week we ran a summit focusing on resource efficiency in the rather grand surroundings of the Queen’s Hotel in Leeds.

The highlight for me though had to be the announcement of our award winners, presented by Stuart Menzies, Category Director for Fresh Meat & Fish. These were for those companies and individuals who had really stood out either through support of this programme or who had benefited from it.

Find out who the winners were
Posted by Julian on 28 May 2013