Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Oddbins - What I chose...

After our recent Oddbins tasting we decided to go back and get a case. Oddbins offer 20% off a mixed-case of any 12 (or more) wines, plus your ticket price back if you attended any of their tastings. (NB: Single ticket i.e. £10 back if you spend over £75, but couples-ticket i.e. £15 back if you spend over £100).

This sounds like a pretty good discount and for the majority of bottles it might be, but, certain things are more expensive to begin with. For example, Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc has a particularly high markup at £14.99 before discount (£11.99 after). This can be had for cheaper elsewhere, for example: £13.49 at New Zealand House of wine ( (or as low as £10.79 if you buy 2 bottles) and at Slurp ( for £12.49 if you're only after the one.

So, bear in mind that any permanent discount is more of a marketing trick and the wines are probably marked up sufficiently to cover it. However, the range at Oddbins is nonetheless very good, so we got stuck in...

Taking my own advice for picking a mixed case (see here:) we chose the following: (prices shown are before discount!).

1. Sparkler – Lindauer Special Reserve NV, £11.99. A sparkler from New Zealand made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

2. Rose – Benchmark Rose 2008, £8.49. A Rose made by Grant Burge in South Australia from 100% Shiraz - hopefully giving it full colour and flavour.

3. The “off the wall” one – Craggy Range Block 14 Syrah 2007, £18.99. Yes I know. I really pushed the boat out on this one! Lately the wine press have been banging on about New Zealand Syrah (it's always called that, not Shiraz as the Aussies do) and especially from the Gimblett Gravels area of Hawke's Bay. Being a Shiraz/Syrah lover I really had to see what all the fuss is/was about...

4. Something for the cellar (or wardrobe) – Domaine Chantegut Vacqueyras 2007, £14.99. 2007 was a superb year in the Rhone. Never had a Vacqueyras before and its blend of Grenache and Shiraz, along with the "good year" should give it the ability to age and develop complexity.

5. Old World White #1 – Huber Riesling 2009, £11.99. We are Riesling lovers. Austrian - never before tried so I thought we could give it a go...

6. Old World White #2 – Adriano Gewurztraminer 2009, £15.49. We actually ordered an Alsatian one for £11.99 but this turned up, which hails from the Italian side of the Alps. Should be "fresh"!

7. Old World Red #1 – Villa Wolf Pinot Noir 2007, £10.99. Again, new territory here having not tried German Pinot before. This hails from the Pfalz region.

8. Old World Red #2 – El Furioso Tempranillo 2007, £6.49. Coming from the fashionable Castilla y Leon region. 100% Tempranillo (i.e. the Rioja grape) but not oaked.

9. New World White #1 – Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2009, £14.99 . The requisite NZ Sauv Blanc. Recent Decanter World Wine Awards Gold Medal winner and I am dying to get this down my belly!

10. New World White #2 – De Bertoli Vat 7 Chardonnay 2008, £9.99. From the Riverina area of New South Wales. They may be a "mega Brand" but should be a big, fruity, creamy Chardonnay nonetheless.

11. New World Red #1 – Casillero del Diabolo Pinot Noir 2009, £7.49. Again possibly a mega-brand (they are stalwarts of the supermarket shelves) but, if it's nice then it's one hell of a bargain. I've had the Cab Sauv before and enjoyed it so why the hell not?

12. New World Red #2 – Familia Zuccardi Reserva Bonarda 2007, £8.99. I saw the Familia Zuccardi advert in a recent Decanter so this caught my eye. Bonarda is one of Argentina's "other" red grapes next to Malbec, but by no means far behind. Some good stuff is apparently coming out of there so I thought I'd give it a look...

So that's it. After the discount £97.70 spent, £8.14 a bottle on average! Not bad seeing as most bottles are well over a tenner! There are (hopefully) some beauties in there, so we're really looking forward to drinking and reviewing them.

Oh...I was a bit naughty here...I also got...13. a bottle of the Bodegas Renacer Punto Final Malbec 2009 (£7.99 after discount) because the 2008 recently won a Decanter World Wine Awards Gold Medal so I wanted to see what the fuss was about, albeit a different vintage

Oh, and I was naughty again and bought a bottle of...14... the superb Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Shiraz 2008 that we had in the tasting and loved. (£13.59 after discount!). I'll put this away for a few years if I can resist the temptation to open it. That might be a big "if".

Er, plus a couple of others but I better keep those quiet, D might be reading this! Ssssshhhhhh  :)

Speak to you soon.



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