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Wines for the holidays, that won't hurt your pocket

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Published: 10 Dec 2012      

Choosing a bottle of wine from the hundreds on offer in our supermarkets can be a bit daunting to say the least. When you do pick one, how do you know you'll like it? The Topping Forty team checked out the supper markets to see what delights they have for this years celebrations.

 

Red wines
 

Jacobs Creek Shiraz Cabernet 18.7Cl

Price: Tesco £2.39  Sainsbury’s £2.29

Country of origin: Wine of South Eastern Australia

Type: Shiraz Cabernet Red Australian Wine

The winemakers of Jacob's Creek have blended quality Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to create a medium bodied wine with ripe berry fruit flavours.

Tasting Notes:
Vibrant fruit aromas of ripe plum, blackberry and chocolate, with black pepper and cassis, supported by subtle toasty oak. Attractive ripe berry fruit characters, softly textured, with persistent yet approachable tannins; this wine shows the harmony which can be achieved by carefully blending parcels of soft, rounded Shiraz with finely structured Cabernet Sauvignon, creating a wine with richly layered fruit.

Grape Variety: Shiraz/Syrah

Vinification Details:
Individual vineyards were regularly monitored throughout the ripening period, with berry flavour ripeness and sugar/acid balance used as the criteria for determining optimum harvest dates. Parcels of fruit were de stemmed and crushed into static and rotary fermentation vessels and fermented on skins for around seven to ten days, at temperatures between 18 and 26°C. Cap management techniques were optimised for each individual parcel, to maximise the extraction of desirable colour and flavour components while maintaining soft tannin structures typical of the Jacobs Creek style. On pressing off of skins, the free-run and the pressings components were blended together to give greater tannin structure and balance to the wine. The various components were matured separately before allocation into the final blend. The wine was lightly filtered directly before bottling.

History:
Johann Gramp planted his first vineyard on the banks of Jacob's Creek in 1847 setting in motion 160 years of winemaking tradition. Our origins are entwined with pioneering names such as Gramp, Menge and Jacob, who were prominent in the early development of the Barossa Valley and South Australia.

Regional Information:
The growing season leading up to the 2009 harvest followed a similar pattern to previous years, with relatively low rainfall throughout winter and spring. Extremely hot conditions during late January and early February required careful management of our vineyards to ensure the vines received sufficient water and nutrients to maintain healthy leaf canopies. Fortunately the hot mid-summer weather was followed by much milder weather throughout the remainder of the vintage. This provided good ripening conditions for both Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, with the development of fresh attractive fruit flavours, strong colours and soft, ripe tannins.

Storage Instructions: This wine is ideal for drinking now but can be kept for up to 3 years.

Allergy Information: Contains:Sulphur Dioxide/Sulphites

 

Foscana Merlot Sangiovese 75Cl

Price: Tesco £4.99

Country of origin: Italy

Type: Merlot Sangiovese Red Italian Wine

Made from Merlot and Sangiovese grapes from the island of Sicily in the deep south of Italy. Light, easy drinking and fruity with attractive red cherry flavours.

Tasting Notes:
Made from Merlot and Sangiovese grapes from the island of Sicily in the deep south of Italy. Light, easy drinking and fruity with attractive red cherry flavours.

Grape Variety: Merlot, Sangiovese

Vinification Details:
The wine is vinified in highly controlled conditions to ensure that the freshness and purity of the fruit flavours are carried from the grape to the glass. There is little interference with the natural taste and the whole vinification process takes place in state of the art, temperature controlled, stainless steel vats.


History:
The history of wine-making inSicily goes back centuries. Over the years modern techniques and understanding have made it possible to make really fantastic wines inSicily from grape varieties that originate from other regions.


Regional Information:
Sicily is suited to wine making because of the balance between the climate and the soils. Although it is one of the warmest wine producing regions in Europe, the influence of topography and the cooling breezes from theMediterranean Sea enable wine-makers to make elegant and fresh wines with the juicy ripeness that the island is well known for.


Storage Instructions:
To enjoy this wine at its best, drink within 1 year of purchase.

Allergy Information: Contains:Sulphur Dioxide/Sulphites

 

Foscana Merlot 75Cl

Price: Tesco £4.99

Country of origin:Italy

Type: Merlot Red Italian Wine
Made from Merlot grapes from theisland ofSicily in the deep south ofItaly. A medium bodied, rich and fruity red wine with all the classic velvety smooth plumy fruits associated with this international grape variety.

Tasting Notes:
Foscana Merlot is a warm, soft and smooth red with light tannin and deep red and black fruit flavours.

Grape Variety: Merlot

Vinification Details:
The wine is vinified in highly controlled conditions to ensure that the freshness and purity of the fruit flavours are carried from the grape to the glass. There is little interference with the natural taste and the whole vinification process takes place in state of the art, temperature controlled, stainless steel vats.

History:
The history of wine-making in Sicily goes back centuries. Over the years modern techniques and understanding have made it possible to make really fantastic wines in Sicily from grape varieties that originate from other regions.

Regional Information:
Sicily is suited to wine making because of the balance between the climate and the soils. Although it is one of the warmest wine producing regions in Europe, the influence of topography and the cooling breezes from the Mediterranean Sea enable wine-makers to make elegant and fresh wines with the juicy ripeness that the island is well known for.

Storage Instructions: To enjoy this wine at its best, drink within 1 year of purchase.

Allergy Information: Contains: Eggs,Sulphur Dioxide/Sulphites

 

Tagus Creek Shiraz And Trincadeira 75Cl

Price: Tesco £4.49

Country of origin:Portugal

Type: Medium Red  Wine

Grape Variety: A great combination of Portuguese and French grape varieties.

Tasting Notes:
Medium bodied, juicy and spicy red wine. Hints of strawberry and damson with a persistent lingering aftertaste.

Vinification Details:
Individual vineyards were regularly monitored throughout the ripening period, with berry flavour ripeness and sugar/acid balance used as the criteria for determining optimum harvest dates. Parcels of fruit were de stemmed and crushed into static and rotary fermentation vessels and fermented on skins for around seven to ten days, at temperatures between 18 and 26°C. Cap management techniques were optimised for each individual parcel, to maximise the extraction of desirable colour and flavour components while maintaining soft tannin structures typical of the Jacobs Creek style. On pressing off of skins, the free-run and the pressings components were blended together to give greater tannin structure and balance to the wine. The various components were matured separately before allocation into the final blend. The wine was lightly filtered directly before bottling.

History:
The Falua winery was built in 2004 to high standards, and all the latest in winery equipment, specifically to take on the challenge of the export market. Tagus Creek is the culmination of those efforts. This wine is made only from grapes grown at their own vineyards, harvested themselves, carefully fermented using temperature control at their own modern winery, ensuring wine of the highest quality.

Region:
Tagus Creek comes from the region along the great Tagus river which runs south to Lisbon. Great farming country with good soils and a benign climate are perfect for quality grape production.

Storage Instructions: To enjoy this wine at its best, drink within 1 year of purchase.

Allergy Information: Contains: Sulphur Dioxide/Sulphites

 

Mcguigan Bin Series Merlot 75cl

Price: Sainsbury’s £4.99

Country of Origin:Australia

Type: Medium Red  Wine

Grape Variety: Merlot

Tasting Notes:
This Merlot is packed with luscious plum and berry fruit flavours, cinnamon spice and tasty oak complexity. Subtle violet and vanilla aromas compliment the smooth mellow finish.

Vinification Details:
Individual vineyards were regularly monitored throughout the ripening period, with berry flavour ripeness and sugar/acid balance used as the criteria for determining optimum harvest dates. Parcels of fruit were de stemmed and crushed into static and rotary fermentation vessels and fermented on skins for around seven to ten days, at temperatures between 18 and 26°C. Cap management techniques were optimised for each individual parcel, to maximise the extraction of desirable colour and flavour components while maintaining soft tannin structures typical of the Jacobs Creek style. On pressing off of skins, the free-run and the pressings components were blended together to give greater tannin structure and balance to the wine. The various components were matured separately before allocation into the final blend. The wine was lightly filtered directly before bottling.

History:
McGuigan Wines was established to celebrate the culmination of four generations of wine growing by the McGuigan family. Founder Brian McGuigan adopted the central symbol of the family crest, the lion as his source of inspiration and to reflect the McGuigan family’s enduring spirit and passion for producing great quality Australian wine. Today Neil McGuigan is at the helm of McGuigan Wines. McGuigan was recently named the International Wine and Spirit Competition Australian producer of the year and International Winemaker of the year for an unprecedented third time in four years.  International Wine and Spirit Competition Australian Producer of the Year and Winemaker of the year 2009/2011/2012

Regional Information:
The growing season leading up to the 2009 harvest followed a similar pattern to previous years, with relatively low rainfall throughout winter and spring. Extremely hot conditions during late January and early February required careful management of our vineyards to ensure the vines received sufficient water and nutrients to maintain healthy leaf canopies. Fortunately the hot mid-summer weather was followed by much milder weather throughout the remainder of the vintage. This provided good ripening conditions for both Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, with the development of fresh attractive fruit flavours, strong colours and soft, ripe tannins.

Storage Instructions: This wine is ideal for drinking now but can be kept for up to 3 years.

Allergy Information: Contains:Sulphur Dioxide/Sulphites

 

 

White Wine

 

Yellow Tail Moscato 75Cl

Price: Tesco £5.00


Country of origin: Australia

Type: Moscato White Australian Wine

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of passionfruit, melon, freshly crushed grapes with flavours ofzingy tropical fruit and a crisp, refreshing finish.

Grape Variety: White Grape Blend

Vinification Details:

Free run juice and light pressings are used to ensure softness on the palate. Once completed, the wine is cold stabilised and cold filtered to retain rich aromas and freshness. The wine is blended and a high grape juice concentrate added to reduce alcohol.

History:

Casella Wines sources its fruit from 33 ofAustralia's 59 premium wine-growing regions, including theBarossaValleyand Coonawarra inSouth Australia, andVictoria'sMorningtonPeninsula.


Regional Information:  SouthEastern Australia

Storage Instructions: To enjoy this wine at its best, drink within 1 year of purchase.

Allergy Information: ContainsSulphur Dioxide/Sulphites

 

Heritage Road Chardonnay 75cl

Price: Sainsbury’s £9.99


Country of origin: South AustraliaType: Crisp White


Tasting Notes:

Apricots and rich stone fruit flavours with some white peach and a touch of honey, an elegant Australian Chardonnay. This crisp, fresh wine has layers of fruit with a touch of caramel oak integration leading to a lovely lingering finish.


Grape Variety: White Grape Blend


Vinification Details:

Harvested at night, the chardonnay was crushed and pressed and the resultant juice was clarified. Fermentation was conducted in stainless steel tanks. At primary fermentation, French and American oak was introduced. Some batches were left on oak and yeast lees for periods of between 1 month and 2 months. This light use of oak has added creaminess and vanillin spice, giving the wine more depth and weight.


History:

Heritage Road produces fine wines sourced fromAustralia’s premium grape growing regions. Our wines are renowned for intense flavours and outstanding colour and richness.


Regional Information: SouthEastern Australia


Storage Instructions: Drink now or cellar for 12 months.


Allergy Information: ContainsSulphur Dioxide/Sulphites

 

Ogio Chardonnay 75Cl

Price: Tesco £9.99
Country of origin: Italy
Type: Chardonnay White Italian Wine
Tasting Notes:

This Chardonnay is an elegant and un oaked dry wine with crisp citrus fruit flavours and refreshing finish. Ideal with grilled fish and seafood or on its own with friends and family this Christmas.

Grape Variety: Chardonnay


Vinification Details:
First of all the grapes are separated from the stems. The grapes are then soft pressed. The resulting juice is immediately separated from the skins and put into steel tanks for the fermentation. Fermentation is controlled at 17-18°C. After the fermentation the wine is treated, decanted, filtered and refrigerated in order to prevent the tartaric precipitation. This process takes a minimum of 1 month. The ageing in steel tanks takes a minimum 2 months. Before bottling, it is passed through sterile filters (0,45 micro) .


History:
Located in the Veneto region 30 km north-east of Venice, Botter was founded in 1928 by Carlo Botter. Over the years the company has developed from a local into an international export business while still being run by the Botter family. It is currently dealing with companies in over forty countries world-wide, from Scandinavia to South America. Although the company is primarily involved in bottling wine produced on various estates in the Veneto and in the other well-known Italian wine regions, the Botter family continues to make wines from its own vineyards: La di Motte estate in Veneto and Friuli . The family is deeply involved in making high quality wines with the help of skilled wine makers.

Regional Information:
Veneto vineyards cover 90,000 hectares (3rd) of which registered DOC plots total 35,400 hectares (2nd). Annual wine production of 8,500,000 hectolitres (3rd) includes 20% or 1,700,000 hectolitres DOC (1st), of which about 55% is white.Venice's region isItaly's leader in the production and commerce of classified wine. A major share of the DOC (which represents about 225 million bottles a year) consists of theVerona trio of Soave, Bardolino and Valpolicella. The plains northeast ofVenice take in the Piave DOC zone, where Merlot and Cabernet dominate an expanding range of trendy varietals, though the local red Raboso and white Verduzzo still attract admirers.Treviso's province takes in the hills northwest ofVenice between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, noted for the popular Prosecco, a dry to lightly sweet white, usually bubbly. In red wines, Merlot and Cabernet Franc have been the workhorse varieties of the central and easternVeneto for decades.


Storage Instructions: To enjoy this wine at its best, drink within 1 year of purchase.

Allergy Information: ContainsSulphur Dioxide/Sulphites

 

Alto Vuelo Sauvignon Blanc 750ml

Price: Morrison’s £5.49
Country of origin: Chille
Type: Crisp White
Tasting Notes:

Fabulously refreshing easy-drinker from the heart ofChile's wine region. Alto Vuelo means 'high flying' and this wine really is. Its citrusy flavours with a hint of herbs makes for a fab party tipple or a serious dinner wine.

Grape Variety: Sauvignon Blanc

Regional Information: The Casablanca Valley is a wine-growing region of Chile, located 60 miles (100km) north-west of the country's capital, Santiago. It is best known for its crisp white wines, most notably Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, which have gained it recognition as one of Chile's quality wine regions.

Storage Instructions: To enjoy this wine at its best, drink within 1 year of purchase.

Allergy Information: ContainsSulphur Dioxide/Sulphites

 

Fern Bay Sauvignon Blanc 75Cl

Price: Tesco £5.49


Country of origin:New Zealand


Type: Sauvignon Blanc


Tasting Notes:

A dry wine, full of intensely aromatic gooseberry and passion fruit flavours with a crisp refreshing finish.


Grape Variety: Sauvignon Blanc


Vinification Details:

The grapes for Fern Bay Sauvignon Blanc were fermented at low temperatures to preserve the aromatics of the variety. This wine is un oaked and fermented in stainless steel tanks to ensure the purity of the fruit remains intact.


History:

The winery is situated in theHawkesBayarea which is the oldest established vineyard region inNew Zealand. The style of Sauvignon Blanc fromNew Zealandis internationally renowned as the benchmark for this variety.


Regional Information:

Parcels of grapes are sourced from around theNorthIslandto create this classic wine. The vineyard management and winemakers pride themselves on using sustainable practices.


Storage Instructions: To enjoy this wine at its best, drink within 1 year of purchase.


Allergy Information: Contains Milk & Sulphites

 

 We hope you enjoy our holiday wine choices, i know the team enjoyed finding them for you

 

Did you Know

  • Removing the cork to help wine 'breathe' actually has little effect. You're better off swirling it around in the glass.
  • You should be able to keep opened wine for up to three days. After that it starts to oxidise, time to use it in your cooking.
  • Not all wines need to be aged: they are designed these days to be in perfect drinking condition when you pick them from our shelf. But if you are keeping a bottle for a while, lie it on its side. It'll stop the cork from drying out and letting air in, which will spoil the lovely wine inside.