Mansfield & District

Our Group's 2019 Report

Wine Group 2
Review of 2019

The group has tasted a wide variety of wines from an equally wide variety of countries.
As well as the obvious grapes, we have tasted Dunkelfelder, Scheurebe, Touriga Nacional and other Portuguese grapes, Nero de Troia, Nebbiolo, Fiano
From the usual countries, but also the Lebanon, Georgia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Portugal and England.

Most of the wine has been bought from supermarkets where the quality has been good on the whole and the choice quite wide, with less reliance on standard, often bland wines (which are often discounted heavily).
Aldi has a good selection, Lidl has some unusual grapes, Morrisons now has a good selection, while the other supermarkets all have some useful wines.
The independent shops like Tanners of Nottingham, Ann et Vin of Newark and Mr & Mrs of Southwell are more expensive, but their wines are individually chosen which can make them more interesting. Finally, the Wine Society offers a full range of very good wine from smaller vineyards.

The cost of wine has gone up greatly in the past two or three years and care has to be taken in choosing value for money wines. Don’t forget that the duty on wine is the same for a cheap bottle as for an expensive one so that a cheap bottle has the poorest wine. Expect to pay from £7.00 upwards for a reasonable bottle – Burgundy is much dearer!
Don’t be put off English wine. English champagne-style wine has beaten the best France has to offer although it is a little expensive. As global warming increases, so does the South of England become a major wine producing area, and the still wines will soon be of a high standard as well, once they get away from grapes like Mueller-Thurgau and Angevin. Our climate is best for the lighter grapes (Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, etc.) and the quality gets better every year.

In a world where there are few wine tastings, how do you get to know about the wines available? The newspapers often have recommendations – the Daily Mail produces pages of choices at Christmas and for the summer months, the other broadsheets do the same, and the ɩ has 2 or 3 selections from the supermarkets a year. In addition, there are online wine sites, although one I did like, ‘Supermarket’, has closed as the person running it is ‘taking a break’!

So what did we like? To take just a few months -
July offered a really good De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc from Waitrose (£12).
In August, a Portuguese Dão (Aldi £5.69), an Italian Barolo (Nebbiolo grape, famously powerful red) from Asda at £15.00.
September brought a Châteauneuf-du-Pape (£18) and a Montepulciano (£6.25) from Italy, both from Morrisons (a much improved wine shop now).
Finally, a curiosity – a Shiraz from the Lebanon in April.