A friend in one of my many WhatsApp groups mentioned recently that she had just done her supermarket shop online for the very first time. Cue a Mexican wave of, ‘Seriously?!!’ I doubt the response would have been so surprised if we’d been talking about doing an online wine shop. And that’s a shame because there are many advantages to buying wine on the web, not least that doing so gives you access to a wider choice of bottles and specialist retailers.
I know three of the biggest obstacles to ordering a whole box at once are: a) risk; b) the work involved making the choices; c) the outlay. To that I say: a) mix a case and there’s no more risk than when you pick random bottles from a shelf; b) allow me to be your guide; and c) with all the bank holidays coming up, you may be hosting friends/family and are likely to whip through a case in no time. I’ve picked two different retailers, and made selections from each:
First up, The Wine Society. Yes, you have to be a member but it’s easy to join and the wines are so reasonably priced that you’d make back the £40 fee after ordering three cases, if not sooner. The wines picked here are all red: Weinert Carrascal Corte Clasico 2013 Argentina (£9.50) is a belter, a blend of malbec and Bordeaux grapes that has a whiff of stables and maturing claret, but with more fruity might. The Society’s Rioja Crianza 2015 Spain (£7.95) is a tidy rioja with a traditional feel. Côtes-du-Rhône Rive Droite, Rive Gauche 2017 France (£7.75) is bright, juicy, clean and fruity (think mulberries). The Society’s Southern Spanish Red Monastrell 2017 (£5.75) does very well at the price, though it’s a bit wine-gummy if you mind that sort of thing. Delas Grignan Les Adhemar 2017 France (£8.25) is a savoury Rhône blend in a bottle that looks good on the table; Château Courac Côtes-du-Rhône 2015 France (£8.75) has more fruit and mass. Andrew Peace Australia Felix Swan Hill-Victoria Shiraz Sagrantino 2017 Australia (£8.95) superbly combines shiraz with the Umbrian sagrantino grape to give a medium-bodied, bright, spicy, fruity, cherryish red. Gorgeous.
On to option two. Slurp has shops in Banbury and Leamington Spa, and has a welcoming website. If I were to put together a mixed case then it would include: the excellent value Louis Latour Ardèche Chardonnay 2016 France (£9.95). In reds, Emiliana Adobe Reserva Carménère 2017 Chile (£8.95) is organic and biodynamic, made from Chile’s signature grape, and tastes punchy with a hint of peppers and black tea; San Marzano Il Pumo Primitivo 2017 Salento, Italy (£9.95) is lush and smooth, all dark berries, chocolate, brambles and spice. And if you’re looking for a sparkling wine, then don’t miss Gratien & Meyer Crémant de Loire Brut NV (£12.95). It’s made from chenin blanc, chardonnay and cabernet and is a slightly toasty, wonder of a sparkling wine.
Read more articles by Victoria…
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Want affordable luxury? Drink sherry
Have you bought wines through an online retailer? Let us know if you have any recommendations…
Victoria Moore is an award-winning wine columnist and author. Her most recent book is the The Wine Dine Dictionary (£20, Granta).
All prices correct as of May 2019.