FRONT PAGE NEWSThe yearning for one more day of Indian summer is barely past, and yet UK shoppers are already being bombarded with commercial festive campaigns from cynical corporate marketeers. Surely we're not ready to see snowflakes and santas in shop windows before we've even packed away our swimwear for the winter?
That's why we're making a cast iron promise not to mention Christmas until November. We're refusing to jump on that bandwagon, even though our wines do offer the perfect solution for festive drinking and make for the perfect yuletide gift (did we mention that you can now give limited gift subscriptions to The BIB Wine Club?). Instead, we're embracing October and are excited to have the perfect autumnal recipe from excellent food writer and chef Rosie Lovell. (see below).
NB Order early whilst stocks last for any 'seasonal' holidays!
Out and about - Great day out doing tastings on the streets of Brighton. A fun day was had by all - we hope to be back there again soon.
Ctrl Change - We were proud to be part of this pop up in Old Street Station - a bringing together of brands with a strong design aesthetic and a focus on quality, who also make a positive impact. Find out more about Ctrl Change here.
THE RISE OF QUALITY AFFORDABLE WINE
by Tori Locke - to see more from Tori check out my.grape.expectations
In a recent and very unofficial survey amongst fellow playground mums it was concluded that the majority of people still shop for wine in the supermarket. With few exceptions, it seems that most of us tend towards whatever is on offer that week, or the “pretty decent” bottle for £12 or less! Whilst this may seem like nothing new or newsworthy, I was surprised at the number of people who, like me, are shying away from the big brands in favour of something a little unusual.
Now we’ve all heard of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but what of Pecorino, Carignan, Pignoletto and Blaufränkisch? It is in these less popular grapes, from less well known regions that we can truly find good value wine. Wines such as these often come from smaller, family run vineyards, where marketing spend is low but the winemaking is of an incredibly high quality. In many cases we are paying for the popularity and fame of a region or grape!
This is increasingly evident on wine shelves, with more and more space being given over to smaller, less dominant wine making regions and countries. The rise in popularity of own brand wines is further fuelling this shift, and they are wines that we should be seeking out! If you think about it, it makes good sense, buyers are often highly qualified in the field of wine, with many having reached the lofty accolade of Master of Wine. I would much rather put my faith in these experts, than in some natty marketing agency who masks a substandard wine with glitzy labels and half price deals.
So how do you take that step from big brand to off the beaten path? My first piece of advice is to be bold! Choose a wine you’ve never heard of, maybe start with an own label wine, most will have a good description on the back label, enabling you to make an informed decision; you normally drink Sauvignon Blanc, well why not try a zesty Pecorino! Another great way of finding good value whilst sipping something new is to buy your wine online, companies like BIB Wine are great for this, they give a fantastically detailed description of the wine, and they too have their own Master of Wine who has put together a focused selection of characterful wines.
Happy shopping, and remember, the best thing about wine is that it’s fun and best enjoyed with good company!
RECIPE AND WINE OF THE WEEK
By Rosie Lovell - to see more from Rosie check out her blog and Instagram
Rabbit is actually pretty easy to get hold of these days, and word has it that in the countryside you can get them for free from over-burdened gamekeepers. Here in South East London, I easily bought a whole one, jointed, from our brilliant butchers just last week, in an unlikely spot off the Old Kent Road. Light, like chicken, but definitely falling in to the game category, these cotton-tail friends make a welcome autumnal alternative.
FULL RECIPE HERE
An amazingly rich, deep coloured, smoky, earthy southern French red bursting with character and a great deal of rich black fruit, this wine is a natural match with Rosie's warming rabbit cocotte.