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The Grapevine

A blog from the team at Great Western Wine

  • Tom's Tasting Suggestions

    I’ve dug out of the cellar six vintages of one of my favourite Bordeaux estates – Château Picque Caillou – which presents a probably never-to-be-repeated opportunity for a vertical tasting.  For less than £5, you can compare three absolutely classic vintages, and see how the winemaker addressed the more challenging years in between. Picque Caillou is one of only four wine-producing châteaux still located within Bordeaux city proper, and is just 500m away from the historic and world-famous First Growth, Château Haut-Brion; much beloved by Thomas Jefferson.

    Also on taste is the closest thing we have right now to a fine white Bordeaux, the outstanding Morgenster Estate white.  At one quarter of the price of Domaine de Chevalier, it’s fabulous value for money.  Finally, we have a First Growth from Sauternes – Château Rayne Vigneau.  Following a period in the doldrums, this estate (whose vineyards reputedly yield not just grapes but also precious stones) has now rediscovered its mojo, with a stonking trio of recent vintages.

    Don’t miss this one!

    - Tom

    Tom's Tasting Suggestions


    2005 Château Picque Caillou, Pessac Léognan      

    £22.00          per 75cl bottle

    £0.80            per 25ml sample

    2006 Château Picque Caillou, Pessac Léognan   

    £22.00          per 75cl bottle

    £0.80            per 25ml sample

    2007 Château Picque Caillou, Pessac Léognan   

    £22.00          per 75cl bottle

    £0.80            per 25ml sample

    2009 Château Picque Caillou, Pessac Léognan  

    £22.00          per 75cl bottle

    £0.80            per 25ml sample

    2010 Château Picque Caillou, Pessac Léognan  

    £22.00          per 75cl bottle

    £0.80            per 25ml sample

    2011 Château Picque Caillou, Pessac Léognan  

    £22.00          per 75cl bottle

    £0.80            per 25ml sample


    2013 Estate White, Morgenster

    £21.50          per 75cl bottle

    £0.80            per 25ml sample

    £1.30            per 25ml sample


    2011 Château de Rayne Vigneau, Sauternes  

    £19.50          per 37.5cl bottle

    £1.30            per 25ml sample

  • Italian fizz to put a spring in your step

    Italian fizz promotion

    With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, it’s the ideal time to explore the world of Italian fizz. The quality and diversity of Italian bubbles makes it easy to discover a whole new spectrum of flavours, textures and aromas.

    Not only that, these are wines that can be matched with all kinds of foods, and drunk at all kinds of occasions. With Easter just ‘round the corner it would be crazy not to try these wines with the season’s canapés, starters, fruit puddings, chocolate and even cake – the list is almost endless!

    Prosecco Extra Dry, FIOL


    The discerning gentleman can impress his guests this Easter by choosing a smartly packed fizz like Fiol Prosecco Extra Dry NV. With its cool, shimmering black bottle, this Prosecco is a step up in the fashion stakes. But most of all its ripe pear and apple flavours pair well with a vast range of foods, from spicy snacks and nuts to soft fruit crumbles and cakes.

    Prosecco, Ruggeri, Vecchie Viti DOCG


    Ruggeri take Prosecco to an even higher level with their Vecchie Viti Prosecco Superiore 2013. This ‘old vine’ vintage Prosecco is seen as one of the region’s benchmark wines and, according to Richard Baudains in his recent Decanter article, the ‘Superiore’ name does indeed offer “a genuine step up” in quality and character. He went on to award the wine 93 points, remarking on its “biscuit crust and mineral nose, delicate herby nuances” and “slightly spicy, aromatic note.”

    If your tastes are for a more Champagne-like experience, then look no further than Ferrari’s Perle Nero. This is the Blanc de Noirs version of the award winning Chardonnay-based Ferrari Perlé - a wine which recently won the title "World Champion Sparkling Wine”, seeing off competition from 650 labels and 16 countries. Blanc de Noirs is a rare sparkling wine made with just red grapes - in this case 100% Pinot Noir. The golden bubbles give way to a rich, sumptuous palate that is akin to Bollinger’s famous Grande Année, but is half the price!

    The best wines to go with food are sometimes those that have been unfairly left on shelf in favour of others that can be drunk on their own. Two cracking examples are top quality Lambrusco or a light and frothy Moscato d'Asti from one of the best Barolo producers in Piemonte.

    Cantina Cleto Chiarli, Vecchia Modena Lambrusco di Sorbara PremiumCleto Chiarli’s  Vecchia Modena Lambrusco di Sorbara Premium NV is a wine made to pair with the local foods of Bologna – balsamic, parmesan and salami. But don’t just take our word for it: The Telegraph’s Suzy Atkins was singing its praises at the end of last summer, so why not get in their early to start the trend this year?

    “The wines of Cleto Chiarli (available from Great Western Wine) are the ones to try and include my current favourite lambrusco. Bright ruby-pink, with lively red cherry fruit, tangy and properly dry on the finish. A softly sparkling wine that’s great with charcuterie.”  Suzy Atkins, The Telegraph


    Fontanafredda are one of Barolo’s best producers, receiving 92 points for their Barolo di Serralunga d'Alba DOCG 2010 in this month’s Barolo tasting in Decanter magazine. It might come as a surprise then that they make a Moscato d'Asti, a style often derided for its light, spritzy mouthfeel and grapey, peachy fruits. However Decanter themselves applauded Fontanafredda’s Moscato d'Asti 'Moncuccoin their 100 Great Wines Under £20, writing, “this has pure, zingy, grapey aromas followed up by notes of peach and elderflower in the mouth. Delectable and long – what’s not to like?”

    This is the perfect wine with fruit tarts and other puddings, and at under 6% alcohol it is simply moreish.  It will also go down a treat as a spring spritzer with a dash of soda and ice – a refreshing, low alcohol aperitif to accompany your nibbles.

     By Chris Penwarden


  • Alan's Wine of the Week

    Ruggeri, Prosecco Brut Quartese DOCG NV



    A bubbly to toast the last week of our Italian promotion, and just in time for the tasting Saturday this weekend too! Take a look at the press reviews below to see why this fizz is definitely worth a try.

    "Hands down, this is one of the top 5 Prosecco producers. Bright and bubbly, fresh and creamy yet balanced, this smorgasbord of white flowers and peach explains why."

    Decanter Magazine, July 2013

    “The Ruggeri prosecco wines – part of the Bisol company in Valdobbiadene – are complex creatures, each distinct, all delicious. The Brut Quartese is a rounded concentration of apple and sherbet aromas and crisp fruit laced with flavours of mandarin and subtle spice. With intense, dense bubbles and a classic intensity typical of the wines of the region, this is top quality prosecco. No, it’s not cheap, but in this case it’s worth every penny.”

    Italia! Magazine, December 2014

    "...My best discovery of the whole trip, however, was Ruggeri, which is run by a branch of the Bisol family and which makes some lovely wines that may well make you think about prosecco in a different way. Start with the surprisingly intense Quartese, then progress to the elegant Giustino B."

    Fiona Beckett - The Guardian


    Ruggeri, Prosecco Brut Quartese DOCG NV

    Was £14.95  Now £13.16

    Prices above are valid until 31.03.15

    Free delivery over £100  |   5% off 6 bottles   |   10% off 12 bottles

  • Mediterranean Lamb and a nice little Chianti

    Mediterranean lamb and Chianti Classico

    Lamb – you don’t get much more ‘Easter’ than that, do you? But rather than serve with the traditional Sunday roast accompaniments, I find that an old fashioned ratatouille is the perfect match at this time of year. In fact, you can quite happily serve this all through summer – just butterfly a whole leg of lamb and throw it on the barbeque – it’s amazing.

    The Mediterranean flavours of rosemary/garlic-infused lamb work brilliantly with the robust flavours of the chargrilled vegetables, (more) garlic, and fragrant thyme of the ratatouille. The tomatoes are a lovely foil for the rich flavours of the meat, providing an uplifting freshness and zing to the dish.

    What’s great about this is that the roast new potatoes take the same amount of time as the ratatouille, and don’t even need a par-boil, so it really is a no-brainer.

    Wine match

    Castello di Fonterutoli, Chianti ClassicoI chose a Chianti Classico, Castello di Fonterutoli, Chianti Classico 2012 for this dish and it really worked. The juicy acidity, dark and red fruit flavours and smooth tannins created a match made in heaven. Wine Spectator describes the wine as "harmonious and approachable" with a “silky texture" and "fine length” - I'd have to agree.

    Lamb is quite a fatty meat and needs some acidity to cut through, and this really did the job. The herb and spice layers of this Chianti brought out the rosemary, thyme and bay in the dishes, while hints of orange, rhubarb and plum in this red worked well with the fruitiness of the Mediterranean vegetables.


    What you’ll need:

    Bottle of Castello di Fonterutoli, Chianti Classico 2012 and a nice glass

    Lamb - Joint of your choice

    Tip - I cooked a 750g boned leg for around 55mins and then let it rest for around 20mins - this achieved a medium rare joint. As it was quite small (enough for 3 to 4) I’d advise using a thermometer to make sure you don’t overcook the lamb – the BBC cooking guide is quite handy too.

    The best results will always be with a larger bone-in joint, especially for a family-sized group. Plus the bone can be used for stock afterwards, making a great curry (recipe to come!).


    - garlic and rosemary
    - glass of white wine / same of water
    - salt and pepper

    Potatoes & ratatouille


    For the Ratatouille – makes enough for 4

    This is based on Nigel Slater’s recipe, except I chargrilled / griddled the veggies (again, ideal for a summer BBQ)

    - 1 onion, sliced
    - 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    - 1 aubergine, thickly sliced
    - 1 courgette, thickly sliced
    - 1 red pepper, de-seeded and quartered
    - 3 plum tomatoes, sliced
    - 2 sprigs thyme
    - 1 handful basil leaves


    - new potatoes
    - garlic – 1 garlic per person, unpeeled
    - fresh bay leaf
    - sprigs rosemary


    Put the oven on, pre-heating to 180°C


    Take a sharp knife and make a few incisions into the lamb

    Take a few sprigs of rosemary and a sliced garlic and push these into the holes. Season the lamb all over with plenty of salt and pepper and give it a rub of olive oil.

    Place the lamb into the preheated oven in a high sided roasting tray with a small glass of white wine and a small glass of water poured around the meat. This can be topped up with water from time to time and will form a light jus/gravy at the end.

    When roasted to perfection (see above for cooking times and weights), take out of the oven and allow to rest wrapped in foil on a warmed plate for 20 mins.

    The juices from the pan can be reduced down for a powerful jus/gravy to pour over the meat just before serving.


    While the lamb is in the oven, or just before, sweat the onions in 1 tbsp of olive oil until they are soft, add sliced garlic cloves and, once soft, add to a deep baking dish.

    Griddle the other veg (except tomatoes) until they have grill lines on each side, and layer in the baking dish. Top with the sliced plum tomatoes and season with salt, black pepper and thyme.

    Bake at 180°C for about 45 minutes until soft and tender. Stir gently with a handful of torn basil leaves before serving.


    You can always do traditional roasties, but as it's spring it’s nice to use some seasonal produce, so I used new potatoes. New potatoes do not need par-boiling so you can throw them into a pan with a tablespoon of hot olive oil whenever you’re ready – just pop them in the oven for 45 mins at 180°C at the same time as the ratatouille. When cooked, squeeze out the cooked garlic from its skin and mix in with the potatoes.

    By Chris Penwarden

  • Hot off the press - Southern Italy

    Wines In The Press

    Papale Oro Primitivo di Manduria, VarvaglioneThe March issue of Italia! magazine included two Great Western Wine reds from southern Italy’s Puglia region. Their “Discovery of the month” was Papale Oro Primitivo di Manduria, Varvaglione 2012:

    “When choosing our selection of wines from Puglia for this issue, we attempted to pick wines that wouldn’t be too hard on the wallet. Most are around the £10 mark. But if you can afford to spend more then wines from the region can be absolutely stunning, such as this one from GWW. Loaded with dark, crunchy fruit, spiced to perfection, this is a monster of a wine – you could spend three times as much in Chianti or Piedmont. Delightful!”

    Salice Salentino Riserva, Francesco CandidoTheir second recommendation was a classically styled red from Candido, Salice Salentino Riserva, Francesco Candido 2010, full of red cherry and spice:

    “Harking from the southern tip of Puglia, this is a delightful, easy-drinking red that possesses ripe berry fruit aromas and a distinctive, seductive smokiness. It screams dried fruit to the taste, and remains powerful and robust throughout the chocolatey finish. Very much a food wine, it is made using Francesco Candido’s renowned Negroamaro grape vines and shows just what can be achieved with this Puglian favourite without having to empty the coffers!”

    Planeta Eruzione 1614 CarricanteDecanter’s Top 10 buys from the slopes of Etna included Great Western Wine’s Planeta, Eruzione 1614, Carricante, Castiglione di Sicilia 2013, awarding it 92 points:

    “The addition of a small amount of Riesling seems to lift the aromatics in this superbly focused, pin-sharp Carricante from a large but quality-focused producer. The fruit is generous, the finish long and mineral.” Simon Woolf,, 2015

    American website Drink Me has now extended its reach to the UK, with a monthly round up of what us Brits should be drinking right now. Their article Top 5 White Wines in the United Kingdom featured our very own Planeta, Cometa 2013

    Planeta, Cometa“This is Fiano of the absolute highest quality that is interesting enough to drink all day! Most Fiano hails from Campania but Planeta of Sicily make this example, which is revered across all of Italy and further afield. It exudes ripeness with nectarines/tangerines and red grapes all laced together perfectly with a generous streak of minerality. There’s a bit of honeysuckle filling out the flavours and bringing some weight to the party. Strikes a good balance by combining a dry style with natural sweet flavours from the early-season (August) ripe pickings.” Drink Me

    By Chris Penwarden

  • Chocolate and Wine – The Ultimate Indulgence

    Can wine go with chocolate? Can two indulgent, much-loved products marry? Or is this the marriage made in hell?

    Chocolate and wine – probably two of the items hitting the top of the list of indulgent everyday treats. But can they go together? Get it wrong, and it’s a teeth-screaming disaster on a major scale, jarring every tingling nerve. Get it right, and the world will be a sweeter and better place… a fusion of perfection, indulgence, decadence, and downright lusciousness.  If the match is right, it’s pure hedonistic, abandoned delight.

    A simple rule; you need to balance the sweetness levels. The sweetness of the wine should always match, or be sweeter than, the type of chocolate dessert. And with chocolate, that’s not always easy.

    As if levels of sweetness weren’t enough, it’s all about the type of chocolate, or chocolate dessert. I took this task very seriously, of course; to bring you my best recommendations I had to go through the pain of research, for the greater glory of perfecting the art of matching chocolate and wine. Several gooey desserts, and many Leonidas chocolates later, I’ve got my favourites, and some well-learnt new ideas.

    At a very basic level, Chocolate can kill many of the more delicate, sweet white wines, from German Riesling, to lively Muscats, simply because it will overpower and dominate. Save these glorious wines for fruit-based desserts.

    Chocolate, quite frankly, is an irresistible, sensuous, gorgeous brute – full on, unashamed, dominant and potentially overpowering.  At the risk of venturing into Fifty Shades territory, it veers from the flirty, playful temptress, which is white chocolate, to the Alpha male; the dark, brooding Montezuma-style chocolate which will beguile your senses, and take control, leaving you irresistible to its charms, albeit in different guises. Add the right wine to this, and it’s an ecstatic ascent to heavenly satisfaction.

    Fontanafredda, Moscato d'Asti 'Moncucco' DOCG

    White chocolate

    So it’s all about which chocolate, or which chocolate dessert… let’s start gently, with white chocolate, which is a relatively easy match, as it contains no cocoa solids; it’s the creamy, rich texture that you need to match.  The frothily light, sweetly grapey, and downright refreshing Fontanafredda Moscato d’Asti Moncucco, is a perfect, romantic, seductive match with strawberries dipped in white chocolate, or will also manage to stand up to the lightest of white chocolate and raspberry-rippled mousse or parfait.


    The Stump Jump Sticky Chardonnay, d'Arenberg

    Milk chocolate

    Riesling, and the more citrusy styles of sweet wine, are amongst my favourites, but are easily overpowered by chocolate. However, stick to the less intense milk chocolate, or balance with a fruit flavour, and they will work harmoniously. The soft, fluffy, textured layers of a milk chocolate mousse, cake, or Easter egg would work well with the rich, bold, dried apricot and citrus style of The Stump Jump Sticky 2010, which is made predominantly from Chardonnay.


    Peller Icewine Vidal


    Orange and chocolate are delightful partners, and this is where the tangerine and candied peel character, and mouthwatering, yet sweet, freshness of Peller Vidal Ice Wine 2013 comes into its own. Made in miniscule quantities from the luscious nectar of frozen grapes, the citrus flavours in both wine and chocolate will lift the entire experience. Sweet Rieslings from Australia would also work here.


    Bertani, Recioto Valpolicella DOC


    Red fruits, especially raspberries are simply glorious with chocolate, and here I like to ring the changes, and bring in the opulent, plummy, berry fruit flavours of sweet red and amber wines.  Try Bertani Recioto Valpolicella 2011, made from the concentrated juice of semi-dried red grapes, which balanced delightfully with both chocolate and raspberry torte, and, even a more unusual, beetroot and chocolate cake.


    Skillogalee Liqueur Muscat

    Dark chocolate

    If your chocolate of choice is darker and richer in cocoa solids, or if you bring honey, caramel or nuts into the equation, the journey of choice would lead to richer, Muscat-style ‘sticky’ wines. Chocolate soufflé with salted caramel was a sublime match made even beyond celestial skies, with the unctuous, brooding, mellifluous gorgeousness of Skillogalee Liqueur Muscat, with its brown sugar, toffee, and candied hazelnut tones. This is also a great bet with oozingly rich, decadent chocolate fondants.


    PX, Bella Luna, Jerez

    Port, especially Tawny is always great with intense, pure chocolate truffles.  However, I must share with you one of the most heaven-sent matches of them all, which may just surprise you.  It takes a bold wine to stand up to the sheer intensity and irrestistible, beckoning power of dense, dark chocolate, be it in the form of a truffle, a chocolate nemesis, or a dense gooey, dark chocolate torte – step up the equally dark, brooding and droolingly-glorious La Luna Pedro Ximinez, with its thick, dark, treacly colour, and  luscious, viscous, toffee,  muscovado, mocha and dried apricot fruit richness. Yes, it is a Sherry. And it is about as perfect as you can get with the very best and darkest of chocolate. I need say no more. Try it. Be seduced.

    By Angela Mount

  • The Ides of Marche

    The Marche is a region of central Italy that was previously ignored in favour of neighbouring Abruzzo. The red Montepulciano of the aforementioned Abruzzo has long been the staple house wine of many a trattoria, and a great all-rounder it is too. Fruity, medium bodied and fresh, it has enough concentration to match with the heartiest of Italian dishes, plus it’s a bargain to boot.

    However, some forward thinking producers, like Umani Ronchi, have been making waves with the region’s long-forgotten white varieties, and some vibrant, intriguing reds.

    Umani Ronchi 

    Owned by the Bianchi-Bernetti family for well over 50 years, Umani Ronchi has become one of Italy’s most respected producers thanks to its championing of local wines such as Verdicchio Classico and Rosso Conero. As one of the third generation of Umani Ronchi, Michele Bernetti took the reins in the late 1980s, developing a family business with terroir as its cornerstone.


    Umani Ronchi, Verdicchio Classico Superiore, Casal di SerraFor Michele, the finest grape of Marche, and the wine that defines Umani Ronchi, is the indigenous Verdicchio.  He produces wine in the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC, an area with the perfect climate for top quality Verdicchio, being just 20 miles from the Adriatic. Umani Ronchi have transformed the style and image of this wine, using lower yields in order to produce concentrated fruit flavours and a rounded palate.

    On the 30th anniversary of Umani Ronchi’s Verdicchio Classico Superiore, Casal di Serra 2013 last year, Daily Mail wine critic Matthew Jukes wrote:

    “ favourite Verdicchio – the brilliant, single vineyard Casal di Serra. Tasting like a classy Italian ‘Chablis-style’ white I have followed this great value wine for 28 of its years and every single one has been a stunner.”

    Michele says that the family’s Verdicchio can be seen as two wines in one:

    “... our Verdicchio not only has an easy drinking characteristic in youth (thanks to acidity and freshness) but also a more surprising capacity to age that will bring them to be great wines even after over 10 years!”

    Montepulciano...but not as we know it

    Umani Ronchi, Cumaro, Rosso Conero RiservaRosso Conero is made with the Montepulciano grape, together with a maximum of 15% Sangiovese; the finest examples, however, use a minimal amount of Sangiovese. In fact, Umani Ronchi’s version, Cumaro, Rosso Conero Riserva 2010, doesn’t use a drop – it is a 100% Montepulciano. The wine takes its name from Mount Conero, a mountain which towers over Ancona in the south, and it is certainly a wine that stands head and shoulders above all other reds of the region.

    This flagship red uses the very best hand-selected grapes from the family’s 'San Lorenzo' vineyard in Sbrozzola, Osimo - the wine’s hints of wild cherry and fruits of the forest are complemented by the 16 months of barrel ageing and 7 months resting in the bottle.

    Also try...

    As well as these modern classics, Umani Ronchi produces a couple of other fabulous whites and reds that are definitely worth seeking out.

    Umani Ronchi, Pecorino Golden FleeceThe Pecorino Golden Fleece 2013 is a fragrant, minerally wine that makes a refreshing aperitif or a lovely match with seafood or simply grilled fish. On the nose there are hints of peach, mango and candied rose petals that open up to a long, full, mineral-rich palate. The wine is also brilliantly packaged, with a fresh, modern, inviting label.

    Wine buyer Sergio de Luca reported back from his Made in Italy tasting weekend in Bath recently, saying that the Umani Ronchi Lacrima di Morro d'Alba 2013 was one of the surprise customer favourites. Again, the wine is beautifully labelled, full of vibrant aromas of rose and violet and crushed blackberry. The palate has a firm structure that would suggest a food match with rich meats like venison or even a roast Easter lamb.

    By Chris Penwarden

  • Alan's Wine of the Week: Planeta Alastro

    Planeta Alastro 2013, Italy



    The Planeta family’s winemaking adventure began in the mid 1980s through the ambition of Francesca, Santi and Alessio Planeta. This 95% Grecanico, 5% Fiano blend is very much a food wine: creamily textured but breezy too, with restrained, crunchy citrus fruit.

    100 Great Wines Under £20 - Decanter Magazine

    Regular Price: £13.50   Special Price £11.88

  • Tried & Tested: Seafood Chowder with Planeta Alastro

    If you're looking for the perfect Monday night recipe, or perhaps a St.Patrick's Day treat - this tried and tested seafood chowder is definitely one to try.  Relatively quick, and easily put together, with all of the tasty rewards of a more time consuming dish.

    I always think its quite nice to try a wine whilst your dish is simmering away, with just an intermittent stir to keep you occupied, and this wine was a great way to awaken the taste buds, ready for the seafood chowder.  The Planeta Alastro; a soft, subtly fruity wine when tried on its own, whilst creamy with hints of vanilla.  When enjoyed alongside the dish, the acidity came through bringing an element of crisp freshness that cut through the thicker creaminess of the soup, and complimented the classic seafood flavours.

    Seafood Chowder with Planeta Alastro



    1 tbsp coconut oil
    1 large onion, chopped
    100g streaky bacon, chopped
    1 tbsp plain flour
    600ml fish stock, made from 1 fish stock cube
    225g new potatoes, halved
    pinch mace
    pinch cayenne pepper
    300ml whole milk
    320g pack fish pie mix (salmon, haddock and smoked haddock)
    250g pack cooked mixed shellfish
    small bunch parsley, chopped



    Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onion and bacon. Cook for 8-10 mins until the onion is soft and the bacon is cooked. Stir in the flour, then cook for a further 2 mins.

    Pour in the fish stock and bring it up to a gentle simmer. Add the potatoes, cover, then simmer for 10-12 mins until the potatoes are cooked through.

    Add the mace, cayenne pepper and some seasoning, then stir in the milk.

    Tip the fish pie mix into the pan, gently simmer for 4 mins. Add the shellfish, then simmer for 1 min more. Check the seasoning. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with some crusty bread.

    Planeta Alastro Was £13.50    Now £11.88

    Promotional price above is valid until March 31st 2015

  • Olly Smith’s Smashing Royal Wines

    Wines In The Press

    Olly Smith press review

    Olly Smith’s column this weekend featured three wines that are available through Great Western Wine – a fizz, a rosé and a red – what a hat trick!

    Olly was on board P&O Cruises’ new ship Britannia with the Queen, who was busy smashing bottles of fizz against the ship for its launch. Also in attendance were some of his fellow P&O Cruises’ ‘Food Heroes’, including James Martin, Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar and Eric Lanlard. His weekend wine recommendations are some of the most popular lines available on board...

    Peller Ice Cuvée Sparkling (Vidal Dosage) NV

    “This Canadian fizz had been plumped out with a jot of luscious ice wine, which gives a beautiful fruity buzz to this outstanding bubbly.”

    Château Sainte Marguerite, Grande Réserve, Organic Rosé, Cru Classé 2014

    “Elegant, understated and delicate in colour, this southern French pink is packed with summery flavours.”

    Quinta Do Crasto, Douro Red 2013

    “An outstanding blend of local Portuguese reds. This is both scented and spicy and the ultimate red wine for a barbecue.”

    By Chris Penwarden

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