Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine Club

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine Club

Article excerpt

GOSH, there's some not very nice wine about. The other day I tried a few bottles of something called 'Origin', a branded series of wines from single-grape varieties. They're boring and bland. It's less a wine than a marketing exercise - catering for people who've been bullied into thinking that their own taste buds aren't up to the job.

Good wine needn't be expensive, nor does it have to come from some boutique vineyard where a crazed obsessive creates two dozen cases a year from soil so desirably barren you couldn't grow turnips in it, making his daughters squeeze each grape with their thighs. But it must have its own flavour, its own savour, the sense that someone has put in their skills, ideas, eccentricities and even love. Good wine is made by people with a passion for good wine, whether they are working on two acres or on 10,000.

Which brings me to the first of our Christmas offers. It's from Corney & Barrow, and as ever the fabled Brett-Smith Indulgence kicks in - a L6 discount on every case if you buy three, or just two within the M25 sent to the same address. So you could knock 50p off each bottle price.

First, C&B's terrific house wines: the white(1) is guzzled in great quantities by C&B staff and, these days, by Spectator readers. It's light, fresh, crisp and lemony without ever being acidic. The house red(5) is every bit as good as you'd expect at this price, and is a perfect excuse for avoiding the dreaded Mouton Cadet, given to unlucky people by well-meaning visitors.

If you want to go a step up, try the Domaine Les Escasses 2002(2), also from Gascony, but which has just a little more body, a little more perfume, and is a touch more floral. This is a seriously good wine, and remarkable value at L4.80.

We've offered La Combe de Grinou(3) from Bergerac before, and it's always been a great hit. …

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