The Wine List

THE retirement project: to sample the product of every (major) grape variety listed in Hugh Johnson’s pocket wine book. Drink up!

Grapes for red wine:


#Piemonte Barbera 2014, Italy. “Fruity tartness. I got the acidity, low tannin.”

Cabernet Franc

#Domaine du Colombier 2012 Chinon, France. “Delicious and versatile alternative to dry whites.”

Cabernet Sauvignon

# Zebra View Fairtrade 2014, South Africa. “Cab sauv was a favourite back in the 80s, and it still is today.”


#MontPierre Reserve Fitou 2014, Languedoc, France (with Grenache). “A straightforward and adaptable red wine. Pleasant for midweek family meal.”


#Fairtrade Carmenere, Chile. “Chilean Carmenere has been a regular in our wine rack for several years.”


#Les Pivoines Beaujolais Villages 2013, France: “Lovely colour, very light fruitiness on the tongue.”


#Pasquiers Grenache Noir, Pays D’Oc, France: “not as darkly intense as I expected.”

Also see Carignan (above) and Tempranillo (below).


#Pont Du Diable 2014, Cahors, France (Laithwaites): “delicious.”


#Louis De Camponac 2013, Pays D’Oc, France. “Pleasant and gentle. Decent midweek choice.”


#Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2014, Italy, Marks and Spencer. “Smooth and fruity. Good with a spicy pizza.”

Mourvedre (Monastrell in Spain)

#Infierno 2014, Yecla, Spain (Laithwaites). “Rich, warming, a mouthful of flavours. Everything a very good Spanish red should be.”


#Tesco Finest Barolo 2012, Italy. “Fruity, tannic, good acidity.”

Nero d’Avola

#Corte Ibla Terre Siciliane Single Estate 2013 (Marks and Spencer). “Pleasant, fruity.”


#Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection 2014, Stellenbosch, South Africa. “This wine changed my opinion about this grape.”

Pinot Noir

#Paul Cluver Elgin Ferricrete 2014, South Africa. “Very nice light-bodied wine – went well with roast lamb.”


#Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico Riserva 2011. “We both liked this a lot.”


#Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz Vintage 2013, Australia. “Whopping spiciness, smooth and fully enjoyed.”


#Faustino Rivero Ulecia Crianza 2011, Rioja, Spain (with Garnacha). “Rich, great length, very enjoyable.”


#Thymiopoulos 2013, Naoussa, Greece. “Rich, sharp, lovely colour, long tastes.”


Grapes for white wine:


#Martin Codax 2012, Rias Baixas, Spain. “Very dry. Earthiness.”


#Atlantis 2013, Argyros, Santorini, Greece. “Sharp, refreshing, dry.”

Carricante and Catarratto

#Etna Bianco 2014, Sicily, Italy. “Interesting discovery; an alternative to your dry white stand-by”.


#Del Rios Victoria 2013, Australia. “Fruity and zesty”.

#Macon-Villages 2014, Burgundy. “Delicious.”

#Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Chablis 2013. “Bliss in a bottle.”

Chenin Blanc

#Tresors De Loire Cuvee 845, Loire, France. “Sharp and tangy, but not a favourite.”

#Tesco Finest South African 2015, Swartland. “a noseful and mouthful of apple.”


#Bon Courage 2015, South Africa (Laithwaites). “Fresh and lively, pleasant acidity, quite fruity. Good for the summer.”



#Soave Denomizione di Origine Controllata Classico 2015, Italy (Sainsbury’s). “Fresh and light. Good for alfresco antipasti.”


#Cave De Turckheim 2014, Alsace, France. “Intriguing mix of dryness and aromatic fruitiness.”


#Sendero das Meigas Monterrei 2009, Spain (Laithwaites). “Intense and mineral. Definitely one for the wine rack.”


#Tesco Finest Grechetto 2016, Umbria, Italy. “Pleasant enough, but lacking any real character.”

Gruner Veltliner

#Danaris 2014, Austria (Laithwaites). “Clean, pleasantly acidic, nothing exceptional.”

Melon de Bourgogne

#Domaine Gadais Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie 2014, France. “Good acidity. Refreshing. Ideal for summer daytime drinking.”

Pinot Blanc

#Vielles Vignes Pinot Blanc 2014, Alsace, France. “Dry, nicely tart, pleasantly acidic.”

Pinot Gris

#Dino Edizione No.7 Pinot Grigio, Veneto, Italy. “Unexceptional.”


#Paul Cluver Elgin Ferricrete 2012, South Africa. “The usual southern hemisphere cocktail of fruitiness”

#Tim Adams Clare Valley 2013, Australia. “Worked well with a mixture of Chinese dishes.”

Sauvignon Blanc

#Coolwater Bay 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand. “I’m a big fan. It’s not an exclusive club.”


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