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Great Western Wine Blog

  • A Deliciously Ripe & Rounded Cabernet Carmenere

    Antu Ninquén Cabernet Carmenere 2012


    Deliciously ripe fruit dominates the nose, supported with spicy vanilla notes. The palate is full and concentrated but rounded and easily approachable, offering dense blackcurrant fruit, smoky oak flavours and fine grained tannin on the finish.

    £13.95   £12.28      +10% off 12 bottles

  • Tried & Tested | Pumpkin Risotto

    Wine of the night | Howard Park Great Southern Riesling, 2011

    Fancy dress may not be your thing, and trick-or-treaters might make you want to stay inside with the music on full volume in an attempt to avoid anyone knocking on your front door, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the spooky festivities in your own way somehow.  If you’re not a fan of face-paint and Frankenstein, then you can always get involved by testing out a warming, wintery pumpkin risotto recipe.

    Pumpkin Risotto

    A splash of wine never hurts a risotto, and what’s even better, is that the rest you can take your time with over dinner.  I enjoyed a Howard Park Great Southern Riesling with mine, and even though it’s always a pleasure to have a chilled glass of wine while you’re steaming up the kitchen with a warm, homely dinner, this particular white; both dry and fruity, complimented the cumin infused pumpkin dish incredibly well too.

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  • A Few Ways To Save This Christmas

    They may not be switched on yet but the Christmas decorations are well and truly up on every high street in the UK, working as a daily reminder that the festive season is among us, and Christmas day is just around the corner.  If that’s not enough incentive to start saving for the holiday period then I don’t know what will be.  Every year it gets left until the last minute, squeezing all Christmas costs into that one last month of the year, resulting in a far less extravagant New Years Eve than one would like.  Here are a few tips for the next month or two to help make sure you’re left with a bit of extra spending money so that you can treat yourself this year as well.

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  • Things To Do | Moreish Treats On Movie Night

    Wine of the night: Château Gassier 'Le Pas du Moine' Côtes De Provence Rose 2013

    It’s the end of the month, which means its close to payday, unless you’re one of the lucky ones who don’t have to wait patiently until the very end of the month!  For the rest of us, it gets to around this point when there’s jut a few days left so we have to be a little more inventive with our ideas for the weekend in order to save the pennies.

    Its still important to feel like you get the most out of a weekend, even if you spend your evenings curled up on the sofa, you can make sure you do it in a certain way - starting with gourmet popcorn.  There are endless sweet popcorn recipes, but for a change why not make it into a savoury snack?

    Garlic, Rosemary & Parmesan popcorn is a pretty good place to start.  Its easy to make, takes no time at all and its the perfect moreish treat for a classic movie night at home.  A great wine match for this savoury treat is the equally moreish Chateau Gassier ‘Le Pas Du Moine’ Cotes De Provence Rose, 2012’.  This highly recommended award-winning wine is great value too at just £12.95.  It’s always good to have these things at home ready for this time next month when perhaps you’ve overindulged in the first few weeks and a couple of nights in are on the agenda to balance it all out, so you can make the most out of our case discounts with 10% off 12 bottles of the same wine + free UK mainland delivery.

    Fancy trying out this popcorn recipe yourself?

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  • Wines To Go With Pumpkin Soup

    Pumpkin Soup

    By Angela Mount

    Hallowee’n is here again, and shops are groaning under the weight of vast orange pumpkins, which are strategically placed at the entrance of the stores to ensure the maximum child pester power from excited children to their frazzled parents.  I know.  I've been there. Now, I don’t wait to be asked...I buy the very biggest.

    After my art-obsessed son has carved out some wondrous creation, which will have pride of place on the dining room table for precisely 6 hours, I know I’ll have litres of flavour-packed, wholesome soup the following day.  Whether you make your own pumpkin soup (and I suggest you do, it’s very therapeutic), or buy yours ready made, the next question is obviously, what wine to drink with it.  Wine with soup is always a tricky one – liquid with liquid doesn't necessarily sit comfortably together; so we need to  make sure that the tastes and flavours sing in harmony.

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  • A Ruby Red Primitivo

    Papale Oro Primitivo di Manduria, Varvaglione, 2011

    Wine Of The Week | Papale

    Papale originates from Primitivo grapes carefully selected and manually picked into cases. It is ruby-red and is round and soft, with scents of mixed berries and strawberry jam. Its layered, fine texture identifies with the local territory – this wine is refined, elegant and a great way to taste an Italian stunner.

    £19.95 +10% off 12 btl’s

  • King Of The Desert | Giorgio Flessati Of Vina Falernia

    Giorgio Flessati

    By Angela Mount

    I love wines with a story. Ultimately whether one enjoys a wine or not, is all down to the taste and the style. However, there’s an added intrigue, or romanticism about wines, which have a fascinating background, either, because of their origin, or because of the person who made them.

    Recipes for wine stories don’t get much better than this: take one brilliant and eccentric Italian winemaker - Giorgio Flessati, undoubtedly one of the most respected winemakers in South America; transport to a cacti-populated, arid desert in northern Chile; throw in some vines; and hey presto, a few years later, the result is a set of award-winning wines, which defy belief, given their origin.

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  • 5 Reasons To Stay In This Weekend

    Night In With Dinner and Wine

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy spending my weekends out and about just as much as the next person, and love discovering new things to do and places to see, but sometimes there is nothing better than swapping your Saturday night out for the sofa and a pair of slippers, and here are 5 reasons why...

    Saving the pennies

    If you lead a relatively busy social life then it can definitely have an effect on your bank balance, so from time to time it can’t hurt to have a night in and save on spends.  It won’t take you long to discover that your funds go noticeably further at home too, so you can treat yourself without having to worry that you’re delving too deep into your pockets.

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  • In The Press | Top 3 Australian Cabernet Sauvignons


    The Telegraph | 3 Best Australian Cabernet SauvignonsThe Telegraph | Hamish Anderson

    Wine tasting notes: 3 of the best Australian Cabernet Sauvignons

    Wine expert Hamish Anderson gives the Heartland Cab Sauv a great review in his latest article including it in his top 3 choices from down under.

    2012 Heartland Cabernet Sauvignon, Langhorne Creek/Limestone Coast, £13.50

    "This is a richer style, without being overblown. The fruit is dark and ripe, balanced by freshening bursts of peppermint and spice. This tastes significantly grander than its price tag, and will develop over the next five years."

    Read it here: Telegraph wine review

  • The Perfect Partner To The King Of Roasts

    By Angela Mount

    Roast Beef is arguably the national dish of England with the sumptuous, succulent piece of meat served up at patriotic celebrations all over the country.  It graces our tables throughout the year at the heart of the family Sunday lunch, be it under slightly different guises; barbecued rib of beef in summer, pot roasted topside or silverside with root vegetables in winter.  So which wines are worthy of accompanying this magnificent traditional fare?

    Firstly, it really has to be red wine – a medium-bodied to hearty red that will match up to the rich juices, and savoury meat flavours of a great sirloin or rib. Once this decision is made, then roast beef is one of the easiest dishes to match with a red wine.  All you need to think about are the sauces, vegetables and any spices used to enhance this majestic homage to the country.

    In terms of a classic ‘made in heaven’ match, it has to be Bordeaux, or a Bordeaux style blend such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.  The world of Bordeaux is yours for the taking here, it all depends on budget.  For special occasions, push the boat out with classic Saint-Emilion, Pauillac and Margaux superstars.  If you’re looking for something more suited to the weekly Sunday feast, then the black fruit and cedar scented Chateau Sainte-Marie Bordeaux Superieur 2012, offers fantastic value.  Alternatively you could try a classic Rioja – the velvety smoothness, yet concentrated cedar and berry fruit richness of Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2009 would work well.

    Whilst Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes won’t really make much of a difference, the classic accompaniment of horseradish sauce, with its punchy, fiery and savoury heat will have some impact.  If you opt for this added flavor and choose to season your meat with something along the lines of a horseradish and black pepper crust, go for a bigger, bolder style of red.   The first of two great options is Australian Shiraz Heartland Spice Trader 2012, made by one of South Australia’s top winemakers, Ben Glaetzer.  This would definitely be a suitable guest for Sunday lunch with its full on richness and power.  The second is Ben’s iconic Glaetzer Bishop Barossa Valley Shiraz 2012, more suitable for those very special occasions.  Alternatively from Europe you have the option of a top quality Portuguese Douro red, the aristocratic Quinta do Crasto Douro Superior 2013 with its spicy, full-bodied, and sweetly scented flavours.

    And finally… there’s a good reason why steak and Malbec go together like ‘Strictly Come Dancing’s equivalent of the glitterball trophy to tango, with the ultimate combination of smooth yet powerful and seductive yet haughty.   The duo creates a blissful blending of two aristocratic components, both with presence, showmanship, and dare I say it just a touch of macho power.  The exotic richness of Carlos Pulenta’s Vistalba Corte ‘C’ 2012 Malbec, or the even more intense and sumptuous Vistalba Corte ‘B’ 2011 Malbec would make a charismatic pairing of English tradition and sultry South American charm.

    Whatever you choose, keep it simple and let the mouthwatering combination enhance those precious moments of Sunday tradition.



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