Tesco red wines bargain tips

Scottie Gregory tastes three appetite igniting red wines from Tesco, pairing them with a series of desirable food plates that will see the reader scampering towards the cucina with ravenous intent.

 

Tesco Finest Colchagua Valley Merlot

Colchagua Valley in Central Chile is one of South America’ s most promising wine regions. It is ideally suited to growing high-quality Merlot grapes.

The Colchagua Valley boasts a textbook wine-growing climate; warm and dry, but cooled by ocean breezes and refreshed by rivers and occasional rainfall

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This wine is made at The Luis Felipe Edwards Winery by Chief Winemaker, Nicolas Bizzarri, who has been at the winery for over 18 years.

The nose is of damsons, cherries and vanilla. 

On the palate, those fruits predominate accompanied by spices, but there is still a fair bit of tannin, which made me think this would age quite well. Interestingly when we tasted it the following day if was much more balanced so perhaps this is a wine to decanter the day before you drink it. 

This wine would go well with roast lamb or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding accompanied by a dish of buttery, creamy, garlicky Gratin Dauphinois.

It was also well matched with Storm Red Leicester cheese produced in Snowdonia and Sussex Charmer, a delightful, English Cheese that is a cross between Cheddar and Parmesan.

It is an absolute bargain at £8 a bottle and an award winner to boot as it was awarded a Bronze Medal in the International Wine Challenge this year. 

Montepulciano d ’Abruzzo Tesco Finest 

Abruzzo, two-thirds the way down the east coast of Italy, benefits from a Mediterranean/ Maritime climate that enhances the growth of the Montepulciano grape. So warm summers and coolish/cold winters, with snowfall in the mountains. Because of the Apennine Mountain Range behind it, the region also benefits from an appropriate amount of rain. 

Produced by CITRA VINI Winery, which was founded in 1973 and is one of the leading wineries in central Italy.

Tesco Finest Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is an inky black wine, having lain on the grape skins for eight to ten days. On the nose, you sense blackberries, raspberries, pepper and dark chocolate. On the palate, there are all of those plus blackcurrant and a hint of oregano, but the damsons, cherries and dark chocolate stand out.

This wine is the perfect accompaniment for a big juicy steak or Bistecca al la Romana, or the good old standbys Spaghetti Bolognese or Chilli con Carne. I would also consider it with partridge or pheasant, as it has the backbone to stand up to game. It was excellent with Cropwell Bishop No 1 Beauvale cheese and Blackstick’s Blue Cheese and the figs served with them.

This wine is a snip at £7 a bottle and won a Silver Medal at the International Wine Challenge in 2021 

Tesco Finest Marlborough Pinot Noir

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From renowned New Zealand producer Indevin, comes this subtle, light red Pinot Noir made by Leonardo Ricardez, a Mexican who after studying Agriculture in Mexico for five years at the prestigious Technologico de Monterrey and did his masters in Oenology at Adelaide University. He arrived in New Zealand in 2011 and his ambition was to send back wine to his native Mexico in which he has succeeded, as the market for New Zealand wines in Mexico has grown and grown in recent years.

New Zealand, as we all know, has produced some brilliant Pinot Noirs with fresh, intense, vibrant flavours.

This Pinot Noir has been aged in French oak barrels. 

It had raspberries, cherries, and a hint of mint on the nose and all of those plus blackberries and vanilla on the palate. This was accompanied with well-balanced acidity and a long velvety finish.

This Pinot Noir went brilliantly with the chicken dish I had prepared which was chicken with wild mushrooms, Kanzi apples, celery, shallots, garlic, bay, thyme, cider, cognac and crème fraiche.

I would serve this also with creamy Breton Pork or any other creamy chicken or Guinea Fowl dishes. 

Because of its lightness this would also go well with a Mediterranean fish stew.

This Pinot Noir would match with turkey on Christmas Day and being lighter than a burgundy you would no doubt be able to manage a few more glasses!

It was also a great accompaniment for creamy cheeses such as Ismay Dorset Brie, St André and soft French Goat’s cheese.

 

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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.

 

Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch. 

 

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