Many wine drinkers choose the same bottle night after night or stick to the house wine in restaurants. You wouldn’t eat the same food every day or wear the same clothes, so why drink the same wine? 

UK retailer Oddbins has picked up on the bloggers network of wine reviews and recommendations with its Wine Bloggers Case, specially chosen by 6 of the UK’s respected online wine writers. 

A UK wine competitionWhat food, What Wine? judges wines with classic dishes such as fish and chips and curry. Philippe Michel, Cremant du Jura, £6.99 from Aldi, scooped the Fizz & Chips Trophy. Another ‘outstanding match’ was La Gitana Manzanilla, £10.20 at Waitrose. 

Masterchef’s John Torode and Aussie wine company McGuigan Wines have teamed up, aiming to simplify food and wine matching. See the website for details and a video here.

When eating out, maybe you avoid the sommelier, thinking you’ll be ripped off. Many are young and passionate about wine with lots of insider tips to share. Trying something different in a restaurant can make an evening out so much more fun. 

Sommeliers even have their own wine awards competition, rigorously judged by the UK’s top palates, many of whom work in the best known restaurants and bars. 

Two white recommendations from the 2012 
Sommelier Wine Awards are: 

Domaine Lafage, Cuvée Centenaire Blanc, £11.46 pro rata, in case of 6 at £68.76, Bibendum
. Languedoc Roussillon is the trade secret for amazing value wines. Think of it as a versatile alternative to white Burgundy, food wise. The fresh, snappy, herbaceous finish would compliment pastry dishes. 

Nuraghe Crabione Sussinku, £12.99, Italy Abroad. If you’ve been on holiday to Sardinia you’ll know how good the wines can be. Italian whites are another trade secret due to their mouthfeel, weight, firm structure, interesting grapes and freshness. Delicious with lobster ravioli or salmon en croute. 

For more Italian wines, see specialist wine shop Vini Italiani in South Kensington or Knightsbridge department store Harrods‘ revamped Italian range. 

(photo – Javmorcas / Flickr Creative Commons)

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