Contino Blanco 2014 - Cune Barrel Fermented Blanco 2015
There is really only one answer as to whether you fancy a glass or two from Spain’s most famous wine region: “Bring it on!”

Cune have a solid reputation for turning out wines from this region that set a benchmark for how we perceive Rioja. However, the area under vine is vast and the quality levels do vary. Contino’s USP is that they use grapes from specific vineyards. The reds we tasted recently were delicious and the whites are among the best across the sprawling region.

Contino Blanco 2014 gives us some lemon aromas and even a bit of quince, interwoven with soft wood. To taste it has plenty of body and attractive acidity.

For food? This wine could go with so much. I would suggest a caldo Gallego, meaning a Galician broth containing sweet greens, potatos, white beans and fatty pork (though there are many variations). 

Grapes: Viura 85%, White grenache 10%, Malvasia 5%

RRP £25 from Waitrose Cellar

Cune Barrel Fermented Blanco 2015

If the Contino is a little costly then try the lower priced Cune Barrel Fermented Blanco 2015. At £10.49 it’s great value. It doesn’t have the rich body or complexity of the Contino but you get a good impression of the style of white wine coming out of Rioja and its enough to keep you sipping on.

This wine is an ideal picnic wine for white meats or a beautifully cooked cod in the Basque style. 

Grape: 100% Viura

RRP £10.49 from Waitrose Cellar

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COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

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. 


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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.


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