Wednesday, 4 December 2013


The Co-operative Food has become the first major retailer to list the stunning Clos Floridene 2012, topping off its spectacular Christmas wine offering at the great-value price of £16.99. Fresh and delicious with gentle lime citrus, grapefruit peel, and a hint of gooseberry, it's the perfect accompaniment to all things festive.

Produced by renowned Bordeaux winemaker and scientist, Denis Dubourdieu, this is a dry blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 47% Semillon and 3% Muscadelle, with intense fruity aromas of white peach, lemon and grapefruit. I love it and can't stop recommending it. I am not and probably never will be a great white wine drinker, always preferring red but this has got to be a great reason for considering conversion. While we're talking about best recommendations for the festivities ahead, why not reach for a bottle (or two) of Calvet Cahors Malbec - from Tesco - an excellent choice for turning up for dinner at friends, will go down well I promise. Also from Tesco - Cono Sur Bicileta Pinot Noir, a Chilean light fruitiness, just right for the party season.

Lastly but not leastly - another Cooperative offering - Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, from their Truly Irresistible range -  a wonderful well rounded, plummy Italian red. Enjoy. And think about getting those decorations down from the attic. . . .

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Barefoot Pink Moscato 2013*

Barefoot Pink Moscato 2013* 

Hmmn not often I really don't 'get' something but you've got to say what you feel and I am nothing if not honest. Was looking forward to this particular gem which has nestled pride of place in the fridge for a few days now. Coaxed it out to try alongside the Doctor Who episode on Saturday (all treats together, David Tennant and all) and what a disappointment. (the rose - although to be honest the episode had a few bits lacking/confusing/anti-climax)

Barefoot Pink Moscato looks extremely pretty - has a good little element of effervescence - but tastes like a home made elderflower wine served by an 'amateur home wine maker' despite my serving it in a delicate Waterford crystal glass at almost icy. . At 9% it would be a good party wine so you could potentially drink loads of it but I certainly couldn't drink more than one and so swiftly went back to my beloved red in the form of  Tesco's finest Swartland Pinotage. A plummy warm and well rounded sup, served at just above room temperature. This is something I've been doing more of recently. Not heating the wine exactly - it's not Christmas yet, mulled wine and that, (wait til you try my recipe for mulled wine)  - but bringing it up past room temperature by placing the bottle near a source of heat, heathen that I am. Actually a friend of mine had a good Tempranillo the other day in a London hotel and it was served warm and delicious (wonder how they heat it professionally). I digress, the Swartland Pinotage was terrific, part of Tesco's finest range and well recommended. 

Perhaps a Waterford crystal red wine goblet would improve this even more?

Sainsbury’s Red Burgundy 2011 from The Winemakers Selection was by contrast a little tart (maybe should have done my warmy trick, to eager to try it perhaps?) Still, it held well, at 12.5% and was light and fruity. Good value too at £7.99.  

A man of words and never deeds is like a garden full of weeds.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Garden Route 2012 South Africa

What better way to celebrate a birthday than to have a good old fashioned Chinese Takeaway meal, great company, super food and what an amazing wine? Love The Garden Route, great name, great label from A really tasty Shiraz from the Western Cape of South Africa. Obviously I've had a few wines from South Africa but this one has to count as one of the smoothest, mellowest, most delicious in a long while. It is 14.5%  which was remarked upon by fellow imbibers - and certainly held the glass well with a great purple aroma plus hints of dark berry. Sadly Birthday Girl herself still remains too young to enjoy anything stronger than a sniff from the edge of the bottle but we adults raised our glasses with glee as the prawn crackers disappeared. I'll be recommending this one on my next podcast, don't forget to check out the latest podcast at

Some great wines recommended on my 'Wine of the Week' slot with Rod Lucas I can't wait  and even more musings

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2012

Having enjoyed a truly great bottle of  Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2012 last night from The Co-operative Truly Irresistible range, I must say that's one to include on your Christmas list. At only £6.99 a bottle at the moment - as it's on special offer - you could even share a little with Santa himself (just a little mind, he has a job to do and it is 13.5%). Will be extolling the delights of old 'Monte' along with numerous others on this week's podcast. links to follow - and check out the pretty arrangement below. Can't wait  . . . .

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

So sticking with the best the Co Operative  has on offer at the moment, I must enthuse about the Luis Felipe Edwards, absolutely love it. As recently reviewed on Rod Lucas's Best Smooth Jazz show this week, we love the 'warmth' of it's shiraz flavours. It's a Shiraz Carmenere from Chile and there's another version of this particular grape variety that am hoping to try next week. (What a job but someone has to do it.)

Terrific with a gorgeous Danish Blue and warm home baked bread or just on it's own. I do think it's a great choice while the weather struggles into Spring . . .

Angie J Walker
Wine Reviewer

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Co-operative South African Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

So yesterday enjoyed a fantastic Smooth red (from the Co Op again) - on the Smooth Jazz Show with Rod Lucas. Check out 

Am a great fan of South African wines, this one is so reasonably priced in Co Op for £4.79. and we both felt it was smooth and well rounded but still fruity and distinctly blackcurranty. Not too heavy. I would've thought it'd be a good partner for meaty pasta dishes, again with some cheese sprinkled. 

A real treat, would definitely drink it again, I do feel you can't go far wrong with a South African and am looking forward to the rose version in due course. The grapes below are Cabernet Sauvignon grapes (just for interest, I'd wondered if they looked much different from Merlot or Syrah grapes, I guess they probably do, so watch this space and we'll discover together over the next few posts . . . .)

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Following on, I tend to get most of my wines from supermarkets - Co Op being one of the main ones due to being my nearest, plus it also has some amazing deals, particularly after Christmas, clearing stock I expect. Recently found visits to local wine merchants expensive, whatever happened to all the 'special offers' they used to do? or maybe I'm just getting old. 

Last night had a super Sicilian Red, (that's it's name as well as it's description) often have this one as it's drinkable, mellow, not too boring but also has some great blackcurrant tones. I would have chosen to have some cheese with it, a good mature cheddar or maybe a danish blue but has am currently off the fattening stuff so there is NONE IN THE HOUSE! In fact had it with a spicy chicken dish and rice but it's definitely a match for pasta (with grated cheese? perhaps a teeny bit of parmesan) and various meats.

Again the grapes are Merlot, plus Nero d'Avola and good old Syrah. At only £3.99, this Sicilian red is fine for most occasions, you know you can't go wrong, it certainly doesn't offend. It says on the blurb that it's a good party wine, I guess the price helps.

Will be featuring this one when reviewing next week on together with some other Italians. I don't like Chianti as a rule, happy to be persuaded otherwise, maybe it's the Sangiovese grape I don't like but I find it tart and abrasive on the occasions I've ever had it. In my quest for answers though I will be giving it another go. It's a difficult job I know but someone has to do it. Just to let you know I am committed.

Friday, 25 January 2013

How I love my smooth wines by Angie J Walker

Hi I'm Angie Walker and as a broadcast writer and journalist, I'm now specialising in reviewing wines, one of my very favourite things.

Got some new releases coming up soon. Would appreciate any recommendations you may have or maybe you'd like me to feature something you've sampled. Will be presenting some best smooth wine podcasts for download - will keep you updated on how, when and where - and also doing some more super stuff with Rod Lucas discussing the best and sometimes the worst in the latest wines out there on the coolest radio station around  

Love red wine the best but of course will try out the odd white, occasional rose and obviously anything particularly champagney if the mood suits. Let's get started . . . .

Mustang Valley - often drink this great Californian Red. Goes well with most foods, particularly Pasta dishes, Cheeses and a good beef casserole. It's fairly well rounded, mellow but not instantly forgettable and unlike some wines that you just couldn't drink too much of, this one goes down a treat, well into a second bottle (as long as there are at least 2 people present) It's not too rich.

Not sure which grape but am guessing syrah and/or merlot (always one of my favourites)

Really is best served at room temperature - sometimes I can be too keen and cooler definitely isn't better.

According to the bottle blurb it has juicy black cherry and vanilla aromas, I just know it tastes great for any occasion, is well affordable at £4.29 a bottle and easily found in my usual supermarket. Can certainly recommend it to anyone who likes a wholesome good red at a sensible price.

Angie Walker
Wine critic