Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Mini-Bar Offer

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Mini-Bar Offer

Article excerpt

Swig is a small west London wine merchant with a knack for acquiring superb wines for sockknocking-off prices. Take the Rheinhessen Riesling from Stefan Winter 2008 (1).

German wine is a hard sell these days. A century ago 'hock' was the favourite wine of royalty, and the better stuff sold for as much as Latour or Haut Brion. Now some merchants can hardly give the stuff away. People suspect that any German wine will be unpalatably sweet, and they are put off by those labels, all Gothic blackletter type spelling out sinisterlooking compound nouns. So Winter has got round both problems by creating a wine that is bone dry, though packed with lovely fruity Riesling flavour, and with a simple, minimalist label. Bingo! The lads at Swig have brought it down from £9.50 to £8.50 and it is terrific. I beg you to try it, and rediscover the zesty, fresh, shimmering joys of German wine.

The Kumeu River winery makes some of the finest Chardonnays in New Zealand.

James and Robin at Swig like to slip a bottle of their top-notch Estate Chardonnay 2006 (2) into blind tastings of Burgundy, where it usually beats Meursaults at twice the price. It is very much in the Burgundy style, and has that crisp edge combined with lovely buttery, hazelnut undertones. …

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