Alborino 2008This is certainly worth a mention from the same wine merchant, Laymont & Shaw.  Albarino is a great wine for quality and value that sits very comfortably next to a huge range of seafood dishes.  What drew me in here was that Layton & Shaw are advertising this on their outside board at £4.99 a bottle; overt endorsement is a good sign that it may not be too shabby!  Indeed it is not.  It has an attractive tropical nose with hints of lemon.  In the mouth it is fruity with crisp acidity. The acidity is a positive characteristic that gives a sensation of the mouthwatering on the insides of the cheeks.  It helps preserve and balance the wine and is good for clearing fatty food residue off the palate between mouthfuls.

At this price it is a steal.  We enjoyed it with a Chinese takeaway and I have to say it reached all the right high spots for a chilled Saturday evening.  

A few notes on the Rias Baixas:  This albino producing part of Galicia in NW Spain on the border of Portugal is very beautiful and has an ancient feel to it.  The "Rias" are huge river valleys that run down to the Atlantic from the mountains and make up a beautifully dramatic landscape.  The area is famous for seafood, wine, surfing, troubadours, Santiago de Compostella, green peppers known as "Padron" peppers and probably a whole lot more.  Fly to Coruna from Heathrow and see for yourself!

£4.99 Maior de Mendoza, Albarino, 2008, Rias Baixas from Laymont & Shaw, Truro



COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

Follow us on social media:

Secret Sommelier on TwitterSecret Sommelier on Instagramfacebook 001linkedin 001youtube 001

Climate change podcast

Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

  I accept cookies from this site.
EU Cookie Directive plugin by