Spar, Euro Spar, Londis and Mace: Wines a plenty!

Last year I was listening to a radio pundit talking about wine. He was asked the question: ‘What wine is best to buy at a petrol station’. His answer: ‘None! – perhaps Prosecco just to be safe’. ‘Whoa’, I shouted back into the radio. ‘Nonsense. My local petrol station has a Spar store attached to it and the wine selection is fabulous!’. Not only that, I mused, but I have the easy option of choosing price brackets that begin at the very reasonable €7.99.

BWG Foods operate the symbol stores mentioned above – including the Spar store at my local service station! They have a high calibre centralised wine buying team that works to please many different customer types. Here are a few worth looking out for with my top favourite first ……

Chianti Superiore DOCG ~ Poggio al Casone - Wine Resort

Poggio al Casone Chianti Superiore €12.99: Made by Piergiorgio Castellani at the same named vineyard in Tuscany. This is an organic wine of the highest calibre. A Castellani label can be trusted to deliver. These are people who really understand Sangiovese and have a vision as to where they would like to bring it. Listen to my podcast with Piergiorgio HERE.

Every Christmas we are told (love the pundits!) to grab hold of a bottle of Chablis. The idea is that the breadth of its Chardonnay grape balanced by a high acidity (Chablis is quite far north in France) will bring out the best from our (hopefully moist) Turkey. The problem I find is sourcing a Chablis as a good value wine that drinks better than a really good value Macon Villages (same grape but further south in Burgundy. Most times you are better off avoiding inexpansive Chablis as a Macon in the mid teens will be bettter!). Try this beauty from Chablis:

Domaine Pichon Chablis € 21.99: Really excellent and a totally memorable palate. This is classic in the true sense that its fruit has an exquisite balance to its ample acidity and the finish is just endlesss.

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Tarapacá Gran Reserva Carménère €14.99: Great value for a Gran Reserva from the # 1 Brand in Chile. The grapes are grown on the slopes leading down from the Andes into Chile’s leading red grape growing valley – The Maipo. Carménère is the signature grape of Chile. 12 months in a mix of French and American oak barrels has rounded this wine out to become a luxury style with loads of rich ripe fruit bursting with flavour.

I mentioned Prosecco above. Granted it’s a safe bet but there are many on sale that are simply semi sparkly pear juice styles of wine that leave a lot to be desired. Cava tends to be a better bet. Fully sparkling and citrusy. This is Mediterranean fare at its best and we could all do with a reminder of what that’s like!

Pata Negra Cava Brut €12.99: even has a bling label on it! Happy Christmas and with a nod to Mace and Londis you now know that it can all be found under the tree at ……

Buy "Cava Pata Negra Brut" - Chinchin Wine Trading