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Wine expert explains how to be supermarket savvy

Tue 02 Mar 2010 14:33


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A nice bottle of wine adds a little something to any occasion, whether a casual dinner with a loved one, or a special occasion with friends, but it can be hard to know what kind to opt for to suit different foods or different moods.

Wine expert Tom Cannavan has picked his favourite three white wine selections to suit different occasions from the supermarket – one that would be suitable for a causal dinner, a nice bottle that can be easily kept for a few years, and an extra special wine that can be stored for a big event.

1. Sauvignon Blanc: Springfield Estate 2009, South Africa, £9.18 from Sainsbury’s
First up was his selection for a simple dinner. Tom went for a delicious Sauvignon Blanc, which has tasty, pungent flavours and is fruity and fresh. This pick has terrific acidity, but loads of fruit too, and goes well with foods such as cheese soufflé.

Tom recommended that when picking Sauvignon Blanc, don’t make the mistake of going for an older year thinking it will be better quality.

He said: “It’s a really good tip to always drink the youngest Sauvignon Blanc, it’s a grape that doesn’t really age. This one is from the really hot areas of South Africa. It has a wonderful nose, it’s full of gooseberries and nettles, really pungent flavours. There’s a touch of green bean in there.”

2. Vouvray: La Couronne des Plantagenets 2008, France, £5.91 from Sainsbury’s
Next up, Tom picked a special wine that could be put away for a year or two and kept for a nice occasion.

This isn’t a particularly expensive wine, but it’s made from the Chenin Blanc grape,which has the capacity to age for a while, making it an ideal tipple keep stored away in the house for an occasion.

This selection is lovely and fruity with a bit of sweetness on the palate, and goes nicely with Chinese food and smoked fish. It will last well for around two or three years no problem.

3. Marsanne: Tahblik 2007, Australia, £9.99 from Sainsbury’s
Tom’s final selection was a really special bottle of wine than can be put away for a number of years and kept for a really special occasion.

The wine expert opted for this Marsanne, which ages really well and is therefore ideal to hang on to for a while. Tom said: You wouldn’t normally think of white wines as wines that are capable of ageing, but some of them are. It depends on the grape.”

He added: “You can drink it now, but this wine could keep five years in you cellar and it will only get better – it will get more honeyed, it will get more full, it will get rich - it’s a beauty.” 

This particular tipple has delicious flavours of fresh lime and floral notes, and has a touch of smokiness too. This type of wine goes excellently with coconut, Thai curries and spicy foods.

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