Are you planning on being in London between Thursday and Sunday this week? If you’re reading this then I know you’re a bit of a food and wine aficionado!

Taste of London Winter

So why not come along to the Asda Extra Special Festive Lodge at Taste of London Winter, Tobacco Dock, E1W 2SF, meet the awesome Asda foodie team and watch demonstrations by our Innovation chefs, Master Butcher and a selection of guest chefs.

Oh, and I’ll be there as well chatting about Christmas fizz! I’d love to meet you, so please say hello. Or, wait for it, bad pun alert, Prosecc, ho, ho, ho!

Posted by Philippa on 18 November 2015

We’re celebrating our elder daughter’s special birthday this weekend and everyone is in full party mode – redecorating the house, planning menus, trying on outfits and compiling playlists.

A priority on the To Do List is drinks – because when you’ve got a guest list that spans the generations as well as the taste spectrum, what do you serve that keeps pouring simple but pleases everyone?

It’s tricky, so if you’re planning a party this winter and making shopping lists for Christmas from all the great deals on the Wine Shop and in Asda stores, then here are a few thoughts from me.

And don’t forget to use your Save £10 discount when you spend £100 on the Wine Shop – check out the details on the back page of our great free Wine Guide.

Fabulous Fizz

Fabulous Fizz
We like to serve something sparkling with the nibbles when guests arrive which could be Champagne or Prosecco – my picks would be:

Piper Heidseick – one of my very favourite Grandes Marques. Perfect aperitif champagnes.

Extra Special Prosecco – Ok, I’m biased (because I create the blend every year) but I reckon this is one of the freshest, most delightfully balanced Proseccos on the market. And since there is a very loyal following and people love the style, it’s one I try to keep consistent year after year. No pressure there, then!

Yellow Label Prosecco – fun Prosecco which is ever so slightly sweeter than the Extra Special. Our customers absolutely love it, so you probably will too.

Smooth White Wines

Smooth White
If there’s just one white then steer a middle flavour course with something refreshing, food friendly but not too acidic. European whites would be my first choice, so why not try:

Wine Atlas Feteasca Regala – my goodness, this Romanian wine is delicious. Not quite dry so really moreish.

Torres Vina Sol – a bit of a Spanish classic. Made from the Parellada grape and unfailingly fresh.

Wine Atlas Marsanne – lovely, lovely, lovely. Smooth and peachy.

Extra Special Gavi – this is so, so good. Very bright and shiny-tasting. A veritable tree full of fruit.

But I also can’t resist this Australian white:
Zilzie Pinot Grigio – probably the nation’s favourite grape, grown in the Australian sunshine and awesome value for money. What’s not to love?

Rich and fruity red

Rich and Fruity Red
Nothing too tannic, nothing too high in alcohol either:

Wine Atlas Cotes du Frappatto – spicy, fruity and fantastic red from Sicily. Ned Halley gave it a Perfect 10 in his book, The Best Wines in the Supermarkets 2016. Can’t say fairer than that.

Wine Atlas Carmenere – plums and oak and total juiciness: a Chilean marvel.

Tagus Creek Shiraz Trincadeira – wow! This is a Portuguese star! 50% international grape and 50% indigenous makes an unbeatably spicy, smooth and savoury combination.

Party on!

Visit the Asda Wine Shop.

Posted by Philippa on 13 November 2015

I love a glass of wine (though not every day) and whichever day, it’s in a responsible way – but have you heard of International Wine Days? Sounds like a great idea, celebrating your favourite grape with other fans around the world.

So, here’s a thing. Tempranillo Day is on Thursday 12th November and I thought it would be good to recommend a Tempranillo based wine for you to try over the weekend. Now, when people think about Tempranillo (if they do at all) it’s all about Rioja, and being someone who likes to encourage people to drink outside the box, my suggestion is:

The Wine Atlas Cigales Tempranillo

The Wine Atlas Cigales Tempranillo

Described by Susy Atkins in the Sunday Telegraph as “Ripe, likeable, with plenty of blackcurrant and hints of parma violet and chocolate” and Anthony Rose of the Independent as combining “deliciously juicy smoky oak and strawberry fruit” this is a tasty wine, with pedigree.

Jo*, the Buying Manager for Spain and Portugal, and I tasted this wine on a visit to those lovely people at Baron de Ley – who work with us on our celebrated and multi award winning Extra Special El Meson Gran Reserva Rioja 2005 – and we were amazed! so we turned to each other and said, “We’ve got to have this wine!”. The rest is Wine Atlas history.

With fabulous smoky fruit from the harsh climate of Cigales, it’s great with winter casseroles, bangers and mash or roast chicken.

*Check out our brilliant Asda Wine Guide and discover even more lovely wines for winter drinking and festive celebrations. And Meet Jo and the rest of the smiley Wine Team.

Posted by Philippa on 12 November 2015

It’s All Blacks versus Wallabies this weekend and I know where my husband and I will be at 4pm on Saturday – side by side on the sofa, cheering on the players and wondering whether we’ll be drinking Australian or Kiwi at the end of the match.

So we’ll plan for either, or both, because in the spirit of good sportsmanship it would be rude not to toast the runners up as well as the winners.

Here are my picks from the Wine Shop.

Australian wines

If you’re siding with the Australians then go for something big and beefy:

Zilzie Shiraz Viognier – £4.85
A real humdinger of a red: rich and oaky and a great Autumnal evening kind of wine. Great with big chunks of cheese and hunky casseroles come six o’clock.

But you might be surprised by the lightness of touch of this Australian Chardonnay:

Extra Special Barossa Chardonnay – £5.75
Perhaps not quite what you would expect from Aussie Chardie with tropical flavours, yes, but also a lovely, fresh lightness of touch and holding back off the oak. Really quite elegant, so try with pasta and creamy sauces or fish and chips.

New Zealand wines

But if the All Blacks work their magic, here is a supple, special red with which to celebrate:

Wishbone Pinot Noir – £8.48
Sensational with crispy duck!

And oh, my goodness, the white just has to be Sauvignon Blanc, doesn’t it?

Marlborough Sun Sauvignon Blanc – £6.47
The one with the ‘cheeky’ label and brilliant with Thai and Oriental dishes or just on its own, really chilled…

Enjoy the match – rugby or wine and food – either way, it’s going to be a great weekend!

Visit the Asda Wine Shop.

Posted by Philippa on 29 October 2015
Philippa's Wine Blog

We won! Oh my, golly, yes. We have won the ultimate accolade of Supermarket of the Year from what many people believe to be the best and most prestigious wine magazine, Decanter.

Philippa with Peter Richards MW, Chair of Judges, and Christelle Guibert, Judge and Decanter's Tastings Director

It went like this. On Tuesday night I attended the Decanter Awards Ceremony in London on behalf of our fabulous wine team where retailers, big and small, were recognised and applauded for their passion for wine, and for selling it to customers with heart and imagination. I bumped into lots of old friends from the wine industry and we all chatted away, a wee bit nervously, and probably for the only time in my life I knew what it must feel like to be an Oscar nominee: you’re on a shortlist but daren’t think for a minute that you Just. Might. Win.

The lovely Peter Richards MW (you’ll know him from Saturday Kitchen on the telly) was the Chair of the Judges and the person responsible for announcing the winners. Supermarket Category. Tension mounts … and this is what he said … “Bold new initiatives based on extensive customer research, such as the launch of The Wine Atlas, set this supermarket apart from the field this year, as well as a fierce commitment to value…So congratulations to Philippa Carr MW – and Asda!”

And because, according to the judges, we pipped other retailers to the post due to our pioneering work with The Wine Atlas, here are three of my favourites. Enjoy. Be rude not to.

The Wine Atlas

  • Wine Atlas Cigales Spain in spades. Just goes to show there is so much more to Iberia than Rioja. Grab this gorgeous full and rich Tempranillo from the parched and precious region of Cigales. Grilled meat on the menu? Wine – sorted.
  • Wine Atlas Touraine Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Sauvignon – are you feeling a little bit Been There Done That about New Zealand? Well, here’s the Inside Track. France’s Loire Valley was doing really, really great Sauvignon Blanc a long, long time before the Kiwis leapt onto the wine stage. So here’s a bright fresh star from the unbelievably pretty region of Touraine. Can I tempt you to a glass with your pesto pasta this weekend?
  • Wine Atlas Fetasca Neagra You don’t need to be able to pronounce the grape to know this is one wonderfully smooth and plump fruity Romanian red wine. One for drinking with a big bowl of chilli as you’ve settled on the sofa to watch a favourite DVD? Tell me who minds now about the weather?

And I’m just as proud of the judges’ comments about value, because that means we are doing the right thing – great quality at great prices. So, here are some of my personal heroes:

Great value wines

Posted in Philippa's Wine Blog on 11 September 2015