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Welcome to Majestic

Ealing

Contact Information
T: 020 8567 9251
F: 020 8567 9251
E: eal@majestic.co.uk
Opening Hours
Monday 10am - 7pm
Tuesday 10am - 7pm
Wednesday 10am - 7pm
Thursday 10am - 8pm
Friday 10am - 8pm
Saturday 9am - 7pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm
Bank Hol 10am - 5pm
Store Address
42 Hastings Road
London
W13 8QH
United Kingdom

Store facilities

  • Fine wine available
  • Free local delivery
  • Free chiller bin loan
  • Free Wine Courses
  • Free glass loan
  • Free tasting every day
  • Free parking
Store News(593)

Flash Deal: All Champagne under £100 33.3% off this weekendDate published: 23/05/15

Highlights include:

Canard Duchene @ £18.66

Bollinger NV @ £29.98

Roederer NV @ £33.31

Ruinart Rose @ £ 39.98

Ends Tuesday. 

Peroni on special offer!Date published: 18/05/15

Right now at Majestic we have the peerless Peroni Nastro Azzurro on sale for just £1 a bottle in cases of 24.

Brewed in Rome since 1864 this premium Italian Lager has been slaking thirst internationally for over 150 years. 

With a family pedigree based in the heart of Italy with the weather to match why not include this as an ingredient to the traditional British Barbecue?

Whether its an open shirted glorious affair or an umbrella in one hand and a spatula in the other the presence of a case of Peroni will help things run smoothly either way!



Food and WineDate published: 18/05/15

General food and wine matching advice

Here at majestic we love the challenge of matching the perfect wine to a meal and there is nothing better to cap off an amazing home cooked meal like the perfect wine. Here are some of our favourites- Why not try some of them out at home or come in and ask us for a match?

We will start off with a true classic- A rich Malbec and steak. The Argentinians love their steak and they love their malbec too and with great malbecs starting at £6.66 its a sure fine winner!

 Moving away from the read meat to white meat, pork and Chablis is another brilliant match, the cool French climate the Chardonnay gives the wine brilliant acidity that cuts through the fat of the pork while its light mineral flavour does not over power the light flavours. Why not try some pork loin cooked with some apples and a touch of Calvados topped off with our William Fevre Chablis, a true match made in heaven.

A brilliant easy week day pleaser try a simple fish pasta with a light fruity Pinot Grigio, like Natale Verga. The light grips flavours of the wine don't overpower the pasta and complement each other nicely giving a refreshing combo.

Finally for something a little different and indulgent why not match a wine with your desert, with a great selection of desert wines from light and fruity to thick and rich to match any desert. Rustenberg straw wine with a chocolate fondant is a definite favourite at majestic.

Thinking of something different then why not come in-store and ask for a recommendation, with a huge selection and fine wines at house wine prices you're sure to find some matches you love! 


Red Leg Spiced RumDate published: 18/05/15

Red Leg Spiced Rum

A Caribbean spiced rum, which gets its name from the Red Leg Hermit Crab. The rum is rested in old oak barrels and delivers a sweet smell of vanilla followed by a warming ginger aroma. The palate is smooth and warming with notes of raisin.

£19.99


Provence Spotlight!Date published: 18/05/15

Spotlight on Provence!! 

Six delicious provence rosés are open to taste this week, including Miraval (Brangalina's Wine!)

Pop in pick and up some summer wines! 


1/3 off all Argentinian Malbec Flash Deal ending today...Date published: 18/05/15

Love Argentinian Malbec? Don't miss out on your chance to stock up on all your favorites today and enjoy 33.3% off!

We have the Argento and Catena Malbec's open and free to taste on our tasting counter too!

The Majestic App is here!Date published: 17/05/15

'MyMajestic' app is now available to download on Apple and Android. 

Browse your past purchases, read reviews and most importantly, enjoy a free £10 voucher for next time you shop.

For further details, please speak to a member of staff.

New Prosecco - Romeo and Juliet NVDate published: 08/05/15

New Prosecco - Romeo and Juliet NV

We have just had a delivery of our new Prosecco - Romeo and Juliet NV, Treviso.

Although located around 100km west of Treviso, the romantically inspiring city of Verona is where Pasqua was founded in 1925, as well as having provided the backdrop for Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.

A pale, lightly aromatic and easy-drinking sparkling wine, with a soft mousse and an off-dry feel. Gentle flavours of pear, clementine and white apple are lifted by soft acidity.

Enjoy on its own at any informal celebration, or as an accompaniment to summery salads and antipasti

Only £8.66 a bottle when you buy two or more from the 33% off selection


33% off all Prosecco - This weekend only!!!Date published: 08/05/15

33% off all Prosecco - This weekend only!!!

From Thursday 7th until Monday 11th May (inclusive!) we have a third off our entire range of Proseccos! Starting at just £6.66 (down from £9.99) we have both the ever popular Rivamonte and the new kid on the block 'Soffio No. 3'. If you're looking for something a little drier then the Zonin could be for you (£11.99 down to £7.99).

Our biggest seller remains La Marca Conegliano Valdobbiadene (£14.99 down to £9.99) an absolute must at this price! So whatever you're doing this Summer, make sure you stock up on some great value fizz to make sure it goes with a pop!

The new arrival the Gioiosa Treviso (£7.99 on the offer) will also be open for you to sample on Saturday 9th May so why not pop in and have a try!


Miraval Rose: A Summer DelightDate published: 03/05/15

Miraval Rose: A Summer Delight

With Summer quickly approaching, what better way to spend those long summer nights with a chilled glass of good quality Rosé wine endorsed by possibly the worlds most famous couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The 17th century Miraval vineyard was bought by the couple in 2009 and extensively renovated. The first vintage was produced in 2012 and was met with wide acclaim.

The Miraval Rose is a pale pink, dry wine with aromas of strawberries and stone fruits with just a hint of delicate floral notes. On the palate expect layers of tangerine and peach joining with berry fruit. Grape varieties used are Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Rolle.

Miraval is best enjoyed with fine seafood such as Monkfish or Lobster but can also be enjoyed by itself.

With the great weather we have been enjoying why not stock up for the Summer and enjoy a bottle or two in the  May sunshine as well.



Sunshine means.. Time for Provence RoséDate published: 27/04/15

Sunshine means.. Time for Provence Rosé

At this time of year, as it starts to get warmer, even the most hardened red wine drinker begins to reach for a cooled bottle of Provence Rosé after a hot day in the sunshine.

Provence Rosé differentiates itself from other Rosé  styles in two key ways:

1. The blend of grapes - Provence Rosé is generally made from Grenache, Cinsault and Tibouren. Grenache and CInsault are used in many other Rosé's, but Tibouren is a local variety grown almost exclusively in Provence.

2. The style of wine -  Provence Rosé is a incredibly dry wine. This makes it  a perfect foil for the garlic and olive oil that dominate the local cuisine.

To Try - M de Minuty Rosé 2014 Côtes de Provence @ £9.99


Wine Fact!Date published: 27/04/15

Lead and Wine?

Romans discovered that mixing lead with wine not only helped preserve wine, but also gave it a sweet taste and succulent texture. Chronic lead poisoning has often been cited as one of the causes of the decline of Rome


New Majestic Wine APP!Date published: 27/04/15

New Majestic Wine APP!

Have you seen our new App? Thought about downloading it but not sure? 

Consider this......

If you're downloading our app for the first time and redeem your £10 voucher against 6 bottles of Ned before this Tuesday you pay the equivalent of £5.33 a bottle.  We'll even deliver it for free.


Sauvignon this SummerDate published: 22/04/15

Sauvignon this Summer

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular wines at Majestic.  Familiarity breeds contempt though, right?  We decided to revisit our biggest sellers from our cellars and remember why we love it!


It’s a world-wide phenomenon - Sauvignon Blanc is grown all over the world, from the Loire and Bordeaux in France, Chile, South Africa and New Zealand.


Sauvignon comes in many styles - From steely dry and flinty in the Loire, a bracing  tropical-fruit laden delight in New Zealand to the zesty and fresh South African wines.  Try the Sauvignons from La Grille (Loire), Rustenberg (South Africa) and Villa Maria (New Zealand) and see which style you like best.


It’s refreshing by nature - Sauvignon is naturally high in acidity and ripens early, so it’s easy to make it full of flavour and keep it super-fresh.


It’s Food-Friendly - Amazing with chevré, brilliant with sushi, and cracking with seafood.


You don’t need to wait to enjoy Sauvignon - It tastes best when it’s young, so you don’t need patience, just chill it down and pop it open whenever you need refreshing.


...But not always - There are one or two really special styles which can stand the test of time, like Cloudy Bay’s Te Koko.  Ask us in store and we’ll tell you all our secrets.

Introducing Cellar Circle.Date published: 22/04/15

Introducing Cellar Circle.

If you love the idea of building a cellar full of diverse and exciting wines, or if a 10% discount here at Majestic would be invaluable, we have the answer for you!
Majestic and Lay & Wheeler, our fine wine partner, are very proud to launch Cellar Circle, giving you all the support and advice you need to realise the cellar of your dreams. You decide the level of guidance that you require, and your own personal adviser will always be on hand to answer any queries.

Membership starts from £100 a month, all of which will go towards your wines. Exclusive 
benefits and rewards include:
· 10% discount at Majestic Wine
· Free delivery to any Majestic Wine store, for collection at your convenience
· One year’s free professional wine storage for customers new to Lay & Wheeler
· A free case on the first anniversary of your membership, as a thank you from the Cellar Circle 
team.

For more information and to sign up visit www.cellarcircle.com. You can also give the team at 
Lay & Wheeler a call on 01473 313300, or to find out more, pop in and have a chat with us in 
store.


What glassware?Date published: 22/04/15

What glassware?

Red wines are best served in larger sized glasses to allow a greater volume of air to come into contact with the surface of the wine. This "opens it up" and develops the aromas and flavours. 

White and Rose wines need medium sized glasses  to collect the aromas at the top of the glass.

Sparkling wines are enhance by flute shaped glasses with the effect of the bubbles, allowing them to travel through a larger volume before bursting at the top of the glass. The older "coupé" shaped glasses are inappropriate, making the wine flat soon after pouring.

Fortified wines are always served in small glasses to emphasise the fruit characteristics over the alcohol. The glass should still be large enough to allow swirling.


Back in - Miraval Rosé 2014 Côtes de ProvenceDate published: 22/04/15

Back in - Miraval Rosé 2014 Côtes de Provence

The 17th-century Miraval estate is located in the Var region of Provence, and was bought by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in 2009 and extensively renovated. With winemaking expertise from Perrin, the first modern vintage was released in 2012, and was met with wide acclaim.

A beautifully pale pink colour, with a nose of wild strawberry and stone fruit, with delicate floral touches. Great palate texture, with soft tangerine and peach notes joining layers of berry fruit.

Enjoy on its own or with fine seafood.

£17.99


St George's Day Sparkling Wines - Balfour 1503 Rosé NVDate published: 20/04/15

St George's Day Sparkling Wines - Balfour 1503 Rosé NV

Grape

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier

Origin

This English sparkling rosé has been made using the traditional Champagne method and a Pinot-dominant blend. The grapes are grown on the Hush Heath Estate near Tonbridge in Kent. The estate dates from 1503 and is the home of the Balfour-Lynn family.

Taste

A delicate and inviting rose petal pink, with a finely beaded sparkle. A lively pink grapefruit character is accented with defined notes of wild strawberry and a subtle herbaceousness.

Enjoy

The winemaker suggests this as the perfect foil for venison sausages.

£19.99 when you buy 2+ 33% off bottles of wine

St George's Day Sparkling Wines - Balfour 1503 Brut NVDate published: 20/04/15

St George's Day Sparkling Wines - Balfour 1503 Brut NV

Grape

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier

Origin

Superb quality English sparkling wine from the Hush Heath Estate in Kent, which was planted with vines in 2002. Winemakers Owen Elias and Victoria Ash have been making wine at the estate since 2010, and create 1503 Brut using traditional secondary fermentation in bottle.

Taste

Refined in structure, with a finely beaded mousse and pale pink highlights. Tightly structured, combining crisp apple and citrus fruit with nuances of pepper and thyme.

Enjoy

Enjoy immediately. Best with light seafood.

£19.99 when you buy 2+ 33% off bottles of wine

St George's Day Sparkling Wines - Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2009 EnglandDate published: 20/04/15

St George's Day Sparkling Wines - Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2009 England

Grape

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier

Origin

Nyetimber are located in West Sussex, and since their original plantings of classic varieties in 1988, have established themselves as England's premier sparkling wine house, making world class wines to rival (and often beat in blind tastings) the big names of Champagne.

Taste

A beguilingly Champagne-like nose of citrus fruit, brioche and shortbread. The mousse is finely pearled, soft, yet mouth-filling and persistent. Elegantly shaped and supremely poised.

Enjoy

The ultimate home-grown alternative to Champagne, for all special occasions.

£23.98 when you buy 2+ 33% off bottles of wine

Want to learn more about English sparkling wine?Date published: 20/04/15

Want to learn more about English sparkling wine?

On St George's Day we'll be opening an array of English sparkling wine to taste on the Sudbury Tasting Counter. We'll have our old favourite Nyetimber Classic Cuvée, which has to be tried to see what all the fuss about English sparkling is about. Joining the Nyetimber will be two new additions to our range, The Balfour 1503 Brut and Rosé. We haven't tried these two exciting wines yet, but we're definitely looking forward to feeling patriotic come Thursday. Call in store anytime on Thursday to try them all!


New In Stock - Durham Gin £25Date published: 20/04/15

New In Stock - Durham Gin £25

Made with 10 botanicals this gin is soft and slightly floral on the nose with a mix of Juniper, Elderflower and Pink Peppercorns. Long and smooth on the finish. This is a guest addition to the Majestic Wine spirits range, so make sure to grab a bottle before it goes.

Majestic Price - £25


Champagne Imports and ExportsDate published: 18/04/15

Champagne Imports and Exports

Of the 304,973,710 bottles of Champagne produced in 2013, 136,640,110 were exported with France taking the remaining lion’s share of 167,333,600 bottles. 

Of the exports the top 10 countries in reverse order are...

10. Sweden - The Swedes quaffed their way through 2.5 million bottles of Champagne in 2013, a rise of 7.64% on the previous year.

9. Spain -While Cava may be its national sparkler, the Spanish have quite a taste for Champagne consuming more than three million bottles in 2013, despite shipments slipping by 1.92%.

8. Switzerland - 5,137,664 bottles shipped

7. Italy - Imports of Champagne took the biggest hit in Italy, where shipments fell by 14.18% in 2013.

6. Australia - Champagne shipments to Australia have been steadily rising in recent years with 2013 no exception. Australia achieved the second biggest growth of the top 10 markets in 2013 with shipments rising by a respectable 11.4%, making it the sixth largest Champagne market in the world.

5. Belgium - The biggest growing top 10 Champagne market of 2013 was Belgium where shipments jumped by a healthy 14.1%. Despite being a relatively small country, the people of Belgium managed to put away nearly 10 million bottles of Champagne in 2013.

4. Japan - The only Asian market to appear in the top 10, Japan is continuing to develop a taste for Champagne with shipments increasing by 6.7% in 2013.

3. Germany - Germany’s taste for Champagne stood firm in 2013 experiencing only a slight drop in shipments of 1.57%, comfortably maintaining its top three position.

2. USA -  17,853,267 bottles shipped, Shipments of Champagne to the US continued to grow in 2013, albeit by just 0.93%, with more than 17.8 million bottles shipped in 2013, an increase of 160,000 bottles compared to 2012.

1. United Kingdom - Despite UK Champagne shipments slipping by 5.1% in volume and 3.8% in value last year, UK imports were valued at €447.2 million in 2013 with the UK remaining by a wide margin the largest Champagne export market for the 18th year running, 72% ahead of nearest rival the United States. Of a total 136.6 million bottles exported from Champagne, 30.8 million were shipped to Britain – almost a quarter of the total.

Chandon Rosé Open to taste!Date published: 18/04/15

Chandon Rosé NV Argentina

Grape:Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Origin

Moët & Chandon have created this complex sparkling rosé by combining the fruit of several vineyards of varying altitude, using a traditional method of blending the juice with a controlled portion of Pinot Noir base wines, and 18 months' lees aging in bottle.

Taste

Rose pink with a sunny, peachy hue. Aromas a predominantly of citrus and stone fruit, accented by hints of cherry and fresh pie crust. The strawberries-and-cream palate is carried by a voluminous mousse.

Enjoy

A wonderful aperitif-style rosé for any special occasion.


Cotswolds GinDate published: 18/04/15

Cotswolds Gin

To create this Gin, Juniper, coriander, oris root and lime peel, botanicals were chosen that echo the Cotswolds and unique nature of the brewery! Hops are a reference to the brewing process, hawthorn berries to the brewery site which is surrounded by hawthorn bushes and lemon balm because it grows out of control in the garden! Serve with a slice of lemon.

This gin is non-chill filtered:

Chill filtering prevents the whisky from becoming hazy when in the bottle, when served, when chilled, or when water or ice is added, as well as precluding sedimentation from occurring in the bottles. Such clouding only happens at an alcohol by volume of 46% or less, thus stronger bottled whisky is non-chill filtered or un-chillfiltered.

Factors affecting the chill filtering process include the temperature, number of filters used, and speed at which the whiskey is passed through the filters. The slower the process and the more filters used, the more impurities will be collected, but at increasing cos


Storing wines in the modern worldDate published: 18/04/15

Storing wines in the modern world

There are many benefits to storing wine in a way that lets it mature and develop to drink to it's preferred taste. Although in households in London today space is at a premium and many rooms are multi-purpose. I have put forward a few hints and tips to try and get the most out of every bottle purchased.

Although over 50% of wine purchased in the UK is drunk within 72 hours of purchase there are a number of benefits to storing wine in the right environment.

Particularly for oak-aged wine from well-selected grapes, both white and red, ageing can help the initial powerful flavours of fruit, acidity and oak to settle allowing the wine to reveal a greater balance and plethora of hidden and delightful flavours.

Here are a few quick points to bear in mind:

- Wine asks to be kept lying in a cool, dark and ideally slightly damp place (to prevent the cork from drying out). Strong light can harm the wine by accelerating ageging in an inconsistent way. If cellaring is not an option, underground coal bunkers are perfect. Otherwise anywhere cool and consistent, such as under the stairs (if away from boilers or heating pipes) or at the back of a cupboard with these similar properties.

- Wine is not overly-fussy on temperature. 10 degrees celcius is perfect but anywhere between 7 and 18 degrees celcius will do the trick. Variation in temperature both annually or daily is an issue and so storing wine in the kitchen, for example, is unpractical for long-term ageing.

- Bottles should be stacked horizontally to prevent the cork from drying, shrinking and letting air in - so that the liquid is always in contact with the cork.  

- Every wine has a 'peaking' period based hugely on style and also on personal drinking taste. Each wine is different, for instance the majority of sauvignon blanc should be drunk young and fresh with fresh acidity and fruit flavours becoming less prominent over time. Whereas a Rioja Gran Reserva may go 10, 20 or 30 years and show a multitude of interesting elements from the oak and dried fruit flavours coming to the fore.

If you want to know how long or where to store your wine so that it can be drunk in a way that shows it true nature, please just ask us in store and we would love to help!


Why Use a Decanter?Date published: 18/04/15

Why Use a Decanter?

For those of you who are unsure, a decanter is a vessel that is used to hold the decantation of a wine which may contain sediment. Decanters are commonly made from glass and vary in shape and design. The need for using a decanter has been up for debate for a very long time now as some argue the wine improves from using one however not all agree.

Commonly, the reason for decanting wine is to aerate it, or to allow the wine to "breathe". The decanter is designed to mimic the effects of swirling the wine glass to stimulate the oxidation processes which trigger the release of more aroma compounds. In addition it is thought to benefit the wine by smoothing some of the harsher aspects of the wine (like tannins). Many experts advocate decanting for the purposes of aeration, especially with highly tannic wines like Barolo, Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Port, and Rhône wines while noting that decanting could be harmful for more delicate wines such as Pinot Noir.

However the effectiveness of decanting is a topic of debate, with some wine experts claiming that the prolonged exposure to oxygen actually diffuses more aroma compounds than it stimulates, in contrast to the effects of the smaller scale exposure and immediate release that swirling the wine in a drinker's glass has. In addition it has been reported that the process of decanting over a period of a few hours does not have the effect of softening tannins. The softening of tannins occurs during the winemaking and oak aging when tannins go through a process of polymerization that can last days or even weeks. Decanting merely alters the perception of sulfites and other chemical compounds in the wine through oxidation, which can give some drinkers the sense of softer tannins in the wine.    

Mendoza one of the 8 Wine capitals of the worldDate published: 18/04/15

Mendoza one of the 8 Wine capitals of the world

Mendoza in Argentina is arguably the largest wine producing region in the world and is famous for the Malbec that is produced there. What makes Mendoza such a successful region is despite grown in desert conditions, the vineyards are sheltered by the Andes Mountains and the altitude of the region insures moderated effect on temperature and increased sunlight intensity.


Wine Serving TemperatureDate published: 18/04/15

Wine Serving Temperature

If you're a bit unsure of what temperature you should be serving your wines in order to enjoy them at their best, then here are a few helpful tips.

Room temperature is commonly recommended for full-bodied red wine, but with the use of air-conditioning and central heating, rooms can often be too hot or too cold. If reds are too cold, they will taste thin and harsh. The best way to warm them is to allow the bottle to warm up slowly or by holding the bowl of the glass in your hands with the optimum temperature between 15 and 18 degrees.

You can use ice buckets or wine coolers to keep your white, rose and sparkling wines cold at parties, with ice buckets filled three quarters full with equal measures of ice and water, although you can always use a fridge at home. Medium to full bodied oaked white wine such as white Burgundy should be served lightly chilled between 10 and 13 degrees, whereas light white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc should be chilled to between 7 and 10 degrees, and sparkling wines well chilled between 6 and 10.

Its not always easy to get your wines to the perfect serving temperatures but stick roughly to these guidelines and you won't go far wrong!


Riojas Famous Grape!Date published: 18/04/15

Tempranillo, the famous grape of Rioja!  Tempranillo is a national treasure to Spain, rarely found outside the country, and responsible for the fine wines of Rioja.

Different types of Rioja; What does it all mean?

Crianza:  Must be aged for at least two years with a minimum of 1 year in oak - The most fruity style with an emphasis on red fruit and a slight hint of oak

Reserva: Must be aged for at least three years with a minimum of 1 year in oak - More vanilla oak notes alongside fruitiness

Gran Reserva: Must be aged for at least five years with a minimum of 2 years in oak - Most oaky style, a savoury style with leathery and plummy characteristics

These are the legal minimum ageing requirements for Rioja wines although most producers will choose to age them for longer.

Other areas where Tempranillo is grown;

Portugal - Here, Tempranillo is known as Tinta Roriz; and is also one of the main grapes used for Port production. Previously wines were overly astringent and tannic, however due to improved vinification this has also immensely improved the wine quality.

Australia - In 1999, 29 tonnes of Tempranillo were crushed and this rose to 439 tonnes in 2004; which makes it the largest percentage growth of any grape variety in Australia. So there's no doubt this is one to look out for!

South America - Known as Tempranilla, in Argentina it is known as the underdog of the grapes grown in the country. However some serious wine makers have made some very serious and good quality wines from Tempranilla, and there's certainly more to come. 

Rest of the World - Tempranillo is also found in Mexico, France, Italy as well as California.


Sam Adams on Lager - £1 per bottle (24x330ml) Offer ends April 27th!Date published: 17/04/15

Sam Adams on Lager - £1 per bottle (24x330ml) Offer ends April 27th!

History of Sam Adams Boston Lager

- The original recipe for this lager was written back in 1860 by Louis Koch, it was brewed in St Louis, Missouri and was called The Wooden Shoe Brew.

- The brand survived prohibition and was made up until the 1950s.

- In 1984 - six generations of Kochs later - Jim Koch found the recipe in his parent’s attic, and brewed his first batch in his kitchen.

- The beer is named after Samuel Adams an American patriot who played an important role in the American Revolution including the Boston Tea Party. Jim Koch hoped his beer would start an American beer revolution, thus the Boston man was an obvious inspiration.

How is Sam Adams made?

- The old 1860 recipe calls for Hallertau Mittelfrueh Noble hops, these are rare, fragile to grow and require constant attention by farmers. However Jim Koch convinced farmers to grow them for him.

- Sam Adams Malts are the brand’s own two-row pale malt blend along with Caramel 60.

What does it taste like?

- It’s a lager but not as you know it. Deep golden in colour and very full-bodied.

- A great balance of a typical refreshing lager character and the maltiness of a British ale. Bitter-sweet and slightly nutty.


Malbec World Day!Date published: 17/04/15

Malbec World Day!

Today is Malbec World Day in which we celebrate all things Malbec.  To celebrate we have all our Argentinian Malbecs at a stunning 33% Off until Monday only! So hurry to take advantage of this wonderful offer.....


Flash Deal! Chenin Blanc Under £5!Date published: 17/04/15

Flash Deal! Chenin Blanc Under £5!

We have just announced a very special deal on one of our most iconic South African wines.  The Robertson Chenin Blanc 2013 is now at just £4.92 per bottle when you buy 2 or more, its lowest price in 4 years!

This offer is strictly limited and will end on Sunday nightso be sure to get your order in fast!

The warm and dry Robertson Valley, home to this winery of the same name, is further inland than most vineyards in South Africa, but the Breede River, running through it, provides a cooling influence and provides Chenin Blanc of excellent character and consistency.

This wine is crammed full of pineapple, melon and green apple fruits complemented by a firm structure and balancing acidity.

If you want to try it for yourself, just pop in as we have one open!


Churchill QuoteDate published: 17/04/15

My absolute favourite Churchill quote!

Food and wine matching...Meatballs and RiojaDate published: 15/04/15

Food and Wine Matching

Meatballs and Rioja

I was feeling pretty lazy last night! Meatballs were on the menu but alas I did not make them myself, however I did stretch to making a homemade sauce. It was a basic tomato sauce with some shallots and garlic thrown in. I also found some pancetta lardons in the fridge so they went in too. No sauce would be complete without a good glug of wine! I had a bottle ofLagunilla Rioja Reserva in the cupboard that I had forgotton about so a big slosh went in the sauce and an even bigger slosh when in my glass.

I had forgotton how much I liked this wine. It has a lovely smoothness and elegance with mellow, spicy aromas. It has been aged in oak for 24 months which give a deliciously rich texture. I discovered this wine when I first joined Majestic many years ago and am so happy I have found it again. It is an absolute cracker and even better, it's currently on out Pick 'n' Mix deal for £6.66!!

Rioja Reserva Case del Comendador 2008, Lagunilla.

£9.99

Buy 2 bottles on Pick 'n' Mix save 33%

£6.66


Grape of the Day - MalbecDate published: 15/04/15

Grape of the Day - Malbec

Malbec is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins, and are known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. The French plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in South West France. It is increasingly celebrated as an Argentine varietal wine and is being grown around the world.

Called Auxerrois or Côt Noir in Cahors, called Malbec in Bordeaux, and Pressac in other places, the grape became less popular in Bordeaux after 1956 when frost killed off 75% of the crop. Despite Cahors being hit by the same frost, which devastated the vineyards, Malbec was replanted and continued to be popular in that area where it was mixed with Merlot and Tannat to make dark, full-bodied wines, and more recently has been made into 100% Malbec varietal wines.

A popular but unconfirmed theory claims that Malbec is named after a Hungarian peasant who first spread the grape variety throughout France. However the French ampelographer and viticulturalist Pierre Galet notes that most evidence suggest that Côt was the variety's original name and that it probably originated in northern Burgundy. Despite a similar name, the grape Malbec argenté is not Malbec, but rather a variety of the south-western French grape Abouriou. Due to the similarities in synonyms, Malbec has also been confused with Auxerrois blanc, which is an entirely different variety.

The Malbec grape is a thin-skinned grape and needs more sun and heat than either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot to mature. It ripens mid-season and can bring very deep color, ample tannin, and a particular plum-like flavour component to add complexity to claret blends. Sometimes, especially in its traditional growing regions, it is not trellised and cultivated as bush vines (the goblet system). Here it is sometimes kept to a relatively low yield of about 6 tons per hectare. The wines are rich, dark and juicy.

As a varietal, Malbec creates a rather inky red (or violet), intense wine, so it is also commonly used in blends, such as with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to create the red French Bordeaux claret blend. The grape is blended with Cabernet Franc and Gamay in some regions such as the Loire Valley. Other wine regions use the grape to produce Bordeaux-style blends. The varietal is sensitive to frost and has a proclivity to shatter or failure to develop grapes after flowering.


Rhone. Crozes-Hermitage pt4Date published: 15/04/15

Rhone. Crozes-Hermitage pt4

Crozes-Hermitage is notable for the large amount of cooperative wine. Cave de Tain, a large cooperative, takes half of the grapes grown and another large producer, Jaboulet, takes a big part of the other half, and also owns its own high quality vineyard sites. Although as noted a small amount of white grapes can be included when making red wines, more and more pure Syrah wines are being made.


Rhone. Crozes-Hermitage pt3Date published: 15/04/15

Rhone. Crozes-Hermitage pt3

As with the northern Rhône in general, Crozes-Hermitage produces primarily red wines, with Syrah the only red grape permitted under appellation rules. The rules allow the addition of up to 15% white grapes, Marsanne and Roussanne. These two grape varieties are also used to make up the white wines that are made in the appellation. The more notable vineyards in Crozes-Hermitage include Les Chassis, Les Sept Chemins and Les Meysonniers.

Many of the red wines are relatively light and intended for early drinking, while others will keep and improve in bottle for several years


Rhone. Crozes-Hermitage pt2Date published: 15/04/15

Rhone. Crozes-Hermitage pt2

Crozes-Hermitage, along with the rest of northern Rhône has a continental climate that differs from its southern neighbour, which has a more Mediterranean climate. Winters are wet and marked by the cold le mistral winds that can last into the Spring. The appellation is fairly large by Northern Rhône standards, with its 1,238 hectares accounting for approximately half of the entire region's 2,400 hectares. The appellation's boundary begins around 10 km north of Tain-l'Hermitage, extends around the village of Gervans with its south- and south-western granite slopes and then spreads south around Larnage where the land flattens and consists of more clay. Approaching Tain and the village of Mercurol the land rises again and the appellation spreads east. In this region, the soil is mostly rocks, sand and clay. Just south of Tain galets roulés, small surface stones also found extensively in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the southern Rhône, appear. The southernmost part of the appellation is flat and newly planted.


Rhone. Crozes-Hermitage pt1Date published: 15/04/15

Rhone. Crozes-Hermitage pt1

Crozes-Hermitage is a French wine Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in the northern Rhône wine region of France. The appellation is the largest in the northern Rhone, and its wines are less highly regarded than those from the nearby appellations of Côte-Rôtie or its near-namesake Hermitage. Most of the wines produced here are red wines made from the Syrah grape, sometimes blended with small quantities of white Roussanne or Marsanne grapes. Some white wines are also made, based on Marsanne and/or Roussanne.

In 1846, a panel of tasters commended the wine for its likeness to Hermitage wines. The appellation was officially defined in 1937 and was expanded in 1952.



Argentina Spotlight Tasting – Thursday 16th AprilDate published: 15/04/15

Argentina Spotlight Tasting – Thursday 16th April

Want to learn more about Argentinian wines but don't know where to start? Come along to our FREE 30 minute spotlight tasting, where our team will run through a range of Reds and Whites and hopefully find you a new favourite.


A Drop of Rosé For The SummerDate published: 15/04/15

A Drop of Rosé For The Summer

As the weather warms up, this is traditionally the time of year when people turn to the rosé for that perfect refreshment. If you're having a few people around then we suggest going large with the Black Cottage Pinot Rosé 2014 150cl Magnum.

One of our most popular rosés, the Black Cottage is pale salmon pink and has a gentle and attractive nose of ripe red berries and subtle spice. Light and refreshing, the delicate fruit and crisp acidity fade to a clean, dry finish.

We have it in Ealing at just £19.99, and as it's in a magnum, you get double the fun!


Why shop at Majestic?Date published: 15/04/15

Here at Majestic we cater for everyone, whether you are buying a gift, having a party or just topping up your wine collection.  Ask any member of staff for help, with their expert knowledge they can suggest the perfect bottle to suit your needs and tastes.   With an extensive range, competitive prices and a tasting counter where you can try before you buy, why shop anywhere else for your wine?  We also stock a fantastic selection of craft beers, ales and lagers and we have some great unique spirits.  There are regular tasting events happening all the time and they all all free!!  Oh and I have not mentioned we also offer a free delivery service!

So don't delay and #comeandexplore at your local Majestic today!

Open 7 days a week!!


World Malbec Day Date published: 15/04/15

World Malbec  Day 

April 17th is World Malbec Day! They're perfect teamed with beef in all its guises, from steaks to stews. 

Come along to our Argentinian Spotlight Week from the 17th to the 23rd of April - there'll be a range of Malbecs open and ready for you to taste. Want to learn even more about this much-loved red? You'll love our FREE 30-minute tutored Spotlight Tasting, in-store on Thursday the 16th of April at 6.30pm. Please let us know if you're able to come along, and we look forward to seeing you there! 



Sipsmith Barley Vodka £27.50 Date published: 15/04/15

Sipsmith Barley Vodka £27.50 

This vodka is the epitome of the hand-crafted ethos of Sipsmith. Unusually for vodka it is produced in copper stills in small batches and great care is taken to only extract to best spirit from the heart of the distillation run. There is therefore no need to filter this vodka or add any aromatisers.The aromas are subtle but hints of vanilla and biscuit come through. The texture on the palate really stands out as it is smooth, rich and creamy. 

Perfect for a vodka and tonic in the sun.


Web Exclusive - German Riesling ParcelDate published: 15/04/15

Web Exclusive - German Riesling Parcel


Our latest Web Exclusive is a parcel of two delicious German Riesling Spätlese. Two exceptional vineyards and wineries, from two different vintages - each wine is unique and delicious - perfect examples of mature German Riesling. The 2005 is the perfect spring-time drinking wine: beautiful orange blossom, honey and lime marmalade with crisp acidity. The 1999 has more of a delicate sweetness, outstanding balance with paraffin and honeydew melon flavours.


Munsterer Rheinberg Riesling Spätlese 2005 Weingut Göttelman

6x75cl Bottles @ £58.44

equivalent to £9.74 per bottle

Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese 1999 Weingut P. Licht-Bergweiler Erben

6x75cl Bottles @ £59.94

equivalent to £9.99 per bottle



This will be available to buy online until 3pm on Monday 20th April.


The Ned Sauvignon Blanc only £6.99 until Monday!Date published: 15/04/15

That's right, The Ned Sauvignon is only £6.99 per bottle until Monday evening at 7pm.  Order now, before it all goes!

Chablis ExplainedDate published: 14/04/15

Chablis Explained

Chablis is the most northern of the Burgundy districts. The town Chablis is situated in the valley of the River Serein and the terroir consists of limestone clay and is rich in marine fossils. There are 3 levels of Chablis:

Chablis AC: High in acidity and austere with better wines exhibiting more stony minerality.

Chablis Permier Cru AC: There are 79 named premier Crus with, Montee de Tonnerre, Vaillons and Fourchaume being the best known. Premier Crus display lemon citrus fruits and demonstrate more mineral aromas and have a higher acidity than a Chablis AC.

Chablis Grand Cru AC: The Grand Crus lie in a single block on one hillside and consist of only 7 vineyards. These are Les Clos, Vaudesir, Valmur, Les Preuses, Bougros, Blanchot and Grenouilles. The Grand Crus are more likely to have an oak influence (although not the dominant flavour) and develop smoky characteristics with age.

Chablis Grand Crus represent considerable value when compared with other white Burgundys. The complexity and intensity really does make this a fantastic wine.



Rose weather is hereDate published: 14/04/15

Rose weather is here, why not celebrate that by enjoying a glass or two (or five) of Aix.

AIX Rosé 2013 Coteaux d'Aix en Provence 150cl Magnum

Grape Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault

Origin

An award-winning wine from one of the region's largest and most prestigious wineries, Domaine de la Grande Séouve, who have established AIX as perhaps the definitive Provence rosé. Boldly brought to you in a party-ready magnum!

Taste

Unashamedly vibrant and summery, with a bright pink colour and a delicate balance of crisp acidity and soft, ripe summer fruit.

£19.99


Wine of the Day: TanninDate published: 14/04/15

Tannin is a word normally associated with red wines, but can be found in whites as well. Tannin is a compound found just beneath the skins and in the stalks/pips of the grapes that gives you the feeling that your gums and teeth are being dried out. With a really tannic wine you might feel like you are chewing through it and you need to go and brush your teeth afterwards! Tannins are a good thing though because they provide structure and also act as a preservative, allowing the wine to age gracefully and develop complexity. Tannins soften with age so tannic grapes are more likely to need ageing before they are nice and soft to drink (think Cabernet Sauvignon).

Grape of the Day -GleraDate published: 11/04/15

Grape of the Day -Glera

This is the grape we have all come to know as Prosecco, but the name of which was changed in 2010 to Glera, when the sparkling wine of the same name and grape was elevated from DOC to DOCG status. This vine is thought to have originated in the village of Prosecco, before spreading over time to Coneglian-Valdobbiadene region, where it assumed its Prosecco identity. The Glera grape makes very uninspiring still wine, and in terms of sparkling wine gains nothing from time on yeast or, indeed , post-disgorgement ageing. It works best when tank fermented and sold as young and as fresh as possible.


Grapes in focus: TempranilloDate published: 10/04/15

Grapes in focus: Tempranillo
 

As with many of our customers, Rioja is one of my favourite wine producing regions and although the name is familiar there is much to learn about this grape.

Tempranillo is best known as the dominant grape of red rioja, Spain's most famous wine. To make a parallel with the most celebrated blended red wine in the world, red bordeaux, Tempranillo plays the Cabernet Sauvignon part while the much juicier, fruitier Garnacha (known in France as Grenache) plays the role of plumper blending partner Merlot.Tempranillo provides the framework and ageing ability, together with the predominant flavour, while Garnacha adds weight. Mazuelo (Carignan) and the much finer Graciano (Morrastel) are also allowed in a Rioja blend.

Until the 1990s most red rioja tasted more of oak than grapes. The traditional way of making rioja - ageing for years and years in small, vanilla-scented American oak barrels - disguised Tempranillo's own flavour. But since bodegas in Rioja have seriously begun to age their wines for much shorter periods in French oak, and also to export young (Joven) unoaked wines, wine lovers the world over have started to come to grips with the essence of Tempranillo itself.

Tempranillo's skins are not especially thick, so the wine is not marked by particularly deep colour, and rot can be a problem, especially in the tight bunches of the newer clones (although compared to most internationally known grape varieties there are not that many clones of Tempranillo available).

The vine has traditionally been cultivated en vaso, as little low bush vines dotting the Spanish landscape, although some growers have been training it up a trellis to increase yields. What is sure is that when the right clone of Tempranillo is grown in the right spot without excessive yields and with real care, then it can produce extremely long-lived wines.  Throughout northern Spain, Tempranillo's stronghold, vine-growing today tends to be in quite different hands from wine-making, which does not always optimise quality unfortunately.

So vital is Tempranillo to other Spanish wine regions that it travels under many local aliases. In Ribera del Duero, the high plateau south-west of Rioja, it is even more important and is known simply as Tinto Fino orTinto del País. Bordeaux grape varieties and the local Albillo may, technically, be blended with it but rarely are nowadays, except in the region's most famous wine Vega Sicilia which has proved that Tempranillo grown in this extreme climate with its hot days and cool nights can withstand up to 10 years in barrel and still age for decades in bottle. Today there are all manner of young turks and middle-aged fortune hunters trying their hand at making a more modern, concentrated style of Ribera del Duero - all characterised by an intense, deep crimson and, in good examples, a flavour to match. Dane Peter Sisseck has had phenomenal success with his briary cocktail Dominio de Pingus.

In the small, warmer but extremely fashionable Toro wine region to the north, the local, loose-bunched form of Tempranillo is known as Tinta de Toro. So far Toro wine has been made quite simply and is a sort of exuberant, turbo-charged fruity essence of Tempranillo. But sophisticated winemakers have been moving in and we can expect to see more subtle, longer-lived wines emerging.

But Tempranillo is increasingly recognised as important over the border in Portugal, both in the north as Tinta Roriz where it is a respected ingredient in port, in the table wines of the Douro Valley and as an improving grape variety in the red wines of Dão, and in the Alentejo in the south where it is known as Aragonês. It is increasingly bottled as a varietal wine, and in the hot climate of the Alentejo in particular can be positively plump.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Languedoc in southern France has long cultivated Tempranillo, even if its produce tends to disappear in blends. The Australians are now becoming rather interested in its novel range of flavours and Brown Brothers of Victoria were the first to sell it in varietal, just-recognisable form. Argentina has grown substantial quantities of the vine they called Tempranilla for decades, presumably since it was imported by Spanish immigrants. Untroubled here by the autumn rains that can plague Rioja, it can produce much riper wines in the right hands. Winemakers such as Susana Balbo at Anubis have applied modern winemaking methods to it to sizzling effect.


Short Term offer! Giesen Sauvignon Blanc onl £6.66Date published: 09/04/15

The Giesen brothers Theo, Alex and Marcel started the winery in the 1980s and today have 13 vineyards covering the length and breadth of the Wairau Valley. This wine is blended from 32 separate vineyard parcels, vinified in the winery in the town of Blenheim.


A richly tropical nose, dominated by youthful aromas of lime, lemongrass and green herbs. Fruit on the palate leans more toward gooseberry and citrus, with a zesty acidity.

Drink with a seafood risotto or paella.

Only £6.66!

Wine Fact!Date published: 09/04/15

Champagne is the only region in the EU which can produce a Rosé from a blend of red and white grapes.

Wine Fact!Date published: 09/04/15

 Zinfandel is California`s most distinctive red grape and is extremely versatile, it can produce light, jammy, almost Beaujolais-type wines, through to full-bodied, robust, oak aged wines brimming with ripe, peppery, cassis-like fruits. 

Wine Fact!Date published: 09/04/15

Mencíais the primary grape of the Bierzo region in Spain and can be used to make fruity wines with supple tannins and succulent fruit, as well as more concentrated, powerful styles with an exotic earthiness, and smooth tannins.

Your Guide to SherryDate published: 08/04/15

Your Guide to Sherry

If we have just one word of advice for you this winter it is this: Sherry! Deliciously complex and ranging from bone dry to unctuously sweet, here are the styles of this most beautiful of boozes which you lucky people can be walking home with.

Pedro's Fino - £8.99

Exceptionally dry and pale, Fino is a delicate and zesty treat. Despite being fortified to 15% alcohol, this variety is closer to a table wine in style and it's an absolute dream to match with all types of food: you have never truly tasted an olive until you've tried it with Fino. Watch out though, once opened it needs to be drunk within a few days or this beautiful sparky wine will lose its magic – luckily it's so tasty we doubt it'll run that risk.

La Gitana Manzanilla - £7.99

Like Fino, Manzanilla is a dry Sherry with a character that is heavily influenced by its time spent fermenting under the protective cover of flor yeast. To find the birthplace of this wine however, we must head Northwest of Jerez to the coastal city of Sanlucar de Barrameda. Here, the extra humidity results in a slower maturation process which gives this Sherry an extra kick of refreshing acidity. For anyone who is afflicted by unpleasantly sickly Sherry-based memories, a chilled glass of Manzanilla is the perfect antidote.

Pedro's Palo Cortado - £14.99

This is one of the most highly prized varieties of Sherry but it could so easily have been that we would never have had the chance to sample its rich and complex depths. Created by fluke when the yeast dies off prematurely, this style has picked up a few nutty notes but remains beautifully crisp. A bottle of this, some Manchego cheese, a bit of Iberico ham, and you're as close to perfection as you're likely to get.

Pedro's Amontillado - £10.99

As soon as a Sherry reaches the dizzy heights of 16% alcohol, the yeast begins to die off and the precious liquor is exposed to the air. It is this that causes Amontillado to acquire its deep amber colour and pronounced nutty notes. The beauty of this variety is the combination of its depth of flavour and silky smooth texture.

Oloroso - £12.99

Here is where we leave the fresh, yeasty flavours of Fino well behind arriving instead at the immense depth and complexity of Oloroso. This wine has had even more time exposed to the oxygen in the air and has therefore become a much deeper colour as well as developing a wealth of complex flavour. With the signature aroma of toasted nuts, this sherry also takes us down the road to more vegetal notes. Made for drinking in the Autumn and winter, match this with the meatiest meat dishes you can, with game in particular would be a dreamy combination.

Triana Pedro Ximenez - £12.99

Dessert wines don't come much more delicious than this. And this stunning variety has all the characteristics that make it the perfect accompaniment to all the sweet treats that Christmas offers up. Made from sun-dried grapes, Pedro Ximenez is unctuously dark and syrupy. Raisins and other dried fruits are the dominant notes, and it is perfect consumed with pudding, after pudding, or even poured over pudding.



Did you know....?Date published: 08/04/15

Lead and Wine?

Romans discovered that mixing lead with wine not only helped preserve wine, but also gave it a sweet taste and succulent texture. Chronic lead poisoning has often been cited as one of the causes of the decline of Rome



Does Oak Type On Wine Make A Difference?Date published: 08/04/15

Essentially, there are two types of oak which are characterized by French Oak (European) or American Oak.

European:
This is the more expensive option for winemakers as the wood has to be split rather than straight sawn; it is so porous it would produce leaky barrels! This isn't ideal. The flavours which the wood imparts are savoury, with cedar and toast and toast notes which can develop into burnt toast and coffee depending on how the winemakers want their finished wine.

American:
This is cheaper and easier to saw and shape into barrels. The difference in flavours which integrate into the wine is vastly different to European, with sweeter characteristics showing on the nose and palate, such as vanilla and coconut. Riojas in the past were based upon American wood ageing, but quality of oxidation means that most winemakers now use European oak to produce softer oak, in small barriques (225L) with a small wine volume to air surface area ratio.



Web Exclusive- Penfolds Mixed CaseDate published: 08/04/15

Web Exclusive- Penfolds Mixed Case

This mixed case from one of Australia's top producers really is not to be missed! One of the country's oldest wineries, Penfolds was founded in 1844. They have an excellent reputation globally, and in 2013 were awarded "New World Winery of the Year" by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

An exciting mix, the case consists of:

2x Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvèdre 2012 South Eastern Australia

1x Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2012 South Australia
1x Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay 2012 Tumbarumba
1x Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2012 South Australia
1x Penfolds Bin 138 Shiraz Grenache Mataro 2012 Barossa Valley

Available online only at majestic.co.uk until 3pm Tuesday 14 April or whilst stocks last! 

For more information -> http://www.majestic.co.uk/Penfolds-Collectors-Selection-Case-zid19670x6?


M de MinutyDate published: 08/04/15

M de Minuty

It's so good to see the sun back making an appearance, and bringing some warmth with it!

It's definitely feeling like rose season and what better way to make the most of it than to come and in get some incredibly Minuty Provence Rose whilst you have the chance.

Origin: Chateau de Minuty is located on the St Tropez Peninsular, with its vineyards virtually overlooking the Mediterranean. This rose is quintessential of the local style, with the blend employing the little-known Tibouren grape, a variety grown almost exclusively in Provence.

Grape: Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren

Taste: Pale honeysuckle pink, and offering a clean nose of citrus fruit, offset by subtle floral and candied notes. Fresh acidity makes for an incisive and lively palate, with a rounded feel.

Enjoy: Partner with delicate flavours of fresh shellfish, or with a mozzarella and sun-ripened tomato salad.

Currently 33% off! £9.99 / bottle (RRP £14.99)


Easter Opening HoursDate published: 02/04/15

Easter Opening Hours

Good Friday - Normal hours 10-8

Easter Saturday - Normal hours 9-7

Easter Sunday - CLOSED

Easter Monday - Bank holiday hours 10-5

Tuesday - Normal hours resume

Chardonnay - The RenaissanceDate published: 19/03/15

Chardonnay - The Renaissance

It is no secret that the big, oaked New World Chardonnays of the 80s and 90s have, in some quarters, permanently tainted some consumers views towards the great Burgundian white grape. Emphasis on power rather than elegance and oak over fruit, created wines that were unpleasant to many. By contrast, lighter and more fruit driven white varieties, such as Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc have enjoyed a rise in popularity and have since dominated the UK market.

However, slowly but surely those on the ABC bandwagon are being won over by a more modern and thoughtful approach to winemaking. Cool climate and high altitude vineyards are leading this revival, with oak being used to contribute to the textural and aromatic complexity rather than being the wine's defining characteristic. The resulting wines possess more poise and elegance than their predecessors and are thus more palatable and appealing to UK consumers.

Styles range from unoaked wines with clean and crisp citrus and green fruit characteristics to a subtle use of oak giving vanilla and tropical fruit notes. These more restrained chardonnays can be found from a multitude of New world regions such as Chile, Argentina, California, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. The latter is currently experiencing healthy growth, with Hardys up 14% in value in the last 12 months (Accolade, 2013) and chardonnay is the fastest growing Australian grape variety.

At Majestic we stock a wide range of new world Chardonnay and would encourage you to #tasteandexplore


One-stop-shop for a party!Date published: 19/03/15

Having an Easter Party?

Majestic is your one-stop shop for all your party requirements.

We provide:

Free Glass Hire (£1 refundable deposit per glass)

Free Chiller Bin and Ice Bucket Hire (£15 and £10 refundable deposit)

Free delivery

Ice

Expert advice


Oloroso SherryDate published: 19/03/15

Oloroso is the richest, and darkest style of Sherry.

Oloroso Sherry gains its dark colour and rich flavours from longer periods of oxidative ageing than other Sherry styles. The flor that develops over both Fino and Amontillado is suppressed in an Oloroso by fortifying the wine to 17.5% after fermentation. At this level of alcohol the yeast cannot survive and so a flor cannot form. This means that Oloroso is exposed to effects of oxidation, which causes it to darken, gain rich nutty flavours, and strengthen in alcohol. Oloroso is often aged for long periods of time, which intensifies this process.

Our Pedro's Oloroso is full-bodied and warming, with a rich texture, dark colour, and beautiful walnut and coffee flavours. This robust Sherry is an excellent match for full-flavoured dishes such as casseroles, red meats, and game.



Gin and tonicDate published: 19/03/15

Gin and tonic

What beats a nice glass of gin and tonic over ice and a slice when you get home from a hard day? (That's rhetorical!)

Gin is making a great comeback in popularity in the drinks industry, and competition is rife to have your attractive bottle placed on wine or cocktail bar shelves. With so many styles of gin all based around a base of juniper berries, it can be difficult to choose what you enjoy the most. Furthermore, there are so many botanicals that gin can be distilled with, be it star anise, coriander, cucumber, tea leaf, or even fennel, alongside flavourings of citrus peel or orange!

It is gins such as Martin Millers and Tanqueray 10 flavoured with citrus peel and orange that I love the most. It adds a freshness and fruitiness to the juniper backbone and works beautifully with tonic water.

As for tonic water we stock a range of Fever Tree tonic at Majestic. It has to be fever tree as paying premium prices for gin and using a bog standard tonic mixer is literally pointless!

It must have ice and a slice too! I roll with lemon, lime or even orange depending on the gin and my mood!

Love it! When is Gin O'Clock??!



25% Off all Australian Wines!Date published: 19/03/15

25% Off all Australian Wines!
We currently have 25% off all Australian wines, mix and match! We will also be kicking of this fantastic promotion with a spotlight tasting week running from Friday 20th until Thursday 26th March.

Why Craft Beer?Date published: 17/03/15

Why Craft Beer?

In 2002 Gordon Brown introduced 'progressive beer duty', an act which allowed brewers and micro-brewers a tax break on production below specific quantities. It was since this act that the craft beer revolution began to grow and more recently exploded into the mainstream.

Craft beer isn't new, for years the UK was regarded as one of the 'greatest brewing nations'. It was however with the turn of the 1970's that the UK public shifted its focus from the Czech-style Pilsners and Indian Pale Ales that many producers had dominated the market with.

With craft beer returning to the UK, producers began to produce beers in the traditional style, cask ales that had dominated the beer market before. However it wasn't long until the UK producers began to turn to other countries, where new and long-forgotten styles of beers were accounting for huge percentages of the market. UK pioneers such as Dark Star in Sussex and Meantime in Greenwich began to introduce these ideas in their own brewing styles, to be shortly followed by other cult breweries such as BrewDog. This created such a high demand, many more producers followed creating more than the 800 new breweries you see today.

Part of the success, its claimed, is down to the recession. People stopped going to the pub to save money and began to look for alternatives from the regular beers on the pubs taps, to enjoy at home. Young professionals aided this, allowing for beers to make way for the 'foodies' and creating food matching styles and niece brands.

With boom fully developed, the UK beer market is now flooded with new and exciting styles, making beer available to all people regardless of taste, gender or class.

Heres just some of our top picks we have here in Majestic, Cardiff ready for you to take home today!

Lagers

Meantime London Lager, 6 x 330ml, £9.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

The original pioneering brand.Meantime Brewing Company is an award-winning brewery based in Greenwich, London. The London lager has the perfect balance of bitterness and hopiness.

Camden Hells Lager, 6 x 330ml, £10.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

Inspired by Germany, delivered for London. A classic lager that’s exactly what it should be: easy-drinking, crisp and dry with beautiful bubbles. Clean and refreshing with a dry hop finish. You can taste the great depth of flavour which comes from the long, slow maturation in tank. This is how a great lager should taste

Anchor Steam, 6 x 335ml, £!0.99, (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

The name Anchor Steam is inspired by an age-old brewing tradition in San Francisco where beer was brewed on rooftops in open pans. When the heat generated by the fermentation process met with the foggy cool air of San Francisco ‘steam’ was produced, and this became a nickname for any California beer brewed under these conditions. Anchor Brewing still use traditional open pans for their fermentation process to this day. This is a classic hybrid beer using lager yeasts that are usually associated with the production of traditional English bitter, a technique which originated in the gold rush era of America’s west coast. Using Northern Brewer hops, this beer is amber in colour and delivers a rich, caramel malt flavour, rounded off with delicate citrus notes. Enjoy chilled with Mexican food or just on its own with friends!

Brooklyn Lager, 6 x 355ml, £9.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

A amber-gold that lager displays a firm malt center with a refreshing bitterness and floral hop aroma. This American original uses the British technique of Dry-hopping in a Viennese-style beer, resulting in a smooth lager that's versatile with food.

IPA

Meantime Pale Ale, 6 x 330ml, £9.99, (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

With a balanced mix of fruit and malty flavours, this pale ale has a nice bitter hoppy finish.

BrewDog Punk IPA, 6 x 330ml, £10.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

Light golden in colour with tropical fruits and light caramel on the nose

BrewDog Dead Pony Club, 6 x 330ml, £8.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

A rock 'n' roll American session ale, this Californian IPA packs a huge hoppy punch. Super fresh, with mango, citrus, peach and caramel notes.

Camden Pale Ale, 6 x 330ml, £10.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

This American style pale ale is bright gold, big hops and white foam, it’s packed with citrus and tropical fruit, there’s a round body and a drink-me-faster bitterness.

Lagunitas IPA, 6 x 355ml, £10.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

A Majestic favourite. Expect to find An easy drinking IPA with a hoppy-sweet finish.

Blonde

Vedett Blond, 6x330ml, £9.99,(when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

By their own admission Vedett don’t take themselves too seriously unless they’re talking about quality. The Blond is a yellow to pale gold colour with a delicate bitterness combined with a touch of citrus and a lengthy crisp refreshing finish. A good match to lighter dishes but the heady hop aroma can also make it the perfect drink to cut through spicy foods such as spicy ribs or buffalo wings.

This is just a small selection of the craft beers we have in store today. Each week will be also be opening a new beer on a week by week basis, for you to try on our tasting counter.

Pop by today and try something new!


The Old Vine: Who Invented Wine Anyway?Date published: 17/03/15

The Old Vine: Who Invented Wine Anyway?

Recently, so they tell me, Byzantine grape seeds have been found in the Negev region of southern Israel. The hope is that these seeds will provide an insight into how wine was produced in the ancient world, and how it might differ from the wine of today. This got me thinking. We in store know a lot about wine, the differences between the many producers and styles, but we don't often think about the origins of wine.

It turns out there's a lot of different legends surrounding this. 

 According to one such legend, wine in ancient Persia (known as “mey”) was originally discovered by a young Persian  girl. The young girl had been spurned from the kings harem, and become thoroughly depressed as a result. Unable to cope with her sadness she decided that she would commit suicide by drinking the rotting liquid left in a bowl of table grapes. Instead of dying she found the sensation was actually quite pleasant, and shared this discovery with the king. Not only allowed to rejoin the king’s harem, but was also granted further rewards.

Stay tuned for another legend of discovery!


Wine Region of The Day: Napa ValleyDate published: 17/03/15

Wine Region of The Day: Napa Valley

Home of the some of the most expensive vineyards and prestigious wineries, this region is famous for its opulent, complex Cabernet Sauvignon which can rival the quality of the best produced anywhere. The climate is Mediterranean with high diurnal ranges. This is the difference in temperature between day and night, caused by the mists and fogs that provide temperature contrast and humidity. This contrast means that the Cabernet grapes retain good acidity as well as a slower ripening process that builds rich, complex flavours and firm, supple tannins. 

Vintage Champagne BargainDate published: 17/03/15

Vintage Champagne

Vintage Champagne is only made in the very best years and is a champagne house best quality champagne. Unlike non-vintage Champagne vintage Champagne is made from the best parcels of grapes of that year and not a blend of grapes from different years.

Vintage Champagnes have to spend a minimum of three years on the lees. This gives the champagne the benefit of developing a more pronounced yeasty quality with aromas and flavours of brioche and toast.

As part of Pick 'N' Mix we currently have Heidsieck Gold Top 2007 Vintage at £19.99 when you buy any two bottles within the Pick 'N' Mix.



Wine word of the Day - PhylloxeraDate published: 17/03/15

Wine word of the Day - Phylloxera

A few vine cuttings from the New World brought to Europe spread a tiny insect called Phylloxera vastatrix, which feeds on the roots of vines. The only way to save all of the European grape vines was to graft native American vines to the European rootstocks. While some European vines are justifiably hallowed, none of them are pristine and without an American element after the mid 1800s

Ned Sauvignon Blanc at £7.33Date published: 17/03/15

Ned Sauvignon Blanc at £7.33

Be quick to grab this fantastic offer on the Ned.

A nose of nettles and grass leads to generous gooseberry flavours with a smoky herbal twist on the palate. The stony terroir gives the wine a subtle gunflint minerality which delivers extra complexity.


TokajiDate published: 17/03/15

Tokaji

In the far north east corner of Hungary lies the wine region of Tokaj, home to the world renowned sweet wine Tokaji. Classic Tokaji is a deep amber colour, with high acidity and intense aromas such as orange marmalade, apricots and honey. 

How is it made?

The sweet wine owes its quality and character to semi-dried, extremely rich grape varieties - furmint and horslevelu that have been affected by noble rot. The grapes affected by noble rot are called aszu and placed in a wooden hod called a puttony for 6-8 days. A highly concentrated, thick, syrupy juice drains through holes at the base of the puttony and collected. This liquid is referred to as pure esscenzia or nectar. Once the esscenzia is removed the puttony of aszi grapes is kneaded into a paste and added to an unfermented must or dry base wine. The sweetness of the wine is traditionally dependent on how many puttonyos are added to the base wine. Thus the unit to express the level of sweetness is the puttony and the scale runs 3 to 6 puttonyos.

Tokaji Aszuesscencia

The sweetest wines ine the aszu catergory. Very rare and expensive and only made in the best years using grapes from the best vineyards - equivalent of 7 puttonyos.

Tojaki Eszencia or Naturescencia 

Extremely rare wines. Made using only the free run juice (the nectar) from the aszu berries. The must is so sweet it can take years to ferment. the legal minimum level of residual sugar is 450g/L. They are able to mature and retain their freshness for a century or more. It was a drink prized by the Russian tsars and was often referred to as Imperial Tokaji.



Wine Quote: 'A pint of old Port and a devilled biscuit can hurt no man.Date published: 15/03/15

'A pint of old Port and a devilled biscuit can hurt no man.'

-R. S. Surtees, Handley Cross


One Bunch of grapes?Date published: 15/03/15

One Bunch of grapes?

One glass of wine consists of juice from one cluster of grapes. Seventy-five grapes comprise one cluster. One grape vine produces 10 bottles. One acre can contain 400 vines, resulting in five tons of grapes. On average, five tons of grapes can be made in to 300 cases or 3,600 bottles of finished wine


Mother's Day food and wine matchDate published: 15/03/15

Food and Wine Match:

Apple Tarte Tatin with Rustenberg Straw Wine 2011 Coastal Region 37.5cl Half bottle

As my mother is down for a visit, I have decided to go all out and offer a dessert and accompanying wine to finish off her Mother's Day meal this evening. This tarte tatin is made by layering butter, sugar and apples, topped off with puff-pastry. It's luxurious, caramel rich flavours are the perfect end to meal.

The wine to match?

I chose the Rustenburg Straw Wine at £12.99. It has concentrated aromas of honey, marmalade and ripe peach. The intensely sweet yet vibrantly fruity and involving complexity balances the rich sweetness of the tarte tatin perfectly.


Grape of the Day: DolcettoDate published: 15/03/15

Grape of the Day: Dolcetto

One of the less well known Italian grape varieties from Piedmont.

What to Expect: A soft, round, fragrant wine with flavours of cherry, licqorice and almonds.

Most docetto wines are made to drink young (within a couple of years) but some for instance dolchetto d'Alba will age for 5 years or more.

Try with a traditional Italian pizza!


Wine word of the Day - ChateauxDate published: 15/03/15

Wine word of the Day - Chateaux

Most vineyards in Bordeaux are not known by names attached to specific plots of land but rather by Chateuxs. These are estates under single ownership and are generally attached to a substantial house. Over the years a Chateux may vary in size by the purchase or sale of vineyard plots. Therefore a chateau name is more of a brand than a designation of a specific vineyard.

Region of the Day: CatalunyaDate published: 15/03/15

Region of the Day: Catalunya

Traditionally known as the heartland of Cava production, Catalunya is widely planted with grapes producing the 'big three' Cava varieties of Parellada, Xarel-lo and Macabeo. These grapes are also important for still as well as sparkling wines.

The region has three distinct climate zones. The hottest is on the coastal plain which produces mainly full-bodied red wines made from Garnacha and Monastrell. Inland, where the climate is more temperate, supplies much of the grapes used for white wines and Cava. Finally, in the hills the climate is cooler and grapes such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir are grown.

Historically, the white wines produced were made up of the local trio of Parrellada, Xarel-lo and Macabeo. Recent influence from the Torres company has led to the planting of more international grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.

Traditionally, powerful oak-aged wines from Garnacha and Monastrell grapes dominated the red wine production. Now there are also important plantings of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinot Noir.

The broad welcome for French as well as Spanish varieties has enabled the local growers to improve the quality of their wine and enhance the reputation of the region.



English SparklingDate published: 15/03/15

English wines may not be the most popular thing on the market and may even still surprise some people that we are a wine producing country. However with the recent successes of some of the country's top Sparkling wine producers, the tides are definitely changing.

 Although wine making in the UK has been going on since Roman times, when every important villa had it's own vineyard, it didn't really take off in a commercial sense until the 1950's when Hambledon was established. This lead to a boom in British wine  production which peaked in the 1970's, but was never quite able to sustain itself.

The British wine scene has long been ruled by German and French hybrids and Cross-Breeds, such as, Muller-Thurgau, Reichensteiner and  Seyval-Blanc. Although hardy enough to cope with our weather systems, these grape verities produced pretty forgettable wines and many believe that this may have been a major reason that the industry was unable to flourish.
The UK is also a fairly densely populated island that lacks available land for vineyards meaning we'll probably never be able to compete on the world market in terms of high quantity at low value. However many producers have now accepted this fact and are focusing on making top quality sparkling wines, in the Champagne method, using more traditional grape varieties and if the offerings from the likes of Chapel Down, Nyetimber and Ridgeview are anything to go by, they have it cracked!  The future for English wine bright and it's most definitely Sparkling!

The chaps at Nyetimber were the first to dip their toes in the water so to speak. The founders, Stuart and Sandy Moss from Chicago, had the, then crazy, ambition of making a first class English sparkling wine from the classic Champagne varieties . They sought help and advice from British experts but were told that Chardonnay just wouldn't grow and Pinot Noir would simply rot on the vines.
Instead of accepting this, they decided to ask some real experts, the Champenois from France, for help. Rather than just advise from afar, the Champenois came over to see their vineyard sites in West Sussex, examine the soils and then advised the Mosses on exactly what clones of the desired grapes would be best and give the greatest results. They even helped guide the Mosses with the wine making processes and training of their staff. All this work paid off though because Nyetimber are now one of the countries leading Sparkling wine producers, and quite possibly one of the best.

This new thinking by Nyetimber sparked a mini revolution in the English wine world. Mike Roberts of Ridgeview was the first to follow suit with the Cuvee Merret. Shortly after this, the rest of quality wine makers in England joined the English Sparkling Cavalry.
Although English Sparkling Wines is probably going to remain a small industry on the world market, it is becoming a platform highly regarded for it's top quality, award winning Sparkling Wines. And with the product of 2014's 'Vintage of Dreams' yet to be released, it's an extremely exciting time to be involved in the industry, or simply a fan of quality sparkling wines.


2009 Vintage GuideDate published: 15/03/15

TALY 2009: Piedmont fared very well, producing, rich, well structured wines. Southern Italy more variable, although Sangiovese was generally sound.

SPAIN 2009: Hot and dry throughout most of Spain, the vintage produced many powerful, intense wines, with plenty of body and ripe tannins.

AUSTRALIA 2009: Yields reduced deliberately in many places, and by bushfires in Victoria. Otherwise relatively cool conditions, giving balanced wines.

CHILE 2009: Mild conditions favoured white wines, as well as Syrah and Pinot Noir, which tend towards elegant structure rather than outright power.

SOUTH AFRICA 2009: A tricky vintage due to cool, wet weather. Thicker-skinned red varieties suffered, while whites are crisp and well structured.

NEW ZEALAND 2009: A great vintage in all regions, with quality boosted by much crop thinning following 2008’s bumper harvest.

CALIFORNIA 2009: A long, hot growing season ended with thunderstorms around harvest time, causing slightly patchy quality, but the good wines are very good.



Build a Bramble... with Langton's Gin!Date published: 15/03/15

Drop in and see us today and pick up a bottle of Langton's Gin - include it as part of your mixed case for only £30.00!! It is a clean aqua tasting gin with subtle herbaceous notes, excellent for mixing or evening drinking with tonic. 

The bramble cocktail was created in 1984 by Dock Bradsell at Fred's Club in Soho. It is a balanced blend of sweet and sour, dominated with the gin and backed by blackberry fruit liqueur.

50ml Langton's gin
25ml lemon juice
splash sugar syrup
15ml Blackberry liqueur (Chambord)
Two blackberries to Garnish your creation!

1) Shake together the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup with ice.
2) Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice.
3) Drizzle the Chambord over the top.
4) Serve and impress your partner!


The History of Cloudy BayDate published: 14/03/15

The History of Cloudy Bay

Cloudy Bay Vineyards was established in 1985 by Cape Mentelle Vineyards in Western Australia, and is today part of Estates & Wines, The Moët Hennessy Wine Division. Innovation, meticulous attention to detail and regional expression are the guiding principles of Cloudy Bay. The Cloudy Bay team is committed to producing ‘wines of region’ and strives to enhance the pure, bracing flavours and stunning vibrancy, naturally afforded by the climate and soils of Marlborough.

The winery and vineyards are situated in the Wairau Valley in Marlborough at the northern end of New Zealand's South Island. This unique and cool wine region enjoys a maritime climate with the longest hours of sunshine of any place in New Zealand. Cloudy Bay has 250 hectares over four estate vineyards, and long-term supply agreements with nine Wairau Valley growers. The main varieties grown are sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir with lesser quantities of gewurztraminer, riesling, and pinot gris.

Cloudy Bay wines are exported to over 30 markets, the principal ones being Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Europe and Japan. Cloudy Bay believes that the future success of specialist wineries lies in the production of high quality wines from varieties best suited to specific regions. At Cloudy Bay, emphasis is placed on individual fruit character and the development of a recognisable estate wine style.

Cloudy Bay Vineyards was a founding member of the New Zealand Integrated Winegrape Production scheme, set up to develop a programme for sustainable vineyard management, which is now monitored by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand. Cloudy Bay’s impeccable scorecard reflects the company’s commitment to environmentally friendly winery and vineyard management practices.

The winery takes its name from the bay at the eastern extremity of the Wairau Valley, which was named Cloudy Bay by Captain Cook on his voyage to New Zealand in 1770. At the time of Cook’s discovery, Marlborough was in flood and the Wairau River running into the bay was full of silt creating cloudy waters.


Spotlight on a Region - ChablisDate published: 14/03/15

Spotlight on a Region - Chablis

Chablis is a famous wine region in Burgundy that is isolated halfway between Beaune and Paris in northern France. It is only 19 miles from the southernmost vineyards of Champagne, and has more in common with this region than the rest of Burgundy. The soils are calcareous clay, with Kimmeridgian clay being the most famous type. It is harder to ripen grapes in cool climates, and Chablis is at the northern limit for grape growing. This is a constant worry for growers, however when everything is right, the wines are some of the best in the world. Chardonnay is the predominate grape, showing its versatility in the semi-continental climate. Long cold winters, humid springs and fairly hot summers are the norm. Hail and spring frost being the greatest hazards. The best sites are situated at 150 – 200m altitude, and all the grands crus are on one stretch of southwest facing slope, just north of the town of Chablis itself. Most of the premier cru slopes face southeast.

Spotlight on a Region- Central ValleyDate published: 14/03/15

Spotlight on a Region- Central Valley

The Central Valley is a huge wine region in California. It stretches 640 kilometres from Redding in the north to Bakersfield in the south, between the coastal ranges to the west and the Sierra Nevada to the east. A very important area, it accounts for three quarters of all wine produced in California and is home to some big producers. The temperatures warm steadily from north to south, except in Lodi which has some cooled air coming up the Sacramento river. The vines are grown on very fertile sandy loam soil on the vast valley floors and are intersected and irrigated by a network of levees. Many different grape varieties are grown here, on mass, but some higher quality Zinfandel and sweet wines are grown around Lodi.

Beginner's Guide to Dessert WineDate published: 14/03/15

Beginner's Guide to Dessert Wine

There is no better way to finish off a great meal than with a bottle of dessert wine. There are many styles to choose from so here is our guide to point you in the right direction.

Noble Rot

It sounds like a winemaker's worst nightmare but Botrytis Cinerea (noble rot) is actually encouraged in certain vineyards for the uniquely complex (and often pricey) style of wine it creates. As the fungus attacks the grapes, it extracts water whilst concentrating sugars, flavours and acids.

Our recommendation:The Ned Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2011, New Zealand 

Passito

Traditional Italian method of producing sweet wines from grapes left to dry on straw mats or racks of bamboo. The flavours and sugars concentrate as the grapes turn to raisins.

Our recommendation: Rustenberg Straw Wine 2011, South Africa

Late Harvest

A style made from grapes left to hang on the vine and harvested later with higher sugar levels and ripeness.

Our recommendation: Brown Brothers Orange Muscat And Flora 2012, Australia 


Sauvignon Blanc AlternativesDate published: 14/03/15

Sauvignon Blanc Alternatives

Are you sick of Sauvignon Blanc or just want to try something a bit different?

I thought I would share some of my favourite wines under £7, which appeal to the lover of mellow, yet crisp, abundantly fruity wines, in the Pinot Grigio vein. Not a Sauvignon in sight!

Cantina Di Custoza White, Italy, £5.99 with any other wine on our 33% off offer.

Santa Rita 120 Viogner, Chile £5.99 with any other wine on our 33% off offer.

Prosecco Rivamonte, Italy £6.66 £6.66 with any other wine on our 33% off offer. Still counts as white doesn't it?

Natale Verga Pinot Grigio, Italy £5.99 with any other wine on our 25% off offer. 

Paul Mas Chardonnay, France £6.49.

Paul Mas Marsanne, France £6.99 -because everything Jean-Claude Mas touches is gold in my view.

Hunt these bargainous beauties out today- prices may increase on 17th March.


German wine labelsDate published: 14/03/15

German wine labels

Germany's law states German wines must indicate a Pradikat (sweetness) level on bottle labels. The styles outlined below are only appropriate for white wines, and follow in ascending order:

Kabinett are the most delicate Pradikatswein wines and often make great aperfitis. The sweeter styles will have an alcohol level of between 8-9% abv whereas drier styles can reach 12% abv. 

Spatlese indicates a 'late-harvest' wine. These will have more concentrated flavours, and Riesling wines will have a little more body compared to those of a Kabinett style. Spatlese wines will also have a higher abv than Kabinett. 

Auslese wines are made from individually selected extra-ripe bunches of grapes. This category offers the greatest styles of Rieslings. Some producers treat this as a slightly richer, riper Spatlese in a dry or sweet style, and some Auslese wines have a overt botrytis character (Botryis is used in the production of sweet/dessert wines). It is also the highest Pradikat category that can produce a dry wine. 

Beernauslese (BA) indicates a rare, expensive sweet wine that will have been made from individually selected grapes, ideally those with flavours enhanced by the effect of noble rot. 

Eiswein (ice-wine) is made from grapes that have been left on the vines until the weather is cold enough to freeze them. When the grapes are pressed the frozen water remains in the press resulting in a highly concentrated grape juice. The end wine is intensely concentrated pure fruit flavours with very high levels of acidity. 

Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) are sweet wines that are produced in minute quantities, in only the finest vintages, from individual grapes that have undergone noble rot to such a degree they have shrivelled to tiny raisins. The end product rarely has more than an 8% abv. TBAs are amongst the world's most expensive wines. 



General food and wine matching adviceDate published: 14/03/15

General food and wine matching advice

Here at majestic we love the challenge of matching the perfect wine to a meal and there is nothing better to cap off an amazing home cooked meal like the perfect wine. Here are some of our favourites- Why not try some of them out at home or come in and ask us for a match?

We will start off with a true classic- A rich Malbec and steak. The Argentinians love their steak and they love their malbec too and with great malbecs starting at £6.66 its a sure fine winner!

 Moving away from the read meat to white meat, pork and Chablis is another brilliant match, the cool French climate the Chardonnay gives the wine brilliant acidity that cuts through the fat of the pork while its light mineral flavour does not over power the light flavours. Why not try some pork loin cooked with some apples and a touch of Calvados topped off with our William Fevre Chablis, a true match made in heaven.

A brilliant easy week day pleaser try a simple fish pasta with a light fruity Pinot Grigio, like Natale Verga. The light grips flavours of the wine don't overpower the pasta and complement each other nicely giving a refreshing combo.

Finally for something a little different and indulgent why not match a wine with your desert, with a great selection of desert wines from light and fruity to thick and rich to match any desert. Rustenberg straw wine with a chocolate fondant is a definite favourite at majestic.

Thinking of something different then why not come in-store and ask for a recommendation, with a huge selection and fine wines at house wine prices you're sure to find some matches you love! 


Wines of LoireDate published: 14/03/15

Wines of Loire

The Loire region includes the French wine regions situated along the Loire River, from Muscadet to Sancere and Pouilly Fume. The cool Loire Valley is famous for delicate, crisp white wines,such as Sauvignon Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne and Chenin Blanc. Our Loire range also includes elegant reds (Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc), rich dessert wines and lively sparkling wines. 

The Loire River significantly effects the mesoclimate of the region, providing the extra warmth required in order for the grapes to grow. The region has a continental climate which is heavily influenced by both the Loire River and the Atlantic Ocean. The climate can be very cool with the risk of damage from spring frost. The most common problem in Loire is that the cool climate prevents the grapes from ripening fully and developing the sugars needed to balance the naturally high acidity of the grapes. 

Loire is characterised by an avoidance of barrel ageing and malolactic fermentation, although winemakers are slowly beginning to experiment with such techniques. 

Loire wines have a characteristic fruitiness with fresh, crisp flavours. 


Marquis de Pennautier ViognierDate published: 14/03/15

Marquis de Pennautier Viognier

Viognier is a grape indigenous to the Rhone valley but remarkable examples can be found internationally. I am a particular fan of what the regions around Roussilon and Languedoc has to offer - just south of the Rhone valley - as they offer fantastic value for money! 

We are currently tasting the Marquis de Pennautier Viognier. The nose reveals honeysuckle, fresh apricots and even a hint of sherbet. Crisp and fresh, with flavours following aromas of the nose and a well balanced lingering finish. If you are looking for an alternative to your usual Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Grigios and are up for trying something new then look no further. 

Currently just £6.66 on our 33% multibuy deal and moving fast. Snap it


Wine Word of the DayDate published: 13/03/15

Oenology

Oenology is the science and study of all aspects of wine and winemaking except vine-growing and grape-harvesting.  It comes from the greek words oinos (meaning wine) and the suffix logia (meaning the study of).

Interestingly the Ancient Greeks didn't describe colours in the same way we do.  Instead they described something as being like something else.  For example the sea was described as being "wine dark" whilst white wine was described as being "sparkling".  This has the interesting result of the Odyssey reading like Odysseus is on a champagne cruise around the Mediteranean!

Red Leg Daiquiris: Easy, Simple, Delicious.Date published: 13/03/15

Red Leg Daiquiris: Easy, Simple, Delicious.

Among all cocktails the Daiquiri has always been a secure favourite of mine, mostly due to the ease in which its made and the delicious outcome. Traditionally the lime Daiquiri is made from a mixture of white rum, fresh lime juice and sugar syrup. The origins of the beautiful drink as with most cocktails of the time is still widely debated, but the most agreed upon explanation is that a mining engineer by the name of Jennings Cox created the drink whilst working in the town in which the cocktail takes its name sake: Daiquiri. It is rumoured that the drink came to fame when Cox served the concoction to Admiral Johnson, an American Medical Naval officer in which it became an instant hit. From there on it just became more and more fashionable, the most famous advocate of the mix being Ernest Hemingway. Though the writer preferred a more potent mix of two and a half shots of rum, the juice of two limes, two dashes of maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice. A Hemingway Daiquiri can still be found in at the bar of the Floridita hotel in Cuba, the bartenders make a fresh cocktail every day and leave it in front of the writers favourite bar stool. 

The red leg as a substitute for white rum is a tried and tested variation on this classic cocktail, the spices of vanilla and ginger add new dimensions to this timeless drink. 

Come and buy today for the very reasonable price of £19.99 per bottle. 


Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Non-VintageDate published: 13/03/15

Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Non-Vintage

Currently on special offer as part of our 33% off deal, this cracking Champagne is down to just£24.99 (from £37.50).

If you've not tried it before, it's a wonderfully balanced Champagne – similar in style to Laurent-Perrier and Taittinger. The gentle brioche flavours make this a very moreish tipple, without over-powering the wine's freshness. Clean and pure on the finish, it's easy to see why this is so popular!

Fantastic as an aperitif on its own or why not try alongside some fish and chips this weekend?


New Sparkling in Store!Date published: 13/03/15

New Sparkling in Store!

If you enjoy a little bit of sparkle then you will love our new additions to store, they are both English sparkling wines from the Hush Heath Estate in Kent.

Balfour 1503 Brut NV

Grape - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier

Refined in structure, with a finely beaded mousse and pale pink highlights. Tightly structured, combining crisp apple and citrus fruit with nuances of pepper and thyme.

Balfour 1503 Rosé NVGrape - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier

This English sparkling rosé has been made using the traditional Champagne method and a Pinot-dominant blend. The grapes are grown on the Hush Heath Estate near Tonbridge in Kent. The estate dates from 1503 and is the home of the Balfour-Lynn family.

A delicate and inviting rose petal pink, with a finely beaded sparkle. A lively pink grapefruit character is accented with defined notes of wild strawberry and a subtle herbaceousness.


Both wines are £19.98 when you buy 2 or more wines on the 33% offer!!

Don't miss out on this fantastic offer, limited stock available!



Berberana Gran Reserva @33% off, Bargain !!!!Date published: 13/03/15

Berberana Gran Reserva @33% off, Bargain !!!!

This is a really nice traditional style of Rioja and if you like something with a little bit of age this wine is a Bargain!

Founded in 1877 the Bodega in Cenicero in the Rioja Alta is now a modern winery, with cellaring facilities housing over 50,000 barrels, and this is where Berberana Gran Reserva is matured for a minimum 3 years in American oak cask and a further 3 years in bottle.

Ruby red colour with tawny hues. Subtle aromas of ripe dark cherries and strawberries. Smooth and full-bodied palate, with luscious fruit laced with vanilla, cloves and dried fruits.

Roast meats, pastas, tomato dishes, barbecued lamb and game.

Currently on our 33% Mix and Match deals coming at £10.65 down from £15.99

Do Hurry as we only have limited stock and when its gone its gone!



OYSTER BAY PINOT NOIR 2013 Date published: 13/03/15

OYSTER BAY PINOT NOIR 2013 

Set in the heart of the Marlborough, Oyster Bay is a leading example of the 'New Zealand Style'. 

On the nose there are ripe, red cherries with hints of a more savoury black cherry, alongside blossom, spice and oak. This carries through on the palate with juicy red fruits. 

The tannins are soft with an elegant finish of red berries. A vibrant style of Kiwi Pinot, exhibiting the cool climate elegance at its best. Enjoy with butterflied lamb! 

With 33% off, any two or more bottles are just £8.65 each!


Pinot Noir with foodDate published: 08/03/15

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir pairs well with a wide range of foods,

fruitier versions make a great match with salmon

or other fatty fish, roasted chicken or pasta dishes;

bigger, more tannic Pinots are ideal with duck

and other game birds, casseroles or,

of course, stews like beef bourguignon.

Pork often goes well with Pinot Noir because

its a leaner meat than beef,  Just avoid the fattier cuts.

Pair salmon with Pinot Noir because of its strong,

distinctive flavour and heavier oil content,

other fish to try include mackerel and mullet.

Why not try the Oyster Bay Pinot Noir that is currently on 33% off?! £8.66


Changing your beer habits; Craft beer and why you should be buying itDate published: 08/03/15

In 2002 Gordon Brown introduced 'progressive beer duty', an act which allowed brewers and micro-brewers a tax break on production below specific quantities. It was since this act that the craft beer revolution began to grow and more recently exploded into the mainstream.

Craft beer isn't new, for years the UK was regarded as one of the 'greatest brewing nations'. It was however with the turn of the 1970's that the UK public shifted its focus from the Czech-style Pilsners and Indian Pale Ales that many producers had dominated the market with.

With craft beer returning to the UK, producers began to produce beers in the traditional style, cask ales that had dominated the beer market before. However it wasn't long until the UK producers began to turn to other countries, where new and long-forgotten styles of beers were accounting for huge percentages of the market. UK pioneers such as Dark Star in Sussex and Meantime in Greenwich began to introduce these ideas in their own brewing styles, to be shortly followed by other cult breweries such as BrewDog. This created such a high demand, many more producers followed creating more than the 800 new breweries you see today.

Part of the success, its claimed, is down to the recession. People stopped going to the pub to save money and began to look for alternatives from the regular beers on the pubs taps, to enjoy at home. Young professionals aided this, allowing for beers to make way for the 'foodies' and creating food matching styles and niece brands.

With boom fully developed, the UK beer market is now flooded with new and exciting styles, making beer available to all people regardless of taste, gender or class.

Heres just some of our top picks we have here in Majestic, Cardiff ready for you to take home today!

Lagers

Meantime London Lager, 6 x 330ml, £9.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

The original pioneering brand.Meantime Brewing Company is an award-winning brewery based in Greenwich, London. The London lager has the perfect balance of bitterness and hopiness.

Camden Hells Lager, 6 x 330ml, £10.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

Inspired by Germany, delivered for London. A classic lager that’s exactly what it should be: easy-drinking, crisp and dry with beautiful bubbles. Clean and refreshing with a dry hop finish. You can taste the great depth of flavour which comes from the long, slow maturation in tank. This is how a great lager should taste

Anchor Steam, 6 x 335ml, £!0.99, (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

The name Anchor Steam is inspired by an age-old brewing tradition in San Francisco where beer was brewed on rooftops in open pans. When the heat generated by the fermentation process met with the foggy cool air of San Francisco ‘steam’ was produced, and this became a nickname for any California beer brewed under these conditions. Anchor Brewing still use traditional open pans for their fermentation process to this day. This is a classic hybrid beer using lager yeasts that are usually associated with the production of traditional English bitter, a technique which originated in the gold rush era of America’s west coast. Using Northern Brewer hops, this beer is amber in colour and delivers a rich, caramel malt flavour, rounded off with delicate citrus notes. Enjoy chilled with Mexican food or just on its own with friends!

Brooklyn Lager, 6 x 355ml, £9.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

A amber-gold that lager displays a firm malt center with a refreshing bitterness and floral hop aroma. This American original uses the British technique of Dry-hopping in a Viennese-style beer, resulting in a smooth lager that's versatile with food.

IPA

Meantime Pale Ale, 6 x 330ml, £9.99, (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

With a balanced mix of fruit and malty flavours, this pale ale has a nice bitter hoppy finish.

BrewDog Punk IPA, 6 x 330ml, £10.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

Light golden in colour with tropical fruits and light caramel on the nose

BrewDog Dead Pony Club, 6 x 330ml, £8.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

A rock 'n' roll American session ale, this Californian IPA packs a huge hoppy punch. Super fresh, with mango, citrus, peach and caramel notes.

Camden Pale Ale, 6 x 330ml, £10.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

This American style pale ale is bright gold, big hops and white foam, it’s packed with citrus and tropical fruit, there’s a round body and a drink-me-faster bitterness.

Lagunitas IPA, 6 x 355ml, £10.99 (when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

A Majestic favourite. Expect to find An easy drinking IPA with a hoppy-sweet finish.

Blonde

Vedett Blond, 6x330ml, £9.99,(when you buy 2 or more packs of craft beer)

By their own admission Vedett don’t take themselves too seriously unless they’re talking about quality. The Blond is a yellow to pale gold colour with a delicate bitterness combined with a touch of citrus and a lengthy crisp refreshing finish. A good match to lighter dishes but the heady hop aroma can also make it the perfect drink to cut through spicy foods such as spicy ribs or buffalo wings.

This is just a small selection of the craft beers we have in store today. Each week will be also be opening a new beer on a week by week basis, for you to try on our tasting counter.

Pop by today and try something new!



Chardonnay Up CloseDate published: 06/03/15

Sometimes you hear people mention that they do not like Chardonnay, but they do like Chablis. This highlights how tricky wine labels can be; Chablis is a specific region of France and is made from the Chardonnay grape.

Chardonnay can come in multiple styles depending on the climate where is is grown and how the grape juice is handled after the grapes have been pressed. If grown in a cool climate, such as some regions of France (Chablis and Champagne), the resulting Chardonnay is likely to be medium-light in body with apple, pear or green plum flavours. These wines can also have steely or minerally notes. Moderate climates result in there being more citrus and peach flavours within the wine; whilst hot locations (for example Austrialia) show more exotic fruit characteristics such as banana, mango or fig.

Chardonnay is a grape that can be aged to introduce more complex flavours into the wine. Often the wine is matured in oak barrels. There are 2 main types of oak used, American oak and European oak. The different oaks impart different characteristics into the wine. European oak is often more expensive due to it being a porous wood and therefore it has to be hand-split into staves whilst American oak can be cut by machine. To make the oak staves into barrels the wood is softened by heat . The heat charrs the inside of the barrel which helps to impart the flavours of the wood to the wine. The newer a barrel the more flavour is imparted. American wood develops sweeter aromas in the wine such as sweet vanilla and cocount, whilst European wood imparts more toasty flavours. Not all Chardonnay is oaked and this is one of the many reasons why it creates multiple wines.

Hopefully this shows that Chardonnay can come in multiple forms and just because you didn't like a Chardonnay from one part of the world doesn't mean you should never try it again.


Mother's Sunday SolutionsDate published: 06/03/15

Of course you want to treat your Mum on Sunday 15th March, so here are my top recommendations to make her feel really special:

Black Cottage Rose Magnum (New Zealand) = £19.99

Oeil De Perdrix Pink Champagne = £16.66 when you buy any 2 or more 33% off wines

Pinot Grigio Natale Verga  (Italy)= just £5.99 when you buy any 2 or more 25% off wines

So there you go, no excuses for forgetting!


A closer look at Cabernet FrancDate published: 06/03/15

A closer look at Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire's Chinon. In addition to being used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada and the United States, it is made into ice wine in those regions.

Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red win that contributes finesse and lends a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can includetobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis, and violets.

Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century, although it was planted in Loire long before that time. DNA analysis indicates that Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, a cross between it and Sauvignon Blanc.



A closer look at Cabernet FrancDate published: 06/03/15

A closer look at Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire's Chinon. In addition to being used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada and the United States, it is made into ice wine in those regions.

Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red win that contributes finesse and lends a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can includetobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis, and violets.

Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century, although it was planted in Loire long before that time. DNA analysis indicates that Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, a cross between it and Sauvignon Blanc.



Waimea Grüner Veltliner: Value for moneyDate published: 06/03/15

Waimea Grüner Veltliner

£14.99 buy 2 save 33.3% = £9.99

With the Waimea wines being firm favourites amongst as all, we had high hopes for this exciting new arrival, and we were not dissappointed. This is only the 5th vintage ever to be produced and Waimea are showing they have a great touch with a grape variety that is better know in Austria. Fresh and crisp with aromas of stone fruit and pineapple, the palate has a lovely richness with hints of spice and fennel. We think this is the perfect wine to match with crab and fennel tagliatelle.


A-Z of Wine: U is for UllageDate published: 06/03/15

A-Z of Wine: U is for Ullage

Ullage is a winemaking term that has several meanings but most commonly refers to the headspace of air between wine and the top of the container that it is in. It can also refer to the process of evaporation that creates the headspace itself or it can be used as a past tense verb to describe a wine barrel or bottle that has gone through the evaporation process (to be ullaged, etc.). The headspace of air is a mixture mostly of alcohol and water vapors with carbon dioxide that is a by-product of the fermentation process. In containers that are not completely air-tight (such as anoak wine barrel or a cork-stoppered wine bottle), oxygen can also seep into this space. While some oxygen is beneficial to the aging process of wine, excessive amounts can lead to oxidation and other various wine faults. This is why wine in the barrels is regularly "topped up" and refilled to the top with wine in order to minimize the head space. In the bottle, the ullage or "fill level" of the wine can be an important indicator of the kind of care and storage conditions that the wine was kept in. After-market resellers and wine auction houses will often inspect the ullage levels of older vintages to determine the potential quality and value of wine.

A-Z of Wine: T is for TerroirDate published: 06/03/15

A-Z of Wine: T is for Terroir

Literally meaning the “soil.” A French term referring to the particular character (aromas and flavours) of a given vineyard – or even a small part of that vineyard – expressed in the wine.

A-Z of Wine: S if for Super TuscanDate published: 06/03/15

A-Z of Wine: S if for Super Tuscan

The term “Super Tuscan” describes any Tuscan red wine that does not adhere to traditional blending laws for the region. For example, Chianti Classico wines are made from a blend of grapes with Sangiovese as the dominant varietal in the blend. Super Tuscans often use other grapes, especially cabernet sauvignon, making them ineligible forDOC(G) classification under the traditional rules. Many of the important and famous wines in Tuscany are actually the IGTs. The more expensive wines have since the 70’s been called Super Tuscans.

A-Z of Wine: R is for RiddlingDate published: 06/03/15

A-Z of Wine: R is for Riddling

The process in champagne production whereby the yeast sediments which are deposited in the bottles are collected toward the neck to facilitate removal. The bottles are gradually tilted downward, over a period of weeks, while receiving a daily twist to help free the sediment which moves ever closer to the top of the neck. Once all the yeast residue is collected there, the neck of each bottle is quickly frozen and the closure emptied. Gas pressure inside the bottle expels the small bit of ice in which the sediment is entrapped, leaving a wine that is clear.

A-Z of Wine: is for Qualitätswein Date published: 06/03/15

A-Z of Wine:  is for Qualitätswein 

In Germany it is the common practice to harvest grapes at various stages of ripeness. This practice has given rise to a system of rating German wines based on their ripeness. Qualitätswein can be made from either ripe, very ripe or overripe grapes and is divided into 2 categories: Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA) and Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (QmP).

Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA) – this category encompasses the largest number of German wines. These wines come from eleven specified winegrowing regions. All wines carrying this rating are produced from grape varieties that have been approved and which have reached levels of ripeness that allow the wines made from them to reach a certain traditional level of taste and style. These wines tend to light, fresh and fruity and are produced to be consumed while in their youth.

Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (QmP – quality wine with special distinction, or attributes) is the highest quality wine produced in Germany. Wines having this rating carry one of six special attributes (Prädikat) on its label: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese (BA),Eiswein, Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA).


A-Z of Wine: P is for PetillanceDate published: 06/03/15

A-Z of Wine: P is for Petillance

This term relates to the presence of small amounts of carbon dioxide gas in the wine which is sometimes called sparkle or spritz. Some winemakers feel that sparkle gives a wine a freshness. Examples of wines that can have this character are Muscadet from the Loire Valley & Vinho Verde from the far north of Portugal.

A-Z of Wine: O is for OlorosoDate published: 06/03/15

A-Z of Wine: O is for Oloroso

Oloroso is a variety of fortified wine made in Jerez and Montilla-Moriles and produced by oxidative aging. It is normally darker than Amontillado. Oloroso is usually dark and nutty.

Unlike the Fino and Amontillado sherries, in Oloroso the flor yeast is suppressed by fortification at an earlier stage. This causes the finished wine to lack the fresh yeasty taste of the fino sherries. Without the layer of flor, the sherry is exposed to air through the slightly porous walls of the American or Canadian oak casks, and undergoes oxidative aging. As the wine ages, it becomes darker and stronger and is often left for many decades.

Oloroso Sherry is also the base for many of the sweet sherries developed for the international market, such as Bristol Cream, in which Oloroso is sweetened and sometimes has the colour removed by charcoal filtering to achieve a desired effect.


A-Z of Wine: N is for Noble RotDate published: 06/03/15

A-Z of Wine: N is for Noble Rot

Noble Rot or "Botrytis" is a controlled mould that can grow and form on the skins of grapes under very special circumstances. The result of botrytis cinerea is that the flavour of the grapes becomes highly concentrated. This comes from the fact that the mould suctions water from the grape which further concentrates the juice resulting in a very high sugar content. The resulting wines are very sweet and have a deep, honey-like luscious flavour. Many “Late Harvest” wines, the Sauternes and Barsacs of France, as well as the dessert wines of Germany, are famous as a result of the Noble Rot.

Beer of the WeekDate published: 04/03/15

Our Beer for this week is the Oakham Ales Citra! 

Established in Oakham, Rutland, in 1993, the brewery moved to Peterborough in 1998 where their brewery tap is the largest brewpub in Europe!

Oakham Ales were the first brewery in the UK to use the American Citra hop. This single hop beer was first made as a seasonal special, but proved so popular is has now become one of Oakham's most successful core lines.

A light refreshing beer with pungent grapefruit, lychee and gooseberry aromas leading to a dry, bitter finish; this is a very modern version of a classic golden ale.

Citra has won many awards since the first brew in 2011, culminating in being awarded the Champion Golden Ale at the CAMRA Great British Beer awards in 2014.



Soil and WaterDate published: 04/03/15

Soil and Water

It seems that the vine behaves like humans in relation to performance: the idle person rarely produces anything of interest. Similarly, under easy living conditions (rich soil, plenty of water), the vine will produce much foliage and fat grapes of little intensity of flavour.

In general, good wine is produced under a certain degree of stress. In rich soil, the vine will produce too much top growth from a small root system and the grapes don't reach the intensity of flavour required.

In well-drained, poor soil the vine is forced to grow a deep root system into the sub-soil in search of moisture, in order to able to supply minerals and nutrients to the leaf system, where sugars are generated by photosynthesis. These components are eventually transported to the grapes which act like storehouses.

Subsequent vigorous pruning ensures that these substances are concentrated in a small number of grapes.

To obtain a concentration of essential elements in the grapes, another common principle utilised in winemaking is the density of planting. The general idea is to control the division of available resources in the soil among the right number of plants. In general, in rich soil plants are planted closer together to stimulate competition, which makes the roots delve deep into the soil.

Source: Understanding Wine Technology. David Bird MW


Meet our Staff: MikeyDate published: 04/03/15

Meet our Staff: Mikey

About me:

I moved to the Ealing store at the end of last year from our Ruislip store. Before working for Majestic I studied in Budapest and Exeter, whilst also working in a Deli to fund myself.

What I like:

I am a keen skier and look to spend as much time in the powder as possible. I like my whites oaked, my reds powerful, my whiskey peaty and I will never refuse a drink involving the St Georges Terroir Gin

My go to products:

White: White Burgundy (or maybea bottle of Condrieu if I'm feeling flush). Particularly Gerrard Thomas or Cordier wines.

Red: Amarone or Ripasso. I will always be happy with a bottle ofLa Casetta Ripasso (now only £13.99)

Spirits: Single Malt Whiskey.

Current favourite deals:

Paul Mas Chardonnay for only £6.49 is an absolute steal. I also really like the Vine Eguia wines, although the Reserva stands when it comes to value for money at £7.86.

My Fine Wine of the Moment:

If you are looking to spoil yourself/ lay something down for the future the Chateau Musar 2001 for £26 is a great option. A fantastic year and a fantastic producer combine to make a truly epic wine. It will drink well now but will be even better in about 5 years time.

Favourite Food Match:

There's something about matching a quality Pinot Gris with a home made Thai Green Curry that I just love. Try the Perigrine £22 if you want to spoil yourself or the Waimea (£9.99 when you buy 2 or more).


Muscadet Part 3Date published: 04/03/15

Muscadet Part 3

The Muscadet growing region lies at the far western reaches of the Loire Valley and is dominated by maritime influences of the nearby Atlantic Ocean. The ocean's influence makes the climate of the Muscadet region cooler than the rest of the Loire Valley with more precipitation.

The city of Nantes serves as a shield, protecting the region from northwesterly winds. However the closest vineyards to the city in the village of Vertou are located over 9.5 km from the city center and at higher elevation. 

Winters have the potential to be harsh with deep freezes common and threatening all the way into early spring.

Vineyards in the Muscadet region are scattered across a wide range of terroirsranging from gentle slopes near the rivers to rolling hills to flat fertile land near the mouth of the Loire river. 

The most ideally situated vineyards are in the rolling hills Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine sub-appellation located south and east of Nantes. The soil in this area is rich in magnesium and potassium, made up of  clay, gravel and sand above subsoils of gneiss, schist, granite and volcanic rock. 

Throughout the Muscadet region the soils drain well, which is a necessity in a region as damp as the Pays Nantais. 

In the broader, generic Muscadet AOC the soil is predominately silt and sand while the soils of the Muscadet-Coteaux de la Loire has high concentration of schist and the Muscadet-Côtes de Grandlieu sub-appellation has a mixture of granite and schist based soils.


Muscadet Part 2Date published: 04/03/15

Muscadet Part 2

The generic 'Muscadet' appellation, officially established in 1937, contains three regional sub-appellations:

Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine, officially established in 1936, covering 20,305 acres (8,217 hectares) with 21 villages in the Loire-Atlantique department and 2 in the Maine-et-Loire department. This appellation produces 80% of all Muscadets.

Muscadet-Coteaux de la Loire, officially established in 1936, covering 467 acres (189 hectares) with 24 villages spread across the Loire-Atlantique and Maine-et-Loire departments.

Muscadet-Côtes de Grandlieu, officially established in 1994, benefits from the Grandlieu lake's microclimate. This sub appellation covers 717 hectares with 17 villages in the Loire-Atlantique department and 2 villages in the Vendée department.


Muscadet Part 1Date published: 04/03/15

Muscadet Part 1

Muscadet is a white French wine. It is made at the western end of the Loire Valley, near the city of Nantes in the Pays de la Loire region neighboring the Brittany Region. More Muscadet is produced than any other Loire wine. It is made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, often referred to simply as melon. As a rule in France, Appellation d'origine contrôlée wines are named either after their growing region or after their variety. 

The name 'Muscadet' seems to refer to a characteristic of the wine produced by the melon grape variety: vin qui a un goût musqué - 'wine with a musk-like taste'. Though it should be noted that Muscadet wines do not have much, if any, "muskiness" or Muscat-like flavors or aromas. 

The sole variety used to produce Muscadet, Melon de Bourgogne, was initially planted in the region sometime in or before the 17th century. It became dominant after a hard freeze in 1709 killed most of the region's vines. Dutch traders who were major actors in the local wine trade encouraged the planting of this variety and distilled much of the wine produced into eau de vie for sale in Northern Europe.


Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc (2014) is back! Date published: 04/03/15

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc (2014) is back! 

Founded in 2009 by former Cloudy Bay winemaker Kevin Judd, Greywacke has quickly established a reputation as one of the best producers in Marlborough. Pronounced 'grey-wacky' it is named after the sedimentary rock which characterises much of the soil in the estates vineyard.

The 2014 vintage has recently arrived in stock. This wine is consistently one of our most popular wines and sells very quickly. At £17 on a fine wine deal it represents great value for money.
Only £17.00 (when you buy two or more bottles as part of a mixed case)
£22- single bottle price.


New to Majestic: Basedows of BarossaDate published: 04/03/15

The price of some Australian wines have over the years gone up alot but our buyers are always looking out for new great value wines and this new Shiraz really shows you that great wines can be found under £10. 

I have drank the 'Johannnes' from Basedow in the past and if you ever get the chance do! It is a stunning glass of wine.

Basedow Shiraz comes from a group of exclusive vineyards just outside the town of Tanunda in Barossa Valley. The winery originated in the mid-1800s, and spent some years under corporate ownership, before being reacquired by the Basedow family's 5th generation.

Deep cherry red, with a thick and juicy backbone of plum jam and cocoa characters, accented with hints of sweet spice and black pepper. Gentle yet rich and mouth-filling tannins.

It's not the most weighty Shiraz I have had but has great spicy notes that would be great with an early season BBQ.


Crazy deals on Oyster Bay wines!Date published: 04/03/15

Crazy deals on Oyster Bay wines!

Who has got New Zealand wine down to a tee more than Oyster Bay? You'll be pushed to find such a fantastic producer... and we currenty have 33% off their range of wines! 

Their Sauvignon Blanc is pure New Zealand in style with pronounced aromas of gooseberry and tropical fruits, alongside a subtle herbaceousness. Crisp, elegant and refreshing. £7.99 on our 33% multibuy. Bargain! 

If you're more of a Chardonnay fan then don't worry... Pure, incisive ripe fruit flavours. Concentrated aromas of ripe citrus and stone fruit are married with subtle oak and a creamy texture to finish. This is my style of wine and something I'm definitely going to be snapping up at £7.99. 

Finally, their Pinot Noir at just £8.65 has to be the offer of the week! To get such a vibrant and high quality pinot noir under £10 is almost unheard of. Ripe red cherry with hints of savoury black cherry, blossom, spice and oak. Juicy red fruits, soft ripe tannins and a soft elegant finish of succulent and red berries.


Pol Roger on Offer!Date published: 04/03/15

Pol Roger on Offer!

One of my favourite all time Champagne houses has always been the family owned estate of Pol Roger. Famously consumed by Winston Churchill in copious amounts (allegedly) so much so their luxury cuvee is named after him.The non vintage is a mid weight fizz with soft apple flavours mingled with brioche overtones and a fine mousse. It is extremely elegant Champagne and makes the perfect aperitif or with a plate of native oysters is just the ticket. It also happens to be on a excellent offer at present of only £29.98 a bottle. A clear £10 cheaper than Berry's and Waitrose!

New in: Finca Carelio Tempranillo 2011 Castilla y LeonDate published: 04/03/15

New in: Finca Carelio Tempranillo 2011 Castilla y Leon

I cannot wait to try this new Spanish red. In fact, I think I may have it with my supper this evening. The mature bush vines in the hot, arid climate of Castilla y Leon produce very small bunches of grapes, which have concentrated flavours and fresh acidity due to hot days and cold nights. The wine has mellowed over 30 months' maturation mostly in barrel. 

Complex and layered, this wine offers rich aromas of ripe blackberries, leather and vanilla, and is wonderfully plush on the palate. Dry tannins and mature, lightly raisined fruit characters.

A remarkably versatile food wine, great with stews, meats from the grill or a cheeseboard. Just £6.66 on our 33% multibuy deal!


Biodynamic ViticultureDate published: 03/03/15

Developed By Maria Thun based on the work of Rudolph Steiner. Its not a prescriptive method but rather one that encourages the grower to develop a personal relationship with the environment.The aim is to to produce a healthy living soil and balanced vines that can defend themselves from pests and disease.There are a number of practices use to achieve this including:


Horn Manure - Cow dung is place inside a cow's horn and buried over winter. It is believed to energise the earth and is added to the vineyard as a spray 3-4 times a year. Horn silica - finely ground silica is placed in a cow's horn and buried during the summer where it is energised by the sun. It is sprayed on the vines and leave two to four times a season.


Advantaged - energises the soil, reinforces the organic matter, and strengthens a plant against fungal and insect attack


Disadvantages - increased level of monitoring needed, risk of losing crop in extreme weather conditions, timing of vineyard operations being dictated by a seeding calender and sceptical public opinion to biodynamic wines

Peroni on special offer!Date published: 03/03/15

Only ever made and bottled in Italy at their breweries in Rome, Bari and Padova, Peroni Nastro Azzurro is brewed using the creativity and flair of Italians; blending the finest hops with two-row spring planted barley and a quarter of Italian maize which produces its uniquely crisp and refreshing taste.

We know you love Peroni therefore it's on special offer now just for you!

Peroni Nastro Azzurro 24x330ml Bottles £30.00 (£1.25 per bottle)


Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc on a stunning dealDate published: 03/03/15

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc on a stunning deal.

We know our customer love a good deal and the new set of weekly offers have brought a real treat. Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc is now on the 33% deal at £7.99 a bottle. Fantastic wine at a great price.

Here is some info

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough

Grape Sauvignon Blanc

Origin

Marlborough has been at the heart of a winemaking revolution without modern precedent, and Oyster Bay is one of the region's most dynamic wineries. Cool fermentation in stainless steel vats brings out every last ounce of flavour and concentration in the grapes.

Taste

Showing pronounced aromas of gooseberry and tropical fruits, alongside a subtle herbaceousness. Crisp, elegant and refreshing.

Enjoy

Suitable for all occasions, this is anything from classic apéritif wine, to white meat and seafood partner.

Sounds delicious so give us a call on 02085679251 to order or email eal@majestic.co.uk or just pop in and try it as well as some other wonderful wines.


"This wine is corked!" Date published: 03/03/15

"This wine is corked!"  

A shocker at a soiree, a pain at a party and a disaster on a date; corked wine is no fun but what is it that makes it so?!  When a wine is 'corked' it means the chemical TCA, found naturally in cork, has contaminated the wine and made it undrinkable.  It will smell mouldy, dusty, damp or perhaps just be a dull version of the wine it should be.  Not to be confused with wine served with bits of cork floating in it; this may just be a serving error and will likely have no effect on the taste of the wine.  Foruntately Majestic will replace any of your corked bottles free of charge (presuming the bottle still has most of the wine left!)



A brief introduction to DecantingDate published: 03/03/15

A brief introduction to Decanting

In modern times the need to decant wines has significantly reduced. Now days the decanting of wines is for one of two reasons, removal of sediment or where a host may chose to decant a wine for aesthetic reasons. The decanting of day to day wines is no longer necessary due to the advancement in filtration techniques. The exceptions to this, are aged wines, young wines that require opening up or where a wine has been produced to to age in bottle and should be left for a number of years before being drunk.

A basic method to identify if a wine needs decanting, without the use of a decanting cradle or decanting machine, stand the bottle up for a least an hour, and the sediment will fall to the bottom. Once it has been established that a wine needs to be decanted, allow the bottle to rest as long as possible, so that all the sediment collects at the bottom. Once the sediment has gathered, slowly and gently pour the contents into the decanter. Ensure the bottle is backlit to allow you to see the sediment, the sediment should gather in the bottom shoulder of the bottle. As soon as the sediment reaches the neck of the bottle, stop pouring. If you wish to maximise the amount of liquid from a bottle, a muslin or coffee filter can be utilised for filtration.



Anyone for Aligoté?Date published: 03/03/15

Anyone for Aligoté?

Aligoté the little know white grape from Burgundy, hugely overshadowed by the glorious Chardonnays we all associate with Burgundy. Finding its home on the sandy soils of the Cote Chalonnaise it is often used to make Burgundy's sparkling wine Crémant de Bourgogne.

Here, however we have a single varietal offering from Chateau du Cray, a crisp dry white with high acidity and ripe citrus fruits on the palate.

This vibrant summery white works wonders with smoked salmon or a fresh Greek salad, alternatively you could mix with cassis to make a traditional Kir cocktail!



Rioja basic guideDate published: 03/03/15

Rioja basic guide

If you love Riojas and have a preference on the style you would usually look out for then here is a little guide of oak and bottle ageing.

If you love Spanish reds that are vibrant, full of plum fruit flavours and have a hint of vanilla then a Crianza is the one for you.

The minimum time in oak is anything between 6-12 months and in bottle it's another 12 months giving it a grand total of 24 months before it's realised.

Reservas are great as they have a bit of both worlds (Crianza and Gran Reserva) as you still get the youthful fruit flavours, but you will get a slightly more oaky flavour also. This is because Reservas minimum in oak is 12-18 months with an extra 24 months in bottle.

Gran Reservas are for the Rioja lovers who enjoy heavily oaked, dried fruit characters with the more softer approach on the finished product. Gran Reserva will have a minimum of 18+ months in oak and an extra 3 and a half years in bottle.

We have a massive selection of Rioja's here in Ealing and are more than happy to help select the one for you!

See you soon!


Grapes used in portDate published: 03/03/15

What Grapes are used in port?

There are over 29 recommended grapes varieties for port and over 80 that are authorised in the production of Port. These are the main ones.

Tinta Roriz: (tempranillo) adds finesse to the blend, a relatively lightweight grape.

Touriga Nacional: has low yield with small grapes in small bunches, adds full bodiness and concentrated flavours.

Touriga Franca: one of the great Douro premium grapes, its wines are deep-coloured, robust and have excellent perfume.

Tinto Cao: adds the tannins to the wines.

Tinta Barroca: gives soft and fruity wines, gives body and structure to most good ports.



Italian wine for your Sunday roast – Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2011, La CasettaDate published: 26/02/15

Italian wine for your Sunday roast – Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2011, La Casetta

Grape: Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella

This velvet wine is without a doubt the perfect accompaniment for a Sunday roast. Its colour is a deep ruby, and it mainly tastes of cherries, plums and blueberries; with a subtle hint of vanilla. It is beautifully balanced, and smooth on the palate – with bursts of intense and complex flavours with a long lasting finish.

Indeed this wine has been ranked 2nd in its region. It is from the hilly village of the famous Lake Garda. The Ripasso wines have a portion of the dried skins from Amarone added to them. Therefore, the Valpolicella combines the class of Amorone, but with the bright bluey fruits of the classic Valpolicella.

I would defintley have this wine with a meat roast, or with walnuts and seasoned cheeses.

Price: £13.49 on 25% offer down from £17.99



New In: Finca Carelio TempranilloDate published: 26/02/15

New In: Finca Carelio Tempranillo

In my opinion, you can never have too much choice for wine, especially when it comes to Spain. After enduring a long addiction to Rioja, recently I have branched out into other areas of Spain. Although I still love Rioja, it was only by moving away from it I realised the wealth of flavours that can come from different wine producing regions in Spain.

Consequently I am incredibly excited about our new addition to the Majestic Range, theFinca Carelio Tempranillo from Castilla Y Leon!

This wine is grown in the region of Castilla Y Leon, probably best known as the region that includes the well known Ribera Del Duero. But as a region overall, they are increasingly known beyond the borders of Spain due to their quality, which in some places can rival that of Rioja.

The climate in Castilla Y Leon is hot and arid. The heat gives the grapes a lovely concentration, that really shows in the wine. By also using small bunches of grapes, these also add to the concentrated flavours. Upon the palate, flavours include ripe blackberries, leather and vanilla. Dry tannins and a light raisined fruit character really add to the charm of this complex and layered wine.

This is a remarkable wine to match food to, and can we drunk with a wealth of dishes. However I'd recommend a classic Spanish Stew, or mixed Tapas!

Currently the Finca Carelio Tempranillo is only £6.66 when you buy any two wines and save 33! (£9.99 Single Bottle Price).



GREAT FOR A GATHERINGDate published: 26/02/15

GREAT FOR A GATHERING

Torres Vina Sol

Only £5.99

Friends round for the rugby? I'm sure you are thinking about making sure the fridge is full of something tasty for the white wine drinkers of the group. With this fantastic, fresh, fruity wine, we've got it covered for you. Crisp and packed with apple and pineapple fruit, the only problem you may have is it's a little too drinkable. Don't worry though we've thought of that too, so at £5.99 you wont mind cracking open that next bottle for your friends to enjoy.



Veuve Vintage Crazy Deal!Date published: 26/02/15

Veuve Vintage Crazy Deal!

Time's running out to get your hands of some Veuve Vintage 2004 - on an exceptional web exclusive it currently equates to only £33.31 a bottle!*

If you fancy some then give us a call in store on 020 85679251 or head to our website, majestic.co.uk, to check out the deal. Only available until EOP Monday 23rd Feburary, 7pm.

(*must be sold in unsplit cases of 6 - £199.86)


Speaking of Guigal.. What do you know about Rhone wines?Date published: 26/02/15

Speaking of Guigal.. What do you know about Rhone wines?

With the cracking special offer on Guigal CDR coming to an end, I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you a little more about the wines of the Rhone valley if the Guigal's fantastic price has got you hooked on the region and you want to try more!

Rhone is situated in south east France and contains one of the highest areas of Appellation control wines in the country, even more than Bordeaux! Over 95% of all wines produced are red, with Syrah being the most common grape to be used inside the region.
Rhone is divided into Northern and Southern vineyards, a distinction that is necessary due to the extreme difference in climates producing very different styles of grape.

The main varieties of grapes used to produce a Rhone wine are GSM grapes, that is Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre; this classic blend of grapes can be found around the world, however they are most commonly associated with Rhone wines, and produce a characteristic flavour.

CDR (Cotes du Rhone) is perhaps the most well known style of wine, and is produced in the Southern part of Rhone; CDR wines are typically light and fruity in style.

Another well known Rhone wine is Chateauneuf du Pape, or CNDP for all you fanatics; produced in Southern Rhone, the style is dominated by Grenache, although Viognier and Carignan and GSM blends may be present.



Guidalberto 2012 - Back in StockDate published: 25/02/15

The fantastic Guidalberto is back in stock in Majestic Wine Ealing. This little brother to Super Tuscan Sassicaia is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot aged in both French and American oak barrels, inparting their own characteristics into this complex Italian beast!

The Guidalberto is part of our buy any 2 selected Fine Wine promotion, save £10. £28.00 per bottle reduced down from £33.00. This is a great opportunity to grab yourself a bottle and really spoil yourself or a loved one, and mix it with another of our selected Fine Wines. 


Lay & WheelerDate published: 25/02/15

Lay & Wheeler

Did you know?

Lay & Wheeler have over 150 years of experience in buying and selling fine wines and are experts in the fields of en primeur, in bond sales and wine storage. The company was bought by Majestic in 2009 but runs as a separate company based in Suffolk.

Passionate staff & expert advice

With a wealth of experience in the industry, an impressive array of qualifications and a huge amount of passion for fine wine. Every member of staff oozes enthusiasm and passion and this shows through their large portfolio of customers and wine selections.

Fine wines – hand selected

Their expert buying team sources fine wines from the very best producers in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the new world. Tasting wines from around the world they ensure that they not only have some of the top wines, but also some of the most interesting.

Buying fine wine & storing in bond

Buying wine when it is young and cellaring it correctly brings many benefits to the appreciation of the fine wine. While most wines can be enjoyed in their youth, many fine wines benefit from being aged in bottle, developing additional levels of depth, complexity and interest.

The finer benefits

10% discount at majestic*

free joining case

fine wine plan advance

exclusive offers

* After the first year, when you subscribe £100 or more per month

To find out more or join up visit www.laywheeler.com or call 01473313330

Wine QuoteDate published: 25/02/15

"I have enjoyed great health and a great age because everyday since I can remember, I have consumed a bottle of wine except when I have not felt well. Then I have consumed two bottles."

A fomer Bishop Of Seville



Facts about Pilsner!Date published: 25/02/15

Facts about Pilsner!

Pilsner (also pilsenerpilsen or simply pils) is a type of pale lager. It takes its name from the city of Plzeň in the Czech Republic, where it was first produced in 1842. The original Pilsner Urquell beer is still produced there today, and we have it in store right now at £1 a bottle!!! (£24 a case).

There are a few different styles of Pilsner:

German-style Pilsner

light straw to golden colour with more bitter or earthy taste - Beck's, Bitburger and Krombacher

Czech-style Pilsner

golden, full of colours, with high foaminess and lighter flavour - Pilsner Urquell and Staropramen

European-style Pilsner

has a slightly sweet taste, can be produced from barley malt - Dutch: Heineken or Belgian: Stella Artois



Majestic CommercialDate published: 25/02/15

Majestic Commercial

Do you own or manage a business in the West London area? Are you fed up with the long labour intensive journey to the Cash N' Carry every week? Perhaps you're not entirely sure what wines you should be selling to your customers?

If any of the above ring true, then Majestic Wine Ealing are here to help! Whatever your requirements, we are experienced in looking after on-trade and off-trade customers alike. We provide a dedicated service to business customers with exclusive trade-only wines at extremely competitive prices. We are able to help you select a wine list that is right for your customer base and we can provide FREE delivery 7 days a week so you'll never run out of your bestselling bottles!

Interested? Simply contact us using any of the following methods:

Telephone: 020 85679251

Email: eal@majestic.co.uk


How to match food and wineDate published: 24/02/15

How to match food and wine

As a general rule food and wine should be matched like for like. For example high acidity with high acidity or high sugar with high sugar. If you follow this rule you may get it wrong sometimes but generally speaking most of the time it works out.

Food and Wine Matching:

- Sugar Foods should be matched with wines with high residual sugar such as dessert wines like Tokaji (Hungarian)
- Umami Foods (Savoury foods; classically with soya sauce) should be paired with fruitier wines that are not so tannic as this increases the levels of bitterness. Soft New World reds or Beaujolais would be a good option.
- Meals with a bitter palate can have quite an effect on tannic wines so preferred wines will be white wines or wines with less tannins. Any dry white would suit or fruity, young reds.
- Dishes rich in Chilli should be had with low alcohol white wines and low-tannin reds. Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris are classic matches with spicy Asian food.
- Meals high in salt or acidity should be paired with high acidity wines to balance the flavours. Italian reds and zesty Sauvignon Blancs are good options.

Finding a food and wine match that works makes a meal very memorable so it's worth experimenting!



The history of Château Mouton RothschildDate published: 24/02/15

The history of Château Mouton Rothschild

The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 was based entirely on recent market prices for a vineyard's wines, with one exception: Château Mouton Rothschild. Despite the market prices for their vineyard's wines equalling that of Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild was excluded from First Great Growth status, an act that Baron Philippe de Rothschild referred to as "the monstrous injustice".It is widely believed that the exception was made because the vineyard had recently been purchased by an Englishman and was no longer in French ownership.

In 1973, Mouton was elevated to "first growth" status after decades of intense lobbying by its powerful and influential owner,the only change in the original 1855 classification (excepting the 1856 addition of Château Cantemerle). This prompted a change of motto: previously, the motto of the wine was Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis. ("First, I cannot be. Second, I do not deign to be. Mouton I am."), and it was changed to Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change. ("First, I am. Second, I used to be. Mouton does not change."



The next wine course event is this Thursday, 12th March and spaces are filling up fast.Date published: 24/02/15

The next wine course event is this Thursday, 12th March and spaces are filling up fast.

Held in-store, The Wine Course is an intimate yet informal introduction to the vast world of wine.  We start off trying a selection of white wines, with information on the wine-making process, and a brief overview of the wine producing regions of the world.

This is followed by a nice glass of champagne,and a description of the methods and techniques involved in making a wine fizzy.

We continue by tasting a few reds, each displaying the characteristics of the grapes and environments in which they are grown.

Most fun of all we end with a food and wine matching session, to show you what typically goes best with what, hopefully informing your future food and wine matching decisions.

So, if you are keen to learn a bit more about wine, the composition of a grape (who isn't), then get in touch.  We can reserve a space for you and a partner, at the cost of small refundable deposit.

And remember, it's completely FREE.


CalvadosDate published: 24/02/15

Calvados

Is located east of the city of Cean. AC calvados has to be distilled in copper pot stills and aged for at least two years. We are currently stocking two stunning examples:


Roger Groult Réserve 3-Year-Old 70cl Bottle


Jean-Roger Groult is the 5th generation producer of this esteemed Calvados, which was awarded Best Calvados in the World at the 2014 World Drinks Awards. Made from hand-sorted cider apples from the Pays d’Auge area, this Calvados has been aged and blended in old French casks and is three years old. Fresh and fruity notes of Granny Smith apple on the nose with a hint of cream are complimented by nuts and a touch of menthol on finish resulting in a round and complex taste.

Roger Groult Calvados 12-Year-Old 70cl Bottle

This replaced the 15YO in the Roger Groult range in 2014. It delivers the fruit of a younger style with the complexity of a more mature style, with distinctive strong floral notes. Drink as an aperitif or digestif at room temperature or to accompany chocolate or apple based desserts.



ArmagnacDate published: 24/02/15

Armagnac

Is located Southeast of Bordeaux and is further inland and therefore does not benefit from the maritime influence like Cognac. Armagnac has a longer history than Cognac which dates back to the Moors in the 12th century. Unlike Cognac, Armagnac is a region that is far more diverse with many more smaller individual produces.


The area is split into 3 main areas Bas Armagnac, Tenareze and Haut Armagnac. Bas Armagnac produces the best wines for spirit production i.e. low alcohol and high acidity. Tenareze produces wines with a much fuller flavour and Haut Armagnac has chalk soils and produces the poorest wines for distillation which are ironically the best!


Their are 10 varieties allowed for armagnac production with Uni Blanc being the most prominent however colombard is also permitted and is excellent for blending as it gives fantastic fruity and spicy aromas.


The majority of maturation is done in ‘Black oak’ barrels (Monlezun) which gives the most tannins to the wine and is also the most sappy of all the different types of oak. This type of oak generally gives the most colour taint to the wine but the colour can be altered with the use of caramel.


In general Armagnac is more rustic than Cognac, Cognac’s tend to retain their alcoholic bite. Armangnac tends to have more pruney dried fruit characters and has a rounder character.


We are currently stocking the: Tariquet VSOP Carafe Armagnac

60% Ugni Blanc, 40% Baco. Aged for at least 7 years in oak barrels in Tariquet’s cellars, this Armagnac shows both fresh characteristics and more mature notes. Very smooth with a lively bouquet of floral and fresh mint characteristics, followed by further hints of woody spices, hints of vanilla, liquorice and macerated fruits.



Ripasso method (used in our wine of the week Pinotage)Date published: 24/02/15

Ripasso method (used in our wine of the week Pinotage)

In the late 20th century, a new style of wine known as ripasso (meaning "repassed") emerged. With this technique, the leftover grape skins and seeds from the fermentation of recioto and Amarone are added to the batch of Valpolicella wines for a period of extended maceration. The remaining fermenting yeast helps boost the alcohol level and body of the wines while also lowering additional tannins. This contributes to a wine's complexity, flavour and colour. As the production of Amarone has increased in the 21st century, so too has the prevalence of ripasso style wines appearing in the wine market, with most Amarone producers also producing a ripasso as a type of "second wine". 

An alternative method is to use partially dried grapes, instead of leftover  which contain less bitter tannins and really creates a softer, fruitier style of wine. This is the method that our new Pinotage 'Pinopasso' from South Africa uses to create its easy drinking and smooth, fruity beauty!


Minimum Purchase of 6 bottlesDate published: 24/02/15

Whether it's a mix of six great value bottles for every day drinking, or a case or two of great vintages for laying down, we have a rule: a minimum purchase of 6 bottles.

This rule allows us to do things differently. We have friendly, enthusiastic and properly trained staff on hand to help and advise you in each of our 200+ stores. We have wines open on our tasting counter every day for you to try, and if you'd like to join us at one of our many Taste and Explore events they are of course free. Finally, we'll hand deliver your order for free – including evenings and weekends at a time to suit you.

It's doing things this way that's made us the biggest, and we think best, wine retailer in the UK.



German Wine ClassificationDate published: 24/02/15

German Wine Classification

Germany's law states German wines must indicate a Pradikat (sweetness) level on bottle labels. The styles outlined below are only appropriate for white wines, and follow in ascending order:

Kabinett are the most delicate Pradikatswein wines and often make great aperfitis. The sweeter styles will have an alcohol level of between 8-9% abv whereas drier styles can reach 12% abv. 

Spatlese indicates a 'late-harvest' wine. These will have more concentrated flavours, and Riesling wines will have a little more body compared to those of a Kabinett style. Spatlese wines will also have a higher abv than Kabinett. 

Auslese wines are made from individually selected extra-ripe bunches of grapes. This category offers the greatest styles of Rieslings. Some producers treat this as a slightly richer, riper Spatlese in a dry or sweet style, and some Auslese wines have a overt botrytis character (Botryis is used in the production of sweet/dessert wines). It is also the highest Pradikat category that can produce a dry wine. 

Beerenauslese (BA) indicates a rare, expensive sweet wine that will have been made from individually selected grapes, ideally those with flavours enhanced by the effect of noble rot. 

Eiswein (ice-wine) is made from grapes that have been left on the vines until the weather is cold enough to freeze them. When the grapes are pressed the frozen water remains in the press resulting in a highly concentrated grape juice. The end wine is intensely concentrated pure fruit flavours with very high levels of acidity. 

Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) are sweet wines that are produced in minute quantities, in only the finest vintages, from individual grapes that have undergone noble rot to such a degree they have shrivelled to tiny raisins. The end product rarely has more than an 8% abv. TBAs are amongst the world's most expensive wines. 

If you have any more questions about German wine, or get stumped at the dinner table, give us at call here at Belgravia and we'll answer all your wine related questions!

Region in Focus: RhoneDate published: 24/02/15


East of glamourous Bordeaux and south of beguiling Burgundy lies one of the world’s greatest wine regions:  The Rhone Valley.  The Rhone Valley is split into two distinct vineyard areas, North and South, both producing some of the most powerful and intense red wines in the world.  Everyday Cotes-du-Rhone represents good value, but some of the best buys are found in village areas such as Gigondas and Cairanne.

 Fast facts:

1) Grapes – Northern Rhone reds tend to be made mainly from Syrah with the South producing blends from key varieties Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.


2) Climate - The strong, dry, chilly mistral wind accelerates through the Rhone Valley, reaching speeds of over 90km/h. The vines are protected by being tied to stakes; and trees are planted to create windbreaks.


3) History - Winemaking died out after the Romans left the region but it was reignited in the 13th century when the Pope was resident at Avignon.


4) Production - There are over 6,000 wine growing properties in the Rhône Valley. 95% of its wines are produced in the South.



Sparkling Saturday: Graham Beck NV!!!Date published: 21/02/15

Today as part of our South African Tasting Week we have got the Graham Beck Brut NV open on the tasting counter.

Grape

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Origin

Made from a blend of new and reserve wines from grapes sourced from Robertson and Stellenbosch, this is a traditional-method sparkling wine that has undergone secondary fermentation and maturation on its lees in bottle for 15-18 months.

Taste

An inviting nose full of lightly yeasty aromas. The palate offers fresh, gentle lime fruit delivered with a fine mousse, giving the wine a creamy texture on the finish.

Enjoy

Graham Beck recommend pairing this with warm butternut and gorgonzola bruschetta.


Wild Fermentation ExplainedDate published: 19/02/15

Wild Fermentation Explained

The process of wild fermentation explained by one of South Africa's leading wineries, Springfield Estate.

"Vines are unaware that humans turn their grapes into wine. They are destined to attract birds with sugar as the lure to transplant their seeds. These favoured seeds will then have a head start in a competitive forest, for they are fertilised by the bird's droppings. However, should the bird not pitch the vine would very much like to re-use the sugar it had produced so laboriously.

So over time it evolved an unique system to ferment this sugar. The grape will first develop a waxy layer to attract the wild yeast it so greatly desires. The yeast then breaks down the skin and ferments the sugar into alcohol. Then vinegar bacteria, also present, will turn this wild wine into an organic type of vinegar, dripping onto the forest floor to nourish the mother plant- to present a new crop of seeds next year.

We allow these fickle yeasts to live in our vineyard by not applying the usual sprays to kill them. We endure their temperament while they ferment their wine in our cellar. And only if it is special enough, will we present it- like the mother vine- to the world."

Springfield Estate Wild Yeast Chardonnay is available in-store, online or via telephone for £13.99



Russian Jack Marlbough Sauvignon BlancDate published: 19/02/15

Russian Jack Marlbough Sauvignon Blanc

A new arrival into the Ealing store, Russian Jack Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

The name comes from a little known 'Gentleman of the road' who lived out of his rucksack. During harvest months, Russian Jack could be found picking fruit in the farms of Martinborough. He continued this tradition right into his old age, the local population built a bronze statue in his memory and his legacy continues into this Crisp and refreshing Sauvignon, busrting with lime, gooseberry and passion fruit flavours. 

Currently 25% off down to £8.99 from £11.99


Waimea Gruner VeltlinerDate published: 19/02/15

Waimea Gruner Veltliner

The grapes coming from a very small piece of our Annabrook vineyard, the Railway Reserve, a narrow stretch of land – only 3 rows of vines wide that was originally a Railway track.

On 18th April the grapes for this wine were harvested very early in the morning, the fruit icy cold when it arrived at the winery for processing. An early press cut was taken so to only have the crispest portion of this juice.

The nose of this wine has alluring florals, cardomon and baked white nectarines slathered in vanilla custard! The palate is at once fleshy and savoury, overlaid with characters seen on the nose. On the finish minerality, spice and a splosh of seawater intertwine creating a long and interesting finish. An excellent and versatile food wine – particularly good with fresh oysters - experiment and enjoy!

£9.99 on the 33% off deal.


A wine with pedigree!Date published: 19/02/15

A wine with pedigree!

The Rustenberg winery has a history dating back to 1683. Wine has been bottled in the cellar every year since 1892. The winery has been owned by the Barlow family for over 70 years, which is longer than any other family within the Estate’s history.

An award winning wine!

The current vintage of the wine available at Majestic is the 2014. The 2013 vintage, which was the latest vintage to be assessed, won a Bronze Medal at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) awards. Rustenberg are certain of more success when the 2014 vintage is tasted in May this year.

Why choose the Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc?

Rustenberg take time and care with their wines. Unlike most Sauvignon Blanc the wine is allowed to rest on its lees (the yeast left over from the fermentation process). This helps to add flavour and body to the wine.


A great wine to drink by itself or with fish or seafood.


£13.49 buy 2 save 33% = £8.99


FREE DELIVERY SERVICEDate published: 19/02/15

FREE DELIVERY SERVICE

Did you know Majestic offer FREE home delivery, 7 days a week!!

Deliveries are always fulfilled at a convenient time, by your local store (or by the store nearest your venue) so you're always dealing with the same store team you placed your order with. If you're ordering for a large party it may be worth organising delivery a few days in advance to allow for late additions/changes to the guest list - but be aware that if your ordering ice you will need somewhere to store it until the big day.

So whether you're having a a few friends around for a BBQ or organising a wedding, don't forget Majestic can bring everything you need directly to your door.


Wine Region of the day: LebanonDate published: 14/02/15

Wine Region of the day: Lebanon

Did you know that Lebanon produce fantastic wine?

In-fact Lebanon is among the oldest sites of wine production in the world. So they really know what they are doing.

We don't have the biggest range in the world, but what we do have here is great.

Chateau Musar are probably the biggest producer there. With a long long list of accolades, making wines comparable to those in Bordeaux and the South-West of France.

Lebanese winemakers have favored French grapes, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Rhone varietals such as Cinsaut, Carignan and Grenache. However, Lebanon has a rich heritage of indigenous grapes which are attracting more attention: Musar White is made from a blend of Obeideh and Merwah?!

The reds, think concentrated black fruits, dried aromas, great acidity and tannin.

Château Musar is a uniquely different wine from in the Bekaa Valley, produced by master winemaker Serge Hochar. £22

Hochar Père et Fils 2008 Château Musar £13.99

This is the second wine of the famed Musar estate, made in a lighter, more easy-going style. Partially aged in oak vats for 6-9 months, the wine undergoes a further 2 years' cellaring prior to bottling. This wine's great structure bestows it with excellent ageing potential. Come and explore!



How to taste wine - The scentDate published: 14/02/15

How to taste wine - The scent

Part 2 of how to taste wine.. is the nose. A week on from the first installment. The smell or scent of a wine can reveal much about its age, condition, grape variety, climate in which it was grown, any post-production processes used to impart flavour on the wine and even the soil type.

As is common knowledge, much of the taste is actually taken in through the navel receptors and consequentially most scents are a clear indication of the taste of the wine.

The first aspect of 'nosing' is to swirl the wine (without spilling! ps might need practising before the first glass). This lets air breath through the wine and carry the scents up to the rim to dissipate. Now edge your nose toward the glass to get an indication of intensity.  Lighter wines such as Pinot Grigio have a lesser intensity (generally) but a bulsty young Shiraz will be jumping out the glass. The stronger and more obvious or intense the characteristics - the stronger the intensity both on the nose and therefore the palate.

Different characteritics provide indications about the wine. To provide a generalised overview:

For Whites

Fresh fruit nuances such as green apple, citrus, cut grass or grapefruit indicate a younger wine, perhaps with higher acidity (if combined with a high intensity) and are often found in lighter bodied, fresher tasting wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. Richer wines are often stylised through lees (yeast and skin cells) stirring and oak ageing adding body and more dominant 'flabbier' smells such as butter, cream and toast. This is often used to wrap around and hold richer characteristics gained through growing grapes in hotter climates where the grapes ripen more. As a result you will often find more tropical flavours such as mango, pineapple, peach and honey in these richer, fuller whites.

For Reds

Again fruit-driven wines tend to be younger. More intense, fuller bodied wines tend to be from hotter climates or made of bolder thicker skinned grapes (such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz). Darker fruits are often coupled with darker flavours such as coffee and chocolate. Really get creative with picking out those flavours - this is the fun part. Oak use and age create secondary or tertiary characteristics such as leather, must, strewn fruit and fruit cake. Couple this with the visuals and you can get an indication of the precise age of the wine. Oak adds cedar, spice and even vanilla to the wine (from American oak in particular).Where fruit and oak characteristics are clear - this may be a indicator that the wine would age well and release its plethora of flavours over time. Also some grapes have particular characteristics. For instance Syrah often has a strong white pepper character turning to black pepper in the darker richer Shiraz style taken on the grape, while Pinot Noir tastes more of redder fruit, and a touch of smoke. Pinotage is even said to smell of Banana and tar - while I can get a definite nose of volcanic ash! Remember to get creative and have fun!

One thing we'll come back to in the 4th part is that the number of different flavours in the wine add to the quality of the wine because complexity creates interest in the wine and makes you keep wanting to come back for more. Another important element is a balance between all these different flavours and but we'll delve into more of that next time…



How to taste wine - VisualsDate published: 14/02/15

How to taste wine - Visuals

Wine tasting is reveered by some to be a pompous, self-indulgent expression of wealth, voyeurism and poppycock. But this doesn't have to be the case..

Just from looking at a wine you can get a good indication of sweetness, body, oak ageing and vintage. It can also be interesting and enjoyable task which not only helps you in selecting precisely the wine you wish to devour but gaining the most out of the glass to gullet experience.

So just to give you a starting platform on how to assess and understand a wine, I'm going to share a few simple tricks of the trade which will help you judge, analyse and select better quality wines based on your own personal pallet.

First things first: the visuals.

Get a white, clear and clean background if possible. The whiter the better. Lay the glass (now full with wine) against it - be careful not to spill! The darker, deeper and fuller the colour - typically the more body the wine has. The more vibrant the colour, the more youthful the fruit flavours are likely to be.

Now gently swill it. You'll notice tear drops forming at the top of the newly formed rim. These are formed from the friction created between the liquid and the glass, used as one the most neutral drinking vessels. The larger the tears, the more viscosity in the liquid. Therefore, bigger larger tears, usually denotes more sugar, alcohol or again body to the wine.

Now tip the glass again and have a peek at the rim. If this fades to brown (for red wines particularly) this denotes age. Some 20 year old Rioja's for example can have significant orange or brown notes due to the fading of the fruit over time and the colour influence of the oak showing itself through the faded fruit.

You may also see a cloudiness or deposits forming in the glass. Don't pour it away! These are natural and are often fine although perhaps not the most pleasant. They can carry the tannin (grape skins, yeast cells and oak particles) and may be there due to a minimal amount of post-production fining, particularly for older wines, as they act to impart flavour and structure throughout the ageing process.

Richer deeper wines tend to either be younger or made from wines with a heavy body. For instance a full-bodied young Australian Shiraz will have a core of dense black and purple fruit, whereas a lighter-bodied and aged Pinot Noir will have a light and thin red fruit flavour potentially with a touch of orange or brown.

With whites a light Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc when unoaked will have a light but vibrant pale lemon colour typically. Whereas, a fuller bodied oaked Chardonnay will show a deeper honeyed and golden shine with greater intensity.

There you go! Who'da thunk it!

If you'd like to find out more, come and explore and discover with us by signing up to our FREE wine courses or spotlight tasting events.



Investing in Fine WineDate published: 14/02/15

Investing in Fine Wine


We've compiled a list of ten top tips designed to help you get the most out of the market.


1: Focus on buying from the best estates in the Old World.

The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy, Rhone and Champagne provide the best returns. For long term appreciation, it is advised to focus primarily on the best wines and vintages from Bordeaux, and to diversify your investment portfolio with a selection from the other top wine makign regions from the Old World.


2: Invest in wines with a medium-long term view.

The historical performance of fine wine has shown that it is capable of providing investors capital protection, low volatility and solid returns. Fine Wine Investment has produced positive absolute return in every single 5-year holding period since the first period record of Dec '99 - Dec '04.


3: Provenance and storing your wines in bond are key.

When buying a precious asset like fine wine, having it stored profesionally and in in the right conditions is key. Doing so will help to guarantee the future value of the wine and a good return when you decide to sell.The easiest way to ensure this is to store your wines in bond in a bonded warehouse (See end of article for futher information on this).


4: Understand the risks and benefits when buying 'En Primeur'.

En primeur, or 'wine futures' as it is commonly referred to as, is the process of buying wine whilst it is still in the barrell. Bottling and physical delivery occur 2-3 years after the vintage is released. Traditionally believed to be the best way to buy for investors as it allows wine to be purchased by investors at it's lowest market price, it does come with some risks. The main risk being that as the wines are sold before the final blend and oak aging is complete, the actual bottled product may be better or worse than samples suggested.


5: Use as a diversification tool.

One of fine wine's most attractive features for investors is that it makes a great diversification tool in your investment portfolio!


6: Buy Wines with a high Parker Score

Robert Parker Jr (for those unfamiliar with the name) is the single most influential critic in the world of wine. The scores he awards to any given wine directly effect price and market demand. So, when it comes to investment, it's wise to follow Parker's scores.


7: Speak to a tax advisor.

Although fine wine investment is often adervtised as being a 'tax free' investment due to it being exempt from capital gains tax, it is always advisable to seek the advice of a tax advisor as legislation within this area is not always black and white. This should also ensure you are making the most of fine wine as an asset.


8: Always check prices.

Prices for investment grade wines can vary by as much as 20% when buying from one source or another and therefore it's always crucial to shop around. One of the best ways of doing doing this is using wine-searcher.com.


9: Manage your portfolio online.

One of the best 21st century advances in the wine market, is the ability to monitor your portfolio online using a tool such as Liv-ex's 'Cellar Watch' - which allows you to upload your portfolio and value it's holdings against recent market activity and price data.


10: Invest in wines that offer value and growth potential.

The best way to do this is to compare prices across a range of vintages for a particular estate and also cross-compare these with Robert Parker scores, Vintage quality scores and availability.


Want to find out more?

Lay & Wheeler is the fine wine specialist of Majestic Wine and have been offering en primeur, in bond and fine wine sales since 1854. Head over to www.laywheeler.com for more information and to start your investment portfolio!

WINE OF THE WEEK: Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 2012Date published: 14/02/15

WINE OF THE WEEK

Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 2012

Grape

Zinfandel

Origin

Lodi, in the Northern part of California's Central Valley, is known as the Zinfandel Capital of the World. Home to mature vine Zinfandel plantings in well-drained sandy soils, produce powerful and extractive wines that underline Ravenswood's 'No Wimpy Wines' motto.


Taste

Bursting with concentrated sweet blueberry, plums and spice aromas. Bright and fruity with soft, ripe roundness and well balanced acidity, filled with vanilla and toasted spices that linger on the finish.


Enjoy

Bursting with concentrated sweet blueberry, plums and spice aromas. Bright and fruity with soft, ripe roundness and well balanced acidity, filled with vanilla and toasted spices that linger on the finish.


Only £7.99 on our 33% off offer

One On Wine: Choosing Your Perfect BottleDate published: 13/02/15

One On Wine: Choosing Your Perfect Bottle

We know that everyone has different tastes for wine and there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to choosing wines, so why then does choosing it seem so overwhelming, particularly when you are new to the world of wine?

We are constantly striving to find the best way to determine the ideal wine for each individual customer and the clever people at our head office believe they have come up with a fail safe solution to this problem.

Introducing:

ONE ON WINE

An exciting new way to work out the style of wine that suits you and your tastes perfectly.

A 'one on wine' session involves sitting down with a member of staff and trying 3 reds and 3 whites in very different styles. By rating your response to each of these wines, it is possible to use formulas to determine the style of wine most suited to you!

Yes, I know that sounds a little complicated but it's actually quite simple. We do all the hard work while you sit back and enjoy the tasting!

A session lasts approximately 20 minutes and by the end you will hopefully have a much better understanding of your tastes and the sorts or wine you should be looking for.

Remember, this is just a guide! You are more than welcome to choose other styles of wine, we just want to give a better understanding to those people who haven't quite found that perfect bottle.

To book your session please call us on 02085679251 or email us at eal@majestic.co.uk



A Guide to Port StylesDate published: 13/02/15

A Guide to Port Styles

There are a wide variety of ports and all offer a completely different drinking experience. Here is our guide to the different styles available:

Ruby:

This is the most common type of port on the British market and is also usually the sweetest. It has the least amount of barrel ageing and is usually quite simple in terms of flavours, consisting mainly of dark fruits. It does not need decanting and will not improve further with bottle ageing.

Our recommendation: Taylor's First Estate NV £13.99

Late Bottle Vintage (LBV):

This type of port is a specified vintage which has been aged in barrels for six years (modern style) and four years (classic or unfiltered style). It is then bottled and sold. The further ageing in oak gives these ports a much softer mouth feel than ruby port and tend to show some oxidative characteristics. The classic style will likely improve with further bottle ageing and should also be decanted. As the modern style is filtered it will not age and should not be decanted.

Our recommendation: Taylor's Late Bottled Vintage 2007 £14.99

Tawny

These ports will usually have a number on the label and this indicates how many years it has spent in oak as a minimum. The longer the time the more soft and pale they become, usually showing intense, nutty oxidative characteristics. This is my favorite style of port other than vintage and should match beautifully with nutty cheeses such as parmezan. They do not need decanting.

Our recommendation: Taylor's 10 Year Old Tawny £25.00

Vintage and Single Quinta ports:

These are the most expensive ports as a vintage may only be declared three times a decade. As these are matured for only two years in cask and the remainder in bottle, they are designed to age for a long time. Vintage ports are extremely intense and heavy wines with powerful dark fruit flavours and firm tannins. These are ideal for gifts not intended to be drunk immediately, especially for those under 15 years old. They will throw quite a large deposit and so will need to be decanted before drinking.

Our recommendation: Graham's Quinta Dos Malvedos 2001 £28.00



How To Taste WineDate published: 13/02/15

How To Taste Wine

There are a few things to look out for when you are discovering and exploring new wines such as;

Colour: Whites. Are they clear, see through, lemon etc

  Reds.  Are they deep red, light red, ruby etc


Legs or Tears: As you swirl the wine around in the glass you will see these legs or tears falling down the sides of the glass. This shows the alcohol of the wine.

Tannins: Tannins create the dry, even chewy sensation in your mouth as you swallow the wine. Tannins come from the skins of the grapes therefore this will occur with red wines.

Wines with less tannins are generally ones you could drink on their own. And wines which are are more tannic can be more suited with some food. Food such as cheese and meats are great for this. The protein cuts though the tannins making each mouth full much smoother and more pleasant.

Acidity: More pronounced in whites, the acidity is the sharp feeling at the sides of your mouth which make your mouth water. This is a characteristic of Sauvignon Blancs.

These are some simple things to look out for when you are discovering and exploring new wines!

Happy Exploring!



A-Z of Wine: L is for LimeDate published: 13/02/15

A-Z of Wine: L is for Lime

Lime

Ground Limestone is sometimes added to soils to neutralise soil acidity, It is fairly immobile in the soil, except in light sands. And must therefore be incorportated deeply and thoroughly to be fully effective.

A-Z of Wine: P is for Petit VerdotDate published: 13/02/15

A-Z of Wine: P is for Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot

One of Bordeaux's classic grape variety, no longer planted in any great quantity. The vine ripens later than Cabernet Sauvignon and is equally resistant to rot. It adds lovely perfumed aromas to the blend.

Food and Wine Matching Rule # 1: Think Regionally. If It Grows Together, It Goes Together.Date published: 13/02/15

Food and Wine Matching Rule # 1: Think Regionally. If It Grows Together, It Goes Together.

Pairing a dish with a wine native to the same region can take you at least 50% of the way to the perfect match! Obviously many main ingredients, like chicken for example are eaten the world over. However it's the accessories to the main ingredients that will reflect the regional elements and flavour profiles.

Classic pairings are known as that because they work! And have probably been tried and tested many times. An example of a classic pairing is Rioja and Lamb. Spain is full of sheep and well known for the quality of its lamb, especially in Rioja. Rioja wines have sweet spice notes, black fruit and often raisin characteristics in the wines that include Garnacha in their blend. Even more importantly Rioja usually has a decent level of acidity, which is very useful with Lamb, as it is a relatively indigestible meat. Interestingly this is why we Brits have traditionally eaten Lamb with mint sauce.

Another good example of this is rich tomato based pasta dishes from Italy, using the same principle as above, generally you will find that good,hearty reds with a reasonable acidity will work remarkably well with these dishes.

Why not give it a try next time you are thinking of what wine to match with the dish you are cooking, if it grows together, it goes together!

So What is Prosecco?Date published: 13/02/15

So What is Prosecco?


So everyone loves Prosecco but with more and more choice how do you know which to pick?  Here are a few helpful hints to help you interpret the label!

1)  If you want fully sparkling pick a spumante but if you want gently sparkling pick a frizzante.

2)  Extra dry actually means off-dry so if you like a hint of sweetness these are great but if you want a dry Prosecco you will probably prefer a brut.

3) Most Proseccos come from the DOC (Denominazione de Origine Controllata) Prosecco but the better quality ones come from the hills in the Valdobbiadene region within this which is given the staus DOCG (Denominazione de Origine Controllata e Garantita).  So pick a DOCG for a treat!

4) Prosecco has to be made in the Prosecco region in North West Italy from the grape variety Glera.  Therefore you can't make a rosé Prosecco.  However, sparkling rosé made from the Raboso grape is getting more and more popular.

Hope that helps you with your choices next time you're having a party or just fancy a cheeky glass of sparkly fun with a loved one! As always our Majestic team can offer any more guidance you need when choosing that bottle of bubbly.....we are proud to say that we have tried pretty much every prosecco in the range so feel free to test us!

The forgotten grape of BurgundyDate published: 13/02/15

The forgotten grape of Burgundy

"The best white wines coming out of Burgundy are Chardonnay based and very expensive".... Not always true!

We have a good selection of affordable white Burgundy. We've also got whites from Burgundy that are fantastic, under £10 and not chardonnay! Aligote, the original grape of Burgundy is much different and a nice change from the norm.

We currently have this gem in stock:

Bourgogne Aligote 2012, Chateau du Cray - £8.99  - Grown on the sandier soils of Burgundy, this is a juicy and expressive wine with a citrus fruit edge. Unoaked but nothing like your typical Chablis, it's more reminiscent of a Sauvignon Blanc than a Chardonnay. It's quite light and perfect for a lovely summer salad or even a bit of smoked salmon.

Come and give the alternative white Burgundy a try now!

Wine Knowledge:BeaujolaisDate published: 13/02/15

Wine Knowledge:Beaujolais

Beaujolais is often considered part of Burgundy, but the soils, dominant grape variety and climate are very different. Only 1% of wine produced in Beaujolais is white. The main grape variety is Gamay, which generally makes simple, fruity wines that are best enjoyed when young. Typical flavors include raspberries and cherries, with very light tannins. Carbonic maceration extracts colour and tannins gently, adding flavour characteristics like kirsch, bananas, bubblegum and cinnamon.

Appellations

Plain Beaujolais Ac is produced to the east around the plains of the River Saone, and to the south where the soils are limestone based. It is also here that the more famous Beaujolais Nouveau is produced. This is a wine meant for drinking whilst very young and accounts for up to half the annual crop of Beaujolais. It can only be sold on or after the morning of the third Thursday of November and cannot be sold by growers and merchants after the following 31st of August.

To the north and west of the region you will find the vineyards that have the right to call themselves Beaujolais Villages and Beaujolais Crus. 39 villages have the right to be named Beaujolais Villages, accounting for around a quarter of total production of this region. These wines are usualy blended between the villages, although occastionally you can find one with an individual name.

10 villages have been recognised to produce disjunctive wines and recognisable character. These are: Saint-Amour AC, Julienas AC, Chenas AC, Moulin-a-Vent AC, Chiroubles AC, Fleurie AC, Morgon AC, Regnie AC, Cote de Brouilly and Brouilly AC.  

IPADate published: 13/02/15

IPA

Most people love the occasional IPA, but what exactly is an India Pale Ale..??

The term pale ale originally denoted an ale that had been brewed from pale malt. Pale ale started off lightly hopped and quite different from later pale ales. But as brewing processes evolved over the next half century, pale ale was mostly manufactured with coke-fired malt, which produced less smoking and roasting of barley in the malting process, and produced a paler beer.

One such variety of beer was "October beer", a pale well-hopped beer which became popular among a richer audience, and was brewed widely at home and could be cellared for a couple of years.

India didn't come into the story until George Hodgson began selling his "October beer" to the East India Trading Company. Apparently the long sea voyage and ship's conditions benefited the beer. Over the next few decades, due to various new taxes and duties involved in the sale of beer in Europe, many brewers were forced to look at other sources of revenue. Following Hodgson's lead, many brewers began making a similar style and the term "India Pale Ale" starts getting used. With their global trade routes, the British IPAs find their way into America and became very popular and have since evolved into an almost signature style.

An India Pale Ale is a very "hoppy" tasting style. The flavour is almost citric and bitter, but has a very refreshing palate. Served cold, it is a lovely change from generic tasting lager.

At Majestic we have a few options that are excellent examples: Goose Island, Curious IPA and Punk IPA.

A New Arrival from Mud HouseDate published: 12/02/15

A New Arrival from Mud House

Mud House Sauvignon Blanc is now a firmly established Majestic Wine favourite and at it's current price of £7.87, it's a bit of a bargain too. But what if you have friends or the boss over for dinner? What if you need a wine to impress? We may well have the solution for you in the shape of the newly arrived Mud House Woolshed Sauvignon Blanc.

Despite it's name, no sheep are used in the making of this wine; The Woolshed referred to being one of Mud House's own estate-owned vineyard sites established in 2002 in the upper Wairau Valley. In this part of the valley there is a combination of hillsides and alluvial flats that characterise the classic Marlborough terroir.

So what can you expect from this wine? From the glass it has a bright, punchy and zesty nose, combining passion fruit and grapefruit with hints of green peppers. This leads to a crisp and mouthwatering on the palate, which overflows with fresh fruit flavour.

The growers at Mud House recommend pairing with aromatic prawn fish cakes, but it will go fantastically with any seafood.

Mud House The Woolshed Sauvignon Blanc is available to buy in store now at £11.99when at least two are bought as part of your mixed case of six bottles.

SherryDate published: 12/02/15

Sherry seems to gaining lot's of popularity at the minute, becoming increasingly popular and trendy. You've just got to take a stroll down certain parts of London and you can see Sherry bars popping up all over the place. It seems to be engaging with a new, younger demographic as well as remaining popular with its older fans of course.

Sherry is a fortified wine made from a white grape variety grown near the town of Jerez, Spain. It is commonly made from the Palomino grape and the styles can be very different from the light and dry to darker sweeter styles.

In Europe Sherry has a protected place of origin which means, anything that is labelled as 'Sherry' must come from the Sherry triangle. This is an area between Jerez and El Puerto de Santa Maria.

It comes in a variety of styles:

Fino - The driest and palest of all the Sherry varieties. The wine is aged in barrels under a cap of flor to prevent oxidization.

Manzanilla -  A light version of Fino Sherry made around the port of Sanlucar de barrameda.

Manzanilla Pasada -  A Manzanilla which has oxidized slightly and therefore has achieved a richer, nutty taste.

Amontillado  - a style which is first aged under flor but then given exposure to oxygen, the style is darker than a fino but lighter than an Oloroso. These wines are naturally dry.

Oloroso  - The most alcoholic of all the Sherries. These wines are aged extensively (longer than Amontillado and Fino) and the result is a darker, richer style. These wines are still naturally dry however sweetened versions such as 'Cream Sherry' are also available.

Palo Cortado - A wine which is made and aged like an Amontillado however at some stage the flor is killed and the wine is allowed to oxidize

Pop in store to see our range of Sherries and if you want anymore information or advice on them!

The Barossa ValleyDate published: 12/02/15

The Barossa Valley is one of Australia's oldest wine regions. Located in South Australia, the Barossa Valley is about 56 km (35 miles) northeast of the city of Adelaide. Unlike most of Australia whose wine industry was heavily influenced by the British, the wine industry of the Barossa Valley was founded by German settlers fleeing persecution.

As the modern Australian wine industry shifted towards red table wines (particularly those made by the prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon) in the mid-20th century, the Barossa Valley fell out of favor due to its reputation for being largely a Shiraz producers whose grapes were destined for blending. During this period the name "Barossa Valley" rarely appeared on wine labels. In the 1980s, the emergence of several boutique family specializing in old vine Shiraz wines began to capture international attention for the distinctive style of Barossa Shiraz, a full bodied red wine with rich chocolate and spice notes. This led to a renaissance in the Barossa which catapulted the region to the forefront of the Australian wine industry.

Many Shiraz vines in the Barossa Valley are several decades old, with some vineyards planted with old vines that are 100–150 years old including Turkey Flat in Tanunda that is home to the oldest commercially producing grape vines, originally planted in 1847. Other grape varieties grown in the Barossa include Grenache, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling,Chardonnay and Semillon.

Have we told you about Tariquet VSOP Carafe Armagnac?Date published: 12/02/15

Have we told you about Tariquet VSOP Carafe Armagnac?

Tariquet VSOP Carafe Armagnac 70cl Bottle

£35.00

60% Ugni Blanc, 40% Baco. Aged for at least 7 years in oak barrels in Tariquet’s cellars, this Armagnac shows both fresh characteristics and more mature notes. Very smooth with a lively bouquet of floral and fresh mint characteristics, followed by further hints of woody spices, hints of vanilla, liquorice and macerated fruits.



Random wine fact...Date published: 12/02/15

Random wine fact...

There are 13 permitted grape varities allowed into red Chateauneuf-du-Pape.



Back in stock: PassimentoDate published: 12/02/15

Back in stock: Passimento

Just in time for valentines day too... the Passimento is back in stock! The name of this wine is derived from 'appassimento', the traditional Valpolicella method of partially drying grapes before fermentation. In one month the grapes lose around 30% of their water content, concentrating the juice and intensifying the wine's flavour.

A dense and deeply coloured wine, full of concentrated black and red cherry flavour, and hints of leather and spice. The palate has a layered texture, with muscular tannins providing a long finish.

I adore this wine, If you are after a big, jusicy red that has a hint of sweetness then look no further.

Currently just £7.99 on our 33% off deal. Grab it before it sells out again!

Wine of the Day: PortDate published: 12/02/15

Port!

1) Port is a fortified wine that comes form the Douro Valley in Portugal

2) The 5 main port grapes are: Touriga Franc, Touriga National, Tinta Cao, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Tinta Baroca.

3) Port is a wine which is fortified with grape spirit during the wines first fermentation - this stops fermentation before all sugars have been converted to alcohol - leaving residual sugar, and often a sweeter finished product.

Great Pinot Noir for a shade under a tenner!Date published: 12/02/15

Great Pinot Noir for a shade under a tenner!

Saint Clair Estate Selection Pinot Noir 2012/2013 Marlborough

Sourced from several vineyards in Marlborough's Southern Valleys, whose clay soils promote the growth of small bunches of small berries, and thus intensely flavoured Pinot Noir. Portions of the wine are aged in French oak barriques before blending with unoaked wine. Rich garnet core with a purplish rim. Aromas of ripe black cherries and currants, with a lifted raspberry note and a hint of vanilla. Fine tannins, medium palate weight, and good fruit concentration. This wine would be amazing with cutlets of smoked lamb. But if you need a red for slightly spicey or asian cuisine this Pinot Noir is perfect!

£9.99 down from £15-who can say no to a deal like that?

Top 5 beers for the Six NationsDate published: 11/02/15

With the Six Nations having kicked off last weekend involving a great win by England! here are our top 5 beer suggestions to enjoy when watching the rest of the tournament.

1.  London Pride (Ale) - Classic quality ale

£22.20 when you buy 2 cases

Single case price  £25.20

2.  Pilsner Urquell - February Bargain!

This will be ideal if your having friends over to watch the game, £1 per bottle is a brilliant bargain.

£24 x 24 bottles (1 Case)

3.  Flying Dog: Easy IPA - New Craft Ale

One of the many great craft ales that we stock, its also open to try on our tasting counter. yet flavorful, beer.

£9.99 when you buy 2 packs

Single pack price £12.99

4.  Curious Brew, Chapel Down NV - Treat yourself

GOLD MEDAL WINNER AT THE INTERNATIONAL BEER CHALLENGE 2012. Curious Brew is a truly premium lager beer. Brewed in England with precision and passion to create a uniquely satisfying, drier, cleaner, fresher, lager beer.

Single case price £17.99

5.  Bath Ales Mixed Case - Variety is the spice of life

Four quintessentially English ales, brewed in the West Country.

Gem: is a best bitter with a rich aroma of hops and malt, and a long, deep, bitter-sweet finish.

Barnsey: A distinctively dark bitter. Rich in fruit, with hints of chocolate, this full-bodied dark ale is a complex but deeply satisfying beer.

Wild Hare: A wonderful, golden ale with a fresh-citrus aroma and a dry, bitter finish.

Dark Side: A superbly smooth stout with a roasted barley aroma, a deep, dark colour and a smooth-yet-dry taste: an exquisite stout.

£22.20 when you buy 2 cases

Single case price £25.20  



European vs American OakDate published: 11/02/15

European vs American Oak

Oak vessels are often used during the fermentation and maturation process of wine making to add tannins, as well as add aromas of toast, vanilla and smokiness to wines. Most winery oak vessels are made from either European oak or American white oak. So what's the difference?

European oak has broadly similar characteristics whether it comes from France, Hungary, Russia or elsewhere, although there are some forests particularly in France that are considered to produce the finest oak.

European oak is more expensive than American oak because the production process involves splitting the trunk of the tree to produce staves. This is more labour intensive and wasteful of wood, but because the wood is more porous sawn wood staves would produce leaky barrels.

European oak gives toast and vanilla flavours and fine grained tannins, whereas American white oak is generally more aromatic and the sawing releases more flavour, giving sweet vanilla and coconut flavours.

Italy in Focus - Barolo DOCGDate published: 11/02/15

Italy in Focus - Barolo DOCG


Barolo is a rare wine and one of the most prestigious in Italy. It is often compared to burgundy; both are single variety wines, produced towards the northern edge of a region, on terroirs that have been worked for several centuries. Similarly, the wines, whether in a fresh style for early consumption or with potential for ageing, command a premium price. In addition, the Barolo bottle sometimes has the same shape as the Burgundy version. The wine is produced to a 13% ABV minimum and ages in wood for three years (five years if the word riserva appears on the label). Finally, something called Barolo Chinato is flavoured with quinine. The six million-bottle production of the “king of wine and the wine of kings” remains a limited amount, just one-thousandth of total Italian output. Barolo has near relatives produced from the same Nebbiolo grape: Barbaresco commands an equally expensive range of prices, but more affordable are Albugnano, Boca, Baramterra, Carema, Lessona, Gattinara, Ghemme, Nebbiolo d’Alba and Roero.


Grape Variety - Nebbiolo

Soil - Clay and limestone hills of Langhe

Grape of the Day- Ugni BlancDate published: 11/02/15

Grape of the Day- Ugni Blanc

Ugni Blanc is mostly found in the southern French regions of Provence and Midi, or in Italy under the name of Trebbiano. It is known for being a neutral variety often used to make white table wine. Its fresh acidity lends itself well to the making of brandy and cognac's.

When used for making white wine it is often found as a blend, generally with Colombard in France. The growing of Ugni Blanc is in decline but it can still be found in the Majestic range.

Cuvee de Richard Blanc and Cuvee Genvieve Blanc are both examples of a Colombard, Ugni Blanc blend. They are light in style with fresh acidity. Italian San Marco Frascati is a fine example of Trebbiano which is more floral in style with that classic snappy acidity still present.



Friday Food Match - Pairing wine with Chinese food.Date published: 11/02/15

Friday Food Match - Pairing wine with Chinese food.

There are 3 main things to bear in mind when pairing wine with Chinese food.

First, many dishes consist of deep fried meats, vegetables and even bananas. The perfect wine option with fatty or oily foods would be a Champagne. It cuts through the fat and adds a very refreshing and sharp taste to counter the heaviness of the meal.

Second, If the dish has a hint of sweetness make sure your wine is also sweet. I would suggest our Trimbach Riesling or most wines with gewurtztraminer as the sole varietal.

Third, be aware of drinking heavy reds with ingredients that have an intense savoury flavour. It can make the tannin taste sour and metallic. The ideal match therefore would be something light and fruity like our Beaujolais-Villages Duboeuf or our Waimea Pinot Noir.

So if your wanting to splash out on some Champers or go for a cheaper and fruitier alternative we have a great selection to cover your needs. Come and Explore!

Valentines Day is just a few days away.Date published: 11/02/15

Valentines Day is just a few days away.  I can feel the excitement from you all.

We are open till 7pm on Saturday 14th.  So if like me you tend to forget about this important day of the year then we are here to provide you with brownie points by supplying you with some great deals on champagne.  Unfortunately we don't supply roses or cards but I tend to get those from a garage on my way home.........

Bouvet Rosé is a fantastic pink fizz from the Loire valley, and is currently 33% off at £8.99

Laurent Perrier Rose is at an awesomely good price of £44.97.  Guaranteed Brownie points!

Pol Roger Réserve NV ChampagneDate published: 11/02/15

Pol Roger Réserve NV Champagne

Grape: Pinot Noir, ChardonnayPol Roger's historic underground cellars are 33m deep and average particularly low temperatures. They thus provide an environment uniquely suited to slow fermentation, and are responsible for this Champagne's famously super-fine mousse.

£29.98 33.3% Off

New arrival available to tasteDate published: 11/02/15

New arrival available to taste

Bellingham Pinopasso Pinotage 2013 Coastal Region

Taking their inspiration from the 'Appasimento' wines of northern Italy, which owe their exceptional richness to the addition of partially dried grapes to the blend, Bellingham have created this quintessentially South African adaption of the style using their signature grape.

£7.49 when you buy 2+ 25% wines (£9.99 bottle price)

Pinot Grigio 2014 Natale Verga

This winery was founded in 1895 by Enrico Verga, who gained a reputation for fine Barolos. It is now run by great-grandson Natale along with his father and sisters. Their Pinot Grigio comes from vineyards in Pavia, Lombardy, close to its border with Piedmont.

£5.99 when you buy 2+ 25% wines (£7.99 bottle price)

Pouilly-Vinzelles ‘En Paradis’ 2012 Louis Latour...back in stock £14.99Date published: 11/02/15

Pouilly-Vinzelles ‘En Paradis’ 2012 Louis Latour...back in stock £14.99

Grape Chardonnay

Origin

Produced by the family-run company Maison Louis Latour, who are producing white and red wines from the finest of Burgundy to wines from outside the region of Burgundy.

Taste

A clean, fresh wine displaying honey and stone fruit aromas. Sweet honey and floral characters are in abundance on the palate and create a fine and elegant complexity.

Enjoy

A great wine and a great example of a Mâconnais wine. Perfect with seafood and chicken dishes.

Should one decant wine?Date published: 10/02/15

Should one decant wine?

Decanting is usually only neccessary in wines that are sufficiently old and have formed a deposit, yet are not so old and fragile (50+ years) that exposure to air should be kept at a minimum, even at the risk of chewing a mouthful of sediment along with the last glass of wine.

For any other sort of wine, it is a matter of personal choice. Some wines do benefit from breathing a little, as exposure to air may release a bit more vapour and therefore pleasure, but this can be achieved by just effectively swirling and rotating the glass after pouring. . If you have a particular beautiful decanter you wish to show off,or are doing a blind tasting decanting can be a good idea.  

The basic rule of thumb is, the more body a wine has, the more it can stand up to decanting, most sweeter sherries and ports can be kept in a decanter for up to a month.

New! Natale Verga Pinot GrigioDate published: 10/02/15

New! Natale Verga Pinot Grigio from Italy.

Available to taste!


What is important to know about Pinot Grigio?

Pinot Grigio is a very well known grape variety, providing light aromatic wines. As a soft approachable wine it is a real crowd pleaser that is often found on restaurant and pub wine lists.


Why buy the Natale Verga Pinot Grigio?

This organic wine comes from a traditional family producer with 4 generations of experience and an emphasis on quality. Majestic has formed a great relationship with Natale Verga and we already stock a great Barolo and Primitivo from the winery.The wine is very fresh, with citrus aromas. The citrus comes through on the palate with hints of apple and pear providing a light, satisfying wine.


Great as an aperitif or serve with seafood and fish dishes.

£7.99 buy 2 save 25% = £5.99

33% off all Pink Fizz!!Date published: 10/02/15

33% off all Pink Fizz

With Valentine's day dawning upon as, we here at Majestic have put all our rose sparkling wines and champagnes on the 33% deal to make your Valentine's day ever more special.

Oeil de Perdrix Rose is currently selling at the phenomenal price of £16.66. Meaning 'eye of the partridge', this pale salmon pink rosé Champagne exhibits enticing complexity. Delicate in style, but with a perfect weight of fruit. A fantastic apéritif.

All the way from New Zealand, the Cloudy Bay Perlorus Rose is only £18.99 a bottle! Vinified in the traditional method, from 80% Pinot Noir, selected from a number of parcels in the Wairau Valley, blended to create a defined yet delicate style. Fine bubbles and a pale pink colour. The aromas are of strawberry and cranberry, with subtle pot pourri and flint. The palate is explosive and abundant, with lashings of cherry fruit and sweet spice. Drink with smoked salmon or charcuterie canapés, sashimi or Peking duck.

From one end of the southern hemisphere to another, the Argentinian Chandon Rose is selling at £13.99 a bottle! Moët & Chandon have created this complex sparkling rosé by combining the fruit of several vineyards of varying altitude, using a traditional method of blending the juice with a controlled portion of Pinot Noir base wines, and 18 months' lees ageing in bottle. Rose pink with a sunny, peachy hue. Aromas a predominantly of citrus and stone fruit, accented by hints of cherry and fresh pie crust. The strawberries-and-cream palate is carried by a voluminous mousse. A wonderful aperitif-style rosé for any special occasion.

Closer to home, Chapel Down Rose is only £21.31 a bottle! This elegant sparkling wine from the excellent Chapel Down winery is made using the traditional method, from a blend of grapes that thrive in the cool climes of Kent. Slight hints of rose petals and a soft strawberry character, this crisp, medium bodied sparkling wine also has a citrus streak and fine, persistent bubbles. Smoked salmon is a fantastic match to this wine, along with crab salad.



A-Z of Wine: K is for Kimmeridge ClayDate published: 10/02/15

A-Z of Wine: K is for Kimmeridge Clay

Kimmeridge clay is the technical term for the soil with outcrops of the same chalk layer that extends from Sancerre up to the White Cliffs of Dover, giving a name to the geological era known as Cretaceous period. The Grand Crus, the best vineyards in the area, all lie in one small southwest facing slope located just north of the town of Chablis.

Chablis lies about 10 miles (16 km) east of Auxerre in the Yonne department, situated in Burgundy's heartland roughly halfway between Côte d'Or and Paris. It is closer to the southern Aube district of Champagne than the rest of Burgundy. Of France's wine-growing areas, only Champagne and Alsace have a more northerly location. The region covers 15 km x 20 km across 27 communes located along the Serein river.

A-Z of Wine: J is for JulienasDate published: 10/02/15

A-Z of Wine: J is for Julienas

Juliénas-This is a cru in Beaujolais based around the village named after Julius Caesar. The wines made from this area are noted for their richness and spice with aromas reminiscent of peonies. In contrast to the claims of Régnié, Juliénas growers believe that this area was the site of the first vineyards planted in Beaujolais by the Romans during this conquest of Gaul.

The Loire ValleyDate published: 10/02/15

The Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is made up of 4 sub-regions: Nantais, Anjou-Saumur, Touraine, Central Vineyards.The Loire covers a huge area and has altering climates which means each sub region produces unique wines.

Nantais:  

Maritime climate, contains Muscadet made from Melon de Bourgogne - producing dry whites.

Anjou-Saumur:

Climate on the maritime side, red, white and rose are produced. Chenin blanc used for whites and cabernet franc used for reds

Touraine:

Climate is a cross between maritime and continental. Reds are produced from cabernet franc mainly, but malbec and gamay is also used. Whites are produced from Sauvignon blanc and chenin blanc.

Central Vineyards:

Continental climate and this produces dry, acidic whites which are drank young and rarely suitable for ageing. Famous for Sancerre and Pouilly Fume made from Sauvignon Blanc. Reds made in Sancerre from Pinot Noir.

The Old VineDate published: 10/02/15

Hello Internet! You're reading The Old Vine, the only series out of Majestic Wine Ealing that inspects wine through the ages, pointing out the legend and myth surrounding our favorite fermented grape juice.

Okay, so it's hard to picture a fountain of wine being particularly practical. Most of us don't like  leaving our wine out for more than a couple of days at most, so keen we are to protect it's freshness and zest! That said there is one unique scenario in which it's actually a really good idea.

Imagine yourself as a leading merchant in Venice. You've helped spur the city on to new heights of mercantilism and production. You've linked the Christian and Muslim worlds, and you have a sizable merchant navy. You also probably have a large number of people working for you to construct those ships, load and unload, and then sail them. In an age where clean water is often more expensive than wine, doesn't it make sense to lay out vats of wine for your workers to help them through those long hard days? Of course it does! Then again we can't have them sticking their grubby hands in it all the time so instead we'll need some kind of pouring system and... There we have it, the fountain of wine.

I've even heard rumour of more modern fountains of wine being rolled out for Venice carnival, such as the one in 2012!

Pilsner Urquell (from Pilsen, Bohemia)Date published: 10/02/15

Pilsner Urquell (from Pilsen, Bohemia)

As you know, we're partial to the finer beers in life. This is the original Pilsner and the world's first pale lager beer. Pilsner Urquell is crafted in Pilsen, Czech Republic from the distinctive soft spring water, using traditional methods and a generous dose of Saaz hops from nearby Žatec. 33cl long neck bottles. abv 4.4%.

For June, Pilsner is again available at Majestic for only £1 a bottle. That's just £24 for a case. We thought you'd like that.

Cheers!

ChampagneDate published: 10/02/15

Champagne

It is revision time here in Ealing and with all the training, it has made me realize how much i've forgotten and as such this seems like a great opportunity to tell you all about the different types of Champagne:

Types of Champagne

There are multiple types of Champagne depending on the grapes used, the amount of sugar added and how long it has been aged. A classic Champagne is a blend of 3 grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. However you can also get a Blanc de Blanc where the Champagne is made from entirely white grapes (Chardonnay) or a Blanc de Noirs where the wine is made entirely from black grapes (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier)

A sugar source is usually added to a Champagne just before the bottle is corked otherwise it is found to be very dry and sometimes overly acidic. If no sugar is added then the Champagne is classed as Brut Nature. The next driest is Extra Brut followed by the standard Brut which is classed as dry to off dry. After that you get Extra-Sec, Sec and Demi-Sec which are classed as off dry-medium dry, medium dry and sweet respectively.

A house style is why brands taste different. This is down to the Master Blender and will be determined by how good the harvest was, the grapes used and the yeasts selected.

1 week special offer: Ravenswood Lodi ZinfandelDate published: 10/02/15

1 week special offer: Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel

This wonderful wine arrived back in stock this morning to coincide with a fantastic 1 week offer...£7.99 (regular price £11.99) from today until Monday. Fill your boots!

The Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 2012 is a bold and flavoursome wine coming straight from the epicenter of Zinfandel production in California's Central Valley. Ravenswood have a tradition of producing powerful "No Wimpy Wines", and this does not disappoint; key aromas of fruits such as plums and blueberries mixed with luxurious spice.

On the palate there are wonderful flavours of cherry, vanilla, chocolate and the aforementioned spice, however this is balanced with acidity, medium body and a youthful roundness. This wine would be a joy as a standalone drink but also would work well in conjunction with a platter of cheese or a duck-based dish.

Party ServiceDate published: 10/02/15

Party Service

Are you planning a party, wedding or charity event? Let us help!

We have years of experience in party planning so can take away some of the organisational stress.

We offer the following services:

* Free glass loan (we ask for a fully refundable deposit and that the glasses are returned clean). We have flutes for fizz, wines glasses, half-pint hi-ball tumblers and straight sleeve pints.

* Free chiller bin and table-top cooler loan (again we ask for a fully refundable deposit). The chiller needs 3 to 4 bags of ice and holds around 24 bottles of wine/48 bottles of beer, keeping them cool for several hours. If you require something smarter for the table, the perspex table-top coolers hold 3 to 4 bottles of champagne or wine and need 1 bag of ice to fill.

* Free delivery - we will endeavour to deliver when and where you want.

* Advice on what and how much to buy. We have a well-stocked tasting counter and staff with plenty of expertise and knowledge so can guide you on food and wine matching, popular crowd-pleasers and of course, the best bargains to be had!

* Sale or return - we offer sale or return on large purchases and will accept back single bottles of wine or fizz but only full cases of bitter or lager, so you need never worry about running out!

So do pop in or phone us to discuss your requirements and peruse our extensive range.

Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvèdre 2012 Date published: 10/02/15

Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvèdre 2012 

South Eastern Australia

The founders of Penfolds wine emigrated to Australia from Sussex in 1844. The English couple were interested in the medicinal benefits of wine and in particular focused on a wine that would help treat anaemia. After initially focusing on fortified wines, the demand for still wines became apparent. This is when the house really 'took off' and made a name for them selves as one of the oldest family run vineyards in Australia. They currently are currently part of the prestigious Treasury wine estates association

Grape : Syrah-Shiraz, Mourvedre

Origin: Created in 1960, Bin 2 is a classic Penfolds blend based on Rhône varieties, made from fruit grown in Barossa, McLaren Vale and Padthaway, matured in French and American oak. Mourvedre makes up around 10% of the blend, lending body and structure.

Taste: A backbone of ripe blackcurrant, cherry and quince, overlaid with notes of liquorice, winter pudding and dark chocolate. Plush tannins provide an expansive mouth-feel.

£14.99 multi buy price (Buy 2 bottles save £10) or £19.99 single bottle price.



VOX POPULI Bobal 2011Date published: 10/02/15


VOX POPULI Bobal 2011

Made exclusively from the grape variety Bobal grown in the area known as ‘Medio Dia’, where the soil has little organic content and where the long hours of sunshine result in very low yields per plant but very high quality. Aged in French oak barrels until the wine has a deep cheery red colour the red fruit aromas are enhanced.  This wine will improve in bottle during the next few years.


Region

Denominación de Origen Protegida Utiel-Requena. Continental climate with Mediterranean influences. Large day and night temperature variations.  Average annual temperature 13ºC.  Chalky-clay soils


Grape Variety

100% Bobal


Winemaking

Made exclusively from grapes selected from old vines of low production. This wine shows the potential quality of the Bobal grape, native of Utiel-Requena. Destemmed and gently pressed followed by a long maceration at a controlled temperature using an exclusive system of energetic pumping. Malolactic fermentation. Aged in new French ‘Allier’ barrels for 8 months.


Tasting Note  

Colour:  Intense red with light earthy hues.

Aroma:  Deep and complex with forest fruit aromas together with tones of toffee and vanilla.

Taste:  Fresh, deep bodied with smooth tannins and very long.


Serving Suggestions

Vox Populi Bobal is ideal to accompany meats, game and cold meats. Serve between 16 and 18ºC. We recommend decanting the bottle at least one hour prior to serving.

Rioja Reserva Viña ArdanzaDate published: 10/02/15

Rioja Reserva Viña Ardanza

Grape: Grenache and Tempranillo

Origin: One of the very best of Rioja's produced from fruit exclusively grown in the bodega's 360 hectare vineyard holdings in the Rioja Alta region, and named after one of the Region's founding families. Remaining under family ownership, this is of the most sought-after bodegas.

Taste: Complex and perfumed primary and secondary aromas of earth, spice and red fruits with a long, elegantly structured medium weight body of spicy tannins and layers of flavour.


An absolute bargain/investment at £19.00 when you buy 2 bottle or more. Single bottle price = £24

France in Focus: Bordeaux Date published: 10/02/15

France in Focus: Bordeaux  

Ah, Bordeaux.  Of course.  The one everybody wants to know about.  Why is Bordeaux so popular?  I'll get to that, but first a bit of background...

Bordeaux has produced wine for the English market since the 12th century, when England still owned large tracts of France.  Its deep, gravelly soils are the key to producing the long lived, complex and elegant wines of the Left Bank of the River Gironde; they provide excellent drainage for the vines planted there.  Furthermore, the river itself provides a cooling influence on the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc that is grown there.  Although all 3 grapes make it into the blend, it is Cabernet that is king on the left bank, giving structured, tannic wines in their youth that blossom into (some would say) incomparably complex and elegant wines with age.  The most famous appelations within the left bank are Margaux, Pauillac, St-Julien and St-Estephe.

On the left bank the soil changes to predominantly clay - and it is here that Merlot thrives, giving softer, riper and more generous wines with more of an accent on fruit.  The wines of St-Emilion and Pomerol are rightly sought-after, but due to their relatively small size compared to the areas of the left bank, they are generally very expensive.

So why is Bordeaux so sought after?  Well, part of it is tradition - it has been the staple cellar wine for the aristocracy for hundreds  of years.  Also it is down to its quality - the best Bordeaux are undoubtedly amongst the finest wines produced anywhere in the world, and many would say they are the finest.

However there are many reasonbly priced wines that show the third reason it is sought after - its versatility.  Bordeaux can be soft and supple, like our Chateau Griviere, or it can have taught acidity and fine structure that goes very well with food, such as Chateau Pitray - and both are under £10.  Come and explore Bordeaux - you certainly won't regret it!



Is Ribera del Duero the new Rioja?Date published: 10/02/15

 Is Ribera del Duero the new Rioja?

Rioja has long been considered the premier wine region of Spain.  Ribera del Duero with is warmer climate is producing quality wines with more weight, colour and alcohol.  Whilst Rioja's D.O. laws were established in 1970, Ribera del Duero's were not introduced until 1982. Both use the same Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva ageing laws.  Both have the Tempranillo at the heart of their production. However, during the past decade Ribera del Duero wines have managed to combine great power with freshness and elegance.  There are, of course, some famous wines from the region such as Emilio Moro Valderiz and Tinto Pesquera, (apparently Sir Alex Ferguson's favourite wine).  But the region is now producing consistent high quality wines across the price ranges.

Last night I opened a bottle from Ribera del Duero which is under £10, in fact just £7.99 on the present Majestic Wine Spanish offer.  What a little gem!  Soft, elegant fruit with great depth and complexity, grown from organically grown grapes.  Research has also told me that it comes from the oldest winery in the  region.  I've not tasted a better wine for under £10 this year.  I only wish I had tasted the wine blind without any preconceived ideas.  I believe that I would have placed a far higher price tag on it.  It even comes with a very dapper looking elderly man on the label who I believe is Pablo Penalba.  He was head of this wine producing family until his sudden death in 2006.  "What's the wine?" you ask.  Montecastrillo, from the Finca Torremilanos winery made from 100% Tempranillo.

So has Rioja been overtaken by it's neighbour, Ribera del Duero?  You decide by trying a few comparably priced wines from both regions. Buy them now whilst Majestic Wine still has the Spanish offer on.  For me it is just too close to call.  I believe that I will have to force myself to do a little more product research!  Cheers!



G is for Gran ReservaDate published: 08/02/15

We all love Rioja, great on their own, amazing with food. 

But what is the difference between a crianza, reserva, and gran reserva? Unsurprisingly one of the most common questions you will hear.

Crianza, loosely translates as raising or nurturing, is a wine that is aged for at least 2 years, of which 1 must be in oak. Generally a more fruity and tannic, style. Try our Gran Vendema 2011, currently on at £6.33 (for 2 or more in our 33% range).

Reserva wines are kept for at least 3 years, of which at least 1 must be in oak. The resulting wines are generally a happy medium of fruit, tannin, and the effects of aging. For a great example try the Viña Pomal Reserva 2009 currently at £9.74 ( for 2 or more in our 25% range).

Gran Reserva wine may not be produced every year, but those that do face aging for at least 2 years in oak and 3 in bottle, before we can get our hands on them. If you would like to try a good example, we currently have the Lagunilla Gran Reserva 2007 on offer for £10.66 down from £15.99 as part of our 33% range, and better yet it is currently open to try on our tasting counter.

Cellar CircleDate published: 05/02/15

Cellar Circle

If you love the idea of building a cellar full of diverse and exciting wines, or if a 10% discount here at Majestic would be invaluable, we have the answer for you!

Majestic and Lay & Wheeler, our fine wine partner, are very proud to launch Cellar Circle, giving you all the support and advice you need to realise the cellar of your dreams. You decide the level of guidance that you require, and your own personal adviser will always be on hand to answer any queries.

Membership starts from £100 a month, all of which will go towards your wines. Exclusive benefits and rewards include:
· 10% discount at Majestic Wine
· Free delivery to any Majestic Wine store, for collection at your convenience
· One year’s free professional wine storage for customers new to Lay & Wheeler
· A free case on the first anniversary of your membership, as a thank you from the Cellar Circle team.

For more information and to sign up visit www.cellarcircle.com. You can also give the team at Lay & Wheeler a call on 01473 313300, or to find out more, pop in and have a chat with us in store in Ealing.



Wine Region of the Day: Gevrey-ChambertinDate published: 05/02/15

Gevrey-Chambertin
Is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department of France in the Bourgogne region in eastern France.
It lies 15 km South of Dijon. This touristy, winemaking village is situated on the Route des Grands Crus in the Côte de Nuits. The village is noted for the Grand cru Burgundy wine that is produced from its vineyards, the most famous of which is Chambertin.

Valentines Special offers!Date published: 05/02/15

From 06/02/15 to 16/02/15 we will have a fantastic 33% off ALL Rose Champagne and sparkling wines! Why not treat that some one special to a bottle of bubbles for less?

Some stand out examples of this offer include:

-Ruinart Rose £39.98

-Cloudy Bay Pelorus Rose £18.99

-Laurent Perrier Rose £44.97

-Langlois L'Extra Rose £9.99

Call us on 02087428065 to order you Valentines bargains or better yet...pop into store!


Luxury Food and Wine MatchesDate published: 04/02/15

Luxury food and wine matches

If you're celebrating or just fancy being a bit self-indulgent, there are some really good matches that can't be missed. I'm not talking about main courses here as we cover these all the time. Instead, these are just three examples of starters/snacks that can become an event in themselves. They're perfect for nibbling on on Christmas day or when you've got the house to yourself. (It's not worth sharing these around large groups.)

Champagne and Caviar

It's hard to believe that there was a time when Caviar was considered as peasant-food. Over the last few years, it's gone from expensive to extortionate. It may be off the menu for first-class air travel, and the days when it was offered free in up-market bars are long gone. That said, a decent 30g tin of caviar starts at £45, and you could spend double that filling up the car.

There's really nothing better than enjoying a few morsels of Ossietra with a beautiful bone-dry blanc de blanc Champagne. Good Caviar shouldn't be salty, and the fresh acidity and lemon flavours of Ruinart blanc de blancs NV would cut through the nuttiness of the dish perfectly. Don't bother with onions or sour cream; just enjoy the richness of the caviar with a flute of fizz.. Most prestige cuvees should be aged for a few years before being opened, but if you do have to drink one young, then caviar is a nice match. (Ruinart and Taittinger spring to mind.).

Foie Gras and Sauternes

The nature of Foie gras presents a challenge and some would recommend full-bodied Champagnes with a bit of age. But a decent bottle of Sauternes works wonders with foie gras as the richness of foie gras is complemented by richness of the wine. Meanwhile the acidity of Sauternes keeps everything from getting too heavy.

Full-bodied Chardonnay and Lobster

Chardonnay in almost all shapes and sizes can work perfectly with the king of crustaceans to form a perfect duo. Most of the time you'll want to lean towards the more full-bodied styles as the creaminess matches the texture of the dish. If you're partial to a bit of garlic butter with freshly boiled lobster, then a Chablis with decent acidity should be able to handle the job nicely.

Ultimately, it's important to stick to wines and foods that you like. But if you do splash out on amny of these snacks, then it can be worth having a think about a good wine match.


Ageing WineDate published: 04/02/15

Ageing wine

There's a saying that fine wine only improves with age, but this isn't always the case!

Let us give you a quick guide to which wines you can lay down to rest, and which you should drink immediately.

Sweet and Fortified Wines are the ultimate aging wines. Sauternes and sweet Riesling can last up to 25 years, and Vintage Port up to 50. 

Tannic Reds from Top Regions like Medoc, Burgundy, and Barolo have more than enough structure to support prolonged maturation. As a rough guide, they should be drinking very well 20 years after their vintage, though some may last even longer. 

Other Red Wines are typically best drunk within 10 years of their vintage. They may not have enough structure to support further aging, or benefit from a little freshness remaining in their profile. 

Rich Whites like Meursault and Condrieu can be drunk young, but may also benefit from 5 years of aging. After this time they will have less of a fresh fruit taste, but their rich complexity will have moved to the fore. 

Light Reds and Whites are generally best drunk young. For Sancerre, Valpolicella, Albarino, and Pinot Noir, pop them open and enjoy right away!


Wine Word of the Day: OenologyDate published: 04/02/15

Oenology

Oenology is the science and study of all aspects of wine and winemaking except vine-growing and grape-harvesting.  It comes from the greek words oinos (meaning wine) and the suffix logia (meaning the study of).

Interestingly the Ancient Greeks didn't describe colours in the same way we do.  Instead they described something as being like something else.  For example the sea was described as being "wine dark" whilst white wine was described as being "sparkling".  This has the interesting result of the Odyssey reading like Odysseus is on a champagne cruise around the Mediteranean!

Wine Word of the Day: SulphitesDate published: 04/02/15

Sulphites’ is essentially a blanket term for a range of common sulphur compounds, several of which are found in food and drink. The one most commonly found in wine is sulphur dioxide (SO2) which has been used in winemaking for several hundred years.

Why are there sulphites in wine? Tiny amounts of sulphites occur in all wines as a natural result of the winemaking process, but most of the sulphites present in wine are those which have been added intentionally. Sulphites are commonly used for sterilising wine-making equipment such as barrels and tanks, which can lead to trace amounts being transferred to the wine. Later, SO2 is often added to the juice to control the fermentation process. For example, once the desired alcohol level has been reached, SO2 can be used to kill the yeast and thereby stop fermentation. It also kills other microbes, preventing the wine from spoiling due to bacterial activity. Sulphites are also highly effective at preventing oxidation, and the majority of winemakers (even those who have made the wine using natural processes with little or no SO2 throughout) will add sulphites at the bottling stage to help prevent oxidation and therefore improve the wine’s shelf-life.

Do they affect the taste? Sulphites are most easily detectable on the nose. Most people can identify sulfurous odours (often referred to as a ‘struck match’ smell) at SO2 concentrations as low as 50ppm (parts per million), especially in wines sealed by screwcap, which tends to preserve aromatics very effectively. The aromas are usually present for a very short time after the wine has been opened, and fade once the wine has received exposure to the air.

Are sulphites harmful?

At the low concentrations found in wine, sulphites cause no harmful effects in the vast majority of people. A very small number of people have a high sensitivity to sulphites, and may suffer symptoms such as chest tightening or wheezing (particularly in asthmatics), headaches or skin rash. Sulphite sensitivity is thought to affect only around 1% of the population, and the above symptoms are likely to require much higher doses than those typically found in wines or foodstuffs. Other foods which may contain sulphites in various amounts are beer/cider, fruit juice, tinned foods, processed vegetables, dried fruit, jams/preserves, biscuits and cakes, cured meats and many others.

What are the legal limits on the amount of sulphites in wine?You will find that the vast majority of wines now have ‘contains sulphites’ printed on the back label. EU regulations require that all wines with more than 10mg/lt (or only 10ppm) of sulphites display this warning, and wines with concentrations lower than this are extremely rare. The maximum levels of sulphites permitted in wines sold within the EU are 160mg/lt for red wine, 200mg/lt for white/rosé wine, and 400mg/lt for sweet wine.

How can I find a wine that’s low in sulphites?

Producers do not have to specify the actual level of sulphites in their wine on their labels, meaning they are of little help in finding which wines are the lowest in sulphites. For example, two white wines both labelled as containing sulphites could legally have sulphite concentrations of 10mg/lt and 200mg/lt respectively; a difference of 20 times the minimum amount. There are no hard and fast rules, but there are some general pointers which you may find helpful.Red wines, especially those rich in tannins, contain high levels of antioxidants and are therefore naturally more resistant to oxidation, requiring little or no added sulphites at bottling. Most producers will still add a small amount anyway, to ensure that the wine maintains its condition. White wines do not contain these antioxidants, and easily suffer discolouration or loss of freshness due to oxidation, and therefore require higher sulphite doses to keep them fresh. Sweet wines generally have much higher sulphite levels because their high sugar content makes them prone to bacterial spoilage or secondary fermentation. Sparkling wines may also have higher sulphite levels because they are often bottled with some yeast residue still present. As a general rule, wines produced in large volumes will have more added sulphites. Air exposure and yeast/microbes are harder to manage in volume production, and therefore the amounts of sulphites cannot be managed as finely. Many mass-market wines are also made with primary fruit flavours and fixed alcohol levels in mind, both of which may be managed using sulphites. Also, wines packaged in bag-in-box format, or shipped in bulk are more susceptible to air ingress and therefore benefit greatly from added sulphites to inhibit oxidation. This obviously suggests that cheaper wines will tend to have higher sulphite levels than premium or boutique wines, which is true to an extent. However, the mere fact that a wine is expensive is not a guarantee that it is low in sulphites.



Wine bottle shapes.Date published: 04/02/15

Wine bottle shapes.

Wines, like people, come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. When you first begin your foray into the world of wine it seems as though it is a random array and producers just choose whichever wine bottle shape they fancy, but there is method in the madness!

Many regions in the old world have a distinct bottle shape that represents them, this is often born out of tradition and is followed by wine producers of their own free will. There are no laws or rules that force people to use a certain bottle shape. Producers often keep to these standards because consumers tend to associate the bottle shapes with wine of a certain region.

For instance, German and Alsace wines tend to be in very tall thin bottles with sloping shoulders.

Bordeaux wines tend to be in a very straight bottle with high shoulders and a straight and short neck.

White Burgundy tends to have a wider base and body with sloping shoulders and is no taller than your average bottle.

In the new world these standards are not set, thus giving more freedom to the wine producer to bottle in any shape they like. Often the producer will bottle wines in bottles that are shaped like the European wine that they are most similar to. So if a New Zealand producer makes a Riesling that they feel mimics the Alsace style they may choose to bottle it in the traditional Alsace bottle.

New to Majestic: Jaboulet 'Parallel 45' 2012 Côtes du RhôneDate published: 04/02/15

New to Majestic: Jaboulet 'Parallel 45' 2012 Côtes du Rhône

If you are a fan of spicy reds from the south of France then this new wine could be just the ticket.

The 45th Parallel is the line of latitude that signifies the halfway point between the North Pole and the Equator. Passing just a couple of kilometres from Jaboulet's cellars, it is also seen as the unofficial boundary of the South of France.

Made from 60% Grenache, this wine has the Southern Rhône's classically warm, ripe feel, with plenty of blackberry and raspberry fruit, hints of peppery spice and taut tannins.

Perfect with a winter stew!

Only £9.74 on our 25% off offer!


10 Wine FactsDate published: 04/02/15

10 Wine Facts

Here are 10 fun facts about the world of wine and some history to classic traditions we still use in this day and age: 

1. There are 1,368 confirmed wine varieties in the world

2. Cabernet sauvignon is the most planted grape variety in the world

3. In 2010, the world produced enough wine for everyone to have 5 bottles.

 4. The average bottle of wine contains 520 grapes.- About 5.5 bunches of grapes go into a bottle of wine

5. The custom of bumping glasses with a 'cheers' came from Roman times where they used this method to make sure no one was trying to poison the other.

6. If you own a collection of bottles, do not keep them standing up, this can cause the cork to dry and shrink and the oxygen might get into the bottle. 

7. There are actually people with a phobia of wine. It is called Oenophobia and can cause people a lot of suffering especially when going out to a restaurant. 

8. The world's oldest bottle of wine dates back to A.D 325 and was found near the town of Speyer in Germany.

 9.California is the fourth leading wine producer in the world - after France, Italy and Spain. 

10. In ancient Egypt, the ability to store wine until maturity was considered alchemy and was the privilege of only the pharaohs.


Red Leg Daiquiris: Easy, Simple, Delicious.Date published: 03/02/15

Red Leg Daiquiris: Easy, Simple, Delicious.

Among all cocktails the Daiquiri has always been a secure favorite of mine, mostly due to the ease in which its made and the delicious outcome. Traditionally the lime Daiquiri is made from a mixture of white rum, fresh lime juice and sugar syrup. The origins of the beautiful drink as with most cocktails of the time is still widely debated, but the most agreed upon explanation is that a mining engineer by the name of Jennings Cox created the drink whilst working in the town in which the cocktail takes its name sake: Daiquiri. It is rumored that the drink came to fame when Cox served the concoction to Admiral Johnson an American Medical Naval officer in which it became an instant hit. From there on it just became more and more fashionable, the most famous advocate of the mix being Ernest Hemingway. Though the writer preferred a more potent mix of two and a half shots of rum, juices of two limes, two dashes of maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice. A fresh Hemingway Daiquiri can still be found at the end of the bar at the Floridita hotel, a memorial to the great writers taste for lovely drinks. 

The red leg as a substitute for white rum is a tried and tested variation on this classic cocktail, the spices of vanilla and ginger add new dimensions to the timeless drink. 

Macon-Lugny Louis LatourDate published: 03/02/15

This fantastic wine is from the family run vineyard established in 1797. This This vineyard is based on limestone rich grounds helping to produce buttery flavour characteristics whilst still maintaining a Burgundian style. With the pale gold colour and aromas of fresh apples, lemon curd and citrus, this delightful wine has an accompanying crisp apple acidity on the palate with characteristics of peachy fruit with a long and warming finish.

This wine works well as a fresh aperitif or with a fantastic accompaniment with poultry, pork or seafood.

Now only £9.99!

Just what do all these German classifications mean?Date published: 03/02/15

Just what do all these German classifications mean?

It's generally simple to shop for wine by country (or region) and grape variety and have a decent idea of what to expect from you bottle. However, Germany is something of an exception.

Fittingly for a country where winemakers can sometimes struggle to achieve full ripeness of grapes, German wines have an extra classification which specifies the ripeness (and therefor sugar content/sweetness) of the grapes used in premium German wines. The terms might seem obscure, but they really are there to help - they just need some explanation.

Kabinett - literally means "cabinet", i.e. wines of sufficient quality for the winemakers to want to keep in their own cabinet (yes, really). The first classification, with the lowest sweetness. The style can be dry or off-dry, but is always light. A great alternative to rosé for summertime drinking!

Spätlese - this translates from German as "late harvest", a style of wine gaining popularity in areas like New Zealand. The grapes are picked later than for Kabinett, and are therefore higher again in sugar. 

Auslese - "selected harvest" - these wines are made from very ripe grapes, harvested by hand in late autumn/early winter. Generally a great aperitif wine, Auslese can also be a dessert wine, particularly if some of the grapes have been affected by the famous "noble rot".

Beerenauslese - "selected berry harvest" - the grapes for these wines are generally affected by noble rot, which concentrates the sugars in the grapes, producing wines of rich sweetness. Made only in small amounts, and suitable for long aging.

Trockenbeerenauslese - "dry selected berry harvest" - not a dry style of wine, rather one displaying unctuous sweetness. The "dry" part of the term refers to the state of the berries at harvest, which are shriveled by noble rot to the point of appearing like dry raisins on the vine. Even more labour-intensive, rare and rich than Beerenauslese, this is the highest German designation.

Eiswein - officially a level down from Trockenbeerenauslese, since it has lower residual sugar, I've included this at the end because it's something of an anomaly. Literally "ice wine", this is a dessert wine made from grapes which have frozen on the vine. Freezing concentrates the sugars in a similar fashion to noble rot, producing wines of comparable sweetness to Beerenauslese, but with a unique character.

Happy browsing!



Cork or Screw?Date published: 03/02/15

One of the major ongoing debates in the wine world concerns what to use to seal bottles of wine - cork or screwcap. Many people have a strong preference in favour of one or the other, but as yet not that much is known about the choice of closure affects the wines's evolution.

The main functions of a closure are to 1) protect the wine and 2) allow the wine to mature, if this is desired. Producers essentially have 3 options available to them: corks, synthetic corks or screwcaps. all have some advantages and disadvantages.

Corks are the traditional form of closure and are still the most widely used, especially for premium wines. They allow a small amount of oxygen to enter the wine, which aids maturation. The main disadvantages of corks are cork-taint and cork failure. We say that a wine is 'corked' when the wine reacts with a chemical that is present in some corks. This results in mouldy, wet cardboard aromas. Thanks to research and investment, the incidence of cork-taint is declining. It is important to note that cork-taint is very different to cork failure. Cork failure occurs when the cork does not seal adequately, with the result that too much air enters the bottle leading the wine to oxidise. Many consumers and producers, especially in the Old World, prefer wines with corks.

Synthetic corks are mostly made from plastic and are totally inert. While this may be suitable for wines that are not intended to age, they can cause reductive aromas when used for longer ageing. The closures also sometimes affect the flavour of the wine.
Screwcaps are used extensively in the New World and are ideal for wines where the key attraction is fresh, fruity flavours, for example New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Screwcaps are impermeable and do not taint the wine. They also offer convenience. A lot of research is being done into screwcaps and some have been developed specifically to allow a small amount of oxygen to transfer in to assist ageing

Whilst the issue of closures is an interesting one, ultimately, the type of closure used for a wine is less important than how the grapes have been grown and how the wine has been made. It is also no longer a reliable indicator of quality. In choosing wines it should not be a major consideration.


What does Cru mean?Date published: 03/02/15

The French word 'cru' literally means 'growth' in English but is used in vineyard terms to denote a specific area usually of good or great quality. Premier cru's for example in Burgundy are often tiny plots of land where the terroir gives the wine really noticable, delicious characteristics. Grand cru's are are few and far between and offer some of the best wines in the world; all because the terroir provides the perfect growing environment for the grapes.

Malbec is not just from ArgentinaDate published: 03/02/15

Malbec is not just from Argentina. It is originated in France.

Cahors  is a red wine from grapes grown in or around the town of Cahors,France. Cahors is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) which forms part of the South West France wine region. The dominant grape variety in AOC Cahors wines is Malbec, which must make up a minimum of 70% of the wine, and which is known locally as "Côt", "Côt Noir" or "Auxerrois". It is supplemented by up to 30% Merlot and Tannat.

There are 4,200 hectares (10,000 acres) of Cahors vineyards.

The designation AOC Cahors may only be used for red wines. There is also some white and rosé wine produced in the same area, and it is sold under the designation Vin de Pays du Lot instead.

History

The history of wine Cahors winemaking go back to the era of Ancient Rome, with vines being planted in the area around 50 BC. Since that time, the vines have remained in the land ofQuercy and their history has been combined with that of the region.

Similar to many other winemaking regions, Cahors was hit badly by The Great French Wine Blight in the late 19th century, when the vines were attacked in the phylloxera epidemic. In the case of Cahors, this happened in 1883-1885.

In February 1956, Cahors was hit by frosts which wiped out almost all the vineyards of the region, which thus needed to be replanted en masse. In this replanting, Malbec became more dominant than it had been before. Cahors was awarded AOC status in 1971.


"When it comes to wine, I tell people to throw away the vintage charts and invest in a corkscrew. The best way to learn about wine is the drinking." Alexis LichineDate published: 03/02/15

"When it comes to wine, I tell people to throw away the vintage charts and invest in a corkscrew. The best way to learn about wine is the drinking."

Alexis Lichine



Wine Region of the Day: BeaujolaisDate published: 03/02/15

Wine Region of the Day: Beaujolais

Beaujolais is often considered part of Burgundy, but the soils, dominant grape variety and climate are very different. Only 1% of wine produced in Beaujolais is white. The main grape variety is Gamay, which generally makes simple, fruity wines that are best enjoyed when young. Typical flavors include raspberries and cherries, with very light tannins. Carbonic maceration extracts colour and tannins gently, adding flavour characteristics like kirsch, bananas, bubblegum and cinnamon.

Appellations

Plain Beaujolais Ac is produced to the east around the plains of the River Saone, and to the south where the soils are limestone based. It is also here that the more famous Beaujolais Nouveau is produced. This is a wine meant for drinking whilst very young and accounts for up to half the annual crop of Beaujolais. It can only be sold on or after the morning of the third Thursday of November and cannot be sold by growers and merchants after the following 31st of August.

To the north and west of the region you will find the vineyards that have the right to call themselves Beaujolais Villages and Beaujolais Crus. 39 villages have the right to be named Beaujolais Villages, accounting for around a quarter of total production of this region. These wines are usualy blended between the villages, although occastionally you can find one with an individual name. 

10 villages have been recognised to produce disjunctive wines and recognisable character. These are: Saint-Amour AC, Julienas AC, Chenas AC, Moulin-a-Vent AC, Chiroubles AC, Fleurie AC, Morgon AC, Regnie AC, Cote de Brouilly and Brouilly AC.  


What is Botrytis?Date published: 03/02/15

What is Botrytis?

Botrytis bunch rot is a vine disease which of all the fungal diseases, has the greatest potential to have an effect on the wine. the disease can have a disastrous affect on both yield and quality when the fungus affects almost ripe or damaged grapes, typically in humid weather. However, when it affects healthy grapes and the weather conditions are favourable, it develops into the benevolent form of Botrytis called Noble Rot, which is responsible for some of the world's finest sweet wines. 

Californian ZinfandelDate published: 03/02/15

Zinfandel is well renowned for being California's signature red grape, and furthermore is the most harvested red grape in California. 

The DNA of the Zinfandel grape is equivalent to that of two other European grape varieties (Crljenak Kastelanski of Croatia and more famously Primitivo from Italy)

This grape variety has a tendency to ripen unevenly, thereby leaving some of the grapes to rasinate and concentrate, whereas others will have achieved the desired ripeness.  This results in the wine having strong, powerful and concentrated red berry flavours with high levels of alcohol, and occasionally small amounts of residual sugar. 

These wines are typically great with Barbecued meats in the summer or with a well seasoned steak all year round. Alternatively it is great on its own, sitting in your armchair in front of the fire. 


Marlborough's HistoryDate published: 03/02/15

Marlborough's History

The first commercial plantings of wine in the Marlborough region of New Zealand took place in the early 1970’s with producers expanding into the South Island of New Zealand in search of a cheaper alternative to the already established North Island. The region of Marlborough was identified as an area with high sunshine, low rainfall, rare frosts and a well draining soil.

These days, Marlborough accounts for 3 quarters of the wine produced in New Zealand and is arguably it’s most famous region. Sauvignon Blanc from this area is extremely popular and is known for producing wine of incredible intensity and ripe fruits whilst retaining complexity and low alcohol.

Marlborough’s popularity is so high that experts believe that the region will be fully planted i.e. no vine growing space left available, within 5 to 10 years. In 2013 23,200 hectares of vineyard was already planted, and some believe that the upper limit for planting in the region is around the 26,000 hectare mark. 

The Old Vine: This just shows many ancient Egyptians had no idea how wine is madeDate published: 02/02/15

The Old Vine: This just shows many ancient Egyptians had no idea how wine is made

Hello Internet! You're reading The Old Vine, the only series out of Majestic Wine Ealing that inspects wine through the ages, pointing out the legend and myth surrounding our favorite fermented grape juice.

Lots of cultures have had religious ceremonies involving wine or deities associated with it. Most are just a bit of harmless fun, some levity in the ancient world. So what on earth were the Egyptians thinking when they came up with Shezmu, demon of the wine press. Before we go any further I'd like to defend Shezmu. After all, he had a healthy interest in perfume as well, which is hard to see as a clear indicator of evil.

On the other hand, the way Shezmu normally spent his time was punishing the wicked by making them into wine. Osiris, god of the underworld, in fact ordered it. I'll just let you picture that for a moment.

Pretty soon cults were springing up, worshipping and revering Shezmu as a morose figure, but also as a protector of righteousness.

See you next week!


The Old Vine: A good reason to spill your wine (If you're emperor of all Europe)Date published: 02/02/15

The Old Vine: A good reason to spill your wine (If you're emperor of all Europe)

Hello Internet! You're reading The Old Vine, the only series out of Majestic Wine Ealing that inspects wine through the ages, pointing out the legend and myth surrounding our favorite fermented grape juice.

If you're anything like me, you've always wondered why Corton-Charlemagne, a highly prestigious and costly bottle of wine, takes the same name as a ninth century King. Charlemagne was the first Emperor of Western Europe since the fall of Rome, undisputed king of the Franks, and the very first Holy Roman Emperor (Which was not holy, not roman, and not an empire.). Even during the 800s Burgundy was well known for producing exceptional red wine. Reds from the region were probably planted first by invading Roman armies, or Greek traders.

The story goes that Charlemagne's enthusiasm for Burgundian wines left stains across his great white beard. I imagine quaffing in this manner is a basic requirement for medieval kings. Of course his wife was less excited by this. She thought it made him look disheveled. To placate his fuming wife Charlemagne ordered that an area of Burgundian vines be torn up to plant white grapes, so that he could enjoy his favorite drink without the threat of angering his wife.


Simplicity of Food and Wine MatchingDate published: 02/02/15

Simplicity of Food and Wine Matching

It can be incredibly straightforward to match food with wine. The simplest way is to choose flavours that we know work well together. For example salmon works well with lemon and pepper, so a citrussy wine would usually do the trick. 

It really can be that simple - food and wine matching doesn't have to be all about fine dining. It's about good food and good wine, to be enjoyed everyday. 

Taste and Explore...

If you'd like a Personalised wine consultation with a member of staff at our tasting counter, why not book one of our new One on Wine sessions, to find your Perfect White and Red (tailored to your palate). These are 20 minutes but can be invaluable in your discovery of the wines that you like (and will hopefully treasure for years to come).


A-Z of wine: G is for GodelloDate published: 02/02/15

A-Z of wine: G is for Godello

Godello is a white variety of wine grape grown in northwestern Spain, in particular in Galicia. The Gouveio found in northern Portugal is thought to be the same grape variety.

Godello can produce fine white wines, and yields the best results in Valdeorras, where plantations have increased after having previously been in decline.


"Come Quickly I am Tasting the Stars!Date published: 02/02/15

"Come Quickly I am Tasting the Stars!"

Here are some light facts which you may not (or may) already know about one of the largest champagne producers, Moet & Chandon. 

"Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!" ~ Dom Perignon, at the moment he discovered champagne. 
Dom Perignon is a brand of champagne produced by Moet & Chandon with around 5 million bottles prduced in each vintage. However, contrary to popular beliefs, Mr Dom Perignon himself did not discover the champgane method for making sparkling wines. 

Moet & Chandon was founded over 270 years ago in 1743 and is the fourth oldest Champagne house still in operation today.

The Moet company itself holds a Royal Warrant to supply champagne to Elizabeth II.

In 1872, sales of Moet are reported to have been at 2,000,000 bottles and at 2.5 million by 1880. Today, approximately 26,000,000 bottles of champagne are produced annually.

How exactly should Moet be pronounced? Various mispronunciations of Moet are known including "mo-way" and "mo-wee". This is owed to the characters and the pronuciation of the similar looking Cyrillic characters. The correct pronunciation is actually "mo-wett" or "m-wet" as Claude Moët's name is Dutch, not French.

In 1973, Moet & Chandon launched "Domaine Chandon", a winery subsidiary in California. The company undertook its final merger; with Louis Vuitton, a prominent luxury goods purveyor whose goods remain renowned as luxury status symbols. This final merger gave birth to the largest luxury group in the world, Moët-Hennessy • Louis Vuitton (LVMH), netting over 16 billion euros in fiscal 2004.

So there you are, next time your friends or family pick up a bottle of "Mo-wett", you can dazzle them with these interesting facts. Remember, you will be tasting the stars!


Chilean wine factsDate published: 02/02/15

Chilean wine facts

In honour of it being chilean wine tasting week here are some interesting and fun facts about Chilean wine

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted red grape variety

Chile's vineyards range over an area that covers more then 900 kilometres from north to south

The grape variety Carmenere is a Bordeaux variety that was abandoned after the disease Phylloxera and most likely arrived in Chile mixed in with cuttings of merlot.

White grape varieties are dominated by Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Muscat of Alexandria

Dry sunny growing seasons ensure fungal disease is kept to a minimum which have enabled orgainic viticulture to florish

Coastal vineyards are kept cool by the cold Humboldt current that flows up from Antarctica

Pop in and try some of the classic Chilean wines we have open 



Chardonnay - The RenaissanceDate published: 02/02/15

Chardonnay - The Renaissance

It is no secret that the big, oaked New World Chardonnays of the 80s and 90s have, in some quarters, permanently tainted some consumers views towards the great Burgundian white grape. Emphasis on power rather than elegance and oak over fruit, created wines that were unpleasant to many. By contrast, lighter and more fruit driven white varieties, such as Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc have enjoyed a rise in popularity and have since dominated the UK market.

However, slowly but surely those on the ABC bandwagon are being won over by a more modern and thoughtful approach to winemaking. Cool climate and high altitude vineyards are leading this revival, with oak being used to contribute to the textural and aromatic complexity rather than being the wine's defining characteristic. The resulting wines possess more poise and elegance than their predecessors and are thus more palatable and appealing to UK consumers.

Styles range from unoaked wines with clean and crisp citrus and green fruit characteristics to a subtle use of oak giving vanilla and tropical fruit notes. These more restrained chardonnays can be found from a multitude of New world regions such as Chile, Argentina, California, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. The latter is currently experiencing healthy growth, with Hardys up 14% in value in the last 12 months (Accolade, 2013) and chardonnay is the fastest growing Australian grape variety.

At Majestic we stock a wide range of new world Chardonnay and would encourage you to #tasteandexplore


A fun fact about Chenin BlancDate published: 02/02/15

A fun fact about Chenin Blanc

First brought to South Africa by Jan van Riebeeck in 1652, Chenin's talent for retaining acidity even in warmer climates and tendency towards high yields endeared it to the early settlers.  Today Chenin Blanc (locally known as 'Steen') covers about a quarter of all South African vineyards producing wines that are drinkable earlier than their French cousins making them a refreshing change from Sauvignon Blanc.

New to Majestic Russian Jack'sDate published: 02/02/15

New to Majestic: Russian Jack

If you want to try something new and interesting come by and pick up a couple of the Russian Jack's Pinot Noir or the Sauvignon Blanc if you're more of a white wine fan. 

The wine is named after the merchant sailor from Latvia who found himself in New Zealand and became a legendary travelling fruit picker living a wonderfully nomadic life for over 50 years. 

Thus came some beautiful wines, the Pinot Noir offering ripe red berry fruits and ripe, supple tannins, a subtle spice which produces a lovely balanced Pinot Noir. The Sauvignon Blanc offers a palate of gooseberry and passion fruit, with lovely lime and elderflower aromas. Due to the citrus acidity you are left with a very clean finish.

Come and explore at Majestic Wine 


Perfect food match for cold weatherDate published: 02/02/15

The other day whilst looking in the freezer trying to find something for supper and found some beef shin that had been in there for some time so decided it was just the weather for a stew/casserole. Instead of the traditional French route I decided to give it an Asian twist. I browned pieces of the shin really well until dark brown and then removed. To the casserole pan I added about four sliced shallots, four cloves of chopped garlic, a thumb sized piece of ginger, one whole stick of lemon grass and one finely chopped, two chopped birds eye chillies and a couple of cms of chopped coriander route. Cook until soft then add back the beef. Cover with beef stock then add a tbsp of hoisin, a couple of star anise, juice of half a lime, tsp of palm sugar and a couple of tbsp of dark soy. Bring to a boil and put in a low oven, 160 ish for about 2 hours. Check every half hour or so. Adjust seasoning and if still a little thin reduce over a high heat or use a little arrowroot dissolved in water. Serve with some simply cooked Jasmine rice and steamed pak choi dressed in sesame oil and light soy sauce.

For my money the best wine to go with this is the Mount Difficulty Pinot Gris.  An absoluteky stonking wine out of central for only £16 a bottle on our fine wine offer this wine is a great match for asian dishes with a bit of spice.


Free Wine CoursesDate published: 01/02/15

Would you like to come to one of our amazing wine courses at Majestic Wine Ealing! 

Our FREE, two hour wine course takes you through how to taste wine like a professional, how wine is made and what factors influence the style of wines, and finishes with some food and wine matching techniques. 

If you'd like to sign up for our next event on the 10th February, give us a call on 020885679251 or email us at eal@majestic.co.uk


Plan your wedding drinks with Majestic Wine EalingDate published: 01/02/15

Getting married this year? 

Our expert staff are always available to discuss your requirements and help you through the process of organising the drinks for your celebration.

- Free advice in-store, over the phone, or by email - please get in touch with us!

- The option to taste wines we have open on our tasting counter in store - check what we have open before you pop in by visiting our website: www.majestic.co.uk/ealing

- The option to buy a sample mixed case to take home and try

- We sell cases of beer, spirits and selected soft drinks as well as wines

- Free delivery to your venue

- Free glass hire if required (we only ask for a deposit of £1 per glass, refundable upon their return)

- We can sell ice and we also loan out chiller bins for FREE to store your wine / beer (refundable deposit required)


What is the largest wine bottle in the world?Date published: 01/02/15

What is the largest wine bottle in the world?

Well the record is held by a 4.17 m tall wine bottle, holding 3,094 litres, which would fill a large Jacuzzi! It is by Andre Vogel of Lyssach Switzerland, and is not for sale. Although if it was it would probably be quite expensive!


A-Z of wine: F is for FlorDate published: 01/02/15

A-Z of wine: F is for Flor

These are beneficial yeasts which develop into a curd-like film over certain styles of wine - most notably sherry but also vin jaune from Jura and dry Szamorodni wines from Tokaj. 'Flor-wines' can generally be identified by a distinctive nutty, bruised-apple aroma.

A-Z of wine: E is for EisweinDate published: 01/02/15

A-Z of wine: E is for Eiswein

Eiswein (“Ice Wine”), is the 5th highest of the German QmP (Qualitätswein mit Prädikat – Quality wine with special distinction or attributes) wine scale. Eisweins have the same intensity as Beerenauslese wines but are made only from grapes which were harvested and pressed while still frozen. Ice Wines are truly unique and are remarkable for their concentration of fruity acidity and sweetness.

A-Z of wine: D is for DesgorgementDate published: 01/02/15

A-Z of wine: D is for Desgorgement

Disgorgement is the process whereby lees is removed from a bottle of traditional method sparkling wine (dégorgement in French). Originally this was a skilled manual process, where the crown cap and lees are removed without losing much of the liquid, and a varying amount of sugar added to top up the bottle (dosage). 

Before the invention of this process by Madame Clicquot in 1816, Champagne was cloudy. Modern automated disgorgement is done by freezing a small amount of the liquid in the neck and removing this plug of ice containing the lees.


A-Z of wine: C is for Charmat MethodDate published: 01/02/15

A-Z of wine: C is for Charmat Method

The Charmat process is known as Metodo Charmat-Martinotti (or Metodo Martinotti) in Italy, where it was invented and is most used. In France, the process is referred to as Méthode Charmat. The wine undergoes secondary fermentation in stainless steel tanks or steel vessels covered with vitreous enamel rather than in individual bottles, and is bottled under pressure in a continuous process. 

Many grape varieties, including Glera (formerly called Prosecco), are best suited for fermentation in tanks. Charmat method sparkling wines can be produced at a slightly lower cost than Traditional methodwines, and as such is the reason why the finished product is usually cheaper than Champagnes.


A-Z of wine: B is for BaroloDate published: 01/02/15

A-Z of wine: B is for Barolo

Barolo is a red Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wine produced in the northern Italian region of Piedmont. It is made from the Nebbiolo grape and is often described as one of Italy's greatest wines. The zone of production extends into the communes of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and parts of the communes of Cherasco, Diano d'Alba, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monforte d'Alba, Novello, Roddi, Verduno, all in the province of Cuneo, south-west of Alba. 

Only vineyards planted in primarily calcareous-clay soils in the hills with suitable slopes and orientations are considered suitable for Barolo production. Barolo is often described as having the aromas of tar and roses, and the wines are noted for their ability to age and usually take on a rust red tinge as they mature. When subjected to aging of at least five years before release, the wine can be labeled a Riserva.

In the past Barolos often used to be very rich on tannin. It could take more than 10 years for the wine to soften up and become ready for drinking. Fermenting wine sat on the grape skins for at least three weeks extracting huge amounts of tannins and was then aged in large, wooden casks for years. In order to appeal to more modern international tastes, which preferred fruitier, earlier drinking wine styles, several producers began to cut fermentation times to a maximum of ten days and age the wine in new French oak barriques. "Traditionalists" have argued that the wines produced in this way are not recognizable as Barolo and taste more of new oak than of wine


A-Z of wine: A is for AutolysisDate published: 01/02/15

A-Z of wine: A is for Autolysis

Autolysis in winemaking relates to the complex chemical reactions that take place when a wine spends time in contact with the lees, or dead yeast cells, after fermentation.

 While for some wines autolysis is undesirable, it is a vital component in shaping the flavors and mouth feel associated with (particularly) premium Champagne production. The practice of leaving a wine to age on its lees (or sur lie aging) has a long history in winemaking dating back to Roman winemaking. The chemical process and details of autolysis were not originally understood but the positive effects of a creamy mouthfeel, breadlike and floral aroma, as well as reduced astringency were noticed early on in the use of this technique in winem production


On-Trade Business Owners - Have You Tried Majestic Commercial?Date published: 01/02/15

On-Trade Business Owners - Have You Tried Majestic Commercial?

Own a restaurant, hotel or bar?

Are you looking for a new drinks supplier for your business? For any restaurant, pub, hotel, golf club or all other business owners looking for a fantastic new wine list stocked with award winning wines delivered free, look no further than Majestic Wine Battersea.

Both our commercial and Abingdon store teams are on hand if you want a chat about any requirements and to let you know what we can offer your business!

We offer:

- Vast selection of quality wine

- Competitive prices

- Well informed staff

- Free and flexible delivery

- Your own personal account manager

- Free wine tastings

- and much, much more......


Ever Tried Pinot Gris?Date published: 01/02/15

Ever Tried Pinot Gris?

The King Series from New Zealand is a fascinating selection of white wines grown by the makers of the Ned series. Despite being named in honour of a 12th-century dispute between Henry II and the British ancestors of the owners of this vineyard, this is a very New World wine, from a Kiwi area most associated with brilliant Sauvignon Blanc. The grape, like the name suggests, can be a thorn in the side of many a winemaker. Pinot Gris requires a very measured approach in order to achieve a balance of texture, sweetness, acidity and fruit character. These are characteristics that are balanced out beautifully with the King's Thorn.

The region of New Zealand that the Thorn is produced, Marlbourgh, is hugely associated with the growing of Sauvignon Blanc. Do not expect though this to taste similar though, aromatic, dry, with touches of both honey and woodsmoke and a savouriness on the finish, it's a good wine for those who find some Viognier too assertive. With a beautiful peach and honeysuckle aroma this is a incredibly inviting wine to keep returning to the bottle for a refill. This excellent example of Kiwi Pinot Gris treads the fine line between the Alsatian and Italian styles and leaves a.delicious, well rounded example of the brilliant wines grown in this region of New Zealand.

For a fantastic food combination try a personal favourite of mine Chicken and lemon risotto. with the creamy overall texture of the risotto with the added flavouring of the lemon it is a great match for the depth that the King's Thorn provides.

Currently on the 33% off promotion, normally £14.99 down to £9.99 when you mix and match 2 bottles on this promotion 


Charity of the Year 2015 - Prostate Cancer UKDate published: 01/02/15

Charity of the Year 2015 - Prostate Cancer UK

Every year Majestic employees vote for a charity to become the company's charity of the year, and this year we are proud to support Prostate Cancer UK. Here's a bit about the charity:

Prostate cancer kills 10,000 men each year in the UK. "That's why we have invested millions of pounds in research, services and awareness of the last 10 years. It's the reason we provide services to men and their families like our helpline, one-to-one support and information leaflets. It's why we're leading the way in providing prostate education to medical professionals. It's why we don't take no for an answer when it comes to fighting our campaigns. We are Prostate Cancer UK.

Prostate Cancer UK fights to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life. We have three priorities; Supporting men and providing information, finding answers by funding research, leading change to raise awareness and improve care."

Every store has a donation tin, and we even provide Chupa Chup lollies for a small donation to the charity. If you feel as passionately about this charity as we do, then next time you pop in for your wine make sure to drop a few pennies in the tin!



Wine Serving TemperatureDate published: 01/02/15

Wine Serving Temperature

If you're a bit unsure of what temperature you should be serving your wines in order to enjoy them at their best, then here are a few helpful tips.

Room temperature is commonly recommended for full-bodied red wine, but with the use of air-conditioning and central heating, rooms can often be too hot or too cold. If reds are too cold, they will taste thin and harsh. The best way to warm them is to allow the bottle to warm up slowly or by holding the bowl of the glass in your hands with the optimum temperature between 15 and 18 degrees.

You can use ice buckets or wine coolers to keep your white, rose and sparkling wines cold at parties, with ice buckets filled three quarters full with equal measures of ice and water, although you can always use a fridge at home. Medium to full bodied oaked white wine such as white Burgundy should be served lightly chilled between 10 and 13 degrees, whereas light white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc should be chilled to between 7 and 10 degrees, and sparkling wines well chilled between 6 and 10.

Its not always easy to get your wines to the perfect serving temperatures but stick roughly to these guidelines and you won't go far wrong!



Region in Focus: SancerreDate published: 01/02/15

Region in Focus: Sancerre

For many wine lovers Sancerre offers the finest dry white wines of the Loire Valley.  The vineyards are spread over fifteen villages on very chalky, well drained stony soil, much of it, like that of the not too distant Chablis, rich in marine fossils. The vineyard holdings are small and generally divided into minute parcels of vines.

Most Sancerre is made from Sauvignon Blanc, which is largely unoaked and not made for ageing. Classically these wines are bone dry, highly aromatic with delicate flavours of peaches and  gooseberries. About 20% of production is red or rose wine made from Pinot Noir which are generally light in style.

Sancerre matches perfectly with white goat's cheese, fresh tomato salads as well as seafood and fish such as smoked salmon or poached trout.

Come and explore our range of Sancerre wines in the Loire section of the store!



Green Curry and GewurztraminerDate published: 31/01/15

Green Curry and Gewurztraminer

Another recipe for you:

Cut red peppers, aubergine, garlic, chillies and spring onion to small pieces and fry on olive oil, add green curry paste and a bit of grated ginger. Add fish sauce, cook a bit more and than add a couple of cans of coconut milk. Cook for 10 minutes and add prawns and fresh coriander. Cook for another 2 minutes and let it rest for 5.

Serve with jasmine rice and a nice bottle of Gewurztraminer.


Mendoza one of the 8 Wine capitals of the worldDate published: 31/01/15

Mendoza one of the 8 Wine capitals of the world

Mendoza in Argentina is arguably the largest wine producing region in the world and is famous for the Malbec that is produced there. What makes Mendoza such a successful region is despite grown in desert conditions, the vineyards are sheltered by the Andes Mountains and the altitude of the region insures moderated effect on temperature and increased sunlight intensity.

Dead Pony Club Californian Pale AleDate published: 31/01/15

Dead Pony Club Californian Pale Ale

Brought to you by the well-established Scottish brewery, Brew Dog, this is one of the latest and possibly more exciting craft beers to join the Majestic beer range.

An excitingly fresh alernative to the better known Indian pale ale, this Californain number boasts flavours of mango, citrus, peach and caramel alonsgide a powerfully hoppy punch.

£9.99 per pack

(when purchased as part of the craft beer multi-buy deal)


Pizza and WineDate published: 31/01/15

Saturday is a busy day for us in Majestic. So a quick and easy dinner and a glass of wine is always required. Making pizzas is always fun and a slightly healthier way of enjoying pizza. Even the simpler foods in life deserve a good wine match though. If your making it with a traditional tomato sauce base with some good quality cheeses then Italian reds are the best way to go. My recommendations of this months offers are the following.

Cheap and Cheerful - Brichetto Sangiovese £4.99

Around the £10 mark - Barbera D'Asti, De Forville £10.49, when you buy two or more from our 25% off promotion.

Fine Wine - Brunello di Montalcino, Banfi  £25 when you buy two or more fine wine


Peregrine WinesDate published: 31/01/15

Having spent two years living in Central Otago, selling wine I got to know the Pinot Noir from this region pretty well. I have always been really pleased that Majestic sell Peregrine wines. After a brief absence the Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris arrived back in Chiswick today. Peregrine is a beautiful, modern, winery located on the banks of the Kawarau river in Gibbston Valley. The name comes from Peregrine Falcons that are abundant in the region. The Pinot Noir typifies the central Otago style, Cherries, raspberry and spicy earth notes. I recommend you come and try a few bottles of this wine.

Why Use a Decanter?Date published: 31/01/15

Why Use a Decanter?

For those of you who are unsure, a decanter is a vessel that is used to hold the decantation of a wine which may contain sediment. Decanters are commonly made from glass and vary in shape and design. The need for using a decanter has been up for debate for a very long time now as some argue the wine improves from using one however not all agree.

Commonly, the reason for decanting wine is to aerate it, or to allow the wine to "breathe". The decanter is designed to mimic the effects of swirling the wine glass to stimulate the oxidation processes which trigger the release of more aroma compounds. In addition it is thought to benefit the wine by smoothing some of the harsher aspects of the wine (like tannins). Many experts advocate decanting for the purposes of aeration, especially with highly tannic wines like Barolo, Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Port, and Rhône wines while noting that decanting could be harmful for more delicate wines such as Pinot Noir.

However the effectiveness of decanting is a topic of debate, with some wine experts claiming that the prolonged exposure to oxygen actually diffuses more aroma compounds than it stimulates, in contrast to the effects of the smaller scale exposure and immediate release that swirling the wine in a drinker's glass has. In addition it has been reported that the process of decanting over a period of a few hours does not have the effect of softening tannins. The softening of tannins occurs during the winemaking and oak aging when tannins go through a process of polymerization that can last days or even weeks. Decanting merely alters the perception of sulfites and other chemical compounds in the wine through oxidation, which can give some drinkers the sense of softer tannins in the wine.    

The history of Château Mouton RothschildDate published: 31/01/15

The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 was based entirely on recent market prices for a vineyard's wines, with one exception: Château Mouton Rothschild. Despite the market prices for their vineyard's wines equalling that of Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild was excluded from First Great Growth status, an act that Baron Philippe de Rothschild referred to as "the monstrous injustice".It is widely believed that the exception was made because the vineyard had recently been purchased by an Englishman and was no longer in French ownership.

In 1973, Mouton was elevated to "first growth" status after decades of intense lobbying by its powerful and influential owner,the only change in the original 1855 classification (excepting the 1856 addition of Château Cantemerle). This prompted a change of motto: previously, the motto of the wine was Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis. ("First, I cannot be. Second, I do not deign to be. Mouton I am."), and it was changed to Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change. ("First, I am. Second, I used to be. Mouton does not change."



New craft beer - Flying Dog Easy IPADate published: 31/01/15

Flying Dog have been brewing in Aspen, Colorado since 1990, and produce some of the best American craft beers with innovative and quirky labels. These are down to the friendship between the comedian Hunter S. Thompson, illustrator Ralph Steadman and brewery founder George Stranahan. 

Easy IPA falls under the 'Session IPA' style, which describes a category of beers marketed for their hop-dominant flavour profiles at "sessionable" levels of alcohol, lower than typical IPAs of around 6.0% and higher. This class of beers arose in 2010 out of the Craft Beer Tradition as a reaction to the trend of increasingly strong beers and greater public appreciation for hoppier profiles around the globe. It is also differentiated from American Pale Ale by typically being lower in alcohol and usually having more hop-dominant profiles. Below is how Flying Dog describe the beer;

"Aromas of grapefruit and subtle spice meld into lemon and pine hop notes balanced with crisp cracker malt. Pair this American IPA with barbecue, Mexican or spicy Asian dishes or just have on hand for mowing the lawn and anything else that calls for a light, yet flavourful, beer."

New Craft beer - Alhambra 1925 ReservaDate published: 31/01/15

The Alhambra brewery was founded in Granada, Andalusia, in 1925 and is named after the city's magnificent Alhambra Palace. Regarded as the leading craft brewery in Spain, despite the arrival of modern equipment little has changed in the overall brewing process since 1925. All Alhambra beers are made with no additives and the water used is still drawn from the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The traditional method employed by Alhambra for this beer involves slow, natural fermentation over a period of 35 days. This strong lager has a deep golden colour, and distinctive hop and caramel aromas. The unique bottle is a nod to the bottles used originally in 1925 when the brewery was founded - a Spanish icon, it has no label with all the branding and legal information embossed on the bottle.

"Pours a good fluffy head. Golden amber with lightly toasted aromas. Full-bodied, with a constant, well-rounded and very pleasing taste. Perfect balance of bitter and sweet flavours, with notes ranging from bitter orange to a slightly caramel finish"

Beef and Pimenton Yorkshire mini pudsDate published: 31/01/15

Beef and Pimenton Yorkshire mini puds

For the Beef

1kg beef sirloin

1tsp hot pimenton

1tbsp olive oil

For the pudding

140g plain flour

4 medium eggs beaten

200ml milk

2tsp sweet pimenton

For the peppers

4 large red peppers

1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 thyme sprigs

2tbsp sherry vinegar

1 garlic clove crushed

Preheat oven to 220C.  Place the peppers in a small baking tray and pop in the oven to roast for 30 mins, turning occasionally until the skins have blackened.  Remove from the oven and place straight into a ziplock bag to sweat and allow the skins to loosen.  Once cool, slit the peppers in half, remove the stalks, seeds and skin.  Tear the flesh into 1cm strips and toss into a bowl with the olive oil, thyme leaves, vinegar and garlic.

Lower the oven to 200C.  Season the beef with the pimenton and rub with the olive oil,  Sear in a hot pan on all sides before placing in the oven to roast for 20 minutes (rare) 25 minutes (medium).  Remove from the oven and leave to rest before carving.

Tip the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the middle, pour in the eggs and slowly add the milk, whisking continuously until a smooth batter is reached.  Stir in the sweet pimenton and season with sea salt and black pepper.

Drizzle a little sunflower oil in the bottoms of a 12 hole non stick patty tin.  Place the tin in the oven for the oil to preheat and get very hot.

Remove the tin from the oven, divide the batter between the holes and place back in the oven to cook for 15 minutes until golden and puffed.  Repeat using all the batter.

Place a crispy Yorkshire pudding on each plate, top with a thin slice of beef, a few of the peppers and serve immediately, drizzled in a little of the pepper dressing.

A perfect match with Codorniu Rosado Brut 


Vintage Info - ChampagneDate published: 31/01/15

Recent Champagne vintages.

2007 saw difficult growing conditions but overall quality was good and yields plentiful. 


2006 was good for Chardonnay, but not so good for both Pinots. 


2005 was not a true or great vintage, although quality is probably only just below the bumper 2004 vintage. 


2004 was a bumper vintage which also boasted excellent acids and purity. 


2003  was a superhot year and the best wines are rich and generous but are not for longterm ageing. 


2002 produced a superb vintage; the best since the fabled 1996, many of whose wines are still in fine drinking condition


Wine Words - FletriDate published: 31/01/15

Wine Words - Fletri

This is a French wine term used to describe grapes which have been dried before fermentation to increase the sugar content; the technique is widely usded in Switzerland and parts of austria.

Puglia....!Date published: 31/01/15

Puglia....!

I've recently become fascinated by one of Italy's lesser-known regions, Puglia. Known to English-speakers as Apulia, all 210 miles of Puglia stretches down the south east coast of Italy and runs along the Adriatic Sea, giving the region a Mediterranean climate ideal for grape-growing. Along with sprawling, sun-exposed, flat land and the vast majority of soil being ideal for grapevines, Puglia should be near perfect. However, a number of factors hinder wine production in the region. For example, up to three-quarters of the region's wine is blended for the north and France, or used for vermouth. Furthermore, only 5.5% earns PDO (Protected Designation of Origin – a wine made in the EU that has the higher grade of Geographical Indication), despite there being a number of DOCs. The Oxford Companion to Wine states that DOC wine production lies at around 2% of Puglia's total wine production and less than a quarter of wine produced there actually makes it into the bottle and onto the shelf! Essentially, annual wine production has decreased rapidly, with some arguing that it's the low-yielding, concentrated and interesting wines that have suffered as a consequence. Depressing stuff I'm sure you'll agree. Yet despite all the boring gloominess , for me, the Negroamaro grape is something Puglia should be proud of. Grown almost exclusively in the region, Negroamaro produces wines of almost port-like colour and baffling complexity. Plummy, smokey, earthy, rustic, bitter. One word consistently springs to mind when I sample something from Puglia – or even just read about the place – 'intriguing.' Here in Muswell Hill we have two spectacular examples of the Negroamaro grape variety. Both located in the heel of the Italy's boot, the Copertino DOC sits just to the south of its counterpart Salice Salentino. We have one from each village. See what our resident wine boffins said about them:

Copertino 2009, Masseria Monaci “Thick and luscious with dark, plummy fruits and hints of almonds and spice box. Well balanced and soft on the palate.”

Vereto Salice Salentino Riserva 2010, Candido  “This robust wine displays real complexity from several years' bottle ageing, including dried fig and smokey notes. However, a backbone of dark plum and bramble still dominate.”

Sources/Further Reading: Jancis Robinson – The Oxford Companion to Wine, Third Edition Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson – The World Atlas of Wine Wine & Spirits – Produced and published by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust  


Did you know...Date published: 31/01/15

Did you know...

........we also stock Spirits and beer!

From Cognac to Tequila, Rum to Whiskey and Vodka to GIn, we have it all!

Check out our range!

http://www.majestic.co.uk/

Vintage InfoDate published: 31/01/15

Here's a liitle info on recent vintages from Spain.

2009: Hot and dry throughout most of Spain, the vintage produced many powerful, intense wines, with plenty of body and ripe tannins.
2008: A long, cool summer in Rioja produced many bright and supple reds, and whites with good acidity. A particularly good vintage for the Duero.
2007: Very difficult weather with rain and hail, especially in Rioja, hence quality variable. Top producers made some elegant, forward-drinking wines.
2006: Not as dry as 2005, but an early September heatwave caused generalised problems. Results vary from dull to excellent but overall not as good a vintage as the two previous ones.
2005: Drier than 2003, with drought in many places during the ripening season leading to an early harvest and low yields. Quality from northern regions (Rioja, Navarra, Aragon and Catalunya) ranges from good to excellent.
2004: Good quality in La Mancha and the North West. Other areas suffering a variety of problems from drought in Andalucia to hail in Ribera del Duero. Top Riojas very good.
Rioja: The best recent vintages for Gran Reserva and Reserva are 2004, 2001, 1998, and 1996.

Wine FactDate published: 31/01/15

Lead and Wine?

Romans discovered that mixing lead with wine not only helped preserve wine, but also gave it a sweet taste and succulent texture. Chronic lead poisoning has often been cited as one of the causes of the decline of Rome


Producer Focus: Marisco: Beyond 'The NedDate published: 31/01/15

Marisco: Beyond 'The Ned'

Majestic Wine and Brent Marris have had a long and fruitful relationship. Before founding Marisco, Marris was winemaker at Oyster Bay and Wither Hills, two standout brands from Majestic's past and present. It is since establishing Marisco however, that things have really taken off, with The Ned Sauvignon Blanc reaching unprecedented levels of popularity. With its vibrant gooseberry fruit, bright acidity and heady tropical aromas it typifies what the British consumer loves about Kiwi Savvy and its popularity comes as no surprise.

With that said, the strengths of Marisco do extend beyond Sauvignon and their exciting range of Wines reflect the exciting diversity of styles emerging from New Zealand. Here is out pick of the bunch:

The King's Thorn Pinot Gris 2013 -

'The King's' series of wines allude to the de Marisco (Marris' ancestors) often tempestuous relationship to the English monarchy in the 12th and 13th centuries. The King's Thorn is a superb example of Kiwi Pinot Gris, with great texture, orchard and stone fruit flavours and lovely delicate floral aromas. It's viscosity and perfume makes it an ideal partner for lightly spiced Thai and Indonesian dishes.

The King's Favour Sauvignon Blanc 2012 - 

The pre-eminent grape of Marlborough (hence the Favour) this is a wine I generally refer to as 'The Ned's big brother' and offers outstanding value. With the potency that one would associate with Marlborough but the finesse of Sancerre, this is a really classy wine. Citrus and gooseberry fruits are given focus by precise and linear acidity. Half the price of Cloudy Bay, it can easily hold it's own against that New Zealand icon.

The Ned Pinot Noir 2013 -

Pinot is on the rise in Marlborough with cooler sites away from the coast offering ideal growing conditions. The 'Red Ned' sees 9 months ageing in French oak barrels which imparts a smoky, savoury dimension to it's generous red berry fruit. At its best with chicken.



Wine Knowledge: BordeauxDate published: 31/01/15

This article is designed to give a few quick snippets of information regarding Bordeaux, and hopefully you'll learn a new thing or two.

There are 13 grape varieties permitted in the production of Bordeaux wines. The main black grape types used are, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Each of these grapes brings a different element to the wines, such as offering tannins and colour to support aging or bringing fresh and fruity aromas to make wines or appealing. The main white grape types are Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. Semillion has an affinity for noble rot, making some of the best sweet wines out there.

The levels of botrytris (noble rot) vary from year to year, which makes it hard for producers to fully rely on the disease to make the sweet grapes they desire. So another method called Passerillage can be used that concentrates the sugars in the grape. This process involves leaving the grapes on the vine after the growing season. The grapes then stop receiving water through the stem, meaning that as water evaporates through the skins, no water replaces the fluid that is lost. This causes the grapes to slowly shrivel. 

Wines of the Right Banks- The two main appellations found here are Pomerol AC and Saint-Emilion, which is the larger of the two. Merlot is the dominate grape variety used on the Right Bank, with Cabernet Franc coming second. The most prestigious wines in Saint-Emilion come from vineyards on an escarpment to the south and east of the area. The low yielding grape quantities are aged in expensive new french oak and have moderate to high tannins, with a soft and rich mouth feel. Pomerol's reputation is just as high as that of Saint-Emilion's but wines from Pomerol can often fetch a high price tag. This is because there is smaller estates there, producing smaller quantities of wine. Less availability = higher demand, thus raising the price of the wine.


Wine of the Week!Date published: 29/01/15

New! Domaine de Fabrègues 2011, AOP


The South of France has never been so exciting (as far as wine is concerned)...


This wine is from the Languedoc, situated in the south of France, not far from the Southern Rhône. It’s not a highly regulated region like a lot of France, leading to exciting innovation and styles of wine more common in New World wine producing areas.


The wine is a blend of four varieties (Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault) which are grown across the Languedoc in vineyards ideal for each grape.


Why should you buy this wine…?


This is a great quality, full-bodied wine perfect with heart warming food. Casserole, stew, cottage pie or a roast. If it is a big hearty dish, it deserves to be matched with Domaine De Fabrègues.  


What does it taste like…?


Thanks to the robust Languedoc grapes within the blend this is a rich and spicy wine. It has bold blackberry and cherry flavours, is smooth and leaves a long warming pepper and dark chocolate flavour in the mouth. It’s open to taste today, so why not try it for yourself…?


So, how much does it cost...?


£11.99 Buy 2 Save 25% = £8.99



Upcoming Events!Date published: 17/01/15

Upcoming Events!

Check out our store page and twitter feed to keep up to date with all the upcoming events. Browse the calendar to see what we have coming up over the next few months.

There are  lots of events to suit everyone from interactive wine courses to themed tasting weeks. Call us on 02085679251 or email us at eal@majestic.co.uk for more details.

All evens are free and fun so make sure you book your place soon!

Cheers!

Who doesn't love fizz?!?Date published: 06/01/15

Who doesn't love fizz?!?

There's nothing better to celebrate a special occasion than enjoying a lovely glass of fizz amongst friends and family. No matter what your taste there's something for everyone, so why not use the following guide to help select the bottle that is perfect for you....

Prosecco

Prosecco is an Italian grape and is extremely popular at the minute. It commonly has flavours of peach, apricot, pear, honey and even floral notes and is a fantastic light, delicate and fruity option for a refreshing drinking. 

Cava

Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine that commonly combines the following three grapes Parallada, Xarel-lo and Macabeo, but can use Pinot Noir as with Reina Cristina Vintage. The typical flavours here are a variety of citrus fruits, baked apples and occasional nutty or brioche notes. There are plenty of fantastic high quality Cava's about at the minute so why not ignore the common misconception that Cava is a lower quality sparkling wine and give it a go?

Champagne

Champagne is a fantastic way to celebrate in style. Non vintage generally tends to be slightly lighter and fruitier with plenty of citrus fruit and acidity where as vintage tends to be richer in style with more complex flavours of toast and brioche. The style of a Champagne does vary dramatically between different producers (champagne houses) so I would always recommend chatting to a member of staff at Majestic to find a bottle to suit your palate.



Christmas Trading HoursDate published: 07/12/14

Christmas Trading Hours

Monday 8th December to Friday 12th December 9am-8pm

Saturday 13th December 9am-7pm

Sunday 14th December 10am-5pm

Monday 15th December to Saturday 20th December 9am-8pm

Sunday 21st December 10am-5pm

Monday 22nd December to Tuesday 23rd December 9am-8pm

Wednesday 24th December 9am-5pm

Thursday 25th and Friday 26th December -CLOSED

Saturday 27th December 9am-7pm

Sunday 28th December- 10am-5pm

Monday 29th December to Tuesday 30th December 10am-7pm

Wednesday 31st December 10am-5pm


Wine: 'One of the finer things in life...Date published: 06/12/14

Wine: 'One of the finer things in life...

One of the best features Majestic Wines has to offer is its superlative range of wines, heralding from a plethora of wine-making regions across the globe. Through a combined use of our tasting counters and exploration of our monthly offers, customers are able to fully immerse themselves and can find their niche. My own Majestic experience is no exception, inspiring me to take things one step further. This summer I travelled the length of France, visiting a number of producers that lay claim to a place within Majestic’s range. Beginning in the Languedoc, I travelled up through the Rhone Valley and the sprawling vineyards of Beaujolais and Burgundy, a trip that I heartily recommend to any Majestic customer. The stand-out site was Tain L'Hermitage, a village situated on the banks of the Rhone overlooked by the famous lieux-dits of the northern Rhone region. Here I visited the main outlet of Charpoutier, the producer of a firm Majestic favourite of mine, the Côtes du Rhône Belleruche. The enthusiasm of the local people for wine rubbed off on me to such an extent that a fleeting visit became a two day stay in the wine cellars of surrounding Tain L'Hermitage! Any Majestic customer can replicate my experience. The breadth of the wine world is massive and serves as the ideal template for exploration of the New World. Wine's versatility means it is more than just an accompaniment to food or a choice of beverage on a night out. It is an entity in itself. It inspires a range of experiences, whether an impromptu trip abroad or as the foundation for a reunion with friends. It is an entity that can introduce you to like-minded people and even find the person you settle down with (it is alcohol after all!) The nuances of its production and the differing styles that the gargantuan range of grapes used can produce inevitably stimulates debate, meaning no wine is ever definitively described. When was the last time you had a pint of ale that made you instantly recall exactly when you last tasted it, where you were, who you tasted it with or what you were doing at the time? For me, the main thing I have gained from my association with Majestic is an understanding of the value of the role that wine can play in all walks of life, whether it be through future excursions abroad or your average Friday night in. Even the most fleeting of interactions with our customers would prove this, with many only too willing to tell you which wines have had a similar impact in their own lives. Wine has evolved into entity that is open to everyone, without prejudice towards knowledge or experience, and really does deserve its accolade as one of the finer things in life. So I strongly urge you to come on down to Majestic and explore wine's intricacies as I have. You won't be disappointed! And if you are, we sell beer too!

Spirits in Foucs: Blackwoods 5XD VodkaDate published: 06/12/14

Blackwoods 5XD Vodka

Perhaps more famous for its high-quality gin, Blackwoods five-times distilled vodka reflects the quality level expected from this renowned producer. Lightly infused with hand-picked Shetland botanicals such as Meadow Sweet, Sea Pink, Angelica and Marsh Marigold, the resulting vodka tastes exceptionally smooth and rounded with an earthy undertone.

Spirits in Foucs: The One British WhiskeyDate published: 06/12/14

The One British Blended Whisky 

A unique blend of exceptional British Isles whiskies, each with its own distinctive characteristics, have been blended with great care and passion, resulting in a whisky of intriguing complexity. The ONE is the first British Blended Whisky with a taste slightly smoky, sweet and fruity, nutty, with hints of spice.

Spirits in Foucs: Red Leg RumDate published: 06/12/14

Red Leg Spiced Rum

A Caribbean spiced rum, which gets its name from the Red Leg Hermit Crab. The rum is rested in old oak barrels and delivers a sweet smell of vanilla followed by a warming ginger aroma. The palate is smooth and warming with notes of raisin.

£19.99


Spirits in Foucs: Professor Cornelius Ampleforth's Bathtub GinDate published: 06/12/14

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth's Bathtub Gin

A creation by Professor Cornelius Ampleforth. Inspired by the past whilst using modern production methods. The gin aims to preserve as much flavour from the botanicals as possible using cold compounding (a traditional infusion technique). Copper stills encourage the integration of: juniper, orange peel, coriander, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom with the spirit. The result is a complex and delicious gin with an overt herbal character. Will go well on the rocks or as part of a G and T

£33.00


Spirits in Foucs: Don Papa RumDate published: 06/12/14

Don Papa Rum, £30.00

This is a premium aged small batch rum from the isle of Negros Occidental - the sugar capital of the Philippines due to the perfect combination of climate and rich volcanic soil. It is first aged for 7 years in oak barrels in the foothills of Mount Kanlaon before it is then blended to perfection. Its name comes from Don Papa Isio, one of the unsung heroes of the Philippine Revolution. This rum has a light and fruity nose with a rich-textured finish of vanilla, honey and candied fruit.


Spirits in Foucs: Brokers GinDate published: 06/12/14

Broker Gin, £19.99

Produced near Birmingham for over 200 years, Broker's has won more top awards over the past 10 years in International competitions than any other Gin. Ten traditional botanicals are used and quadruple distillation in a copper pot still results in a smooth palate. It delivers rich and creamy candied citrus fruit peel aromas and the finish gives the perfect balance of fresh botanicals with spicy juniper and sweet ripe citrus fruits.


New Member of staff: GeorgeDate published: 15/11/14

New Member of staff: George

I am new to Majestic, this being my first store. Really enjoying working here and i am lucky enough to have landed myself a great group of chaps to learn from. Having come from a strong rum and cocktail background im looking forward to sinking my teeth into wine, I am rather partial to a nice Rioja or Chateauneuf -du-Pape.  

Champagne Offers!Date published: 15/11/14

ALL THIS WEEKEND

33% OFF ALL NV CHAMPAGNE*

Nicolas Feuillatte NV - £14.99

J de Telmont NV - £17.33

Canard Duchene NV - £18.66

Mumm Cordon Rouge NV - £19.99

Perrier Jouet NV - £24.99

Laurent Perrier NV - £24.99

Taittinger NV - £26.65

Moet & Chandon NV - £29.98

Veuve Clicquot NV - £29.98

Pol Roger NV - £29.98 – my favourite!

Bollinger Special Cuveé NV - £33.31

Ruinart NV - £33.31

Perrier Jouet Magnum - £36.66

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV - £39.98

Upto £60 RRP and when buying any 2 wines in our 33% promotion as part of your mixed case of 6


This Week's Spirit Choices - Langtons Gin, Don Papa RumDate published: 14/11/14

We've been getting pretty excited about our new spirits range and they're finally here! To celebrate the launch, we'll have a selection open on the tasting counter for you to try. Our choices for this week are Langtons No1 Gin from Skiddaw in the Lake District and Don Papa Small Batch Rum from the island of Negros Occidental in the Philippines.

Langtons No 1, Lakeland Gin

Langtons No 1 is a celebration of the Lake District. Using local ingredients amongst their 11 botanicals, including oak bark and slate-filtered water extracted via a borehole from an ancient aquifer under the mountain of Skiddaw. The experience starts with an understated aroma of juniper on the nose and a floral lift. The palate is soft and fresh with notes of citrus and a slight sweetness.

Because of the purity of the water used, Langtons No.1 is exceptionally bright and very clear with real depth and substance. The outcome is a gin so smooth and flavoursome, that as well as enjoying Langtons No.1 with tonic, or in your favourite cocktail, we recommend you try it on the rocks or as a Martini – stirred, of course. £30.00

Don Papa Small Batch Rum

Produced from molasses on the island of Negros Occidental – the sugar capital of the Philippines due to the perfect combination of climate and rich volcanic soil. Its name comes from Dionisio Magbuelas, better known in the Philippines as Don Papa Isio, one of the unsung heroes of the Philippine Revolution. This rum has a light and fruity nose with a rich-textured finish of vanilla, honey and candied fruit. Delicious on its own, or mix up a daiquiri by shaking 60ml rum, 15ml fresh lime juice and 8ml sugar syrup (8:2:1) with ice and straining into a martini glass. Perfect. £30.00


Winter wine tasting Event - 27th November 6.30 pm.Date published: 06/11/14

Don't forget we have a Winter wine tasting event on 27th November from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Please call to book your place.

A free two-hour turn up and taste, ask questions and meet fellow wine enthusiasts. A chance to sample a wide selection of reds, whites, fizz and rose. With some cheese and meats too.


The Wedding Planners!Date published: 06/11/14

Weddings

Do you have a wedding come up? Finding choosing your wines confusing? Need glass hire?

Do not fear, here at Majestic Wine we have the staff to help with you all your weddings needs, whether it be choosing what wine you want and the quantity needed or wanting to hire out glasses.

We have a very wide range of red wines, white wines, sparkling wine and of course the champagne for the toasts.

We also give you the option of hiring glasses (medium wine, hi-balls, champange and pint glasses), chiller bins and ice buckets from us. All you need to do is put down a deposit down for hiring out and when you return the glasses clean, we will refund you the money back (except any broken glasses).

We also offer delivery to the venue.

So why not pop in store or call us on 02085679251  and start planning your big day today.


Driver Wanted!!Date published: 06/11/14

Driver Wanted!!

Majestic are currently recruiting for a full time driver to be part of the Majestic Ealing Team. For the position you must be over 20 years old and have held a driving licence for more than 12 months. As well as driving you will also be required to work in the store when not carrying out deliveries.

For further information on the requirements of the job and to apply for the position please visit the Majestic careers page at www.majesticcareers.co.uk.



Is Ribera del Duero the new Rioja?Date published: 05/11/14

Is Ribera del Duero the new Rioja?

Rioja has long been considered the premier wine region of Spain.  Ribera del Duero with is warmer climate is producing quality wines with more weight, colour and alcohol.  Whilst Rioja's D.O. laws were established in 1970, Ribera del Duero's were not introduced until 1982. Both use the same Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva ageing laws.  Both have the Tempranillo at the heart of their production. However, during the past decade Ribera del Duero wines have managed to combine great power with freshness and elegance.  There are, of course, some famous wines from the region such as Emilio Moro Valderiz and Tinto Pesquera, (apparently Sir Alex Ferguson's favourite wine).  But the region is now producing consistent high quality wines across the price ranges.

Last night I opened a bottle from Ribera del Duero which is under £10, in fact just £7.99 on the present Majestic Wine Spanish offer.  What a little gem!  Soft, elegant fruit with great depth and complexity, grown from organically grown grapes.  Research has also told me that it comes from the oldest winery in the  region.  I've not tasted a better wine for under £10 this year.  I only wish I had tasted the wine blind without any preconceived ideas.  I believe that I would have placed a far higher price tag on it.  It even comes with a very dapper looking elderly man on the label who I believe is Pablo Penalba.  He was head of this wine producing family until his sudden death in 2006.  "What's the wine?" you ask.  Montecastrillo, from the Finca Torremilanos winery made from 100% Tempranillo.

So has Rioja been overtaken by it's neighbour, Ribera del Duero?  You decide by trying a few comparably priced wines from both regions. Buy them now whilst Majestic Wine still has the Spanish offer on.  For me it is just too close to call.  I believe that I will have to force myself to do a little more product research!  Cheers!


France in Focus: BurgundyDate published: 04/11/14

France in Focus: Burgundy

The white and red wines of Burgundy are justifiably some of the most sought-after in the world.  Burgundy itself covers a large stretch of land from Chablis in the north almost to the northern tip of the Rhone Valley in the south, yet compared to Bordeaux produces relatively little wine.

Two grape varieties dominate Burgundy - Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  It is unusual in French viticulture in that wines are very rarely blended; the whites tend to be 100% Chardonnay and the reds are 100% Pinot Noir.

The styles of the white wines can vary from full, rich and round Meursault to lean, taught and elegant Puligny-Montrachet at the top end of the market, although there are oceans of well-made, complex wines produced in the Maconnais area (Macon-Villages is a label to look out for).  Reds tend to be a bit pricier, and due to the nature of Pinot Noir are far less numerous when it comes to everyday drinking, but anything from Louis Jadot is worth a look.



Driver Wanted!!Date published: 03/11/14

Driver Wanted!!

Majestic are currently recruiting for a full time driver to be part of the Majestic Ealing Team. For the position you must be over 20 years old and have held a driving licence for more than 12 months. As well as driving you will also be required to work in the store when not carrying out deliveries.

For further information on the requirements of the job and to apply for the position please visit the Majestic careers page at www.majesticcareers.co.uk.


Carbonic MacerationDate published: 03/11/14

Carbonic Maceration

Carbonic maceration is a widely used process, producing a wine that is ready for drinking in a matter of weeks rather than months or years. It produces the style of wine that is popular, a wine that is of good purple colour, fresh and fruity on the nose, soft and eminently quaffable and ready to drink.

The two important factors necessary to the success of this process are the use of whole bunches of undamaged grapes and a fermentation vessel that can be filled with carbon dioxide.

Any vat can be used for carbonic maceration, provided it can be closed at the top to prevent the ingress of air. The fermentation takes place in two distinct stages, the first in a specially prepared closed vat at an elevated temperature, the second in an ordinary vat at normal temperature. 

The first stage, takes place without the involvement of yeast. The alcohol that is produced during this phase is formed by intracellular fermentation inside the grape where the grape's own enzymes attack the sugars, breaking them down to alcohol. This process is allowed to continue for between five to fifteen days at about 35 degrees, during which time about 3% of the alcohol is produced.

During the second phase, the vat is drained and juices are seperated. The skins are pressed as usual and the press juice is added to the free-run juice. The combined juices are cooled to about 20 degrees, transferred to an ordinary vat and extracellular fermentation takes place, using the yeasts from the skins of the grapes.


Oeil de Perdrix Rosé NV Champagne...down to £16.99!Date published: 02/11/14

Oeil de Perdrix Rosé NV Champagne...down to £16.99!

Grape

Pinot Noir & Chardonnay

Origin

Meaning 'eye of the partridge', this pale salmon pink rosé Champagne exhibits enticing complexity. Delicate in style, but with a perfect weight of fruit. A fantastic apéritif.

Best of all it is down in price from £25.50 to £16.99!


What is Phylloxera?Date published: 02/11/14

What is Phylloxera?

Phylloxera – Vine pest that came from America in the 19th Century and spread to virtually every viticultural region in the world. The pest attacks the roots of the vine, eventually causing the death of the vine. It was responsible for destroying much of Europe's vineyards, and then eventually most in the New World. However there are still places where vines have remained Phylloxera free, such as parts of Australia and Chile and there are tight regulations to make sure it doesn't spread to these areas. The way the problem has been solved is to graft the chosen vine onto a resistant American rootstock. These days, virtually all plantings have been grafted onto a resistant rootstock.


Planning a party?Date published: 02/11/14

Planning a party?

When you're planning a party there's so much to take care of, it's important to get help from people you trust. When it comes to the reception drinks, there's nobody better than Majestic – we have over 25 years' experience and a range of services to help make organising the drinks for your event as painless as possible...

Free tasting in store: We have a range of wines open to taste in store all day, every day! Speak to a member of staff to arrange a personalised tasting in store or we can put together a tasting case for you to try at home with friends and family.

Majestic Party Planner and Advice: As well as talking to the team in store, you can get a rough guide to quanities and what the best offers are at our online Party Planner http://www.majestic.co.uk/Services/Parties. We've also produced handy little booklets that you can pick up in-store.

Free Glass Loan: Wine glasses, champagne flutes, hi-ball tumblers and pint glasses all for hire, free of charge (we just take £1 per glass deposit - fully refunded when the glasses are returned to us clean)!

Chiller Bins and Ice: Need to chill your champagne and wine...? Our sturdy plastic tubs (deposit of £15 each), filled with ice (£3.99 for a 4kg bag) and water will cool your drinks quickly and cheaply!

Sale or Return: Take the worry out of party planning... return what you don't drink on the day and only pay for what you use!

FREE delivery: We will deliver your wedding drinks directly to your home or party venue for free at a time and date to suit you.

Gift List: A wine gift list makes an unusual but perfect choice for couples who don't need the traditional toaster-and-towels option of a department store. Some couples even use the Gift Lists to pay for the wedding day drinks.

If you would like any further advice on planning the wines for your special day, please talk to any of us in-store or call us on 02085679251 to discuss all your individual requirements!


Wine QuoteDate published: 02/11/14

“There’s only one thing better than a bottle of wine….. Two”Lilly Bollinger

France in Focus: Chablis Date published: 02/11/14

France in Focus: Chablis 

Chablis is a small town in the very northern reaches of what we would call 'Burgundy' in terms of wine geography.  It is the furthest north still wine producing area in France, and as such, produces searingly dry, crisp white wines with bags of fresh, zippy acidity.

Most of the wine produced in Chablis is from the Chardonnay grape, thus giving fresh citrus flavours and a soft mouthfeel.  However, what makes Chablis unique in the wine world is its soil; in the best sites, Kimmeridgian clay provides the top soil.  Kimmeridgian clay is a compost of ancient seashells and this has a profound effect on the wine - Chablis' calling card is not just its crack of acidity, but the 'minerality' it gains from the soil on which it grows.

The best Chablis can smell of crushed oyster shells as well as the classic lemon fruit you would expect of a cool-climate chardonnay, and it is this dimension that makes it my favourite white wine in the world.

Best enjoyed with fresh seafood, smoked salmon, salads and oily fish.


Introducing Cellar Circle.Date published: 02/11/14

Introducing Cellar Circle.

If you love the idea of building a cellar full of diverse and exciting wines, or if a 10% discount here at Majestic would be invaluable, we have the answer for you!
Majestic and Lay & Wheeler, our fine wine partner, are very proud to launch Cellar Circle, giving you all the support and advice you need to realise the cellar of your dreams. You decide the level of guidance that you require, and your own personal adviser will always be on hand to answer any queries.

Membership starts from £100 a month, all of which will go towards your wines. Exclusive 
benefits and rewards include:
· 10% discount at Majestic Wine
· Free delivery to any Majestic Wine store, for collection at your convenience
· One year’s free professional wine storage for customers new to Lay & Wheeler
· A free case on the first anniversary of your membership, as a thank you from the Cellar Circle 
team.

For more information and to sign up visit www.cellarcircle.com. You can also give the team at 
Lay & Wheeler a call on 01473 313300, or to find out more, pop in and have a chat with us in 
store.


Who doesn't love fizz?!?Date published: 02/11/14

There's nothing better to celebrate a special occasion than enjoying a lovely glass of fizz amongst friends and family. No matter what your taste there's something for everyone, so why not use the following guide to help select the bottle that is perfect for you....

Prosecco

Prosecco is an Italian grape and is extremely popular at the minute. It commonly has flavours of peach, apricot, pear, honey and even floral notes and is a fantastic light, delicate and fruity option for a refreshing drinking. 

Cava

Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine that commonly combines the following three grapes Parallada, Xarel-lo and Macabeo, but can use Pinot Noir as with Reina Cristina Vintage. The typical flavours here are a variety of citrus fruits, baked apples and occasional nutty or brioche notes. There are plenty of fantastic high quality Cava's about at the minute so why not ignore the common misconception that Cava is a lower quality sparkling wine and give it a go?

Champagne

Champagne is a fantastic way to celebrate in style. Non vintage generally tends to be slightly lighter and fruitier with plenty of citrus fruit and acidity where as vintage tends to be richer in style with more complex flavours of toast and brioche. The style of a Champagne does vary dramatically between different producers (champagne houses) so I would always recommend chatting to a member of staff at Majestic to find a bottle to suit your palate.



Ribero del D..where-o?Date published: 02/11/14

Finca Resalso Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero

£11.99

buy any 2 save 25%

= £8.99

Ever tried a Ribera del Duero? Then you're in for a treat! This is an up-and-coming area of Spain, definitely one to watch!

It is a great style of red which sits somewhere between Rioja and the new world in style.

Like Rioja, it is made from the Tempranillo grape and is oak aged but the extreme climate in the Ribera del Duero means the fruit is much riper than what you'd find in Rioja. Think red cherry and forest fruits with hints of licquorice which add a layer of complexity. Primarily though a fruit driven, mid-full bodied smooth red.

The fruitiness of this wine will handle spice well so rustle up chorizo and butterbean stew with this wine for a warming Autumn evening!

Cheers!


Mikey's Favourite Champagne on Offer!Date published: 02/11/14

Pol Roger is on offer! This classic Champagne and favourite of Winston Churchill is now down to only to £29.98!

Made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and then aged in Pol Roger's historic 33m deep underground cellars which average particularly low temperatures (thus providing an environment uniquely suited to slow fermentation) this Champagne has famously super-fine mousse.  This combined with its creamy and complex flavours make this Champagne a truly decadent experience.

Great Champagne OfferDate published: 02/11/14


Veuve Clicquot Brut NV Champagne

...at £29.98, down from £45!

Grape

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Veuve Clicquot ages their non-vintage for almost twice the required time, resulting in a superb marriage of freshness and power, with rich fruit and a mouth-filling mousse.

Plenty in stock and a great treat for Christmas!


Marston's English Pale AleDate published: 02/11/14

Marston's English Pale Ale

This week it's the turn of one of Marston's flagship beers, the EPA, to take centre stage on our tasting counter. A light and refreshing Pale Ale, this beer is traditionally crafted with English hops and barley for plenty of taste.

The EPA delivers subtle hoppy flavours with delicious citrus notes and a delicate bitter finish. This is a great everyday, easy-drinking beer that will appeal to both traditional bitter drinkers and those who prefer the refreshing kick a lager provides.

Available for £15 per case (12x500ml) – buy 2 cases save £6


Temporary Closure - Majestic EalingDate published: 21/10/14

Temporary Closure - Majestic Ealing

Due to flooring works we will be closed on Wednesday 22nd October.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

You will still be able to place orders online for free delivery, and for any urgent enquiries the phones will be diverted to the Brentford store.

The nearest stores are Brentford, Chiswick and Shepherds Bush.

We thank you for your patience and we are sure that you will all enjoy the benefits of the refurbishment.

Upcoming Events!Date published: 19/10/14

Upcoming Events!

We have lots of upcoming events to help celebrate the store's refurbishment. Join us in November and December for lots of free tastings. 

Check out our store page for all of the details of our upcoming events and details of how to RSVP.

The new store will be a fantastic improvement and we cannot wait to show off the new shop once the work is complete so please join us at these tastings!

NEW IN - Ondine ShirazDate published: 15/10/14

We have some great new wines for you in-store. Today's highlight is the Ondine Shiraz.

Made from a blend of Cabinet Sauvignon and Syrah/Shiraz and by Ormonde Private Cellars, this is a blend of Shiraz with around 7% Cabernet, grown on the granitic Darling Hills region of South Africa's Western Cape. The wine is matured for 11 months in new and old oak barrels.

A backbone of wild red and black berries, with characteristic hints of cloves and other sweet spices. The tannins are weighty and abundant yet soft and ripe in texture.

The winery suggests serving with pork fillet on a bed of rocket dressed with olive oil, raspberries and pecorino.

Just £5.99 per bottle as part of the 33% off deal. 

Spanish Tasting WeekDate published: 11/10/14

Come and join us for our Spanish tasting week from Friday until Thursday the 16th.

We'll have a variety of Spanish wines available to taste all week. Come and Explore

The Benefits of E-mailDate published: 06/10/14

Do we have your E-mail address on file? 

If we do you already know the benefits. If not, you really should consider signing up in-store. By choosing to receive E-mails from Majestic you will have the following great benefits:

Bespoke personalised offers.

Exclusive deals on interesting parcels.

Invites to events such as our Spotlight tastings.

And best of all NO spam, just the deals that you want.

So next time you pop in make sure to ask if we have your email on file so that you don't miss out on all the fantastic things Majestic has to offer you!

We have two new Argentinian Malbecs!!!!Date published: 05/10/14

We have just received two new Argentinian Malbecs in store the Parilla Malbec and the San Huberto Malbec.

The Parilla Malbec is made by Bodegas Fabre, makers of the original single-varietal Argentine Malbecs, and is sourced from mature vineyards in Valle de Uco. 50% of the wine has been aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, to achieve a fruity yet complex flavour profile. A deep ruby colour, this Malbec is crammed with damson, blackberry and plum flavours, accented by touches of oak toast. Smooth, ripe tannins offer a silky finish. 

The San Huberto Malbec is made in a 'reserva' style, having undergone 12 months' ageing in oak barrels. The fruit comes from the Valle de Aminga in Argentina's aptly named La Rioja province, which has deep, sandy soils and a semi-arid climate. An inky, almost opaque wine with a blackish-purple hue. The flavours are of plum, bramble and ripe blueberries, delivered with a forward, vigourous manner tempered by sweet, spicy oak.

Both wines are currently 33% off at £7.99 when you buy any two bottles from our 33% off promotion.


Beer of the Week - Meantime London LargerDate published: 04/10/14

Our beer of the week is the Meantime London Larger.

The Meantime Brewing Company is an award-winning brewery based in Greenwich, London. The London lager has the perfect balance of bitterness and hopiness.

It can stand up to strong flavours such as mature cheeses, hams and smoked meats or oily fish.

Just £9.99 per case of 6 as part of our buy 2 save £6 on craft beers deal.


Sparkling Saturday - Soffio no.3Date published: 04/10/14

A superb value Prosecco made by the Pizzolo family, one of the north of Italy's archetypal family businesses, run by four brothers from a facility close to Lake Garda. This wine is made using the Charmat method, in which it is rendered sparkling prior to bottling.

Apple and pear flavours predominate, which subtle notes of freshly cut flowers lift the nose. Soft mousse and gently ripe fruit makes for an easy-drinking style.

Enjoy on its own or with anything from seafood to simple chicken dishes.

Just £6.66 as part of our buy two save 33% deal

NEWSFLASH: Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2006 web exclusive!Date published: 18/09/14

If you're a fan of vintage Champagne then be sure to snap up some of this fantastic parcel of Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2006.

With fantastic structure, a beautiful toastiness and a refined finish, this is another excellent vintage from Moët & Chandon. Blending 42% Chardonnay with 39% Pinot Noir and 19% Pinot Meunier, the character leans towards elegance, with subtle richness.

We are selling this in un-split cases of 6 bottles for £180 - the equivalent of £30 a bottle!

Price valid until 3pm on Monday 22nd September or until stocks last!

To order, please go online to www.majestic.co.uk and you will see the link to this parcel on the front page.

South African wines open to taste at Majestic Ealing!Date published: 17/09/14

If you're a big fan of South African wines then be sure to pop in to the store over the next couple of days when the following wines will be open to try:

Trebuchet Chardonnay 2013, Western Cape - £6.66 when you buy any 2 wines from the 33% promotion (down from £9.99) *NEW IN!*

Made by Journey's End winery, this Chardonnay offers fantastic value-for-money and is a great alternative to white Burgundy. Aromas of lemon, mandarin and peach blossom leap from the glass. Ripe stone fruits dominate the palate with tropical notes of mango also coming through. With its soft, smooth finish this would be a great match to white meat dishes such as chicken and mushroom risotto.

Robertson Winery Chenin Blanc 2013, Robertson Valley - £5.94 when you buy any 2 wines from the 15% promotion (down from £6.99)

A firm Majestic favourite from renowned producer Robertson, this wine is made from grapes grown in the Robertson Valley which is located to the north-west of Stellenbosch. Lemon, lime and crunchy green apple aromas abound on the palate and lead into a long, zingy finish. Lovely on its own or partnered with salmon and spinach filo parcels.

Trebuchet Red 2013, Western Cape - £6.66 when you buy any 2 wines from the 33% promotion (down from £9.99) *NEW IN!*

If you like Bordeaux, then why not try this South African take on a claret? A blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, this wine offers a medley of brooding dark fruits on the nose. Blackcurrant, damson, blackberry and red cherry form a rich, fruity palate framed by firm tannins and a hint of toasty oak. Definitely a food wine - try with herby lamb albondigas served with rice.

Antony’s Yard 2012/3 Graham Beck, Western Cape - £6.74 when you buy any 2 wines from the 25% promotion (down from £8.99)

A classic Bordeaux-inspired blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, this wine spends 12 months ageing in French oak barrels. A deep ruby red in colour, aromas of damson, mulberry and cassis dominate with notes of fruit cake and sweet spice in the background. The palate offers a plethora of dark brambly fruits with hints of dried fruits and vanilla also coming through. Great with rustic autumn fare such as sausage and lentil casserole.

NEWSFLASH! New short-term offers!Date published: 11/09/14

If you're looking for a great deal then look no further than these fantastic short-term offers:

Pinot Grigio Rosé Breganze - £5.99 when you buy any 2 wines from the 33% off promotion (down from £8.99)

Make the most of this fantastic September weather with a glass of this light, floral rosé. Ripe stone fruits and delicate blossom aromas leap from the glass with soft raspberry and white peach on the palate.

Viña Eguia Rioja Crianza - £6.66 when you buy any 2 wines from the 33% off promotion (down from £9.99)

A bright ruby red in colour, ripe red cherries, raspberries and redcurrants abound with hints of vanilla and liquorice in the background.

Prosecco Zonin Brut NV DOC - £6.99 (down from £11.99)

Light and refreshing in style, this floral prosecco is full of fresh pear, soft peach and delicate almond flavours. Perfect as an aperitif!

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial NV - £28.98 when you buy any 2 wines from the 33% off promotion (down from £43.50)

Dry and clean in style with a delicate mix of zesty citrus notes and toasty brioche flavours on the palate.

Hurry, offers end Monday 22nd September! (3pm online, 7pm in-store)


Store Re-fitDate published: 01/09/14

Majestic Ealing is getting a re-fit!

Over the next 8 weeks we will be transforming the shop into a brighter, slicker place with a fantastic new tasting area.

In the meantime the builders will be hard at work but we will stay open and do our best to cater to all your needs.

We apologise for any disturbance caused.

See you soon,

Majestic Ealing


NEW IN - Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013 Poggio CivettaDate published: 26/08/14

A welcome new addition to our range Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013 Poggio Civetta, is now available in Ealing. 

This wine comes from several vineyards owned by the Rossetti family, located just a few kilometres from Abruzzo's Adriatic coast close to the ancient town of Chieti, which local legend claims was founded by Achilles in 1181 BC.

A ripe and approachable, medium-bodied and distinctly Italian red. Ripe blackcurrant and cherry flavours are infused with subtle hints of clove and forest earth, framed by fine tannins.

Drink with Italian cured meats and hard cheeses, or pasta and ragu.

At an introductory price of just £6.66 (33% off on our summer selection) this is a wine that you don't want to miss. 

What I'm Drinking - Natalie Verga PrimitivoDate published: 25/08/14

As a firm fan of fruity Italian wines I had to try the Natalie Verga Primitivo when it arrived at Majestic.  It's a new wine to our range but from a  fabulous producer. 

The southern part of Italy is home to Primitivo, a grape now more commonly known elsewhere as Zinfandel. This example is from vineyards in the provinces of Brindisi and Taranto, in the south-eastern part of Puglia, the 'heel' of Italy's 'boot'.

An approachable, medium-bodied wine full of sunny red berry flavour and subtle hints of prune and violet on the nose. Smooth, drying tannins mingle with the rounded, juicy fruit.

Drink with pasta cooked with your favourite tomato-based sauces. It went down a treat with my Spaghetti Bolognese.

At just £6.74 as part of our buy two save 25% deal it won't break the bank either! 

Avaliable to Taste - Gnarly Dudes ShirazDate published: 24/08/14

We're spoiling you this Bank Holiday with another Fine Wine available to try.

Two Hands are dedicated to showcasing the wide range of styles available from Barossa's many and varied plots. This example is sourced from a number of parcels of mature, gnarly Shiraz vines, and aged in a mixture of new and old French oak hogsheads for 12 months.

Intense and complex on the nose, which offers an array of fruit accented by notes of chestnuts, burnt toffee, chocolate and lavender. Full and lush on the palate, with a supple texture and good length.

Enjoyable immediately, but will develop nicely for up to 5 years in bottle.

Just £18 when you buy any two selected fine wines.

New, Simpler, Majestic pricing mechanismsDate published: 24/08/14

New, Simpler, Majestic pricing mechanisms

We now have 3 pricing mechanisms which make the whole shopping experience simpler with more of a chance to vary your selection.

You can now mix any 2 wines from any region and get the discount you are after as long as they are on the same offer. We still have a minimum purchase of 6 bottles which includes free delivery.

The three mechanisms are buy any two save 15%, buy any two save 25% and buy any two save 33.3%.

We also have expanded our buy 2 selected Fine wines save £10 to include selected spirits.


Avaliable to Taste - Vina Pomal Gran ReservaDate published: 22/08/14

We've got a treat in store for you this Bank Holiday weekend! Available to taste on our tasting counter we have the Vina Pomal Gran Reserva 2006. It's a part of our Fine Wine offer and at just £15 when you buy any two selected wines it's affordable too. 

Viña Pomal is made by the famous Bodegas Bilbainas, from 100% Tempranillo grown only in the estate's own vineyard, matured in Bordeaux-style American oak barrels. This estate only makes a gran reserva wines in the very best vintages.

At once mellow and powerful, this is a traditionally styled Rioja that combines rich berry fruit with flavours of preserved plums, new leather and old wood, supported by velvety tannins.

Best enjoyed with fine serrano ham and manchego.

E-mail Address?Date published: 20/08/14

Do we have your E-mail address on file? 

If we do you already know the benefits. If not, you really should consider signing up in-store. By choosing to receive E-mails from Majestic you will have the following great benefits:

Bespoke personalised offers.

Exclusive deals on interesting parcels.

Invites to events such as our Spotlight tastings.

And best of all NO spam, just the deals that you want.

So next time you pop in make sure to ask if we have your email on file so that you don't miss out on all the fantastic things Majestic has to offer you!


Gina's Summer Selection PickDate published: 20/08/14

Waimea Estate Pinot Gris is a stunning wine and at £9.99 per bottle is my personal favorite deal in our 33% off Summer Selection.

Grown in Nelson, to the west of Marlborough, on stony loam soils with high sunshine hours and a moderating Maritime influence. The winemaking philosophy blends Old World techniques with pioneering methods now becoming commonplace in the New World.

Bursting with aromas of pear, honey, apple, spice and even a hint of cream. Hints of sweetness partner the pure fruit flavours and are complemented by clean acidity, good length and soft texture. So much more flavorful than the old world Pinot Grigio. 

Gorgeous on its own as a fuller bodied apéritif or with Thai and Asian foods. At its best when enjoyed over the next eighteen months.

Beer of the Week - Camden HellsDate published: 19/08/14

Camden Hells is our new beer of the week. 

Inspired by Germany and delivered for London. Take the crisp dry style of a German-style Pilsner and give it the gentle hopping of a Helles to create a fantastic unique beer. 

A classic larger that's exactly what it should be: easy drinking, crisp and dry with a hop finish. 

Avaliable to taste in-store all week. 

Avaliable to Taste - Wave Series SauvignonDate published: 19/08/14

A new addition to the Majestic Series, this Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is available to taste in-store this week.

An avid surfer since childhood, winemaker Sebastian Labbe grew up in Chile and went on to hone both his winemaking and surfing skills in New Zealand. The Wave Series was inspired both by this passion for the waves, and the Pacific Coast's influence on Chile's terroir.

A clean, crisp Sauvignon typical of Chile, offering intense aromas of grapefruit, gooseberry and refreshing lime. Light in weight yet persistent and concentrated in flavour.

Chill well and try with any seafood.

Just £6.66 as part of our summer selection.

Peroni DealDate published: 10/08/14

This month Peroni is just £1 per bottle when you buy a case of 24. Thats £24 for a whole case!!! 

Make sure to snap them up while you can.

Chocolate BlockDate published: 10/08/14

Here's one for all those of you who have asked about the Chocolate Block in the past; we now have it available in magnum and double magnum sizes!

Order yours now!

http://www.majestic.co.uk/south-african-wine-parcel


Spotlight on Wines form Loire and BeaujolaisDate published: 09/08/14

This week we're having a spotlight week of wines from Loire and Beaujolais. That means that all week when you pop in there will be wines available to taste from these classic French regions. 

Currently on the tasting counter:

Saumur Champigny 2011 Château de Targé

A ruby colour with a nose revealing aromas of crushed raspberries and strawberries. A good structure and backbone on the palate is fleshed out with red fruits

Red Burgundy Reserve Côte d'Or 2011/2012 Labouré-Roi

Light in weight, with a juicy summer-fruit character, where bright flavours of raspberry and strawberry abound. Minimal tannins and a good dash of acidity keep the fruit feeling fresh and lively.

Brouilly 2013 Domaine des Maison Neuves

A deep coloured wine, showing great finesse and fruit intensity. The nose gives powerful aromas of ripe berry and currant notes. The palate shows soft tannins and a balanced acidity on the finish.

Sancerre Vieilles Vignes 2013 Domaine Paul Cherrier et Fils

This wine exhibits classic passionfruit and mineral characters coupled with a racy acidity giving excellent balance and structure.

Pierre-Jean Sauvion Sauvignon Blanc 2013 PGI Loire Valley

A light, straightforward wine, with a citrus fruit backbone and gentle accents of nettles and freshly cut grass on the nose. Crisp acidity provides a refreshing finish.

Vouvray Domaine des Aubuisières 2013 Cuvée de Perruches, Bernard Fouquet

A pure, well developed nose of fresh quince and pear. The palate is a swathe of ripe apple fruit, with a honeyed sweetness, balanced by Chenin's characteristic blade-like acidity and mineral grip.

Beer of the Week - Goose Island IPADate published: 07/08/14

Our Beer of the Week is the Goose Island IPA and is available to try on the tasting counter this week.

From Chicago's craft brewery Goose Island, comes this India Pale Ale. It recalls a time when ales shipped from England to India were highly hopped to reserve their distinct taste during the long journey. The result is a hop lovers dream with a fruity aroma, off set by a dry malt middle and long hop finish.


£9.99 when you buy 2 Packs of Selected Craft Beer.

Fantastic Deals Ending Soon!Date published: 01/08/14

Our current Summer Selection wines are ending on Monday the 3rd of August!

Make sure to grab these bargains while you still can this weekend.

What I'm Drinking - Edna Valley ChardonnayDate published: 31/07/14

Chardonnay is my favorite grape and this is a fantastic example of it. 

One of California's coolest vineyard areas, Edna Valley is the ideal location for creating refined, restrained and elegant Chardonnay. The grapes are whole-bunch pressed and fermented in French and Hungarian oak, followed by nine months' lees ageing.

Combining typically Californian richness of texture with great freshness of fruit and subtle complexity, with crisp acidity cutting through the layers of ripe apple fruit and toasty oak.

Just £8.65 as part of our 33% off Summer Selection

Bollinger at Just £25.50!Date published: 30/07/14

That's right, for a limited time only Bollinger NV is just £25.50 when you buy two or more bottles!

Made from a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Bollinger is made from first-run juice only, and the majority of vineyards used have Premier and Grand Cru status, resulting in a full-bodied Champagne of great class. Delightful pale gold in colour, the mousse is light and persistent.

Hurry, offer must end on the 4th of August.

Beer of the Week - Roscoe's Hop House IPADate published: 23/07/14

We have picked Roscoe's Hop House IPA as our beer of the week!  This is what Matt Pym, our buyer says about it:

28.539 Roscoe’s Hop House IPAThis is an easy drinking craft beer. It boasts a spicy hop character, blended with smooth malt flavour for a balanced finish. Pale, Crystal and Caramel Malts gives this beer a rich flavour profile, while the combination of four different hops - CTZ, Chinook, Willamette and Golding – offer a distinctive, spicy aroma and long hoppy finish.

It will be open to taste all week so swing by for a swig!

Staff favourites: Italian WhiteDate published: 19/07/14

What is your favourite Italian white wine?

Iain - Stella Alpina Chardonnay

Ros - Iname, Soave du Lot

Robbie - Pecorino

Staff Favourites: Italian RedDate published: 18/07/14

What is your favourite Italian red wine?

Iain - Masi Amarone

Ros - Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino

Robbie - Guildaberto

Staff Favourites: Spanish WhitesDate published: 17/07/14

What is your favourite Spanish white wine?

Iain - Caixas Godello

Ros - Muga Rioja Blanco

Robbie: Martin Codax Albarino

Staff Favourites: Spanish RedDate published: 16/07/14

What is your favourite Spanish red?

Ros - Muga Prado Enea, Rioja Gran Reserva (2001 ideally!)

Iain - Vina Eguia Rioja Reserva

Robbie - Vina Ardanza 2004

Staff Favourites: RoséDate published: 15/07/14

What is your favourite rosé?

Ros - Aix Cotes de Provence MAGNUM

Iain - Domaine La Chautarde, Cotes de Provence

Staff Favourites: Aussie RedDate published: 14/07/14

What is your favourite Australian red wine?

Iain - Two Hands 'Angel's Share' Maclaren Vale Shiraz

Ros - Chapel Hill Grenache

Staff Favourites: Best on the 33.3% dealDate published: 13/07/14

What is your favourite wine on the 33.3% deal?

Ian - Ramon Bilbao Single Vineyard Rioja

Ros - M de Minuty Provence Rosé

Robbie - Santa Rita Medalla Real Carmenere

Staff Favourites: Californian WineDate published: 13/07/14

What is your favourite wine from California?

Ros: Beringer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Ian: Edna Valley Pinot Noir

Robbie: Saintsbury Pinot Noir, Carneros 

Staff Favourites: Argentinian MalbecDate published: 13/07/14

What is your favourite Mlabec from Argentina?

Robbie: Benmarco

Ros: Lunta

Ian: Catena 

Staff Favourites: Chilean RedDate published: 12/07/14

What is your favourite Chilean red?

Ros: Parcel Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Robbie: Purple Angel

Ian: Luis Felipe Edwards Gran Reserva Merlot

Staff Favourites: Chilean WhiteDate published: 12/07/14

What is your favourite Chilean white wine?

Ros: Montes Alpha Chardonnay

Robbie: Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay

Ian: Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay

Staff Favourites: Fine WineDate published: 11/07/14

What is your favourite Fine Wine currently on the Fine Wine shelves?

Ian - Pesquera Reserva Especial 2003, Ribera del Duero

Robbie - Au Bon Climat "Isabelle" Pinot Noir, California

Ros - Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne 2007, Burgundy

Staff Favourites: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc over £10Date published: 10/07/14

What is your favourite New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc over £10?

Ros - Fairbourne

Robbie - Craggy Range Te Muna

Ian - St Clair Pioneer Block

Staff Favourites: New Zealand Sauvignon under £10Date published: 10/07/14

What is your favourite New Zealand sauvignon Blanc under £10?

Robbie - Black Cottage

Ian - King's Favour

Ros - Vavasour

Staff Favourites: ProseccoDate published: 09/07/14

What is your favourite Prosecco?

Ros - La Marca Conegliano Valdobbiadene Cuvee

Robbie - ditto

Ian - ditto

Clear winner there!

Staff favourites: Sparkling WineDate published: 08/07/14

Ian - Codorniu Maria Cristina Vintage Cava

Robbie - Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine

Ros - Cloudy Bay Pelorus Vintage

Staff Favouirtes: ChampagneDate published: 08/07/14

What is your favourite Champagne?

Robbie - Krug

Ros -  Bollinger RD

Ian - Perrier Jouet

Pick of ProvenceDate published: 17/06/14

Tis the season of sun, swimming and BBQs. What better accompaniment to this jolly little scene than a cold bottle of rosé? With this beguiling thought in mind, below I will outline my pick of provence rosé's for your consideration.

AIX Rosé, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, Magnum - £19.99

This is the perfect party piece for any BBQ, especially as it only comes in magnum size, so its perfect for sharing (if your that way inclined!). An award winning wine from one of the regions largest and most prestigious wineries, Domaine de la Grande Seouve have established AIX as arguably the definitive Provence rosé. 

Vibrant and summery, bright pink in colour and a delicate balance of crisp acidity and soft, ripe summer fruit.

Domaine La Chautarde Rosé, Coteaux Varois en Provence - £7.49 when you buy 2 or more

Domaine La Chautarde is located near the city of Brignoles in Provence, and is a vast 245ha estate of pine and oak forests, olive groves and vineyards covering 32ha. The soil type here is known as 'argilo-calcaire', which is limestone-rich clay. This is a really excellent value-for-money Provence rose and is incredibly easy to drink on a hot summers day!

Miraval Rosé, Cotes de Provence - £17.99

The 17th century Miraval estate is located in the var region of Provence, and was bought by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in 2009 and extensively renovated. But don't let that put you off! - with winemaking expertise from Perrin, the first modern vintage was released in 2012 and was met with wide acclaim -  this really is a very good rosé!

A beautifually pale pink colour, with a nose of wild strawberry and stone fruit and delicate floral touches. Great palate texture, with soft tangerine and peach notes joining layers of berry fruit.


English Wines for an English SummerDate published: 13/06/14

In recent years English wine and sparkling wines have begun to make a name for themselves- and rightly so! There really are some very tasty English wines out there these days and below I will name two of the best for your consideration:

Chapel Down Bacchus

Grape Variety: Bacchus

As well as being the 4th most widely planted grape variety in England, Bacchus is the ancient Roman name for the classical god of wine. Chapel Down, based near Tenterden in Kent, is demonstrating English wine's considerable potential.

Taste: Complex aromas of rose petals, herbs lychee on the nose; the palate shows apple, pear and white pepper. Well balanced with crisp acidity on the finish. This is a refreshing and interesting wine- perfect as an aperitif or a partner to seafood and salads over the summer months.

Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier

Nyetimber are located in West Sussex and since their original plantings of classic varieties in 1988, have established themselves as England's premier sparkling wine house. Making world class wines to rival (and often beat in blind tastings) the big names of Champagne.

Taste: A beguilingly Champagne-like nose of citrus fruit, brioche and shortbread. The mousse is finely pearled, soft, yet mouth-filling and persistent. Elegantly shaped and supremely poised, this is sparkling champagne at its best and for me stands up well against some great Champagne. 


Holiday Hamper 3 - campingDate published: 12/06/14

It's Summer Holiday season! Hooray! If you're taking the car somewhere secluded for the week you may well need some supplies!  

Here's our pick for a camping trip.  No whites because we're assuming you won't have a fridge in your tent! Just don't forget the corkscrew!

Vina Ardanza Rioja reserva magnum £40  awesome Rioja in a magnum.

Mud House Pinot Noir £9.99* a lighter red for a cold buffet in the afternoon.

Mr Shiraz £6.66* a warming glugger

Vinalba Malbec £7.99* for your fire-roasted meat

Monkey Shoulder blended Malt Scotch Whisky £27.50*


Happy holidays!

*multibuy price


Holiday Hamper 2 - The beach HolidayDate published: 11/06/14

It's Summer Holiday season! Hooray! If you're taking the car somewhere secluded for the week you may well need some supplies!  

Saunter to the sea-side?  Here's what we'd drink:

Canard Duchene NV Champagne £16.66 because everybody loves Chaampagne with their fish and chips!

Bouvet Rosé £8.99* a lovely holiday sparkler

Black Cottage Sauvignon Blanc £9.99* calling out for an ice bucket on the beach

Montagny 1er Cru £9.74* for your smoked salmon bagels (the classy option)

Brewdog Punk IPA £9.99* for 6 to wash down your sandy sandwiches

Pedro's Palo Cortado Sherry £14.44* for watching the beautiful sunset

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum £20* for party times


Happy holidays!

* multibuy price

Holiday Hamper 1 - The Wood CabinDate published: 10/06/14

It's Summer Holiday season! Hooray! If you're taking the car somewhere secluded for the week you may well need some supplies!  


Peaceful cabin in the woods?  Here's what I would take:

Prosecco Zonin £7.99* to get the holiday off to a cheerful start

Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel £7.99* to warm you up after a long walk

Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon £18* for the special meal in (how about a big juicy sirloin)

Gavi Montiero £5.99* light and refreshing lunchtime tipple

Commanderie de Peyrasol Provence Rosé £9.74* pink for a picnic

Taylor's 10yr Old Tawny Port £21.25* for a cosy night in


Happy Holidays!


*multibuy price

PILSNER URQUELLDate published: 09/06/14

Throughout June we have 24 x 330ml bottle packs of Pilsner Urquell for just £24 - that's just a pound per bottle! 

Great for weddings, BBQs, christenings, or just any get together! 

This yummy Czech lager is a great alternative to Peroni, especially at this price.


Heidsick Monopole Brut N/V - £14.99!Date published: 09/06/14

We have an excellent offer of Heidsick Monopole Brut N/V at £14.99, which is astounding value for an excellent champagne. It is an extremely limited offer while stocks last!

Deal of the Month - Sam Adams Boston Lager Date published: 12/05/14

Sam Adams Boston Lager 24 x 300ml bottles £24!

24 bottles of this deeply amber-coloured lager usually retails for £31.92 here at Majestic but for for a limited timeour top lager deal brings you this beautiful beer for just £1 a bottle. With citrus, floral and piney notes amid sweet roasted caramel flavours this would be a perfect beer for a summer barbeque. Stock up while you have the chance!

Chilean Wine in Ten Bullet Points!Date published: 26/04/14

1. Principal Grape Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere & Chardonnay 

2. The country's day-night temperature variation (diurnal range)is very wide and this is a major influence in producing the clarity of fruit flavours for which Chilean wines are famed.

3. Chilean vineyards are among very few in the world free from the pesky phylloxera louse.

4. Chile is arguably the most valuable source of inexpensive fruity, reliably ripe wine in the world.

5. The Pacific Ocean's Humboldt Current to the West and The Andes to the East are major climatic factors.

6. Chile's vineyards run for 840 miles bissecting the Andes and the coastline.

7. The Maipo Valley is THE place in Chile for Bordeaux style reds!

8. The Leyda Valley is THE place in Chile for Sancerre-like Sauvignon Blanc!

9. Chilean Carmenere is a varierty related to Merlot producing soft red wines that work very well with Indian cuisine

10. Chile produces sparkling wine mostly using the Moscatel variety.

Spirits with more bite!Date published: 25/04/14

If like me you like a good cocktail then you'll agree never has there been a better time to sample the latest creations of the best mixologists than now!

Big names on the world drinks stage like Diageo and Pernod Ricard are responding to the insatiable demand  for flavoured brown and white spirits as we become more adventureous in our mixing recipes when we stay in and venture out to that swanky cocktail lounge downtown. The derth of flavoured spirits has given the bar tenders and mixologists ample raw material to wow and thrill with ever more complex creations including "savoury cocktails" featuring among other interpretations using bacon and eggs which make The Bloody Mary look and sound more dated than ever!

Majestic as always gives our customers the chance to keep in touch with the latest drinking trends and spirits are no exception. New to our range you will find Gordon's Gin "with a spot of Elderflower" for an added twist to the mainstay aperitif of every good dinner party. For those with a more adventurous palate, give the Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka a try - made from finest rye with a smooth herbal and citrus note perfect sipped over ice or blended with fresh apple juice. For those with a sweet tooth, Jack Daniels has created a finely crafted honey liquer that would be a pleasant digestif on the rocks!

Come and Explore!


Tequila - The Terroir Spirit!Date published: 24/04/14

Terroir is that inimitable factor in the wine and spirit world - nature's contribution to the flavour and character of wine, a contribution unique to only that place in the world.

Terroir is not specific to grapes, in fact it applies to many crops.

One such crop is Blue Agave - the base plant material for Tequila -  Mexico's trademark white spirit.

Agave plants grown closer to the Yucutan Peninsula are known to produce lighter fruit flavours in the final spirit whereas those plants grown inland at lower altitudes give much riper and softer character to the base spirit. Tequila is released with and without any ageing. But compared to whisky for instance Tequila develops considerable mellowness and complexity much more rapidly meaning its a spirit fanatics dream in that it rewards with flavour at a lower price point!

Patron and Arette are brands of Tequila stocked by Majestic. Look out for Reposado (rested) and Anejo (aged) on the labels of each as these are the styles to seek out if you want that mellow smoothness ideal for sipping. For something more funky Patron also do a coffee liquer based on Tequila which is particularly decadent! For mixing stick with unaged silver which can also be enjoyed neat!



Sparkling Wine a threat to Champagne's future?Date published: 23/04/14

Its official - last year volume and value sales of Italian prosecco in the UK overtook those of Champagne!

Its easy to see that in times when we all have an eye on the purse strings why the cheaper alternatives like Cava, Prosecco and New World versions are making such ground at Champagnes expense. And choosing a cheaper sparkler like Prosecco or a New Zealand sparkling wine is not necessarily a compromise on quality either. Even the chef de cave at some of the biggest Champagne houses admit the gap in quality is narrowing. 

Further, more products in the sparkling category means prices have come down to a level at which consumers can now opt for a glass of good Prosecco or Cava as a mid-week everyday tipple where a decade ago Champagne prices would have discouraged this - hence the surge in volume sales of the sparkling wines.

It can be said that for too long Champagne suffered from complacency, getting fat on the fact it was and remains the default drink for that special occasion. The Champenois have had the gauntlet thrown down by their brazen and proactive competitors. But they have a plan!

Champagne will market itself better - reminding the public of its quality pedigree. It will, as a region make serious internal invesrtment to make significant changes at vineyard and winery level so that only the best of the best ever gets into a bottle with Champagne listed on the label. And certain industrial commercial practices will be stamped out. 

Can the same be said of Champagne's competitors? Perhaps not, but do consumers really care?! 

Pour yourself some bubbles and wait to see what happens! 

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc £7.99Date published: 22/04/14

Stop what you're doing and get down to Majestic Ealing right now! yes, right now! - Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc is only £7.99 a bottle for a very short time only!

We all know how good it is, Oyster Bay speaks for itself and at this price it roars for your attention! No brainer!

Jim Barry Lodge Hill Shiraz, Australia - £11.24*Date published: 22/04/14

If you have yet to try this Ausse Shiraz, now is the time. We are selling the 2011 vinatge which was given 90 points by The Wine Advocate Magazine recently.

This wine will surprise you - it manages to retain the bold rich punchy flvours we have all come to love and expect from Shiraz from this part of the world but it comes with a freshness and liveliness that is seldom seen at this price. It also offers a lot more than just fruit with notes of eucalyptus and mint following the rich ripe bramble goodness. The oak offers no intrusion on the fruit or elegance and is seemlessly integrated given the wine great poise and structure so that fruit is not flabby or cloying as can often be the case with Aussie Shiraz.

JIm Barry also does some excellent Riesling  that screams limey minerality - also well worth a look!

The Majestic Wine Course - An Inspiring Introduction!Date published: 14/04/14

There is no better way to learn about wine than to taste it and that's what makes the free Majestic wine Course so special.

In this 90 minute sit down course we talk you through 6 classic wines of the world while you actually sample a glass of each - spittoons optional of course!

You'll learn why the wines taste the way they do, how the winemaker has influenced the style along with elements such as the climate and what the French call "terrior" (or the physical environment). We provide a variety of nibbles to talk you through some basics of food and wine matching and to cap it off, we furnish you with a £10 voucher to use with your next purchase of six bottles or more.

So what are you waiting for? Get some friends together and give us a call to book onto the next free wine course at the Ealing branch!

Check our website, email us at eal@majestic.co.uk, or phone us on 02086579251 for times and dates!

Gavi MontieroDate published: 13/04/14

Gavi seems to appear in many different guises, from ultra clean and zesty to fairly fat and oily. This amazing value example is a great example as it sits somewhere in the middle! Fresh and slightly herby on the nose (think fresh fennel meets basil) and on the palate it's quite zingy with an apple/melon-like core flavour. This wine needs seafood! 


Fine Wine for the WeekendDate published: 12/04/14

Its now time to start thining about what bottle will be gracing your lunch table this Easter Sunday.

Rioja and good Bordeaux are always traditionally reliable at this time of year, but for something a little different Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany would be a cracking match with a slow roast leg of lamb!

This weekend come in sample Banfi's ultimate expression of Sangiovese - the Banfi Brunello di Montalcino. It's open on the tasting counter for the next couple of days. You will be charmed by its restrained power, the smooth mouthfeel its well integrated fine tannins attribute and the leathery, savoury finish which would be lifted and enhanced by rosemary and thyme infused red meat!

At only £25 when you buy any 2 selected fine wines this 2008 gem is certinly worthy of your attnetion this holiday season!

Picpoul de Pinet Date published: 12/04/14

Picpoul de Pinet 

Produces a green-gold, full-bodied, lemon-flavoured white wine exclusively from Picpoul Blanc grapes. This specialty from the south of France, is one of the country's few varietally named AC wines.   We have two fantastic examples in stock, one by Domaine Cabrol and one by Villemarin. They are both amazing with shellfish and great as a refreshing aperitif!

French Fizz from the LoireDate published: 12/04/14

Much as we love Champagne, there are other sparkling wines from France that really knock our sock off.  The Loire valley is an exciting place for sparkling wine.

If you look to the region of Saumur in the Loire you will find a lovely sparkling wine made from the Chenin Blanc grape.  Our Bouvet Ladubet from Saumur is one of our best sellers.  At £8.99 on the Easter Pick n Mix it is great value for money because it is beautifully balanced with lots of fresh apple on the pallet and delicate bubbles.  The rosé equivalent is made from Cabernet Franc and is bursting with fresh strawberry flavours.

Langlois is another area in the Loire where Chenin Blanc is dominant but our new Langlois L'Extra combines it with Chardonnay.  Lighter than the Bouvet it is a very subtle summery drop and £9.99 on the Easter Pick n Mix.

Both are made using the same method as Champagne but the grape varieties and terroir are different so you get a different style that proves amazing value.

Wine Matches for Classic British Dishes: Shepherd's PieDate published: 08/04/14

In this series of articles we will be exploring the often mysterious and undeinably subjective world of food and wine matching. However, we won't be getting too fancy and going all 'gourmet' on you, instead we will be matching wines with British staple meals, be it roast beef, fish and chips or even something as basic as beans on toast! Simple is often best, and with this in mind, we will endeavour to suggest matches that really work well together and make your mealtime experience, be it slobbing on the sofa or a candlelit dinner for two, even better!

Todays dish of choice is an absolute favourite of mine and i'm sure is one of yours as well: Good old shepherd's pie. A comforting and heartwearming dish if there ever was one, so below I will suggest three wines that do just the same.

Pinot Noir Domaine de Valmoissine - £9.99 when you buy 2 or more.

A Burgundian style Pinot at half the price it would be if thats where it cam from. Candied charry fruits, balanced with a spicy perfume on the nose. A beautifully textured wine that would really match well with this dish.

Tournelles Voluptabilis, Buzet - £6.66 when you buy 2 or more.

A really superb wine at this price. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, this wine has a wondefully rustic dried-fruit character to it that makes it a perfect match with a rich mince generously flavoured with a bit of Worecestershire sauce!

Dom. Sainte Rose 'Le Marin Blanc' - £7.99 when you buy 2 or more.

Slightly left field compared with the other two suggestions. This white wine is a southern french blend of Marsanne, Roussanne and viognier, making it a very well rounded wine with enough body to compliment a hearty dish such a this. Flavours of pear, melon and pineapple, balanced by a crisp acidity are predominant. The body and texture of this wine make for a surprisingly good pairing with this classic dish and makes a great alternative if you don't fancy red wine tonight!

Enjoy!

2013 Provence RoséDate published: 07/04/14

As we all know, last summer was a scorcher here.  It was pretty hot in France too and as the 2013 rosés arrive we're noticing much pinker wines than last year, even in those from Provence which are usually very pale.  However, they are still lovely and delicate, still dry and still beautifully subtle on the palate.  So don't be alarmed by the colour, the rosé inside is delicious!  Here are my picks:

Domaine Chautarde Provence Rosé £6.66*

M de Minutey Provence Rosé £9.99*

Aix Provence Rosé magnum £19.99

* when you buy 2 or more wines from the Easter Pick n Mix

Wine Matches for Classic British Dishes: Roast ChickenDate published: 30/03/14

In this series of articles we will be exploring the often mysterious and undeinably subjective world of food and wine matching. However, we won't be getting too fancy and going all 'gourmet' on you, instead we will be matching wines with British staple meals, be it roast beef, fish and chips or even something as basic as beans on toast! Simple is often best, and with this in mind, we will endeavour to suggest matches that really work well together and make your mealtime experience, be it slobbing on the sofa or a candlelit dinner for two, even better!

Todays meal of choice is roast chicken with all the works.  It is Sunday after all and everybody loves succulent roast chicken with roasties, Yorkshire puds, plenty of veg and good soaking of gravy.  Here's what I would drink with it:

Montes Alpha Chardonnay - £9.99 when you buy 2 or more.

A big, bold, oaky Chardonnay, this fabulous wine has the richness to match all the rich food and the gravy.  Flavours of pineapple and baked apple work really well with all the components of the dinner.

Muriel Gran Reserva Rioja 2004 - £10.99 when you buy 2 or more.

Although white wine is often best with chicken, a roast dinner with all the works if a completely different kettle of fish and can stand up to a lighter red.  This beautiful Gran reserva Rioja is light in body due to its age but is bounding with flavours of dried fruit and spice, like fruit cake in a glass.  From experience I can say it's a great match for riast chicken and neither the wine nor the food dominate.

Enjoy your roast!  Now I'm getting hungry!

Wine Matches for Classic British Dishes: Bangers and Mash!Date published: 29/03/14

In this series of articles we will be exploring the often mysterious and undeinably subjective world of food and wine matching. However, we won't be getting too fancy and going all 'gourmet' on you, instead we will be matching wines with British staple meals, be it roast beef, fish and chips or even something as basic as beans on toast! Simple is often best, and with this in mind, we will endeavour to suggest matches that really work well together and make your mealtime experience, be it slobbing on the sofa or a candlelit dinner for two, even better!

Todays meal of chocie is bangers and mash- as comforting and enjoyable as any dish invented out there in my humble opinion. Thus a classic dish of such repute must be matched with a great wine. No it doesnt have to be expensive, however what it has to do, is offer that same warming, comforting and easy going style of any great banger and mash plateful does. As such I have chosen two great wines for your consideration below:

Rioja Reserva Vendimia Seleccionada, Muriel - £7.99 when you buy 2 or more.

An absolute winner of a wine -  medium-bodied, easy-going, but full of interest all at the same time. Beautiful  dark ruby red, with classic Reserva characters of smoothed polished tannins, subtle herb notes, accompanied by warming spices, vanilla and leather Rioja traits. An absoluter steal at this price and perfect with some herby lincolnshire sausages. 

Cotes-du-Rhone, Leon Perdigal - £7.99 when you buy 2 or more.

A classic Southern Rhone blend with plenty going for it at this price. Red fruits dominate, backed up by  a hint of pepper and spice- perfect with some spicy bangers!

Wine Matches for Classic British Dishes.Date published: 28/03/14

In this series of articles we will be exploring the often mysterious and undeinably subjective world of food and wine matching. However, we won't be getting too fancy and going all 'gourmet' on you, instead we will be matching wines with British staple meals, be it roast beef, fish and chips or even something as basic as beans on toast! Simple is often best, and with this in mind, we will endeavour to suggest matches that really work well together and make your mealtime experience, be it slobbing on the sofa or a candlelit dinner for two, even better!

Our first classic dish has to be Fish and Chips. A crisp, white with a decent amount of acidity is a perfect match for this dish and below are two suggestions that fit the bill perfectly:

Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc, Craggy Range. £11.99 when you buy 2 or more.

Possibly my favourite NZ Sauvignon, an incredibly well balanced wine showing ripe aromatic fruits, spice and floral notes all complimented with a crisp acidity- pefect with some delicious cod and vinegary chips!

Muscadet, Jean Sablenay - £5.99 when you buy 2 or more.

Made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, this wine is clean and refreshing. This is a classic Muscadet, with a backbone of lemon (great with a squeeze of lemon on your fish!) and lime flavour, with a hint of minerality. Muscadet is often described as having an almost 'salty' character as a result of the citrus fruit character of the wine and as such is a perfect compliment to salty chips whilst the fresh acidity cuts through the delcious oily batter perfectly. 

So if you're having fish and chips tonight- come and grab one of these wines and take your British classic meal to the next level!





What is Maranges?Date published: 27/03/14

We have a great new Maranges in stock. What is a Maranges wine I hear you ask? Well to put it simply it is an area in Burgundy and more specifically, at the southern tip of the Cote de Beaune. The rolling hills of Maranges are home to around 170 hectares of vines, including 7 Premier Cru sites. The Maranges is renown for delicate reds from the three communes just west of Santenay. Below is a wine we have just got in stock from highly regarded Nicolas Potel:

Maranges 1er Cru 2012 - £14.99 when you buy 2 or more.

This wine comes from a single plot of 40-year-old vines, hand harvested and sorted. The wine is aged in new and year-old Burgundian oak barrels.

Blackberries, red cherries and gentle spices characterise the nose, supported by subtle truffle and liquorice notes. Robust, compact yet nicely supple and well-rounded on the palate, perfect with rustic hams or traditional coq au vin.

Peachy WhitesDate published: 26/03/14

If your like your white wine to taste of ripe peach and apricot, there are a few grape varieties to look out for that will serve up just that! The most well-known is Viognier.  It can be quite full bodied, especially if it is oaked and tends to have a lower acidity so it is a good food wine and sits well with roast chicken.  If you want something lighter and slightly more floral then head over to Spain for an Albarino.  Perfect with olives and fish, Albarino can also be a classy choice for a drinks party.  For floral-central, a Torrontes from Argentina will whisk you away.

How to pick a ProseccoDate published: 24/03/14

So everyone loves Prosecco but with more and more choice how do you know which to pick?  Here are a few helpful hints to help you interpret the label!

1)  If you want fully sparkling pick a spumante but if you want gently sparkling pick a frizzante.

2)  Extra dry actually means off-dry so if you like a hint of sweetness these are great but if you want a dry Prosecco you will probably prefer a brut.

3) Most Proseccos come from the DOC (Denominazione de Origine Controllata) Prosecco but the better quality ones come from the hills in the Valdobbiadene region within this which is given the staus DOCG (Denominazione de Origine Controllata e Garantita).  So pick a DOCG for a treat!

4) Prosecco has to be made in the Prosecco region in North West Italy from the grape variety Glera.  Therefore you can't make a rosé Prosecco.  However, sparkling rosé made from the Raboso grape is getting more and more popular.

Hope that helps you with your choices next time you're having a party or just fancy a cheeky glass of sparkly fun with a loved one!



New Spanish Wines!Date published: 19/03/14

Spain is so much more than Rioja and Cava!

Ribera del Duero wines compare well to good Bordeaux, Toro produces New World-like weighty and full flavoured styles of Tempranillo dark in colour and flavour and long-lived! When the trend many decades ago across Spain was to uproot vines and replant with international varieties, parts of Spain lacking the financial resources to do so, are now ironically harvesting the benefits of those limitations - with the gnarly old vines which they left untouched now producing small flavour bomb berries best seen in the old vine Garnacha (Grenache) with flavour intensity and freshness unrivalled in another Spanish red wines!!

Why not try some of our new additions to get an insight into the winemaking talents in Spain beyond Rioja. And dont forget we will be having a Spanish tasting week starting soon!

For instance my personal picks are:

Moncayo Old Vine Grenache at £7.99; 

El Parador from Navarra at £7.49;

Vinas del Vero Gewurtztraminer at £9.99

El Picaro from Toro at £7.99

Try something new from Spain today, you won't be disppointed! Be sure to join us for Wines of Spain week here in store!

Wine of the Week !Date published: 19/03/14

Our wine of the week is Allegrini's Bardolino from the north east of Italy a stone's throw away from Lake Garda.

As we see a turn for the better in the weather its time to start thinking about enjoying slightly fresher styles of wine and bardolino is one such option!

The combination of altitude and cooling breezes off the lake ensure lengthy ripening of the grapes - key in developing full flavours in the Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara varieties that make up this fresh and vibrant red wine! Flavours of fresh red chaerry are the hallmark of this and all good Bardolino complmented by an attractive dash of bitter almond.

This wine would pair very well with any tomato-based sauce in Mediterranean cuisine or it would be a great alternative to Beaujolais with a platter of charcuterie! 

£8.49 when you buy 2 bottles, saving you £2!


Upcoming EventsDate published: 17/03/14

Tasting Weeks

Each week we will have a selection of wines open from a certain country, you can pop in at any time during that week to try something.

4th -10th April: Wines of Spain

We will have amazing Rioja, taste bub tlicking Tempranillo and some cracking Albarino open for you to try.

Spotlight Tasting
A quick 30 minute introduction to the grapes, regions and winemakers that make these countries so great! 

Make sure to RSVP so you don't miss out.

3pm 5th April: Wines of Spain

Last Day!!!Date published: 17/03/14

The following prices end today so get online, drop in, or give us a buzz to secure some of:

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc at £6.99;

Gavi Montiero at £5.99;

Eguia Rioja Reserva and Gran Reserva at £6.66 and £8.99 resp.;

Nicolas feuillate Champagne at £16.66!!!

Lots more deals in store1


New Additions to our March Pick & Mix - The FizzDate published: 13/03/14

9 fantastic wines have been added to our March Pick & Mix for 1 week only!  Mix and match and and save 33%!  Bargain!  Here comes the fizz:

Veuve Clicquot NV Champagne £29.98*

Nicholas Feuillatte NV Champagne £16.66*

Prosecco Corte Alta £6.66*

*when you buy 2 or more wines from the Pick & Mix 


New Additions to our March Pick & Mix - The RedsDate published: 12/03/14

9 fantastic wines have been added to our March Pick & Mix for 1 week only!  Mix and match and and save 33%!  Bargain!  Here are the smoking reds:

Chateau Meaume £6.66*

Vina Eguia Rioja Reserva £6.66*

Vina Eguia Rioja Gran Reserva £8.99*

*when you buy 2 or more wines from the Pick & Mix 


Wine of the Week - 10th MarchDate published: 12/03/14

Wine of the Week: La Grange Des Combes from St Chinian, Southern France

For under ten pounds this red is a firm favourite with all of us here at Majestic Ealing! Soft and rich this juicy number has a plush and mouth coating mouthfeel, luscious red and black berry fruit character and just enough subtle spice to tantalise the tastebuds!

So what makes this such a soft and approachable wine?! Well it's no accident - the winemaker uses a process called semi-carbonic maceration whereby the grapes begin fermenting from within before being pressed hence minimizing extraction of those lip-smacking and drying tannins. This process also gives you a beautifully aromatic wine!

Enjoy with hearty dishes based on red meat!

Prces at 312.99 but buy 2 save £6 = £9.99




The Ned Sauvingon Blanc - £6.99!! Need we say more???Date published: 11/03/14

We are delighted to announce the temporary inclusion of The Ned Sauvignon Blanc in Majestic's March Pick 'n' Mix selection.

But don't tarry - the discounted price of £6.99 is for 7 days only

That's right, you only have until close of play on Monday March 17th to avail of this spectacular offer!!!

 Need we say more??!

New Additions to our March Pick & Mix - The WhitesDate published: 11/03/14

9 fantastic wines have been added to our March Pick & Mix for 1 week only!  Mix and match and and save 33%!  Bargain!  Here are the wonderful whites:

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc £6.99*

Gavi Montiero £5.99*

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc £8.33*

*when you buy 2 or more wines from the Pick & Mix 

Mocha JavaDate published: 11/03/14

Mocha Java Merlot 2013

£5.99

This wine has a real hit of coffee bean, something that the winemakers have actively sought to bring out. The pronounced aromas of coffee, cocoa and black cherry grab you, this really has an intense nose. The palate is smooth with well intergrated oak and a lovely long finish.

This would go great with any steak or Burger from the BBQ.


Kings and Queens of England - Queen VictoriaDate published: 10/03/14

What would you serve Queen Victoria?

Vintage Port because it keeps for ages!

Kings and Queens of England - Henry VIIIDate published: 09/03/14

What would you serve Henry VIII?

Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon.  What a belter!  Drink it all the way through your feast (and your wives)!

No Brainer Pick'N'Mix Whites UNDER £6!!Date published: 08/03/14

Here is a list of white wines from the March Pick 'n' Mix which I think reperesent stunning value for money right now. These are versatile options with a lot to like about them ideal for parties, weddings, other big events and a guilt free mid week treat!

1. Santa Rita 120 Chardonnay, Chile - perfect with some chicken this wine has citrus freshness but tropical fruit complexity too.

2. Rachels Chenin Blanc, South Africa - an oaky version with lashings of honey and exotic fruits - not for the faint of heart, this is big and needs food! Try with any herb infused dish!

No Brainer Pick'N'Mix Reds UNDER £6!!Date published: 07/03/14

Here is a list of red wines from the March Pick 'n' Mix which I think reperesent stunning value for money right now. These are versatile options with a lot to like about them ideal for parties, weddings, other big events and a guilt free mid week treat!

1. Mocha Java Merlot, South Africa - crowd pleasing fruit and softness with a coffee like finish.

2. Paul Mas Cabernet de Cabernet  - soft and plummy from one of the best producers in the south of France!

3. Robertson Pinot Noir - a rarity a this price point, Pinot usually costs more to grow than other varieties but this is light, fresh and fruity with a touch of oak!

New Fine Wine Arrivals!Date published: 06/03/14

As you know we always like to treat you to the best fine wines out there!

Just arrived, is the 2006 Chateau Haut Bages Averous. So what makes this Bordeaux red special?

To begin, it is the second wine of the fifth growth house Chateau Lynch Bages in the enclave of Pauillac on the left bank of the Dordogne river, which basically meansWith a quintessental Pauillac strucutre and soft ripe fruit notes, it is underlayed with hints of pepper and cassis.

It comes from the very solid 2006 vintage, a year which has turned out to be much better than originally mooted by the experts and second wines made from the top chateau like Lynch bages in this year offer very good value wines for drinking around now!

Priced at £30 a bottle it is best enjoyed now with a saddle of lamb or rib of beef



Stormy RedDate published: 03/03/14

Curling up in your armchair with your slippers on and a warming glass of red in your hand?  Amarone is the answer! The grapes are dried out in the sun so you get a rich, intense belter with dried fruit flavours and a mega kick of booze.  What a treat!  We have the Amarone Cantina di Negrar at £18 when you buy any 2 selected fine wines and the Masi Amarone at £30.  I reckon this is a quality way to hide from the rain!

Wine and bubblebath matchingDate published: 02/03/14

We all love relaxing in a nice hot bath with candles and a glass of wine.  Especially when it's grim outside.  But sometimes the smell of your bubblebath can completely ruin your wine.  So after extensive research these are some matchings we think work:

Rioja Reserva with coconut bubble bath.  Rioja is usually aged in American oak which gives it vanillary, coconutty flavours so this match just works!

Viognier with peach bubble bath.  Viognier has lovely hints of peach and apricot so this is a match made in heaven.

Shiraz with cherry bubble bath.  The chocolatey notes from the Shiraz combine with the cherry to create a blackforest gateau sensation in your head.

Beaujolais with rose bubblebath.  The fruity and bubblegummy flavours of the Beaujolais are lifted up by the scent of sweet roses!

Sauvignon Blanc with zingy lime bubblebath.  The refreshing acidity and wafts of gooseberry from the Sauvignon enhance the liveliness of the lime.

Malbec with strawberry bubblebath. Rich and fruity Malbec with a strawberry topping!

Bring on the bubbles!!

NB we don't recommend drinking the bubblebath!

Pipers CrispsDate published: 02/03/14

We are pleased to announce that we have started stocking Pipers Crisps!

Made by the same farmers that grow the actual potatoes, we stock the full gamit of flavours.

We have personally and painstakingly undertaken intense examination of all the flavours! Our top picks are:

1st. Cheesen Onion, 2nd. Spicy Tomato 3. Chorizo

Surprisingly good with wine and not only beer, why not pick up a packet of Sweet Chili to have a rich buttery Chardonnay!

Pancake Day!!!!Date published: 01/03/14

Who's excited about pancake day on Tuesday?  I am!  And why not have a cheeky glass of wine with your tasty creations?

For the savoury pancakes laden with cheese, bacon, mushrooms etc

Giesen Chardonnay £7.99 (when you buy 2) - creamy enough to match the cheese and batter with a lovely fresh finish.

Prosecco Zonin £7.99 (when you buy 2 from the pick and mix) - why not snazz up your pancakes with some fizz?

For the lassic lemon and sugar pancakes:

Dr L Riesling £8.49 - citrussy with a hint of sweetness to pair beautifully with the lemon and sugar

Essencia Orange Muscat £9.99 (when you buy 2) - fabulously sweet and floral

For the indulgent Nutella pancakes:

Elysium Black Muscat £9.99 (when you buy 2) - like alcoholic Ribena, in a good way!

Vinalba Gran Reserva Malbec £10.66 (when you buy 2 from the pick and mix) - so rich and wonderful it can handle chocolate!

Happy Pancake Day!!!

Mad for MalbecDate published: 28/02/14

With 33% off all Argentinian Malbecs until Tuesday there are some beauties and some belters and all absolute bargains!  On the lighter, more elegant side we have Callia Bella at £5.99 and Luigi Bosca at £10.65.  The first a great party wine and the second a lovely sipper!  On the richer, more full-bodied side we have Portillo at £6.66, Catena at £9.33 and Vinalba Gran Reserva at £10.66.  Nothing subtle about these, they are belter that need some juicy meat!  If you want your socks knocked off then what you need is the Vinalba Malbec/Touriga Nacional blend at £7.99.  Touriga Nacional is usually used in Portugal for Port but here it adds weight, fruit and power to create an epic wine!  

So it's Malbec time!

Dont forget February Pick 'n' Mix ends March 3rd!Date published: 25/02/14

We're into the last couple of weeks of the February Pick 'n' Mix promotion so if you havent already, do take advantage of some excellent reductions and fantastic value wines available! Easily the most popular reds with our customers have been the Alamos Malbec and the Lagunilla Reserva both a cracking £6.66!

Our bargain bouquets are located just inside the door,on the left and we have gathered a mix of exceptional value reds and whites for you to choose from. Personally speaking the white pick for me is the Grand Heron from Cotes de Gascogne at £5.99. For a warming red, for less than six pounds you can have a lovely southern french blend like the Mont St. Jean! These are just a sample of the great value wine now on offer!

Stay tuned for more updates 


Wine of the Week - w/c Monday 24th FebruaryDate published: 24/02/14

Geyser Peak Chardonnay 2012, Sonoma County, California, USA.

Come in and try this little gem on the tasting counter from Sonoma.

I love Chardonnay in all its guises but especially the soft round and oaky ones from this sun-blessed part of the US. Often maligned for overuse of new oak and careless use of malolactic fermentation to add creaminess and body, the winemakers of Califronia are beginning to take heed to the markets demands for fresh and balanced styles of Chardonnay.

Geyser Peak is one such winemaker creating a bright and vibrant version with lashing of buttery softness and tropical fruit balancing the acidity. This would be cracking with a creamy chicken dish such as Spaghetti Carbonara!! Only £6.99 when you buy at leat 2 as part of your mixed case.

Lesser seen Italy!Date published: 23/02/14

Think of Italian wines and names like Chianti, Amarone, Prosecco and Pinot Grigio immediatley spring to mind!

Chardonnay is not a varietal one instantly expects to thrive in Italy but thrive it does especially in the northen reaches of the country, most notably in Alto Adige bordering Switzerland!

The higher altitudemeans the sunshine quality is superb and with the cooling breezes coming off the slopes delicate varietals like Chardonnay can ripen to perfection. The Chardonnay that results from such conditions is elegant with an excellent balance of concentration and acidity!

Majestic is delighted to stock the Stella Alpina Chardonnay produced by the revered Nals Margreid wine estatE. The wine showcases Alto Adige's trademark mountain freshness and tropical opulence. a must for dfans of Chardonnay in search of a new interpretation of the varietal!

It is featured in our February Pick n ' Mix range meaning you save 33% making it £9.33*, while stocks last! 

Hurry as I might buy up the lot myself!


Wedding Wines 3 - £9.99Date published: 22/02/14

It's that time of year when happy couples are making preparations for their big day.  Picking the wine is high up on the to-do list so why not let us help you?  You can arrange a tasting in store with us but here are a few suggestions of wines we think wash down a wedding well! Below I have outlined some fantastic wines for £9.99.

Whites

Black Cottage Sauvignon Blanc - Has to be my favourite kiwi sauvignon- a little more green and herbal than most and with it alot of elegance.

Waimea Estate Pinot Gris - Another kiwi wine makes the list, but very different in style. Lovely and aromatic and slightly off dry - perfect with Asian style and spicy cuisine.

Montagny 1er Cru 'Les Millieres' - In my opinion one of the best value-for-money white burgundies available. Done in a deliciously subtle, crisp and refined style, this is a fantastic wine whichever way you look at it.

Reds

Rioja Reserva CVNE - An absolute winner of a Rioja at this price. black fruits balanced by warm warm vailla and sweet spices- perfectly balanced.

Pinot Noir Domaine de Valmoissine - quite simply if you were to buy a red burgundy of this quality you would be paying at least double the price. Great for drinking by itself, but with enough structure and spices to make it a great wine for food as well.

Catena Mlabec - At £9.99 I would suggest this is the best Malbec out there. Voluptuous and rich, balanced with peppery spice and ripe fruit. A very good wine!

Bordeaux halvesDate published: 21/02/14

Sometimes it's nice to have a half bottle of amazing wine rather than a whole bottle of standard wine.  Here's our pick of delicious half bottles from Bordeaux to compliment a tasty cheese or a meaty casserole:

Chateau Labegorce 2004 £11.99

Classic Margaux.  Still some tannins but beautifully smooth.

Chateau Potensac 2002 £14

Smoky and mature . This 2002 Medoc is perfect for drinking now.

Chateau Cantemerle 2005 £30

From a 5th Growth Chateau and a fantastic vintage this lovely Haut-Medoc still has plenty of ripe fruit!

Clos du Marquis 2005 £34

Clos du Marquis is the second wine of the outstanding Chateau Leoville-Las-Cases.  The 2005 is definitely worth a sip! 

Chateau Canon 2006 £35

A smooth St Emilion Grand Cru of immense beauty.  Softer than the others because of it's high Merlot content.  Stunner!


Half bottles are a great opportunity to try some epic wines that otherwise might be over your budget.  We have limited availability so snap them up while you can!  

Wedding Wines 2 - £7.99Date published: 20/02/14

It's that time of year when happy couples are making preparations for their big day.  Picking the wine is high up on the to-do list so why not let us help you?  You can arrange a tasting in store with us but here are a few suggestions of wines we think wash down a wedding well! next we move to wines for £7.99, and theres skme very tasty options below!

Whites

Giesen Chardonnay - Ripe and richly aromatic in style, a subtle use of oak makes this wine crisp and quaffable!

As Caixas Godello -  A light, floral and very elegant wine, with a palate of lemon and crunchy pear - a hugely versatile wine.

Contesa Pecorino - Mt favourite white wine in the shop at this price -  great balance, great wine!

Reds

Montecastrillo (Tempranillo) -  Big and fruity!- A real crowd pleaser

Puy de Dome Pinot Noir - Pure summer fruits dominant. A light-bodied and soft wine - perfect by itself or with food.

Parcel Series Cabernet Sauvignon - A big and rich wine, beautifully balanced by the smooth tannins and sweet spice, a really brilliant wine at this price and my pick of the bunch!

Some really great wines here, if you have any queries or your in the process of planning  a wedding please don't hesitate to get in touch!

Just for Fun - The AnswersDate published: 19/02/14

1. Teacher's

2. Orchard Pig

3. Punk IPA

4. The Telegraph

5. Vin de Constance

6. Widow

7. Pol Roger

8. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

9. Pinot Noir

10. Sipsmith

Wedding Wines 1 - £5.99Date published: 19/02/14

It's that time of year when happy couples are making preparations for their big day.  Picking the wine is high up on the to-do list so why not let us help you?  You can arrange a tasting in store with us but here are a few suggestions of wines we think wash down a wedding well! Everyone's budget is different so we'll start with great wines for £5.99

Whites

Yali Sauvignon Blanc - Versatile Chilean crowd-pleaser from a quality focussed producer.  Lovely and delicious

Torres Vina Sol - party party party, this reminds everyone of Spanish sunshine

Grand Heron, Cotes de Gascogne - this little French number is delicate and subtle and only 11%

Reds

Santa Ana Malbec - Light and fruity, Argentinian Malbec is the drop of the moment

Robertson Merlot - A mellow South African smoothie.

Mas de Montagnes, Cotes du Roussillon - Classic French blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre, great with a hog roast.

Done!  Any questions, give us a bell. Happy planning!

Quiz - Just for Fun!Date published: 18/02/14

1. What famous Scottish spirit brand is also another word for "educator"?

2. The swine in the "apple vineyard" describes which of our new ciders?

3. If Johnny Rotten were a craft beer which one would he be?

4. Which famous English broadsheet shares its name with one of the most famous brands of Chateauneuf du Pape?

5. According to Jane Austin this sweet wine can cure a broken heart, what's it called? (hint: this wine is also mentioned in Fifty Shades of Grey)

6. What does the Veuve in Veuve Cliquot actaully stand for?

7. Winston Churchill loved his Champagne, but which was his favourite?

8. Kentish Chapel Down Sparkling Wine was served at which famous wedding?

9. In the film Sideways, Myles loved which grape variety?

10. What gin is distilled in the only copper still right here in London's Hammersmith?

This week's Fine Wine - Chateau Berliquet, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classe, 2006Date published: 18/02/14

Berliquet has over the past twenty come from relative obscurity to become one of the value producers of this famed region of Bordeaux's right bank.

Production is always terrioir focused meaning the wine reflects the complex ebb and flow of heat and light throughout the 2006 vintage. Hand picking of grapes is carried out to ensure only the best Merlot , Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet franc are combined in the final blend so even though the weather during the year was not ideal this was negated as much as possible by the skills of the vigneron team!

So how does it drink? Well, the nose is brimming with fresh fruit that is nicely intermingled with subtle woodiness. On the palate the fruit is plush and round.  The blend comprises 70% Merlor, 24% cabernet Franc and 6 % Cabernet SAuvignon. Only 38500 bottles were produced.

Robert Parker scoers it 86 points and recommends drinking now or over the next 5 years.

On teh fine wine deal, the Berliquet works out at £20 a bottle, ideal with Beef Bourguignon!

Answers to Wine Quiz 3Date published: 17/02/14

1) How many grape varieties are permitted in Chateauneuf-du-Pape? 13

2) True or false: you can make white wine from red grapes? True

3) What do you call the process of turning Champagne bottles to move the lees (dead yeast) to the neck of the bottle? Riddling (remuage in French)

4) What red grape variety is most famously grown in the Barossa valley? Shiraz

5) What is the difference between Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo? Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is made from Sangiovese and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is made from Montepulciano

6) What colour would you expect a wine from Meursault to be? white

7) What does PX stand for? Pedro Ximenez

8) Aurelio Montes is a winemaker from which country? Chile

9) What is the difference between Prosecco Spumante and Prosecco Frizzante? Spumante is fully sparkling and Frizzante is lightly sparkling

10) sdmeatuc is an anagram for which wine region? Muscadet

Fantastic Pick and Mix offers.....Date published: 17/02/14

The Pick and Mix section has some stunning offers on Malbec, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Fizz! We are very excited about the Gran Vendema Rioja Crianza at £5.99, the Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc at £6.66 and Lindauer Special Reserve at £9.99. Pop in to the store where the team will be happy to point out our favourites.

Amazing Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2013 back in.......Date published: 17/02/14

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2013

The new vintage of Kevin Judd's wine is in stock but hurry it wont be around for too long due to how popular this wine has become in the last couple of years. In the same style of its friendly rival Cloudy Bay it has intense aromas and flavours of Melon and Peach with great minerality to match it with food.

£19.99 Buy 2 bottles save £6 £16.99 each


Wine Quiz 3 (intermediate)Date published: 16/02/14

1) How many grape varieties are permitted in Chateauneuf-du-Pape?

2) True or false: you can make white wine from red grapes?

3) What do you call the process of turning Champagne bottles to move the lees (dead yeast) to the neck of the bottle?

4) What red grape variety is most famously grown in the Barossa valley?

5) What is the difference between Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo?

6) What colour would you expect a wine from Meursault to be?

7) What does PX stand for?

8) Aurelio Montes is a winemaker from which country?

9) What is the difference between Prosecco Spumante and Prosecco Frizzante?

10) sdmeatuc is an anagram for which wine region? 



Answers to Wine Quiz 2Date published: 16/02/14

1)  What do you call the dent in the bottom of a wine bottle? the punt

2) Where would you find the Awatere Valley? Marlborough, New Zealand

3) Carbonic maceration is best associated with which wine? Beaujolais

4) What is the grape variety used in Prosecco? Glera

5) Which famous wine from the Veneto region in Italy dries the grapes out on mats in the sun? Amarone della Valpolicella

6) What is the more famous name for the grape variety Tinto Fino? Tempranillo

7) In the 1855 Bordeau classifications, which growth status was Chateau Leoville-Barton awarded? 2nd Growth

8) What does Auslese mean? Late harvest

9) Which 2 grape varieties is Pinotage a cross between? Cinsault and Pinot Noir

10) What is the name of the 1st growth wine from Pessac-Leognan? Chateau Haut-Brion


Wine Quiz 2 (advanced)Date published: 15/02/14

1)  What do you call the dent in the bottom of a wine bottle?

2) Where would you find the Awatere Valley?

3) Carbonic maceration is best associated with which wine?

4) What is the grape variety used in Prosecco?

5) Which famous wine from the Veneto region in Italy dries the grapes out on mats in the sun?

6) What is the more famous name for the grape variety Tinto Fino?

7) In the 1855 Bordeau classifications, which growth status was Chateau Leoville-Barton awarded?

8) What does Auslese mean?

9) Which 2 grape varieties is Pinotage a cross between?

10)  What is the name of the 1st growth wine from Pessac-Leognan?



Answers to Wine Quiz 1Date published: 14/02/14

1) Argentina is best known for which red grape variety? Malbec

2) Is Beaujolais light-bodied or full-bodied? light-bodied

3) What country does the Albarino grape variety come from? Spain

4) True or false: Champagne can be made anywhere in the world? false

5) What 3 flavours would you expect to find in a Sauvignon Blanc? (3 marks) 3 from gooseberry, lime, lemon, elderflower, grass, asparagus, green pepper, passion fruit

6) True or false:  Chablis is made from Chardonnay? true

7) Where is sherry made? Xerez, Spain

8) True or false: Sauvignon Blanc is usually oaked? false

9) Which region in France does Chateauneuf-du-Pape come from? the Rhone valley

10) A jeroboam is the equivalent to how many bottles of wine? 4



Wine Quiz 1 (easy)Date published: 13/02/14

1) Argentina is best known for which red grape variety?

2) Is Beaujolais light-bodied or full-bodied?

3) What country does the Albarino grape variety come from?

4) True or false: Champagne can be made anywhere in the world?

5) What 3 flavours would you expect to find in a Sauvignon Blanc? (3 marks)

6) True or false:  Chablis is made from Chardonnay?

7) Where is sherry made? 

8) True or false: Sauvignon Blanc is usually oaked?

9) Which region in France does Chateauneuf-du-Pape come from?

10) A jeroboam is the equivalent to how many bottles of wine?


Romantic RedsDate published: 12/02/14

Nice romantic meal in for Valentine's Day?  Pick a bottle of fizz from yesterday's article then wow with a wonderful red to match your culinary skills. 

Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir £20* - silky and seductively smooth

Amarone Cantina di Negrar £18* - rich and fabulous

Vina Ardanza Rioja Reserva £18.50 - because everyone is in love with it

Lily's Garden Shiraz £35 - Get in there

Wine Quiz SeriesDate published: 11/02/14

We are going to publish a few quizes for you to do for fun and to expand your wine knowledge.  Why not try them on your friends?.  There will be three different levels so watch out for the tricky ones.  We will follow them up with the answers the next day so you can check your score. Tweet us your answers if you like?  

Valentines Day FizzDate published: 11/02/14

Want to share a bottle of tasty bubbles with your loved one on Valentine's Day?

Here is our pick of pink fizz to put grins on both your faces:

Laurent Perrier Rosé Champagne £49.97* - what a classic, and beautifully indulgent classic at that.

Perrier Jouet Rosé Champagne £29.98* - a fruity yet elegant treat with a lovely flowery label

Cloudy Bay Pelorus Rosé £17.99* - Close your eyes and you wouldn't know it wasn't Champagne

*when you buy 2

Everyone Loves Malbec!Date published: 07/02/14

Everyone Loves Malbec!

In the last decade or so, the Malbec grape really has taken the world by storm. Unlike many other fashions and trends however, there is good reason for this new found love. Malbec represents exactly what most people want froma red wine; rich, fruity, smooth, great value-for-money and of course, emminently drinkable.

More recently, Mlabec has also been increasingly recognised as a grape that can produce fantastic premium wines and this in particular has been pioneered in Argentina with several projects undertaken to identify the perfect malbec clones for each specific site and terroir.

Indeed with the huge variation of altitudes available for planting, Argentina offers some of the most terroir specific wines in the world, and it is this, for me, that makes malbec a wonderfully diverse and interesting grape.

Below are two excellent examples of Argentinian malbecs:

Ben Marco @ £12.99 when you buy 2 or more

In 1999, as a result of the need to express their love and dedication to viticulture and winemaking, Susana and Pedro of Dominio del Plata, started their own project together. The grapes are handpicked from vineyards in the fotthills of the Andes.

Taste: Deep red, with complex aromas of ripe red fruits. Cherry, currants and blackberries combine with notes of vanilla and coffee. This expressive wine has firm, sweet tannins giving a delightful finish.

Vinalba Gran Reservado, Mendoza @ 13.99 when you buy 2 or more

This fine malbec comes from Mendoza's Lujan de Cuyo region, and is the flagship wine in the vinalba range. Created by Herve Fabre, one of the first Bordeaux-schooled winemakers to come to Argentina, and to recognise Malbec's potential in its high-altitude terroirs.

Taste: A generous nose of warm plum-pudding-like fruit, lifted by soft vanilla and flower petal notes. The tannins are muscular, yet smooth and voluptuous, providing a blockbusting mouthfeel and long finish. 


February Pick and Mix - 33% Off Selected WinesDate published: 05/02/14

Our February Pick and Mix is now live in store, with some stunning offers on Malbec, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Fizz! We are very excited about the Gran Vendema Rioja Crianza at £5.99, the Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc at £6.66 and Lindauer Special Reserve at £9.99. Pop in to the store where the team will be happy to point out our favourites

Burrow Hill CiderDate published: 05/02/14

Big News on the Cider front !

We are now stocking Burrow hill cider. Hailing from Somerset this Cider is the real deal and is widely regarded among the best in the UK ! It has also featured on River Cottage. 

It is unique and beautifully artisan in its approach. The apples all come from the 160 acre orchards situated on the farm. 

Priced at £18 for 8x 500ml bottles it is a bargain too !

It will be available to taste so come in and give it a taste with us.  


Wine of the Week - w/c Monday 27th JanuaryDate published: 26/01/14

Marquis de Pennautier Chardonnay "Terroirs d'Altitude" 2010/2011

If you like oaky Chadonnay look no further. The Lorgeril family has for generations mastered the growth, vinification and oak ageing of Chardonnay to produce consistently well-balanced and elegant wines.

Tropical and exotic characterise the fruit while vanilla nutmeg and clove attest to astute oak usage. The palate reveals hints fo dried apricots and puffed wheat. Great as an aperitif or to accompany hors d'oeuvres.

£8.99 each when you buy 2, £9..9 for a single as part of your purchase

Bargin Hunt promotionDate published: 11/01/14

Don't forget our Bargin Hunt Promotion.  We have plenty of end-of-line wines available, all on a mix and match 33.3% off!

Some great deals to be had but stock is running out fast. So Hurry Hurry!


Rioja Gran Reserva 2006 Berberana Date published: 11/01/14

We are big fans of Rioja and Gran Reservas and the Rioja Gran Reserva 2006 Berberana is on at a fantastic offer price of £8.99.

The Berberana Gran Reserva is matured for a minimum 3 years in American oak cask and a further 3 years in bottle. This gives the wine a smooth and full-bodied palate, with luscious fruit laced with vanilla, cloves and dried fruits. Subtle aromas of ripe dark cherries and strawberries.

This Rioja would drink well with a variety of traditional Spanish foods like roast meats, tomato dishes, barbecued lamb and game.

Special offer of £8.99 down from £14.99


Christmas delivery schedule Date published: 16/12/13

As Christmas is getting closer and closer, we are now unable to guarantee delivery before Christmas for deliveries further than a 5 mile radius to our store. Our online services are now highlighting this and guaranteeing delivery within 12 days.

However, we will do our very best to deliver before Christmas if you live further than 5 miles from our store if we can. If you have any queries about our delivery schedule we are more than happy to help. Feel free to give us a ring on 02085679251.

We hope everyone is looking forward to Christmas!


December Opening HoursDate published: 09/12/13

In the run up to Christmas we will have the following extended opening hours:

Monday - Friday   9am - 8pm

Saturday              9am - 7pm

Sunday              10am - 5pm

We are even open on Christmas Eve between 9am - 5pm so those last minute cases.

Spotlight TastingsDate published: 14/11/13

Spotlight tastings

The spotlight tastings are our way of allowing customers to taste a wide range of wines and absorb a great deal of information in a half hour tasting. Oh, and did we mention they're free?!

Saturday 23rd November - Wines of Rhone and Bordeaux

Saturday 7th December - Christmas wines

Send us an email on eal@majestic.co.uk or call us on 0208 567 9251 to reserve your place.



Wine of the Week: Saint Clair Estate Selection Sauvignon Blanc, 2012Date published: 14/11/13


A Decanter Bronze medal award winner is made by one of Marlborough's largest family-owned and operated wineries. Their commitment to viticulture has led to a number of award winning wines and a brand that is growing throughout the world.

Made exclusively for Majestic by one of our favourite wineries, this mouth-watering Sauvignon has aromas of passionfruit, blackcurrant leaf and gooseberry and a palate of ripe gooseberry and herbs.

Perfect match with fresh salads, seafood and vegetarian dishes.

£14.99 single bottle

Buy any 2 Pick 'n' Mix and save 33%

£9.99


Our Winter Wine Evening wines!Date published: 13/11/13

We have chosen all the wines for our winter wine event on the 21st November! We are very excited!

We are going to open:

Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee des Antiques, Vinalba Malbec Reservado, Beringer Founders Chardonnay, Vignes de Nicole Chardonnay, Black Cottage Sauvignon Blanc, Codorniu Christina, PX Toro Albala, Chateau Fourcas Dupre, Vina Ardanza reserva, Torres Vina Sol, Chateau Musar, Hochar Pere & Fils.

We will also have some incredible cheeses and even mince pies! Looks to be a good evening filled with good wine and nibbles! 

It is on 21st November from 6.30pm! It is completely free so bring some friends and have a lovely evening!

To confirm your coming feel free to give us a ring on 0208 567 9251 or drop us an email on eal@majestic.co.uk

Wedding Bells?Date published: 02/11/13

Are you or is anyone you know getting married in 2013 or 2014?  Did you know that here at Majestic we have many years experience in helping to plan weddings for a wide range of clients? 

We offer advice on the best wines to suit your food choices and perhaps most importantly, your budget:


Advice on quantities
Free wine tasting 
Full sale-or-return
Free glass loan 
Free chiller bin/ice bucket loan 
Ice 
Free Delivery


If you wish to find out more about our wedding service or about any of our party services please come and see us in store or give us a call on 0208 567 9251


Wine of the Week: Kings Favour Sauvignon Blanc, MarlboroughDate published: 02/11/13

The King's Favour Sauvignon

Blanc 2012, Marlborough

£9.33 – When you buy 2 or more bottles from our 'Pick and Mix'

Winemaker Brent Marris is descended from the noble De Marisco family, whose members variously fell in and out of favour with the English monarchy in the 12th and 13th centuries. As Marlborough's favourite grape, Sauvignon Blanc here represents a time of the King's favour.

A lively and intense, yet focused nose, with fresh citrus and a youthful, sweet tree sap note. Stony and firm on the palate, with an incisive, Sancerre-like structure, albeit with a ripe, rounded edge.

At its best with fresh oysters, delicate white fish dishes, or soft and creamy goat's cheeses.


Winter Wine Tasting Event 21st November Date published: 02/11/13

Have you had your invite to our Winter Wine Event?

It's on Thursday 21st  November between 18:30 until 20:30+

If so, book early for your place as this is our most popular Wine Event of the Year. 

If you've not been before, this is where we will have a selection of new wines open around the store to taste and try, some nibbles and cheeses. Staff are on hand to answer questions and its generally a relaxed informal evening. 

There is no obligation to buy, but if you want to you can of course.

Hope to see you all soon.

Team Ealing

Dates for the diaries. Date published: 02/11/13

Just some dates for your Diaries. 

November "Pick 'n' Mix Tasting Week - Friday 1st - Thursday 7th November.

Wines of Californian Tasting Weekend - Friday 8th - Monday 11th November 

Wines of Chile Tasting Week - Friday 15th - Thursday 21st November

Wines of Rhone and Burgundy - Friday 22nd - Thursday 28th November

Wines of New Zealand and Australia - Friday 29th - 5th December 


Winter wine tasting Event - 21 st November 6.30 pm.Date published: 26/10/13

Don't forget we have a Winter wine tasting event on 21 st November from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Please call to book your place.

A free two-hour turn up and taste, ask questions and meet fellow wine enthusiasts. A chance to sample a wide selection of reds, whites, fizz and rose. With some cheese and meats too.

Amarone Negar on tasting....Date published: 26/10/13

Amarone Negrar

£23 buy 2 save £10 = £18

Amarone is one of the iconic red wines from Italy, from the Veneto region in the north-west. It is a blend of three grape varieties, Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. 

The grapes are harvested and dried for around 120 days on straw mats, where they lose around one third of their weight due to evaporation, concentrating the flavours. The wine's name was used to distinguish between the sweeter Recitio styled wines from the same region, and translates as the great bitter.

FACTS: 

Cantina Negrar is a co-operative based in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico region which was formed in 1933 when a group of 6 winemakers banded together to fight off speculators who wished to buy up land and make Valpolicella using imported grapes. The group realised that by joining forces they were able to afford new facilities and therefore produce better wines.

TASTE: 

Very rich, with aromas of Christmas cake, cooking spices and sweet fruits, leading to a thickly textured wine with soft tannin and a powerful fruit driven finish.

FOOD MATCH: 

Slow cooked lamb or beef casserole, as well as blue cheese.

Panamericana WinesDate published: 23/10/13

A new wine at Majestic wine Ealing is the Panamericana Sauvignon; quite an exciting and great value addition to our range. A bright and reflective wine the glass, the Panamericana has a pale lemon green colour in glass, with a full nose of pink grapefruit, gooseberry, passion fruit, and lime aromas; a lovely tropical expression of fruit.

On the palate the Panamericana displays a nice gooseberry and lime flavour, with a floral elderberry finish. Another great value wine that makes a good alternative to other Sauvignons here at Majestic Wine Leeds.

They also do a fantastic Merlot as well. Ample red berries and fresh acidity with subtle hints of vanilla and spice. A great warming wine for this colder nights


Styles of Dry and Sweet Sherry WinesDate published: 23/10/13

Styles of Dry and Sweet Sherry Wines

New styles of Sherry wines occur when the natural course of aging changes the character of a Sherry so that its taste no longer conforms to one of the two main categories (fino and oloroso). Deliberate sweetening of the wine also creates different styles.

Among dry Sherries, these are the main styles:

Fino: Pale, straw-colored Sherry, light in body, dry, and delicate. Fino Sherries are always matured under flor, either in Jerez or Puerto de Santa María. They have 15 to 17 percent alcohol and are best when chilled.

Manzanilla: Pale, straw-colored, delicate, light, tangy, and very dry fino-style Sherry made only in Sanlucar de Barrameda. Manzanilla is thus the driest and most pungent of all the Sherries.

Manzanilla pasada: A manzanilla that has been aged in cask about seven years and has lost its flor. It’s more amber in color than a manzanilla finaand fuller-bodied. It’s close to a dry amontillado in style, but still crisp and pungent. Serve cool.

Amontillado: An aged finothat has lost its flor in the process of cask aging. It’s deeper amber in color and richer and nuttier than the previous styles. Serveamontillado slightly cool and, for best flavor,finish the bottle within a week.

Oloroso: Dark gold to deep brown in color (depending on its age), full-bodied with rich, raisiny aroma and flavor, but dry. Serve them at room temperature.

Palo cortado: The rarest of all Sherries. It starts out as a finowith a flor, and develops as an amontilladolosing its flor. But then, for some unknown reason, it begins to resemble the richer, more fragrant oloroso style, all the while retaining the elegance of an amontillado. Serve at room temperature.

Sweet Sherry is dry Sherry that has been sweetened. The sweetening can come in many forms, such as the juice of Pedro Ximénez grapes that have been dried like raisins. All the following sweet styles of Sherry are best served at room temperature:

Medium Sherry: Amontillados and light olorosos that have been slightly sweetened. They are light brown in color.

Pale cream: Made by blending fino and light amontillado Sherries and lightly sweetening the blend. They have a very pale gold color. Pale cream is a fairly new style.

Cream Sherry: Cream and the lighter “milk” Sherries are richamorosos (the term for sweetenedolorosos). They vary in quality, depending on the oloroso used, and can improve in the bottle with age.

Brown Sherry: Very dark, rich, sweet, dessert Sherry, usually containing a coarser style ofoloroso.

East India Sherry: A type of Brown Sherry that has been deeply sweetened and colored.

Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel:Extremely sweet, dark brown, syrupy dessert Sherries. Often lower in alcohol, these Sherries are made from raisined grapes of these two varieties. As varietally labeled Sherries, they are quite rare today.

Some wines from elsewhere in the world, especially the United States, also call themselves “Sherry.” Many of these are inexpensive wines in large bottles. Occasionally you can find a decent one, but usually they’re sweet and not very good. Authentic Sherry is made only in the Jerez region of Spain and carries the official name, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry (the Spanish, French, and English names for the town) on the front or back label.



Get involvedDate published: 19/10/13

We have various tasting events going on between now and Christmas - do remember to check out our website for dates and more info!

#comeandexplore


Go on, treat yourselves!Date published: 19/10/13

Fine Wine shouldn't be limited to extravagant occasions. Sometimes all it takes to make a good night great is the right company and a spot of spontaneity. 

Here at Majestic though, we always want to help you having a couple of aces up your sleeve. Alongside our advise and expertise we provide you with a wide range of Fine Wines to choose from at Restaurant House Wine prices. 

Yes, you heard us: buy any 2 selected Fine Wines and save £10.

Because you deserve a treat!

Offer of the Day - Vinho VerdeDate published: 19/10/13

The ever popular Portuguese white. We Currently have the Quinta De Azevedo Vinho Verde on a short-term offer for October!

Made from the lesser known grape variety Loureiro. Vinho Verde literally means "green wine" from the Minho region of Northern Portugal. Historically fermented in open stone lagares before being run off into cask and undergoing malolactic fermentation. Fermentation now occurs in vat, retaining the classic spritz or CO2 bubble in the wine. 

Complex aromas of white and tropical fruits, citrus and white flowers. A lively and stimulating wine, with good acidity and well balanced, hints of spritz and bubble, with a concentrated and fresh finish.

At its best now, as a partner to seafood, green salads and pasta.

A steal at just £5.99 per bottle when you buy two or more. £7.49 single bottle price.


Fine Wine: Château Senejac, Cru Bourgeois Date published: 18/10/13

This weekend we are opening: 

Château Senejac, Cru Bourgeois   £23 buy 2 save £10 = £18

Great Claret should be more than just a good drink, but should reflect and represent the flavours and style of the appellation from which the wine comes, and the vintage characteristics. 

The wines from the Médoc, on the left bank of the Gironde estuary, are predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon based, with Cabernet Franc and Merlot in lesser quantities, giving the wines a perfume and structure. The 2010 was an ideal vintage; the wines have ripe fruit and soft tannins for immediate enjoyment along with intensity and concentration for prolonged ageing.FACTS: Senejac was granted 'Cru Bourgeois' status in the 1933 classification. 

Since the acquisition of the estate by the family who own the 4th Growth St. Julien Château Talbot, and the wine making team of Pontet Canet began making the wines, Château Senejac's quality has improved year on year. The Château dates to 1860 and is situated in a large woodland in the commune of Le Pain Médoc, where only 39 of the 150 hectares are dedicated to vines.

TASTING NOTE:

 Perfumed black currant, cigar box, blueberry and plum skin aromas, medium bodied with vibrant dark fruit flavours, a rich texture and long finish.

FOOD MATCH: 

Roast lamb with rosemary and mint sauce.



A to Z of grapes: G is for GrenacheDate published: 09/10/13

Perhaps the first thing I should talk about in this article is whether the title is in anyway correct! We have entitled this series “Lesser spotted grape varieties”, yet towards the end of the 20th Century Grenache was the world's second most planted wine grape. The other issue with the title is should I be referring to the grape as Grenache? In Spain it is known as Garnacha and the origin of the grape lies either in Spain or Sardinia, where it is known as Cannonau, Granaccia and Tocai Rosso.

It is believed that the grape started being more widely planted within the Kingdom of Aragón. The foundations of the Kingdom of Aragón were in Spain but its influence moved up into France. Sardinia was also part of the Kingdom, lending credence to the theory that the grape originated in Sardinia and was then planted throughout the Kingdom. What we do know is that Grenache had been established in the Rhône valley by the 19th Century and that it was not planted in Rioja until 1901, which coincides with the attempts to re-establish Rioja after the advent of Phylloxera.

On some New World reds, particularly in Australia you may have seen the acronym GSM. This stands for Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. This blend is not a New World creation. The blend's origin lies in the Rhône Valley. Almost all Côtes Du Rhône are a blend of these three grapes. The Southern regions of the Rhône Valley also rely heavily on these three grapes and one or two others too. Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, Gigondas and Lirac to name just a few. Rasteau is a relatively young Appelation of the Rhône Valley, having been granted its status in 2009. Currently we stock Domaine Notre Dame Des Pallières Rasteau. It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre. The wine is intense and bold with heady blackberry note along with white pepper, cocoa and toast. It has an abv of 15%, much of which is down to the Grenache grape, which has a long ripening season, thus providing an increased sugar level which, when fermented, creates a high abv. At £12.49 this is a wine well worth trying.

Returning to Spain, Garnacha (the Spanish name for the grape) can be found in both blends and as a single varietal. Garnacha is used in Rioja, although the dominant grape variety is Tempranillo. Priorat, an Appelation in Cataluña uses Garnacha. As in the Rhône and Rioja it is found as part of a blend. The Camins Del Priorat is a blend of Carignena, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The wine offers blackberry and cherry flavours followed by a spicy finish. It is a full-bodied wine that matches well with hearty stews. Currently it is £13.99 as part of Majestic's 20% off Spanish wine offer.

In Navarra, a wine growing region next door to Rioja in North Eastern Spain we find a single varietal Garnacha. The wine is called El Chapparral De Vega Sindoa. This is one of my favourite mid-priced wines. It is £7.99 as part of the Spanish offer. The wine has a little less body than either the Rasteau or the Priorat, but still offers vibrant blackberry and raspberry flavours. Those fruits also seem to have real sweetness to them, although I should state that the wine itself is not sweet. There are also some delicate chocolate notes and the wine drinks well by itself or with grilled meats.

A quick trip around the shop to Australia and we find the Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache. Bush vine relates to the way in which the vine is grown. Unlike many vines, which are trained along wires the Grenache vine lends itself well to being aloud to grow naturally as a bush vine. In this form it resembles a small tree. Some of the older bush vines have a wonderful gnarled looked to them. The Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache at £12.49 is suggested to be a good and cheaper alternative to a Chateauneuf-Du-Pape. I would say it lacks a little complexity to be compared in such a way, but it is a good little wine and the added bodied that comes with the heat of the Barossa Valley makes it a fuller wine than the El Chaparral from Navarra.

Given the Islanders' love of Rosé I must finish by mentioning Grenache as a constituent of many Rosé wines. It is probably best known as one of the major varieties used in Provence. The Aix, of which we have both the magnums and double magnums in store, is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. Provence Rosé is known for its pale colour and soft fruit flavours, much of which can be attributed to the gentle pressing of the Grenache grape.

Whether you knew of the grape before or not, it is found in an impressive array of wines. Perhaps the tendency to be used as a blend explains it lack of exposure to the general public, but currently it is fashionable so why not look out for a bottle of either a single varietal or one of the many blends that uses it and give it a whirl.


Winter Wine Evening - Thursday 21st NovemberDate published: 07/10/13

It's nearly that time of year again for our free Seasonal tasting evening. An evening to relax, try a range of our wines, get to know the staff with food accompaniments provided. (Yes it's free!)

Come & join the team on Thursday 21st November between 6 & 9 pm for a free informal tasting of Staff picks from our Winter range with food provided by Vallebona.

Spaces are limited so please phone the store to reserve your place.  

Chablis 1er Cru - Fourchaume Seguinot-BordetDate published: 07/10/13

This week we have open a Chablis of the highest quality open to taste on our tasting counter. Chablis is often subtle, lean and light and this is no exception. This fine wine is not fabulous because it displays a totally different array of flavours but because of the way it brings these elements together in the glass. 

The nose and palate is both fresh and subtle with notes of lemon, stone and an edge of minerality. Perhaps not surprising, but it is the smooth viscosity, creamy weight and eminently elegant finish, poise and length which makes this a masterful glass of gentle delight. Don't expect an explosion of flavour and a plethora of vibrant new and exciting tastes - it is exactly the simplicity and purity of flavour, brilliantly balanced which makes this a wine that's worth it's price.

Save £5 off this Fine wine when you buy any 2 selected fine wines. £19 a bottle.

Open to taste and sample all week.

Exciting new offersDate published: 05/10/13

To get the weekend off with some swing and panache we have a number of deals carefully picked to really get the most out of it. Most notably we have:

- Banfi Serena Pinot Grigio @ £5.99 when you buy 2 or more (down from £9.99) - A late-picked pinot grigio, deleveloping more fruit character on the vine from one of Italy's biggest premium producer. A firm customer favourite.

- Portillo Argentinian Malbec @ £6.99 when you buy 2 or more (down from £9.99) - A juicy little number. Winner of Decanter's best Malbec under £10 category. Open to taste this weekend too.

- Macon Villages 'Roches Blanches' Louis Jadot @ £7.99 when you buy 2 or more (down from £11.99) - A lightly oaked white burg that goes very well with white fish. A good alternative to Chablis to drink on an afternoon from this reputable producer in the region.

This dreamy selection is only on offer for a week or so more, so don't miss out on getting in those deals!

Educational trip to RiojaDate published: 05/10/13

Last week I was lucky enough to go out to Rioja for a few days on an educational visit.  I had never been to Rioja before and in fact the only time I had been to Spain previously was for a week in Madrid back in 1999, so as you can imagine I was very excited by the opportunity.

There were six of us from Majestic, from various stores and our hosts were Vintae, who produce, amongst others, the Garnacha Moncayo and the Matsu wines (El Picaro, El Recio and El Viejo).

Our trip started with a visit to Vintae's purpose built winery, Bodega Classica.  The facility is state of the art.  The winery was built with a lot of input from Vintae's head wine-maker.  We had the opportunity to taste a few things from barrel and then tried some of Vintae's Guerilla range, which was interesting.

In the evening we were taken to a Pelota game, which is a fore-runner to squash.  We didn't fully understand the rules, but enjoyed it.  Sadly the local hero lost and we were a little concerned there might be a riot, but the crowd were just in high spirits.  We spent the rest of the evening going to various tapas bars, tasting the speciality of each bar and drinking plenty of wine.

On the second day we visited Vintae's other winery, south of Logrono.  Along with the wine maker we tried several of the fermenting musts, which is always an interesting experience.  Afterwards we headed out into their vineyards, where they have a little building and we tasted some more wines there whilst eating local ham and cheese.

In the evening we were taken to a fantastic little cellar, set in a large apartment building, which was built by the managing director's father.  We tried several interesting wines and ate some fantastic meat which was cooked on an open fire, over burning vineyard clipping.  We also discussed one of Vintae's new projects, which was fascinating.

The visit was fantastic.  If you haven't been to Rioja, I'd thoroughly recommend it.  The landscape is rugged and beautiful and the people, wine and food are fantastic!

 


Storing wines in the modern worldDate published: 28/09/13

There are many benefits to storing wine in a way that lets it mature and develop to drink to it's preferred taste. Although in households in London today space is at a premium and many rooms are multi-purpose. I have put forward a few hints and tips to try and get the most out of every bottle purchased.

Although over 50% of wine purchased in the UK is drunk within 72 hours of purchase there are a number of benefits to storing wine in the right environment.

Particularly for oak-aged wine from well-selected grapes, both white and red, ageing can help the initial powerful flavours of fruit, acidity and oak to settle allowing the wine to reveal a greater balance and plethora of hidden and delightful flavours.

Here are a few quick points to bear in mind:

- Wine asks to be kept lying in a cool, dark and ideally slightly damp place (to prevent the cork from drying out). Strong light can harm the wine by accelerating ageging in an inconsistent way. If cellaring is not an option, underground coal bunkers are perfect. Otherwise anywhere cool and consistent, such as under the stairs (if away from boilers or heating pipes) or at the back of a cupboard with these similar properties.

- Wine is not overly-fussy on temperature. 10 degrees celcius is perfect but anywhere between 7 and 18 degrees celcius will do the trick. Variation in temperature both annually or daily is an issue and so storing wine in the kitchen, for example, is unpractical for long-term ageing.

- Bottles should be stacked horizontally to prevent the cork from drying, shrinking and letting air in - so that the liquid is always in contact with the cork.  

- Every wine has a 'peaking' period based hugely on style and also on personal drinking taste. Each wine is different, for instance the majority of sauvignon blanc should be drunk young and fresh with fresh acidity and fruit flavours becoming less prominent over time. Whereas a Rioja Gran Reserva may go 10, 20 or 30 years and show a multitude of interesting elements from the oak and dried fruit flavours coming to the fore.

If you want to know how long or where to store your wine so that it can be drunk in a way that shows it true nature, please just ask us in store and we would love to help!

Spain 25% OffDate published: 24/09/13

From Ribera to Rioja

Marques de Riscal to Marques de Caceres there's 25% off all of our Spanish range (£5 to £20 inclusive). Some of the wines included have not been as low in price for years. A cracking chance to get a taste for the Spanish and fill your cupboards while the goings cheap.

I'd be happy to recommend you a few too! Just ask..

Happy hunting :)

No deliveries on Sunday 29th SeptemberDate published: 23/09/13

Hello Everyone,

Just to let you all know that unfortunately we will be unable to deliver this coming Sunday, the 29th of September.  This is due to the Ealing Half Marathon taking place and the number of road closures in place.

Good luck to all those taking part.  We'll come and give you a cheer as you run passed the store.

Offers Ending 23rd SeptemberDate published: 21/09/13

Excellent offers here at Majestic Ealind, ending this Monday eve so don't miss out!

Prosecco Zonin only £6.66 - wonderfully versatile, light and refreshing.  Can be served as an aperitif, a partner for fish, or with light fruit desserts.

Piper-Heidsieck only £19.99 - perfect for drinking now at any celebratory occasion!

Heidsieck Monopole Gold Top 2007 only £17.99 - soft and rich in style, tasting of biscuits and brioche. A top quality, low value champagne

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc only £5.99 - top notch Malborough Sauvignon Blanc at a generous price!

Grifone Montepulciano £4.99 - reliable, medium-bodied wine with lots of red cherry fruit and soft supple flavours. While stocks last

Fill your boots!

Rustenberg Straw Wine - recommended on Saturday KitchenDate published: 20/09/13

Suzie Barrie has recently recommended and absolute gem of a desert wine on Saturday's morning show Saturday Kitchen. Rustenberg Straw Wine is a wine made from grape that develop concentration and sweetness from resting on straw to dry out for around 4 weeks in the named 'passito' method. It's an opulent dessert wine, apricot, peach, tangerine and a healthy dose of honey notes on the palate make it a cracking match to fruity desserts!

Wine of the week - Vina ArdanzaDate published: 13/09/13

With all the Rioja wines we have to taste this week, we have chosen a wine of the week which is a big favourite among all of the Ealing staff!

Rioja Reserva Vina Ardanza 2004, La Rioja Alta which is now at £17.99 down from £22.50

Arguably one of the best (and the Ealing staff will definitely agree) Rioja's produced from fruit exclusively grown in the bodega's 360 hectare vineyard holdings in the Rioja Alta region, and named after one of the Region's founding families. Remaining under family owndership, this is of the most sough- after bodegas.

The taste offers complex and perfumed primary and secondary aromas of earth, spice and red fruits with a long, elegantly structured medium weight body of spicy tannins and layers of flavour.

It's a long-term secret and massively popular with those that have tried it. Enjoy it with a meaty casserole and it's 20% too!


A to Z of Grapes: F is for FurmintDate published: 13/09/13

Unfortunately we've had to skip the letter E.  I cannot find a grape variety beginning with E and even if there is, I certainly don't have any in stock!

Furmint may not be a grape variety that everyone has heard of, but there is a good chance you've heard of the most famous wine produced from it - Tokaji

Furmint is grown widely in Hungary, as well as Slovenia, Slovakia and Austria.  The grape is known for its high acidity and high potential alcohol.  Dry versions of Furmint often easily reach 14% abv.  Furmint is very suseptible to Noble Rot and this is why it makes such fantastic dessert wine.

At Majestic we stock a Dry Furmint from Royal Tokaji.  The wine boast aromatic honey notes and stone fruits.  On the palate there is plenty of acidity, giving the wine a crispness, that accentuates the exotic fruits.

We also stock a dessert wine from Royal tokaji, the 5 Puttonyos Aszu.  The 5 Puttonyos relates to the measure of sweetness.  5 is high, but they do go higher.  The Royal Tokaji is one of my favourite dessert wines.  It is rich and luscious, you the acidity prevents the sweetness from being cloying.  Try with Foie Gras for a truly decandent experience.

Short term offers - Fill your bootsDate published: 12/09/13

As of Thursday 12th September Majetic have some highly competitive offers on some of our best selling lines, which knocks the socks of supermarket offerings at a similar price. Those included in the 33% off deal include:


Giesen Sauvignon Blanc - £5.99 when you buy 2 or more of any 1/3 off wine or £8.99 for one (was £9.99)

Grifone Montepulciano D’Abruzzo  -  £4.99 when you buy 2 or more of any 1/3 off wines or £7.49 for one

Piper Heidsieck Brut - £19.99 when you buy 2 or more of  any 1/3 off wines or £30 for one

Heidsieck Gold Top Vintage 2007 - £17.99 when you buy 2 or more of any 1/3 off wines or £27 for one

Nicolas Feuillatte NV -  £15.99 when you buy 2 or more of any 1/3 off wines or £24 for one

Prosecco Zonin - £6.66 when you buy 2 or more of any 1/3 off wines or £9.99 for one (was £11.99)

Offers only until Monday 23rd of September.

Fill your boots!





Majestic Wins AwardsDate published: 12/09/13

Good news!

Majestic has won awards at the much reveered National Decanter wine awards.

Majestic were voted 'Best National Wine Merchant' by the Decanter Readers, for the fifth consecutive year.

Some of the readers' comments were:

'..carries a comprehensive range of the world's good quality and attractively priced wines, not being afraid to go
out on a limb if the quality justifies it.. Efficient and charming service'

''The name of the company says it all: head and shoulders above the rest
with a superb team of highly trained and interested, committed staff.'

We also came runner-up in the 'National Wine Merchant of the year' category
as voted by the judging panel.

We hope that you agree with the choice!

Fine Wine FridaysDate published: 12/09/13

Fine wine Fridays are back!

Throughout September and October we will be treating our customers to samples of fine wine available to taste every Friday (hopefully they'll last to Saturday aswell!).

This is to coincide with our deliciously tempting buy any 2 save £10 fine wine offer we have currently running. When you want to treat yourself to a night in, but are unsure whether the expense will be worth it, we have a range of styles and wines open to taste for you to 'try before you buy'.

All the details of the dates and wines to be opened are on our events planner on the Ealing webpage.

We hope to you see you..

A to Z of Grapes: D is DolcettoDate published: 10/09/13

This is an early ripening grape variety grown in the north west Italian region of Piemonte, almost exclusively in the provinces of Cuneo and Alessandra. There are seven Dolcetto DOC'S in Piemonte: Alba, Asti, Acqui, Diano d'Alba, Dogliani, Lannge Monregalesi and Ovada. Alba is considered to be of the finest quality. The wines produced are soft, round, fruity and fragrant with flavours of liquorice and almonds.

The Dolcetto d'Alba from De Forville is clear and bright ruby in colour, its nose has expressive youthfulness of fruits and the palate is rich with dark cherries and liquorice with a superb finish.

Amazing with Italian cured meats or pizza.

Wine and food matching - Tucumen Malbec with Steak Baguette and CrispsDate published: 10/09/13

With the weather starting to get a little chillier, it is time to start drinking some warming reds.

Yesterday evening I bought some minute steak, onions, salad and a baguette.  I briefly fried the steak and then cut it into thin strips and put it in the baguette along with the onion, which I fried off in the pan I'd used for the steak, and added some salad too.  I also had a few chunky salted crisps too.

I chose the Tucumen Malbec from Argentina to drink.  It is currently on offer at £7.99.  It is not the fullest of Malbecs, which is why I chose it to match a lighter style of steak.  It is fruity and easy drinking and was a good match with my baguette.

A meal that took five minutes to prepare and a warming red wine.  Sounds like a good meal to me!

The Top 10 tips for investing in Fine WineDate published: 31/08/13

Courtesy of the Newcastle store, I thought that you may find this interesting..

For many people, the world of Fine Wine and investing in wine can be a daunting place. We've compiled a list of ten top tips designed to help you get the most out of the market.

1: Focus on buying from the best estates in the Old World.
The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy, Rhone and Champagne provide the best returns. For long term appreciation, it is advised to focus primarily on the best wines and vintages from Bordeaux, and to diversify your investment portfolio with a selection from the other top wine makign regions from the Old World.

2: Invest in wines with a medium-long term view.
The historical performance of fine wine has shown that it is capable of providing investors capital protection, low volatility and solid returns. Fine Wine Investment has produced positive absolute return in every single 5-year holding period since the first period record of Dec '99 - Dec '04.

3: Provenance and storing your wines in bond are key.
When buying a precious asset like fine wine, having it stored profesionally and in in the right conditions is key. Doing so will help to guarantee the future value of the wine and a good return when you decide to sell.The easiest way to ensure this is to store your wines in bond in a bonded warehouse (See end of article for futher information on this).

4: Understand the risks and benefits when buying 'En Primeur'.
En primeur, or 'wine futures' as it is commonly referred to as, is the process of buying wine whilst it is still in the barrell. Bottling and physical delivery occur 2-3 years after the vintage is released. Traditionally believed to be the best way to buy for investors as it allows wine to be purchased by investors at it's lowest market price, it does come with some risks. The main risk being that as the wines are sold before the final blend and oak aging is complete, the actual bottled product may be better or worse than samples suggested.

5: Use as a diversification tool.
One of fine wine's most attractive features for investors is that it makes a great diversification tool in your investment portfolio!

6: Buy Wines with a high Parker Score
Robert Parker Jr (for those unfamiliar with the name) is the single most influential critic in the world of wine. The scores he awards to any given wine directly effect price and market demand. So, when it comes to investment, it's wise to follow Parker's scores.

7: Speak to a tax advisor.
Although fine wine investment is often adervtised as being a 'tax free' investment due to it being exempt from capital gains tax, it is always advisable to seek the advice of a tax advisor as legislation within this area is not always black and white. This should also ensure you are making the most of fine wine as an asset.

8: Always check prices.
Prices for investment grade wines can vary by as much as 20% when buying from one source or another and therefore it's always crucial to shop around. One of the best ways of doing doing this is using wine-searcher.com.

9: Manage your portfolio online.
One of the best 21st century advances in the wine market, is the ability to monitor your portfolio online using a tool such as Liv-ex's 'Cellar Watch' - which allows you to upload your portfolio and value it's holdings against recent market activity and price data.

10: Invest in wines that offer value and growth potential.
The best way to do this is to compare prices across a range of vintages for a particular estate and also cross-compare these with Robert Parker scores, Vintage quality scores and availability.

Want to find out more?
Lay & Wheeler is the fine wine specialist of Majestic Wine and have been offering en primeur, in bond and fine wine sales since 1854. Head over to www.laywheeler.com for more information and to start your investment portfolio!

Wine of the week - Portillo MalbecDate published: 31/08/13

Portillo Malbec Argentina

£7.99

(when you buy 2 or more) £9.99 for one

This juicy and plump little number is something slightly special at an affordable price.An intense red-purple colour. Round and fulsome on the palate, delivering a swathe of ripe, fresh black fruit held together by lush tannins. This multi-award-winning wine recently won Decanter's 'Best Argentinian Malbec under £10' trophy. It has also collected Silver Decanter and Bronze IWC awards in other categories.This is a bold and full but not over the top wine which is why is makes a great BBQ accompniament.

The bodegas, Salentein has one of the largest cool-climate estates in Argentina, with 2000ha of vines, at up to 1700m above sea level. Their Malbec is grown at around 1050m. This is where the lift and retention of acidity comes from in the wine.

Open to taste all weekend :)

A to Z of Grapes: C is for Corvina.Date published: 30/08/13

Corvina or Corvina Veronese is from the North East of Italy, Valpolicella territory. It is used in Italy's most famous dried grape wine - Amarone. Traditionally grapes were spread out on mats and dried in special drying lodges - the aim of this is to intensify the flavour, colour and tannin of the grape.
Amarone Classico 'Vigneti Di Roccolo' 2009 Cantiina Negar is a powerful and intense wine made from a blend of Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella. The palate has a concentrated flavour that shows a very rich fruit characteristic. The nose has aromas of Christmas cake, chocolate, cinnamon, sweet fruits and spice.

A fantastic wine to have with a rich tomato pasta dish - but at it's best with venison.

Banging Beer DealsDate published: 29/08/13

We are making the most of the summer heat and have on offer some highly competitive offers and deals. The perfect accompniament to a fridge on a hot summer day and just in time for the football season!

Across our ales range we have a mix and match deal which saves you £3 of each case of ale, as long as you buy any 2 or more.

On top of this we have some choice Lager offers - quality lagers at very low prices. My pick off these deals at moment, all at £1 a bottle are:

Peroni Nastro Azzurro 330ml - £24 for a case of 24 

Pilsner Urquell 330ml - £24 for a case of 24

And my *beer of the week*: Asahi from Japan - £24 for a case of 24 - crisp but with a full malted deapth of flavour.

Get in quick though.. these deals only last until this Tuesday.

A-Z of grape varieties - B is for BarberaDate published: 20/08/13

In keeping with our current, fantastic Italian 25% saving when you buy two or more offer, I thought we would focus on an Italian grape variety.

Barbera was the third most widely planted dark grape variety in Italy, after Sangiovese and Montepulciano, in 2000.  The grapes origins can be traced back over many centuries and whilst its origin is disputed, there are records from the cathedral of Casale Monferrato which show leasing of vineyard land between 1246 and 1277 and the contracts stated that Barbera must be the grape variety planted.

Barbera ripens relatively late and is renowned for its naturally high level of acidity.  This high acidity makes it very appealing in warmer countries.

Currently in store we have the Barbera D'Asti from De Forville open to taste.  It has intense aromas of red cherry, vanilla, rose petals and spice leaps from the glass.  It has a powerful palatte which is an elegant balance of fruit and tannin, with a long, smooth and crisp finish.  The wine is £10.12 as part of the excellent Italian offer.  Please feel free to drop by for a taste and talk to us about all our great wines.

Italian Wine And Food MatchingDate published: 20/08/13

Italian wines are great with food, have a look at some of our suggestions!

Gavi Montiero - Gavi is a light, fresh style of wine.  The town of Gavi is situated in Piedmont.  We would recommend a nice piece of white fish, such as cod, baked in the oven with a herb butter sauce.  Served with seasoned new potatoes and fresh garden peas.  With a squeeze of lemon!

Barbera D'Asti - De Forville - The Barbera grape variety is often found in the Northern region of Italy, surrounded by the Alps.  We would recommend a nice traditional meaty Spaghetti Bolognese dish!  The wine will benefit from being decanted before drinking.

Salice Salentino - Casa D'Aragona - Salice Salentino is a small town in the middle  of Puglia, in Italy's heel.  We would recommend taking this on a picnic.  It's a fantastic accompaniment to rustic salami, smoked ham and game.  Or simply with some fresh bread and cheese!

Verdicchio di Matelica - Poggio Alle Ondini - Verdicchio di Matelica is from a small commune in Italy's Marche region.  We would recommend a spiced fish dish such as a Cajun salmon.  Serve with wild rice with a hint of rosemary.

How to taste wine - The scentDate published: 15/08/13

Part 2 of how to taste wine.. is the nose. A week on from the first installment. The smell or scent of a wine can reveal much about its age, condition, grape variety, climate in which it was grown, any post-production processes used to impart flavour on the wine and even the soil type. 

As is common knowledge, much of the taste is actually taken in through the navel receptors and consequentially most scents are a clear indication of the taste of the wine.

The first aspect of 'nosing' is to swirl the wine (without spilling! ps might need practising before the first glass). This lets air breath through the wine and carry the scents up to the rim to dissipate. Now edge your nose toward the glass to get an indication of intensity.  Lighter wines such as Pinot Grigio have a lesser intensity (generally) but a bulsty young Shiraz will be jumping out the glass. The stronger and more obvious or intense the characteristics - the stronger the intensity both on the nose and therefore the palate. 

Different characteritics provide indications about the wine. To provide a generalised overview:

For Whites

Fresh fruit nuances such as green apple, citrus, cut grass or grapefruit indicate a younger wine, perhaps with higher acidity (if combined with a high intensity) and are often found in lighter bodied, fresher tasting wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. Richer wines are often stylised through lees (yeast and skin cells) stirring and oak ageing adding body and more dominant 'flabbier' smells such as butter, cream and toast. This is often used to wrap around and hold richer characteristics gained through growing grapes in hotter climates where the grapes ripen more. As a result you will often find more tropical flavours such as mango, pineapple, peach and honey in these richer, fuller whites.

For Reds

Again fruit-driven wines tend to be younger. More intense, fuller bodied wines tend to be from hotter climates or made of bolder thicker skinned grapes (such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz). Darker fruits are often coupled with darker flavours such as coffee and chocolate. Really get creative with picking out those flavours - this is the fun part. Oak use and age create secondary or tertiary characteristics such as leather, must, strewn fruit and fruit cake. Couple this with the visuals and you can get an indication of the precise age of the wine. Oak adds cedar, spice and even vanilla to the wine (from American oak in particular).Where fruit and oak characteristics are clear - this may be a indicator that the wine would age well and release its plethora of flavours over time. Also some grapes have particular characteristics. For instance Syrah often has a strong white pepper character turning to black pepper in the darker richer Shiraz style taken on the grape, while Pinot Noir tastes more of redder fruit, and a touch of smoke. Pinotage is even said to smell of Banana and tar - while I can get a definite nose of volcanic ash! Remember to get creative and have fun!

One thing we'll come back to in the 4th part is that the number of different flavours in the wine add to the quality of the wine because complexity creates interest in the wine and makes you keep wanting to come back for more. Another improtant element is a balance between all these different flavours and but we'll delve into more of that next time...

A-Z of Grape Varieties - A is for AlbarinoDate published: 13/08/13

The Albarino grape is to be found in the North West of Spain in Galicia.  It is also known as Alvarinho in Portugal.  It is a white, thick-skinned grape.  The skin thickness is vitally important to allow it to thrive in Galicia.  The climate is damp, so the thicker skin helps to prevent the grape from rotting.  Interestingly, many Albarino vines used to be trellised at a height of approximately 6 foot, to help negate the problems of damp.  However, with increased understanding of methods to prevent rot and the high cost of hand-picking, this is now rarely seen.

The grape produces wines which are high in alcohol, flavour and acidity.  It also lends itself well to ageing, with many Albarino wines not being released without having spent several years in stainless steel or time in oak.

In store currently we have the Albarino Martin Codax for £9.99 on the multi-buy offer and the Albarino Caixas at £6.99 on the multi-buy deal.  Why not come in and buy one and see what you think?


Our tasting events! How to get involved...Date published: 12/08/13

One of the great things about Majestic wines is that you can try wines before you buy!

You can do this at our regular wine course events. These courses include a 90 minute introduction to wine, wine and food matching, friendly chit chat and the chance to try a variety of delicious wines. To find out the dates for these fabulous events, pop onto our website for more details or give us a ring if you have any questions! We are always happy to help!

We also have a great flow of wines on our tasting counter to try every week, throughout the week! On certain weeks there may be a theme to our wines, such as wines of Loire, at other times staff tend to pick their favorites or interesting wines we wish to taste. If you wanted to know more about a particular wine we don't have on tasting, one of our friendly members of staff will no doubt be able to give you a full description. You can check online the wines we have on tasting then come, visit and explore.

Commercial Proposition: Majestic and the On-tradeDate published: 10/08/13

With a challenging commercial outlook, we need to make sure that we are getting genuine value for money in every area of our business. Here at Majestic one of our key strengths is our value for money in our commercial proposition – a price list tailored to you. We also recognise how busy a manager is in operationally running a commercial establishment like a restaurant or pub – which is why we offer:

A single dedicated account manager

A friendly local store to easily top up and add to your list

Free delivery usually within 48 hours

We offer a wide range of wide selection award-winning commercially exclusive wines to the on-trade. This means that your customers will not find our wines in their local supermarket or off license, and will keep returning to you for their favourite tipple.

Another key component to our commercial proposition is our flexibility around your business. We have over 190 stores in the U.K, each open 7 days a week, all ready to deliver out to you when you need it. This flexibility and level of customer service cannot be matched by our competitors, and is something that we are very proud of.

As well as our range and flexibility, we can also offer you an assigned account manager, there for all of your needs, whether it be free staff training through our award-winning 'Perfect Partners' Food and wine matching course, or you need to extend or amend your wine list, and even wine list production. Our highly qualified team are always on hand to help with any wine-related request you may have.

If you would like to discuss your current wine list, and how Majestic Wine can help improve your wine proposition, then please call your local store in Ealing on 0208 567 9251, or e-mail us eal@majestic.co.uk, where we would be delighted to help you further.

In Focus: Provence RoseDate published: 09/08/13

Provence is a iconic region, set in the rolling hills just to the North of Marseilles and Nice on the French Riveria. Whilst it's renound for it's beautiful medieval villages and fields of lanvendar it is also the most famous French (and probably world) region for rose production. Unlike much of the rose produced, rose from Cotes du Provence is made specifically from grapes grown to produce the best and most favourable rose wine, rather than as a by-product of red and white wine production. Given the region that they are grown in, Provence rose is an ideal tipple in 35 degree French riveria heat, a refreshing glass to cool and cleanse the palate.

A key difference of Provence rose is that it is almost always dry and delicate. Light fruit flavours of strawberrys, raspberrys and cream are coupled with elements of fragrance and a touch of perfume - finished to a clean, lean and elegant end. The most delicate and refreshing of styles, delicatelly poised.

My recommendations of this expression in our current range are as follows:

Domaine La Chautarde Rosé 2012 Côteaux Varois en Provence

£8.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £6.99

A light, dry and fruity rosé, with strawberry, red cherry flavours accompanying more subtle flavours of watermelon and nectarine. Soft acidity and delicate juiciness make a palate which is emminently sippable.

AIX Rosé 2012 Coteaux d'Aix en Provence 150cl Magnum

£19.99

A great looking party of BBQ wine in Magnum or Double Magnum sizes. Unashamedly vibrant and summery, with a bright pink colour and a delicate balance of crisp acidity and soft, ripe summer fruit.

Chateau Pigoudet 'La Chapelle' Rose 2012, Coteaux d'AIX en Provence

Benefiting from sun all the year round, this light strawberry and rose petal touch fills out the mouth with its like but rounded touch. The aromatic elements add to it's interest with the finish is verging on sublime and leaves you coming back for more.

Make the most of these long sun-filled days by exploring all that Provence rose has to offer!

How to taste wine - VisualsDate published: 08/08/13

Wine tasting is reveered by some to be a pompous, self-indulgent expression of wealth, voyeurism and poppycock. But this doesn't have to be the case..

Just from looking at a wine you can get a good indication of sweetness, body, oak ageing and vintage. It can also be interesting and enjoyable task which not only helps you in selecting precisely the wine you wish to devour but gaining the most out of the glass to gullet experience.

So just to give you a starting platform on how to assess and understand a wine, I'm going to share a few simple tricks of the trade which will help you judge, analyse and select better quality wines based on your own personal pallet.

First things first: the visuals.

Get a white, clear and clean background if possible. The whiter the better. Lay the glass (now full with wine) against it - be careful not to spill! The darker, deeper and fuller the colour - typically the more body the wine has. The more vibrant the colour, the more youthful the fruit flavours are likely to be.

Now gently swill it. You'll notice tear drops forming at the top of the newly formed rim. These are formed from the friction created between the liquid and the glass, used as one the most neutral drinking vessels. The larger the tears, the more viscosity in the liquid. Therefore, bigger larger tears, usually denotes more sugar, alcohol or again body to the wine.

Now tip the glass again and have a peek at the rim. If this fades to brown (for red wines particularly) this denotes age. Some 20 year old Rioja's for example can have significant orange or brown notes due to the fading of the fruit over time and the colour influence of the oak showing itself through the faded fruit. 

You may also see a cloudiness or deposits forming in the glass. Don't pour it away! These are natural and are often fine although perhaps not the most pleasant. They can carry the tannin (grape skins, yeast cells and oak particles) and may be there due to a minimal amount of post-production fining, particularly for older wines, as they act to impart flavour and structure throughout the ageing process.

Richer deeper wines tend to either be younger or made from wines with a heavy body. For instance a full-bodied young Australian Shiraz will have a core of dense black and purple fruit, whereas a lighter-bodied and aged Pinot Noir will have a light and thin red fruit flavour potentially with a touch of orange or brown.

With whites a light Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc when unoaked will have a light but vibrant pale lemon colour typically. Whereas, a fuller bodied oaked Chardonnay will show a deeper honeyed and golden shine with greater intensity.

There you go! Who'da thunk it!

If you'd like to find out more, come and explore and discover with us by signing up to our FREE wine courses or spotlight tasting events.

Step 2 coming soon will be the scent or nose of the wine...  grrrrrrrreeeaaaat!!



Our Wines 'In the Press' - Jane McQuitty's Summer Selection - RedsDate published: 08/08/13

The final part of Jane MacQuitty’s Summer Top 100 - reds, fizz and fortified wines.

Under £6
 Lacroix Bordeaux Superieur 2007
£7.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £5.99 until 2nd September

 Paul Mas Merlot 2012
£7.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £5.99 from 5th July until 18th July

Under £8
 Pizarras de Otero Bierzo 2012
£8.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £6.99 until 2nd September

Under £12
Château de Sainte Gemme 2002
£13.99 Buy 2 bottles save £8 = £9.99 until 2nd September

Fitou by Mlle Jones 2011
£14.99 Buy 2 bottles save £6 = £11.99 from 5th July until 18th July

Under £25
Laurent Perrier Brut NV

Enjoy the finer side of life..Date published: 08/08/13

At Majestic we encourage people to branch out and explore, to extend their spectrum of experience and treat themselves now and again.

To make this even easier we have created a deal where you can mix and match fine wines (anything above £20 a bottle) and as long as you buy and 2 or more, you save £4 off each bottle!

Still, £16 or above can seem a large amount to spend on a bottle of wine. But when you consider it is often the price of a bottle of house wine at a bar or restaurant, a cinema ticket or outside activity for 2 it seems more affordable as an experience to be enjoyed and shared. A great bottle of wine can get the juices flowing, spur conversation and generate a fantastically relaxing homely environment. It can make that meal for too or night in both memorable, enjoyable and worth every penny.

What's more we have a a large selection from Amarone to Chateau-neuf-du-pape and from Pouilly-fume to Mersault all of incredible quality, simply delicious and £4 off when you buy any 2. Goo oon, treat yourself... to our Fine Wine at House Wine prices

Exciting news for Italian wine loversDate published: 07/08/13

As of Tuesday 20th August all Italian wine will be going down to an amazing 25% off all of our £5 to £20 range on an improved offer. It's a chance to mix and match to try some new ones without commiting to 2 of the same and stock up on your old favourites.

We'll be opening up plenty of our range to trial and taste and Majestic Ealing so you can even know what you're getting and won't be disappointed.

Magic ;-)

Our Wines 'In the Press' - Jane McQuitty's Summer SelectionDate published: 07/08/13

For those of you that missed it, here's Jane MacQuitty's recommended wines as published in The Times newspaper.

Jane MacQuitty’s Summer Top 100 - Whites and Rosés from Majestic

Under £6
Yali Merlot Rosé 2012
£7.49 Buy 2 Chilean wines save 20% = £5.99 until 2nd September

Grand Heron Marc Ducournau 2012
£7.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £5.99 from 28th June until 11th July

Under £8
Vouvray Domaine des Aubuisieres 2012
£9.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £7.99 from 28th June until 11th July

Under £12
 Sancerre ‘Clos des Bouffants’ Neveu 2012
£14.99 Buy 2 bottles save £6 = £11.99 from 28th June until 11th July

 Pouilly Fumé ‘Les Cascadelles’ 2012
£11.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £9.99 from 28th June until 11th July

Muga Rioja Rosado 2012
£10.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £8.99 until 2nd September

Under £25
Chassagne Montrachet Philippe Colin 2010 (Lay & Wheeler)
£24.95

The Saturday Times – Jane MacQuitty – 29th June

In case you didn't realise we keep a record of all of our wines which have been reviewed in national newspapers, on some websites and award winners. These are available product-by-product at www.majestic.co.uk or enquire in store with a member of the team.

Last Chance SaloonDate published: 07/08/13

Hurry! Our fantastic New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc offer of Giesen at £5.99 don't come around too often, so stock up to save missing out. This one certainly fits the bill with it's snappyintensity and vibrant fruit flavours. 

There's plenty in stock in our Ealing branch.

But the offer ends this Monday!

The Cream of the Crop - Our Best Champagne DealsDate published: 04/08/13

I'm a champagne lover it's true. Most are beautiful in their own right but some I think ar just a touch above the rest too. The trick with champagne is to try the all (a hard task I know) and then buy the ones you love when they come onto cracking offers.

Here are my top 3 favourite deals we have at the moment:

Ruinart NV - was £45  now £35

Pol Roger Reserve NV -  was £42 now £32

Louis Roederer - Was £32 now £29

Veuve Clicquot NV - was £37  now £30

So, if you've got a celebration coming up (or even if you haven't!) make sure to check out some of these great deals at Majestic C
Ealing!

Majestic wins awards!Date published: 01/08/13

I'm glad to inform you that Majestic has one a number of awards at the reveered International Wine Challenge awards including:

Multiple Wine Retailer of the Year 2013 (5 years in a row!)

Cheers!

The Ned is now back in stock!Date published: 01/08/13

The phenomenally popular Ned Sauvignon Blanc from the shores of the Marlborough valley is back in stock with it's new 2013 vintage! It's still on it's 20% off offer and is currently at £7.99 a pop on the offer. We'll be opening it up in the coming weeks to show you just how the 2013 vintage stacks up. Smashing!

Sparkling Saturday - Cordornui Brut NVDate published: 20/07/13

This weekend we are celebrating... Our weather being as good as in Barcelona, where Codornui is made!

A delightfully light and pleasant easy-drinking glass of bubbletastic amusement. A light frothy moose and a light flavour of apples and lemons. Perfect for the weather without feeling at all guilty. Ideal for parties or that afternoon garden tipple. This is a Cava made in the champagne style (secondary fermentation in bottle) meaning it integrates the bubbles better with the liquid perfectly but made with local Spanish grapes.

Open to taste all Saturday.

It's £6.99 when you buy 2 or more or £8.49 for a single bottle.

Wine of the Week - Gavi ToledanaDate published: 09/07/13

Gavi di Gavi, La Toledana

£7.99

(when you buy 2 or more Italian wines) £9.99 for one

Known affectionately by Maji-staff as the 'Tolly Dolly' this is a wine made from the Gavi grape from the Gavi region of Piedmont in Italy (North-western tip). Known as the Chablis of Italy for it's steely minerality and fresh acidity this a perfectly light and refreshing summer aperitif.

This particular example is our most popular Gavi in the range. It's late-picked meaning it has the chance to develop more of its peachy and pear-like quality as it sweetens on the vine in the hot Italian sun.

Open to taste all week and on the banging 20% off Italy Offer. Cheeky!

Sparkling Saturday - Prosecco ConeglianoDate published: 06/07/13

A cherry picked fruit bomb to make this sunny weekend sparkle and go out with a bang. On special reduction from £12.99 to £9.99 this a crisp and well formed spritz with plenty of crisp apple bite.From the region of Italy famed for it's fanciful foam and delicate, vibrant palate, this Conegliano from La Marca doesn't dissapoint.

Great as a tipple in the garden or to get creative with the cocktail shaker - it's open to taste all Saturday!

Find it here.. http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-conegliano/product-is-23253

Mid week wine and food matching - Lemon Drizzle Cake and Muscat Beaumes de Venise Date published: 03/07/13

I had the day off yesterday and my sister came up to visit me along with my little niece.  I organised a picnic hamper to take up to the park.  Having pushed my little niece on the swings and left her stranded in the air on the see-saw whilst I sat on the other end, we decided it was time for lunch.

We had sandwiches, pork pies, raw vegetables, fruit, crisps and to finish off we had a homemade lemon drizzle cake.  When I say homemade, I mean homemade by someone who then sells it in a shop with a homemade label on it!  Baking is not my strong point.  My sister hasn't been drinking very much recently, but she is partial to a dessert wine.  I chose the Domaine De Coyeux Muscat de Beaumes de Venise.  The Beaume de Venise is a relatively light style of dessert wine and is not too sweet.  It allows the sweetness of a lighter style sponge cake to still come through and isn't too sticky.

It was a fun way to spend the afternoon in the park and my niece enjoyed the cake, even if she wasn't allowed the wine!

Mid week wine and food matching - Steak and MalbecDate published: 26/06/13

Let me start by saying I realise this is possibly not the most summery wine and food matching article, but I am trying to be relatively healthy (giving up wine is not an option).  The steak provides protein, which I need as I have actually been in the gym recently and steak is filling enough for me not to miss the carbohydrate too much.

I purchased a nice t-bone steak from a local butchers and cooked it rare.  For me, the rarer the better!  I added rocket salad and a grilled tomato for a bit of colour.

When choosing a wine to go with steak there are plenty of options.  Bordeaux, Bordeaux blends from elsewhere in the world, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz to name but a few.  My decision was to go for an Argentinian Malbec.  The Vinalba Reservado.  It is currently £8.99 on the multi-buy offer.  It always offers great depth of fruit with a big whack of spice at the back of the palate.  It is almost like adding a pepper sauce to the steak, without the cream!

Steak and Malbec defintely work and the Argentinians do it better than most!

Wine of the week - Ravenswood Lodi ZinfandelDate published: 22/06/13

Our Wine of the Week : Ravenswood's Lodi Zinfandel, 2010

£7.99 (when you buy 2 or more) £10.99 (for one)

Our wine of the week this week is Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 2010, Lodi county.

The ever popular Lodi Zinfandel is back onto it's cracking offer!

It's a wine grown in the upper reaches of Central California – in the Lodi district, know as the capital of the world for Zinfandel.

Zinfandel is a grape that certainly fulfills Ravenswood's 'No wimpy wines' motto. It certainly packs a punch with its super-ripe juicy berry fruit. Concentrated blueberry and plum notes that have a fantastically full, intense and confected feel. It's a macho mouthful and a good alternative to those juicy Malbec's for that BBQ tipple.

Try it and find out for yourself!

Sparkling SaturdayDate published: 22/06/13

This Saturday the show not only must go on but it must start in the best way possible with a glass of bubbles..

Open to taste all day and on special reduction at £9.99 down from £13.99 the Oyster Bay Brut Sparkling provides a lot of bang for your buck as a well established house name made in the champagne style, just to show that you can get a champagne style sparkling without having to pay champagne prices.

If you don't believe me try it yourself!

In Focus Grape Varieties - CorvinaDate published: 20/06/13

Corvina is one of those grape varieties where the area in which it is grown is more famous than the grape itself (much like Bordeaux, Champagne and Barolo). It's grown in North Eastern Italy and goes into making the famous wines hailing from the DOC's of Valpolicella, Amarone. Like much of Italy, there is a huge array of grape varieties and areas which can be initially confusing and complex but once explored becomes both interesting and exciting to get your teeth into.

Corvina is a grape that is full of deep bitter chocolate flavours and dark cherried fruit. Using the post-picking process called Ripasso (used for both Valpolicella and Amarone) the grapes are laid out and dried. This drying process intensifies and concentrates the flavours and makes the tannins super smooth and silky. Corvina is perfect for this process as the chocolate, violet berry and dark cherry flavours intensify to build a deep and smooth wine of ultimate flavour capacity. The Valpolicella Ripasso Casetta 2011 at £13.59 on the Italian 20% offer really shows the Corvina grape using the ripasso method off.

Last Bottle OfferDate published: 19/06/13

Looking to buy a bottle that's on a multi-buy buts it's our last one? No bother, you'll get it at the lower price!

And that's a promise.. ;)

Mid week wine and food matching - Salade Nicoise with Rioja BlancoDate published: 19/06/13

With the warmer evenings, finding the motivation to cook isn't that easy.  Plus, with the time we tend to get home after work, it is not often the best idea to have a hearty meal.

With that in mind I prepared a Salade Nicoise for myself on Monday evening, which I then ate on Tuesday after work.  It is a simple little dish which I made with baby tomatoes, green beans, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, olives and anchovies, with a vinaigrette.  I'm sure you all have your own little additions, I'm not sure I've ever had identicle recipe Salade Nicoise.

I needed a white wine with a bit of body to match the tuna and eggs, so I plumped for the Muga Rioja Blanco.  The wine is barrel fermented in 100% new oak, which gives it a richness and fuller mouth feel, which allows it to stand up to the fuller flavour of tuna.  The wine is zesty and refreshing with a lovely vanilla richness and a slightly spicy finish.  Currently it retails for £9.99 when you buy to or more.

A thoroughly satisfying combination!

Free £10 off vouchers for new customersDate published: 18/06/13

Your next bottle is on us!

Receive a free bottle of wine up to the value of £10 when you purchase any 6 bottles from us in-store and sign up onto our mailing list. Minimum purchase in-store just 6 bottles, any mix.

*One voucher redeemable per transaction/household

What's in a name - Syrah vs ShirazDate published: 17/06/13

Ever heard someone say that Syrah and Shiraz were the same thing and not sure whether to believe them? Well it is the same thing, and it's not - I hope that's cleared things up for you.

The thing is, its made from the same grape type but made in a completely different style or take on the grape. Producers, focus their post production processes (such as lees stirring, oak and bottle ageing, and chapilisation - the adding of sugar). These are based on the terroir and geography of the area, the grape type chosen and generally selected and orienteered to meet a specific demand for a particular style or type of the wine that has been identified.

Syrah - This is the 'old version' of the grape, styalised originally in Rhone particularly in the Northerm Rhone areas such as Crozes-hermitage and St-Joseph. It is a much more supple and savoury style with generous body but obvious restraint and a polished texture.  It also has recognisable leaf and white peppers flavours. Cool fermented and often blended with vioginer this Rhone has an obvious uplift making it much more elegant than the Shiraz alternaitve. Great with stewed meat dishes.

Shiraz - On the opposite end of the style spectrum, and not dissimilar from the stereotypical Aussie attitude, this wine is big and bold and brash. Grown in the hot climat on the outreachers of outback land the fruit sweeten and develops through photosynthesis caused by the hot baking sun. the fruit. This version is riper, sweeter and packs a punch, often high in alcohol with black pepper, liquorice and dark mouthf-filling fruit flavours. Perfect with brazen peppered steak or a burger on the barbie!

If you'd like to learn more about the styles and varients in wine production, why not do one of our wine courses or wine tasting tutorials? Ask a member of the team to find out more...

AlbarinoDate published: 17/06/13

Albarino is a Spanish grape variety grown in Galicia. It is distinctively aromatic, and of high-quality. The thick skins help withstand the particularly damp climate, which results in the white wines produced being high in alcohol, acidity, and flavour. It ages better than most light-skinned grapes however it is made.

Albarino has become so popular that it now accounts for 90 per cent of plantings in Galicia. It is also grown in California, Oregon, and Australia. Due to its aromatic and light style it is similar to Viognier, and is also a refreshing alternative to Chardonnay.

We currently are stocking an Albarino from the producer Martin Codax, which was founded in 1986 in the Rias Baixas region of Northwestern Spain. This wine has delicate peachy  aromas accompanied by a fresh, crisp palate of honey, peaches and stone fruits. A medium bodied wine with a floral finish.

Enjoy over the next two years as a aperitif or with grilled seafood.


Father's Day IdeasDate published: 16/06/13

Woke up this morning and found out it was father's day? Fear not!

We have gone to the trouble of putting together a list of goodies which are aimed to please any fella or gent.

Wine is a great present, because it is a safe bet but with our knowledge and advice we can suggest bottles specifically geared towards their personal taste. Or keep it simple.. these ones are hidden gems which seem to go down with the majority:

Lirac Vignobles Abeille 2011 (£12.99 when you buy 2 or more, £14.99 for one) - A traditionalist region of the Rhone Valley, Lirac boarders the 'daddy' of all wine areas Chateau-neuf-du-pape. It has a similar climate and soil and made from the same varietals, but at nearly half the price! and deep and full bodied jems, with elements of black pepper and liquorice with bold but smooth tannins.

Mersault Vielles Vignes 2010, Le Meurger (£20 when you buy any 2 fine wines, £24 for one) - The white wine almost designed for men (trying not to be too sexist here). This is naughty, rich, buttery
 and full flavoured without the calories. Fabulously full and satifying from the premium white burgundy region. Delish

Leoville Barton, 2006 St-Julien £25 - A true hearty Bordeaux from the famous village appelation of St-Julien, this  has all the elements of a hallmark bordeaux. With ample fruit flavour, a leady feel and oak to polish it off. A sexy little minstrel, this is bound to tickle those taste buds and looks a more than impressive gift.

Alternatively, pop in and chat to us about his personal tastes.

Don't forget that we also do cards, gift boxes and offer free delivery on orders over £40.

Happy Father's Day!

Majestic Ealing

Mid week wine and food matching - Salmon and Cave de Lugny Les Pierres BlanchesDate published: 14/06/13

Sorry, my article is a little bit late this week..mainly because I haven't been cooking much this week and have survived by eating sandwiches!  However, last night I fancied a nice piece of salmon.  Keeping it simple I roasted the salmon in the oven in tin foil with just a squeeze of lemon juice.  I then boiled some new potatoes and added some rocket salad with a little balsamic dressing.

To accompany my dish I selected the Cave De Lugny Les Pierres Blanches from Burgundy.  The wine has citrus and green fruit notes on the nose.  The apple comes more to the fore on the palate, but the citrus is still there as is a hint of pear.  It even has a touch of minerality and considering it only costs £7.99 as long as you buy two or more, I think you get a lot of complexity for your money.

Chardonnay is a great match for salmon and I thoroughly enjoyed my light, refreshing dinner.

Wine of the Week - LFE Gran Reserva MerlotDate published: 12/06/13

Our wine of the week this week is Luis Felipe Gran Reserva Merlot 2011.

This is a personal fave and cracking value at £6.99 a pop (when you buy it with any other Chilean wine).

It's a Gran Reserva which has no legal ramifications but it's a term used to differentiate between Luis Felipe's wines (meaning that it's one of the top wines in their range).

It's a full-flavoured, full-bodied beast with plenty of that lush berry fruit and sumptuously smooth edge that make Merlot eminently enjoyable on all occasions  This is aged in French and American oak and you can really taste the lashings of vanilla imparted from the American oak influence which smothers the inners of dark berry and chocolate notes. Just like a chocolate berry desert with vanilla ice cream on the side!

I had this wine the other night and even after 3 days it was tasting gorgeous as the time just let it release more of its flavour profile.

A true delight, and not to be missed, especially at this cracking price.

open to taste on our tasting counter all week!

Wine of the week - Kuhlmann-Platz Pinot Gris 2011, Cave de HunawihrDate published: 07/06/13

The tiny village of Hunawihr is in the heart of Alsace near to the villages of Riquewohr and Ribeauville. A group of winemakers formed the local cave co-op in 1954 helping them to survive in a post-WWII Europe.

 There is a great balance between the softness and acidity which makes this wine versatile. Off-dry with notes of pear, apricot, and honeysuckle.

2011 is a fantastic vintage for Pinot Gris, and this wine will be great partnered with a wide range of food such as soft cheeses, or delicious as an aperitif. 


£8.49 when buying two or more as part of a mixed case of six

Mid-week wine and food matching - Gammon and Pinot NoirDate published: 04/06/13

I was busy at work yesterday, trying to work out how to merchandise the front of our New Zealand section when I had a desire to eat a gammon steak!  I haven't had gammon for some time, but once the thought had occurred to me, there was no getting away from it.  I had decided upon my dinner for the evening.

Given the warmer weather we've been having I decided not to go with the accompaniment of egg and chips, but rather baby new potatoes and a mixed green salad.

It was fortunate that my hankering for gammon took place whilst I was merchandising New Zealand as Pinot Noir is an excellent match for pork.  Finding good Pinot Noir under £10 is not easy, but my eye was drawn to the Ned Pinot Noir, which is £9.99 on the New Zealand offer.  The wine has good supple ripe cherry flavours and just a little hint of smokiness and spice.  The body of Pinot Noir makes it a great match for gammon, which is a more delicate red meat.  And yes, I did really enjoy my gammon steak!

Wine Of The Week - Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc - Craggy RangeDate published: 02/06/13

The Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc from Craggy Range is a rare white wine from Martinborough.  Martinborough is famed for its premium New Zealand Pinot Noir.  The family owned winery of Craggy Range specialises in the production of expressive single vineyard wines.  The grapes are sourced exclusively from several parcels of vines growing on a stony, limestone influenced soil adjacent to the Huangarua River.

Craggy Range uses minimal intervention in the winery for their Sauvignon Blancs as they wish the wines to be expressive of their origin.  The Te Muna Road has aromatics of nectarine, guava, spice and floral notes.  It has flavours of lime, grapefruit, peach and apple, with some minerality.  It also has a very dry, almost grainy texture.

The wine is £11.99 on the New Zealand offer and it offers a great chance to experience a New World wine focussed on "Terroir". 


Our alternative to Lindauer Special Reserve?Date published: 25/05/13

Oyster Bay Sparkling Rose £11.99 (Buy 2 or more)

Made from 80% Chardonnay sourced from Hawke's Bay and 20% Pinot Noir from Marlborough this sparkling wine displays typically intense aromas of Strawberry, honeysuckle, apricot with a fantastic toasty complexity. With a rich mouthfeel and refreshing acidity we think its a fantastic replacement for the Lindauer Special Reserve and great value for money too!

It's open today (25th May) to taste in store, why not pop in and see what you think?

Now Available to taste: Hogsback Brewery TEADate published: 19/05/13

Hogsback Traditional English Ale, 4.2% abv is a classic English bitter;
Hogsback's verdict: "Our top selling, award winning, best bitter in a bottle. A deep golden colour. TEA is refreshing, hoppy and well balanced. Surely the best drink of the day"
Here at Majestic Ealing we'd have to agree, a fantastic ale, slightly chilled and perfect for Summer.

Wine of the Week: Vino Nobile Di MontepulcianoDate published: 19/05/13

Wine of the Week: Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano

Fantastic Tuscan red from vinyards around the town of Montepulciano. Made from Sangiovese and aged for a minimum of two years this wine displays complex aromas or dark cherry, graphite and savoury spice. Great Tannin structure and fresh acidity, it's made for rich, hearty Italian dishes. Fantastic value at only £14.99 when you buy 2 or more Italian Wines. Winner!

Wine of the Week - The Laughing MagpieDate published: 11/05/13

One of my favourite wines of our recent summer wine evening. We are now making the Laughing Magpie the wine of the week. 

The wine is made by D'Arenberg who offer a wide range of Australian reds. This particular wine gets its name from its composition of 92% Shiraz and 8% Viognier combining black and white grapes, and the fact that the children of the fourth generation winemaker used to call their pet Kookaburras "laughing magpies" although they bore no resemblance to the birds.

On the palate the wine has a deep backbone of dark cherry fruit, peppery spice and a slight twist of jasmine and vanilla due to the influence of the Viognier grape.  The wine is rich and powerful and a modern take on the Cote Rotie style. Be sure to enjoy as the sun is going down with dark meat dishes. 

The Laughing Magpie is on offer at the moment for £13.99 when you buy two or more Australian wines so there has never been a better time to try it!

Notes on the white wines at the Summer Tasting last nightDate published: 10/05/13

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc - £6.99 on New Zealand offer

- Winery founded in the 1980s by Theo, Alex and Marcel Giesen - The wine is blended from 32 separate vineyards sites - Nose is tropical with youthful lime, lemongrass and green herbs - Palate is gooseberry and citrus - Great match with seafood risotto or Paella

Sainte Victoire Rosé - £8.99 when buying two or more

- The Negral family settled at the Domaine Mas de Cadenet in 1813 and have been there for seven generations - Sainte Victoire is on the upper parts of the slopes, renowned for high quality wines - Nose is light fruit and floral notes - Palate is dry, crisp and delicate - Match with delicate poultry or lightly spiced dishes

Masi Masianco - £9.99 on Italian offer

- The Bosciani family have owned Masi since the 18th century - The wine is a blend of 75% Pinot Grigio and 25% Verduzzo - The Verduzzo grape is late-harvested and partially dried to add complexity - Nose is peach, apricot, pear and pineapple - Palate is ripe and dry with a citrussy finish - Match with mussels and clams

Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Gérard Thomas - £18.99

- The vineyard borders Puligny-Montrachet - Cheaper than most Puligny-Montrachet wines - Barrel fermented to give a softer, smoother mouth-feel with more complexity - Nose is citrus, peach, subtle sweet spice and minerals - Palate is lemon and limes, hazelnuts, vanilla and butter - Superb with pan-fried scallops

Heggies Chardonnay - £14.99 on Australian offer

- High altitude site, cool and rocky with well drained soil - Stressed vines resulting in low yields and high quality fruit - 12 months in French barriques, a "New World" wine made in the "Old World" style - Nose of subtle toasty notes with apple and pear - Palate of apples and pears with a rich creamy rounded finish - Great with smoked fish

Wine of the week - Angelique De MonbousquetDate published: 03/05/13

A relatively new wine to the Majestic range is the Angelique de Monbousquet, 2009, St-Emilion Grand Cru.  Being from the right-bank it is predominently Merlot, blended with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The second wine of Chateau Monbousquet, Angelique is a more youthful and approachable version of the grand vin, designed to require less cellarage.  Made from the same 32ha vineyards, which lie on St-Emilion's characteristically sandy, iron-rich clay soils.  This ripe and fleshy St-Emilion has an up-front, convivial character, offering lashings of jammy black and red fruit, supported by muscular yet supple tannins, and aromas of cocoa, incense and herbs.  Drink over the next five years, with full-flavoured beef dishes, such as braised oxtail.

The Greco GrapeDate published: 29/04/13

The Greco grape is assumed to be of Greek origin, currently grown in Southern Italy.  In Campania, it produces the DOCG dry white Greco di Tufo around the village of Tufo.  It has delicate aromas which remind people of a good Viognier, and has become better appreciated.  When blended with Falanghina and Biancolella it helps produce the dry whites of Capri.  We currently have the Fremondo Greco open on the tasting counter to try.  Since we did not know much about the Greco grape we decided to do some research.  it has a delicate aroma but full flavours of apricot, peach and honeysuckle on the palate.  A great match with seafood.

Mid-Week wine and food matching - Quiche and Macon LugnyDate published: 25/04/13

With the lovely weather we've been experiencing these last few days, I wasn't really in the mood for a lot of food in the evenings.  Given that it has been bordering on summery, I thought I'd eat something summery!  I chose a Quiche Lorraine.  I'd love to claim that I made it myself from scratch, but that would be an outrageous lie and pastry is not really something that I ever cook.  To accompany my quiche I had baby new potatoes and a rocket salad.  From my wine rack I pulled a bottle of Macon-Villages Domaines des Terres Gentilles.  This white Burgundy is not expensive at £7.99 on the multi-buy price.  It has delicate citrus and stone fruit flavours, is refreshing, but does have a little bit of body, which helps it stand up to the Quiche Lorraine.  As a match I think it works really well.

Fantastic Short term Deal on Roederer Champagne £25Date published: 25/04/13

Fantastic Short Term Roederer Offer @ Only £25!! A Real staff Favourite from the makers of Cristal, this Champagne is Rich Nutty & Yeasty with Overt fruit character and a long, complex finish.

Keeping it in the Family?Date published: 19/04/13

I don't know about you but when I find a great producer I really enjoy working my way through their range and am rarely dissapointed! Luckily here at Majestic we have various producers from whom we stock a range of wines. Producers such as Cune, Poggioargentiera, Rigal & Masi to name but a few!

So! Our focus for the remainder of April and continuing throughout May, is to review these ranges and let you in on a few great deals (I know, we've got a tough job).

To start off the series I've chosen:

Poggioargentiera

Poggioargentierais an Italian winery founded in 1997 with just 15 employees and production of 250,000 bottles. Composed of two estates in different areas of Tuscany, their philosophy is simple 'to make make wines with a sense of place,  where Terroir is allowed to show itself unbiased.'

Since 2009 they have been farming their land organically and following a very natural 'no-intervention' approach in the cellar.

Vermentino 2011/2012 Poggioargentiera

I love this wine and that's why I've been so excited about trying the rest of the range, intense aromas of ripe peach, stone fruit and delicate floral notes, all balanced with a refreshing citrussy acidity. Lovely with fresh fish dishes.

Morellino di Scansano 2011 Poggioargentiera

Fun Fact: Morellino is the local name for Sangiovese! And in this case blended with 15% Ciliegiolo.

Concentrated red cherry and strawberry aromas, medium bodied and fresh with a rustic complexity. This is a great wine, food friendly and well balanced. Made for lamb chops or a pizza if you're feeling lazy!

Poggioargentiera Rosato 2012 IGT Toscana

The new Kid on the block, brand new to our range and causing a stir!

lush candied cherry and strawberry flavours, soft and refreshing, this summery number will be making an appearance on our tasting counter soon...Watch this space.

 

Come & Explore...

Wine of the Week! Churchill EstatesDate published: 18/04/13

Churchill Estates 2010, Douro.

A blend of Indigenous Varietals from Portugal, this wine is full of Ripe Cherry, Strawberry and delicate vanilla aromas.

Well balanced and perfect for those hearty red meat dishes.

Why not pop in and try it with us!  

Here's What Team Ealing Think:

Paul:

"Ripe, Redcurrent, Bold"

Tania:

"Spice, Rich, peppery"

G-Genie:

"Raspberry, Full bodied, Vanilla"

Holly:

"Parma Violets, Cherry, ripe red fruit"  

Mid week wine and food matching: Fish and Chips and CavaDate published: 17/04/13

This week one of my favourite wine and food matches: Fish and chips and sparkling wine!

Previously I lived on the Isle Of Wight and used to have fish and chips on the beach regularly...and it was often accompanied by Champagne.  Sadly there is no beach for me here, but Ealing does have many other advantages over the Isle Of Wight.

Feel free to make your fish and chips at home, but I went to the local chippy...there is something satisfying about chip shop greasiness!  To go with my fish and chips and mushy peas (I did live up North for many years) I chose the Raventos Cava from Codorniu at £7.99 on offer.  Cava is made almost identically to Champagne, although some local Spanish grape varieties are used as well as the three Champagne grapes.  The Raventos has a crisp acidity with a mild yeasty note and a bit of body.  This is why it matches so well with fish and chips.  The acidity of the wine acts like vinegar, cutting through the grease, but not over-powering the fish.  The fact it has a bit of body helps it match up well with the chips too.

If you haven't had fish and chips and sparkling wine before, I thoroughly recommend you give it a go.  It is one of those wine and food matches that really does work and I promised you will be impressed! 

Malbec World DayDate published: 17/04/13

Today is Malbec World Day, so I thought I would take the opportunity to tell you a little about the Malbec grape variety.

Malbec is one of the five major red grape varieties of Bordeaux.  However, subsequent to the phylloxera outbreak in the 1870s Malbec was one of those grapes that was never heavily re-established in Bordeaux.  Most commonly it is now found in the Entre-Deux-Mers region.

Where you will find Malbec in France is Cahors.  Situated in the South West of France Cahors has been producing wine for many centuries with wines of Cahors known to have been sold in London as early as the 13th Century.  Wines from Cahors tend to be darker and more concentrated than those of Bordeaux.

These days the Malbec revival is really thanks to one country, Argentina!  Planted throughout Argentina's wine growing regions the most popular tend to come from Mendoza.  The wines share some flavour characteristics of Bordeaux, but not structure.  Argentinean Malbecs tend to be very full-bodied with a lot of fruit and a good dose of spice.  Interestingly they also have potential for ageing, although the majority in this country are consumed young.

There are a couple of Malbecs open on our tasting counter today, April 17th.  Before I end this article there is one specific wine to which I'd like to draw your attention.  On our fine wine shelves is a wine called Cheval Des Andes.  This is an Argentinean wine being produced in partnership between Terrazas and Cheval Blanc (the famous Bordeaux producer).  It is a Bordeaux blend, but predominently Malbec.  If you enjoy good quality Bordeaux, you'll love this wine.  It is £50 a bottle, but in my humble opinion, if it were from Bordeaux and not Argentina, it could easily command £100 plus.  Sadly it isn't open on our tasting counter, but next time you're tempted to buy a more expensive bottle, why not give my recommendation a try? 

Veuve ClicqoutDate published: 16/04/13

Yesterday I had the fantastic opportunity to taste some of the wines of Veuve Clicquot. This is amazing as I'm really developing a fondness for champagne and haven't had much experience with tasting much other than the basic Non-Vintage expressions of the wine.

We firstly tried the yellow label Brut NV. Blended with a greater percentage of Pinot Noir grapes. This is a crisp and refreshing champagne.

We then moved on to tasting the Rose NV which had a great nose of red fruits and strawberry! Perfect for matching with fish or sushi.

The Vintage Rose was next, and was may favourite champagne of the evening! It was really interesting to compare the Vintage and Non-Vintage expressions side by side as you get a real idea of how the ageing affects the wine.

We then tried the 2004 Vintage Veuve. It is again made with two thirds of Pinot Noir grapes and has real body and a great finish.

Finally we were given the opportunity to try the 2004 La Grande Dame. This is the premium expression of the house style and is characterised by only using grapes from the best sites, a blend of only Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and an extensive ageing process - the wine was released from cellar last year.

So I feel very spoilt now having tried all these amazing champagnes! If your unsure which to choose make sure that you find me in-store.

Pilsner UrquellDate published: 14/04/13

Just to let everyone know, the original Pilsner from the Czech Republic is still only £24 for 24 bottles!

Average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5!

Here are some of the customer comments...

"Pilsner for me from now on...and this is an excellent one. Crisp, clean, and very refreshing"

"This is a full flavored, hoppy lager that is great with food as well as on its own. It's 4.4% so you can have a few without falling over."

"The Best Pilsner To Pass My Lips"

New opening hoursDate published: 14/04/13

From the 1st April our opening hours have changed,

Monday - Wednesday: 10am - 7pm

Thursday - Friday: 10am - 8pm

Saturday: 9am - 7pm

Sunday: 10am - 5pm

 

Wine of the Week: Meerlust MerlotDate published: 13/04/13

Meerlust Merlot, 2009, Stellenbosch. The meerlust estate has been owned by the Myburgh family since 1757. Taking inspiration from 'right bank' Bordeaux producers, this wine is a blend of 89% Merlot and 11% Cab Franc which gives this wine ripe fruit character, balanced structure and great depth of flavour. A fantastic opportunity to try this South African Merlot. One of my favourites, I'm looking forward to trying it with the whole team! A Tasting note will follow.

What we think...

Tania

'Savoury, Earthy, Bramble'

Holly

'Liquorice, sweet spice, Black plum'

Gina. G

'Smoke, Blackberry, Complex'

Mid week wine and food matching - Chicken in bacon with Pinot NoirDate published: 11/04/13

Last night I was in the mood to cook.  I haven't had a huge amount of time to cook properly since moving to manage the Ealing store, but now that we close at 7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays I have a little more time on my hands.

I cooked one of my favourite dishes.  Butterflied chicken breast, stuffed with mature cheddar cheese and wrapped in bacon.  This was accompanied by potato dauphinoise and green beans and carrots.  The dish takes about ten minutes to prepare and about half an hour cooking time.

When matching something like chicken and bacon you have a choice of either going for a relatively full bodied white or a light bodied red.  I do like full bodied whites, but tend to enjoy the lees-aged white burgundies, which are not usually under £10.  My decision last night was to go for the Errazuriz Pinot Noir from Chile for £7.99.  It can be tricky to find a consistently good Pinot Noir under £10, but the Errazuriz gives a good balance of ripe fruit and a little hint of spice.  Why not give it a try yourselves and tell us what you think?

Fine Wine Friday - Chateau FonpleagdeDate published: 05/04/13

Chateau Fonplegade 2007, St-Emilion Grand Cru Classe

£28.00

"Performing much better from bottle than it did from barrel, this is a sleeper of the vintage from the American proprietor who has done such a great job resurrecting this once moribund estate. A dark ruby/purple hue is followed by notes of blueberries, raspberries, crushed rocks, and spring flowers, medium body, a soft, silky texture, lush, ripe fruit, and a heady finish. Drink it over the next decade". 90 points. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate.

We are closed on Easter SundayDate published: 28/03/13

Please note that we will be closed on Easter Sunday, 31 March 2013. We are open our normal Friday hours on Good Friday and our bank holiday hours on Easter Monday.

Fine Wine FridayDate published: 01/03/13

 

Fine Wine Friday

Amarone Classico Costasera 2009, Masi

£27.00 Buy 2 or more £30.00 Single bottle price

Masi has been run by the Boscaini family or the past six generations, and their wines are rooted in tradition, representing the classic Venetian styles.

The Amarone is made by drying the grapes on bamboo racks throughout winter, after which the dried berries undergo a very long fermentation period of around 80 days in total, in a mixture of steel vats and Slavonian oak barrels.

This wine is full-bodied and complex, with intense and mature dry fruit aromas. A great wine to drink with game or mature cheeses.

Wine of the Week - Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Nicolas PotelDate published: 28/02/13

£9.99 – Buy two or more. £11.99 – Single bottle price

Grape: Pinot Noir.

The grapes used are primarily from old Cote d'Or vines sources across the Burgundy region. Maison Nicolas Potel is a respected name in Burgundy, the Potel family having previously owned the prestigious Domaine de la Pousse d'Or in Volnay.

Aromas of berry fruit, strawberry and blackcurrant, which is then followed by a soft-edged palate and supple tannins.

Drink with cold cuts, pasta dishes and tangy cheeses.

Mid-week wine and food matching - Going out!Date published: 07/02/13

Normally at this time of the week I produce a mid-week wine and food matching article with a meal that doesn't take too long to prepare and a wine under £10.  However, last night I was priveleged to be invite to José Pizarro's restaurant, Pizarro over in Bermondsey to be treated to a fantastic meal and some wonderful wines, courtesy of Cillar De Silos.

Cillar De Silos is a Spanish producer based in the Ribera Del Duero.  Majestic currently stocks their Crianza, which is £13.99 when you buy two or more as part of a mixed case.

The food and wine were fantastic.

We started with a white wine they produce which was paired with scallops.  The scallops melted in the mouth and the fresh acidity and citrus of the wine balanced beautifully.

The next dish was an artichoke dish.  Some of my colleagues stuck to the white wine for this dish, but I had already sampled the rosé and it was really interesting.  The rosé had depth of colour, making it almost look like a red pinot noir.  It was aromatic and fruity, with a lovely hint of white pepper.  It is the sort of wine I would recommend trying to hunt down at some point.  Sadly, we do not stock it.

To follow was squid.  Again I stuck with the Rosé and the combination was very good.

We then moved on to the reds.  The first wine was a Joven (which literally translates as young).  It is a wine taken from their 25 - 40 year old vines and is not aged in oak and is released after 6 months.  It was fruity and rounded.  We had a discussion with our host over what she would normally pair it with.  Her suggestion was duck, which was then promptly ordered.  She was indeed correct.  The rounded fruity wine just took the edge off the saltiness of the duck, leaving a succulent sweet duck flavour.

Finally lamb shoulder and beef cheeks were brought out.  It was my first time eating beef cheeks and I was very impressed.  We matched these dishes with the Cillar de Silos Crianza which we stock.  I've always liked this wine and again, it proved to be exceptional.

A fantastic evening

Mid-week wine and food matching - Chicken breast and Macon LugnyDate published: 31/01/13

Mid-week wine and food matching - Chicken breast and Macon Lugny

This dish does take a little while to prepare, but it is very tasty.  It is a butterflied chicken breast which is then tenderised.  The chicken is then wrapped around a chunk of mature cheddar and then the chicken itself is wrapped in streaky bacon.  Half an hour in the oven and there is a succulent chicken with a wonderful crispy bacon shell, which oozes cheese when it is cut.  This is served with swede mash and peas.

To match the dish I chose the Macon Lugny from Louis Latour.  This is an old favourite with many of our customers.  The wine is refreshing with a bite of green apple and subtle stone fruit flavours.  However, it is the delicate oaking, which gives a fuller mouth feel and a butteriness that makes it match the dish so well.  An un-oaked chardonnay would be over-powered, but the Macon Lugny Louis Latour has enough depth to still be flavoursome, whilst helping to bring the flavour out of the chicken.

The wine is currently open on our tasting counter, so if you haven't tried it before, why not come in and sample for free.

Fine Wine Friday - 01/02/13 Petaluma CoonawarraDate published: 31/01/13

Fine Wine Friday

Petaluma Coonawarra - £25 down to £22.50 when buying 2 or more bottles

I've chosen this wine because I really want to try it!  I have heard some very good things about older vintages and am interested to see how the 2008 is fairing.

The Petaluma Evans Vineyard is situated in Coonawarra.  The 2008 vintage received 1503 degree days of heat during the growing season, which is slightly higher than the long term average of 1414 degree days.

The blend is 60% Cabernet sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 9% Shriaz and are all hand picked.

The wine is described as being typical of Coonawarra, with deep red cherry and underlying subtle black fruits.  It has soft tannins which compliment the red fruit with a hint of cedar on the palate, with a real elegance.

Why not come in and have a taste?  Once it has been opened, we'll write our own tasting note and see if we agree with what we've read.

Mid-week wine and food matching - Mirin salmon and Composite Sauvignon BlancDate published: 16/01/13

Mid-week wine and food matching - Mirin salmon and Composite Sauvignon Blanc

Like many people I tend to try to be a little bit healthier with my diet in January, after the excesses of December.  I don't always succeed, but I do at least try on occasions.

Last night I made one of the tastiest dishes that I know which only takes twelve minutes to prepare and cook and is relatively healthy.  The dish is Mirin Salmon, which is a recipe from Nigella's cookbook, Nigella Express.  The dish does only take a few minutes to prepare and cook, although the experience in the supermarket can take a while longer as some of the ingredients are not what all of us keep regularly stocked at home!

When the dish is complete you have a Japanese style sweet and sticky salmon dish, which I always serve with long grain rice and wilted spinach.  My wine of choice was the Composite Sauvignon Blanc.  This wine is featured in Majestic's Bargain Hunt and is only £5.99.  The acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc helps to cut through the sweetness of the sticky mirin sauce and the flavours work as a good contrast and compliment to the dish.

A dish that takes so little time to prepare and cook, with that much flavour and a wine that costs less than £6, who could possibly complain?

Mid-week wine and food matching - Pepperoni Pizza and Locorosso CarmignanoDate published: 09/01/13

At Majestic we tend to like our wine and our food.  As much as many of us like to show off when we're cooking, we get home after a long day and tend to cook things that are quick and easy.  From now on, each week we will be producing a mid-week wine and food matching article.  In order to qualify the food must take no longer than half an hour to prepare and the wine must be under £10 (our wallets generally don't allow us to drink fine wines on a school night!).

Last night I took it very easy.  I bought a supermarket pepperoni pizza.  Ten minutes in the oven and you have something that is meaty, cheesy, slightly spicy and filling!  To match the pizza I chose the Locorosso Carmignano from Italy.  This is one of the wines featured in the Bargain Hunt and is £9.99 on the multi-buy offer.   The wine itself is medium to full bodied with plum and blackcurrant fruit on top of an underlying backbone of cherry fruit.  The wine matched well with the tomato pizza base and the cheese.  If anything the slight spice from the pepperoni made the wine feel a little more tannic, but it was not a bad match and I did enjoy my glass of wine after the meal whilst watching a bit of telly.

Bargain Hunt Is BackDate published: 07/01/13

Last year some of you may have had to opportunity to buy up some wines at bargain prices thanks to the Bargain Hunt.  Well, I'm delighted to announce that as of Tuesday January 8th it starts again.  With the Bargain Hunt Majestic offers some fantastic discounts on wines which will no longer be stocked.  This makes room for new and exciting wines to come in from all over the world and offers you the chance to snap up a bargain.

Come into the store to see our display of the wines featured in the Bargain Hunt and may be leave with one or two or more of them (as part of minimum purchase of six).  All of the staff will be happy to talk to you the wines and may well be getting in on some of the offers themsleves.

We look forward to seeing you in store.  Don't miss out!

Wine of the Week: Vega de la Reina, Verdejo 2011Date published: 06/11/12

Reinia is a small region within Castilla y Leon that is famed for this delicate style of white wine. Verdejo is the predominant white variety in this area. It is an aromatic grape and is often thought of as Spain's alternative to a Sauvignon Blanc.

This offering from Marques de la Concordia carries lively aromas of greenery, and citrus fruits in the sauvignon vein, accompanied by softer, melon and petal touches. Crisp and refreshing on the palate with a lemony zing.

This wine is great to pair with summery lunchtime dishes, such as paella and other rice salads, or pasta dishes with mussels.

£7.99 or £6.99 when you buy at least two bottles!

MAKE YOUR AUTUMN REDDate published: 25/10/12

Take our Autumnal quiz...

 

1. What is red, South African and tastes like coffee?

2. What is red, Australian and tastes like blackberries?

3. What is red, Argentinian and tastes like forest fruits?

4. What is red, French and tastes like spiced fruit cake?

5. What is red, Italian and tastes like cherries?

6. What is red, Portugese and tastes like wild berries?

7. What is red, Californian and tastes like spiced plums?

8. What is red, French and tastes like morello cherry jam?

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*** Spoiler *** Answers Below!

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1. Barista Pinotage - £6.99 when you buy 2 or more

2. McGuigan Signature Cabernet - £7.99 when you buy 2 or more

3. Vinalba Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot - £8.99 when you buy 2 or more

4. Chateau Meaume £7.99 when you buy 2 or more

5. Poliziano Chianti DOCG £8.99 when you buy 2 or more

6. Crasto Duoro 7.49 when you buy 2 or more

7. Qupe Bien nacido, Syrah 16.99 when you buy 2 or more

8. Dom Borie Blanche £7.99 when you buy 2 or more

Make Autumn RedDate published: 21/10/12

Here is our new in store display to help you make autmn red!

Its getting colder and we all need a nice comforting red to help us through.

Wine of the Week: Thelema Merlot 2008 /09Date published: 12/10/12

Thelema Mountain Vineyards in Stellenbosch benefit from high altitude and a maritime climate, two factors contributing to a uniquely long ripening period.

A beautiful bouquet of cherries, blackberries, pine, vanilla and cocoa. With winter spice, plum and cherry fruit flavour, this Merlot is reminiscent of Christmas.

Soft silky tannins mean this wine can be enjoyed without food, but a chunk of mature cheese or even a wedge of Christmas pudding would make a delightful union.

£15.99 when you buy at least two South African wines, otherwise £19.99

Nyetimber VisitDate published: 11/10/12

On Tuesday three of us from Ealing got to pay a visit to the Nyetimber estate, along with some other lucky Majestic employees from around the country. After a couple of very successful in-store tastings with Nyetimber rep Julia earlier this summer, we were all already swooning for Majestic's Nyetimber range (Classic Cuvee 2004, Blanc de Blancs 2003 and Rose 2007). On Tuesday we were privileged enough to extend our profiles with tasters from other fantastic vintages, including Classic Cuvee, 2005 & 2008, Rose 2008 and Blanc de Blancs 1996.

Upon arrival, we were ushered into a beautiful white barn - with tasteful interior akin to Nyetimber's minimalist, yet classically designed bottles. From the window was a vista onto the recently restored historic Nyetimber manor house, once owned by Henry VIII: simply stunning. The skies were grey and there was incessant drizzle, which has been the theme of this summer it seems, but we felt far from dismal. After a sophisticated buffet lunch we braved the elements, in matching wellies provided by Nyetimber, to tour the precious vines behind the even more precious wines.

Richard, the vineyard manager enthusiastically described the tender process that he and his team undergo to make sure that every grape is of the utmost quality. This includes everything from rigorous pruning, employing grazing sheep during winter months, a badger-scarer to discourage the theft of Pinot Noir (which West Sussex badgers are apparently especially fond of) and an emergency on call frost-busting team. Nyetimber's practically maternal care for their vines ensures that only the finest quality grapes make it into bottle and it makes perfect sense to hear their philosophy:

“You can make a bad wine from good grapes. You cannot make a good wine from bad grapes.”

Such is Nyetimber's commitment to outstanding quality fruit that they have announced this morning the decision not to harvest grapes from the 2012 vintage. Due to the appalling conditions this summer, the grapes this year simply do not meet Nyetimber's required standard, which if you'll take it from me, I can tell you is exceptional. The mission statement of founders, Stuart and Sandy Moss' was, “To make the finest English Sparkling Wine, One to rival the best in the world, including Champagne.”

The wines we tried on Tuesday are each testament to the fact that Nyetimber have so far succeeded in this aim. Each was truly delightful (a bottle of any them would make me a very happy girl) and the breadth of style was impressive. I was fascinated by how the 2007 & 2008 Rose vintages differed from each other, with wine maker Cherie's different blends contributing to a strawberry, redcurrant and rhubarb-driven wine in 2007, and a richer, more plummy style wine in 2008. For me, a taste of the Blanc de Blanc 1996 was the highlight of my day, with this wine standing in a league of its own. The sheer age of the wine has enabled it to develop a gorgeous golden intensity, an incredibly satisfying subtle mousse and a complex depth of flavour - mushroom, brioche and citrus. We were also in for an exclusive sweet treat: a taste of Nyetimber Demi Sec NV, the first ever English Demi Sec. This wine would go brilliantly with dessert and actually tasted like lemon tart. Its sweetness is balanced by a lovely citrus lift and no one would suspect its novelty.

We ended the day with a trip down the road to a lovely local pub for some delicious fare and yet more Nyetimber – it would have been rude not so close by. Thank you Nyetimber for hosting such a wonderful visit. I hope you'll have me back again!

After a fantastic summer of increased Nyetimber sales to our customers high on patriotic spirits, and breaking down prejudices that many people have towards English wine, it is my hope that our customers will continue to opt for Nyetimber this winter. I know it's a glass of Blanc de Blanc 1996 that I'll want with my Christmas dinner, some Demi Sec with my Christmas pudding and a week later, I'll be opting for the Rose 2008 to toast to 2013.

Commercial Business FacilitiesDate published: 05/10/12

Trade Customer?
Need expert advice?
Free urgent delivery?
Excellent wines that only we specialise in?

We have a wide range of Ontrade only products to serve all your Business
needs. Please call us on 02085679251 or email on eal@majestic.co.uk and we shall put you in touch with a member
of our dedicated Commercial team. If you need wine delivered in a hurry
contact us today.
 

New Fine Wine FridayDate published: 05/10/12

Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc, 2007, Gagnard Delagrange

£25 per bottle

One of the best producers of white Burgundy, Gagnard-Delagrange, has given us this fantastic Chassagne-Montrachet. A fine example from this much sought after appelation in burgundy. This wine is a fine example of the rich, toasty aromas displayed and the elegant and complex minerality and creaminess on the pallet. Enjoy with some roast chicken, roasted sea bass or chicken stew.

A Spanish Fiesta or a parcelDate published: 19/09/12

A Spanish Fiesta of a Parcel

Majestic has been a buzz recently with Rioja the word on everyones lips. The gossip around the 'water cooler' (aka sink) has been a 'wash' with chat about rustling up some money to pay for an exciting new parcel of Spanish wines! If you're a fan of Fine wine, if you're a fan of Rioja, if you're a fan of wine in any way shape or form, then this parcel is not to be missed!

Our buyers were contacted at the beginning of the summer by an intermediary who offered them copious amounts of well maintained, aged Rioja's from all the top vintages and top bodega's kept by a former Catering company in Spain. The wines have all been tasted and are the real McCoy, and so here they are, on our shelves! This seems to be the sort of opportunity that comes around once in a blue moon, so I have done my homework (with a little help from our buyer Matt Plymm) and accumulated some little gems, and because I'm such a stand up bloke, I shall pass on my pearls of wisdom on to you!

There are two things you need to think about when buying fine wine, or any wine for that matter, and that is the vintage and the producer. Lets start with the vintages. (classifications according to Rioja DOCa classification system)

Vintages

1982 ***** Outstanding Vintage.

1987 **** Very Good Vintage - A highly respected vintage of very good quality. Following an extremely cold winter and a slight frost - and some insect infestation in May, the summer was comfortably hot. July turned wet with little sunshine but August was very dry and very sunny, with temperatures up to 40°C, and total rainfall for the whole growing season was only just over half the average. The harvest started in Rioja Baja on the 5th September but was interrupted by rain. Growers who waited until after the rain before they picked were rewarded with excellent grapes, fully ripe and in perfect health.

1991 **** Very Good Vintage - A very good vintage producing wines of impressive intensity. This was the year in which Rioja was 'promoted' from DO to DOCa, and the growers really wanted a blockbusting vintage to show off their new rating, but they were to be disappointed (until 1994, indeed). The winter of 1990/1 was, for once, a 'typical' winter with attendant rains and snow on the highest ground, leading into a cold and rainy spring, with a sharp frost on the 22nd April in the highland areas of Rioja Alta and Alavesa, putting the flowering back between two and three weeks. In June there was an infestation of insects in the Tempranillo but this was cleared in Rioja Baja by the third week of June and in the highlands by the end of the month. Summer was dry and hot and the vines made up for lost time in the spring. Most of the rain came late - in September and October, and this took the quality edge off the vintage. A hailstorm on the 11th September did severe damage to vineyards in the western part of the Rioja Alta and the rains brought Botrytis in its wake, although white varieties were hit harder than red. At vintage time the wines were characterised as high in acid and a little under-ripe. The average quality was somewhere between 3 and 4 throughout the region, but good producers turned out some very good wines (note MP - 1991 has since been seen as a really top vintage for those wines from quality Bodegas).

1994 ***** Outstanding Vintage - Splendid year with intense, slow maturing wines of great colour and depth of flavour. This was the 'Aaah!' vintage, after three years of drought and indifferent quality, nature relented and provided one of the best vintages of the century (compared by many producers with the legendary 1964). The winter was warmer than usual; just what the growers had been looking for, as the vines budded early. April was a crucial month as frost took 10-30% of the buds, slowing down the development in the vineyard. However, the grapes had set well by mid-June, particularly Garnacha and Tempranillo, which is much earlier than normal. The summer was good without excessive heat, dry enough to avoid fungal problems and scattered storms provided just enough water for the development of the grapes. For the first time in 20 years the vintage began in Rioja Baja on the 1st September and in the highlands between 6th and 10th. By 18th September everyone was picking, and the grapes showed
tremendous ripeness, colour and extract. This was a truly great vintage in the making, although (or perhaps because) it was relatively low in quantity.

1995 ***** Outstanding Vintage - A big vintage of classic wines. This was the impossible dream - an 'Excelente' vintage with what was (then - superseded in 1996 and again in 1997 and 1998) the biggest harvest of all time (albeit after a three-year drought), and the second 5-star year in a row. The late autumn and winter of 1994/95 were mild and comfortable, and the vines were showing signs of life by the end of January, with bud-burst at the beginning of March. There were frosts in the second half of April, affecting mainly the area around Najerilla in Rioja Alta, some parts of Rioja Alavesa and quite substantially in Rioja Baja. However, the residual water in the subsoil, combined with very much better temperatures in May, allowed for a second budding which saved the day, and the more mature vineyards recovered all their losses in the highlands. Rioja Baja, having suffered badly during three years of drought, did not recover as well.

2001 ***** Outstanding Vintage - Classic Rioja wines; robust and round with balancing acidity. The total 2001 harvest in Spain is expected to be down 20% on 2001 at around 35 million hectolitres, although this is still about 10% higher than recent average vintages. The reason for this is a long, hot and dry summer after prolonged winter rains, which has also meant that picking started early in many places - in some cases up to fifteen days before the usual date. The D.O.Ca. Rioja Control Board Plenary decided to award the 2001 Vintage its highest rating: "EXCELLENT". The decision came in the wake of the spectacular results obtained during the wine approval process, which has to be undergone by every wine made from the harvest before they can earn the right to belong to the Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja. This general rating for the vintage confirms the comments on the exceptional quality of the grapes harvested which the Control Board made after the harvest, as well as the impressions of wine technicians during vinification. Everyone agrees that this is going to be a "historic" vintage. No other vintage since strict analytical and sensorial approval system was introduced in 1980 had offered such high percentages of top quality wines. The average test parameter results are undoubtedly the best obtained to date, surpassing such an emblematic vintage as 1994. Only 9 vintages were rated Excellent during the last century, the last three being 1995, 1994 and 1982.


Producer

Next we must consider the bodega at which the wine is produced. Many of the producers will already be known to you. For example CNVE, Marques de Caceres and Muga, but some will be unfamiliar!

Marques de Vargas
This is a serious producer, making excellent wines that blend traditional style with modern winemaking techniques, like Muga in some ways. And at £15.99, there 2001 is an absolute steal! (Berry Bro's & Rudd are selling the wine at over twice the price!)

Bodegas Urbina
A small bodega focussed on quality wines, which has history back to 1870. Parker gives their 1994 Gran Reserva 92 points so not to be sniffed at!

Vina Tondonia, Bodegas Lopez y Heredia
Probably the most traditional wines being made in Rioja. Long aging in big old oak vessels, these wines are incredibly stable, and old, when released. Very long lived wines.

Viña Arana and Alberdi, La Rioja Alta
Two other wines made by la Rioja Alta, of Ardanza fame. Arana is of the same quality level as Ardanza, just form a different vineyard selection resulting in a fruitier style (as compared to the spicier style of Ardanza). Alberdi is the level beneath these two, but still lovely wine as one would expect from La Rioja Alta.

Baron de Oña, La Rioja Alta
This estate wine was bought by La Rioja Alta in 1995, so this vintage would have been overseen by the original Cuban owner. Unusual in Rioja, this was at the time a single estate wine, and was also made in a more modern, fruit forward style in new oak.

Conclusion

These wines are all fantastic wines, and Majestic are lucky to have them, but in reality, we are the lucky ones, you and I. To have these wines in the market place at these prices is almost too good to be true! So my advice is simple....... Buy now or you will always regret it, because when they're gone, they're gone!!

Wine of the Week: Viña Ardanza Rioja Reserva 2001 La Rioja AltaDate published: 14/09/12

Having been awarded 94 parker points this wine truly is great value for money!

Origin
One of the very best of Rioja's produced from fruit exclusively grown in the bodega's 360 hectare vineyard holdings in the Rioja Alta region, and named after one of the Region's founding families. Remaining under family ownership, this is of the most sought-after bodegas. Having been awarded 94 parker points this wine truly is great value for money!


The Wine
On the nose aromas of leather, earth, vanilla and red fruits. On the palate experience notes of juicy redcurrants with earthy silky tannins that linger to give a long vanilla finish.

Enjoy now or over the next 5 years with a lamb stew.


£22

Buy at least 2 Spanish wines save 20%

£17.59

Wine of the Week: Rioja Gran Reserva Imperial, CVNE 1999 / 2001Date published: 12/09/12

Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana, commonly known as CVNE, is a fantastically well renowned producer based just outside the twn of Haro in Rioja Alta (Rioja's finest of its 3 regions). Made from 20 year old vines and ages in French and american oak, the Imperial range originated in the 1920's, named for its imperial pint bottles that it exported to the UK.


Full Garnet in colour and expressing a beautiful autumnal bouquet of berry fruit, with undertones of coffee, caramel and sweet spices. On the palate this perfectly balanced and finely structured wine comes alive. It gently carresses your mouth with dried fruits, plums, damsons combined with toasty vanilla undertones and nice soft tannins.


The 1999 was great vintage in Rioja, but is drinking perfectly now, however the 2001 was an outstanding vintage and this bottle will keep for the next 5 or so years, if you can keep your hands off it.
Its best enjoyed with roasted meats or game birds.

£25.00 or
£19.99 when you buy 2 or more Spanish Wines
 

Amazing New Fine Wine Friday WineDate published: 07/09/12

Bodegas Matarromera is one of the finest producers in Ribera del Duero, which in turn is a phenomenal wine-producing region, rivaling Rioja and even Bordeaux.

An enticing array of black fruit, tobacco, sage and paprika aromas, this deep ruby wine is smooth and harmonious. Think black cherry, blackcurrant, plum, hints of vanilla, lavender and beefiness – what more could one want in a red wine?

Ready to be enjoyed now with roast lamb or beef, but equally with the potential to age for another 5-10 years.

 

From £25 to £19.99 if buy 2+ Spanish

Wine of the Week: Luis Felipe Edwards Gran Reserva MerlotDate published: 31/08/12

A Chilean Celebration...

Being Chile's most celebrated red varietals, these merlot berries were selected mainly from vineyards in the Colchagua Valley. To give the wine an extra freshness of flavour, 15% of fruit were added from the Casablanca Valley. It has been aged for 12 months in 30% new French and American Oak.

With an intense and vibrant ruby red colour, this wine offers aromas of ripe strawberries, young red cherries and vanilla. On the palate experience blackberries with tobacco leaf notes and a coffee bean finish. Soft but firm tannins create a full bodied red.

Enjoy now or over 2-3 years with a lasagne or lamb stew.

£9.49
Save 20% on Chile

£7.59

New Veuve Pocket Flat Pack Ice Bucket Arrives in EalingDate published: 24/08/12

Have a look at this!

A fold up pocket sized ice bucket has just arrived in Ealing. Classy! Useful for all those end of Summer Picnics in the park. We will give away 1 free with every 6 pack of veuve bought! Amazing

Majestival BBQDate published: 20/08/12

With the wonderful weather we're having, Team Ealing just couldn't resist the urge to have a BBQ! Keeping the true #Majestival spirit  alive we decided to team our BBQ bonanza with some of our favourite English wines including the Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2004 and Rose 2007. Did you know all Nyetimber wines are aged for a minimum of 3 years?! If that doesn't impress you, did you know Queen Elizabeth chose Nyetimber Blanc de Blanc 2003 as her sparkle for her Jubilee?

Send in your best BBQ ideas, favourite wines and party tricks on facebook and join in on the Majestival fun!  Just follow this link/: https://apps.facebook.com/majestival

NYETIMBER song lyrics Date published: 17/08/12

I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want
(He'll tell you what he wants what he really really wants)
I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want
(He'll tell you what he wants what he really really wants)
He wants some N
He wants some N
He really, really, really wants some NYE-TIM-BER!

Verse 1
If you want some bubbles, if you want some fizz
Better put down that Champagne, get some of this
Prosecco and Cava – an inferior choice
Fill your glass with Nyetimber and you'll rejoice

Chorus
If you are a wine lover, you have got to try
The finest English bubbles
They'll take you by surprise.
If you've got a celebration
Or even a small do
Stock up on some Nyetimber
The joke won't be on you!

I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want
(He'll tell you what he wants what he really really wants)

Verse 2
If you're under pressure
From French from French critics
Be assured that you're no heretic
Good enough for Lizzy at her jubilee
So who do you think you are to disagree?

Chorus
If you are a wine lover, you have got to try
The finest English bubbles
They'll take you by surprise.
If you've got a celebration
Or even a small do
Stock up on some Nyetimber
The joke won't be on you!

Rap
So here's the story from grape to glass
This Nyetimber stuff is not a farce
We've got Pinot Noir, we've got Chardonnay
Blanc de Blancs and Classic Cuvee
You can try them all in store today – even the Rose
Sceptical? - well let's see.
Have a little taste – smiles on your face
Have a little taste – smiles on your face
Have a little taste of NYE-TIMBER!

Chorus
If you are a wine lover, you have got to try
The finest English bubbles
They'll take you by surprise.
If you've got a celebration
Or even a small do
Stock up on some Nyetimber
The joke won't be on you!

Repeat chorus

Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble
Give it a try, give it a buy, give it a try
Nyetimber
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble
NYETIMBER
 

Give it a tryDate published: 16/08/12

newcomers welcome to join this elite bubbly clan

Artistic appreciationDate published: 16/08/12

the bottles are just so beautiful and the wine if just so divine

Contemplating its greatnessDate published: 16/08/12

mmmmmmm, it's all we're thinking about

We're on a monastical pilgrimage to Nyetimber ...Date published: 16/08/12

Part 1 - the shrine!

Toddle with meDate published: 15/08/12

I'm the new trainee here at Ealing and if you follow us online, you'll know that a few weeks back I started a "Come and Explore With Me" journey into wine. Having only begun here 6(ish) weeks ago, I would have then considered myself a baby in the wine buff hierarchy, but now dare I mutter it, I consider myself a wee toddler. This might not be that outlandish an assertion however, given that I showcased my childlike experstise by identifying a Sancerre in a blind tasting at head office yestreday - something that even 2 weeks ago, I'd have not been equipped to do. I feel like a proud primary school pupil that just triumphed in the egg and spoon race but this post is about wine and not about me, so now down to the business of introducing you to some reds that I have tried and enjoyed recently.

Kangarilla Road, Shiraz 2009, McLaren Vale - I really enjoyed a glass of this by itself a couple of Friday's ago on the sofa watching a film. Black cherry, blackcurrant and violet aromas - it packs quite a punch. More black cherry on the palate and some lovely cinnamon and black pepper spice. A big wine that I will buy again. (£11.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles).

Lirac Vignobles Abeille 2010, Mont Redon - Until startng with Majestic, I was rather careless when it came to making a mental note of which wines I enjoyed. This is a caveat to the fact that I had never before tried a Rhone (I may well have uconcsciously done so). The Lirac has lovely stewed plum and cherry aromas and a hint of nutmeg. It's a medium-bodied powerful wine, with blackberry and spice and a really meatiness to it. Personally, it's long finish made me think of barbequed aubergines, but I might be alone in that observation. Ready to be enjoyed now, but definitely with the potential to age for a few more years, this wine is crying out for a tagine or mezze dish - something with a bit of bite but not too spicy. (£11.99 when you buy 2 bottles).

Rioja, Gran Reserva, Imperial 2001, CVNE - I was a right lucky so and so getting to try this lovely stuff the other day. As part of our training at head office, we had a comparative blind tasting of this bad boy and an inexpensive (and I must add inferior) alternative. The CVNE is just so wonderfully mature and so silky smooth that I couldn't resist a smile tasting it, and rather than emptying my sample into the spitoon, cheekily drank the whole lot! It's got a bit of berry on the palate, lots of spice and that famryard thing going on, which I am increasingly appreciative of. Oh and I should add that 2001 (my colleagues repetitively inform me) was a mind-blowingingly good vintage for Rioja!

 

Wine of the Week: Jim Barry Cover DriveDate published: 15/08/12

My colleague loooves this wine and I found it very intriguing, so we've made it wine of the week...

An inviting purple hue, with a fruit-driven, menthol influenced nose - reminiscent somehow of blackcurrant jam tarts. Blackcurrant confirms the nose and is accompanied by red cherry, violet spice and eucalyptus.

A very interesting wine, which due to its slightly minty character would be great matched with tabbouleh or a minty lamb dish.

NYETIMBER: The Royal ChoiceDate published: 10/08/12

If I said “English Sparkling Wine” to a Champagne purist, they might well retort, “no thanks”, “give over”, “maybe never” or offer any number of other out-right dismissals.

I would then inform the skeptic that NYETIMBER has won no fewer than 65 awards and, get ready for it, beaten bubble-lovers' favourite, Champagne in blind tastings. This wouldn't be nearly as an alarming item of news, when it was understood that the NYETIMBER vineyards in West Sussex and Kent enjoy both the same climate and limestone soil as those in Champagne – viticultural kinsmen if you like. If they remained skeptical, I would casually drop in the fact that our very own Queen Elizabeth II chose a glass of NYETIMBER Blanc de Blanc to toast with at her diamond jubilee, and if it's good enough for our monarch, who indeed qualifies to say that it's beneath their sparkling standards?

On a royal note, if I said, “NYETIMBER” to a Tudor historian, they might well comment, that the very estate which is now pumping out award-winning wines, was once owned by none other than Henry VIII. In fact, the NYETIMBER estate is so drenched in English heritage, that it appears in the Domesday book, from whence NYETIMBER derived its name.

Impressive waffle aside, what does this classy label offer? Let's start with the Classic Cuvee 2004. Made from the three self-same grape varieties as Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (the trickiest of the three to grow in the UK), the Classic Cuvee boasts lovely brioche and apricot aromas. It's wonderfully creamy, and reminiscent of apple crumble, gooseberries, blossom and citrus and its fine mousse is nothing short of divine. At Majestic, we're offering you the Classic Cuvee for £24.99 a bottle, (with most competitors charging £29.99).

Next, there's NYETIMBER Rose, the salmon pink princess of bubbly. She's fresh and ever so slightly farmyard on the nose; yet on the palate, she offers much more fruit flavour than her aroma suggests. Zesty, floral, “Haribo” cherry, yellow plum and somehow a bit meaty, NYETIMBER Rose is a wonderfully sophisticated (and for £39.99 a bottle, good value) choice.

Last but not least, NYETIMBER Blanc de Blancs, the 100% Chardonnay variety. Overflowing with freshly baked bread and vanilla, the nasal allure is fulfilled by a dried almond, apricot, marmalade, gooseberry and lemon symphony of flavours. A delightful gently fizzing, option, a bottle of Blanc de Blancs will cost you £34.99, but you won't regret a penny.

NYETIMBER is in keeping with the zeitgeist of recent royal festivities and sporting achievements. The odds are, you've got something to celebrate, or you're partial to a glass of bubbles just because...and why shouldn't you be? Can I implore you, with royal support, not to immediately assume that Champagne is the answer and give the French all the glory, but recognise our homegrown English achievements and give NYETIMBER a try.

If you can't take my word for it, then come and sample the NYETIMBER products with us in store on Friday 17th August between 5-7.30pm.

Get in the majestival sporting spirit!Date published: 10/08/12

In keeping with the Majestival sports day theme, we've selected our wine winners. Each of these wines are amazing value for money and chosen by our very own staff members. Get in the #majestival spirit and let us know your thoughts for the perfect sports day picnic on twitter using #majestival

Wine of the Week: BARISTA Pinotage 2010Date published: 07/08/12

For just £8.99, you can pick up a bottle of South Africa's Barista Pinotage, our Wine of the Week. What a steal! I am all over this wine and have just thoroughly enjoyed writing up my tasting notes. It's simply gorgeous and despite the fact that I am obviously rather enjoying my shift here at Ealing, I'm itching to be at home on the sofa with a big glass of Barista in my hand, a romcom on the TV and oodles of dark chocolate!

A vibrant and youthful-looking wine, with a wonderful marriage of ripe blackberries, plums, cloves and leather aromas. Despite the richness of dark chocolate, coffee bean and red cherry, this wine has a surprising freshness. Beautifully well-balanced, the tannins coat the mouth politely and leave a long-lasting liquorice silkiness behind.

Would partner perfectly with a decadent chocolaty desert or equally, a red meat dish.

May the best Matsu win!Date published: 07/08/12

The Matsu wines are from three generations: The young guy, the tough guy and the old guy. Experience a festival of flavour characteristics, from youthful ripe fruits to powerful yet silky tannins finishing with smoky cigar box nuances. Matsu is Japanese for 'wait' and good things come to those who wait. Give each of these wines a try and decide if youth is ideal or if age more than just a number...may the best man win!

Wine of the Week: Chianti Classico San LeoninoDate published: 03/08/12

Chianti Classico San Leonino, Tenimenti Angelini

£7.99
when you buy 2 or more bottles, otherwise £9.99

 

Chianti is surely one of the most evocative names in the world of wine. Chianti Classico is a sub zone established to preserve the region's traditions with regard to wine production and the grape varieties used.
San Leonino is a very traditional example of a Chianti, made from Canaiolo and Sangiovese grapes which are grown on prime south-easterly facing slopes. It exhibits red cherry flavours and a hint of sweet spices. Thanks to its acidity, this is a superb food wine and a particularly good match for pasta dishes or pizza.
Drink immediately or cellar for 3-4 years for even greater depth and complexity.

Fine Wine Friday: Cloudy Bay Te Koko Date published: 03/08/12

Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2008/09, Marlborough

A beautifully crafted and highly distinctive wine from the world-renowned Cloudy Bay winery. This is a rare example of an oaked Sauvignon Blanc: fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured on its lees for 18 months in French oak barriques. The result is a full-bodied, exciting yet restrained wine, which combines flavours of citrus, gooseberries, caramel and nougat. Drink today with tuna, oysters or poached fish, or cellar for up to 5 years to achieve even greater complexity. Few wines offer the drinker a truly unique experience – this is one.


£30

20% Off New Zealand

£23.99

Wines I RateDate published: 02/08/12

It's time to get my creative juices flowing and write a little something about what I've been tasting recently. As a Majestic employee, working within 50 yards of the tasting counter 48 hours of my week, I've tried a fair number of wines already. I've whittled them down and selected three that have stuck out for me so far...

Spy Valley, Gewürztraminer
I'd never heard of Gewürztraminer before my Majestic career began and I am thrilled to have been introduced to this grape. The Spy Valley was like no wine I've ever tasted. Wonderfully aromatic, reminiscent of blossom and tropical fruits. It's delicious, beautifully balanced, with honey-dew, rosewater and lychee notes. I thoroughly enjoyed it by itself, but have been told to give it a go alongside a Thai curry. If you like floral and delicate flavours, and something a bit different, I can't recommend it enough. It's £10.99 if you buy 2 bottles or more.

Pol Roger Reserve NV Champagne
I must admit that thus far in life, I have not been massively into Champagne, but that might be liable to change with Champagnes like Pol Roger. A lovely golden colour with comforting biscuity aromas. Think marmalade, green apples, citrus and an underlying doughy back bone - and yet still light and refreshing with a long finish. I'd be more than happy to toast with this! We've got it at £30 a bottle (down from £42) at the moment, so I implore you to consider raising a glass.

“El Recio”, Matsu 2009
What a beauty. He's a pleasing deep ruby colour, and gives off an alluring combination of oak, almond, damp leaves and blackcurrant scents, which is not let down by a fusion of plum, vanilla and a very satisfying meatiness. This is a full-bodied BIG wine, which gets 3*s in my incredibly stingy personal starring system. Oh, what would happen if you paired this with rare steak? You can find out for just £7.99 (for 2 or more bottles).

Keep your eyes peeled for some more of my tasting revelations and perhaps the occasional “wino” fact!

Wine of the Week-Pouily Fume Les GriottesDate published: 27/07/12

Pouilly-Fumé 'Les Griottes' 2010/2011 Jean-Pierre Bailly

£12.99
when you buy 2 or more bottles, otherwise £13.99

 

Grapes from up to 40 year old vines, imbues this wine with Pouilly-Fumé's classic richness, smokiness and complexity.

Woodland aromas of nettles and white blossom. Smooth, medium-light bodied, smoky and floral notes with green apple and suggestions of green peppers.

Light and refreshing – great for summer drinking. To be enjoyed with asparagus or Caesar salad.

Rekorderling Strawberry&Lime Cider Available to TryDate published: 25/07/12

We have a fairly recent arrival in our beer and cider section. This is the amazingly refreshing Swedish Cider Rekorderling. Ideal in warm balmy summer times over ice. Incredibly moorish! Strawberry & Lime are a perfect combination and its only 4%.  Please come along and ask to try!

Jane Macquitty's Summer Top 100- Majestic InclusionsDate published: 21/07/12

Here are Jane MacQuitty's write ups in The Saturday Times. This is the
first part of her Summer Top 100 - the best white wines and sparkling
wines.
2011 Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc
Squeaky clean and proud of it, this stainless steel fermented and aged
sauvignon is the wine to serve to Loire devotees who feel New World
sauvignon somehow fails to hit the spot. Named in honour of the 120
soldiers who hid in Santa Rita's cellars during Chile's war for
independence, this grassy, punchy, 13.5 per cent alcohol, lime and green
pepper-scented sauvignon is the wine to serve at all those mixed buffet
summer parties.

2011 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc
Star Buy - Best Value
This bowled me over with its mouthwatering blast of zesty, verdant, nettle,
grass cuttings and flowering currant pisazz. All that, and closing on the
zingy, tropical fruit note that has made Marlborough sauvignon so famous,
effortlessly put Giesen ahead of the pack. Made with grapes from 32 plots
in the Wairau valley, Giesen is just the job served with asparagus, or an
Asian-spiced salad.

2011 Wither Hills Chardonnay
Star Buy - Best Buy
Anyone tasting this 14 per cent alcohol Kiwi chardonnay will wonder why
they bother with white burgundy - it made mincemeat of most of the sub-£8
white burgundies it was lined up with. It oozes spiced baked apple and
cinnamon flavours. With a fine, nutty, toasty, oak-derived finish, it was
impossible to fault.

2009 Les Princes Abbes Riesling Schlumberger
Unthinkable to go through the summer without a fine Alsace white to savour
alongside those powerfully flavoured summer dishes. If you have
stomach-space for just one, make it this racy riesling. Schlumberger differ
from other Alsace producers in that every wine it produces comes from
grapes grown in its own vineyards. Such quality control has paid off and
this mouthwatering riesling oozes bold, vibrant, thrillingly complex musk
peach, lime and floral fruit.

2008 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos St-Jean
The Gagnard family work together, which helps to explain why this premier
cru is so good. From the northern end of the appellation, this swanky
premier cru has lots of delicious, ripe, toasty, smoky, steely, again
heavily oak-spiced fruit.

Bouvet-Ladubay Saumur Brut NV
Star Buy - Bargain Fizz
Big summer party in view? Then you and yours will need a brilliant, bargain
bubbly to crack open for the occasion. Made exclusively from the Loire's
classy chenin blanc grape and stored in long, cold galleries hewn out of
the region's tuffeau stone, what you get from this fine sparkler is lots of
zippy, zesty, waxy, floral, honey-baked apple fruit.

More to follow in the next couple of weeks...
 

Party PleasersDate published: 21/07/12

It's the Majestival season, ergo it must be time to host a party. Which bevies ought you have the butler serve your guests? New Zealand have got some offerings that fit the bill; at just £6.99 (when you buy two or more NZ bottles) Ned Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc and Giesen Marlborough (£5.99) Sauvignon Blanc are sure winners. These two are both flying off the shelves (almost) quicker than we can replenish them.

We've recently had Fairleigh Estate Sauvignon Blanc on the tasting counter. This one's only £5.99 (when you buy 2 or more) and an easy drinking gold medalist. On the nose, I got the lovely seasonal gooseberry and elderflower scents, as well as citrus hints and tropical passion fruit. These aromas were matched on the palate and further accompanied by a smearing of honey and a smattering of fennel. Fairleigh's not the most sophisticated, but an nice simple wine for your party guests.

If New Zealand's not your thing, than another suggestion would be Italy's Serena Pinot Grigio Banfi at £6.99 (when you buy 2 or more bottles). Pinot Grigio, I've learnt, is the grape of the masses – another party favourite. I sensed aromas of green apples, stone fruit and found it reminiscent of pine forest childhood walks. When I took a sip, I got more apple, as well pear on the palate and a touch of metal. Serena would be great with salad or seafood.

In summary, these wines are easy drinkable companions for you and your party guests during the Majestival season.

Come and Explore with MeDate published: 20/07/12

I am a 15 day old Majestic trainee manager based at the Ealing store. I've got an awful lot to learn and am feeling a wee bit overwhelmed so I thought it would be great to write about what I'm learning. My musings will have a four-fold purpose: to solidfy my knowledge, promote Majestic products, amuse the connoisseur and accomodate the fellow amateur.

Watch this space and learn all about the world of wine through the eyes of a baby wine-buff-to-be in realtime!

Wine of the Week: Valpolicella Classico 2011, Cantina di NegrarDate published: 16/07/12

This week available to sample on our tasting counter we have Valpolicella Classico 2011, Cantina di Negrar

Origin
Produced east of Lake Garda in the western Veneto region of Verona,
northeast Italy. Negrar's vineyards, sited at the heart of the 'Classico' or
traditional producing area, are planted with Corvina, Rondinella and
Molinara grape varieties. Traditionally, the wine is made by drying the grapes on straw mats to give a more concentrated grape must.

The Wine
Juicy red berries and red fruit aromas explode from the glass
accompanied by exotic spices and a hint of earth.
Seductive and smooth with a full body that lingers on the palate with velevety tannins.

Enjoyed with pasta and soft and semi-soft cheese, grilled meats and
olives. Enjoyable now or over the next three years.

£9.99

Buy at least 2 Italian wines save 20%

£7.99

Sparkling SaturdayDate published: 14/07/12

Today it's La Fête Nationale (French National day) so we think it's time for a toast! Don't let yours be a rainy Saturday, rather make it a sparkling one - we've just opened up a bottle of Louis Bouillot sparkling wine. Come and have a taste to forget the British weather and instead celebrate French independence.

Wine of the Week: Albarino Martin CodaxDate published: 12/07/12

Albariño Martin Codax 2011 Rias Baixas

£9.99  - when you buy 2 or more bottles, otherwise £11.99 for a single bottle.

Founded in 1986 in the Rias Baixas region of Northwestern Spain, Martin Codax produces wine from the aromatic white Albariño grape.

A light wine with aromas of green apples and white blossom. Crisp grapefruit and lemon flavours and waxy notes.

This is a pleasant, summery wine. It would suit sea food dishes, but could equally be enjoyed by itself al fresco.

Around The World in 80 WinesDate published: 09/07/12

Here at Majestic Wine, Ealing we have decided to take a voyage around the world in 80 days. Along the way we will be discovering some of the finest wines each region has to offer.

Every day for the next 80 days we will be recommending a different wine.

Come and explore with us and treat yourself to some of our recommendations. It is a great way to discover wines that you may not have yet experienced.
 

Our journey begins with Chapel Down English Rose, embarking from England, setting sail across Europe, Asia, South and North America before returning to Europe and disembarking back on home soil on 24th September.

Tried one of our recommended wines? Let us know what you think on Twitter using #ATWI80W or on facebook. We're excited to see your tasting notes!

Wine of the Week: San Gimignano Sangiovese, Pasoni 2008Date published: 29/06/12

San Gimignano Sangiovese, Pasoni
2008

£9.99 or
£7.99 when you buy 2 or more

 

From the towering village of San Gimignono, this wine represents a classic interpretation of a Tuscan Chianti. Although the white grape Vernaccia predominates the planting in the area, there are plans to make a DOC rosso di San Gimignono, due to the quality of the red production.


The wine has medium-full weight in the mouth and lashings of ripe red-cherry fruit and spicy edge. It well structured with a classic sangiovese backbone of well rounded tannins, sweet spice d firm but not over powering acidity, making it the perfect companion to food.


The wine is drinking fantastically now or over the next couple of years. It's great structure means its a perfect match for a variety of cured meats and game, or any tomato based dishes.

Double Pink PleasureDate published: 25/06/12

Love our Aix Provence Rose Magnums? Well we now have Double Magnums in store. Not only do they look impressive, they taste fantastic!

AIX Rosé 2011, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, Double Magnum

An award-winning wine from one of the region's largest and most
prestigious wineries, Domaine de la Grande Séouve, who have
established AIX as perhaps the definitive Provence rosé. Boldly brought
to you in a double magnum; a great addition to the most decadent of.

This medly of Cinsault, Shiraz and Grenache is vibrant and summery, with a bright pink colour and a
delicate balance of crisp acidity and soft, ripe summer fruit.

A superb choice for any event, and the perfect match for canapés or
seafood.

At the Bargain price of £50!

Euro 2012...The joy of 6Date published: 25/06/12

So...we're out! Last nights game against Italy was intense but ineveitably we lost in the penalty shoot outs. To cheer all you emotional avid football fans up, we've put together 6 of our English favourites:

Sipsmith Dry Gin £26 - stilled in Hammersmith and "exploding with character"

Chapel Down Bacchus  £10.99

Chapel DownFlint Dry £8.99

Chapel Down Rose £9.99

Chapel Down Brut NV £14.99

Nyetimber Special Cuvee £24.99 - a great 'English' Champagne

Unable to get into store? Don't worry we now deliver 6 bottles, so give us a call on 0208 567 9251 or place your order online and we'll deliver them straight to your door!

Wine of the Week: Ayler Kupp Riesling Kabinett 2011, MargarethenhofDate published: 20/06/12

Ayler Kupp Riesling Kabinett 2011, Margarethenhof

£9.99 or
£8.99 when you buy 2 or more

 

This beautiful Riesling is produced in the Saar tributary of the Mosel, on steep slopes above the village of Ayl. Produced by the quality conscious family producer Margarethenhof from low yielding vines, it represents a classic example from the region.

Due to the very low temperatures in the region during the growing period, not every year can be used to create Riesling wines, with the poor year grapes going into German Sekt wine. 2011 was a fantastic year in the region and this wine represents all its best qualities.

This Riesling has an aromatic honeyed nose and fantastically concentrated, ripe fruit and plenty of tangy acidity on the palate with a long, clean and steely finish, this wine is everything that is great about German wine.

Enjoy this wine served on its own as an aperitif or as a perfect accompaniment to Thai cuisine

Wine of the Week: Turkey Flat “Butchers Block”, 2010 Shiraz Grenache MourvèdreDate published: 07/06/12

Turkey Flat “Butchers Block”, 2010
Shiraz Grenache Mourvèdre

£14.99
Buy any two Aussie wines save 20%
£11.99


Turkey Flat is located in the center of the Barossa Valley, Australia's most prestigious wine region. First planted in 1847 the vineyard has a winegrowing heritage that stretches back as far, or even further, than many Old World producers. The vineyard is positioned on an area of flatlands on the banks of Tanunda Creek where wild turkeys once roamed.


Like most Barossa Valley vineyards Turkey Flat is famed for its Rhone grape varieties, especially Shiraz but also Grenache and Mourvedre. The Butchers Block is a blend of all three of these varieties which have been picked from vines planted by Eric Schulz, the grandfather of the current owner.


The wine displays rich black fruit flavours alongside complex spice. It is an excellent example of the GSM blend, and has superb structure and firm tannins. It is drinking very well now, but it will continue to develop and improve for the next 10 years. It is a wine that will go with any red meat dish, but would be superb for a BBQ (if the weather ever improves).

Massive Jubilee Offers!Date published: 01/06/12

Jubilee Offers

 

To prepare for the Jubilee celebrations we are introducing a set of additional great value offers to run alongside our current deals.

These offers will run from Thursday 17th May until Monday 28th May.

 

Sparkles

Heidsieck Vintage From £20 down to £18

Nicolas Feuillatte Non Vintage From £18 down to £15

Prosecco Raboso Rosado Corte Alta From £9.99 down to £6.66

Prosecco Corte Alta From £9.99 down to £6.66

 

Favourites

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc From £8.11 to £7.49 Buy 2 Save 20% = £5.99

Viña Equia Crianza From £8.99 to £8.49 Buy 2 Save £7 = £4.99

Riverlands Run Sauvignon Blanc From £7.99 to £6.24 Buy any 2 New Zealand Wines Save 20% = £4.99

Viñalba Malbec Reserva From £10.99 to £9.99 Buy 2 Save £4 = £7.99


Beer

Peroni 12-pack From £15.99 to £12 a case

Peroni 24x330ml From £1.30 to £1 a bottle


Kick off your Jubilee weekend with style and celebrate the sunshine with a little help from Majestic.

Keep Calm, And Drink On!

Fine Wine Friday - 01/06- Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru!Date published: 27/05/12

Please come and try this excellent Chassagne from the ever reliable producer Fontane-Gagnard.

An excellent example of  a Premier Cru vineyard, les Boudriottes. A superbly rounded and firmly structured, with heaps of personality. At a very reasonable price for a wine of this quality at £28. Can be drunk now or over the next few years.

Excellent with rich chicken or seafood dishes

Soave Classico 2010, InamaDate published: 11/05/12

Soave is a region found in the Northeast of Italy, within the commune of Veneto close to the city of Verona, which produces white wines comprised almost entirely of the Garganega grape. The 'Classico' label is one that denotes the wine is made from grapes from areas within the region where Soave was originally planted. And this 'Classico' designation is normally an indicator of better quality as maximum yields are in place in these areas to guard against the over productive nature of the Garganega grape.

Inama was founded in 1960 and has since gone on to command a reputation as one of Soave's best. The grapes for this wine are produced by 30 year old vines on 17 hectares of basaltic lava, a soil composition common in the area. Once picked they are fermented in stainless steel and then aged for up to 8 months before bottling.

The wine displays a rich and developed flavour profile with notes of apricots, honey, almonds, citrus fruit and a floral quality all revealing themselves. It drinks well now but will improve with another couple of years ageing and would match fish pie or a risotto perfectly.

£13.74 or

£10.99

when you buy two or more

Fine Wine Friday - Ten Minutes By Tractor Estate Chardonnay 2009, Mornington PeninsularDate published: 04/05/12

Ten Minutes by Tractor is one of the stand out performers from a region gradually becoming a real force in the world of fine wine. Mornington Peninsular is found on the southern tip of Victoria in Australia flanked by Port Phillip Bay on one side and the Ocean on the other. It's cool maritime climate is perfectly suited to the production of the Burgundian varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as it helps to maintain acidity in these grapes.

This wine is from the estate's Main Ridge vineyards (Judd, McCutcheon and Wallis), one of the highest and coolest parts of the region. It is whole-bunch pressed and fermented with wild yeasts in French oak barriques.

The 2009 vintage was dominated by spring rains and mild autumn weather, resulting in low yields and a retention of acidity. It has lead to a Chardonnay of delicacy and restraint with aromatic floral and citrus notes along with a long, alluring finish.

As good as any Chassagne Montrachet your likely to find, so go on give it a go we promise you won't be disappointed!

£30

Wine of the Week: Montenovo Godello 2010Date published: 28/04/12

One of our new arrivals, the little-known Godello grape is an indigenous variety of Galicia in Northern Spain. This one is from the inland Valdeorras appellation, which has become well known for producing the grape as it seems to thrive in the region's moderate, maritime climate and rocky slate soils.

The grape exhibits a nose and palate of pear, pineapple, melon and plenty of citrus fruit as well as a herbaceous and almost salty quality. Light in weight but with a palate coating sense of texture.

It would be perfect with Spain's simple fish tapas dishes like grilled sardines, octopus and calamari or when the sun is shinning in the garden, when that eventually decides to happen!

£9.99 or

£7.99

when you buy two or more.

Last Weekend of Spring Prices!Date published: 20/04/12

Hi

Our Spring price lists end on Monday the 23rd of April. So this is the last weekend to get Spain, South Africa and Portugal wines on Offer!

Wine Of the Week: Surani Constarossa, Primitivo di Maduria, 2010Date published: 10/04/12

£9.99 or

£7.99 when you buy two or more


Until recently Primitivo was a relatively obscure grape variety grown primarily in the Apulia region of Southern Italy. However today it is noted as being genetically identical to Zinfandel, one of California's most prominent grape varieties, and also the Croatian grape Crljenak Kaštelanski. Like these varieties it is known for its robust flavours of ripe fruits and full bodied, smooth texture.

The Surani Contarossa comes from Manduria, a sun drenched coastal region on the “heel” of Italy, and the benefits of the climate have given this wine characteristically powerful flavours of juicy fruit and sweet spice with a long, elegant, fruity finish. The intensity and smoothness of this wine are remarkable, it has more in common with New World red wine than many of its European counterparts.

To match with food you need something equally powerful, try with roast venison or barbecued steak.

Open EasterDate published: 07/04/12

Hi

 

Just to let you know we are open Easter Sunday & Monday 10-5pm

Thanks

FINE WINE FRIDAY-Meursault 1er cruDate published: 06/04/12

FINE WINE FRIDAY

 

Meursault 1er Cru 'Chateauxde Blagny', Louis Latour.
2009


£30


Seeing as it's Easter and the sun is shining, we have chosen this delightful white Burgundy to tickle your taste buds. From the world class producer Louis Latour, and from the best year in Burgundy in the last 10 years, this wine will not fail to impress on every level.

From a vinyard overlooking the two famous villages of Mersault and Puligny-Montrachet, this wine is traditionally vinifed and matured in small oak barrels for 8 to 12 months to ensure a buttery character in the wine.

On the nose the wine is full of elegant buttery notes balanced with aromas of fresh hazelnuts and lemon and pineapple fruits. On the palate it is fresh and vibrate with generous citrus notes and long lingering finish. Its a perfectly balanced wine and a prime example of the region.

Quite frankly, this wine is spot on just as it is, but could also be enjoyed with fish or chicken dishes or perhaps it would be best with a nice cheese board and chutney.

Chateau Musar: Viticulture in the face of adversityDate published: 16/03/12

When people ask me for an interesting wine in store, I never have to think about it long. For me the most interesting wine majestic supply is that of Chateau Musar. This Lebanese wine is produced in the Bekaa valley in Lebanon, and if your thinking that Lebanon is a strange place to produce wine, think again, because grapes for viticulture have been grown there for over 6000 years. Although at 34 degrees North of the equator, which is further south than anywhere in Spain and Italy and should be too hot, the Bekaa valley benefits from its significant altitude (approximately 1000m above sea level) and seasonal temperatures, together with the fertility of the land making this particular corner of Lebanon viticultural bliss.

The Hochar family (pronounced Hoshar) have been producing wine there since the 1930's, having to revive what was considered a dead profession in Lebanon. Combine that with the fact that following the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the following territory claiming issues, when the Hochar family first started making wine, the borders of their own country were not even set. For this reason their winery was based some two and a half hour drive away from the vines, on the coast at Ghazir and has stayed there ever since. But this was not the end of the problems faced by Chateau Musar. After changing the opinions of the population at home and the international community, on the wines of the region, the country was plunged into turmoil once more with the start of civil war, which raged from 1975 to 1990. Far from falling into obscurity during this problematic period for the country, the wines of Chateau Musar continued to be produced, and produced to an extremely high standard. This is testament to the determination of the Hochar family to maintain the reputation they had worked so hard to create but also to the courage of the Bedouin tribes people of the area, who continued to pick the grapes by hand!

In Recent years, their reputation has gone from strength to strength, and deservedly so. We stock 3 of their wines, the Chateau Musar red, the Hochar red and the Chateau Musar white. The red wines are produced at the southern end of the Bekaa valley and are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan. The Chateau Musar red spends approximately 12 months in oak barrels from Nevers, and is aged for approximately 3 years before bottling. After which it is cellared for another 4 years at Chateau Musar, before being released 7 years after it was harvested. You might think that the wine would now be nearing the end of it's life, but far from it, the wine is only at the very beginning of it's drinking potential. Serge Hochar, the chief wine maker proclaims that, 'if you give my wines more time, they will give you more joy', and he couldn't be more correct. The wines still contain plenty of acidity and tannin, the two main components necessary for wine aging. They are spicy wines with a real flavour from their origin, brimming with dried fruits such as figs and prunes with good body and an exceptional finish. The Hochar red is made in a lighter earlier drinking style and as such is aged for less time in oak and in bottle before release. It is therefore more approachable when young.

The white Chateau Musar is no less intriguing. The wine is intentionally slightly oxidised, as is the practice for the local grape variety, in order for it to age well as, like the red Musar, it is aged in Nevers oak barrels (only for 6-9 months though) and cellared for 7 years before release. However unlike the red, which is made from French grape clones, the white is produced from the local grape varieties of Merwah and Obaideh and grown further up the Bekaa valley. This unorthodox style of white wine is somewhat unfamiliar to the European palate, but apparently bares the closest resemblance to a mature white Graves. The wine is deep golden colour and exudes baked apple and almond characteristics on the nose with a rich, spicy, buttery finish on the palate.

It difficult to say enough about the wines of Chateau Musar without trying the wines for yourself. They are fantastically interesting wines in their own right before taking into account their fascinating history. In the case of the wines of Chateau Musar, it almost literally contains the blood, sweat and tears of not only the Hochar family, but the entire nation.

Wine of the Week: Benegas Malbec, Libertad Vineyards 2008, MendozaDate published: 09/03/12

There is a long history of winemaking in the Benegas family. It was the current winemaker's great grandfather who bought the first French vines to Argentina. This wine is from the high quality Libertad Vineyards, which consists of a plot in the cooler southern zone of Mendoza (whose grapes lend rich fruit and floral perfumes) and a plot in the 'Primera Zona' of Mendoza (the top viticultural area whose grapes lend body and structure to the wine).

This wine balances the powerful style typical of Mendoza Malbec with the finesse of a European wine. Lots of dark cherry, blackberry and sweet spice with a long finish and ripe tannins.

The Benegas would go well with any red meat, but as always with Argentinian Malbec it would be fantastic with good quality steak, whatever your cut!

£17.99

Buy 2 Bottles Save £10

12.99

Portugal: The Next Big Thing?Date published: 27/02/12

The history of Portuguese wine is long and varied, dating back to the bronze age the region has been cultivated by Phoneacians, Romans, Moors as well as the Germans, French and Spanish.  As a wine producing country it can rival almost any of its European counterparts, but a reputation for inconsistent quality and a bewildering array of local grape varieties have held it back in recent years. It has also had more than its fair share of political problems; from 1933 to 1974 the country was controlled by the authoritarian dictatorship the Estado Novo and its leader Antonio Salazar.  The regime was overthrown in 1974 by the peaceful Carnation Revolution, but the conversion to democracy was difficult and the country had to continue to endure years of economic turmoil. Poor winemaking in the 70s and 80s also did not help, with a large number of over extracted, bitter and highly tannic reds which appealed to no-one and did further harm to the regions reputation.

However, despite all its problems I believe Portugal has the ability to become one of the most interesting and popular wine producing regions in the world. Its diversity in both climate and grape varieties have the potential to really capture the imagination of the wine drinking public. This country can produce huge, full bodied red wines that are bursting with fruit flavours, black chocolate and licorice and yet it can also produce the light, floral whites that are fresh and delicate. Investments in the wine industry since Portugal joined the EU in 1986 have begun to heal the damage to the reputation of Portuguese wine, and the wines that are on sale in Majestic demonstrate the advances that have been made.

Quinta de Azevedo 2010, Vinho Verde, £7.49 down to £5.99 on the Portuguese offer
Vinho Verde is fast becoming one of Portugal's most popular wine regions. It is a coastal region in the north of Portugal where the Atlantic influence cools the vineyards helping create light, floral wines, with subtle flavours of lemon and tropical fruits. This wine also has a light spritz which is characteristic of the region and helps makes the wine taste fresh and light.

Churchill Estate 2007/8, Duoro, £10.99 down to £9.49
The Duoro valley is probably the most famous of Portugal's regions as this is where the grapes for port are grown. It is also one of the most difficult wine regions in the world to cultivate, with steep slopes and fragmented schist soils that make mechanized harvesting almost impossible. To this day the vast majority of Duoro Valley vineyards are picked by hand, with the help of a few donkeys to carry the grapes. The Churchill's estate wine uses the port varieties Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca to create a wine that is beautifully smooth on the palate with flavours of black cherry and strawberry and a hint of vanilla.

Ramos Reserve 2010, Alentejo, £8.49 down to £6.99
Alentejo is a huge, sun drenched wine region that covers much of southern Portugal. Traditional techniques are prominent with many estates still using foot-treading to press the grapes. The region is known for its ripe, fruity and very approachable red wines and the Ramos Reserva is no exception. It has flavours of red berries and sweet spice alongside well integrated tannins, and it displays excellent legth.

Quinta da Bacalhoa 2008, Peninsula de Setubal £13.49 down to £11.99
The Setubal Peninsula is one of Portugal's most popular tourist destinations. It is known for its beautiful beaches, good food and sensational full bodied red wines. The Quinta da Bacalhoa is a new addition to the Majestic lineup, grown on the grounds of a 15th Century Renaissance villa. The name Bacalhoa means 'codfish', and the Quinta was supposedly named after an unfortunate looking member of the Portuguese royal family who used to reside at the villa. The wine itself is fantastic, it is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that has flavours of blackberry alongside notes of cedar and cigar box, it rivals any Bordeaux at a similar price. The wine has been made at the Quinta since the 1970s and brilliantly shows the potential of Portuguese wine.

At the moment you can buy any two Portuguese wines and save £3 at Majestic, so come down and explore what we have to offer.

Torrontes: The Next Big Thing?Date published: 22/02/12

With the phenomenal popularity of Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc showing no signs of abating, we here at Majestic Wine Ealing have taken it upon ourselves to, rather foolishly, predict (guess would probably be more apt) 'the next big thing' in the wine world.

In my very humble opinion Torrontes might just be it, if based only around the success story that is Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. Let me explain why:

 

The Original Torrontes is known as a Spanish grape, native to Galicia in Northeast Spain. It is in Argentina however where this grape has really excelled. First commercially planted in Argentina in 1990, it seems to suit the arid, high altitude environment. Infact it could be argued that Torrontes has found it's true home in the counrty, which may be the reason it is thought there is no definite relationship between it and it's Spanish namesake.

There are 3 subvarieties of Torrontes on show in Argentina: Torrontes Riojano, Torrontes Sanjuanino and Torrontes Mendocino. With the first producing the most characteristic and well respected expression of the grape. In terms of region the Cafayate Valley (Salta) is viewed as the most prestigious growing area.

 

Torrontes produces wines that are dry, light in body, high in acidity and intruigingly aromatic. With notes of lychee, roses, jasmine and geranium on the nose and palate. This makes it ideally suited to partnering with spicy Asian food, fish, shellfish and traditional Argentinian cuisine like empanadas.

 

It is this combination of high acidity and an aromatic quality that leads me back to why I think Torrontes might prove to be 'the next big thing'. These qualities are ones it shares with the rampantly successful Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, so as customers become more interested in searching out alternatives to the ubiquitous Sauvignon Blanc, this is a grape they could and should try.

I'll leave the last words to one of my favourite wine critics, Tim Atkins MW, who I think perfectly paraphrases my argument:

"This little-known Argentinian grape has the potential to be the next big thing. Everyone I show it to in blind tastings adores it. They love its perfume, they love its flavours, they love its personality."

Wine of the Week: Bernard Series Chenin Blanc, 2010Date published: 17/02/12

The Bernard series celebrates the legend of Bernard Podlashuk, the founder and original winemaker off the vineyard. Originating from the Western cape, close to Cape Town, this wine is produced on 40 year old, low yielding Chenin Blanc vines, a variety which represent 30% of the countries grape production.

Chenin Blanc, known locally as 'Steen' (which incidently they thought wa a different grape until 1965), originates from the Loire in France. The Grape is enormously versatile producing a spectrum of grapes from easily aged sweet whites to cool crisp dry floral wines as well as some sparkling numbers.

This wine is sumptuous on the nose. Its bursts out of the glass exuding pungent floral and tropical fruit aroma's with a touch of vanilla spice. On the palate it is well balanced and refreshing with honeysuckle and tropical fruits perfectly harmonised with crisp acidity.

Enjoy this delicous chennin over the next 2 years with pan fried fish, pork chops or scallops.

£10.99 or
£8.79 when you buy 2 or more

Wine of the Week: Camins del Priorat 2010, Alvaro PalaciosDate published: 09/02/12

Coming from one of Spain's lesser known, but highly regarded regions, Proirat is situated just south of Barcelona. The region has been producing wine for millenia, but it has received some what of a rejuvenation in quality and acclaim since the 1980's.

Alvaro Palacios was one of the first vintners to recognise the potential of the region, and aided by his apprenticeship under Jean Pierre Moueix at Chateau Petrus, is now producing some of the region's finest examples.

Rich and fruity on the nose, its opulent fruity character emits lush brambly fruit aroma's subtly amalgamated with blueberry and cherry. On the palate its dark fruit characters combine perfectly with the silky smooth tannins to give a full mouth feel and superb length, with a hint of spice to finish.

Enjoy this delightful wine with rich beef based dishes such as stew or hot pot or possibly a nice juicy steak!

£17.49 or
£13.99 when you buy 2 or more

Fine Wine Friday - Brunello di Montalcino 2005, Gianni BrunelliDate published: 03/02/12

The small town of Montalcino in southern Tuscany has the double advantage of a warm, dry climate associated with the Tuscan coast and the rockier, less fertile soils of the cooler Chianti Classico area. This can result in some of the the most concentrated, long-lived forms of Sangiovese on the planet, and has consequently been labeled Tuscany's answer to Barolo.

The Area generally practices late harvesting, long, slow fermentation alongside ageing in barrel for 4 years (even though the minimum is now only 2, but can only be released once the wine is at least 4 years old).

This wine displays fine, firm tannins and ripe Sangiovese fruit. Rich and full bodied, it's concentrated and spicy bouquet would compliment red meat dishes with thick, rich sauces.
Superb now, this wine would also keep for over 5 years.

£30

The Majestic Bargain HuntDate published: 31/01/12

Our new spring promotion is the perfect time for a bit of a clear-out to make way for 2012's exciting new wines, so we have just knocked a third off the price of loads of bin ends in the first ever Majestic Bargain Hunt!

Here are a few of the amazing bargins that can be found:

Matetic EQ Sauvignon Blanc    £7.32

Clos D'Yigne Rouge Et Noir    £6.66

Costero Sauvignon Blanc    £6.32

Domaine Pech Rome Temprinillo     £5.32

Domaine Py Merlot     £3.99

Syrah les Fumes Noires   £3.99

Heritage Road Brut Sparkling Wine    £3.66

There are even more bargins to be found, however stocks are running out quickly...so hurry down to the store!

If you cannot make it down please do not hesitate to call or email us.

email: eal@majestic.co.uk

tel: 0208 567 9251

Wine of the Week - Quinta da Bacalhoa 2008Date published: 18/01/12

The Quinta da Bacalhoa estate, situated on the Peninsula de Setubal just south of Lisbon, is one of Portugal's oldest wineries. Dating back to the 15th century, it was formerly owned by the Portugese royal family, but has been producing its modern day commercial wine since the 1970's. The area is renowned for producing a new wave of quality, reasonably priced wines and this wine does not disappoint!

An unusual take on a Bordeaux blend, this wine is awash with brambly fruit flavours on the nose, with a subtle woody edge from the oak. It is well balanced and voluptuous on the palate with the fruit characteristics perfectly combining with the nutty, tobacco leaf flavours and soft tannins to produce a wine that is as smooth as silk and jam packed with flavour.

This wine is a perfect match for a juicy steak to warm your cockles on a cold winter's night.

£13.49 or
£11.99 when you buy 2 or more

Wine of the Week - Vitis Divina 2008, Donato D'Angelo, ItalyDate published: 11/01/12

£9.99 or
£8.99 when you buy 2 or more


The Vitis Divina is made from Aglianico, a rare and often overlooked grape variety, which is actually one of Italy's oldest and has the potential to produce some of their best and most interesting wines. It is mostly grown in mountainous Basilicata, one of the poorest regions in the “heel” of Southern Italy.


The wine does not disappoint, it is fresh complex and goes fantastically with Italian food. Violets and sweet spices accompany aromas of fresh black fruits on the nose, while on the palette blackberries and black cherries combine with cloves, nutmeg and a hint of rich, dark chocolate. This is all supported by wonderfully balanced acidity and sweet, soft tannins.


Try it today with rich tomato based pasta or red meat dishes.
 

New Year Opening HoursDate published: 30/12/11

Happy New Year! We will be resuming our normal delivery service as of Monday 2nd January. If you have more specific delivery requirements please contact us by phone.
Please be aware our opening hours over the coming weeks are as follows:

Saturday 31 December: 9.00am-5.00pm
Sunday 1 January: Closed
Monday 2 January: 10.00am-5pm
Sunday 8 January: 10 am- 5pm
Monday 9 January: 1pm- 8pm .

Christmas/New Year Delivery InformationDate published: 07/12/11

Christmas is fast approaching and delivery slots are fast filling up, although we are still able to offer a largely normal service. We recommend ordering as early as possible to guarantee your preferred delivery slot and secure stock.

Fine Wine Friday: Gevrey- Chambertin 2009, Domain Paul CroizierDate published: 02/12/11

Gevrey- Chambertin 2009, Domain Paul Croizier


Burgundy as a region has a well established history of producing great wines, going as far back as 51 BC when the Romans found the Celts inhabiting the region and already growing and producing their own wine. Written praise for the region's wine even dates back to 312 AD. With the region being based on limestone and a continental climate, it has a much more varied environment than that of Bordeaux, making successful production more temperamental. However, the Burgundian grapes have developed at special aptitude to produce fantastic wines, both red and white.

The Gevrey- Chambertin 2009, Domain Paul Croizier is made from young Pinot Noir grapes in a biodynamically framed vineyard in the very heart of Gevrey-Chambertin in the Cotes de Nuits viticultural region. True to its history, the wine is made with minimal human intervention and its native yeasts, resulting in a untainted expression of the Pinot Noir grape.

The wine boasts youthful fruity aromas of raspberry and blackberry, yet remaining strong with firm but fine tannins. The palate too does not disappoint, while being juicy and supple it has been polished and refined by 17 months in cask.

This wine partners beautifully with white meats or game birds; perfect for the festive season!!

 

£25.00


 

Wine of the Week - Taylor's 10yr Old Tawny PortDate published: 19/11/11

Port was first discovered by Seventeenth Century English Wine Merchants, when punitive tax and war with France prevented usual trading routes, which led the men to Portugal and down the River Douro. Brandy was added to the wine to ensure it lasted the journey home. This particular Port is made from a blend of some of the best wines and several vintages and is aged in large wooden casks for almost all its life, which is on average 10 years. Hence how it gains it's name as Tawny, due to the colour that it takes on.

This particular port is a blend of Tinta Barocca, Touriga Francesa and Touriga Nacional. All of these grapes are considered amongst the best varieties within the Douro region.

By adding brandy to the wine, it arrests the fermenting grapes and transforms the liquid into a sweet and high in alcohol fortified wine. With strong aromas of ripe berries but with delicate undertones of nuts and chocolate, it provides a smooth and silky palate. It offers a true sense of Christmas with its flavours of figs and dried fruit.

Port best partners desserts especially ones that are based around berry fruit and dark chocolate. Rich blue cheese's are also a match made in heaven.

SPECIAL OFFER

£17.99

The Rhone Valley: An Overview part 1Date published: 19/11/11

As the Rhone and Burgundy tasting starts I thought I would take this opportunity to briefly outline the best known areas of the Nothern and Southern Rhone and highlight some of their characteristics and the differences between them.

Northern Rhone:

Most of the Rhone's biggest names are in the north and as such, they normally fetch higher prices than their southern counterparts (with the exception of Chateauneuf du Pape). The reds are, in almost every case, comprised entirely of the Syrah grape (known as shiraz elsewhere in the world). These reds can be fantastically complex and on the whole, more restrained than their New World imitators. Infact, these wines can be closer in style and complexity to Red Burgundy than Australian Shiraz. And on the white side, wines are made from either the Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne grapes. Far less white is made than red however.

The following is a list of these appellations from the furthest north to the furthest south:

Cote-Rotie - Only produces red wines of a very high quality. Unusually a small amount of Viognier is allowed in the blend (a white grape), which acts to soften and add aromatic complexity to the wines. This blend has become very popular in the New World. Cote Rotie literally translates as 'Roasted Slope'.

Condrieu - The spiritual home of the Viognier grape and produces incredibly expressive, perfumed white wine from very steep, terraced vineyards. On a personal note Guigal's 'La Doriane' Condrieu is one of the finest white wines I have ever tried.

St-Joseph - Produces both red (Syrah) and white wine (from the Marsanne and Roussanne grape varieties) and is the largest appellation both in terms of size and production. Typically it produces the fastest maturing reds of the Nothern Rhone, and probably the least celebrated. Although, at it's best can rival its more famous sibling across the river, that of Hermitage. The whites are full flavoured, unctous and display oxidative characteristics. Fantastic with a classic roast chicken or guinea fowl.

Crozes-Hermitage - The appellation extends almost 10 miles around ithe more famous Hermitage, both to the North and South. Production is focused on red with small amounts of white wine made. The reds (Syrah) come in two main styles; youthful, fruit driven styles for early drinking and more serious, complex wines that attempt to compete with Hermitage. The whites (Roussanne/Marsanne) are again, less well known but much like those of St-Joseph can be very good. Chapoutiers' Chante-Alouette is a very good example.

Hermitage - Along with Cote-Rotie and Chateauneuf-du-Pape a giant of the Rhone. Famous for the small Chapel which sits amongst it vineyards, the region is dominated by four well known producers: Jean-Louis Chave, Jaboulet, Chapoutier and Delas. The appellation makes incredibly long lived wines of a very a high quality in both red and white.

Cornas - This region makes only red wines from the syrah grape, which are famously much bigger and more rustic than others from the Northern Rhone. The region contains some very big names like; Jean-Luc Colombo and Auguste Clape.

St-Peray - Rather an anomoly, in that the region predominantly is known for it's sparkling wine, produced by the Champagne method using Roussanne and Marsanne. Some of wines can be fantastic.

The Great British Spirit offDate published: 06/09/11

At 42 Hasting Road we have been lucky enough to be able to have  a bit of a clash of two great British spirits titans on the tasting counter.

In one corner we have a local Sipsmith boys with their creamy dreamy Barley Vodka, winter warming Sloe Gin and their landmark London Dry Gin.

In another corner we have the country Chase boys fielding their scrumptious Naked Apple Gin and the tangly tasty Marmalade Vodka.

Come in and decide of yourself whether you are a rural or urban spirit drinker.. 

And now welcome the new contender...

Martin Millers is now available to try on our tasting counter. An urban Gin using a combination of Icelandic water and English Botanicals and small batch distilled in london.

Also there is an amazing offer at the moment where you get a free 4 pack of Fever Tree for every Bottle of Martin Millers Gin you buy

Think you like Rioja?Date published: 16/08/11

Think you like Rioja? Wish you understood the label? Yes? Then we're in the same boat. Fear not! This quick guide will help you to understand what you're drinking and maybe even to bluff your way through a conversation about the king of all Spanish wines.

So let's start with the basics: Rioja. Not only is this a Spanish wine of legends, but it is also a region in northern Spain where the wine of its namesake is made.

There are three grapes used typically in Rioja reds:

Tempranillo forms the basis of most Riojas. So if you feel the need to impress your fellow tasters, declare that there are flavours of ripe strawberries and plums, typical tempranillo characteristics, and you wont be far wrong.

Garnacha Tinta is often blended with Tempranillo, providing alcohol and body, as well as notes of strawberries, raspberries and white pepper. Older Garnacha based wines will also develop flavours of tobacco, toffee and even tar. This is a good thing however, promise!

Graciano is a grape that essentially provides structure to Rioja blends, ie changing its texture so that it feels richer in the mouth. It also adds to the aroma of the wine, particularly black fruits, cherries and plums.

Mazuelo provides acidity and tannins (the thing that coats your teeth). Although not obviously appealing, these two elements ensure that the wine will age well

Unlike in France, Spanish wines are made and put on sale when they are ready to be drunk. They can be kept for several years in your cellar and many will improve greatly in this time, but all can be opened and enjoyed immediately. There are four categories of Spanish wine, indicating how the wine has been made and, thus, an idea about flavours:

Joven: Literally “young”, this indicates a wine that is bottled and released the year after the gapes are picked.
Crianza: A step up from Joven, a red wine with this word on the label will have been aged for at least 24 months including 6 months minimum in small oak barrels.
Reserva: Aged for 36 months, of which 12 is spent in oak. This is usually made from the best batches of wine in good vintages (years).
Gran Reserva: The crème de la crème of Riojas, only made in exceptional vintages. The wine is aged for a minimum of 60 months before release, spending at least 18 months in oak barrels.

Storing wine can be an expensive business for producers, which means that there is an increasing scale of pricing as you move up from Joven to Gran Reserva. However, this does not mean that the Gran Reservas are always the best choice or that they will be suitable for every occasion. Au contraire, each has its place. The Joven Riojas will make easy every day drinking, not necessarily with food, whereas a Reserva would stand up well to juicy lamb and Gan Reservas almost demand to be accompanied by game.

As with all wine however, being essentially a natural,and thus somewhat unpredictable, product and due to varying techniques used by producers, the finished product can vary enormously. Two Reservas made from identical combinations of grapes may well taste quite different. So while this guide will provide you with the basics to understand the label, the only real way to fully grasp the concepts is to try as many different types as you can. Discuss them with friends or wine buff acquaintances, experiment with food and, most of all, savour each mouthful. It's a hard life...

Provence Rosé GemsDate published: 22/06/11

This fashionable summer tipple comes from a region whose turbulent past has lead to a rich culture and a rather special drink.  Provence was historically fought over by many civilisations including the Saracens, Sicilians and Catalans.  This turbulent past is reflected in the grape varieties still grown in the area, with Italy's influence particularly prominent.  A grand total of 13 grape varieties are permitted in Côtes de Provence wines including the indigenous Calitor and Italian Barbaroux aka Barbarossa. 

Money invested in the area in the 1990's as part of a push to increase standards have lead to improved wine making techniques and flavours in Provence wines.  The extra funds as well as proximity to the sea, south facing vineyards and over 300 hours of annual vineyards all contribute to the quality of this fruity fresh wine.

Regulations require that Côtes de Provence Rosé contains 20% saignée wine.  This means that red grapes are slightly crushed and left to macerate for a short time, releasing a pink juice that is later blended with other wines to create optimum flavour.  Grapes most commonly used are Cinsault and Grenache, but keep an eye out for Tibouren which adds real interest! 

Our suggestions:

Commanderie de Peyrassol 2010
Domaines Ott 2010.

These wines are packed with refreshing acidity, complexity and summer red berry notes, perfect for you summer barbecues. 

Team Ealing's "Have you met this Grape?" Date published: 17/05/11

Arneis

Arneis is a very attractive little Italian white grape
Roero is the region it originates from, in Piedmont
Not to be underestimated, it produces dry, delicate, dreamy wines
Elegant aromas of citrus fruit are entwined with spring flowers
Invite your friends over and introduce them too
Serve with seafood or salads

Marco Porello makes a great Roero Arneis. With the Italian multibuy offer, this super summery white works out at only £7.99. Give it a whirl if you fancy a change from Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

Team Ealing's "Have you met this Grape?" This Month: Mencia Date published: 24/03/11


Although it rarely makes its way to the UK, Mencia has been used for wine-making in Spain for a number of years. Until recently it has been a case of quantity over quality, with high yielding vines producing light, relatively fragrant wines with no ageing potential. The good news is that the situation is rapidly changing and Mencia is beginning to be used to make unusual and interesting quality wines.


Mencia is predominantly grown in Ribiera Sacra and Bierzo, two sub-regions of Galacia, traditionally a very poor region of Spain. Today however the wine industry is beginning to flourish with the coastal region of Biaxas producing some excellent white wines from the floral Albarino grape. Ribiera Sacra and Bierzo are further inland, away from the cooling influence of the Atlantic ocean and therefore warmer and better suited for growing red grape varieties, and it is here Mencia is grown on steep vineyards made up of mainly schist soils where the vines are carefully managed to avoid yields becoming too high. This careful cultivation helps produce quality grapes and allows Mencia to fulfil its potential.


Majestic has a great example of the Mencia grape, the 2008 Pétalos Bierzo, Descendientes de J. Palacios, a balanced, aromatic wine with violet aromas on the nose and black cherry and cassis fruit on the palate as well as subtle oak flavours. The wine is made by Alvaro Palacios, one of a group of winemakers who started producing world class wines in the Priorat region in the late 80s, and who is now succeeding in turning what was once an underused grape from a poor region in Spain into a fantastic wine.

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Meet the team...

  • Rob Manager

    Hello! This is my second store as Manager. I am new to London, having spent the last 3 years on the south coast. I am looking forward to meeting everyone and getting to know London. I am a huge fan of Alsace Riesling and Central Otago Pinot Noir. When i'm not enjoying wine I can be found strumming on my guitar or playing football and tennis.
  • Joe Assistant Manager

    Being a local myself for over 8 years, i'm more than happy to talk all things Ealing! In terms of my wine preferences I'm a big fan of the noble varieties: Particularly Chardonnay from Burgundy and German Riesling, but I also love Albarino following a recent trip to Galicia! For a red i'd pick a new world fruit bomb or an Italian Valpolicella!
  • James Trainee Manager

    I'm a big fan of Southern French wines, having spent most of my summers in the Languedoc. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy finding great wines from anywhere else on the globe.
  • Eleanor Trainee Manager

    Ealing is my second store with Majestic having started in the Ruislip store. I love a good oaky Chardonnay and Argentinian Malbecs and of course anything sparkling! Before Majestic I studied Chemistry at Manchester University and spent far too much time kayaking! Ask me anything about wine and I'll do my best to help you out!
  • Aidy Driver

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