Philippa's Wine Blog

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Posted in Philippa's Wine Blog on 17 April 2014

A bit early, I confess, but as the yellowest and most chocolatey festival of the year what’s not to love? So here are the wines I’ll be enjoying with family and friends this Easter Sunday.

Easter wine

Smashing with Starters

Smoked salmon, seafood, vegetarian quiche, asparagus – there’s so much choice, but what you need from a glass of wine is something refreshing to get the juices flowing. Nothing does that quite like New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Brancott is gloriously smart and spring green and awesome value at £6 each or two bottles for £10 – amazing!

If you fancy something just a wee bit different, how about this Chenin Blanc from a great producer in South Africa. Zalze Chenin Blanc £6 is one of my favourite Wine Shop wines; bursting with lovely lemon and lime favours and bob on with starters and just as tasty with chicken, pasta or fish. Yummy.

Lovely with Lamb

Do you know the perfect red wine to go with lamb? It’s Rioja and I’m going to tempt you with an elegantly smooth, vanilla-oaky star – CVNE Crianza Rioja £7.46 – with lots of fruit to match the sweetness of the meat and just enough bite to cut through the richness.

Easter wine

Perfect with Pork

Pork with crackling more your thing at Easter? Or maybe duck, gammon or vegetarian roast? What you need for all those dishes is a light and ever so fruity red like a New World Pinot Noir. Nothing could be more floral or raspberry fruity than the Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir £8.98 – l love its silkiness and the way the fresh acidity will balance any fattiness in the food.

Brilliant with Beef

Secondly a sooty, spicy, clean as a whistle Northern Rhone classic which is made by the talented Jean-Luc Colombo, the Colombo Crozes Hermitage £11 – Syrah at its blackberry best.

Fabulous Fizz

You just can’t not have a glass of something fizzy and fun for people calling round, so here are two star sparklers, one from Italy and the other from Australia.

Martini Prosecco Rosé £6 – so pretty and so fruity, surely everyone loves Prosecco plus pink fizz is perfect with a pudding or two as well.

Wolf Blass Red Label Sparkling Chardonnay £6.34 – here’s a fizz filled with southern sunshine, creamy and delicious on its own or with tasty nibbles like cheese straws or salted almonds.

I hope you all enjoy the Easter Break and Happy Easter to everyone – don’t forget my Facebook Q&A next week with your questions answered about wine for Easter. See you then!

Visit the Asda Wine Shop

Posted by Philippa on 12 April 2014

I love Mothering Sunday. It’s not that I’m a high maintenance mum or anything who’s expecting a day of being waited on hand and foot – though a touch of pampering never goes amiss! It’s just that spring is my favourite season, my daughters are old enough to cook a mean Sunday roast and daffodils are my favourite flowers (note to said daughters).

Mother's Day wines

So what does this mum hope for on Mother’s Day?

  • Breakfast in bed – croissants with strawberry jam and a glass of Prosecco please
  • An enormous bunch of daffodils because they make me smile
  • And a basketful of hyacinths because they smell so wonderful
  • Cards. I like cards. I love the homemade ones the girls used to bring home from school. I’ve still got them, put away at the back of the drawer.
  • And finally, a lazy afternoon lounging on the sofa watching a Fred Astaire movie – and not feeling guilty.

And drinks to go with? Here’s a selection for mums everywhere – from me to you because we deserve it!

Filippo Sansovino Prosecco £6
Light, refreshing and marvellously moreish with breakfast on a tray – what better way to start the day?

Louvel Fontaine Brut Champagne £24.25
Every mum deserves to be treated to a glass of bubbly before lunch and our Louvel Fontaine Champagne has won a gold and two silver medals so it’s a special bottle for your favourite lady.

Brancott Sauvignon Blanc £6 – was £9.98
Try grilled asparagus drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a smart and snappy glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc; green spring flavours all in one dish – delish!

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Shiraz £10
I don’t know what my girls (and hubbie) have on the menu for Sunday but I am pretty sure any main course will go down a treat with this rich, smooth stunner from Australia.

So in the word (and foot tap) of Fred and Ginger, isn’t this a lovely day!

Posted by Philippa on 26 March 2014

We’ve enjoyed the Shrove Tuesday pancakes so now we’re well into the 40 days and nights of Lent. What are you giving up this year? Most of my friends say they’re going to abstain from chocolate or crisps and some promise themselves that they will be giving up wine, so what about you?

Torres Natureo

Seems a shame to deny yourself one of life’s pleasures so if you still fancy a tipple but want to watch the alcohol, here’s a wine which is low in ABV and lighter in taste. It’s very spring-like and rather lovely with new season dishes like asparagus.

Torres Natureo, on offer at £4

A deliciously appley and lemony fresh Spanish white made from the gorgeous Muscat grape – and only 0.5% ABV (so that means around 0.1 units of alcohol for a 125ml glass). It says ‘de-alcoholised’ which doesn’t sound very attractive, but this tipple really is prettiness in a glass.

Visit the Asda Wine Shop

Posted by Philippa on 07 March 2014

You may have read that red wine should be enjoyed with meat and, despite the fact that I believe there are no rules when it comes to wine and food matching, this one really does work.


It’s to do with tannin and protein and how red meat is one of those foods which can soften the sensation of tannin – that’s the drying taste you get from pips, stalks and grape skins. Right now, our Butcher’s Selection steaks are two for only £7! So if you fancy steak then here are a couple of red wines that would make a great match.

Extra Special Barossa Shiraz

Extra Special Barossa Shiraz £5.98
There is nothing as spicy, rich and full of funky fruit as Australian Shiraz and the Barossa has to be one of the best go-to regions. Frewin Riess is the guy responsible for this densely smoky, peppery beauty that’s everything you need in a beef and red wine combo. Packed with fully-ripened fruit and aged in American oak for a complex and delicious flavour it’s at an unbelievable price for such stunning quality.

Chateau Darzac 2011

Chateau Darzac 2011 £8
I first visited this lovely family-owned property in the Entre Deux Mers region of Bordeaux several years ago where I met the brilliant Barthe brothers, Alain and Stephane. They’re continuing the family tradition of making deliciously tasty wines with this beautifully elegant, serious wine with just enough tannin to taste wonderful with steak. A classic combination and a real wine lover’s treat.

Visit the Asda Wine Shop

Posted by Philippa on 19 February 2014