Amelia Singer is best known as a globe-trotting wine expert on Channel 5’s The Wine Show, but when she’s not travelling from one vineyard to another, she is spreading the word on how accessible and fun wine can be, even on a budget! Amelia shares her tips on getting more bang for your buck on supermarket wines, instead of staring at aisles and aisles of wines, before settling for the Echo Falls.
Presenting The Wine Show and working with Celebrity Cruises enables me to explore new countries, cultures, as well as enjoy a myriad of exciting wines. However, when I am back home in London, I just want to relax and reach for some timeless vinous favourites which don’t break the bank!
For me, wine is all about how I am enjoying it and who I am with. A supermarket special is the best when I’m in my PJs gossiping with girlfriends, but it is always good to have something special on the wine rack.
The occasion: A pizza and pasta feast with friends
The wine: Sangiovese
For a midweek pizza or pasta, expensive bottles and decanters are just an unnecessary fuss! Instead, opt for something fruity, organic with a balsamic twist - This Sangiovese Loves Pizza (£4.99, Aldi), which sources its grapes from Sicily, not Tuscany, to keep the price down.
However, when you have been spending your weekend toiling over a sensational Italian delicacy, then it is time to bring out a true Tuscan Trojan such as Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Rosso di Montalcino 2015 (£20.89, The Drink Shop).
Special nights with special food and a special person deserve some extra-special Sangiovese.
The occasion: Chilled night in
The wine: Sangiovese
For Netflix nights or boyfriend debriefs with friends – you need something light, fun and Uber Eats food friendly. The Blue Print Deal Mare Romanian Pinot Noir 2017 (£5.99, Waitrose) is ideal as it pairs well with fridge staples like cheese or charcuterie and can even be served slightly chilled in the summer.
Yet if you want to make a statement then look no further than a premium Californian wine like the Sanford Pinot Noir 2012 (£50.00, Handford Wines) which comes from the most famous vineyard in the cool climate wine region of Santa Rita Hills. If you are determined to impress a wine geek or if you are wanting a wine for a special date night, then this pinot will woo!
The occasion: The Great (chilly) British BBQ
The wine: Rosé
I love drinking Rosé all year round and I will happily see my way into Autumn sipping this Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc Rosé 2017 (£6.99, Waitrose) at an impromptu gathering with friends in the park or at an autumnal BBQ. It will make you see New Zealand Sauvignon in a whole new Rose-tinted light!
Sometimes you want a rosé that has a great story and is going to knock your socks off. That’s exactly what I found in the Black Book Rosé 2017 (£17.50, blackbookwinery.com). It is made under the railway arches in Battersea at one of London’s new urban wineries. I served it to an American friend as her introduction to English wine and she was blown away too.
Selecting wines is completely personal and situation specific – picking up the appropriate supermarket bottle can be rewarding yet it doesn’t stop you from splashing out on a treat when the time is right. It’s all about the moment and the people when you pop that cork or unleash that screw cap.
The occasion: Weekend partying and unwinding
The wine: Chenin Blanc
After a hard day, Chenin blanc is an awesome grape to appease the Sauvignon Blanc fans who love freshness and the Chardonnay lovers who prefer body and concentration. For something fruity and fresh to perk me up then the Irresistible South African Chenin Blanc (£6.99, Co-op) is hard to beat. South Africa is so often overlooked yet provides amazing value in both the supermarkets and independent wine merchants’ shops.
When the weekend comes around and I’m wanting something with party pizzazz, I reach for the Mullineux Kloof Street Chenin Blanc 2016 (£15.25, Berry Bros & Rudd). Made with grapes from old vines in South Africa’s Swartland, this epitomises everything that’s exciting about the country’s wines – and winemakers Chris and Andrea Mullineux are awesome which is a wonderful bonus!
Amelia is a wine expert and presenter on Channel 5’s The Wine Show. To find out more about Amelia, please visit: https://amelias-wine.com/
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