Wine Gift Ideas For Christmas

November 19th, 2014

Wine Gifts at Wine Palate

Can you believe there are only five weekends until Christmas? Ideas, lists and gift shopping are all on the agenda at the moment and if you have someone on your list deserving an exclusive gift, we have some great wine gift ideas to share with you.

There are a couple essentials to consider when selecting the perfect wine gift. One is, know you are handing over a bottle of good quality. Let’s face it, none of us want to be responsible for presenting a horrendous hangover along with our gift. And two – know that you have chosen something that your recipient will actually drink and enjoy (not use in their next recipe!).

For quality – look for quality guarantees from your supplier before making your purchase (that rules out selecting your wine gift from a row of nice looking labels on a shelf in your local store!), and read our guide to selecting the best wine gift. It’s easy when you know how.

 

For the wine lover who likes to experiment

A mixed case is a good idea if you know the recipient enjoys a variety of wines – and likes to experiment a little. Presentation still matters for a mixed case gift. Don’t go for boring old labels, choose something that makes an eyecatching presentation when the bottles are grouped together.

Our picks for a mixed case gift:

Perfect for Italian wine fans

Alpha Zeta Classic Italian Collection

Alpha Zeta Classic Italian Collection

 

Our Alpha Zeta Classic Italian collection includes six of Italy’s most famous wines; Amarone, Corvina, Garganega, Pinot Grigio, Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso and Soave. Your gift recipient will enjoy working their way through the alphabet of these top quality wines. Mixed case of six just £69.65 (rrp £80.40)

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the music fan who also enjoys a nice glass

Claymore Wines Mixed Case

Claymore Wines Mixed Case

 

Don’t mistake these wines for a gimmick. Claymore wines are the real deal and one of the best wine gift ideas we have seen. Australian wines of premium quality and taste. In fact Claymore “Walk on the Wild Side” Shiraz and their “Purple Rain” Sauvignon Blanc were two of the most popular wines with customers at our recent Glasgow Wine Festival.

A case of six Claymore Wines is just £83.90 (rrp £96.50) and includes  two of:

Claymore “You’ll Never Walk Alone” GSM
Claymore “Purple Rain” Sauvignon Blanc
Claymore “Walk On The Wild Side” Shiraz

 

 

 For the theatrical person in your life

 

Vinaceous Wines Mixed Case

Vinaceous Wines Mixed Case

The creativity of Director Nick Stacey of Vinaceous Wines shows no bounds in the design of these striking labels, each based on mystical beings from a bygone era. The concept was to produce seven distinctive wines representing seven personalities – men, women, angels, demons, mermaids and other creatures of mythology. All in the style of  theatrical/circus posters from the ‘30s and ‘40s.
And the wine? Well, as producers of premium quality Australian wine from the Margaret River region, you won’t be disappointed.

A case that’s sure to be a talking point with the lucky recipient and a good all round selection of classic wines:

“Sirenya” Pinot Grigio
“Shakre” Chardonnay
“Divine” Light Sauvignon Blanc
“Red Right Hand” Shiraz/Grenache/Tempranillo blend
“Snake Charmer” Shiraz
and “Raconteur”  Cabernet Sauvignon

 

For the wine lover who likes their tried and tested favourites

Mar da Pahla Portugese Sauvignon Blanc

Mar da Pahla Portugese Sauvignon Blanc

There is nothing wrong with sticking with a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Noir if you know someone who absolutely relies on this as their

favourite wine. However try to think a little “out of the box” and perhaps choose a more unusual wine region such as a Sauvignon Blanc from Portugal or a Pinot Noir from Germany. Different wine regions produce many different styles of the same grape varietal so why not try something you don’t see on the high street every day?

You can find a huge selection of guaranteed quality single bottles of wine to buy online from around £6.00 at winepalate.co.uk.

For the connoisseur

Wakefield St Andrews Shiraz a collectors fine wine

Wakefield St Andrews Shiraz a collectors fine wine

 

The connoisseur is likely to have tried their fare share of quality wines and although it may seem intimidating buying for this person, there are a couple of ways to really impress. The first thing to do is have a budget in mind for this gift, and instead of blowing the budget on several wines under £10, select one bottle of wine that:

– Is from a wine region known for producing fine wines (your wine merchant should be able to advise you on this or you can select from the Wine Palate white or red fine wine collection).

– Is not mass produced (i.e not found in supermarkets or chain stores)

Present this gift in a quality wine gift box and you are good to go.

Quality Crystal Glass Frio Decanter

Quality Crystal Glass Frio Decanter with detachable cooler base

If you still feel nervous about buying for a connoisseur, consider buying wine accessories instead. A quality glass decanter or good quality wine glasses never go wrong. You can find quality wine accessories online at Wine Palate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 And for something a little different

Brix Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party Set

Brix Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party Set

 

Chocolate and wine are actually a wonderful match, and this Chocolate and wine tasting kit makes a fantastic gift at just £29.95.  All you need to do is add wine (find our recommended wine matches online at winepalate.co.uk) or just present the set on its’ own. The set comes complete with instructions and includes the wooden chopping board and knife set. Something different!

 

 

All wines from Wine Palate are backed by a money back quality guarantee, there’s no minimum order, and you collect reward points with every purchase.

 

 

Star Wines From The Glasgow Wine Festival

November 8th, 2014
Wine Palate Glasgow Wine Festival

Wine Palate Glasgow Wine Festival

 

After many months of planning, our first Glasgow Wine Festival took place in October. What an amazing day!

The beautiful Trades Hall in Glasgow provided the perfect atmosphere, talented pianist Douglas Johnston added a wonderful ambience, and a fabulous crowd of 400 fellow wine lovers made the day. With 80 stunning wines on show from some of our best producers it was a hard job to pick out only a few wines to highlight, so we let our customers do the talking and share with you their favourites from the day.

Pierre-Antoine Mairet presenting Chateau Tour de Capet Saint Emillon Grand Cru at Glasgow Wine Festival

Pierre-Antoine Mairet presenting Chateau Tour de Capet Saint Emilion at Glasgow Wine Festival

The Reds

Montes Alpha Aconcagua Pinot Noir

Montes Alpha Aconcagua Pinot Noir

 

Claymore Walk On The Wild Side Shiraz premium Australian Shiraz, delightfully smooth and amazing value for money.  Pairs well with game, steak and smoked meats, an ideal festive wine. £14.75 (RRP £16.95).

 

Chateau Tour de Capet St Emilion Grand Cru

Chateau Tour de Capet St Emilion Grand Cru

Chateau Tour de Capet Saint Emilion Grand Cru exceptional value for a Bordeaux of this quality, ripe and full flavoured berry notes and hints of wooden cigar boxes. The standout wine of the day for many. £23.15 (RRP £26.65)

 

Montes Alpha Aconcagua Pinot Noir light, flavourful easy drinking red. Silver Sommelier Wine Award Winner. £13.75 (RRP £15.85)

 

Graceland Strawberry Fields

Graceland Strawberry Fields

Graceland Strawberry Fields beautifully hand crafted outstanding quality South African red wine blend full of savoury red fruit flavours £19.85 (RRP £22.85).

 

White favourites

Claymore Purple Rain Sauvignon Blanc wonderful fresh white wine with aromas of passion fruit and guava from cool climate Clare Valley in Australia, a region renowned for top quality Sauvignon Blanc.  £12.95 (RRP £14.85)

Wine Palate Glasgow Wine Festival

Wine Palate Glasgow Wine Festival

Claymore Purple Rain Sauvignon Blanc

Claymore Purple Rain Sauvignon Blanc

 

Los Haroldos Torrontes Wine critic Jancis Robinson also voted this as her number one Argentinian white wine, very easy drinking fresh and dry, with notes of grape and peach. £7.95 (RRP £8.95)

 

Cazes Organic Muscat Viognier delightful fruity dry white wine with citrus and tropical fruit flavours. £11.45 (RRP £13.25)

 

 

 

Wine Palate Glasgow Wine Festival

Wine Palate Glasgow Wine Festival

Sparkling surprises

The Champagne and sparkling wine table was very busy. Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Champagne was thought to be really good value for money £27.55 (RRP £31.75) and a couple of sparkling wines made quite an impact:

Vinaceous Burlesque Blanc de Blanc

Vinaceous Burlesque Blanc de Blanc

 

 

 

Vinaceous Burlesque Blanc de Blanc Australian limited production sparkling white wine with a light creamy texture £15.75 (RRP £17.95)

 

Leconfield Syn Sparkling Shiraz

Leconfield Syn Sparkling Shiraz

Leconfield Syn Sparkling Shiraz another Australian sparkler, this time a sparkling red. Something a bit different to serve chilled and one of the most popular wines at the Festival £12.15 (RRP £13.95)

 

 

 

Wine Palate Glasgow Wine Festival

Wine Palate Glasgow Wine Festival

 

We are really delighted so many enjoyed the day, thanks to all who sent feedback. You have inspired us to organise the second Glasgow Wine Festival. Save the date! We will be at The Trades Hall of Glasgow again on Saturday 28th March 2015. Hope you can make it. Tickets will be on sale from early December.

Buy guaranteed quality wine online from winepalate.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Box Wines November Offer

November 6th, 2014
chocolate_box wine Wine Palate

Chocolate Box Wines from Wine Palate

We are delighted to say that our bestselling Chocolate Box wines are our Wines of The Month for November.

Usually we have one wine as our Wine of The Month, however it was impossible to choose only one from the Chocolate Box range as they are all so good! So throughout November we have three of these amazing award winning red wines to offer you at a very special price.

So why Chocolate Box for November? Well, the colder weather is definately creeping in! This usually means heartier dishes which look for a fuller wine to accompany. The Chocolate Box reds are a perfect match for roast beef, game and steak. Although we must say, equally as good to drink on their own – their wonderful warm, rich, chocolatey texture is very appealing on a winters night!

With all three of these wines achieving four and five star ratings by fellow wine lovers (you will find their ratings on our website), they will not disappoint.

A great opportunity to stock up on some luscious wines for the festive season, just follow the links below to take you straight to the wine page to buy now.

Chocolate Box Shiraz from Wine Palate      Chocolate Box Cabernet Sauvignon from Wine Palate  Chocolate Box GSM from Wine Palate

 

Remember there is no minimum order when your buy wine from Wine Palate you earn Reward Points with every purchase.

 

 

Glasgow Wine Festival With The Wine Palate

August 14th, 2014

Enjoy an amazing range of over 50 quality wines at Glasgow Wine Festival

We have something very special to share with you. For one afternoon, under one roof, we are bringing together over 50 of our top quality wines, along with the winemakers and experts for a very unique wine experience.

The Glasgow Wine FestivalWine Tasting with The Wine Palate
Saturday 18 October from 12pm– 5.30 pm Trades Hall, Glassford Street, Glasgow
Exclusive Advanced Ticket Offer from as little as £16.50

You don’t have to be a connoisseur, you simply have to like good wine. When you read more, we hope you’ll agree this represents cracking value – and not to be missed!

Sample over 50 top quality wines from some of the best wine making regions in the world – including Australia, France, Italy, Chile, Argentina, Lebanon, Germany and more. Served by winemakers and their representatives from the family owned and boutique vineyards who produce some of the exquisite wines in our portfolio.
Enjoy informal talks, canapés, live pianist, olive oil and Sherry tasting.

  • Take your time – explore, taste and discover at your leisure – spend time on the styles of wine you prefer, and discover wines and regions you may not have tried before.
  • Hear first hand from winemakers and their representatives how the wine is made – the passion, effort and expertise that goes into making quality wine – a very rare opportunity.
  • Learn – drop into informal talks throughout the afternoon – topics include the art of winemaking, what to look for in a quality wine, and how to pair food and wine.
  • Relax – take some time out for canapés and listen to live music from accomplished pianist Douglas Johnston.
  • Olive Oils – Sample top quality olive oils and learn about their unique characteristics.
  • Sherry tasting – Sherry is zooming back into the popularity charts – rediscover this classic from a selection of top quality producers.

Wine Tasting with The Wine Palate

What to expect on the day

The Glasgow Wine Festival opens from 12pm, and when you arrive you’ll be welcomed by our team. They’ll give you a festival guide which will include listings and notes on all the wine available to taste and enjoy – with space for your own notes. The guide will also tell you the times of the informal talks throughout the afternoon.
The afternoon is yours – take your time to sample the atmosphere of the Trades Hall, sample the wines, chat to winemakers and their representatives. Take time out for some canape’s, or listen to some of the informal talks.

You can order on the day – and we’ll be offering discounts and deals on the wines you choose.

We hope you agree this is a very tempting afternoon – but you will need to act quickly to secure your tickets.

How to book

We are offering very attractive advance discounts to customers and followers – Full price tickets are £40 but for a limited period you can pre-order for as little as £16.50.
You can book online by using the voucher codes below. Or if you prefer, call our customer service team during office hours, Mon-Fri on 0141 944 3917.

For single tickets, price is just £19 – use voucher code winefest14.
For 2 – 5 tickets the ticket price is just £18 per person – use voucher code winefest214.
For larger groups (6 and more) the ticket price is just £16.50 per person – use voucher code winefest614.
This is a strictly limited offer – so take advantage now.

 

 

 

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

June 18th, 2014

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc at Wine Palate UKMarlborough Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most distinctive white wines you will try. Known for it’s powerful flavours and aromas, this wine has legions of fans the world over. We take a look at why the wine is so unique and a prestigious winery at Wine Palate offering top quality Marlborough wine.

Marlborough Wine

Although winemaking in the Marlborough region dates back to the 1800’s, it was only after the succesful planting of the Sauvignon Blanc variety in the late 1980’s that the region was famed for it’s white wine. Located in the northeast area of the South Island, today the region represents almost two-thirds of the wine growing area of New Zealand and is widely regarded as the new world home of Sauvignon Blanc.

One of the wonders of winemaking is the fact that the same grape can produce a very different style of wine depending on the region where it is grown.  Sauvignon Blanc is a widely planted varietal all over the world, however when grown in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, the outcome is something quite special. The contrast between hot sunny days and cool nights allows the winemakers to extend their ripening season for the grapes. This is not possible in other parts of the world and it is this, along with very fertile ground and the unique landscape that forms a perfect place for the grapes to grow. The resulting wines are unique with wonderful full flavors and aromas.

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is known for it’s powerful, often aggressive flavours of green pepper and gooseberry. The best quality wines will however be more refined with well balanced flavours, none of which are overpowering.

 

Boutique Producers of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc from Wine Palate UK

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc from Wine Palate UK

A Marlborough winery of note at Wine Palate is Greywacke, producers of top quality Marlborough wines. Led by the highly acclaimed winemaker Kevin Judd, who was chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay for 25 years, Greywacke has produced world class Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc since 2009. Greywacke Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is made in limited quantities from only the best quality fruit from low yielding vines. Using old winemaking techniques combined with modern techonology, Kevin’s focus is to produce fruit driven wines that are refined in style and very drinkable.

All Greywacke boutique wines including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are available to buy online at Wine Palate.

One of the most exciting wines of the new world, quality Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is worth discovering. Pop a few bottles in your case with your next online wine order, you won’t be disappointed.

Buy guaranteed quality Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc online at Wine Palate UK.

South African Red Wine Offers

June 14th, 2014

South African red wine is really good value. There are currently some great quality wines coming from this part of the world, so we take a closer look at the best regions and our wineries offering great value for money. click here to read our recent article on identifying  Good Quality Wines

Already great value, there is a further 10% off these wines online at Wine Palate during our South African Red Wine promotion (offer valid until 30th June). Buy South African Red Wine Offers

South African Red Wine Styles

South African Red Wine at Wine Palate UKAlthough classed as New World, South African winemaking dates back to the 1650’s and the Dutch East India traders. The climate is Mediterranean with intense heat, and most of the winemaking takes place in coastal areas to benefit from cooling sea breezes. South African red wine encompasses a variety of styles including some of the popular European varietals Merlot, Syrah or Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc from some specialists.

South Africa’s signature wine is Pinotage - a grape that originated from Stellenbosch University in the 1920s when viticulturists crossed Pinot Noir and Cinsault. Typically, Pinotage can be a described as a rustic wine with cheaper examples being light bodied with some “interesting” aromas – paint and rubber being some. Better quality Pinotage is generally favoured for its’ elegant, full and fruity style. Some examples show earthy smokey and tobacco notes.

 

Best value wines from small production, family owned producers

One of our South African wineries of note at Wine Palate is Lomond Estate, from the new and up and coming Cape Agulhas region. Situated in the Gansbaai area, the southernmost tip of Africa, the unique Southernly position of their vineyards, and the cooling sea breezes of the coast provides the best environment for their boutique selection of grape varietals. Lomond Estate winery focuses on sustainability, preservation and, where possible, organic and natural farming methods, resulting in a collection of unique wines that punch well above their weight at their price point.

 

Coming in under under £10 is their Estate range. The number of awards these wines have racked up is quite something. The labels are simple, no trumpets and fanfares here, the wines talk for themselves .

Lomond Estate Merlot £9.25 offer price £8.33

Lomond Estate Syrah £9.95 offer price £8.96

 

Decanter bronze medalBronze Sommelier Wine Award

 

From the Stellenbosch region, the stunning Mooiplaas Estate (meaning beautiful farm) and private nature reserve produces environmentally friendly, artisan SA wines.  Owned and managed by the Roos family for over 50 years, their much acclaimed wines are winning awards the world over.  Amazingly, you can buy their wines from under £10. Take a look at The Coco Chocolate Merlot and The Bean Pinotage  impressive wines for their price point.

(They also offer a stunning limited production sparkling wine Mooiplaas Duel Brut made using the champagne method, at a price tag of £16.96, well under what you would expect to pay for a decent Champagne).

 

Worldclass South African Red Wine

The Stellenbosch region is also home to a winemaker who has a worldwide reputation, and something of a cult following. Bruwer Raats of Raats Wines has been quoted as “one of the greatest winemakers of the Southern hemisphere” and his South African red wine is in a league its’ own.

His MR de Compostella red wine (meaning “Combination of Stars”, named after the five “star” Bordeaux varietals in the wine) was served at Raats Compostella Raats Compostellathe captains dinner at the FIFA world cup in 2010, and named “The Most Memorable Wine In The World” by The Wine Advocate. Press recognition and wine industry awards for this wine have been phenomenal, and rightly so – this is a wine of outstanding quality.

Listen to Bruwer discussing his Compostella in this short video clip when the wine was listed in the Top 100 Wines of South Africa

At RRP of £49.95, Raats Compostella would easily match some of the best Bordeaux retailing for twice this price.  This limited production, exclusive wine has sold out worldwide, thankfully at Wine Palate we reserved a few bottles for release now! As part of our South African red wine promotion there is a further 10% off our normal selling price of £37.96, a saving of £15.77 a bottle. Raats Compostella can be matured over 10 years (2021) if stored correctly.

 

Some of the best value wine around, South African red wine is well worth considering for your next wine purchase, with a further 10% off at Wine Palate online, buy some outstanding quality wine today.

 

Wine Gift Ideas For Fathers Day

May 31st, 2014

A Father’s Day gift with a difference – music to your ears!

Order by midday June 10th for guaranteed delivery before June 14th

Wines that rock

Wines That Rock

This Father’s Day, we have wine gift ideas that are both unique and great quality – musically inspired wine and a free wine gift box with your order.

Dad’s face will light up when he uncorks one of the Wines that Rock series. From top Californian producers Parducci, Wines that Rock are award winning wines with quirky label artwork reproduced from iconic album covers by the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Police and Grateful Dead.

Wines That Rock Pink Floyd Cabernet Sauvignon

Wines That Rock Pink Floyd Cabernet Sauvignon £14.95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wines That Rock Rolling Stones Forty Licks Merlot £14.95

Wines That Rock Rolling Stones Forty Licks Merlot £14.95

 

Wine Gift Ideas Claymore Wines from £12.46

Wine Gift Idea Claymore Wines from £12.46

Claymore You'll Never Walk Alone GSM

Claymore You’ll Never Walk Alone GSM

 

Or,  if you are looking for a different genre try the fabulous music themed range from Australian boutique winery Claymore. Their Purple Rain Sauvignon Blanc, or the Lou Reed inspired Walk on the Wild Side Shiraz are top quality wines from some of the best wine making regions of Australia.
There’s also Gerry and the Pacemakers 60’s anthem You’ll never walk alone GSM in the range, a Liverpool FC themed label with the legendary Bill Shankly.

 

Centre Stage on Father’s Day

 

Vinaceous Wines at Wine Palate

Vinaceous Wines from £13.64

If names like Raconteur, Snake Charmer and Shakre don’t grab your attention, then the 30’s and 40’s theatre and circus style labels on the exciting Vinaceous wines range most certainly will. The labels represent different mythical personalities such as angels, mermaids, snake charmers and fire eaters – and are sure to be a talking point.

But it’s not just the labels, the wines themselves are something special. Distinctive and expressive, they come from Margaret River in Australia – somewhat of a benchmark for top quality boutique wine. They make a gift with a unique personality.

A Silky Smooth Chocolate Treat For Fathers Day

Or how about a silky smooth Chocolate Box with a difference?

Chocolate Box Wine Gift Ideas
Fit to grace the most discerning of wine glasses, and with very distinctive 50’s style labels, they are ideal wine gift ideas.
There are three to choose from (or you can have a mixed case of 6 or 12) – Cabernet Sauvignon, GSM or Shiraz. All gorgeous wines, which is why they have established a cult status, and are some of the most popular wines among our customers.

They have won lots of awards too – so it’s a gift that’s sure to impress. A sumptuous treat, and well worth the £13.25 price point.

 

Check out our full range of Wine Gift Ideas online  to create your own custom order, then look forward to giving a gift with a difference on Fathers Day.

Remember to order by Tuesday midday June 10th for guaranteed delivery before June 14th!

 

Wine Gift Box – Free offer

Wine Offers Free Wine Gift Box at Wine Palate UK

Mix your own case of six wines (with a couple of bottles earmarked for Dad) – and we will throw in a free double bottle gift box worth £3.95, but hurry – it’s a limited offer.

Whether Dad likes to put his feet up with a glass of Merlot, Shiraz or Sauvignon Blanc, the wine is guaranteed to impress, and the gift box will complete your gift with style.

Rose Wine Offers: Stock Up On Amazing Quality Rose Wine

May 28th, 2014

Wine Palate rose' wines

We have added some stunning new Rose wines to our online shop. All the wine is priced well below RRP – and for this week only in our Rose Wine Offers there is a further 10% off – saving you up to 25%!

Summer is just around the corner, so there has never been a better time to browse and and buy – all you have to do is add Promotional Code MAYOF10 at checkout. (voucher valid until 1st June 2014).Check out the full range online to create your own custom case, or Mas La Chevaliere Rose-thbrowse our favourites in the selection below:

 

From Languedoc in France (and the French do make some gorgeous Roses’) Mas la Chevaliere - a zesty blend of Syrah and Grenache grown in an organic vineyard. Bursting with notes of wild strawberry and fresh tropical fruit.

RRP £11.95, we list at £9.96 – and with our 10% offer you can uncork for just £8.96 – a saving of £2.99 per bottle.
Ca dei Frati Rosa dei Frati-th

 

A favourite from our wine tasting event at Jamie’s Italian, Ca dei Frati is from one of Italy’s best producers – this Rose wine is a beautiful onion skin colour, in a stunning bottle. Refreshing and vibrant, it hails from Lugana in Northern Italy.

RRP £16.95, we list at £13.95 – You pay just £12.55, saving you £4.40 per bottle.

 

Poggiontondo Rosato-th

 

From the beautiful hills of Tuscany comes Poggiotondo Rosato - a delightful dry Rose’ wine with elegant notes of cherry and red fruit – made from handpicked Sangiovese, Merlot and Syrah grapes, a perfectly balanced wine.

RRP £12.25, we list at £10.26, and with your promotion code savings you pay just £9.24 – a saving over £3 per bottle.

 

 

 

Our Rose wine offers voucher is valid until 1st June 2014, voucher cannot be used with other promotions.
All wines from Wine Palate are backed by a cast iron money back quality guarantee. There is no minimum order when buying wine from our online store, and you collect loyalty points with every purchase!

Good Quality Wines – And How To Find Them

May 8th, 2014

Good quality wines are not necessarily the most expensive

Discovering genuine good quality wines doesn’t need to be a science or a case of pot luck! Here we help you navigate around all the hype to ensure you get quality when buying wine under £20. (If you are spending above this price and buying from a reputable wine merchant, you are most likely guaranteed to be buying quality)

A good starting point is to look at wines within various price bands, and what you should look for in each category.

 

Wine under £6

Finding good quality wines under the £6 mark is highly unlikely. Duty, VAT, bottling, packaging and shipping comes to around £4. When you add the profit for the retailer it doesn’t leave the winemaker much to grow the grapes and make the wine for a profit.

Grapes will be machine harvested, so poor quality grapes that are either not ripe or diseased get into the process. Machine harvesting also means bits of wire, stems, and all sorts of things (alive and otherwise!) get into and taint the process. These are mostly removed – but why put them in the process in the first place?

The wine will more than likely to be mass produced, therefore far more susceptible to synthetic sulphites and artificial additives.

Our advice; if it’s under £6, don’t go there expecting quality. At Wine Palate we stock one or two very carefully selected wines around the £6 -£7 mark but decent quality is hard to come by.

Wine priced £7 – £12

You can find some really good wine in this price bracket, made the way wine should be made with that little bit extra TLC. Look for those evidence points of quality – hand harvested grapes, organic, family owned winery, award winning – these are good indicators of good quality wines.

Buying wine for £12 – £20

Some of the best wines for value and quality will be in this price bracket, you are buying wine with a reputation. Again, look for evidence of quality (as above). Some examples of great wines from very highly respected regions at this price point:

You are less likely to find a sub standard wine at this price point.

Wine priced over £20

In this category, expect wine produced from the best growths of highly respected vineyards in the best regions. When buying from a reputable wine merchant, you should be able to find out plenty of information on the wine such as:

  • can the wine be cellared and for how long
  • industry and press recognition
  • lots of information on the winery and winemaker

 

Beware the discount trap

Many retailers lure consumers into thinking they are getting bargains – half price and multibuy discounts (multibuy is no longer allowed in Scotland).

Here’s how – the list price is inflated to begin with, the wine is put on display at full price (for the minimum time to meet retail discount rules) before being paraded as an amazing deal (while stocks last). These wines “on offer” are simply part of a selection that are regularly rotated, and are only ever worth the discounted price.

Labels and description

The initials

  • AOC (France)
  • DOC (Italy and Portugal)
  • DO (Spain)
  • IGT (Italy)

are a guide to quality. These are official control stamps which say the wine comes from a specified geographic boundary, and that the grapes used along with ageing of the wine adhere to strict rules. So whether it’s from Montepulciano, Bordeaux, Cotes du Rhone or Pouilly Fume – you know you are getting the genuine article.

The label on the back of the bottle should give you some information on the wine maker, and how the wine has been made. If there isn’t much there, be suspicious. A big advantage of buying wine online is that there is normally much more information available.

Look for awards

decanter gold awardProper awards that is! Unfortunately, marketing teams often make labels look good by adding gold rosettes and official looking stamps, or wording that has no status – like “hand crafted”. Marketing fluff should immediately scream poor quality.
On the other hand, proper awards are strong clues to good quality wines. Look for Decanter, IWC or IWSC, or a “commended” from a recognised magazine (Wine Spectator for example).

 

Getting help

In a supermarket it’s unlikely that you will get any qualified advice. Wine shops are better, but can still be hit and miss. Good online merchants should have a contact number and be available to talk you through choices and alternatives.

In a nutshell

If you want good quality wines, look above £7 per bottle, avoid the retail pitfalls, and look for the signs of quality. You’ll find delightful wine to enjoy and share – happy hunting!

At Wine Palate, we personally taste and approve every wine that we offer – and all our wines come with a cast iron quality guarantee.

Chocolate Box Wine: an Exclusive Review by Wine Palate

March 16th, 2014

Chocolate Box Wine review at Wine Palate UK

Mixed Case of Chocolate Box Wine £79.50 at Wine Palate UK

If you have yet to come across the Chocolate Box Wine range, then you are missing out on a premium quality treat. Named Chocolate Box for their distinctive chocolatey notes, this knockout trio of red wines has been growing rapidly in popularity in the UK, and after trying them, you will understand why.

The Shiraz, GSM and Cabernet Sauvignon are produced at Franc Rocca’s family owned winery –  Rocland Estate – in Southern Australia’s red wine hotbed, Barossa Valley. Barossa Valley red wines often display rich chocolately notes, and although the Chocolate Box range of wines are typical of the region, there is something quite special about them.

A Testament of Quality 

When you see the labels with their distinctive 1950’s style artwork you will probably think they will make a great wine gift. We would definately agree, not only are the bottles eyecatching, they are among the best wines in terms of quality that we have come across in this price bracket. The number of Decanter awards racked up by these wines gives an indication of the level of quality we are talking about here. In addition, the winery was also awarded a top ten place in the 2012 James Halliday Wine Companion – quite an achievement.

Despite being high in ABV (between 14.5% & 15.5%) the wines are surprisingly easy to drink, some might say too easy to drink! With their amazing full flavours and smooth textures, these powerful wines should be on the “must try” list of every red wine lover.

What our customers say about Chocolate Box:

Chocolate Box GSM Cherry Chocolate

Chocolate Box GSM Cherry Chocolate £13.25 at Wine Palate UK

Chocolate Box GSM Cherry Chocolate

“The wine is silky smooth and tastes like its name. At 15.5% it is heavy and rich not to be enjoyed on its own, much better accompanied with a great steak”

“A delicious red which has instantly become our favourite”

“The best wine by far ! Absolutely Awesome !!!”


Chocolate Box Cabernet Sauvignon

Chocolate Box Cabernet Sauvignon £13.25 At Wine Palate UK

Chocolate Box Cabernet Sauvignon £13.25 at Wine Palate UK

“This is a fantastic wine, highly recommend if you like reds. In fact the whole chocolate box range is amazing”

“A lovely wine, we have bought this several times now and keep coming back for more! In fact all the Chocolate Box wines never disappoint”

Chocolate Box Shiraz £13.25 at Wine Palate UK

Chocolate Box Shiraz £13.25 at Wine Palate UK

Chocolate Box Shiraz

highly recommended”

How The Wines Are Tasting And Food They Pair Well With

The Shiraz Dark Chocolate

The Shiraz has dark chocolate, coffee, apricot and liquorice notes. Smooth, rich and powerful. Great with roast beef!

Cabernet Sauvignon Truffle Chocolate

The “Truffle Chocolate”, has blackcurrant and subtle vanilla flavours lifted by a hint of minty chocolate and a wonderful silky oak finish. We would recommend this wine for pairing with steaks lamb and barbecued meats.

GSM Cherry Chocolate

A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mataro known as GSM, the Cherry Chocolate of the range has aromas of savoury oak, dark cherry and stewed rhubarb, and a palate that reveals a hint of spice and cinnamon. Silky smooth and wonderful with game, lamb and spiced pasta dishes.

The full range of Chocolate Box Wine is available to buy at winepalate.co.uk, (next next day delivery Monday to Friday for orders placed before 12.30pm).