Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine Club

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine Club

Article excerpt

Recent American research shows, as if we didn't know, that wine tasting is unreliable and scatter-brained. Wines that taste feeble in the morning can be delicious at night. A wine that wins a gold medal in one tasting might be unranked in the next.

There are true stories: the test in which ordinary drinkers were served the same wine twice but were told that the first cost $10 a bottle and the second $50. They greatly preferred the second. Or the tasting in Norfolk at which serious wine experts discussed three decanters of claret, chewing over the year and provenance, before being told that all were from the same Chilean bag in box.

As for the descriptions of wines, don't get them started. It is always difficult putting flavours into words. I would much prefer to write 'this is delicious', or 'you'll find this scrummy', but then I would be drummed out of the Circle of Wine Writers for terminal banality. But all these wines from the estimable Tanners of Shrewsbury are delectable and well worth your money, especially as every one has been discounted by Tanners' price-setters (who I imagine as Dickensian figures, sitting in the basement with quill pens, cackling gently).

This is a great summer selection, starting with the superb Chilean Santa Digna Sauvignon Blanc reserve 2012 (1) from the Central Valley. This has everything - all the crispness of a good Sauvignon but with a smashing, heady perfume too. A great wine for the garden, and reduced by £11 a case to £7.50.

Why don't people drink more Riesling? The Mud House 2010 (2) - all right, awful name - from the Waipara Valley in New Zealand, is luscious, the precise opposite of those thin, weedy German Rieslings we drank as students. Rounded, mature, silky, yet with the gorgeous aromas of a far more expensive wine. With a £12 per case discount, it is a mere £9. …

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