Tag Archives: Wines in the Press

  • Our wines in the press

    A Grape Match...



    "The main flavours of this dish are smoked fish, so it needs a wine with just as much punch and power. Stick with white wine here, and stay in the Italian homeland. I've recently discovered this versatile Italian white; gentle, soft and packed with melon and peach character, it has an edge of spice which is a perfect complement to the smokey, powerful flavours of the salmon and mackerel."

    - Angela Mount, Crumbs Magazine -


    The Avonmouth Angler Pizza

    Makes 1
    For the dough:
    4g sachet dried yeast
    1/2 tbsp sugar
    150ml lukewarm water
    250g strong white bread flour
    1/2 tsp sea salt

    For the Sauce:
    Olive oil
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    Small bunch basil, finely chopped
    250ml bottle of pasata

    50g spinach
    90g smoked mackerel
    80g smoked salmon
    60g mozzarella, grated
    Small handful parsley, chopped
    1/4 lemon

    1. Start by making the dough. Add the yeast and sugar to the warm water, stir, then leave for a few minutes.
    2. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Slowly add the liquid to the flour and stir with a fork; it will start to get sticky. When you get to this stage, flour your hands and knead the dough until all the ingredients come together.
    3. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it for approx. 10 minutes, unitl it starts to become more elastic.
    4. Place back in the bowl, cover and leave in a warm place until doubled in size - this will take approx. 45 minutes.
    5. Add the pasata and allow to simmer for around 20 minutes over a low heat. Add sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Put to one side to cool.
    6. When ready to assemble your pizza, preheat your oven to 240C/475F/gas mark 9.
    7. Roll the dough out into a circle, until it's around 12 inches in diameter. Then spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce over the top and cover with an even layer of spinach.
    8. Scatter over the makerel and salmon, and then the mozzarella, making sure all the toppings are evenly distributed.
    9. Transfer to the hot oven tray or stone and cook on the top shelf of the oven. Once the mozzarella has melted, and the crust turned golden and crisp, it's ready!
    10. Scatter over the chopped parsley, and serve with the lemon wedge.

    - Crumbs Magazine -


    This month is all about the profusion of vinous delights that emerge from the vast and varied Iberian peninsula; from sun-baked plains, to wild and wet mountainous terrain, Spain and Portugal’s wine regions offer up a veritable smorgasbord of styles, colours, and price levels. But you won’t find one mention of Rioja, Cava or Port in this column; these familiar names are already well-established;  instead I want to take you on a Hispanic wine tour outside your comfort zone – trust me.

    Nestled amongst the arid fields between Madrid and Valencia, lies Cuenca, best known, to date, for its sheep farming.  Cue a white wine with, appropriately, a sheep on the label; Oveja blanca Dry Muscat 2015 (was £10.75, now £9.46) is the brainchild of a family wine producer who has brought in the expertise of an internationally renowned Master of Wine and roving winemaker, has thrown the rulebook away and is playing around with new styles. This is dry Muscat, and when it says dry, it really is; floral, fragrant, it smells of pink grapefruit and fresh green table grapes, with a hint of delicate acacia honey. For those who love super-dry wines, don’t be put off by the Muscat name – this is bone dry, with ripe peach fruit and a searingly crisp finish.  I tried this with a Lebanese sweetly-spiced fish dish, and a platter of Middle-eastern mezze with tahini dip – spot on, and fabulous value.

    Skipping over the border to Portugal, let’s head first to the northern region of the Minho.  Now, the words ‘Vinho Verde’ may cause shudders in some readers who remember the old guard of Mateus Rose and insipid sweet Portuguese whites. Track forward three decades, and true, authentic Vinho Verde is making a welcome comeback. Crisp, bone dry, with an edge of spritz, these wines are at their best drunk very young, very fresh, and with the added bonus of being far lighter in alcohol than most dry whites. Quinta da Lixa, Vinho Verde 2015 (was £8.95, now £7.88) sits at a refreshing 10.5% alcohol, and is as fresh as a daisy, with lipsmacking lemon and lime crispness and the crunch of granny smith apples.

    Staying in Portugal, but moving south, the Dao, one of the country’s oldest, most traditional, but now frequently-overlooked regions, lies south of Oporto and the  more famous Douro Valley.  Until recently the red wines had a reputation for being tough and chewy, but now styles are softening, as exemplified by International Wine Challenge Silver medal winner A Descoberta 2013, Casa da Passarella (was £10.50, now £9.24). This gorgeously rich, voluptuous red is enveloping in its irresistible warmth and charm.  Dark, rich and brooding, flavours of ripe blackberries, sweet mulled wine spices, black cherries and dark chocolate, trip across the tongue. I can’t think of anything better with slow-cooked roast lamb and rich game dishes at this time of year.  Portuguese red wines are still often undervalued and underrated – let this one seduce you.

    No wine piece about Spain is complete without including Sherry, one of the most misunderstood and underrated drinks around. Sherry is having a well-deserved revival, especially in tapas bars, after years of being relegated to the drinks cupboards of great aunts and grannies. From Jerez, in the deep south, the land of Flamenco and heat, and close to Seville, this golden wine is totally unique.  There are several styles – Fino and Manzanilla are searingly dry, and simply the best aperitifs on earth, to be drunk icy cold – ideally with a bowl of olives, salted almonds or a  prawn or two.  Best bought in half bottles, to keep it at its freshest,salty, tangy, characterful and unique La Guita Manzanilla NV(was £5.75, now £5.06) is mouth-wateringly crisp – once smitten, never forgotten.

    Luscious, treacly-sweet La Luna PX (was £8.95, now £7.88 for 37.5cl)  is just one other fabulous Sherry, as intensely sweet as the Manzanilla is dry.  If you fancy a spot of wine and chocolate matching, come and try this, amongst other wines of all styles, at an early evening tasting, at the Igloo, Abbey Hotel, where Spencer Hyman, founder of artisan chocolate company Cocoa Runners, and I will be proving the point that these two favourite treats can work extremely well together.  For anyone who loves both wine and chocolate, don’t miss this - Click here to book tickets online


    All Spanish and Portuguese wines will have at least 12% off the normal price throughout February, with 20% off case purchases.

    By Angela Mount - Bath Magazine, February 2016

  • In the Press - FRAM

    Wines In The Press

    Newcomers FRAM have been featured in a great piece from Evening Standard wine columnist Nuria Stylianou on how to get into South Africa's sizzling wine selection.:

    "South African wines are sizzling at the moment. Key grape types continue to be Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cinsault and Pinotage (an often tricky cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault) for reds and Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for dry still whites.

    But in the past few years, their reputation has shifted from producers of full-bodied, over-ripe, boozy reds and often heavy-handed whites to versatile, refined and elegant styles, suiting a variety of foods and ranging in alcohol from 11 to 14 per cent ABV. 

    Over 90 per cent of the country’s wine comes from the Western Cape. Here, the Mediterranean climate, with its hot summers and winter rainfall, has ideal conditions for vine growing. The cooling influence of the Atlantic keeps the grapes from drying out in the afternoon heat, as well as the diurnal range between day and night differing from as much as 10 to 15 degrees, allowing the grapes to preserve their freshness and ideal sugar levels. Not forgetting the stunning mountain ranges offering a host of different altitudes and aspects, as well as the vast range of soil types, such as limestone, shale and granite, winemakers seem spoilt for choice when picking the right land. So why are their wines thriving now and what changes are taking place? 

    Fram PinotageOne such innovator, Thinus Krüger from FRAM (previously winemaker for Boschendal and Fleur du Cap before embarking on his own venture) sums it up: “Looking back at 15 years of producing wines, the biggest change for me is that for many years we tried to make great Cabs like Bordeaux or Napa, Shiraz like the Barossa Valley or the Rhône, but now we just make our own wines, true to the soil and the climate and our own preferences. Confident of our unique signature”

    Featured wine: FRAM Pinotage £25.00 

  • Stag's Leap on Sunday Brunch

     SLV Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 2011

    Sunday 5th July: To celebrate American Independence day, Karina Elias, beverage director at Grosvenor House Hotel picks 3 bottles to change your perception of American wines.

  • Hot off the press...

    Wines In The Press

    Chateau Ste Marguerite Symphonie Cru Classé 2014

    The best Provence rosé wines: "Super-pale – far more so than the standard cuvée of Ste Marguerite. Delicate but also persistent. Brilliant. Made from old-vine grenache and cinsault that dates back to 1936."

    Victoria Moore

    The Telegraph

  • Wines In The Press

    Wines In The Press

    The independent on Sunday praises Crossroads:

    The Independent on Sunday’s Terry Kirby selected his wine of the week for Sunday lunch, Crossroads Winemakers Selection Cabernet Franc 2012. The wine is currently on offer as part of our New Zealand Promotion, so get it while you can...

    “A superlative offering from a small, carefully managed concern in New Zealand's Hawke's Bay, using grapes grown on the fabled, ancient Gimblett Gravels riverbed. Fresh, blackberry fruits, a touch of mint and some spice: satisfying and elegant. Goes well with all lighter roast meats.”

    Parker Points for Prosecco....Ruggeri style:

    Robert Parker has given top scores to Ruggeri for two Proseccos from the current 2013 vintage - a sure sign that high quality Proseccos are starting to be appreciated for their unique style and finesse:

    “The excellent 2013 Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Giustino B. Extra Dry is dedicated to Giustino Bisol, the man who founded Ruggeri in 1950. Fruit is sourced from some of the highest altitude vineyards in the appellation and consequently shows an extra degree of crispness and bright sharpness. The aromas are clean and fragrant with white flower and sweet citrus in center stage. I have experimented [with] the aging capacity of Giustino B. and have found that the wine does remain intact for three years or more. As it ages, it gains more aromas of candied orange and butterscotch.”

    92 points.  Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

    “The 2013 Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Vecchie Viti Brut is made from the oldest vines (some more than a century old) found in the Valdobbiadene territory. This is a fantastic expression that boasts an outstandingly high level of brightness and definition. Drying mineral notes create contours for mildly fragrant layers of peach and blanched almond. The wine should hold for a few more years although it is best consumed in the immediate term.”

    91 points. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

    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, Decanter.com, 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 http://www.drinkmemag.com/

    By Chris Penwarden

  • 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

  • In the Press: Italy...with a difference

    Wines In The Press

    Italia! magazine have been generous to Great Western Wine over the last couple of months, giving brilliant reviews to whites, reds and fizz from all over Italy. The wines here show that Italy is evolving, with surprises to be had at some very modest prices.  Here we have a Sardinian Vermentino, a Tuscan Sangiovese (that’s not a Chianti) and two top Proseccos which take this style to another level.



    Santadi, Vermentino, Cala SilenteSantadi Cala Silente Vermentino 2013

    This was Italia!’s “Discovery of the Month” from their February 2015 issue:

    “I’ve said it before, but I forced my family on an eight-hour round trip to the Santadi cooperative outlet in Sardinia to buy three bottles of its flagship Terre Brune red wine. They’ve never forgiven me. This, one of the fabulous whites, continues to surprise. It’s yet another example of a wine that’s fresh and fragrant, comprising lemon notes on the nose with tastes of grass and sage, bursting with flavour and demanding to be resampled. One of the best the island has to offer.” Issue 123 (Feb 2015)


    Tenuta di Belguardo, Bronzone Morellino di Scansano

    Tenuta di Belguardo, Bronzone Morellino di Scansano 2010

    “This elegant wine is made using just the local Tuscan Sangiovese grape variety. Richer that a Chianti, it has pronounced cherry and dark plum aromas with a touch of wood smoke and tar. Dark red in colour, it is both richly textured and very full of body, with a good tannic structure and plenty to draw you back on the finish. A fine expression of Sangiovese and perfect with winter stews and hearty soups.” Issue 122 (Jan 2015)



    Ruggeri, Prosecco Brut Quartese DOCGRuggeri Prosecco Brut Quartese DOCG NV

    “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.” Issue 121 (Dec 2014)

    Prosecco, Ruggeri, Riserva Giustino Bisol DOCG

    Ruggeri Prosecco Riserva Giustino Bisol DOCG 2013

    “Well, we’re jumping in with the big guns! Together with the Brut Quartese we have two wines from renowned Bisol-run brand Ruggeri. And this one, a vintage wine from 2013, is quite simply the best the company has to offer. Zesty aromas of soft, juicy apples and crisp pear are complemented by a wide though balanced collection of flavours including spiced breads and citrus. Simply one of the best proseccos going.” Issue 121 (Dec 2014).

    By Chris Penwarden

  • Alan's Wine of the Week: Castello Di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico

    Castello Di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico



     £16.75   14.74  (+10% off 12 btl’s)

    “The Chateau Margaux of Tuscany” Steven Spurrier

    "....I love this wine, style with substance, proper Chianti that you need to have with traditional Italian fare – cherries, spice, leather, tomatoes, peppers - mmmmmm....!"

    “Savoury richness on the palate. Excellent complexity and a real find."

    Olly Smith - Mail on Sunday

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