There’s no wine in the house and with only ten minutes to go before the food is ready what can you do? Buying the meal-matching wine from the local village shop or corner convenience store is the best strategy when time is limited.
Small independent shops may only stock around the fifth of the range on offer in supermarkets but you’ll still be able to choose a reasonably priced and tasting wine from one of the 20 or 30 on offer. The choice will be limited to brands you’ve probably never heard of but are cheap, or reliable big-name brands like South Africa’s Kumala and Californian blends from Gallo and Blossom Hill that will cost around £7 a bottle – always expect to pay a couple of pounds more than you would if buying the bottle from Tesco or Sainsbury’s.
Chosen for their ability to sell quickly and appeal to as many customers as possible, these bulk-bottle wines offer pleasant freshness with a light fruity taste that will match almost any dish. The small shop owner will never be a source of specialist wines but what stock there is will match most of their customers’ meals, whether that’s slow-cooked braised beef or take-away haddock and chips.
Just for fun I thought you might like a few wise words on wine from fellow enthusiasts from times gone by – quote them when necessary!
“What I like to drink most is wine that belongs to others.”
Diogenes, 320 BC, Greek philosopher
“Wine is sunlight, held together by water.”
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
PG Wine Reviews
Escudo Real Portuguese Vinho Verde 2017
At only 9.5% alcohol, this refreshing white deserves more attention. Flavours of digestive biscuit, celery and grapefruit.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2017, Italy white
An earthy tasting white with contrasting flavours of lemon, almond and white currant.
Mirabeau Etoile Provence Rosé 2017
£10.99 Waitrose Cellar and Ocado
A very pale pink rosé with flavours of creamy apple and rhubarb. More of a white wine.
Persia 2017, Ventoux France Domaine de Fondreche, white
£18.99 Cadman Fine Wines
This unusual Cotes du Rhone white tastes lightly of pear and apple.