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Gorgeous whites and the summer sun

White wine

Photo: Randy Mayor/ Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

I think it the sun that’s changed my tastes.

Well, this glorious sunshine that we’ve been enjoying in the UK this April 2011 AND the most fantastic white wine that I’ve ever been forunate to drink that I’m swilling round and round in the glass in my hand.

I used to be an all-out red wine fan. If ever I was offered a glass of white wine I’d say ‘no thanks, not me, i’m not keen on white wine. I’m too much of a red wine fan’ before searching for the nearest bottle of red (or beer).

But things have changed, I’m now left saying ‘bugger! There’s no white wine left in the house, only half a case of poxy reds…arghhhh!’.

So where did it all change? Where did I switch my allegiance from Malbecs, Shirazs, and Cabernet Sauvignons etc to Sauvignon Blancs, Torrontes and Pinot Grigios?

It’s down to joining an online wine club called Naked Wines. I call it a club, but’s that’s really too fancy a word. More an online Wine retailer that you join and get preferential rates etc. I’ve heard of other wine clubs – I think both my Mum and Dad, and my in-laws use Laithwaites, but I joined this one as it looked different and I was getting bored of drinking real ale.

If you want to know more abut Naked Wines, I’ve cut the blurb from Wikipedia below…

Naked Wines

“Naked Wines is an online market for wine who support independent winemakers from around the world. They invest in the winemakers in return for preferential prices, which they pass on to their customers. Their website allows customers to talk directly to the winemakers and other customers via a social networking platform. Customers can become ‘Angels’ for winemakers, which means paying a monthly subscription fee towards the next buy, but also earning 33% cashback on all orders in exchange for their support.”

So yes – now I’m an ‘Angel’ and am admittedly really enjoying the experience. Like it says above, you have an account that you pay £20 into each month, and can use these monies to buy various cases or just individual bottles (as long as it’s a multiple of 6 bottles). The website is clear and easy to use, and the people who run the business are pally and send out interesting emails and respond quickly to queries.

The wine is  fairly expensive I guess in real terms (compared to deals in supermarkets) and costs on average £5-7 a bottle. You can also easily buy stuff up to twice that price if you really want to. The hook is that you buy wine and then get cash back, which is an amount that can be up to £20-30 added to your online balance ready for you to spend on your next purchase (which is what brings the price down to £5-7 a bottle). The wine is delivered directly to your door and it’s all very efficient and fuss free. All-in-all a very enjoyable experience and one I’d recommend.

The best thing though is just how gorgeous some of the wines are! Now I’m no expert when it comes to wine (at all in any way). My usual tipple was real ale (Marstons Firestoker until they stopped blummin’ brewing it), but when you taste something special it really does stands out and that’s exactly what changed my allegiance from red to white.

Small and Small - Marlborough Sauvignon BlancI was contacted directly by them and offered a cut price case of Small and Small – Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. It was quite expensive – I think £40 for 6 bottles, but I thought ‘What the heck!’ and replied yes to the email. When I tasted it, it really was amazing stuff – refreshing, tasty, with loads of complex different flavours, and much better than any other whites that I’d drunk before.

From talking to other people, it does sound that the grape – Sauvignon Blanc – grown in the Marlborough region of New Zealand has this gorgeous Gooseberry-like taste to it, which makes the wine so refreshing (you can tell I’m starting to really get into it now!).

So the point is you look for the wines that have the grapes in that you like, and you’ll hit upon loads of other gorgeous wines. Easy see!

One other wine available from Naked Wines that I must mention before ending this long post is Angel’s Reserve Torrontes 2010, from Argentina. This is another summery wine with loads of flavour in it and is perfect for sitting outside, sipping it and watching the sun go down.

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a bottle of good white wine (join Naked Wines, or another online wine retailer club,  if you fancy giving that a bash) and enjoy it sitting down and enjoying a good glass of something tasty.

White is so much easier and tastier to drink in the sun than red anyhow, plus I’m sure this gorgeous April won’t last forever!

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