Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Mini-Bar Offer

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Mini-Bar Offer

Article excerpt

One thing I like about the wine trade is that people are always optimistic.

If the country is prospering, why, they say, folk will spend loads more on wine. If we are in deep trouble, as today, we will eschew eating out and stay at home with a bottle of wine. Or we will buy fine wine to lay down because, frankly, even Blossom Hill and Blue Nun would be safer investments than most banks.

But in straitened times we naturally look for value. And Private Cellar, one of our new Wine Club partners, has come up with an absolutely splendid collection of bottles for this week's mini-bar, all of them substantially reduced from the list price.

New Zealand's great strength is Sauvignon Blanc, so they have started to produce some excellent Chardonnays as well. Now the Aussies are trying Sauvignon, and this Indis 2005 (1) from Western Australia shows how well they are doing. It is rounder and fruitier than its Kiwi equivalent, and more flavoursome than your average Sancerre. Reduced by 22 per cent to £6.65 a bottle, saving more than £22 a case.

I loved the St Véran 2004 made at the Ch. de Fuissé (2). St Véran is sometimes thought of as the poor relation in Burgundy, but when you get a wine as fresh and zingy and deliciously crisp as this, at such a reasonable price, you realise that this is as welcome to the party as your rich, childless uncle. …

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