If you’re dazed and confused by the ‘wall of wine’ in supermarkets, visit an interesting independent wine shop instead.
New wine shops are springing up on every street corner. There are many long established indies too with great ranges.
Andrew Neather, former wine writer for the Evening Standard, recommends a few in London, here. Watch a fun video here of a visit to a cool wine shop in Paris.
In London, one of the best indie shops is Roberson in Kensington, going for 20 years. They have exciting wines from all over the world, in all price brackets. They particularly excel in Burgundy, a favourite among wine lovers.
Here are some recommendations from the current stock:
Domaine Chavy-Chouet, Meursault 1er cru, Les Charmes, 2010, magnum £80.80 buy here. Chardonnay is probably the top, high quality potential white grape, yet is so often disappointing – over oaked, blowsy and tasting of ripe bananas. This sublime wine from a top Burgundian producer sings with purity and finesse. Magnums (two standard bottles) always look generous and fine wines often age better in them. Well worth the money for a special dinner with someone who knows their Cotes de Beaune from Footballers’ Wives, or willing to be converted.
Domaines Ott, Clos Mireille, Rosé, 2010, £34.95 buy Provence rosés here. Provence rosé is having its year, due to the increased awareness of its high quality and delicious, angular, bone dry character. Some are lean and austere, this one has much more body and depth, yet still with the distinctive freshness and fine structure. A big name wine, with much prestige, it’s still one of the best. Yachtie totties will recognise the skittle shaped bottle from their cruising days in the south of France. Perfect with all light dishes or as an aperitif. Riva not required to enjoy.
Prestige Millesimé 2003, Egly-Ouriet £87.95 buy here. Roberson has a Champagne offer to die for. Lesser known names often deliver more interest and better quality. Yes this is an indulgence, but no more so than a pair of shoes or a shirt you probably don’t need. Rich, deep, subtle yet expansive, it would seal the deal if you were going down on one knee. Instead of half a case of mediocre discount fizz, try this instead, you won’t regret it. Good Champagne is not just a tipple but matches many foods: oysters or any light, elegant supper. Just divine.
Roberson has many wines at everyday, affordable prices too. These are just three of their wines for special occasions. They also run excellent classes and wine evenings, see here. Throw in helpful staff, delivery, a simple, easy to use website and you have the perfect local wine shop.
(photo – inesplicabile / Fickr Creative Commons)