Audio wine recommendations.
At 6.15 pm BBC Radio 4 recently broadcast three little 15-minute programmes in which I interviewed people about wine and themselves, in a series called Uncorked. In each programme I presented my guests with three wines, details of which I thought would be published by the BBC so that I didn't need to be too specific on the actual programme. But I can't find them on bbc.co.uk so list them here in case anyone is interested, with many thanks to our retail specialist Andy Howard MW whose researches helped me enormously to come in very approximately within the budget I was given of £100 for the nine wines. Choosing the odd half helped too,
Christmas Eve – Brian Moore rugby player, wine columnist, soon-to-be psychotherapist
Christmas Day – Jodie Whittaker first female Doctor in Dr Who, wine enthusiast from Huddersfield
Boxing Day – Adrian Edmondson actor, musician, writer, brewer, winner of Celebrity Masterchef
(Cellier de St-Jean) 2016 Vacqueyras, France
Tannic, really substantial, very good vintage in the Rhône. Bottled in Beaujolais. 14.5%
Campbells Rutherglen Muscat
£12.99 per 37.5 cl Waitrose
Australian strong and sweet speciality made nowhere else in the world – very Christmassy. 17.5%
(Overhex) Dolphin Bay Merlot 2018 Swartland, South Africa
UK bottled, Fair Trade, fashionable new region, substantial, great value. 14%
Nyetimber, Classic Cuvée NV England
£18.95 a half Lea & Sandeman (but widely available in bottles and halves and sometimes on special offer)
The pioneer source of English sparkling wine made in the image of champagne.
Redoma, Rosé 2015 Douro, Portugal
£17.10 Theatre of Wine (plus a few Yorkshire merchants who are cheaper!)
Really interesting pink wine suitable for the table, made in port country by maverick Dirk Niepoort. 12.5%
(Felix Solis) Vega Roja Tempranillo/Shiraz 2017 Vino de la Tierra Castilla, Spain
Light, fresh red that’s not over-sweetened or flabbily ripe, this sets a benchmark for really low-priced wines. Perfect party fodder. Smooth but not sickly. Very good value. 13%
Sottimano Nebbiolo 2015 Langhe, Piemonte, Italy
£19.75 Lea & Sandeman
A baby Barbaresco (which would cost £50) from younger, 15-year-old, vines. Nebbiolo is the grape, Langhe the name of the hills where Barolo and Barbaresco are grown.
(Concha y Toro) Tesco Finest, Limarí Valley Chardonnay 2017, Chile
Pacific-cooled newish region that produces wines that are so much better value than white burgundy. Knocks spots off Tesco Premier Cru Chablis at £14.