Thursday, 3 October 2013

Ocado Wines - Why Not?

The other week I was lucky enough to be sent two wines from Ocado, the online supermarket, to report back on. They wanted to highlight how accessibly-priced and impressively-diverse their range is (I have to admit I haven't bought wine from them before), and also to highlight that they currently have an amazing special offer on: if you buy any four selected bottles of wine with Ocado until 8th October, you receive 20% off!

I have to admit, when I received the two wines, I was skeptical, as Prosecco and Californian rosé are two styles that nearly always disappoint me, especially when it comes to supermarket offerings. Here is how I got on...

Abbazia Prosecco, £11.99 per bottle

Usually I tend to find most fizzes, especially Prosecco, rather astringent and headache inducing. I usually get hit with a wave of rather overpowering bubbles which nullify any flavour, and leave a bitter, bland aftertaste on the palate.

I decided to take this bottle over to my sisters in the Big Smoke for Sunday lunch to serve as an aperitif, and although expecting it to sink in a fizzy wave of disappointment, it danced and teased the palate with flavourful sensations.

Served cold, we enjoyed it as an aperitif, as suggested. The nose was squeaky clean with soft hints of citrus, baked bread and melon. On the palate, bone dry, with the petillance forming a lovely smooth mousse.

 Flavours of white stone fruits and a clean minerality leave the palate refreshed and screaming for a big hunk of steak! For a wine to set you up for a dinner or a party, this is a really fantastic choice.

 For the price it is a real treat; classier than your standard Cava and with the flavour and complexities to challenge more expensive Champagnes, you are getting great value for money here.

All in all a fantastic fizz that I will certainly be buying again!

Beringer Classic Zinfandel Rosé, £9 per bottle

For those of you who read my scathing report on Blossom Hill last week, you may be thinking 'Oh God, here we go again'. But you would be wrong. To say it has 'converted' me to rosé is a bit extreme, but for some reason, I found myself going back for more of this wine again and again.

In the glass it is light and inviting (girly), and on the shnoz you are picking up hints of raspberry, strawberry and a dash of citrus. On the palate it is crisp, off-dry and full of that same lovely red fruits with enough acidity to stop it being flabby.

Along with the acidity comes sweetness, allowing this wine to be matched nicely with spicy foods and sweeter desserts alike.

Sunday Lunch Steak! Taken by Chloe Lennox
However, as with most other rosés I have tried, the fruit still tastes slightly artificial. Rather than the delectable, fresh raspberry and strawberry notes in most well made red wines, you get this slightly candied, fruit pastille sweetness. Although not a character (as you should know by now) I look for in a wine, it made the Beringer incredibly drinkable. Coupled with the mouth watering acidity and the low alcohol, it absolutely flies down.

And although I may not be running back to purchase this particular rosé as an everyday drinker (it's £9 a bottle), it has caught my attention and opened up the possibility that I may, at some point, find a rosé that I will drink regularly. For that, I commend you.

Ocado have a good selection of wines on their website, mainly the more familiar names at reasonable prices, but they also have some real gems in their wine list (including the Mrs Wigley Moscato Laura mentioned on Tuesday).

Maybe they haven't been many people's first port of call when we're low on wine and need to stock up, but they are certainly a group that we should be considering more often for some vino spending - especially for their range of fizzes, and regular special offers that make them very good value for money. So good job, and keep it up, Ocado wines! And if you want to send me some more of that Prosecco, I will oblige...

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