The days are getting shorter and it’s cold out there; the sofa, a glass or two of wine and a good series is pretty high on your list of priorities…we open our arms to winter.
We fully encourage this behaviour, so much so that we’ve made it our mission to find the most binge-worthy television shows at the moment and have paired them with wine to ensure you get the most entertainment and relaxation out of the limited time you may have. As always, we’ve got your back.
Black Mirror & Sauvignon Blanc: We know how dependent we have become on technology and perhaps sometimes think abut what will happen if robots took over the world. Oh, just us? Well, Black Mirror is an eye- opening thriller that explores techno-paranoia. It’s guaranteed to make you jump, so to save your sofa from red wine spillage, and you wondering if pouring white wine on it actually works and spending the next half an hour wading through online forums after googling red wine stain and missing the rest of the show, we’d recommend going for our delicious Sauvignon Blanc while contemplating the future of the world.
Narcos & Malbec: Pablo Escobar is back and out for vengeance in season two of Narcos. This season is full of even more bloodshed, backstabbing and bad words. Most Wanted’s Malbec might as well be Narcos’ match made in South American heaven as the literal French translation of Malbec means “bad mouth.” Pretty fitting, eh?
The Crown & Pinot Noir: Want to know what it feels like to be a member of the royal family for a night? Settle down with season two of The Crown and a glass of our Pinot Noir. The Crown shows Queen Elizabeth II at the very beginning of leading the monarchy – it’s a stressful job so we know that she’d enjoy a glass after a long day at work. The Queen will be more used to drinking wine from Burgundy – Fun Fact: a region who’s red wines are made from Pinot Noir- but if you are on a tighter budget than the Queen then our Pinot Noir fits the bill.
Planet Earth II & Albariño: Just when you thought he couldn’t possibly get any better, David Attenborough has just gone and done Planet Earth II which is blowing minds all over the country. Whilst we’re on the topic of exotic destinations we might as well mention that Albariño tastes like tropical fruit, peach and grapefruit, perfect for when you want to pretend you’re sunbathing in Sahara Desert heat instead of trudging in flooded mud.
We’re massively excited to announce that our very own Albariño is now being stocked in Sainsbury’s, so much so that we’ve written a whole blog post so you can get to know this lesser known grape.
So step aside Pinot Grigio. Pipe down Chardonnay. Albariño is the new white wine in town, and it’s looking fresh.
So what even is Albariño, you ask?
Attention all Riojas- Albariño is soon to steal the spotlight as the most talked about Spanish wine. The Albariño grape stems from the northwest of Spain on the coast of Galicia in the Rías Baixas region to be exact – a region where it rains more than it does in Manchester – who knew that was possible? Although this grape is spreading its wings and trying to flourish in places like Australia and California, it won’t forget that it performs best in its natural habitat in northern Spain. So this humble grape needs to withstand the cold, wind and rain but its thick skin (literally) contributes to its intense aromas and all round awesomeness, making it a real winner and hard to beat.
So, not quite the region for a bit of winter sun, but perfect for this aromatic number and results in lip-smacking flavours of grapefruit, peach and tropical fruits. Sounds delicious, right?
For all you die-hard Sauvignon fans out there, Albariño is right up your street – Dry? Yes. Crisp? Absolutely. Fresh? Hell yes.
So what should you drink it with?
When you’re wandering through the supermarket, picking up almost every item to fulfill a Tuesday night craving, fear not! Albariño’s fresh, crisp and easy to drink attitude means it goes with most food including rich, salty, oily, fatty, spicy and tart food. The winning pairing is definitely with seafood though–it’s a match made in windy, rainy, Spanish heaven.
So when you’re next in Sainsbury’s (or Co-op, Bargain Booze or Nisa stores!) grab a bottle of this punchy Spanish number and you’ll see why we think it is a Most Wanted wine.
We’ve taken the liberty of listing some ideas on how to spend a night with Albariño: Choose One, Sit Back, and Enjoy
Girls night in after a long week? For your friends stuck in a Sauvignon rut, Albariño is there to save the day.
Friends over for dinner? Albariño pairs perfectly with fresh fish and seafood.
Party for one with a film and some pizza? Albariño has got it covered.
Craving spicy food after a plain day at the office? Albariño stands up to the chilli.
Romantic sushi date? Albariño tastes as fresh as the tuna
With heat waves driving us to wear bikinis in every green space salvageable and BBQ for every meal of the day (three hot dogs in one sitting is perfectly acceptable), we want to ensure you stay sufficiently hydrated whilst enjoying the great British summer.
So without further ado, our favourite BBQ pairings…
Why do Argentinians make so much amazing BBQ meat? Because they have juicy Malbec to drink with it of course. Our fruit-bomb Malbec is the champion for BBQ meats and works brilliantly with rich, tangy BBQ sauces. Perfect for you carnivores out there.
With Malbec stealing the limelight with its epic BBQ pairing skills, we mustn’t forget the strong role this lighter red wine can play at the BBQ. Red with chicken or fish?! We hear you say. Oh yes. This deliciously fruity and balanced Pinot Noir has lighter flavours that don’t overpower white meat and fish.
First up representing the whites is our Albariño. For those of you that won’t be devouring a steak with burger and sausage bap, it’s the perfect match for grilled fish and salad. Crisp? Yes. Fresh? Definitely. This comes from Galicia on the northern coast of Spain, where fish and seafood are part of everyday life, so no wonder a nice cold glass of this is the best match.
Our fruity and crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is perfect for those venturing beyond burgers and hot dogs. So good with veggie kebabs, grilled halloumi and prawn skewers with Thai marinades. Just thinking about it puts us in tastebud heaven.
Pair your food and wine like a pro with Most Wanted Wines this summer and remember we’d love to hear how your summer barbecue went.
So you rock up to a wine tasting, do the swill, take a sniff, have gurgle – now what flavours do you get? Um…wine-y?
Fear not. We’re here to arm you with a couple of key wine descriptors to ensure you can look the part and never get caught out by the wine lingo.
We know we’re advocates of #LosetheLingo but sometimes a little bit is all you need to impress.
Tannin? Not in this weather surely.
This is probably one of the most thrown around words in the wine world – we’ve all heard it, but have probably never used it. Well here is your chance to slip it in there the next time you’re tasting red wine. So how does a tannin taste? Well it’s quite bitter and dries out your mouth – kind of like putting a black tea bag on your tongue. So the more over-strewed tea the wine tastes, the higher the tannins. Nailed it. Some tannins are a bit more rounded and not so drying, which is a good thing. But it can be down to personal taste. Tannins also mellows out over time so older wines generally get smoother.
Oaky finish. Is that floor cleaner?
If you’ve heard about tannins, you’ve probably heard about a wine being ‘oaky’. It’s used to describe the flavour that oak gives the wine, which could be from oak-ageing in barrels or oak chips being used in the making of the wine. You’re not looking for tastes of tree bark with an undertone of freshly cut grass however. In fact it adds vanilla, dill, coconut and even butter to the taste. Almost like a cookie. Kind of.
Opulent. He sounds dreamy.
This isn’t a word with double meaning, it literally means the wine is rich, luxurious, smooth and bold. If a wine seems to flood your mouth with layers of flavour, we’d give this word a shot to describe it. You’ll sound well fancy.
Tart. How rude.
You know that face you pull when you bite into an un-ripe apple? If a wine makes you do that you can safely describe it as tart and probably move swiftly on to the next glass. That is all.
Full Bodied. I think you’ll find the word is curvy.
This describes the weight of the wine in your mouth and the general rule of thumb is the more alcoholic the wine, the more full bodied. Wine will either be light, medium or full bodied and is often compared to the feeling of skimmed, semi skimmed or full cream milk in your mouth. So if the wine feels like it’s coating every inch of your mouth, it’s probably a fuller bodied wine. If you can’t remember the description, go for semi skimmed milk and share the reactions with us.
This month we quizzed our Most Wanted Insiders on common wine myths and whether they thought they were fact or fiction. Here’s how they scored.
You should never pair white wine with steak
65% said myth. A hearty red is the traditional go-to for steak. Those things called ‘tannins’ you always hear wine experts go on about, bring out the flavours of the steak, whilst the fat in the steak softens the tannins to bring out the best in the wine. Teamwork.
You can also go for a bigger, richer white wine. It’s not a classic pairing but still works if red is not your thing.
But it’s great to see you’re not getting bogged down with the dos and don’ts of food pairings and sticking with the wine you enjoy. The jury is still out with our Insiders on this one.
Wine tastes better when it’s allowed to breathe outside the bottle
74% of our Insiders stood by this one and the belief isn’t misplaced. The short of the long is; when red wine is left to ‘breathe’ and mix with oxygen, the flavours are softened in a good way. By decanting the wine and leaving it to breathe for 1-2 hours, it allows the wine to come back to life after being cramped up in a bottle. No need for a fancy decanter, a normal jug will do the job!
Generally, younger wines, like ours, don’t benefit from decanting as much as older wines. Our wines taste great straight from the bottle (via a glass of course…)
The more expensive the wine the better it tastes
A whopping 95% of you went false and of course you’re right. There’s nothing out there to back this up, it’s down to your personal wine preference. We all love a savvy find so the fact than we can have our bargain and enjoy drinking it too is enough to get us up and out at the weekend. Cheers to that.
So there you have it, the answers to our top wine myths, as promised.
Let us know if you’ve heard any bizarre wine facts/myths @Most_WantedWine.
Now Britain’s Got Talent is back, we’re feeling the ever-strong pull of a great takeaway and a glass of wine…or two. It’s only right that every SuBo moment or dog performing on it’s hind legs, is accompanied with a perfect pairing of wine.
We took the liberty of rounding up some of the nation’s most popular takeaways and matching them with our wines, so you don’t have to. You can thank us Saturday at 8pm.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Just when you thought there was nothing better than a Tikka Masala, our Malbec enters stage right. Its fruity style is so soft and smooth, it doesn’t fight with the spiciness of the curry; making it the ideal duo. Britain’s favourite curry just got the golden buzzer pressed by us.
Chicken Chow Mein
This crowd pleaser has been awarded the prestigious title of the UK’s top takeaway dish and so it goes hand-in-hand with another award winner – our very own fruity Pinot Noir. As Pinot Noir is a lighter red it goes perfectly with chicken, plus doesn’t overpower the more delicate Chinese flavours.
Keeping it a bit lighter? We’ve got a wine for that – our fresh, crisp Albariño and sushi definitely deserves a medal. Albariño comes from a coastal region in northern Spain, where fish and seafood are part of everyday life, so it naturally pairs up with your favourite sashimi.
The best things come in pairs: there was Ant & Dec, Batman & Robin, Timon and Pumbaa, – now we have Malbec & Cheeseburger, another stellar duo. Everyone knows Malbec and red meat are the perfect partners. There is nothing more to say here.
We all aim to have our 5-a-day but more than likely we don’t. Our solution: Veggies on top of your pizza. Sorted. Why not pair it with our crisp Sauvignon Blanc that goes perfectly with the cheese/veg combo. So call up your pizza man and start pouring a glass.
Your friends have succeeded in making you feel bad because you didn’t do Dry January. Or Vegan January. Or put any effort at all into becoming a better, healthier version of yourself January. Yep, you suck at adulting. So what do you do to fix it? You go veggie for Lent. Sigh.
You got this. We believe you can survive these forty days of endurance. And to help you, we’ve come up with perfectly decent dishes you can pair with our wines – even if you’re taking a holiday from carnivore living. Because your Most Wanted Wines are veggie, too.
Want a completely unique t-shirt designed by a leading British graffiti artist? Scroll on to see 45RPM’s work and how to get involved in our competition.
What do wine and art have in common? Plenty. What was Leonardo drinking while painting The Last Supper? Definitely not lemonade. We know that with great wine comes great art. This is why we asked Bristol-based graffiti artist, 45RPM, to create the artwork for our Winery Finery pop-up – an evening of no-bull wine tasting, music and a bit of culture to launch our new range.
It’s only 3 o’clock on a Friday, yet you’re already finding yourself incessantly watching the time and counting down the minutes until Wine O’Clock strikes. When it does, will you take delicate sips of a Pinot or glug down the Savvy B? Which type of Wine O’Clock drinker are you?
The sipper is your middle of the road wine fan, wine-savvy but not too much, looking to get tipsy but not drunk. The sipper is the friend to turn to for good (read: not pompous and patronising) suggestions on which bottle you should bring to dinner, the one you can enjoy a good cheese board with knowing he won’t either get drunk or start commenting on the wine list.
With great wine, comes great responsibility. Which is why when sourcing new wines for the Most Wanted Wines range, we don’t do things by half. Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and fly to South Africa… It’s a hard life, isn’t it?
Whether we’re talking boutique wineries or up-and-coming producers, wine regions don’t get as exciting as the Western Cape of South Africa.
The Cape Wine Trade Fair is the flagship business showcase of the South African wine industry. We were thrilled about checking out this energetic, maverick wine country, home of new, exciting producers.
It’s only natural then that we sent our brightest minds down to Cape Town in mid-September to bring home some of this incredible wine buzz. And what a dream team it was: Managing Director Paul, Sales Manager Mark and Sourcing Director Clem, flew to the fair to meet with suppliers and get stuck into all the new wines on offer.
The wine industry in South Africa stretches back into the 17th century, making it the oldest ‘New World’ wine producer. But especially today there’s a real energy and excitement in some of its up-and-coming regions. Take for example the Swartland region in the Western Cape, which produces boutique and varied wines with incredible quality from producers you just don’t see in the UK.
Throughout the trade fair, the quality from the entry-level wines right through to the top, small volume boutique producers was excellent. But for our team of hardy researchers, there could only be one winner, and after some serious thought and deliberation it was agreed that the star of the show was a wine synonymous with South Africa, Chenin Blanc.
Chenin Blanc, also known locally as Steen, is the most widely planted grape variety in South Africa, accounting for nearly one-fifth of all vineyards, nearly twice the amount of Chenin Blanc planted in France!
Historically, the Chenin Blanc grape had a tendency to produce some “iffy” quality wines at the lower end of the spectrum, but that’s now safely in the past. The versatility of the grape and real focus on the quality it can produce is now being realised, with some fantastic wines from simple, fresh Chenins right through to show-stopping barrel-fermented oak aged wines.
Cape Town is an amazing and vibrant city to visit. There are great restaurants, beautiful landscapes, and most importantly incredible wine at a very reasonable price, especially with the current exchange rate!