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Top 10 wines in the UK press

Cantina Cleto Chiarli Pruno Nero, Emilia-Romagna, Italy NV

Rather than giving up drinking in January, why not change your wine habits by “trying something new”, suggests David Williams in The Guardian, while recommending this Italian sparkler.

He said: “How to approach wine post-Christmas excess? Some of us give up for a month, but there are better times for abstinence than the dark days of January. I prefer the frisson of transgressive pleasure that comes with drinking styles that feel slightly inappropriate amid the austerity. Sparkling wines, for example, whether a decent, budget-friendly white fizz such as Aldi’s creamy Philippe Michel Crémant du Jura 2012 (£7.39), or, to go with the season’s meaty stews, Chiarli’s vivid, ripe black-cherry-filled sparkling Italian red, with its soft mousse and gentle tannic grip.”

Price: £12.95, Great Western Wine

Bolfan Primus Orange Pinot Sivi, Zagorje, Croatia 2012

Williams also recommended this Croatian “orange wine” to shake up your wine choices.

He said: “My point, I suppose, is that New Year’s resolutions needn’t be joyless; the idea is to shake you out of a rut, not to purge all the fun from your life. When it comes to wine, my goal would be to get a little more adventurous, to break away from old favourites. I’d start with a wine like this, from Croatia, a country just starting to get a foothold in the UK, in a fashionable style known as “orange wine”, where a white wine grape – Pinot Grigio – is kept in contact with the skins and ferments slowly like a red, adding texture, colour and a delicious spiced orange, bittersweet character.”

Price: £14, Marks & Spencer

2013 Fiano Masseria Bianca, Salento, Puglia, Italy

Matthew Jukes, writing in the Daily Mail recommended six “tremendous wines for Indian recipes”, including this “sumptuous” Fiano.

He said: “Gosh, this is a classy creation with a diminutive price tag and it is because the wines from Puglia still manage to fly way under the radar. The sumptuous pineapple husk and jasmine nose and thrilling, dry lemony palate make it a dream with all manner of let alone complex Indian seafood and chicken dishes.”

Price: £8.95, Corney & Barrow

2012 Viña Leyda, Canelo Syrah, Leyda Valley, Chile

Leyda is the most happening wine region in Chile right now, according to Jukes who rated this “slippery” red blend highly.

He said: “It is also the name of this terrific winery. The cooler climate here gives us aromatic, sensuous wines, with Sauvignon and Syrah being the lead grape varieties. This slippery, spicy, purple-hued, blueberry-soaked wine is a stunner. Drink it slightly chilled with a lamb curry!”

Price: £11.00, Oddbins



Abbotts & Delaunay Cumulo Nimbus Minervois 2011, France

Terry Kirby, writing in The Independent, recommended this Minnervois from Abbotts & Delaunay, which he said would be perfect with Sunday lunch.

He said: “Leave detoxing for warmer months and banish January chills by savouring this concentrated blast of southern French sunshine. A brilliant, elegantly structured blend of subtle spicing, some dried and red fruits and enough power to handle the biggest winter roasts and casseroles.”

Price: £16.99,

Quinta dos Carvalhais Colheita 2010, Portugal

Another of Kirby’s recommendations was this “rich and smooth” Colheita, a steal at just £8.99.

He said: “Sounds like a port and uses some port grapes, but this inky black, deeply flavoursome red is actually from the Dão region of central Portugal. Rich and smooth, with black fruits and oaky vanilla touches, this tastes and looks like a much more expensive wine than it is, so relish with chicken and chorizo stew.”

Price: £8.99, Tesco


2013 Minervois Benjamin Darnault, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Three of the “most impressive” wines from crowd funded wine merchant Naked Wines were highlighted by Hamish Anderson writing in The Telegraph this week. A favourite was this southern French red from Benjamin Darnault.

He said: “One of your new year’s resolutions should be to buy your wine smarter. A club is a good way to do that (I’ll highlight another favourite next week), and £20 a month gets you access to Naked’s collection. This blackberry-, spice- and meat-infused bottle would be on my first order.”

Price: £7.49,

2013 Pecorino Terre di Chieti Central Italy

Brian Elliott of The Scotsman offered up a “sextet” of wines priced £6 and under this week as the population embarks on a collective post-Christmas tightening of belts. But as Elliott explains, cutting back does not mean cutting out, “certainly as far as wine is concerned”.

He said: “There are some absolutely terrific Italian whites about currently, such as this fresh and long tour de force with an unusual degree of mellow depth. Enjoy in particular its herbal, greengage fruit with just a suggestion of peach in the background and the savoury edge that combines so well with its measured acidity.”

Price: £7.99, Waitrose

Viñalta Gran Seleccion Malbec 2011, Mendoza

Finally Jamie Goode, writing in The Express, recommended a selection of Argentine “winter warmers”, including this “beast” of a Malbec.

He said: “Concentrated and dense, with lovely black cherry, plum and spicy flavours, it carries its whopping alcohol content well. A true winter warmer.”

Price: £15, Marks & Spencer

Asda Extra Special Malbec 2014, Mendoza

Goode also had praise for Asda’s Extra Special Malbec from the 2014 vintage.

He said: “Smooth, sweet, fresh and fruity, this is a tasty, affordable example of Malbec that boasts the trademark Argentine lush black cherry and blackberry fruit, with no rough edges.”

Price: £7, Asda

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