Our monthly wine round-up: the good, the bad and the rosé
- Kevin Fullerton
- 19 November 2021
We round up our wine-tasting highlights from October and November
For the past month we've been delving into the delectable world of wine tasting to highlight some of the best bottles on the market today. In that time we've sampled deep and delicious reds, sweet and fruity whites, refreshing rosés, and one bottle that would have been better left on the shelf (more on that later).
To help you wade through our grape-obsessed ramblings, here's a round-up of some of the exceptional, and not so exceptional, wines we've been trying for the past month.
Whether you're replenishing your stock of red for the festive season or looking for the perfect bottle as a gift, check out what we've got to say to separate the robust bodies from the terrible tannins.
Bodegas Bargondia Rioja 2020
'Eaten with a hearty pasta, its silky texture belies a head-spinning 14% alcohol volume which, it must be said, left me more than a little tipsy after a few glasses. It's as accessible for wine lovers as any Rioja – light, juicy and kind to the palate, this is the perfect entry point if you want a red that's as welcoming to newcomers as it is to hardened veterans.'
Montaria Reserva 2019
'This week I vied for a red that would go well with the need to wrap up warm, a soothing Montaria Reserva 2019 with an aroma to match the comfort foods of the season. Dark ruby in colour, this Portuguese 'big red' bursts with the wintery tastes of berries and dark chocolate, but with a tanginess that makes it more appealing than both.'
Benjamin Darnault Pique-Nique Rosé 2020
'Rosé has generally been associated with the summer, and perhaps rightly so. For me it'll always conjure memories of barbecues I'd attend as a teenager, its light and fizzy texture complementing a plateful of veggie burgers and chips as I lolled around on summer days. It's a drink laced with both alcohol and nostalgia for me, and as a result it's one I'm reluctant to revisit. Removing my rosé-tinted glasses, with my palate forever-changed after over a decade of drinking heavy reds, could lead to a major disappointment, like listening to an album you loved as a teenager and realising it all sounds a bit naff.'
Villebois Sauvignon Blanc Prestige 2020
'The Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most widely consumed wines in the UK, the archetypal 'one glass after work' purchase and, although it's generally considered to be a summer drink, none of its taste is diminished in the brisk chill of autumn. Instead this bottle feels like the perfect antidote to the season, its singularly fruity taste casting your mind back to a few months ago when an ice bucket was a necessary accompaniment with every cold drink (in a Scottish autumn, the freeze created in an ice bucket is more commonly referred to as 'room temperature').'
Chateau De Pizay Beaujolais 2020
'If I was the proprietor of a bumper sticker factory, and sadly I'm not, I'd have the maxim 'Life's too short for mediocre Beaujolais' printed a thousand times and sent to every vintner on the planet. Until then, not every wine I review for this column is going to be a winner. After four weeks of wines that have satisfied me, and even wines that have surprised me, I've found a bottle that's failed to set my palate alight.'
Want to know more about wine? Then read our beginner's guide to wine clubs article or discover some of the best places where you can buy wine this Christmas. And don't forget to check our offers page for regular discounts from the best wine sellers in the UK.