Friday, 17 May 2013

Half Bottles: Explore Better Wine for a Fraction of the Price

Having no money but wanting to drink better wine is a serious problem in the first world. One that anyone with a love of wine will suffer at some point in their lives.

I’m not setting up a charity for this because a member of alcoholics anonymous would probably gun me down in the street. Instead, here is a simple fix – HALF BOTTLES.

I don’t mean half empty bottles, the kind that you might find abandoned on the table in a pub, that’s kind of trampy. I mean half size, mini bottles.

The bonus of buying 375ml bottles of wine rather than the standard 750ml is that you get to experience more stunning wines without spending so much cash. Obviously there isn’t as much wine in a half bottle (I know, amazing right!) but this doesn’t matter because we are here to appreciate our booze, not drink until we throw-up… right?

Here are some cracking wines that I would recommend in halves that would otherwise be out of  budget for a lot of people:

Chardonnay is one that divides folks. Generally this is because someone has only ever tried shite Chardonnay and been put off of the whole variety. If you are one of those wallies but who wants to no longer be an wally, try this Jean Bousquet Argentinean Chardonnay. At £5.40 from Vintage Roots it's a great, full flavoured example of what Chardonnay has to offer.

Sancerre is a wine that so many people have heard of but not all have drunk. The white wines of Sancerre are regarded by many to be the best Sauvignon Blancs in the world. This  2012 Sancerre from Domaine du Nozay is really one worth trying at £7.95 from Corney and Barrow.

Gewurztraminer 'Classic' from Hugel et fils, who are arguably the kings of Alsace, is as Gewurz goes, the bench-mark for all others. The quality is unquestionably good, with amazing aromas of orange, lychee and turkish delight (yes, turkish delight) - £7.92 from Yorkshire Vintners.

For lovers of fuller bodied reds, this Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec blend from CJ Pask in New Zealand's Hawkes Bay should be right up your street. Black fruit flavours with hints of plum and a kick of spice, all for £7.59 from Adnams.

A Classic Bordeaux blend from Rustenberg in South Africa. Medium/full bodied red with intricate layers of flavour. The best of both the new and old world wrapped into one. You can pick a half bottle of this up at Lea & Sandeman for £8.50 (or £7.50 if you get a case).

Here is one that I think really proves that half bottles are well worth buying. This Domaine Thierry Mortet 2009 Gevrey Chambertin comes in at £18.95 from Lea & Sandeman, which clearly isn't cheap, it is however a real stunner and a wine that is an experience to taste. The half bottle might not be exactly cheap but at £30 for a full bottle, it gives you the opportunity to taste it without totally blowing the bank.
A favourite fizz of mine - Nyetimber Blanc de blancs. Among the best of the best when it comes to English sparkling wine production, Nyetimber's wines are all well worth trying. You can pick up a 37.5cl bottle of the B de b from Yorkshire Vintners for £15.54 - Give it a go, you may be tempted to pick up a full size bottle next time.

For any wine lover, I really recommend buying a couple of halves rather than a single bottle next time you are on a spending spree. You are twice as likely to find a new favourite that way. Obviously they aren't too good for sharing with more than one other person but I don't really care about that.

Do you prefer large or small? (cheeky) Let us know by leaving a comment here or on our twitter or facebook page.


  1. Clearly that's where we were going wrong here:

    1. Haha, looks like you might want to switch to halves from time to time. ;)