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Philippa's Wine Blog

The nights are drawing in, Halloween and Bonfire Night are just around the corner and just in the nick of time we have a brilliant offer for you, you lucky Wine Shop shoppers!

Any of these wines (and plenty more, just check the website) are rolled back to a fiver, but if you buy any six in our wonderful mix and match offer you can buy half a dozen wines for just £25. I call that awesome, exciting and bargainacious.

So here is my pick of the bunch for winter-warming drinking:

Hallowe’en drinks – no tricks, just treats!

Halloween wines

I can’t wait for Halloween when we’re inviting the neighbours round before the spooky fun begins, maybe for a spot of apple bobbing but probably more like a glass of wine and some tasty savouries – and on my list are two devilishly good wines from Chile: the Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Legend has it that a devil haunts the Casillero cellars, but he doesn’t scare me, as the wines are so frighteningly good!

Bonfire Night

Bonfire night wines

As a Yorky it feels a bit disloyal celebrating the downfall of Son of York Guy Fawkes, so let’s talk fireworks instead and keep the winter chill at bay with bangers and mash, vegetarian chilli and sticky ribs.

Plus a glass or two of tasty wine like the smooth and meat-friendly Extra Special Malbec, the gorgeously savoury Extra Special Barbera d’Asti, our peppery Extra Special Shiraz from the South of France and it’s white partner, the lovely fresh and easy Extra Special Chardonnay that goes great with winter salads.

Bring on the wild and woolly weather – we’re ready!

Visit the Asda Wine Shop

Posted in Philippa's Wine Blog on 30 October 2014
Philippa's Wine Blog

I can’t believe that only last month I was visiting the four hundred year old family firm of Joseph Mellot in Pouilly, the sun was shining, it was balmy and warm and the wines were chilled and delicious.

Ammonite found in one of Mellot's vineyards

Fast forward four weeks and the weather is wild, wet and woolly and we’re shivering in late October.

So as a reminder of glorious Autumnal weather, here are two wines from Mellot: our lovely brisk, minty fresh but deliciously silky Extra Special Pouilly Fume and the flinty, lively Oscar Brillant Sancerre.

Wines from Mellot's vineyard

Just check out these reviews and enjoy a glass of classic Sauvignon Blanc with seafood, fish or goat’s cheese.

Posted in Philippa's Wine Blog on 24 October 2014
Philippa

I’ve just returned from a whistle stop tour of France’s wine regions, it felt like ALL of the regions but to those we missed – we’ll be back!

I wanted to say hello to winemakers, find out about the crop (the Loire had just started picking, other vineyards half way through the vintage) and taste our Extra Special and exclusive wines.

2014 is looking good in France (and much, much better than 2013) so I’m really looking forward to some lovely bottles arriving in Asda shops in the Spring.

Philippa at Domaines Brocard

We called in at family-owned producer Domaines Brocard who have been supplying us with Extra Special Chablis for years and years and here is a photo of me with Julien Brocard in his ‘experimental cellar’ (note the egg shaped fermentation vats, how cool are they?) together with Jack and Ed from the Wine Team. We’re beaming because we’re about to taste about a dozen Premier and Grand Cru Chablis, at half past nine in the morning. All in a day’s work, folks…

Star Whites

Extra Special Chablis, Domaine de la Levee 2013 – available in store

I love Brocard for the minerality in their wines but that wasn’t easy to find in 2013 so getting the blend right was really important. The 2013 Extra Special is a resultant blend of wines from two villages, Chichee and Chapelle – it has richness and smoothness but a zesty crispness as well and it won a Silver Medal this year.

Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 2011, Domaines Brocard

A smoky aroma and deliciously stone fruits flavour – a really elegant Chablis and fabulous with seafood.

Posted by Philippa on 10 October 2014
Philippa

We’ve done it again! Another medal for our beautiful Extra Special Louis Bernard Premier Cru Champagne – and this is a silver!

The awesomely knowledgeable judges at the Champagne & Sparkling World Championships describe our delicious fizz as “stylish, zesty and lively – very long, very fresh, very crisp and nicely dry.”

Extra Special Louis Bernard Premier Cru Champagne

So what are your reasons for opening a lovely chilled bottle of this super-special, silver winning Extra Special Champagne?

My list includes (in no particular order):

  • It’s October and the sun is shining
  • I’ve just got back from a trip to France and the sun was shining (oh, and the grapes were in pretty good shape)
  • Elder Daughter, now in a student house at Uni, is cooking for herself… healthily!
  • I’ve just won another medal for the Premier Cru Champagne
  • It would be rude not to!

Let me know if you like our Champagnes with a comment below!

Posted by Philippa on 03 October 2014
Philippa

Kon’nichiwa (hello!)

I was tasting some Koshu the other week (Koshu is a distinctly different grape variety grown in Japan) and I know that this will sound really posey, but it just didn’t measure up to the wines I tried whilst visiting Japan a couple of years ago.

Philippa Carr and a sumo wrestler in Japan

My tasting notes from back then refer to a fruity, citrusy style, a bit like Sauvignon Blanc with a hint of peach and that is what I was expecting this time. A shame, because Koshu is most definitely one of those light, refreshing, aromatic white wines which are the Hot New Varietals in the wine world.

So what would I recommend to have instead with sushi, a bento box or maybe sashimi? Here are some ideas from the Wine Shop to entice and excite – all fresh, all a little bit minerally or spicy, all uber-trendy and all light enough not to overwhelm the delicate flavours of Japanese cookery.

Wines to pair with Japanese food

Silver Bullet Laurenz V Gruner Veltliner
A favourite on restaurant wine lists (and can often be spotted in my wine rack at home) Gruner Veltliner is peppery, spicy and refreshing. An Austrian Gem.

Chateau Salmoniere Muscadet de Sevret et Maine Sur Lie 2013
Sadly neglected for a few years, Muscadet de Sevre et Maine is back in vogue – bright and bracing and brilliant with seafood and fish. Would make sushi smile!

Alba Signature Albarino 2012
Practically mainstream, Albarino is a food lover’s dream and our IWC Silver Medal winner from Galicia in North West Spain would taste sensational with sashimi salmon or tuna.

Calvet Pinot Blanc 2013
I’m a huge fan of Alsace wines since first visiting the region in France on my honeymoon and though it might have clouded my judgement a little I’ve never lost my love of their food friendly varietals. Pinot Blanc is a like a gentler, calmer sister to Pinot Grigio – not as crunchy and a lot more floral and peachy. This would say ‘bento box’ to me in almost any language.

Arigato (Thank you!)

Visit the Asda Wine Shop

Posted by Philippa on 15 August 2014