Paula Goddard’s Wines of the Week (4th December 2017)
Top Ten White Wines of 2017 with recommended wines starting at £6.99 and going up to £18.99. The Co-op (for successive years), Virgin Wines and Laithwaites are putting up a good show, with other supermarkets and retailers making up the rest of the Top Ten.
So what can you expect from a white wine that costs more than £6 and so puts it in the above average price per bottle bracket? Lots of flavours that all complement each other so that no one flavour dominates, plus the ability to keep on drinking to the end of the bottle rather than getting bored half way down – which can be the case with some cheaper whites where only one or two flavours make up the wine.
And when you start getting into the £9+ range you’ll also notice a distinct change in the label quality and design. This is because when a wine maker can get more profit per bottle they can justify spending just a little bit more on good graphic design and thicker paper for their labels. Which is part of the ‘posh’ feel you sense when handling the vessel leading to warmer, possibly less judgemental analysis, on drinking the wine.
So how can you avoid this high price bias? Well you could buy all your bottles ‘blind’ without seeing the label (which is going to be difficult to do unless you attend what is know as a ‘blind tasting’ where the labels are deliberately covered up) or you could seek someone else’s advice on what to buy – possibly a wine columnist who has tasted lots and lots of wines so is able to put each wine into context.
Well here they are in ascending order of price.
Top Ten White Wines of 2017
1. Hardys Voyage Australian Chardonnay Pinot Grigio 2016
£6.99 Co-op (on offer from December 13 until January 3 at £4.99)
A juicy and tasty white with flavours of creamy peach, bananas, apple and melon. A good match to smoked haddock.
2. Mon Plaisir du Sud Blanc, France
A floral and fruity wine that would make a great choice for an aperitif with its flavours of pear, honey and lemon. A really nice wine.
3. Fruit Orchestra South African Chenin Blanc Viognier 2016
The wine version of the fruity canned drink Lilt, with its tropical fruit flavours.
4. Tesco Finest Australian Tingleup Riesling 2017
Subtle flavours but still a scrummy wine: expect lemon and bubblegum.
5. Peter Yealands New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Fresh pineapple flavours with additional green apple and fennel. A sophisticated wine.
6. Monte Calvarina Italian Soave 2016
A posh looking and heavy bottle, so a good choice if you want to impress with your wine choice. Fresh and floral with enough about it to match to food.
7. The Big Mo’ Australian Viognier 2016
£9.99 Virgin Wines
Smooth and fruity with flavours of apple, orange, pear and lemon – a real fruit bowl.
8. Muscat D’Alsace Collection 2014, Kuentz-Bas
£11.95 The Wine Society
An enjoyable wine with sharp flavours of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. Not your usual sweet Muscat.
9. Dereszla Hungarian Tokaji Furmint 2015
£12.99 Virgin Wines
Another wine that you’d expect to be sweet but isn’t. A fruity balanced white with flavours of peach, apple and pear. A good house white to match to many foods.
10. Odrysia Turkish Narince 2015
A sophisticated choice from an unexpected location made with an unusual grape. Flavours of light peach, biscuit, honey and lemon.