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Welcome to Majestic

Market Harborough

Contact Information
T: 01858 431 320
F: 01858 431 320
E: mkh@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
121 St Mary's Road
Market Harborough
LE16 7DT
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(142)

Our Bubbly Buddy is Born - Part 1/3Date published: 01/09/14

The birth of our bubbly buddy

I keep getting asked in store how champagne is actually made, so I thought I would explain the 8 step process on here for those of you who would like to know how, including how they get those little bubbles in there! And the impressive thing is that it all happens in the same bottle!!!

So of course the first step is where they have to harvest the grapes, but this has to be done manually by hand as, believe it or not, 66% of the grapes used are actually red! The main varieties used as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier. The last part of this stage is pressing the grapes that were just picked. They use these presses called the Coquard press (shallow vertical presses) which press the grapes very delicately.

Next is the primary fermentation which occurs mainly in steel containers (but some wooden barrels are used at this stage, but that’s up to the vineyard). Primary fermentation is essentially where the base wine for the champagne is created, which is dry and neutral in flavour. Most of this base wine goes through a process called Malolactic fermentation to help it become more creamy essentially, converting the malic acids in the wine to lactic (most commonly found in milk).

This is followed by blending which is needed for consistency to create a house champagne style in the none vintage champagnes. But they do it for other reasons as well including; different grapes add different flavours and structure and big reserve wines balance out any variations.

Next part will continue from the secondary fermentation, it's a doozy so you don't want to miss that!

How to Dress your Food - Part 2Date published: 31/08/14

To continue ...

So after a little convincing they enjoyed the advice and were more open to recommendations on their choices or pizza. So with the choice of the beef pizza I recommended a wine that would best suit a dish which was slightly acidic. Again I told them that they should just try and pick one that would partner the meal, help dress it, but not over-power it. A fruit driven wine would not work with this type of dish as the meal enhances the fruity characteristics of the wine, becoming to potent. So I recommended the Chablis from Domaine Servin. I told them that their wine would seem flat if they didn't go for something along those lines, therefore not adding anything to their experience.

Finally for those friends, who we all questioned, had anchoves on their pizza (I reckoned it was for similar reasons for my extra spicy pizza) I recommended the Valpolicella Classico from Cantina di Negrar. Wines like this with big flavours but are medium bodied are a perfect combination with foods that are salty. I further mentioned that the salt enhances the impact of the body of the wine. I explained that when I meant body, that it means the actual structure of how the wine feels in your mouth. I told them that we use a scale of a full bodied wine feels like cream in your mouth, and where a wine with little body feels watery. So this would be a good choice for them.

Needless to say, it all went down a bit too well, showing it isn’t all about matching the wine and food from the same region.

How to Dress your Food - Part 1Date published: 30/08/14

Have you heard of dress to impress? Well this is how you can dress your food to impress your friends and family.

I went out with a few friends to a fancy Italian restaurant for a friends leaving party as they are leaving for NEW ZEALAND (not jealous), but I digress. We all wanted to do it justice so I, from Majestic, wanted to help to suggest wines to go with the meals. I chose a spicy vegetarian pizza and my friends decided to get 2 large pizzas to share amongst the 4 of them, one was beef and one with anchovies. So I tried to explain the kinds of wines that they should think about and made a few recommendations.

I explained that, as my pizza was going to be especially spicy (which I asked to have extra chillis added to so my friends wouldn't steal any) that I was going to go for a sweeter style of wine called the Torres Esmerelda from Spain. This was because spicy food makes the wine seem more bitter and reduce the appearance of the sweet characteristic of the wine. So the choice of sweet wines would help balance and not overwhelm the dish. I added the floral notes that the wine has would also add a complimentary flavour to the meal.

Part 2 to follow tomorrow ....

New Wine Of The WeekDate published: 27/08/14

Wine of the week

Les Galets' Cotes du Rhone 2011

This wine shows gorgeous succulent notes of red and black berry fruit flavours and a warming hint of spiciness. The soft and supple tannins contribute to a lovely long and rounded finish.

This wine is best served with food with a hint of spice to it, however it is also great on it's own.

Buy two bottles and save 25% meaning each bottle would be only

£6.37

Single bottle will cost £8.49


BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY!Date published: 25/08/14

Hi Everyone

Just to inform you that we are open today until 5 pm! So Make sure you come in and stock up for the week soon.

Wine of the Week : Giesen Sauvignon BlancDate published: 12/08/14

Wine of the week!

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc

This vibrant Sauvignon comes from the Giesen Winery in New Zealand with the vineyards situated on the Wairau plains of Marlborough. It's a family business with the vineyards run by the three Giesen brothers who have built it into an internationally recognised company. Marlborough is the ideal area for producing Sauvignon Blanc, it's situated in the northern part of New Zealand's South Island. It's cool climate paired with plenty of sunshine mean the grapes ripen very slowly and over a long period of time, helping produce those intense fruit flavours that we all love. The cool nights preserve the acidity giving the wines that mouthwatering crisp finish.

The nose displays clear tropical aromas, with noticeable lime and lemon grass. The palate presents plenty of citrus, with hints of gooseberry and a very crisp acidity. This wine is perfect for drinking now, its youthfulness allows you to enjoy the fresh fruity flavours at their best. Easily enjoyed on its own while sitting in the garden in the sunshine, or alternatively with a seafood risotto or paella.

£6.99 when you buy any selected wines.

£9.99 single bottle price


Loire and BeaujolaisDate published: 11/08/14

Explore Muscadet Sur LieMuscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2013 Domaine de la Tourmaline£8.49, or £7.21 x 2WineChâteau du Cléray Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2013 Sauvion£9.99, or £8.49 x 2Domaine Gadais, who make this wine, were integral to the boom in demand for Muscadet in the USA in the 1950’s, particularly in New York where it is still very popular.FactAt the Sauvion Winery, the ethos comes from the God Eole, after whom the Eoile region is named. He inspired the desire to create ‘art from the land’ - in the form of wine.Sevre-et-Maine lies just south-east of Nantes. It is a heavily planted zone, with around 22,250 acres of vine-yards producing more than 11 million gallons of wine in every vintage.RegionThe vineyards are very close to the sea which is said to be one of the keys to the wine. The salty air and the strong ocean wind has a distinct influence on the finished product.The term 'sur lie' sorts the wheat from the chaff in the world of Musca-det. An extended period of lees con-tact after fermentation leads to a greater complexity of flavour.WinemakingConfusingly, Muscadet is not made from the Muscat grape, but rather from little known Melon de Bor-gogne, a grape also used, albeit rarely, in Beaujolais Blanc.Rich, from the lees and zesty, like lem-on tart. The acidity is searing, really cutting which makes it ideal with sea-food. A little, tiny hint of oatmeal from the lees too, super texture.Tasting noteA very mineral, salty wine. The fruit is tangy and citrusy, as it should be. The minerality is so pronounced, steely, with notes of wet stone. De-cisive, linear and focused.Needs Food?CommentMineral!/10Pouilly Fume v SancerrePouilly-Fumé 'Les Griottes' 2012 Jean-Pierre Bailly£14.99, or £12.74 x 2WineSancerre Vieilles Vignes 2013 Do-maine Paul Cherrier et Fils£14.99, or £12.74 x 2The Bailly family have been making wine in Pouilly for many a year. Re-cently Jean-Pierre and wife Patricia handed the reigns to their two sons who spent time learning in Beaune.FactA very young winemaker, Paul Cher-rier Jnr has learned the family trade and is now making quality, polished wines that rival the best in the re-gion.The name is composed of two parts: 'Pouilly' is the village the wines come from and 'Fume' is the grape variety they're made from (Blanc Fumé is the local name for Sauvignon Blanc).RegionSancerre is one of the Loire Valley wine region's most easter-ly appellations and arguably its most prestigious. Interestingly once fa-mous for world class red wines.From a plot of 60 year old vines grown on Kimmeridgian clay, the wine has similarly mineral hints to those found in decent Chablis. Inten-sity is their forté.WinemakingThe trick to this wine is the very small yields. Tiny amounts of fruit are grown which leads to the incred-ible intensity and rich flavour profile on show.A tropical nose, guava even showing. Grassy lime and lemon fruit too and some minerality, here in the form of emmental cheese, a flavour often found, as mentioned, in good Chablis.Tasting noteTropical, floral and creamy, this is a luxurious Sancerre. Strong extrac-tion and a viscous texture for a Sauvignon make it a really good aperitif, or one for meaty fish

Wines on the BoxDate published: 09/08/14

Watch out for these two great wines on this morning's saturday kitchen!

Jane Parkinson has selected these wines for the Heaven and Hell dishes: 

Symbiose Piquepoul Sauvignon Blanc Cuvee Florence 2013 - to go with lobster

Origin

The Côtes de Thau is a vineyard area bordering the Thau Basin, a large body of water just inland of the Mediterranean. This region is naturally suited to viticulture, with plenty of sunshine and heat, and sea breezes tempering the effects of humidity in the vineyards.

Taste

The combination of the lean, crisp, minerally Piquepoul with Sauvignon Blanc's vibrant tropical influence produces a wine with excellent balance and a refreshing nature.

Dry 123456789 Sweet Enjoy

Serve chilled with fresh fish.

£7.64 a bottle when you buy two or more selected bottles

Boschendal Rachel's Chenin Blanc 2013 - to go with pork chops and apple

GrapeChenin BlancOrigin

From one of South Africa's original wine farms, this wine is named after Rachelsfontein, the estate's water spring. This wine's fullness of flavour is a result of weekly lees stirring in a process called 'battonage', which produces a wine of greater depth and texture.

Taste

Fruity, well-balanced and full bodied wine, distinguishable by its exotic mango and honey aromas. The palate has a core of tropical fruit flavours with hints of nuts and honey.

Dry 123456789 Sweet Enjoy

Try this wine with fish stew and fresh herbs or other sea food based dishes.

£6.74 when you buy two or more selected bottles.

New Offers!!! Date published: 07/08/14

It is the start of a new month which means that we have some wonderful new offers for you. From reds that would go brilliantly with a BBQ, to whites that are perfect to sit and drink outside in this beautiful weather we are having. One of our best offers is on the Macon-villages' Les roches blanches which Is a gorgeous wine with subtle apple and pear flavours which makes it a very refreshing wine. Usually this wine is £13.49 but for this month only it's down to £8.99 which is a remarkable good deal. To go with a BBQ you can't beat a good Rioja, the Rioja reserva 2009 Cvne is a soft luxurious wine full of rich autumnal fruit which is down to £9.99 from £14.99. These are fantastic offers not to be missed.   

BOLLINGER SPECIAL CUVEE - £25.50!Date published: 29/07/14

As of today, Bollinger Special Cuvee has come on a fab offer and is down to £25.50!

It will remain at this price for one week only : so come and grab some before we run out! 

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.

Wine of the week: Tucumen Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 MendozaDate published: 29/07/14

Tucumen Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Mendoza

This Cabernet is made by Bodega Budeguer, a family-owned winery whose estate covers over 100 hectares, predominantly in Maipu. Winemaker Juan Manuel Mallea brings with him experience of working at wineries in Spain's Toro and Ribera del Duero regions. Moreover, it was recently awarded a bronze medal in Decanters' World Wine Awards!

A bright, youthful ruby red, this is a vivacious and fruit-driven wine full of ripe blackberry character, accented by aromas of eucalyptus and black pepper.

Drink now or cellar for up to 3 years. Best enjoyed with firm, mature cheeses.

£7.99 when you buy 2 of more wines in the save 33% offer (£11.99 single bottle price).


Fine wine of the month: Gnarly Dudes Shiraz, 2012 - on the tasting counter!Date published: 19/07/14

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, blackcurrant, burnt toffee, chocolate and lavender. Full bodied and lush on the palate, with a supple texture and amazingly lengthy finish!

Gnarly dudes Shiraz is open to try on our tasting counter! Seem's too good to miss right?

£18 when you buy two or more from the fine wine & spirit offer.  

2 Amazing New Deals! Date published: 16/07/14

Mont Saint Jean Corbières, £4.99 Buy any 2 save 15% Single bottle price £5.87

Mont St Jean Corbières is consistently amongst our 10 best selling red wines. It has been over a year since we have been able to offer this wine to our customers at £4.99. 

Winemaker Jérôme Regues blends two different terroirs to make this wine; a typical Corbières red blend. Grapes from Ornaisons provide the rich fruit flavours, while grapes from Durban, around 25km further south, are said to add spicier notes.

Showing notes of damsons and blackberries on the nose, with subtle hints of garrigue herbs, which carry through on the palate. Full and fruity, with rounded tannins adding a supporting structure.

Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet, £5.99 Buy any 2 save 15% Single bottle price £7.04

Picpoul de Pinet is another wine that has begun to develop a strong following at Majestic, as the crisp and aromatic style becomes increasingly fashionable.Our offer of £5.99 is a truly exceptional price for this wine, which we haven't seen since Christmas 2012. It's received some great reviews recently in the press, including one below from Olly Smith stating that it is a bargain even at £6.74.
'Majestic has Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet 2013 (12.5 per cent) until June 30 for £6.74 (a steal)' Olly Smith, Mail on Sunday'If you're looking for a crisp, seafood-friendly dry white to accompany mussels or crab this summer, then this Picpoul from the Mediterranean is just the ticket, with its ripe stonefruit and apple flavours, its zingily juicy texture and dry palate-cleansing finish.' The Wine Gang

Wine of the Week: Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet 2013Date published: 16/07/14

Wine Of The Week

Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet 2013 Côteaux du Languedoc


Nestling in amongst the warm and red-biased appellations of the Languedoc, just a few miles from the Mediterranean coastline, Picpoul de Pinet is something of an unexpected find, offering a crisp and zesty white wine made from the rare Picpoul grape. Youthfully pale lemon yellow, with a nose of lemon and lime fruit, and an intriguing blend of white blossom and green herb notes. Vibrant green apple fruit with a refreshingly dry and acidic finish. Drink with fresh oysters, whitebait or grilled sardines

Price £5.99

Buy 2 selected bottles and save 15%


RoadworksDate published: 14/07/14

Whilst our car park may look tricky to get into, please do persist as the workmen will move the barriers to allow you access to our car park. 

We anticipate that these road works will only be there for a few days, but the important message is that we are open for business as usual.



Majestic in the CommunityDate published: 14/07/14

Majestic in the Community

Here at Majestic Wine in Market Harborough we love tasting wine, but if there is one thing that we love more than tasting wine than it's sharing over knowledge, experience and wines with people. So if you are part of a wine group, social group or even work with a number of wine enthusiasts then we would like to hear from you.

We often run wine tastings in the community with like-minded people who are interested in wine, and are keen to learn more. We find these events an invaluable experience, and really enjoy getting to know the local community in a more informal manner. We do not charge for our services on the night, bring our own ISO tasting glasses and spittoons and may even be able to contribute to the cost of the wines that we present on the night.

So if you would like to arrange a wine tasting event, and would appreciate our involvment than simply call Majestic Wine on 01858 431 320, alternatively you can e-mail us on mkh@majestic.co.uk.  


Food and wine Pairing - Potato and butter pie with mushroom gravy and wilted spinachDate published: 13/07/14

For this weeks food and wine pairing i have gone vegetarian for the food and for the wines. A lot of wine that is produced is filtered using animal products making it unsuitable for vegetarians. However there is a growing trend to make wine more accesable to stop using animal products. 

Potato and butter pie with mushroom gravy and wilted spinach
Ingredients For the filling

900g/2lb medium potatoes (preferably Maris Piper)

75g/2½oz fridge-cold butter, cut into 1cm/½in cubes

1 large onion, sliced into thin rings

flaked sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

For the pastry

350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling

175g/6oz butter

50g/1¾oz extra mature cheddar cheese, finely grated

1 large free-range egg, beaten with 1 tbsp cold water

beaten egg, to glaze

For the mushroom gravy

500ml/18fl oz just-boiled water

2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder (or ½ vegetable stock cube)

10g/¼oz dried mushrooms, either mixed or porcini

1 tbsp sunflower oil

15g/½oz butter

150g/5½oz small chestnut mushrooms, wiped and finely sliced

1 tbsp plain flour

2 tbsp finely snipped fresh chives (optional)

flaked sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

For the wilted spinach with nutmeg

large bag young spinach leaves

25g/1oz butter

freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

For the filling, pour one litre of cold water into a medium pan and bring to the boil. Peel the potatoes and cut into roughly 5mm slices. Carefully drop the potatoes into the hot water and return to the boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until just tender but not breaking apart, then drain in a colander and rinse under running water until cold. Leave to drain.

Melt 25g/1oz of the cubed butter in a large non-stick frying pan and put the rest back in the fridge. Fry the onion over a medium heat for five minutes, or until fairly soft and lightly browned, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Put a baking tray in the oven to heat.

To make the pastry, put the flour, butter and cheese in a food processor and blend on the pulse setting until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the beaten egg and water and blend until the mixture comes together.

Remove the blade and take the pastry out of the food processor. Knead lightly until the dough forms a ball. Weigh the pastry and take off 250g/9oz for the pie lid. Roll into a ball and set aside. Gather the rest of the pastry into a ball and flatten slightly.

Roll the flattened pastry out on a lightly floured surface, turning every couple of rolls until around 4mm thick and 4cm/1½in larger than a 23cm/9in round pie dish. Lift the pastry over the rolling pin and drop gently into the pie dish. Press the pastry firmly into the base of the dish and up the sides, making sure there are no air bubbles. Leave the excess pastry overhanging the sides.

Arrange a third of the drained potato slices in the pie crust, dot with a third of the reserved butter and season with salt and pepper. Scatter half of the fried onions over the top. Add another third of the potatoes and butter; season well and top with the rest of the onions. Finish with the remaining potatoes and butter and a little more seasoning. Brush the rim of the dish with beaten egg.

Roll the reserved ball of pastry in the same way as the first. Cover the pie with the pastry lid and press the edges together firmly to seal. Trim the pastry with a knife and crimp the edges if you like. Make a couple of small holes in the centre of the pie with the tip of a knife. Glaze the top of the pie generously with beaten egg.

Bake on the tray in the centre of the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the pie is golden-brown all over and the potatoes are soft and piping hot. (You can check that the potatoes are ready by poking a skewer through the hole in the top of the pastry – it should slide in easily.)

For the mushroom gravy, pour the just-boiled water into a large jug and stir in the stock powder and dried mushrooms. Leave to stand for 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms in a sieve over a bowl, reserving all the soaking liquor. Tip the soaked mushrooms onto a board and roughly chop.

Heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the chestnut mushrooms over a medium high heat for 5-6 minutes, or until they are lightly browned, stirring regularly.

Sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Slowly add the mushroom liquor to the pan, just a ladleful at a time, stirring well between each addition. At the bottom of the bowl of liquor you will probably see some grit from the mushrooms, avoid it as you ladle. This will mean you have around 1-2 tablespoons of unused liquid that can be chucked away.

Bring the mushroom sauce to a gentle simmer, stir in the chopped, soaked mushrooms and cook for three minutes, stirring occasionally until the gravy has thickened. Season with salt and lots of ground black pepper. Stir in the chives, if using.

For the wilted spinach with nutmeg, rinse the young spinach leaves in a colander and drain well. Melt the butter in a large non-stick frying pan or saucepan over a medium heat. Shake the spinach into the pan, season with some freshly grated nutmeg, a good pinch of salt and lots of ground black pepper.

Cover with a lid and cook for two minutes or until the spinach softens and wilts. Remove the lid now and again and give the spinach a stir. Serve hot.

Serve the pie with the wilted spinach and mushroom gravy.

The wines i have chosen to go with this dish are as follows:

Côtes-du-Rhône 2013 Léon Perdigal

This is a classic blend sourced from several sites in the southern Rhône. It has been named in honour of Léon Perdigal, the first cellarmaster at Ogier's now famous cellars, when they were founded in 1859 in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

The nose has intense aromas of red fruits and spice, with subtle pepper and garrigue notes. The spice-tinged red fruits continue on the palate, which is medium-bodied and has a pleasing length.

Beaujolais-Villages 2012 Georges Duboeuf

Beaujolais-Villages must come from the superior vineyard sites in the hillier parts to the north of Beaujolais. Master winemaker Georges Duboeuf has created this wine from the best selection of grapes.

Packed with juicy strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit flavours. A bright and youthful wine with a fresh finish.


Recipe from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/potato_and_butter_pie_93603

Aussie Spotlight Sneak Peek: Part 2Date published: 12/07/14

Australian Spotlight Tasting

Oxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc £5.99

Now owned by Yalumba, Australia's oldest family run winery, Oxford Landing have been making wine since 1958 with this particular wine hailing from South Australia along the banks of the Murray River. Murray River is the longest in Australia at 1,558 miles, stretching from the Australian Alps to Lake Alexandrina.

The climate by the river is very hot with a very low annual rainfall. The river and its role in irrigation is essential to the existence of the vines. The wine is cool fermented in stainless steel vats to maintain a crisp and light style.

Crisp and fresh, showing classic Sauvignon gooseberry and grass aromas, with plenty of zingy, citrus acidity on the palate.

Peter Lehman Riesling £8.92

Peter Lehman was born in 1930, and by the age of 17 was working for Yalumba. He spent 13 years there learning his trade and in 1960 he became the winemaker at Saltram Wines. In 1979 he decided to go it alone after falling out with the owning company over the quality of grapes they were buying. He went on to create his own winery and now has the reputation as the most innovative and respected wine maker in Australia.

Delightful citrus and stone fruit notes abound on the palate and the finish is remarkably taut. A mouth-watering acidity and limestone minerality leave the mouth feeling revitalised.

EVC Chardonnay £9.99

Located in the Barossa Ranges, just to the East of the Barrow Valley lies the small town of Eden, the centre of the Eden Valley. There are many micro-climates across this part of Australia, however the Eden Valley boasts some of the best conditions suited for Riesling and Shiraz. In part down to the altitude level of 460 metres above sea level, but also because of the unusually high average rainfall of 716mm a year. Barrell aged in French Oak and battanaged for 8 months prior to bottling this Chardonnay is some of Peter Lehman's finest vineyards.

A delicate Chardonnay showing fine green/gold tinges and a lovely balance of fresh green apple and citrus fruit flavours, supported by stylish barrel fermentation characteristics.


Aussie Spotlight Sneak PeekDate published: 11/07/14

McGuigans Shiraz £5.99

From South Eastern Australia comes this great value easy drinking Shiraz that draws from 4 generations of experience and know-how. McGuigan are another family owned winery with a global appeal, and with that comes bigger demand. Demand has grown so much that they are now having to source grapes from all over the region including the Barossa Valley, Eden Valley and Coonawarra.

A delicate Chardonnay showing fine green/gold tinges and a lovely balance of fresh green apple and citrus fruit flavours, supported by stylish barrel fermentation characteristics.

Wirra Wirra Cabernet £7.99

Named after the Aboriginal 'Wirra Wirra' tribe, which translates to 'amongst the gums', the Wirra Wirra winery really do like to do things differently. This is reflected in the blend of this wine with the addition of Petit Verdot. The Wirra Wirra tribe were so interested in the wine that they built a viewing platform overlooking the Scrubby Rise vineyard called the Jetty.

A brilliant crimson with a purple edge, this is a youthful and vibrant wine offering raspberry, cherry and blackberry fruit, lifted by hints of violet and spicy oak notes.

BVS Shiraz £9.99

The Barossa Valley is one of the most prominent and infamous wine regions in not just Australia but the world. This is because of the great success they have enjoyed wit Shiraz, with Penfolds really flying the flag for the region. This is a classic example of an Australian Barossa Shiraz, although they do have their German ancestors to thank for the development of the area and vines some years ago.

A bold, spicy yet straightforward Shiraz, offering a core of dense plum and bramble fruit, accented by notes of black pepper and dark chocolate, all mellowed and smoothed by 12 months in oak.


Wine of the Week: Vermentino PoggioargentieraDate published: 10/07/14


Poggioargentiera are based in Maremma, in the southernmost part of Tuscany, where estate owner Gianpaolo Paglia was born. Italy's native Vermentino thrives in the warm, sunny Mediterranean climate, producing generously fruity white wines.

Taste

Clean and fresh on the nose, the wine is full of ripe peach and citrus aromas. The palate offers a swathe of soft pear and stone fruit character, cut through with a refreshing limey streak.

Great with pan-seared salmon or trout, with a herby fresh tomato salsa.

£7.98 when you buy two or more selected wines

Have you got the 'Veuve' to Impress?Date published: 05/07/14

With a new a month comes a new bunch of offers for us all to take advantage of. Here are a few that I hope will help you make sense of the title if nothing else...

Veuve Clicquot NV Brut £29.98 when you buy two or more wines from the summer selection

Veuve Clicquot 2004 Brut £39.98 when you buy two or more wines from the summer selection

Veuve Clicquot Rose NV Brut £39.98 when you buy two or more wines from the summer selection

Veuve Clicquot Demi-Sec NV £29.98 when you buy two or more wines from the summer selection


Now is the time to stock up for that Summer BBQ that you keep talkinga bout, that anniversary you want to celebrate in style or dare I say it, even Christmas as it will never be lower than £29.98 again!

An American Hero – The Zinfandel GrapeDate published: 04/07/14

Hi everyone, happy 4th July. In memory of the Americans Independence Day I thought I would write a about a true Amercan Hero, the Zinfandel grape. The Zinfandel grape, genetically the same as the Primitivo Grape but the growing conditions will determine the style of wine. This grape provides rich, fruity wines which are full in body. As wines go with food from that country, the Zinfandel does go very well with the classic American burger or a steak. The Lodi Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel that are available in stock at £8.99 when you purchase with another wine from the 25% range or £11.99 individually. The Lodi Ravenswood vineyard has been producing the zinfandel for 35 years with blackberry and black cherry on the palate with spice and chocolate on the nose.

Wine of the week: AIX MagnumDate published: 04/07/14

Wine of the Week 

AIX Rosé 2010/2011 Coteaux d'Aix en Provence 1.5l Magnum 

 Grape; Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah 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! Unashamedly 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.

£19.99 per bottle!


July Summer Offers!Date published: 01/07/14

So today has brought Majestic's new summer offers. Here's what we will definitely be getting our hands on:

Santa Rita 120 Merlot - £5.99

Ondine Sauvignon Blanc - £5.99

Vina Eguia Reserva - £6.99

Bourgone Pinot Noir - £8.66

Minuty Rose -  £9.99

Cloudy Bay Pelorus - £18.99

Veuve Clicquot - £29.98



Food and Wine pairing - Frozen elderflower possetDate published: 29/06/14

Welcome again to my latest food and wine pairing! Sorry its been a while i have been on holiday. As always i have scoured the web to find the perfect food to go with two of my favorite wines this week. With Wimbledon upon us and the world cup in full swing i decided to bring you another desert, Frozen elderflower posset is easy and quick to make.


This frozen dessert is so fragrant and so easy to make: the ingredients are just whipped together and frozen and it doesn’t need churning. Serve with summer berries for the perfect summer dessert.

Ingredients

150ml/¼ pint pouring double cream

150ml/¼ pint elderflower cordial

summer berries, to serve

a dusting of icing sugar

Preparation method

Place the cream in a mixing bowl and whip until it forms soft peaks, then gradually pour in the elderflower cordial, whisking until combined.

Freeze in a plastic tub until completely frozen. Scoop into a food processor and blend to remove any ice crystals

Transfer to pretty little dessert glasses or Martini glasses for at least three hours or overnight in the freezer.

To serve, place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to soften slightly, then serve each glass with a few summer berries and decorate with a dusting of icing sugar.


The two wines i have chosen to go with this light easy to make desert are:

Picpoul de Pinet Prestige 2013 Domaine Guillaume Cabrol.

Rarely seen as a varietal wine, this Picpoul comes from an estate to the north of the Picpoul de Pinet appellation, around 20km from the Med. Domaine Guillame Cabrol received 'Terra Vitis' certification in 2000 for its sustainable vinegrowing and winemaking techniques.


Fresh and citrussy, with slightly floral hints, and an unmistakable note of green bell peppers on the nose. Very light on the palate, with a medium length finish.

L'Extra par Langlois Brut NV Crémant de Loire

This is the Loire equivalent of a 'blanc de blancs' Champagne, having been made from a blend of only the region's white grapes. Made in the traditional method, including 12 months' maturation on lees, this is a fine example of the region's sparkling wines.

Taste

Pale lemon yellow with a fine, shimmering mousse. The nose is an invigorating symphony of golden apple, citrus zest and subtle biscuit aromas. Clean, dry and elegant on the tongue.



Recipe and instructions written by Mary Berry for the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/frozen_elderflower_07251



Monthly Majestic Magic – Tis' the Season for Lighter RedsDate published: 25/06/14

Hi everyone, this is something I am going to try and do every month to help out people who are just starting out in wine and would like some good recommendations, or for those who are going down a certain route and would like a base to start off with.

Today will be concentrated on lighter reds.

Santa Rita Carmenere (13.5% abv) @ £8.99 per bottle or £5.99 (when purchasing 2 bottles from our 33% off range).

This light and smooth Carmenere based wine has soft brambly fruits with a bit of complexity given to it from 6 months in oak, great on its own or with a pasta or lamb based dish.

Nicolas Potel Bourgogne Pinot Noir (12% abv) @ £12.99 per bottle or £9.74 (when purchasing 2 bottles from our 25% off range).

A classic fruity and light Pinot Noir from Burgundy provides a strwaberry and blackcurrant nose and smooth fruity palate rounded with supple tannins, perfect with cold cuts or pasta based dishes.

Gran Vendema Crianza (13% abv) @ £9.99 per bottle or £6.66 (when purchasing 2 bottles from our 33% off range).

A lighter rioja that is dominated with red cherry on the palate, with rasperries and strwaberries on the nose finished with vanilla notes from the 12 months in American oak. This wine is very versatile as it can be drunk on its own or with a wide variety of dishes; from Mediterranean cuisine to pork chops!

The Long White Cloud – New Zealand Regions and grapes.Date published: 23/06/14

New Zealand, known not just for their famous Rugby team the All Blacks, or for the famous captain who mapped out one of the youngest countries in the world Captain Cook, produces some fantastic wines! The most famous and notable being their Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. But this country additionally produces some world class wines from other regions using different grapes.

On their most northernly island in Gibourne, the Chardonnay Grape is prefered in producing wines from this area. Hawkes Bay and Auckland however prefer to use the commonly used French pairing of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. An area known for producing very note-worthy Pinot Noir from Martinborough called Wairarapa.

On the southernly island is the largest of all wine producing regions, Marlborough, famous for their Sauvignon Blanc as already mentioned but also do very good Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Nelson mainly produces wines from the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Canterbury also focus on the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir but additionally on Riesling as well. Central Otago also do produce Riesling wines but are one of the only areas that pruduce wines made from Pinot Gris. The most famous wine produced from Central Otago is the wines produced from Pinot Noir grapes.


Les BleusDate published: 21/06/14

Here is how #FindBenoit celebrated the homelands victory last night over the Swiss. 

How Temperature Affects WineDate published: 19/06/14

If the temperature is below 10°c then it is too cold for the vines cells to function, hence why they are dormant in winter. The vines activity, including photosynthesis, will increase as the temperature does until 22°c. At this temperature the cells will consume more sugar than photosynthesis. Not all grapes need the exact same temperature throughout the growing season. Riesling for example will thrive in cooler locations where Grenache wouldn't be able to ripen it's grapes. Temperature is more important that sunlight when it comes to which grapes can grow where.

In cooler environments, budburst can occur later slowing down the growing process of the vine and meaning that the grapes may not ripen fully. Cooler temperatures would also mean that the grapes retain more acidity and accumulate little sugar. This could make wines from under-ripe black grapes taste over herbacious and astringent.

In hotter environments, budburst could occur too early, making the grapes have a longer growing season. The heat would also accelerate the ripening process, lessen the acidity that could have been stored within the grapes, and the tannins would additionally would be overly ripened.

Ultimately the white grape varieties prefer the cooler environments as they do not need their tannins to ripen but need their acidity to whereas the black grape varieties need the hotter environment for their tannins, flavour and colour to develop.


Wine of the Week: Morellino di Scansano 2013 PoggioargentieraDate published: 19/06/14

Morellino di Scansano 2013 Poggioargentiera

Black cherry and a twist of smoke

I'm going to nail my colours to the mast before I start: I have a predisposition towards Italian wines. Nothing to do with having been there on holiday (although I have) or having visited some wineries there (although I have) or having lusted after a smoking hot Italian. (although...) 

In particular, I really enjoy a good Sangiovese; Brunello, Chianti, Vino Nobile; each hold Sangiovese as their signature and it can be a wonderfully powerful, grippy tannic monster when it wants to be. Given a balmy coastal breeze down the Ligurian Sea, however, it mellows out and gives a slightly softer style without losing its essential dark cherry and smoke character. 

This little number has exactly what you look for in a mid-priced Italian sangiovese. All that red & black fruit with a hint of toasted vanilla from gentle oak aging, with that crucial mix of tannin and acidity to make it the food wine it wants to be. 

Perfect for when broaching the Brunello seems a little too extravagant.


£11.99 Buy 2 bottles save 25% £8.99

Anatomy of a vineDate published: 17/06/14

Anatomy of the Vine

Shoots: The new growth of a vine. Bumps called nodes will appear and from them leaves with either flowers or tendrils.

Leaves: The main purpose is to feed the plant through photosynthesis but can also be used to create a canopy.

Tendrils: These are used to help the wine attach themselves to a structure, e.g. trellis.

Flowers and Berries: The flowers are the reproductive organs, where they are bunched together in groups called inflorescences. Once a flower is successfully pollinated, it will become a berry and therefore the inflorescences will become bunches of grapes. Vines have evolved now so that grapes as a wind-pollinated animal dispersed species, making the flowers very small.

Buds: They form in the join between the leaf and the shoot. It has a protective shell that houses the beginnings of the roots, leaves, flowers and tendrils for the next years growth.

One Year Old Wood: Shoots become woody after growth in the winter. In the following spring they become one year old wood where the buds from the previous year grow into shoots. Fruit is more likely to grow from these buds and therefore managing the one year old wood is important. This wood will be created into a cane or a spur, depending on the amount of buds that it has.

Permanent Wood: This is wood that is older than one year but is restricted by pruning. This wood is used for the trunk and the arms (also known as cordons) of the vine. Some carbohydrate stores are kept in this wood during the winter to fuel the initial shoot growth until the leaves take over.

Roots: Mainly to absorb water and nutrients in the soil, but it is there to help anchor the vine in its place and to also store carbohydrates to be used throughout winter. The most common roots used come from the Northen American species due to their resistance to phylloxera.

WORLD GIN DAY!Date published: 14/06/14

If you're partial to a good G&T or gin martini (we certainly are) then today is the perfect day for you - Happy world Gin Day!

What are some of the best gins to liven up your cocktail cupboard?

Hendricks Gin - £35

Bombay Sapphire - £20

Gordons Gin - £15

Gordons Gin with a spot of Elderflower - £15

Beefeater Gin - £15

Combine with Fever-Tree tonic, a generous sized lime wedge & and couple of ice cubes and you've got the most refreshing drink going.  Cheers! 

Help us help youDate published: 14/06/14

Have you ever wondered what the customer list at Majestic is for?

Firstly it is not so we can bombard you with emails and pass your details onto third parties!

Essentially it is a tool in place for your benefit - If you've ever had a wine from us and can't remember what it is - we can use your history to find out for you! And don't worry if you bought it from another branch, we can give them a call and get them to check your in-store history there, so we can ALWAYS find out what you've bought, as long as you provide us with your surname and postcode every time you shop.

It also allows us to post you our quarterly magazine Grape to Glass, and any flyers detailing our latest offers, so you'll always be first in the know (you can opt out of this free service if you prefer not to receive the mailing, and you still benefit from our personalised product history service!).

There is also an option to signup for emails detailing EXCLUSIVE online parcels that you can't get anywhere else - not even in store! So if you want to be kept in the know about all the best deals here at Majestic, make sure you go on our mailing list - after all, it's there for you!

And now there are even more rewards, not only will we offer you a free bottle on your following purchase, but we will also give you another voucher to bring a friend along and both get ANOTHER free bottle of wine each!


Can't say fairer than that!


Market Harborough CarnivalDate published: 14/06/14

Today is carnival day and here at Majestic we are getting involved with the celebrations by decorating our store in-keeping with the rest of the community and offering free glasses of Prosecco to carnival goers of age.

#FindBenoit prediction England vs ItalyDate published: 14/06/14

Majestic's very own football predictor Benoit not being very optimistic this morning...he predicts Italy will have victory over England with a 1-0 score.  Come on England...let's prove him wrong!  

For today's match Benoit will be drinking Limited Edition Pilsner Urrquell Cans! 

Bordeaux Fact SheetDate published: 12/06/14

Bordeaux Fact Sheet

Climate: Bordeaux has a moderate Maritime climate which has an extended growing season.

Key Appelation System used in France

France has several hundred Appelation d'Origine Contrôlée (AC or AOC) in the attempt to create a heirarchial system. The most prestigious have the smallest areas and strictest regualtions, particularly in regards to their yields.

The Vin de Pays (VdP) was created to encourage producers of the base Vin de Table wine base standard to strive to produce a higher quality wine. Essentially they have slightly less stringent rules with a wider range of permitted grapes.

Vin de France is an exciting band which allows multi-varietal and regional wines that will aim to compete with their New World Rivals.

Key Red Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec & Petit Verdot.

Key White Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc, Semellion & Muscadelle.

Geography: Bordeaux is split into two key regions; Left Bank and Right Bank.

Left Bank includes: Medoc, Haut-Medoc, Saint-Estephe, Saint-Julien, Margaux, Pauillac & Sauternes.

Right Bank includes: Pomerol, St. Emillion, Francs, Castillon & Boug.

Near by regions include: Cahors AC, Côtes de Gascogne, Madiran AC & Jurançon AC.


Majestic vs...Lidl!Date published: 10/06/14

Now I know what you're all thinking, where has the Majestic Vs gone?  Well, first of all, apologies for the lack of battle, but secondly, let's celebrate it's return!  This week's local competitor is Lidl and the wines in contest are:

Côtes-du-Rhône Saint-Esprit 2012 Delas-Frères - Majestic Wine £6.66

Côtes-du-Rhône Villages 2013 - Lidl £4.99

First up, first impressions starting with Majestic's.  The Delas sports a classic appearance that is typical of it's French heritage, not to mention a most eye-catching and sophisticated glass logo; adding a defined touch of class.   It clearly identifies that is from the Saint-Esprit Valley within Rhône, is of 2012 vintage and is 14% ABV.  On it's reverse, is details only the origin of it's producer and a brief overview of their wines in general; again typical of classic French.  It doesn't feel it necessary to  diverge it's chosen grape variety; it assumes a consumer fond of Rhône will be fully aware that it will be Grenache and Syrah dominated.

In contrast, Lidl's Côtes-du-Rhône Villages is of 2013 vintage, and lower in alcohol comprising of 12.5% ABV.  Whilst the label pictures an attractive scenic view of what is presumably a typical Rhône village, the bottle doesn't have the same element of class to it as the Delas; and it further cheapened though the use of plastic corking.  It's labeling reverse is by far more informative than the Delas; providing the consumer with information such as grape variety (Grenache & Syrah), ideal serving temperature and it's body.  It does however have a mass-production feel to it, with the majority of the reverse labeling comprising of "Drink Awareness" information.

So far, we think the Delas is clearly in the lead.  But how will they compare in taste??

Food and wine matching - Baked raspberry cheesecakeDate published: 09/06/14

Baked raspberry cheesecake

As I am going on holiday I decided I would post another food and wine matching article to tie you over until my return late next week! 

A decadent, easy baked cheesecake filled with white chocolate and topped with fresh berries. Frozen can be substituted out of season.

Ingredients

For the cheesecake

23cm/9in ready-made sponge base

200g/7oz caster sugar

1 lemon, zest and juice only

4 tbsp cornflour

850g/1lb 14oz full-fat cream cheese

3 free-range eggs

1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out

375ml/13fl oz double cream

250g/9oz raspberries

150g/5oz white chocolate, roughly chopped

For the berries

350g/11oz raspberries

1 lemon, juice only

2 tbsp icing sugar, or to taste

200ml/7fl oz double cream, lightly whipped, to serve

Preparation method

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

For the cheesecake, place the sponge base into the bottom of a 23cm/9in springform cake tin. 

Place the sugar, lemon juice and zest and cornflour into a bowl and whisk together.

Technique: Zesting citrus fruit

Add the cream cheese and beat well. Crack in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla seeds and mix well, then pour in the double cream and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the raspberries and white chocolate.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and give the tin a light shake to evenly distribute the mixture.

Place the cake tin into a roasting tin filled to a depth of about 0.5cm/¼in with water. Transfer to the oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden and the cheesecake is just set. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin.

Meanwhile, for the berries, heat a frying pan until hot and place 250g/9oz of the raspberries into the pan. Stir-fry for one minute.

Stir in the lemon juice and icing sugar, to taste.

Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth, then pass through a sieve, pressing with the back of a spoon, to remove all the seeds.

To serve, cut the cheesecake into wedges and place a piece in the centre of each plate. Spoon some of the remaining raspberries around the plate, drizzle over the berries and top the cheesecake with a dollop of whipped cream.

Pol Roger Réserve NV Champagne

Pol 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. 

£33.31 when you buy any two wines in the pick and mix offer.

Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Flora 2012 Victoria 37.5cl Half bottle 

From Brown Brothers Mystic Park Vineyard in Victoria this is an exciting blend of late-harvested Orange Muscat along with the little known Flora. A cross between Semillon and Gewürztraminer, Flora lends a distinct fragrance to the wine.

Aromas of orange blossom, fresh citrus and spice, with a textured and rich palate, a crisp acidity balances the sweetness of the palate and leads on in a zesty finish.

£6.74 when you buy any two wines in the 25% off range. 

Recipe courtesy of the bbc: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bakedraspberrycheese_86567

New Wine of the Week - Waimea Estate Pinot Gris 2013 NelsonDate published: 09/06/14

Waimea Estate Pinot Gris 2013 Nelson

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.

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.

#Find Benoit's Prediction warm upDate published: 07/06/14

With the World cup looming #Benoit is getting some last minute prediction practice in. Let us know whether you agree or not...

Food and Wine pairing - Tomato and Basil RissotoDate published: 04/06/14

Tomoato and Basil Rissoto

In this weeks instalement of my food and wine matching i have decided to mix it up and go for a lighter quicker dish. This weeks recipe is courtesy of the Telegraph food page: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/10129928/Tomato-and-basil-risotto-recipe.html

500g fresh tomatoes peeled, deseeded and chopped

50g extra-virgin olive oil

2 bay leaves

A small handful fresh basil leaves

A small strip of red chilli, deseeded

280g dry Arborio rice

A knob of butter

1 glass dry white wine

1.5l broth (chicken, vegetable) or mineral water

2 tbsp basil flower extra-virgin olive oil (or olive oil infused overnight with basil leaves)

2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan, or better still aged pecorino

1 tomato, skinned, deseeded and diced for garnish

Abundant basil leaves and basil flowers

Put the tomatoes in a solid based pan with the oil, a bay leaf, the basil leaves and chilli, and cook over a medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and pass the sauce through a vegetable mill. If the sauce appears watery and lacking in flavour, return to the heat to reduce. Season with salt to taste.

Put the rice in a pan with the butter and another bay leaf; move it around the pan with a wooden spoon, toasting it lightly. Next add a glass of white wine which will be instantly absorbed into the rice. Add the broth, ladle by ladle, gently stirring.

The rice must be just covered with broth at all times: never too much to slow the momentum of the cooking and just enough to have it on the verge of wanting a little more.

Alternate adding the broth with a ladle of the tomato sauce, to impart to the rice the first taste of the dish to come. Stir gently, moving the rice at the bottom of the pan to the top. You can add basil stalks and a bay leaf before the rice has finished cooking, to increase the flavour, but remove them before they discolour.

Continue this way until the rice is cooked al dente. Take the rice off the heat and execute what in Italian is called la mantecazione or ‘creaming’ the risotto. Add the basil flower olive oil, a little more tomato sauce, and half of the cheese and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add the tomato garnish and the herbs, then put the pan back on the stove and bring the finished risotto back up to temperature. It is now ready to serve with the remaining cheese to taste.

Calia Bella Malbe 2013 San Juan.

Bodegas Callia are based in the Valle de Tulum, wherein lies the town of San Juan, and have become one of the foremost wineries of this area. Their estate here comprises 241 hectares of vines, at 630m above sea level, surrounded on almost all sides by the Andes.

An attractively deep purple wine, with an up-front and straightforward wild berry character, with hints of baking spices. Intense and generous on the palate, with plush tannins and good ripeness.

Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Franc 2013 Central Valley

As well as being a constituent of many Bordeaux blends, Cabernet Franc is the classic red variety of much of the Loire region, particularly Saumur and Chinon. This Chilean example offers a rare glimpse of Cabernet Franc a single varietal wine from outside of France.

Taste

A medium-bodied, ruby red wine, offering aromas of ripe red berries, wild herbs and tomato leaf. The palate delivers ripe cherry and raspberry fruit, with both fresh acidity and rounded tannin.




Wine of the Week: The King's Legacy ChardonnayDate published: 03/06/14

WINE OF THE WEEK

The King's Legacy Chardonnay 2011 Marlborough

This Chardonnay is sourced from two vineyards, one a mature plot in the centre of the Wairau Valley, the other a plot of younger vines in Brancott Valley. The grapes were fermented in large French oak casks using predominantly wild yeasts and allowed 10 months' on lees.

An easily enjoyable Chardonnay that combines fresh apple, nectarine and tangerine flavours with subtle creaminess, hints of toasted almonds and a gently spicy complexity.

Try this with seared scallops served with black pudding.


£14.99 Save 15% when you buy two or more selected wines


£12.74

Sipsmith's Summer CupDate published: 02/06/14

With summer well and truly underway, Benoit thought it only just and right to share his summer tipple with you, so here goes:


SUMMER CUP

Based on the award winning London Dry Gin, Summer Cup is the perfect summer sip for gin lovers. A host of carefully selected summery ingredients, including infusions of Earl Grey tea, lemon verbena (grown in Jared's garden) cucumber, vermouth and a touch of bitters are blended together to create a deliciously refreshing and sophisticated summer gin sip.

For the perfect serve:

Fill a wine glass with ice

Add a generous serve of Sipsmith Summer cup (35ml)

Top with lemonade

Garnish with a simple slice of lemon.

Priced at just £15 a bottle when you buy any other spirit or fine wine, this not only offers exceptional quality and class, but also value for money. Watch out for Benoit sipping this in the sizzling summer sun this season.

If you don't believe him then why not pop in and give it a try- Open throughout the whole summer

Sparkling Saturday: Langlois L'Extra BrutDate published: 31/05/14

This super Cremant de Loire offers a vibrancy, finesse and flavour without dropping an ounce on the structure. This Blanc de Blanc is made up of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc (as you would expect from Loire), and really packs a lemon curd punch with crumbled digestives and cloudy apple juice drizzled on top for good measure- if you don't believe us then come down and try it.

open all day and on a great offer at just £9.99 a bottle from £14.99.

 

Last minute dealsDate published: 29/05/14

After the success of our summer selection first time round, we have decided to rejuvenate the selection by making a couple of alterations as on Tuesday 3rd June. 

Here is a list of the key offers that we recommend you take advantage of between now and then before it is too late:


24 bottles of Sam Adams for just £24

Mud House Sauvignon Blanc now just £6.66 a bottle

Alamos Malbec £6.66 a bottle

These party favourites offer exceptional value for money and are a must for all celebrations as far as we are concerned, so make sure you do not miss out by calling us on 01858 421 320 or logging onto www.majestic.co.uk

 

New Wine of the week! Symbiose Piquepoul Sauvignon Blanc 2013Date published: 28/05/14

Wine of the Week

Symbiose Piquepoul Sauvignon Blanc 2013.

The Côtes de Thau is a vineyard area bordering the Thau Basin, a large body of water just inland of the Mediterranean. This region is naturally suited to viticulture, with plenty of sunshine and heat, and sea breezes tempering the effects of humidity in the vineyards.Piquepoul has a long history in the Languedoc region, and is one of the oldest domestic grape varieties of that region.

The combination of the lean, crisp, minerally Piquepoul with Sauvignon Blanc's vibrant tropical influence produces a wine with excellent balance and a refreshing nature.

£6.74 When you buy any two wines in the save 25% deal.

£8.99 single bottle price.


Summer Wine Evening Postview: Santa Ema Sauvignon BlancDate published: 25/05/14

Majestic Wine Market Harborough Summer Wine Tasting 2014 
Santa Ema 
Sauvignon Blanc 
Leyda Valley 
Origin: This Chilean wine is produced from hand-picked 
Style: Due to the cool but sunny climate, this dry 
Nose and 
Palate 
Characteristics: 
grapes from over the Leyda Valley, more 
famously known for their wheat and barley 
production, located 14km from the Pacific. The 
productive area of Santa Ema covers 0ver 500 
hectares in Maipo, Cachapoal, Casablanca and of 
course the Leyda Valleys. 
 
white wine has an excellent acidity and 
minerality. 
 
This wine has a complex nose of grapefruit and 
passion fruit combined with a herbaceous finish 
which lasts on the palate. A great fruity wine is 
well balanced with a refreshing acidity to help 
give it an edge. 
Food Pairing: This fresh and fruity wine is a great companion 
to Risotto, Quiche and Thai dishes, why not see 
for yourself?

Summer wine Evening Postview: Oakham AlesDate published: 24/05/14

Oakham Ales 
Green Devil IPA (6.0% ABV) Inferno (4.0% ABV) 
Citra (4.2% ABV) JHB (3.8% ABV) 
Bishop’s Farewell (4.6% ABV) 
This Champion Cask Ale 2013 from the International Brewing Awards 
packs a great blend of hoppy and tropical fruit aroma. This IPA has a very 
smooth and full sensation in the mouth with flavours starting with passion 
fruit, pineapple and mango fruits, and then developing into having a citrus 
bitterness. Finally this beer finishes with a refreshing crisp and dry 
aftertaste. A great beer to enjoy whilst outdoors on a hot day! 
This 2013 silver medal winning ale in the International Beer Challenge has a 
fiery golden colour and spicy aroma. This refreshingly tangy fruit palate of 
lemon flavours partners the slight floral accompaniment very well. The 
lemony flavours last through to help balance the bitter finish to provide a 
This pioneering beer was the first to use 100% American grown Citra hops, 
being very successful since first produced in 2009 winning gold in the 
International Beer Challenge in 2012 & 2013. The Citra hops provide this 
beer with a light and refreshing aroma of pungent grapefruit, gooseberry 
and lychee with a dry and bitter finish. 
This was Oakham Ale’s first beer, produced in 1993 after a legendary local 
figure, dualist Sir Jeffrey Hudson (1619). This golden ale packs a lot of 
complexity for its modest 3.8% ABV, allowing it to be the Supreme Champion 
Beer of Britain in 2001. This has a light hoppy and citrus flavour with a malt 
and bitter base. It has a dry hoppy finish with soft fruit flavours. 
Oakham Ales started to produce this beer in honour of the retiring Bishop of 
Peterborough, Bill Westwood. Bishop’s Farwell has won gold at the 2012 & 
2013 International Beer Challenge. This is a gold premium ale that has a 
complex fruity hop flavours overlap a grainy background flavour. Bishop’s 
Farewell also has the trademark dry and refreshing finish of Oakham Ales.

Summer Wine Evening Postview: Berlucchi Cuvée Imperiale NV FranciacortaDate published: 23/05/14

Summer Wine Evening Preview
Berlucchi Cuvée Imperiale NV Franciacorta
Welcome to the first article in our new series, giving a sneak
preview to the wines that we will be showcasing for our
summer wine evening on the 22
nd May.
Franciacorta is a sparkling wine from the Lombardy region in
Northern Italy. That rose to promiance in 1957 when I young
winemaker working for Berlucchi was allowed to produce 3000
bottles. The year after was 20000 and by 1967 there were 10
producers making Franciacorta with Berlucchi representing
80% of production. Between 1996 and 2006 sales of
Franciacorta grew from 2.9 million to 6.7 Million.
There are three
grape varietes
permited which are
Chardonnay, Pinot
Nero (Pinot Noir)
and Pinot Blanc
however
chardonnay
dominates
plantings.
 
Nonvintage
Franciacorta (NV)
may not be
released until at
least 25 months
after harvest, of
which 18 months must be in contact with the yeast in the
bottle compared to 15 months in the case of Champagne.
With its Chardonnay­biased blend, this is a supremely elegant
wine, with a light­footed feel on the palate. Generously
fragranced with pear, golden apple and citrus character.

Wine of the Week: Alamos MalbecDate published: 21/05/14

Wine of the Week

Alamos Malbec 2013 Catena, Mendoza

Mendoza is by far the biggest and most important region in Argentina. Classically hailing from the Cahors vineyards to the east of Bordeaux, Argentina is now arguably the home of Malbec.

This Malbec oozes dried raisiny fruit character, lots of blackberries, a full body and ripe sweet tannins.

Simply perfect with roast meats. Ready to drink now and over the next 2-5 years.

Single Bottle Price: £9.99

BUY ANY 2 SELECTED WINES AND SAVE 33.3%

£6.66


Summer Wine Evening Preview: Chateau de Tracy, Pouilly-FumeDate published: 19/05/14

BACKGROUND

Founded in 1936, Chateau de Tracy has been in the hands of Comte Henri d'Assay's family for 610 years. Located in the village of Tracy sur Loir the estate covers 32 hectares under production on flint and kimmeridgian limestone south west facing slopes overlooking the Loire. With an average age of 24 years the vines produce significantly lower yields than is the norm in the appellation, making for wines of great intensity, complexity and finesse.


VINTAGE CONDITIONS

The 2012 campaign started with a warm and ry winter, followed by a cold and wet spring. Thankfully, normal conditions resumed in mid-July giving a good crop of healthy fruit which was harvested in late September. An organic approach to viticulture is followed. No pesticides are used, yields are kept very low and strict canopy management is in order. Bright and exuberant in this vintage; with all the concentration, minerality and length one has come to expect from one of the Loire's oldest and best vineyards.


WINEMAKING

Hand harvested with rigorous fruit selection. Each parcel was pressed & vinified seperately in stainless steel tanks using selected yeast strains. The wine was ages on its lees for 12 months with regular stirring.


TASTING NOTES

Grape: Sauvignon Blanc

Colour: Pale gold

Nose: Open and intense on the nose,it offers notes of blackcurrant, rhubarb and citrus fruits, with an undertone of vegetal hints.

Palate: Vibrant and fresh citrus flavours are complimented with generous minerality

Food Match:Goats cheese or fine seafood such as sole or salmon


Summer Wine Evening Preview: Mud House Pinot Noir, Central OtagoDate published: 18/05/14

VINTAGE REGION

This single vineyard was solely sourced from the Mudhouse vineyard in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago. The vineyard's free draining loam soilss over schist gravel leading to outstanding growth of Pinot Noir.


VINTAGE CONDITIONS

Central Otago had a top growing season in 2012 compared to the rest of New Zealand which struggled with unsettled cool weather. Mudhouse's Bendigo vineyard was blesses with warm stable weather, keeping the disease pressure low. Fruit slowly developed through the season with grapes reaching optimum ripeness come harvest.


MATURATION

After a week long cold soak, each parcel was femented seperately with a combination of wild and cultured yeasts. Each batch was individually hand plunged to extract vibrant colour, flavour and delicate tannins, to later be pressed to a mix of French oak barriques and stainless steel tanks.


TASTING NOTES

Colour: Deep ruby

Nose: Bright aromas of cherry & red fruits layered with gentle notes of spice & mocha.

Palate: Generous dark cherry & bramble flavours are complimented by hints of dried herb & oak.

Cellaring potential: 2013-2016

Food Match: Duck or slow roasted lamb.


Summer Wine Evening Preview: The Grand ArdecheDate published: 18/05/14

The Grand Ardèche 2012 is shimmering pale yellow in colour. On the nose it reveals aromas of vanilla and brioche with hints of honey and acacia. This is a well-balanced wine, ample and generous in the mouth with flavours of almond paste and vanilla. The finish is bright and fresh.

Traditional in oak barrels with complete malolactic fermentation

Maison Louis Latour is one of the most innovative producers in Burgundy whilst maintaining its traditional image. In 1979, with a view to expanding the business the valley of the Ardèche river with its clay and limestone-based soils was chosen as the ideal location to produce top-quality Chardonnay wines. The Grand Ardèche comes from the best vineyards, carefully selected every year when harvesting begins. The grapes are pressed and the rapes are placed immediately in oak barrels made by the cooperage at Latour, where the wine will age for approximately 10 months, like the great wines of Burgundy.

Benoit's Football predictionDate published: 17/05/14

In preparation for the FA cup final, Market Harborough's football predictor Benoit has predicted that Hull City will sail to victory with a 2-1 win over Arsenal!

We will be drinking the Mud House Sauvignon Blanc whilst enjoying the big match in the hot sun!

What will you be drinking? 

Majestic Vs..Tesco! Part 2Date published: 16/05/14

As promised, here follows part 2 of Majestic Vs Tesco.  Just to recap, the wines in competition this week are:

First Class Pinot Noir 2013 Casablanca Valley Majestic Wine £5.99

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2013 Valle Central - Tesco £5.24

With both wines matching pretty equally on their appearance and labelling, it's all to play for in the final test.  

The First Class appears ruby in colour, combined with a garnet rim.  In comparison, the Cono Sur is far more intense in terms of colour, and adopts a much brighter ruby colour; despite both wines being of the same vintage.  Both have legs present and are of medium intensity.

Having said that, what the First Class lacks in colour intensity, it certainly makes up for on the nose.  We are greeted with vibrant aroma's of fresh strawberries, red cherries and blackcurrents.  These flavours are further explosive on the palate and give us rich red fruits, underpinned with spiced elements cinnamon and a touch of black pepper.  The tannin's are soft, the alcohol well balanced, and we are left with a medium lasting, pleasant finish.  Overall, a fantastic easy drinking, not to mention affordable, Pinot Noir.

Now over to the Cono Sur.  When compared to the First Class, the Cono Sur lacks intensity on the nose and we pick up stewed black cherries with traits of farm yard fragrances; but not much else.  On the palate, we are greeted with blackcurrent and berries, however it appears significantly unbalanced than compared to the First Class.  The acidity has not been well integrated, and we are left with an almost vinegary taste.  There is however a slightly longer finish to the Cono Sur, however given the flavours, we don't think this is necessarily such a good thing...

So whilst it was neck and neck in part 1, Majestic's First Class has triumphed as a clear winner and knocks the socks off Tesco's Cono Sur!

Over and out, until next time...

Majestic Vs...Tesco! Part 1...Date published: 15/05/14

For this week's Majestic Vs, we have chosen Tesco as our competitor.  The wines chosen for this week's battle are:

First Class Pinot Noir 2013 Casablanca Valley - Majestic Wine £5.99

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2013 Valle Central  - Tesco £5.24

Keeping with tradition, let's comment on our first impressions of the two wines.   The First Class has adopted a vintage "luggage tag" style to it's appearance, representing a story that the wine has travelled "from station to station across the globe"; to finally land in our stores.  Moreover, the bottle has been signed by the "Conductor" (a.k.a Majestic's Wine Buyer) Andy Lloyd, to give his own marking, and perhaps seal of approval or recommendation, to the wine.  On the back of the bottle, we see that the First Class is 13% ABV, and are given food recommendations to match.  So far so good.

Similar to the First Class, the Cono Sur is equally as attractive with modern labelling featuring the image of a bicycle, and is perhaps even slightly more eye-catching thanks to it's bright purple capping.  Again it images a signature to the bottle, but this time from the Wine Maker.  On the reverse of the bottle, we are again given informative information in terms of food recommendations, combined with the marketing method of a QR code, and see it is slightly stronger than the First Class, standing at 13.5% ABV.  Interestingly, we are informed that the Cono Sur stems from the Central Valley Region (known for it's large block producing wine), whereas the First Class stems from the Aconcagua Region;  perhaps giving us an idea as to the quality of each wine.

So far, there is little to differentiate between the two, so we go neck and neck into round 2!


Keep posted for part 2 : THE TASTE TEST. 

#FindBenoitDate published: 14/05/14

Benoit has been on a bit of a downer recently. But things are looking up, he has the World Cup to look forward to, and he hasn't long discovered Majestic Wine. So we keep finding him laying around the place next to his recommendations. Here is where we have just found him!

Not a bad shout at £6.66 a bottle. Now open to try in store all week

New ArrivalDate published: 14/05/14

Say hello to the latest addition to the Market Harborough team Benoit the World Cup Prediction Robot, who will be posting his predictions before each game and more importantly what wine he will be drinking throughout the game!!!

Summer Tasting UpdateDate published: 13/05/14

Many thanks to all who are now registered for our Summer Wine Tasting on Thursday 22nd May. We are very nearly full to capacity, so if you are interested in coming along then please do contact us as soon as possible. We already know the line-up of wines, and are really looking forward to you joining us for the evening.

See you there!!!!

Food and wine Matching - Sausage CasseroleDate published: 10/05/14

Welcome to the latest installment of our Food and wine matching. This week we will be pairing a hearty Sausage Casserole with two of our favorite wines.  

Ingredients

1–2 tbsp sunflower oil

12 good quality pork sausages

6 rashers rindless streaky bacon, cut into 2.5cm/1in lengths

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

½–1 tsp hot chilli powder or smoked paprika

1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes

300ml/10fl oz chicken stock

2 tbsp tomato purée

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp dark brown muscovado sugar

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

2 bay leaves

3–4 sprigs of fresh thyme

100ml/3½fl oz red or white wine (optional)

1 x 400g/14oz can butter beans or mixed beans

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the sausages gently for 10 minutes, turning every now and then until nicely browned all over. Transfer to a large saucepan or a flameproof casserole dish and set aside.

Fry the bacon pieces in the frying pan until they begin to brown and crisp then add to the sausages.

Place the onions in the frying pan and fry over a medium heat for five minutes until they start to soften, stirring often. You should have enough fat in the pan, but if not, add a little more oil.

Add the garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes more until the onions turn pale golden-brown, stirring frequently.

Sprinkle over the chilli powder or smoked paprika and cook together for a few seconds longer.

Stir in the tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and herbs.

Pour over the wine, or some water if you’re not using wine, and bring to a simmer.

Tip carefully into the pan with the sausages and bacon and return to a simmer, then reduce the heat, cover the pan loosely with a lid and leave to simmer very gently for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Drain the beans and rinse them in a sieve under cold running water. Stir the beans into the casserole, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with rice or slices of rustic bread.


The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2012 Jim Barry, Clare Valley

The first qualified winemaker to move to the Clare Valley, the late Jim Barry's estate now totals over 200 hectares in this superb wine-growing region. The Lodge Hill site was originally meant for Riesling, but instead was chosen to make this premium, reserved Shiraz.

The inky blackcurrant and boysenberry fruit is lifted by violet and menthol notes, with smooth tannins still providing plenty of grip. The finish is long and rich.

Drink this wine now, or over the next 5 years to soften the dense fruit, matching it to grilled meats, lasagne and casseroles.

£11.89 when you buy 2 wines with 15% off. £13.99 single bottle price.

Rioja Reserva 2008 Berberana

Founded in 1877 by Don Miguel Martínez Berberana, this is now one of the best selling Riojas. The Reserva is matured for a minimum 2 years in American oak cask and only released when it is ready to drink.

Taste

Deep ruby red, with delicious vanilla overtones backed up by juicy soft strawberry and morello cherry flavours. Round and full, well balanced, long and elegant.

A good choice for roasted red meats such as lamb, or with stews and casseroles.

£6.99 when you any 2 wines from the summer selection. £10.49 single bottle price.

Sparkling SaturdayDate published: 10/05/14

Domaine Chandon, Argentina

Moet & Chandon's famous outpost in Argentina now being represented in the U.K with the Launch of Domain Chandon only 10 days ago.

This elegant and refreshing sparkling wine offers great value for money at the market between Champagne and Prosecco that has been booming in South America, with Chandon accounting for over 50% of that.

Keep your eyes peeled for more Domain Chandon sparklers, but in the meantime pop down and share a flute or two with us today.

Now £12.99 from £19.49

Wine of the Week - Viognier Réserve Spéciale 2013 Gérard Bertrand, PGI Pays d’OcDate published: 09/05/14

Wine of the week


Viognier Réserve Spéciale 2013 Gérard Bertrand, PGI Pays d’Oc


At the end of his rugby career, Gérard Bertrand decided to produce the best wines in the Languedoc and set up a winery in 1992. He has had great success with unusual grape varieties such as the rare Viognier, hailing from the northern Rhône.

Brought up in the Languedoc vineyards, Gérard Bertrand is committed to sharing the characteristics and exceptional diversity of each of the terroirs of this region which produces sparkling wines, reds, whites, rosés, varietal wines or appellation wines.

As the Ambassador of the Mediterranean Art de Vivre, Gérard Bertrand loves to promote and share the cultural and gastronomic riches of the South of France.

Pale yellow in colour, with intense aromas of white flowers. The palate is rich and lush with tropical fruits, dried apricots, hazelnuts and honey.

Enjoy as an apéritif or with seafood.

£8.49 down from £9.99 saving 15% when you buy 2 wines. 


Craft Beers From Around the WorldDate published: 06/05/14

Over the last few months we've introduced an exciting selection of craft beers to our range so I thought I'd take the opportunity to give you some background on these fantastic products.

Brooklyn Lager (6x355ml)

This brewery was founded in 1987 and is a real stalwart of the American craft beer scene. This beer is a versatile all rounder with a complex malt edge and a refreshing hop bitterness. Flavours of biscuit and caramel on the palate are joined by subtle floral hints on the nose.

This is a great match to grilled meats, or try with your cheese course.

Anchor Steam (6x355ml)

From California, this is a classic hybrid beer. Lager yeasts are used in a brewing process traditionally associated with English bitter. This method originated in the gold rush era of the West coast of America. This beer is dominated by a rich caramel malt flavour, and then rounded off with subtle citrus tones. Try with Mexican cuisine.

UnderDog Atlantic Lager (6x330ml)

The Flying Dog brewery was originally set up as a brew pub in Denver, however due to their popularity, they relocated to their current site in Baltimore. This is a crisp, hop-driven lager with citrus flavours and a powerful hop bitterness. This is a perfect aperitif.

Einstok White Ale (6x330ml)

This is a Witbier, which literally translates as white beer. Most often brewed in Holland or Belgium, this example from Iceland follows the traditional method of including orange peel and coriander in the brewing process. The exceptionally pure Icelandic water gives this beer a real elegance and carries the citric and coriander notes.

Punk IPA, Brewdog 96x330ml)

Brewdog have certainly made a name for themselves in the British brewing industry, and the hype is most definitely justified! This IPA is twice hopped, which adds an extra layer of complexity. The palate is aromatic and tropical, with a lovely bitterness on the finish that adds another dimension. This beer is very versatile with food, or is equally good enjoyed on its own.

OR buy ANY 2 packs of the above and save £6= £9.99*

*with the exception of Einstock on offer at £12.99

Keep your eyes peeled for a few new additions over the coming weeks


Majestic Vs...Sainsbury's Part 2!Date published: 05/05/14

As promised, here follows Part 2 of our second episode of Majestic Vs.  To recap, this week's contender was Sainsbury's, with the two wines in competition being:

Serena Pinot Grigio 2013 Banfi from Majestic - £6.99 (when you buy two or more bottles) (12.5% ABV)

Mondelli Pinot Grigio 2013 from Sainsbury's £4 (save £2.75, down from £6.75) (12% ABV)

So we finished with both wines level-pegging at the end of part 1, with little to differentiate between them.  But how similar will they be on the palate?  Let's begin with their appearance. Comparing their appearance side by side, both wines are so pale they almost appear transparent, with a water white rim and light lemon-green colour; much to be expected from an Italian Pinot Grigio.

We take to the Mondelli first.  Giving strong notes of green apple, pear drops and citrus, the Mondelli is intense on the nose and provides inviting aroma's.  On the palate, the notes we previously experienced on the nose are less intense; however we are still greeted with apple and lime elements.  Whilst the touch of sweetness to the Mondelli would make it an approachable option to the consumer, we were surprised to experience a fairly low acidity level.  Considering Italy's hot climate, one would expect a fairly high level of acidity to be present in the Mondelli; perhaps suggesting something has been altered in the wine to make this change?  Nonetheless, the Mondelli has a moderate finish.

Now, over to the Serena.  In comparison to the Mondelli, the Serena is not as intense on the nose and perhaps needed longer to open up than the Mondelli.  Nonetheless, we are greeted by subtle scents of pear, citrus and apple.  On the palate however, it's intensity comes alive with flavours of grapefruit, pear, melon and apple dancing all over our palate, combined with a fuller and more satisfying body.  The acidity of the Serena is higher than the Mondelli (as to be expected), indicating it may be a more suitable match with food.  We are finally left with a pleasant and lasting finish from the Serena.

So to conclude, the Mondelli put up a good fight, but was pipped at the post by the Serena!  Whilst the Mondelli presented itself as good "glugging" wine, we felt the Serena offered more complexity.

Who will be our next contender?? 

Bank Holiday Food and Wine Match - Strawberry PavlovaDate published: 04/05/14

We are feeling Summery today here in store and what better summer treat than a Strawberry Pavlova.

Ingredients

For the meringues

6 free-range egg whites

300g/10½oz caster sugar

1 tsp sherry vinegar

1 drop of pink food colouring

1 tbsp orange liqueur

For the filling

250ml/9fl oz whipping cream, whipped until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed

1 vanilla pod, split, seeds only

75g/2½oz sifted icing sugar

450g/1lb strawberries, washed, hulled and cut in half

For the strawberry sauce

100ml/3½fl oz water

100g/3½oz caster sugar

250g/9oz strawberries

Preparation method

Preheat the oven to 180C/360F/Gas 4.

Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.

Technique: Whisking egg whites

Add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly, until all the sugar is combined and stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.

Gently fold in the vinegar, pink food colouring and orange liqueur.

Technique: Folding

Divide the meringue mixture into two equal portions. Spread the meringue mixture onto two baking trays lined with baking parchment.

Transfer to the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 150C/300F/Gas 2.

Bake the meringue for about one hour. The result should be crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle.

For the filling, whisk the cream with the vanilla seeds and sugar until stiff peaks are formed when the whisk is removed. (You can use the vanilla pod in another dish.)

Spoon equal amounts of the cream mixture onto both of the cooked meringues.

Place equal amounts of the strawberries on top of the two cream-covered meringues.

For the sauce, place the sugar and water into a pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Boil for 12-15 minutes, until the liquid becomes a thick syrup.

Remove from the heat then add the strawberries and set aside for ten minutes. Transfer the strawberries and syrup to a food processor and blend until smooth, then pass through a sieve. Place into the fridge to chill.

To serve, cut each pavlova in half and place each half onto a plate. Pour over the strawberry sauce and serve.


The two wines that we have chosen to go with this summer treat are perfect.

Your first option is the: 

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2009 England

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.

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.


Chandon Brut NV Argentina

Following two years of exploration, Moët & Chandon identified a fine vineyard location in Mendoza's Uco Valley, planting it in 1959. They have gone on to use their abundance of Champagne expertise to create this traditional-method sparkling wine.

A fresh and elegant style of sparkling wine, with a nose centering on citrus, pineapple and white peach aroma with subtle brioche hints, and a palate with great accuracy and length.

Recipe from the BBC food Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/strawberrypavlova_88895

Chapel Down ChampsDate published: 03/05/14

Today we are going to focus on the Chapel Down Vineyard in Kent.

This multi-award winning vineyard located within the Tenterden. Currently instore we stock the Chapel Down Brut, Rose, Pinot Reserve, Sparkling Rose Brut, Flint Dry and Bacchus wines. Chapel Down also produce a fantastic Curious IPA and Curious Brew Lager. This vineyard can now manage to crush over 600 tonnes which they are aiming to increase on! Chapel Down uses people instead of machinery to pick the grapes which helps improve the quality, key to their success.


Tips for your food matching.Date published: 03/05/14

Wine advice when enjoying with food

Here are some helpful tips and tricks when you are serving wine with food (and some helpful knowledge to impress any guests).

When there is...

Sweetness in food, it:

Increases the perception of bitterness, astringency, acidity and the burning effect of alcohol in the wine.

Decreases the perception of body, sweetness and fruitiness of the wine.

Can make dry wines seem to lose fruit and become overly acidic.

Unami (savoury taste) in food, it:

Increases the perception of bitterness, astringency, acidity and the burning effect of alcohol in the wine.

Decreases the perception of body, sweetness and fruitiness of the wine.

Can make dry wines seem to lose fruit and become overly acidic.

Acidity in food, it:

Increases the perception of body, sweetness and fruitiness of the wine.

Decreases the perception of acidity in the wine.

Salt in food, it:

Increases the perception of body of the wine.

Decreases the perception of bitterness, astringency and acidity of alcohol in the wine.

Bitterness in food, it increases the bitterness in the wine.

Chilli heat in food, it:

Increases the perception of bitterness, astringency, acidity and the burning effect of alcohol in the wine.

Decreases the perception of body, richness, sweetness and fruitiness of the wine.

Key Rules to Follow

The structural components of the wine (sugar, salt, acid, tannin) and of the food (sugar, salt, oil, fat) are more important than flavour in food pairing.

Regional food pairings are not the whole story.


Majestic Vs...Sainsbury's!Date published: 02/05/14

To continue our Majestic Vs Battle, here follows our third episode, with this week's contender being Sainsbury's! The chosen wines for this week are:

Serena Pinot Grigio 2013 Banfi from Majestic - £6.99 (when you buy two or more bottles)

Mondelli Pinot Grigio 2013 from Sainsbury's - £4 (save £2.75)

Keeping with our usual order of scoring performance, we dive straight in to overall appearance of the two wines and immediately notice some similarities between our two contenders.  We see they both share the same vintage (2013), they are both fairly simplistic yet effective in their centered white labeling, and they both clearly identify their producer in large font.  And most obvious of all, they both share the same grape!  On the reverse of the labeling, both contenders offer informative information to the consumer, detailing aromas and flavours one can except to experience.

However, they do of course have several differences.  The Serena originates from the warm climate of Tuscany, whilst the Mondelli roots from Bardolino within Lake Garda.  The Mondelli is topped with red capping, which we felt cheapened the appearance of the wine, in comparison to the Serena which sports black topped capping for a more traditional and elegant appearance. 

So, as it stands at the current time, there is little and far between our two contenders! But how will they compare on the palate? 

Keep posted for Part 2, where the all important taste will be put to the test!  

May Day favouritesDate published: 01/05/14

To celebrate May day we have got some stunning wines that will see you through the weekend and way into the summer. No matter what your taste buds urge for, nor what your budget dictates, we have the right wine for all- Here are just a few of our favs:

David- " This Bank Holiday I will be sipping on the ever popular Majestic main-stay that is the Picpoul de Pinet Villemarin. At £6.99 this wine has got the lot. From a refreshing yet balanced acidity to a palate full of green apples lime and minerality. 

However if the rain comes down then I will be switching codes and enjoying a glass of two of the Portillo Malbec. Previously voted the best Mendoza Malbec under £10 in the U.K this wine has a soft velvety mouth feel and really packs a cherry and blackcurrant punch. Must be enjoyed at some point by all at just £6.99 a bottle.

Check back with us to find out what Keiren will be enjoying this weekend...

Wine of the week - Portillo Malbec, 2013!Date published: 30/04/14

Wine of the Week

Portillo Malbec 2013!

This week the Portillo Malbec has dropped in price to £6.99 as a one month special! So what better time to stock up on this staff and customer favourite!

With 200ha of vines, at up to 1700m above sea level, Bodegas Salentein has one of the largest cool-climate estates in Argentina. The multi-award winning Portillo Malbec proves an extremely popular choice, and recently won Decanter's “Best Argentinian Malbes under £10” trophy.

Giving an intense red-purple colour, the Portillo offers an equally intense nose of plum and brambles. This is followed by ripe, fresh black fruit on the palate, held together by lush tannins and a round, fulsome body.

Drink now with lightly spiced lamb or date tagine.

ONLY, £6.99

When you buy 2 or more wines on the “save 33.3% offer” (£10.49 single bottle price)


Weekly food and wine Matching: Seafood Pasta with Garlic breadDate published: 24/04/14

  • 2 slices ciabatta

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

  • 25g/1oz butter, softened

  • ½ clove garlic

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

  • 200g/7oz fresh pasta such as linguine or tagliatelle

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 banana shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 200g/7oz cherry tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp vermouth

  • handful fresh mussels, cleaned and beards pulled off (tap any openmussels on a firm surface; discard any that don’t shut tightly within a few seconds)

  • handful raw tiger prawns, peeled, de-veined

  • 1 medium squid, cleaned, cut into rings

  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche

  • small handful tarragon leaves, shredded

  • small handful basil leaves, shredded, plus extra to garnish

  • ½ lemon, juice only

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • salad leaves, lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, to serve



  1. For the garlic bread, heat a griddle pan until hot, brush both sides of the bread with the oil and cook both sides until browned. Mix the butter, garlic and parsley together and spread on the hot toast. Keep warm.

  2. For the pasta, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions then drain, reserving some of the cooking water, and keep warm.

  3. Meanwhile, for the seafood, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and fry gently for 2-3 minutes until softened. Stir in the chilli flakes, cherry tomatoes and vermouth, increase the heat to high and boil for 3-4 minutes.

  4. Add the mussels, cover the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes then add the prawns and squid and stir into the hot sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the prawns turn pink and the mussels open (discard any that remain closed at this stage).

  5. Add the pasta and crème fraîche and toss the contents of the pan to mix everything together, adding a little of the pasta water to bring it to a saucy consistency. Stir in the tarragon and basil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  6. To serve, transfer the pasta into serving bowls, making sure you have some seafood on top. Finish with a sprig of basil and a squeeze of lemon and serve with the garlic bread and salad on the side.

Suitable for all occasions, this is anything from classic apéritif wine, to white meat and seafood partner. £7.99 When you buy any 2 pick and mix wines.


To appreciate this wine fully, drink with any fresh white fish.

£5.99 When you buy and 2 pick and mix wines.


Recipe found at BBC food: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/seafood_pasta_with_73534

Happy St. George's DayDate published: 23/04/14

Good afternoon everyone, happy St. George's Day to you all too. In the spirit of the day I thought I would let you know about a satelite region within the outskirts of St. Emillion with it's namesake. Just like the fable tale of George taking on the mighty dragon, Chateau St. George is very much the same as St. George's is only made up of a small 166-acre estate, with it's 18th Century Estate and formal gardens covers nearly one-third of the small appellation!! The wines that they provide are full bodied and fresh with a great ability to age. Wines from this region have been sold as Montagne-St. Emillion, so if you have had that before then it very well might have been from this satelite region.

Wine of the Week - Oyster Bay!Date published: 23/04/14

Wine of the Week

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc!

This week Oyster Bay has dropped in price to £7.99 as a three week special! So what better time to stock up on this staff and customer favourite!

Marlborough is at the heart of winemaking revelouion, offering Oyster Bay as one of the region's most dynamic wineries. Defined flavour and concentration of the grapes is brought out through cool fermentation in stainless stell vats.

Oyster bay offers a nose of herbaceousness leading to generous gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours on the palate, giving a crisp, elegant and refreshing finish.

Drink now with white meat or fresh seafood, or even as a classic aperitif.

ONLY, £7.99

When you buy 2 or more (£11.99 single bottle price)


Majestic Vs...Aldi! Part 2Date published: 21/04/14

As promised, here follows Part 2 of our second episode of Majestic Vs.  To recap, this week's contender was Aldi, with the two wines in competition being:

La Grille Touraine Sauvignon 2013 Paul Buisse from Majestic - £6.99

French Sauvignon Blanc Vignobles Roussellet from Aldi - £4.69

Both wine's had similar appearance in terms of colour; both presenting a clear, lemon appearance with legs present on both. On the nose, the French Sauvignon offered predominately gooseberry elements, under pinned with touches of fresh lime and grass.  These followed on the palate, however disappointingly, the flavours were quickly over powered by it's high acidity level which failed to be effectively be integrated into the wine.  Whilst an easy drink, the French Sauvignon held a fairly short finish.

Now onto the La Grille.  In contrast to the French Sauvignon, flavours on the nose were more subtle.  However, on the palate, we were greeted with a greater depth of flavours composing of gooseberry, green apple, lime and nettles, underpinned with a depth of minerality.  Whilst the La Grille composed of medium intensity, it proved significantly more intense when compared to the French Sauvignon; perhaps highlighting the French Sauvignon to be potentially dialuted?  With the acidity being significantly better balanced and integrated into the wine, with a much longer finish; for us there has to be one clear winner.

Whilst Aldi's French Sauvignon may be an easy drinking party wine, for an extra £2.30, the La Grille offers significantly more depth of flavour, an extremely satisfying finish and in our opinion, wins hands down!


Keep posted for our third contender in Majestic Vs...who will face us next!

Sparkling SaturdayDate published: 19/04/14

Bouvet Saumur Rose Brut NV £8.99 from £13.49 as part of the 'Pick n Mix'

Made from the Cabernet Franc grape variety this new entry to our sparkling range is sure to excite the tastebuds.

The house of Bouvet-Ladubay was founded in 1851 by Etienne Bouvetand his wife, Celestine Ladubay, and is now one of the Loire's foremostsparkling wine producers. They source their grapes from several localproducers and vinfy using the traditional method.

A delicate and inviting salmon pink, this is a light and immediately welcoming sparkling rosé, with a raspberry and peach fruit character, a fine mousse and a clean and uplifting floral nose.A fine summery aperitif, perfect with gravadlax blinis


Open to try all day so make sure you pop down and give it a go!

Majestic vs... Aldi ! Part 1Date published: 19/04/14

As promised, here follows our second episode of Majestic Vs, presenting Aldi as this week's super market contender.

This week's wines are:

La Grille Touraine Sauvignon 2013 Paul Buisse from Majestic - £6.99

French Sauvignon Blanc Vignobles Roussellet from Aldi - £4.69

Keeping with suit, lets begin with the general appearance of the two bottles.  Offering a more traditional approach, the French Sauvignon adopts classical French labeling, paired with smart black capping.  However, whilst it's authenticity appears genuine at a distance, it is severally questioned when we approach the bottle.  There appears to be a lack of attention to detail, with the label appearing "bubbled" by not being stuck on correctly.  In large font, are the words "Sauvignon Blanc", clearly informing us of the grape variety.  However, this appears to have taken priority over the producer, which is printed in smaller font beneath, perhaps aiming to draw the customer in via the grape type.  More concerning, is the lack of an identified vintage, combined with "Vin De France" (translating to wine of France); perhaps suggesting a blend of vineyards across a blend of years.

In contrast to the French Sauvignon's traditional appearance, the La Grille presents a more modern image, however we feel it was some what let down by a cheapened silver capping.  Despite of this, the label offers provence by imaging the Loire River, and specifically identifying it's vintage (2013) and it's region (Touraine).  Turning the bottle around, the La Grill details a story of the wine, from where it was produced, to its family heritage, to it's flavour; providing the customer with significantly more information about the wine than compared to the French Sauvignon which has limited details on it's reverse labelling.  

For Part 1, the La Grill is currently in the lead, but how will they compare on the palate? 

Keep posted for Part 2, detailing the all important part....THE TASTE!      

Wedding Season is on the wayDate published: 17/04/14

As the summer months approach (despite the weather today...) we are drawing closer to a popular time for weddings.  With a lot to organise, we know how important creating your big day is.  With stresses over the food, venue (and most importantly, the big white dress) perhaps looming, we believe choosing the perfect wines for your big day should be an enjoyable, and stress free task.

Here at Majestic we offer a full Wedding Service, including glass hire, chiller bins, ice and of course the most important thing... the perfect wine! Don't know much about wine and can't decide on which ones to choose? Not to worry! Our extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff can provide superb advice on different wine styles,.price and not to mention, which wines best match the food you are going to serve.

Additionally, we hold instore wine tasting courses (all completely free); so why not attend to try a range of different wines.

On top of all this, we offer free delivery on all of our orders.  So you can sit back and relax, and know that we will make the wine for your big day completely perfect.


Here's to a Good Friday!Date published: 16/04/14

Whilst I am not the most religious person in Market Harborough, I do appreciate all Easter festivities! Here are a few ideas to get you egg-cited!!!

1.) Mocha Java Merlot

This chocolatey (yes Chocolatey) number is a real winner all year round, but even more so if you've been starving your taste buds of the delight that is chocolate. Couple this with an Easter egg or two and you'll be happy all Easter!

£6.99 when you buy two or more

2.) Whether you believe in the resurrection or just treat this time of year as Christmas without the expense and cold weather I am sure you will be impressed with a double magnum of AIX rose for just £50. An egg-cellent gift for your loved ones

3.)Avoid getting egg on your face by catering for all with a medium -sweet wine for Granny. The Aubuisieres Vouvray should do the trick at £8.99

4.) Not egg-stravaganza is complete with a beer or three, so make sure you take advantage of our great Peroni deal, now just £1 a bottle until the end of the month. 

5.) Make sure you are not walking on egg shells come Easter Monday by topping up with an extra few bottles of the Ned Sauvignon Blanc for those unexpected visitors that seemingly have an empty pit for a stomach when it comes to your food and wine!


£6.99 when you buy two or more 'pick n mix' wines.


HERE'S TO A GOOD FRIDAY!!!!

Wine of the Week: Caixas Albariño 2012 Martín Códax, Rías BaixasDate published: 15/04/14

WINE OF THE WEEK

Caixas Albariño 2012 Martín Códax, Rías Baixas

Galicia's signature white wine, from the region's most famous producer. Made exclusively for Majestic, with some of the grapes having been picked by Majestic's own staff, as a small number go to Galicia each year to help with the harvest.



A light, fresh and youthful wine, with a zesty and well defined citrus backbone, overlayed with subtle hints of stone fruits and nectar. Crisp and refreshing, yet rounded and enduring on the finish.

Drink with mussels and other shellfish, or all simple fish dishes such as grilled sardines.

£7.49

Save 25% when you buy two or more selected wines* £9.99


Majestic vs...Part 2Date published: 12/04/14

So, as promised, here is the follow up article to "Majestic Vs..Part 1".  As we saw in Part 1, we decided to compare Majestic's Grifone Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2012, to Watirose's Canaletto Montepulciano D'abruzzo 2011.  We have already discussed the imaging of the bottles, now lets get on to the all important bit....the taste! 

First up, the Grifone.  Fairly light and ruby in colour, it offers inviting red cherry fruit and strawberry notes on the nose.  The ripeness of the fruits are indeed reinforced on the palate, however could have been slightly more pronounced for our liking.  None the less, the flavours are accompanied by soft and supple tannins, and offers a lasting finish.

Now on to the Canalleto. Whilst offering a similar ruby colour, the Canalleto displays significantly more defined legs around the glass; not surprising at 13.5% ABV (compared to the Grifone at 12%).  In contrast to the Grifone, the ripe cherry and raspberry fruits dance around on the palate; offering a more intense and somewhat more satisfying flavour.  However, once the initial party of flavours has been swallowed, you are left with a slightly dominating  burning sensation on the throat which kill the fruit flavours that were previously enjoyed; again due to the high alcohol level.

Overall, whilst the flavours of the Canalleto were excellent, it was let down by it's incredibly short, and alcoholic, finish.  In contrast,  the Grifone's long lasting finish compensated for it's slightly more subtle flavours, and overall appears to be more well balanced.

So a close call this week, we think the only fair decision is to call it a draw!

Keep posted for next week's Majestic Vs...who can guess who our second contender will be?!

Weekly Food and Wine Matching - LambDate published: 11/04/14

Here is the first in a new series of articles I will be writing to give you the best food and wine matching advice. 

Lamb is in season at the minute, so my first article will give you one of my favorite dishes and how to make it, as well as the ideal wine to go with the dish.

Grilled rack of lamb with chips and mint chutney


1 tbsp finely chopped raw papaya

1 tbsp finely chopped garlic

1 tsp finely chopped green chilli

1 tsp ground fennel seeds

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp sweet paprika

3 tbsp mustard oil (available from some supermarkets and Asian grocers)

100ml/3½fl oz single cream

55ml/2fl oz double cream

2 tbsp gram flour (also called chickpea flour, available from some supermarkets and Asian grocers)

2 tbsp pastis

½ nutmeg, grated

pinch salt

2 x 8-bone racks of lamb, excess fat removed

50g/2oz butter, melted

For the mint chutney

200g/7oz fresh mint leaves

2 tbsp finely chopped red onion

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 green chilli, seeds removed, chopped

½ tsp salt

½ tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt

Chips


Preparation method

For the lamb, place all of the lamb ingredients except for the lamb and the butter into a bowl and mix well. Rub the marinade onto the lamb to coat all over, then place into a large dish and set aside to marinate for two hours.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Shake off the excess marinade from the lamb and place into a roasting tin. Transfer to the oven and cook for ten minutes, then baste with the remaining marinade. Return to the oven for a further five minutes, or until the lamb is cooked to your liking. Drizzle over the melted butter and set aside in a warm place.

For the mint chutney, bring a small pan of water to the boil. Add the mint leaves and return to the boil.

Drain the mint leaves and place into a bowlful of iced water to refresh them, then drain again.

Place the mint leaves into a food processor with the remaining mint chutney ingredients and blend until smooth.

To serve, carve the lamb into portions and place onto serving plates add the chips and a dollop of mint chutney.


There are a couple of wines that will go with this dish:

Vinalba Reservado Malbec 2012 

This wine literally wraps itself around every corner of your mouth with its ripe dark plum fruits, sweet tannin and dark chocolate and mocha. Flavours linger for a long time with the perfect blend of acidity and tannin that will cut through the fattiness of the Lamb and the acidity of the mint.

£7.99 when you buy any two pick and mix wines.

BVS Peter Lehmann Shiraz

A bold, spicy yet straightforward Shiraz, offering a core of dense plum and bramble fruit, accented by notes of black pepper and dark chocolate, all mellowed and smoothed by 12 months in oak.

£9.99 when you buy two bottles.


Recipe taken from the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/grilledrackoflambwit_86209

Easter Opening HoursDate published: 10/04/14

The opening hours for the Easter weekend are as follows:


Friday 18th April - usual opening hours (10am - 8pm)

Saturday 19th April - usual opening hours (9am - 7pm)

Sunday 20th April - all stores are closed

Monday 21st April - Bank holiday hours (10am - 5pm)

Wine of the Week Date published: 10/04/14

MARQUES DE RISCAL RESERVA,

2008, RIOJA

Marqués de Riscal is one of the most famous wineries in Spain, producing high quality wines made from specially selected grapes taken from the harvest in a similar fashion to the great Chateaux of Bordeaux.

The Marques de Riscal Reserva is a classic example of a standout Rioja at an affordable price. A seductive nose of ripe strawberries wonderfully accompanied by sweet vanilla conjures up memories of idyllic summer evenings.

The palate follows on beautifully with the barrel ageing offering a complex cedar backdrop to the fresh strawberry fruit balanced by soft rounded tannins with a pleasant lightness. While the finish lingers on, memories of all the great occasions whereby the Riscal Reserva has been the soundtrack come flooding back, whether it be accompanying a succulent spit roast or enjoyed with friends!

£14.66

When you buy two save 25%

£10.99


New Wine of the week! Clos Du Bois Chardonnay 2012Date published: 04/04/14

Wine of the Week

Clos du Bois Chardonnay 2012 North Coast

In partnership with several local growers throughout Sonoma County and the coastal regions of Califonia, Clos du Bois has access to almost 800 acres of vineyard spanning a diverse range of microclimates. Their aim is to emulate the classic wine styles of France.


With over 35 years of artisinal dedication, Sonoma County has provided a breathtakingly beautiful home for their boutique approach to wine-making.


Rich and fruity in style, this Chardonnay offers full flavours of ripe pear, apple blossom and lemon notes on the nose. The palate is complemented by subtle oak toast and a creamy texture from oak ageing around one-third of the blend. Enjoy it best with lobster or creamy seafood dishes.


£9.74when you buy 2 bottles, save £6.50! (£12.99 single bottle price)


Majestic vs... Part 1Date published: 03/04/14

MAJESTIC CONTENDER : Grifone Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2012

WAITROSE CONTENDER : Canaletto Montepulciano D'abruzzo 2011

Something interesting for all our Majestic customer's out there!  We thought we would stage a battle of "Majestic vs", with this week's contender being ever popular, and up-market supermarket, Waitrose.  

For our first "Majestic vs" battle, we chose Montepulciano D'Abruzzo; an Italian red originating from the Abruzzo region in central Italy.  Both wines were equally priced, both costing £5.99 per bottle, with the only exception being a year's difference in vintage.  Waitroses' Canaletto presented a 2011 vintage, where as our Majestic Grifone contender provided a one year younger vintage at 2012.

For initial comparison, we decided to compare the aesthetic appearance of the two bottles; which was more visually appealing sat side by side?  Our first and immediate impressions focused on the bottles labels.  Let's start with the Grifone bottle.  Displaying one single label centered on the bottle, displaying minimalist, yet effective imaging, we felt the Grifone offered a more traditional and professional approach to a wine of the old world.  This was further endorsed with professional black capping. In comparison, Waitrose's large labels accompanied with brighter colouring and scenic imaging appears to offer a more contemporary, however some what "cheapened" appearance, perhaps largely due to it's silver topped capping.

However, turn the bottle around to view the back labels, and the story changes.  Keeping with a traditional view, the Grifone details only  required information; again keeping with a simplistic approach.  In comparison, the Canaletto  provides a much deeper, and undoubtedly more informative overview of the wine.  

Keep posted for Part 2: The Taste Test!  

Wine of the Week: Argento MalbecDate published: 03/04/14

Origin

Malbec is Argentina's signature grape variety. This is an excellent example made from grapes grown in the foothills of the Andes, one of the most favoured areas for cultivating grapes in Argentina.

Taste

Ripe bramble and spicy blackberry notes on the nose are echoed on the richly textured palate, with hints of vanilla oak and balanced acidity on the finish.

£9.99 Pick 'n' Mix any 2 bottles save 33.3%£6.66

A day in the life of my first two weeks at Majestic!Date published: 29/03/14

So, two weeks in and my Majestic adventure has took off with a friendly, fascinating, and not to mention busy start!  Whether I have been out and about making deliveries, or in store helping to merchandise, the hands-on approach has quickly placed me at the heart of the store's jobs and responsibilities; making me feel at home along side my knowledgeable colleagues.  

My knowledge of wine, and of the products that we sell is increasing day by day, and slowly but surely, I am beginning to transform my love of wine into an education.  Being surrounded by wine every day has opened my eyes to the complexity of the job I find myself in, and I find myself being impatient; wanting to know everything too quickly! That being said, I am learning a lot very quickly, through David's, Keiren's and Summit's knowledge, and also largely through daily in store tastings.  

With wine's on the tasting counter regularly changing, there is opportunity to taste a great variety of different wines from all over the world-definitely a highlight of the job so far!  My personal favourite so far has been the Pouilly-Fumé 2011 Jean Vincent; a crisp Sauvignon Blanc originating from within the heart of Pouilly-sur-Loire.  With a nose centering on gooseberry fruits, the Pouilly-Fume offers more than the typical Sauvignon; enhanced by a smokey and aromatic character.  Another favourite has been the 2up Shiraz 2012 Kangarilla Road, taking us over to South Australia.  Whilst my palette is still very much in training, I was able to detect plum, rich blackberry fruit and subtle spice- thoroughly delicious!

All in all, my first two weeks have generated a busy and exciting introduction to working at Majestic-hopefully my knowledge and will continue to blossom! 

New Wine of the Week! Giesen Sauvignon 2012Date published: 26/03/14

Wine of the week!

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc

This vibrant Sauvignon comes from the Giesen Winery in New Zealand with the vineyards situated on the Wairau plains of Marlborough. It's a family business with the vineyards run by the three Giesen brothers who have built it into an internationally recognised company. Marlborough is the ideal area for producing Sauvignon Blanc, it's situated in the northern part of New Zealand's South Island. It's cool climate paired with plenty of sunshine mean the grapes ripen very slowly and over a long period of time, helping produce those intense fruit flavours that we all love. The cool nights preserve the acidity giving the wines that mouthwatering crisp finish.

The nose displays clear tropical aromas, with noticeable lime and lemon grass. The palate presents plenty of citrus, with hints of gooseberry and a very crisp acidity. This wine is perfect for drinking now, its youthfulness allows you to enjoy the fresh fruity flavours at their best. Easily enjoyed on its own while sitting in the garden in the sunshine, or alternatively with a seafood risotto or paella.

£6.66 when you buy any two Pick and mix wines.

£9.99 single bottle price


New wine of the week: Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie Domaine de la TourmalineDate published: 21/03/14

Wine Of The Week

Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2011 Domaine de la Tourmaline The term 'sur lie' sorts the wheat from the chaff in the world of Muscadet. An extended period of lees contact after fermentation leads to a greater complexity of flavour and character.
With ripe fruit aromas, a pleasant richness and fine minerality, this is a classic Loire white. Bottled with a slight natural spritz to help retain freshness.
Chill well and drink immediately with scallops. Also makes an excellent partner for oriental cuisine.

Price £7.99

Buy 2 bottles save £2 £6.99



Wine of the week: The Ned 2013Date published: 15/03/14

Wine of the Week

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc!

This week the Ned has dropped in price to £6.99 as a one week special! So what better time to stock up on this staff and customer favourite!

The vineyards of The Ned are located on the banks of the Waihopai River and on the southern side of the Wairau Valley. The river runs the length of the 268ha vineyard and is the origin of the shingle-based soil.

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.

Drink now with fresh summer salads, seafood or oriental food.

ONLY, £6.99

When you buy 2 or more pick and mix wines (£10.49 single bottle price)


NEW OFFERS! ONE WEEK ONLY!Date published: 11/03/14

From 11th-17th March we are introducing another 9 fantastic wines into our March Pick 'n' Mix offer. Let's be honest-it was good to start with-now it's downright awesome!

The new additions include some old favourites, some Majestic classics and a smattering of special sparkling wines.

Chateau Meaume £6.66  A nose of fruitcake, spice and ripe, plummy fruit. Soft and rich on the palate, with blackcurrants, plum, and smoky cedarwood. Try with roast beef or goose.

Gavi Montiero £5.99 A pale golden colour, with characteristic aromas of lime zest and grapefruit, along with subtle hints of fresh fennel. Bone dry and with moderate acidity, it offers a clean and refreshing finish.

Vina Eguia Reserva £6.66 Beautifully deep ruby coloured, with subtle cedar hints to the rim. The bouquet is an intense mix of dark fruit, toasted oak and clove aromas. The palate has weight yet an elegant profile.

Vina Eguia Gran Reserva £8.99 Ruby red with medium density and a brick-like rim. The fruit is very mature, exhibiting raisin, prune and caramel notes, accompanied by vanilla, clove and leather. Silky mouth-feel and good length. 

Nicolas Fueillatte NV £16.66 A light, fresh and fruity Champagne with fine discreet bubbles and subtle overtones of apples, pears and citrus fruits. Has undergone a total of 4 years' ageing prior to release.

Veuve Clicquot NV £29.98 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.

Prosecco Corte Alta £.6.66 Delicate and aromatic with a light body and fine bubbles, this wine carries lots of fresh peach, pear, apricot and apple with a revitalising finish.

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc £6.99 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.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon £8.33 Displays pronounced aromas of gooseberry and passion fruit on the nose. It is fresh and beautifully crisp on the palate while being vibrantly fruity, ending in a long zingy finish.

The price shown is the offer price, valid when any 2 Pick 'n' Mix wines are purchased



Supplier in Focus: Martin CodaxDate published: 09/03/14

Bodegas Martín Codax was established in 1986 by a group of winegrowers in Rías Baixas, an area of North West Spain noted for it's aromatic white wines.

Here the Albariño grape is king, in fact it accounts for over 90% of plantings, and Martín Codax has certainly become renowned for producing great results from this variety. However, the Bodega is not a one trick pony. The winemakers also work with other grapes, such as Godello, and have even branched out into other areas, such as the long-neglected Bierzo region.

At the heart of everything that Martín Codax does is the desire to promote the Galician culture and heritage, hence being named after the celebrated Galician troubador.


Barista Pinotage NEW wine of the week! Date published: 08/03/14

Created by crossing Pinot Noir and Cinsault, Pinotage is grown almost exclusively in South Africa and divides opinion across the rest of the wine world. Although often scorned, even in the Cape, it has increasingly produced rich, long-lasting, deep-coloured wines whose wild fruitiness has been tamed by time and good oak.

From the Val de Vie wine estate in the heart of the cape winelands, where wine production dates back to 1825. This is a deliberately modern offering by winemaker Bertus Fourie, who has concentrated on drawing out the coffee-like aromas of South Africa's signature grape.


Intense on the nose, with a bouquet of coffee, chocolate and cherry, with meaty, savoury hints. The tannins are ripe, perfectly suiting the round and mouth-filling plum and mulberry fruit.

ONLY, £7.49

When you buy 2 or more

(£9.99 single bottle price)


Bellingham Mocha JavaDate published: 07/03/14

Wine of the Week

Bellingham Mocha Java Merlot!

To start the week of South Africa tasting, we have chosen a superb red that will be a match to any Pinotage.

This wine owes its coffee-house name to the savoury coffee bean aromas that the winemakers have actively sought to bring out of the wine. The grapes are sourced from several parcels, many of which are of low-yielding bush vines, producing intensely flavoured fruit.

Pronounced aromas of coffee, cocoa and black cherry characterise the intense nose. Smooth and full-textured on the palate, with harmonious oak, and a long finish.

ONLY, £5.99

When you buy 2 or more pick and mix wines (£8.99 single bottle price)


Sumit's Wine of the Week Date published: 28/02/14

Panamericana Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Central Valley

A great value Sauvignon from central Chile. The grapes are pressed immediately after arrival at the winery and fermented at low temperatures to ensure its freshness and its primary fruit flavours.

A light and refreshing wine, with zesty aromas of gooseberry. Well balanced On the palate, showing flavours of pear and melon. The finish is dry with hints of minerality.

A great alternative to a New Zealand Sauvignon. Ready to drink on its own or partner with seafood or light pasta dishes.

ONLY, £5.99

When you buy 2 or more (£7.99 single bottle price)


MAGNUMS JUST IN!!!!!Date published: 23/02/14

If you are of the philosophy that "more is more", then today is a good day for you!! As of this afternoon we have added some more magnums to our collection.

Currently we have:

Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2008:

In 1858, Don Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga, the Marqués de Riscal brought groundbreaking winemaking techniques from Bordeaux and transformed the face of Rioja. The Reserva is one of their iconic wines, widely regarded as one of the top examples of traditional Rioja.

A classic Rioja Reserva. Full bodied and muscular, yet smoothly polished and embellished with complex aromas of vanilla and toasted oak, combined with summer fruit flavours.

£30.00 per bottle


Vina Ardanza Rioja Reserva 2004:

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.

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.

£37.00 per bottle


Matsu 'El Picaro' 2012 Toro:

Picaro means 'rogue' or 'rascal', and this rapscallion of a wine is a youthful interpretation of the Toro region's style. The grapes come from mature vines of over 50 years of age, but the wine spends only three months in oak, preserving their natural fruit profile.

Vivid crimson-purple in the glass. Aromas are of ripe blackberries and raspberries, with subtle hints of fresh cocoa. The palate is bold yet supple, with ripe tannins and a mineral grip.

£16.00 per bottle


Matsu 'El Recio' 2010 Toro:

El Recio translates as 'the tough guy', and is a more serious, mature wine, made from the product of some of Toro's oldest vines, which are cultivated using advanced biodynamic techniques. 14 months in new French oak provide opulence and polish.

Intense and opaque, this wine is a mass of deep black fruit, chocolate, roasted coffee bean and vanilla pod aromas. Voluptuous and weighty, with a firm structure, held together by silky tannins.

£26.00 per bottle


Chateau Musar 2004

An unusual wine produced by master winemaker Serge Hochar.Concentrated and rich with plums, liquorice and spice. Musar is a fabulously different wine, very powerful but with plenty of finesse.

£45.00 per bottle


Supplier in Focus: Nicolas PotelDate published: 22/02/14

Supplier In focus.

Nicolas Potel

Nicolas Potel decided to set up his own wine négociant business after the death of his father in 1996 and the subsequent sale of Domaine Pousse d`Or, which his father had been managing. From grapes sourced across the Burgundy region, primarily from old Cote d'Or vines. Maison Nicolas Potel is a respected name in Burgundy,
The Nicolas Potel label is excellent source of predominantly red wines, from Bourgogne Rouge to the Grands Crus of the Cote de Nuits. His hallmark has been to make wines which respect both their vineyard provenance and the style of the vintage while remaining attractively priced

Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2012 Nicolas Potel

A restrained nose of berry fruit, principally strawberry and blackcurrant, is followed by a soft-edged palate with lithe and supple tannins. Drink with all charcuterie and cold cuts, pasta dishes and tangy cheeses

£10.99 When you buy 2 bottles saving £4

Bourgogne Chardonnay 2012 Nicolas Potel

The classically citrus-led nose also offers notes of marzipan and acacia flowers. Initially straightforward and nicely rounded on the palate, with an almondy complexity on the finish.

Serve alongside simple and subtly flavoured dishes such as comté cheese tart, chicken salads, fresh pasta or pâté.

£10.99 When you buy 2 bottles saving £4


Wine of the Week - Vinalba Touriga NacionalDate published: 20/02/14

Viñalba Malbec-Touriga Nacional Reservado 2010/2011 Mendoza


An intriguing blend of mature-vine Malbec with the traditional Port grape, Touriga Nacional, in a dry and fruit-driven style. Although grown in the Andean foothills, the Douro Valley influence is immediately evident in this blend, with its dark hue and earthy nose.

Heady violet and mulberry aromas fill the nose, and the rich black fruit from both Malbec and Touriga Nacional combine on the palate to dominate and leave a rich, long finish.

The dense, full nature of this interesting blend make it open to a large array of dishes, but try with rich or spicy casserole.


£8.99 when you buy two bottles, save £6 (£11.99 single bottle price)


Supplier in Focus: Luigi BoscaDate published: 13/02/14

Supplier in Focus!

Luigi Bosca.

Bodega Luigi Bosca is a leading premium Argentine Winery that has been established since 1901. It is still 100% owned by its founders the Arizu family.

Luigi Bosca have two wines in the Majestic range. They are both very different but both offer superb value for money.

Testimonio 2011

Testimonio is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz and Tannat. This wine demonstrates that there is more to Argentina than Malbec.

A deep, dark and dense blend, with a backbone of inky cassis fruit surrounded by plush, silky tannins. The weighty palate carries with it hints of spice and vanilla.

£10.99 When you buy 2 bottles saving £4.

Malbec Luigi Bosca 2011 Vistalba

The latest wine we stock from this premium Bodega. This is Luigi Bosca showcasing an Argentinian Classic at It's finest.

Deeply fruity, with a dark and voluptuous feel, this Malbec is Tightly structured and brings together subtle vanilla hints, firm tannins and well-judged acidity.

£12.99 When you buy 2 bottles saving £6


Days of SummerDate published: 13/02/14

Wine of the Week

Days of Summer 2013

Well, maybe the summer season hasn't arrived just yet but a lovely new wine called "Days of Summer" made by Miguel Torres has just arrived in store!

Torres is one of the most well-known names in wine, responsible for making Viña Sol, Sangre de Toro and Viña Esmeralda, and are currently the largest winery in Spain.

In 1979, Managing Director Miguel Torres (4th generation of the Torres family) opened a winery in one of Chile's most southern wine-producing regions, Valle del Itata. Moscatel/Muscat (the grape used in this wine) is one of the key grapes grown in Itata as it prefers the cooler, wetter conditions.

Off-dry in style, this wine offers quintessential Muscat aromas of white grapes and peach blossom on the nose. The palate offers a medley of lemon, ripe pear and peach making it a great match to white fish dishes.


£6.99 when you buy 2 bottles, save £6 (£9.99 single bottle price)


Wine of the Week: Benegas Malbec 2011Date published: 07/02/14

This fantastic wine is currently part of our February Pick'N'Mix offer (£18.99 buy any 2 pick'n'mix wines save 33.3%=£12.66) so I strongly recommend you grab some while you can!

There is a long history of wine making in the Benegas family. It was the current winemaker's great grandfather who bought the first French vines to Argentina. From the high-quality Libertad Vineyards, the grapes for this impressive wine are picked at careful intervals to ensure optimum ripeness. Here the powerful style of a typical Mendoza Malbec is perfectly balanced with the finesse of a European wine. Awash with aromas of cherry, blackberry and touches of oaky spice, there is good structure on the palate with a full and persistent mouthfeel. The tannins are smooth and sweet and lead into a long, satisfying finish.

The complexity, purity and power of this wine deserve a special dish, so drink with a succulent fillet steak or beef Wellington.


Wine of the Week Date published: 31/01/14

Yali Wetlands Cabernet Carmenere 2011, Rapel Valley

A great value wine from Chile. Yali are at the forefront of conservation of wetlands around the globe. Doing their part to nurture nature.

The grapes are hand haverseted in bunches to select only the best grapes. So you can see a lot of care and attention is put into their wines.

The blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere is a perfect partnership. Flouvours of ripe blackcurrent and cassis match well with the underlining spicy notes.

Enjoy on its own, pair with mature cheeses or lightly spiced food.

£5.99 single bottle

or Only

£5.99 with our 20% off Chile. 




Michael's Wine of the WeekDate published: 26/01/14

Wine of the Week:

Yalumba Y-Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


Casting a nod to Australia Day I have selected this cracking Cabernet Sauvignon from Southern Australia as my wine of the week. This is a new wine to Majestic but Yalumba wines have been flying out of our doors for a while now and their winemaking history stretches back to 1849 – in fact it is the oldest family-owned winery in Australia!!

The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes have been sourced from a variety of locations, predominantly Wrattonbully, but also from the warmer, perhaps more well-known, Barossa Valley. Around a third of the wine has then been aged in old oak barrels to add secondary characteristics (e.g black pepper spice), complexity and balance. The end result is a beautifully textured, well-rounded wine but one which stays true to the bold, fruit-forward Australian style of winemaking.


Sight: deep crimson

Smell: lots of ripe red fruits

Taste: smooth on the palate, well-integrated tannins and lots more of that red fruit with a slight hint of menthol on the finish

Food match: great winter warmer by itself but would go marvellously alongside any red meat dishes, particularly a slow roasted shoulder of lamb


Buy any 2 Australian wines save 20% £7.99!!!


Michael's Wine of the WeekDate published: 17/01/14

Wine of the Week:

Domaine Saint Ferréol Viognier 2011 PGI Pays d'Oc


In line with our South of France tasting weekend, we have chosen this fantastic oak barrel fermented Viognier as our Wine of the Week. Based in a medieval priory, Château St Ferréol certainly has a rich wine-producing history as it is said they have been making wine there since the mid-12th Century! They grow several varieties there, however, the Viognier is their stand-out grape and this particular rendition definitely does not fail to disappoint.

As you pour this wine your eye is immediately drawn to it's deliciously inviting lemon hue whilst the intense aromas of honeysuckle and ripe nectarines cascade from the bottle – it's a delight before you have even tasted it! On the palate dried stone fruit flavours (think apricots!!) predominate coupled with a gorgeously rich mouthfeel and a long, complex finish with a subtle streak of acidity which gives it a lovely freshness.

Whilst this wine would be a fantastic tipple by itself it would also work very well alongside food. The intense aromatics would nicely complement classicly roasted chicken or pork - maybe even with a bit of spice. That said, both the full fruit flavour and acidity would work wonderfully with richer meats such as turkey or goose.


Buy two bottles save £3 - £10.99!!!

The Bargain Hunt continues!Date published: 15/01/14

Our brilliant Bargain Hunt is in full swing and many happy customers have picked up some real gems over the last week. We still have some great end-of-line wines left, so hurry if you want to get in on the action as they're going fast.

Wines still available (as of 16/01) include:

Umbral Malbec, Mendoza 2010 £8.66

Camins del Priorat, Alvaro Palacios 2010 £12.49

Thelema Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa £11.66

 Chenas, Domaine des Pierres, Trichard 2011 £7.99

Macon Villages, Domaine des Gentilles, £6.66

Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Semillon, Margaret River £12.99

Valdevieso Sauvignon Blanc, Chile £5.33

Casabel Vinho Tinto, Portugal £5.33

Tabali Sauvignon Blanc, Chile £8.66

(All prices quoted are the offer price, valid when you buy any 2 Bargain Hunt wines)

There are also a few odd bottles of other wines left, they are selling quickly. If you would like to get hold of any of those mentioned above please contact us on 01858 431320 ASAP.




What is our Free Wine Course?Date published: 15/01/14

In short, our free 90 minute wine course is a fun way to learn a little more about wine in a relaxed and friendly environment. Held in store for up to 10 people at a time, the course covers the basics of wine tasting and appreciation. We look at what makes a good wine and what factors influence the style of a wine. We also try some sparkling wine and discuss how it is made. Finally we do a little practical demonstration which should illustrate the theory behind successful food and wine matching. It's all very informal and there is ample opportunity to ask questions. 

We have 2 dates coming up: Sunday 16th Feb and Sunday 16th March, both start at 3pm. Please let us know if you'd like to come along.

Wine of the Week: Pouilly-Vinzelles 2012, Louis LatourDate published: 22/11/13

Family firm Maison Louis Latour produces some of Majestic's most popular wines and, judging by this example, it's easy to see why they're such a favourite of customers and staff alike.

This Pouilly-Vinzelles is 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.

Quite simply this is a great Maconnais wine, the perfect pairing for chicken and seafood dishes.

£14.99 

buy 2 save £4

£12.99

Wine of the Week 15/11 Koyle Gran Reserva CarmenereDate published: 15/11/13

Vina Koyle, which takes it name from an endangered flower that grows in its vineyards, is currently in the hands of the sixth generation of winemakers descended from Don Francisco Underraga.

This is a blend of 85% Carmenere, complemented by small amounts of Cabernet and Syrah, from hand-harvested vineyards in Colchagua. The wine undergoes temperature-controlled fermentation, then 60% is aged in French oak for 12 months before reblending.



Achieving a happy balance between youthful fruit and savoury undertones, this wine is at once lively, supple, smooth and rich, with notes of blackberry, red peppers and spice on the finish.

Drink now or keep for up to 5 years. Enjoy with cured meats or well-seasoned steak.

£10.99

Buy any 2 Chilean wines save 20%= £8.79

Craft Beers now available!Date published: 08/11/13

Over the last few months we've introduced an exciting selection of craft beers to our range so I thought I'd take the opportunity to give you some background on these fantastic products.

Brooklyn Lager (6x355ml)

This brewery was founded in 1987 and is a real stalwart of the American craft beer scene. This beer is a versatile all rounder with a complex malt edge and a refreshing hop bitterness. Flavours of biscuit and caramel on the palate are joined by subtle floral hints on the nose.

This is a great match to grilled meats, or try with your cheese course.

Anchor Steam (6x355ml)

From California, this is a classic hybrid beer. Lager yeasts are used in a brewing process traditionally associated with English bitter. This method originated in the gold rush era of the West coast of America. This beer is dominated by a rich caramel malt flavour, and then rounded off with subtle citrus tones. Try with Mexican cuisine.

UnderDog Atlantic Lager (6x330ml)

The Flying Dog brewery was originally set up as a brew pub in Denver, however due to their popularity, they relocated to their current site in Baltimore. This is a crisp, hop-driven lager with citrus flavours and a powerful hop bitterness. This is a perfect aperitif.

Einstok White Ale (6x330ml)

This is a Witbier, which literally translates as white beer. Most often brewed in Holland or Belgium, this example from Iceland follows the traditional method of including orange peel and coriander in the brewing process. The exceptionally pure Icelandic water gives this beer a real elegance and carries the citric and coriander notes.

Punk IPA, Brewdog 96x330ml)

Brewdog have certainly made a name for themselves in the British brewing industry, and the hype is most definitely justified! This IPA is twice hopped, which adds an extra layer of complexity. The palate is aromatic and tropical, with a lovely bitterness on the finish that adds another dimension. This beer is very versatile with food, or is equally good enjoyed on its own.

All of these beers are £12.99 unit price

OR buy ANY 4 packs of the above and save £12= £9.99


Wine of the Week - McManis Family Vineyards Viognier 2011/1Date published: 08/11/13

A great wine from one of California's established winemakers. The winery is based in a perfect location that benefits from the surrounding farmlands and cooler temperatures. The climate suites the notoriously difficult to grow grape Viognier.

Aromas of tropical fruit and pleasant floral notes of honeysuckle. On the palate immensely aromatic, with a long lingering finish.

Drink on its own or a perfect match with roasted pork belly glazed with honey.

£11.24 single bottle

or Only

£8.99 with our 20% off Californian wines. 


New Sherry Range-Pedro's Arrives!Date published: 25/10/13

After much anticipation, our new range of Sherries has arrived in store. We have 4 brand new wines available now.

Pedro's Fino

Fino is a bone dry Sherry which is aged under a protective layer of 'flor' (yeast cells) to prevent oxidation. The intense flor character is complemented by almond and fresh green apple notes. Fino is best enjoyed chilled with tapas, especially olives, smoked ham and shellfish, as well as Asian cuisine.

Pedro's Amontillado

This Amontillado has a delicate and subtle bouquet, with the finesse of the Fino, but with added notes of hazelnut from the oxidative ageing. this is a great match with hard cheeses, Japanese cuisine and wild mushroom dishes.

Pedro's Oloroso

Oloroso is a rich style of sherry that is aged oxidatively for a substantial amoutn of time, dark in colour with notes of toasted walnuts and bitter coffee. This a great match for game, casseroles and paella.

Pedro's Palo Cortado

Palo Cortado is a rare style of Sherry, somewhere between Amontillado and Oloroso in style. It is best enjoyed with hard cheeses, smoked hams or with a roast or pot roast.

All of these will be available to taste the weekend of 26th/27th Oct 



Wine of the Week Date published: 09/10/13

Vergelegen Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2009, Stellenbosch

An outstanding wine from one of South Africa's established winemakers. Vergelegen meaning “situated far away” has proven to be in the forefront of producing the best wines.

Positive reviews, that have “impressed” many including a section in the Observer which highlights how great this Bordeaux Blend is (David Williams, The Observer, 17th March 2013).

On the nose you can detect strong aromas of ripe berries and plums, with a rich meaty blackcurrant fruit flavour and a complex spicy finish.

Perfect match with a tomato based dish, like pasta or pizza.

£11.24 single bottle

or Only

£8.99 with our 20% off South African wine offer. 



Fine Wine Weekend 28/09: St Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon BlancDate published: 28/09/13

INTRODUCTION: Although Kiwi Pinot Noir is making headlines, and Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah based wines are gaining a reputation for quality; Sauvignon Blanc is still the first wine that comes to mind when talking of New Zealand. Cloudy Bay put New Zealand on the map in the late 1980's with success in international competitions and the vibrant, powerful flavours fruit forward flavours that introduced people to a new style of Sauvignon. Before the arrival of the wineries, the Marlborough region, and Cloudy Bay in particular, was historically one of the most significant areas of New Zealand, having been the site of early settlement by both the Maori and Europeans. One of Montana's earliest vintages of Sauvignon Blanc was so much better than most of the white wine being produced in New Zealand at the time that within a decade many of the existing Riesling and Müller Thurgau vineyards were grubbed up and replanted with Sauvignon Blanc.

FACTS: Saint Clair began growing grapes in 1978 to supply local wine companies before establishing their own winery in 1994. Over time their understanding of the different vineyard sites led to the Pioneer Block series; wines that represent the individual terrior of the many vineyards owned and managed around Marlborough. Vintner Matt Thomson's aim it to showcase the variety of flavours that each of the carefully selected vineyards exhibit by vinifying the wines in individual stainless steel tanks before bottling them under block numbers, often with historic or descriptive names. Block 18 "Snap Block" is named after the variety of apples grown before the orchard was replanted with grapes and Block 3 "43 Degree" is named after the vineyard's 43 degree North angle of planting.

TASTING NOTE: Incredibly intense and powerful aromas of limes, gooseberries, capsicums and a hint of green herbs. Very vibrant, fresh and invigorating, the citrus flavours are augmented by hints of Tropicana, with a very long, zesty finish.

FOOD MATCH: The vibrancy of the wine is the perfect match for seafood, especially oysters, or spicy Asian cuisine.

£15.99 when you buy 2 or more!

Fine Wine Weekend 14/09: Beaune 1er Cru, Louis JadotDate published: 14/09/13

This weekend we are opening another wine that features in our fine wine offer.
Jadot Beaune 1er Cru 
£25 Buy 2 save £10 = £20
INTRODUCTION: One of the hardest grape varieties to grow, as anything that can go wrong usually does for Pinot Noir, the rewards of great Pinot are well worth the effort on behalf of the winemaker. The thin skin of Pinot results in lighter wines than most Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot based wines, reflecting the terrior of the region it was grown in and the style of the vintner more than any other variety. The spiritual home of Pinot Noir is in Burgundy, where vintners have been producing wines from ever decreasing vineyard holdings for many centuries. The Louis Jadot estate was built up around the ownership of the Clos de Ursules vineyard in Beaune, which has been in the family since 1826. This was before the Domaine was founded and Maison Louis Jadot started acting as a négociant in 1859. Over time Jadot have built substantial holdings in both the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune.
FACTS: There are no Grand Cru sites in the 450ha appellation of Beaune, but 28 Premier Cru which account for 322ha. The wine is a blend of grapes grown across many of the Premier Crus sites, combining the more powerful and darker flavours from the northern part of the appellation and the softer, more silky characters from the southern end. The wine making philosophy endeavours to be as simple and true to the region as possible, so that the wines are able to express the terrior of the vineyards. Very little done in the winery as winemaker Jacques Lardière, who has been making the wines since 1970, believes this removes the vineyard's character and shrouds the purity of the fruit.
TASTING NOTE: Red and black cherries, hints of savoury spices and leather, leads to a warm and vibrant body of sweet fruits, and soft tannins.
FOOD MATCH: Pinot Noir is a great match for many varied foods, but is at its best when matched with either roasted game or duck.

Fine Wine Weekend 7th SeptDate published: 07/09/13

This weekend we are opening two great white wines from two great producers.


Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011, Marlborough

Cloudy Bay may be a cult wine, however there is no denying the quality of this top class Chardonnay. The Cloudy Bay vineyards are located in the Marlborough region where the cool climate, combined with lots of sunshine, provides the perfect growing conditions for this grape. Here the vines are able to produce intensely flavoured fruit with distinctive varietal character.

This wine has a complex nose that ranges from figs and lemon butter to more savoury elements of fresh hay with hints of butterscotch. The palate is substantial and rounded with toasty complexity and a long finish.

£27.50 Buy 2 save £15  £20.00


Jermann Pinot Grigio 2012, Fruili

Founded by Anton Jermann in 1881, the estatehas been family run ever since. Present winemaker Silvio Jermann took over in the 1970s and has made his mark making wines that are atypical of the region. This Pinot Grigio is no exception and is a world away from the Italian norm, with intense and persistent aromas, and a velvety, full-bodied feel on the palate. It ruly is a stunning match for grilled seafood, wild mushrooms and rich, creamy pasta dishes.

£23.00 Buy 2 save £10 £18.00 (This wine is included on the buy any 2 selected fine wine deal)


Success at Decanter World WIne AwardsDate published: 05/09/13

Last night was a great success for Majestic at the Decanter World Wine Awards. For the fifth consecutive year we were voted 'Best National Wine Merchant' By Decanter readers. They were especially impressed by our range of quality, good value wines, and, of course, our 'charming and efficient service'. This is another great accolade for Majestic and we are all very proud. 

Furthermore the Commanderie de Peyrassol Rose won 'International Trophy for Best Rose under £15' This was just one of 32 International Trophies awarded from over 14,000 entries. This wine is sold exclusively by Majestic within the uk.

New this Autumn: 'The Magic of Fine Wine' TastingsDate published: 04/09/13

In our to showcase our fantastic 'Buy any 2 selected Fine Wines save £10' offer, every weekend in September and October we'll be opening one of the excellent wines included in the offer. It's a great chance to try something new and explore some interesting varieties, regions and producers. 

The wines we will be tasting are as follows:

6/7 September: Jermann Pinot Grigio

13/14 September: Beaune Premier Cru, Louis Jadot

20/21 September: Coney Pinot Noir, New Zealand

4/5 October: Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume, Seguinot-Bordet

11/12 October: Angel's Share Shiraz, Australia

18/19 October: Chateau Senejac, Bordeaux

25/26 October Amarone Negrar

Feel free to pop in on the dates shown and have a taste with us.

Wine of the week: Caixas AlbarinoDate published: 10/08/13

If you like aromatic, dry whites, like New Zealand but would like to try something a little different, we think this Spanish white is really worth a try at only £6.99 on a multi-buy. It's listed in Decanter's top 25 wines under £25 so competes with a huge range of wines.

This fashionable Albarino grape is grown in the north west of Spain, just above Portugal, in a region called Rias Baixas. This area is becoming increasingly popular for this crisp, fresh style of white, due to its cooler climate. Martin Codax is the most famous producer of this style.

A light, refreshing wine, displaying peachy aromas on the nose, with both citrus and stone fruit characteristics coming through on the palate. A great alternative to viognier, with more weight and a crisp, fresh finish.

£6.99 when you buy 2

£9.99 single bottle price

Wine of the Week: GiesenDate published: 03/08/13








Giesen Sauvignon Blanc



This vibrant Sauvignon comes from the Giesen Winery in New Zealand with the vineyards situated on the Wairau plains of Marlborough. It's a family business with the vineyards run by the three Giesen brothers who have built it into an internationally recognised company. Marlborough is the ideal area for producing Sauvignon Blanc, it's situated in the northern part of New Zealand's South Island. It's cool climate paired with plenty of sunshine mean the grapes ripen very slowly and over a long period of time, helping produce those intense fruit flavours that we all love. The cool nights preserve the acidity giving the wines that mouthwatering crisp finish.


The nose displays clear tropical aromas, with noticeable lime and lemon grass. The palate presents plenty of citrus, with hints of gooseberry and a very crisp acidity. This wine is perfect for drinking now, its youthfulness allows you to enjoy the fresh fruity flavours at their best. Easily enjoyed on its own while sitting in the garden in the sunshine, or alternatively with a seafood risotto or paella.


£5.99 when you buy any two New Zealand wines


£7.49 single bottle price

Great Beer from across the Midlands Now in Stock!Date published: 25/07/13

Here in the Midlands we are in the fortunate position of having some great breweries around us, all producing fantastic beers. We now have a selection in store.

Purity

Purity Brewery is based in Warwickshire and we stock their 3 award winning ales, Pure Gold, Mad Goose and Pure UBU. (Available in 8x500ml packs)

Find out more at www.puritybrewing.com

Hopping Mad

A new addition to our range, Hopping Mad Brewery are based in Onley,  Buckinghamshire and we stock a selection of their 5 litre mini kegs. We currently have Balmy Days, Brainstorm and Patriot available.

Find out moe at ww.hoppingmad.com

Everards

Last, but most certainly not least, we now stock beers from local favourite, Everards. Currently available are Tiger and Original Premium (available in 8x500ml packs)

Find out more at www.everards.co.uk


Wine of the Week: Fleurie Flower Label 2011, Georges DubouefDate published: 25/07/13

Of the 10 crus of Beaujolais, Fleurie is considered to be the most elegant style. This classic example, from 'King of Beaujolais' Georges Duboeuf, shows just why this cru is so sought after.

Showing typical Fleurie characteristics of fresh red fruits, a fragrant, floral perfume and silky texture. The light body and smooth tannins make this the ideal summer red.


Serve at cellar temperature with a light summer lunch, it's particularly good with cold cuts.


£11.24

Buy any 2 Beaujolais wines save 20%

£8.99


International Wine Challenge 2013Date published: 24/07/13

At the International Wine Challenge Awards last Thursday, Majestic picked up High Street Chain of the Year and Wine Educator of the Year.

This is the ninth year in a row that we have won High Street Chain of the Year! The judges said: “Majestic Wine continues to pull off the great double achievement of making money while providing great training for its staff' and said they were 'particularly impressed by how its staff are involved in direct communication with customers through social media”.

Regarding the Wine Educator of the Year award, which encompassed both staff and customer education, the judges said “Majestic Wine continues to be motivated by passion in its execution and dedication to education. Single minded and continuous in its strategy to inform the consumer to drink better wine. Its in-store wine courses have been a great success”.

New for Autumn: Free Spotlight Tastings '6 wines in 30 minutesDate published: 24/07/13

This Autumn we will be continuing our Saturday tasting tutuorials, with a slightly fresher look. Each of the Saturdays there will be two sessions (midday and 3pm) where we will explore a particular theme by tasting at least 6 different wines related to the topic. These sessions should last about half an hour and are completely free of charge.

Furthermore, numbers are limited so please get in touch ASAP if you'd like to attend any of the tastings.

Saturday 7th September: Chardonnay and its influence on international styles

Saturday 14th September: Spain: Rioja and beyond

Saturday 21st September: Sauvignon Blanc and interesting alternatives

Saturday 28th September Syrah/Shiraz and its influence on international styles


Wines of Loire & BeaujolaisDate published: 13/06/13


The Loire Valley and Beaujolais region produce some of the very best wines for summer drinking. On a warm day there's nothing quite like a cool, crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc or, if you prefer a red, a smooth, fruit-laden Beaujolais.

The best known areas of the Loire Valley are Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume and both produce wines from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Sancerre, with its chalky, stony soil, produces wines with a distinctive herbaceous character and crisp acidity. Pouilly-Fume, with its flintier soil, produces wines that show a more marked smoky minerality. Other neighbouring areas, such as Coteaux de Giennois or Menetou-Salon, with its Kimmeridgian clay soils as found in Chablis, provide good value alternatives to Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. However, it's not all about Sauvignon. For example, Vouvray is renowned for its wines produced from Chenin Blanc. These versatile wines cover a range of styles, from dry to lusciously sweet, and even sparkling. The best examples can age for many years, developing a complex, honeyed quality with time. Another star of the region is Muscadet, or the often better quality, Muscadet de Sevre et Maine sur lie. Made from Melon de Bourgogne, these wines are crisp and dry and often have attractive green apple or grassy aromas. They make excellent partners to an array of summer dishes, particularly shellfish. It's not all about white wines though, the region also produces some excellent elegant roses and silky reds from Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc which are well worth seeking out.

If you prefer a red, Beaujolais is renowned for its fragrant wines, full of raspberry and cherry fruit flavours and very little tannin. The ten crus of Beaujolais each have their own distinct personality; ranging from elegant, silky wines to be consumed young, such as Fleurie, to those that need several years to reach their full potential, like Morgon or Moulin-A-Vent. These wines can be served slightly chilled and make a perfect partner for all types of charcuterie and cold cuts.

Revised Opening HoursDate published: 28/03/13

Please note that as of the 1st April we will be operating the following opening hours:

 

Mon-Wed 10am-7pm

Thurs & Fri 10am-8pm

Saturday 9am-7pm

Sunday and Bank Holidays 10-5pm

C'est dure la vie: Laurent-Perrier Visit 7th/8th Feb 2013Date published: 15/02/13

It's a tough life working in the wine industry. That is until an opportunity presents itself to go and pay a little visit to one of our suppliers. Last week I was lucky enough, along with 5 other Majestic employees, to be invited to spend 2 days in Champagne with Laurent-Perrier tasting their range and learning about their impressive history.

We took the Eurostar to Paris, of course this gave us ample time to taste some Champagne on the way. We started by trying the Laurent Perrier Brut NV, out of magnum. The house style of LP is fresher and lighter than some others, however, it has great balance. We then went on to the Rosé, again in magnum (this was to be a recurring theme), it was my first time trying the pink version and I have to say it was lovely. I was ready to dismiss it, but it's freshness and well balanced fruit won me over. After arriving in Paris we took a train to Reims and checked into our hotel. 

The evening would prove to be one of the most memorable dining experiences I've had in a long time (and I eat A LOT). After a couple more magnums in the hotel bar, we meandered slowly (this was because I was wearing heels and not due to the Champagne) to a local restaurant. Here, at the recommendation of our guide Ashley from LP, we tried the Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut with some oysters. I'd never had oysters before but being a fan of seafood I decided to wade in. The Ultra Brut is only made in very ripe vintages and has no dosage added. It is therefore very dry and refreshing in style, although the ripeness of the base grapes allows it to reach the perfect balance. It was an absolutely sublime match with our oysters, perfectly complimenting the saltiness. As I was well into my voyage of discovery I decided to try something else new for my main course (I hadn't quite been brave enough to go with the pigs trotters for starter) and chose sweetbreads with truffle mash and armagnac sauce. It was a decadent main but the 2002 Vintage LP had enough richness and body to not be overwhelmed, and indeed went very well with the succulent sweetbreads. I must just mention my dessert as I'm still thinking about it a week later (not that I'm in any way obsessed with food). Caramac infused creme caramel with salted caramel ice cream. I don't need to say anymore. A couple more bottles in a local bar, soaking up the culture and practising my awful French, and then back for a well earned rest.

The next day we had a tour of Laurent-Perrier HQ. After driving through scenic vineyards we arrived at Tours-sur-Marne for a guided tour of the labyrinthine cellars and winery with the Brand Ambassador, Frédérique. She also explained the history of Laurent-Perrier and the philosophy behind their style. We also had the chance to try a line up of LP Champagnes next to each other. Starting with the Ultra Brut, the Brut non vintage, the 2004 vintage and then finally the piéce de resistance (and another first for me) their prestige cuvee, Grand Siecle. The LP take on a prestige cuvee is a little different to most other Champagne houses, as rather than being a vintage wine, the Grand Siecle is a blend of 3 different vintages, all which have been judged to be exceptional. It is also only made from grand cru vineyards. When you consider that it costs LP over €6 per kilo of grand cru grapes, and it takes 1.3kg to make a bottle of Champagne, you can begin to understand why the good stuff is so expensive! The Grand Siecle was fantastic, it really suited my palate as I much prefer freshness and balance over the richer, more powerful styles of Champagne.

After the tasting and tour there was just the small matter of lunch. Actually, it was no small matter, we were en France after all. So after escargots, foie gras (2 different ways), venison and dessert, plus enough bread to feed the 5000 and a bit more Laurent-Perrier Vintage (naturallement) we made our weary way home, full of good French food and warm hospitality.

Our minimum puchase for delivery is now just 6 bottles!Date published: 12/06/12

From today (Tues 6th June) the minimum purchase for delivery has been reduced to 6 bottles. Furthermore, if you spend at least £40 we will still deliver it absolutely free of charge. (A delivery fee of £5 applies to orders under £40) It's now even easier to top up your wine rack, so order today online at www.majestic.co.uk or phone us on 01858 431320. With this reduction it's the perfect opportunity to try something new without having to buy 12 bottles, indeed you don't even need to leave the comfort of your armchair. Why not have a look at the Majestic website and check out our brand new range of 6 bottle Explorer cases, all great value and all offering the chance to discover something new and exciting.

Marvellous MarlboroughDate published: 17/04/12

Our range of wines from the Marlborough region of New Zealand are consistently among our most popular. With their intense fruit characteristics they are instantly recognisable and highly regarded. I thought I'd take the opportunity, particularly as we have some fantastic Marlborough Sauvignons on offer, to explain why this region receives such attention and why it produces such unique wines.

The first vines were planted by Montana (now Brancott Estate) in 1973, although the region really came to prominence when Cloudy Bay arrived in 1985. Marlborough, New Zealand's largest wine region, is situated at the north eastern tip of the South Island and its' success  stems mainly from it's free draining, stony soils and near perfect climate. The region is sheltered from cold southerly winds by the Inland Kaikoura Range, and from northeasterly winds by the North Island. Marlborough does not have a warm climate by any stretch, however it is able to slowly ripen grapes (often over a period of a week or two) to a near perfect state due to its'  long sunny days and a long growing season. Additionally, the cool nights help to preserve the acidity in the grapes and lock in the fresh, fruit flavours.This unique combination of factors  produces fresh, fruit driven wines with intense, concentrated flavours and crisp acidity.

Marlborough's reputation was built on its distinctive Sauvignon Blancs, however, today the region has much success with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and aromatic varieties, such as Riesling.

Majestic Commercial: Did you know that...Date published: 15/04/12

Majestic Wine may be predominantly known as a retailer, however did you know that we also have a commercial department offering a full and comprehensive service to on trade businesses? We believe in the personal touch and so every business that we work with has their own personal account manager to ensure that everything runs smoothly. We also have a list of over 40 wines that are exclusively available to our commercial customers, thus ensuring there is no overlap with our retail side. Additionally, with our specialist expertise we can help you to draw up a professional list of quality wines. We can also offer full staff training to all of our on trade clients in order to build confidence and strengthen your wine offering. This is in addition to all of the services that we are renowned for, most notably our free 7 day a week delivery (often at short notice), our wide choice of wines, beers and spirits and our outstanding customer service.

If you would like to discuss our commercial offering in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us here at the store on 01858 431320 or by email mkh@majestic.co.uk

All you ever needed to know about Malbec!Date published: 12/04/12

Malbec may originally hail from  the South West of France, however as its popularity in its birthplace declines it has been given a new lease of life by its success in Argentina.

In France is is maybe best known as a constituent in Bordeaux blends, and was particularly popular pre 1956 (when the region was hit by severe frosts). Today Malbec is still permitted in most appellations, but is most prominent in Bourg, Blaye and Entre-Deux-Mers, although even here it is generally being replaced by more durable varieties. It does however, still form the backbone of the so-called 'black wine' of Cahors, here producing concentrated and robust wines that certainly live up to their name. It is theoretically allowed in other South West Appellations, such as Bergerac, Buzet, Cotes de Duras and Fronton, although is usually only used as a minor component in blends.

As plantings decrease in France, this variety has established itself firmly in South America and earned a worldwide reputation for quality red wines. In Argentina, the world's fifth biggest wine producing country, it is the most widely planted red variety. Here it produces wines that are lusher, riper and more rounded than their often rustic French counterparts. In the high altitude vineyards of Argentina Malbec really thrives, the cooler conditions ensure that the grapes can be left longer to ripen without building up excessively high alcohol levels. The drier climate also helps as Malbec is notoriously prone to downy mildew and rot. As Argentina strives to assert itself as a major wine producing country (and leave far behind its reputation for quantity over quality) Malbec is definitely the star of the show. 

10 facts about Argentinian Wine Date published: 29/02/12

In celebration of our Wines of Argentina tasting week, here's a few facts to astound your friends with!

  1. Argentina is the world's fifth biggest wine producer
  2. Mendoza is the largest wine-producing region in Argentina and accounts for roughly 80% of the country's total wine production
  3. Argentina contains the greatest concentration of high-altitude vineyards in the world
  4. Donald Hess has planted a vineyard at 3000m (In Europe 480m is considered the upper limit for ripening!)
  5. Almost all vines in Argentina are ungrafted due to Phylloxera's limited impact there
  6. The Champagne houses Moet, Mumm, Deutz and Piper-Heidsieck have all invested in Argentina
  7. While it may not be a surprise that Bordeaux grape Malbec is the widest planted red variety...
  8. ...In 2nd place is the lesser known Bonarda.
  9. Bordelais winemaker Michel Rolland acts as a consultant to many Argentinian wineries and has done much to champion  Malbec. His holdings in Argentina include Val de Flores, Clos de los Siete and Yacochuya
  10. The pioneering Nicolas Catena was 'Decanter Man of the Year' in 2009

My Favourite Wine Regions of SpainDate published: 12/02/12

Spanish winemaking has improved dramatically in the last few years. Modern wine makers using modern methods and a forward-thinking approach have revolutionised the country's wines. Areas that have long been neglected have been revitilised, often using old vines and indigenous grapes, although international varieties are increasing in prominence in some areas. It's not all about Rioja, and it's not all about using as much oak as possible. A new outlook has emerged, with intensity and purity of fruit at the forefront, combined with a renewed emphasis on 'Terroir' (I don't like using the word but it somehow encapsulates everything that I would like to say). Here's a quick guide to a few of my favourites, plus suggestions of wines to try that illustrate perfectly this new attitude.

Penedès
Reina Maria Cristina Blanc de Noirs 2008, Codorníu

  • Production centre of traditional method sparkling wine
  • Unlike any other Spanish DO, the Cava denominación is not restricted to a single delimited area. Grapes can be grown in a prescribed list of municipalities in Cataluña, Valencia, Aragon, Navarra, Rioja and the Basque country
  • 95% of Cava is made in Cataluña, mostly around San Sadurni de Noya
  • Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-Lo are the main grapes used, however international varieties, particularly Chardonnay are growing in popularity-pioneered by Codorniu
  • Cava industry invented girasol or gyropalette, widely used in Champagne for remuage or riddling process

Rueda
Vega de la Reina Rueda 2010, Marques de la Concordia

  • White wine zone named after the town in Castilla y Leon
  • Awarded DO status in 1980 (Riscal saw the potential in the 1970's and established a modern winery
  • Modern Rueda: light, fruity dry white. May be made from a blend of Macabeo and Verdejo (latter accounting for at least 50%) or may be Sauv Blanc (introduced by Riscal in the 80's)
  • Some Tempranillo grown, red wines admitted to DO in 2002, although many white wine producers fought to keep it white only
  • Red is likely to grow in importance due to success of Toro and Ribera del duero

Rías Baixas
Albariño 2010, Martin Codax

  • Leading DO wine zone in Galicia, produces sought after white from Albariño
  • 12 different varieties are allowed, although Albariño accounts for 90% of vineyard area
  • DO is spread along 5 geographically separate sub zones that stretch along 48km of the Galician coast and river valleys
  • The cool, damp maritime climate and humid conditions mean that the vintage is very important

Bierzo
Pizarras de Otero 2010

  • Predominantly red DO in mountains between Galicia and The Meseta
  • Cooling maritime influence but warmer than Galicia
  • Key grape is Mencía, once thought only able to make thin dilute wines
  • In a similar situation to Priorat, a group of young wine makers have taken advantage of old vines grown on steep schist slopes, used better vineyard and winery techniques to produce more concentrated, aromatic and intensely fruity wines with naturally high acidity

Rioja
Rioja Single Vineyard 2009, Ramón Bilbao

  • First wine region to gain DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) status
  • Region separated into 3 sub zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa
  • Main grapes are Tempranillo,Garnacha, Mazuelo/Carignan and Graciano. Riscal also allowed to use small amount of Cab Sauv
  • For whites, Viura (Macabeo), Malvasia, Verdejo. Also Sauv Blanc and Chard permitted
  • Crianza: may not be sold until 3rd yr after vintage and spend at least 6 months in oak
  • Reserva: from good vintages, may not be sold until 4th yr, spend at least 12 months in cask
  • Gran Reserva: from outstanding vintages, may not be sold until 6th yr, min 2 yrs in oak

Ribera del Duero
Cardela Crianza 2008 , Bohórquez

  • Predominantly red DO (small amount of rosé is made from Garnacha)
  • Vineyards situated on highest part of the Meseta-up to 850m. The altitude mitigates the continental climate by ensuring cool night time temps
  • Dominant grape is Tempranillo-local clone Tinto Fino- more thick skinned than Rioja
  • Combination of sun and wide diurnal range means that the grapes ripen with high levels of pigment in their skins, while acidity and fruit aromas are retained throughout ripening
  • Modern style of winemaking aims to accentuate these characteristics, also spend less time in oak and more use of French rather than American oak

Navarra
Vega Sindoa Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2007

  • Once synonymous with rosé made from Garnacha, this style now accounts for about 25% of production.
  • Very forward thinking region and has Spain's most advanced research station (EVENA) This has contributed to the move towards red wine production
  • Tempranillo has become most widely planted grape, above Garnacha. Also significant plantings of Cab Sauv and Merlot
  • White wine accounts for only 5% of output (Macabeo, Chardonnay and SB)
  • Red accounts for 70% production. Often blended Rioja-style, or increasingly with international varieties. New oak used to add vanilla and sweet spice aromas.

Priorat
Camins del Priorat 2010, Alvaro Palacios

  • Situated in Cataluña, inland from Tarragona. One of only 2 regions with DOCa status
  • Production methods had barely altered since 12th Century and then in 1990's revolution took place, by mid 2000's 50 Bodegas
  • One of few first class wines to be made from Garnacha and unfashionable Carignan. Although increasing use of international varieties eg. Cab Sauv
  • Poor stony soils, old vines and low yields together with the hot Mediterranean sun produce a wine of incredible intensity
  • Mechanization almost impossible and many steeply terraced small holdings had been abandoned as population moved inland . However, Priorat is slowly reviving vineyards

Majestic: The Wedding SpecialistsDate published: 16/01/12

Here at Majestic we have a lot of experience in organising wedding drinks. Our experienced staff can offer advice on everything from quantities to food matching, all tailored to your budget and tastes. We can provide everything from welcome drinks, bubbles for the toast, wines for your meal and beers and spirits for your evening bar. We also offer a wealth of services to ensure that your special day goes without a hitch. We can provide glasses, chiller bins and ice, plus our convenient, free delivery service means that you have one less thing to worry about. We even offer sale or return, meaning that you can bring back what you don't use, it's just another little thing that makes your life so much easier.

If you would like to talk to us about your specific requirements, please feel free to drop by the shop, call us on 01858 431320 or email mkh@majestic.co.uk.

Majestic Online ExclusivesDate published: 14/01/12

We may be growing as a company and opening ever more branches up and down the country, however we can still source one-off limited parcels of more unusual and hard to find wines. Obviously, we are not able to get these special products into every store, and so, in order that we can distribute these wines as fairly as possible, we often sell them exclusively through our website (www.majestic.co.uk). This month alone (Jan 2012)  we have offered our customers 2 online exclusives. Firstly,  the Brancott Estate R Sauvignon Gris 2010, winner of the International Wine Challenge Sauvignon Gris trophy and a Majestic UK exclusive! Secondly, we have a fantastic parcel of German Riesling from renowned producer Weingut Gottelmann. This offer consists of two 2006 Spatleses and a 2006 Auslese, also there is the option to purchase a mixed case of all 3 wines. There are currently stocks left of both offers, however they are sure to sell very quickly so don't delay if you're at all interested.

Remember that these wines are ONLY available via the website, and as they require special distribution, may take a little longer to deliver than normal.

As well as checking our website for details, it's worth knowing that email subscribers will be the first to be notified of any special offers, promotions and one off parcels. If you don't want to miss out, please make sure we have an up to date email address for you (and don't worry-we NEVER pass on your details to third parties)

French Classics Wine TastingDate published: 15/11/11

I was recently lucky enough to attend a 'French Classics' wine tasting where I got to sample some outstanding wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. It was a great opportunity to try some truly great wines. My favourite white was the Chassagne Montrachet, and at £2, this stunning wine may well make it onto my Christmas dinner table! As for the reds, I'm definitely a Bordeaux fan, both the Clos de Marquis and the Grand Puy Lacoste were impressive, although at £45 and £50 respectively, I may well have to save up before trying these greats again!

Here are all the wines we sampled:

Chablis Premier Cru 'Mont de Milieu' 2009, Domaine Pinson

A long-established domaine bottler who hand-harvests. They own 4.75 hectares of vines in Milieu, producing a classic dry, steely chablis which has a slight richness. The Pinson family make wines which are worthy of ageing for 4-5 years.

 

Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 'Les Vergers' 2008, Fontaine-Gagnard

Richard Fontaine-Gagnard switched careers from Jet Engine Technician to winemaker. Since this decision in 1985, he has steadily been improving the quality of both his red and white wines. He refuses to use new oak to age his Chassagne, insisting that 'it does not marry well'. The vergers vineyard is only 0.34 hectares in size, so small but consistent production is relied upon.

 

Savigny Premier Cru 'La Bataillere aux Vergelesses' Albert Morot, 2006

'Old vines, classic methods, and low yields- with the owner Mademoiselle Choppin, present at every stage, and herself working in the vines. Its a simple formula for success'. Only 1.82 hectares of vines for this particular wine, which is then aged in both new and old oak for sixteen months.

 

Chateau Moulinet-Lasserre 2002, Pomerol

The second wine of Clos Rene, the site consists of 11 hectares and produces 5,500 cases of both Clos Rene and Moulinet-Lasserre combined. Pierre Lasserre is the fourth member of his family to own Clos Rene and has maintained and improved his good reputation for consistency. Pierre’s grandson now oversees the general running of the winery. 20% new wood is used during maturation.

 

Chateau Les Ormes de Pez 1995, St Estephe, Cru Bourgeois

Owned by Jean Michel Cazes, the site sits on 30 hectares and produces 12,500 cases per year. They grow 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The Cazes Family (of Lynch-Bages) acquired the winery in 1930, and have proved their gift for winemaking at both sites. Pre-1981 the wines were made and matured at Lynch-Bages, but since then the winery has been modernized and extended so all production and ageing takes place on site at Pez. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel, and then the wine is aged in cask for 12-15 months before bottling. No new oak is used.

 

Clos du Marquis 2004, St Julien

The second wine of Chateau Leoville Las Cases, part of a site of 85 hectares which produces 30,000 cases per year. Clos du Marquis has been in continuous existence for longer than most second wines – since 1902. It has always been a good wine, offering good value, but in latter vintages has been even more impressive. Since a third wine of Leoville Las Cases has been made (Domaine de Bigarnon), the quality of Clos du Marquis has shot up, gaining in richness and depth of flavour.

 

Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste 2002, Pauillac

A 45 hectare site, owned by the Borie family, and producing 12,000 cases per year. In style and quality Grand Puy Lacoste belongs to the same category as Batailley – it is full-bodied and typically Pauillac – tough at first, but deepens with time.

 

Chateauneuf-du-Pape Clos de l'Oratoire, 2005

The CNDP appellation extends over 3000 hectares of relatively flat vineyards, which are characterized by their large flat pebbles - galets – which retain heat and speed up the ripening process of the low-lying grapes. Clos de l'Oratoire was one of the first CNDP domaines to estate-bottle their wines, and has a record of producing sumptuous wines in the past. With the introduction of new vinification techniques the style has changed somewhat, and has taken a few years to establish itself. However, since the 1998 vintage, they seem to be back on track.

 

Chateau La Rame Traditionelle 2009, Sainte Croix du Mont

A blend of Semillon (75%) and Sauvignon Blanc (25%), aged in one-third new oak barrels for two years. Yves Armand has been running the estate since 1985, the average age of the vines is fifty and yields rarely exceed thirty hl/ha. Yves has been experimenting with varying canopy management, and has also used cryo-extraction. St Croix du Mont offers an excellent, and much better value option to Sauternes, although the richness and acidity do not make it quite so age-worthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beauty of BollingerDate published: 19/09/11

If ever there was a Champagne house to be adored, Bollinger is it! As we enter the final quarter of the year I'm definitely craving bubbles and Bollinger have some great ones to choose from.
Bollinger produce fantastic quality wines based predominantly on Pinot Noir grapes. The house sits in Ay near Reims and was founded in 1829 by Jacques Joseph Placide Bollinger, Amiral Comte Athanase Louis Emmanuel de Villermont and Paul Joseph Renaudin. Back then the joint venture was known as “Champagne Renaudin, Bollinger & Cie”. In 1865 they started shipping low dosage Champagne over to Britain. As most Champagne being imported was actually sweet this was rather unusual at the time.
Elizabeth Law 'Lily' Bollinger (1899-1977) was the widow of Jacques Bollinger's nephew (also named Jacques) and she was left in charge of the family business. She oversaw the family vineyards on foot and bicycle for over 40 years. She also endured the 1944 German bombardment of Ay while sleeping in the Bollinger cellars. During her tenure, Lily took the vineyard holdings to 70% of production needs, which is particularly high, contributing largeley to the quality and consistency of their sublime wines. Lily believed that nothing should change the traditional Bollinger style which is achieved with a backbone of Pinot Noir from the Ay vineyards and a degree of barrel fermentation which is highly unusual for sparkling wine. This distinctive style is also achieved via tirage in bottles stoppered, unusually, with corks instead of crown caps, often for a decade or more.
“I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and I drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it, unless I'm thirsty.”
Madame Lily Bollinger
The style of Bollinger which is proving very popular at the moment is their RD or 'Recently Disgorged' Champagne – this is essentially Grande Année aged for a minimum of 8 years, showing marked autolysis and yeasty flavours as a result.
The rarest wine in Bollinger's portfolio is the Vieilles Vignes Françaises which is a Blanc de Noirs (white wine from black grapes) made exclusively from grapes grown on ungrafted Pinot Noir vines situated behind Bollinger headquarters. These vines have never suffered from phylloxera hence why they are ungrafted.
Bollinger's style is uniquely that of a family house which has, since 1829, preserved its independence whilst developing some of the finest vineyard holdings in Champagne. This has enabled Bollinger to maintain the unique blending method which is the basis of an inimitable identity. This philosophy was reinforced in 1992 by the publication of the Bollinger Charter of Ethics and Quality which is a permanent guarantee of its commitments to quality and consistency.
Jancis Robinson suggests buying Grande Année as opposed to RD and ageing it yourself, as she prefers a lower degree of yeast contact.
Now for some tasting notes! When I first tried the Bollinger NV Special Cuvée I was rather taken aback by how heavy, yeasty, bready and altogether austere this Champagne was. However in hindsight I tried this at the end of a full day's tasting, and thus the fruitier, gentler Prosecco that I tried alongside it was bound to be much more favourable. Having revisited this classic style I now find it surprisingly gentle, particularly as my taste in Champagne has developed towards the richer styles. The Special Cuvée is lightly infused with subtle flavours of pears and brioche, which is in keeping with the Bollinger tradition of wines with delicacy, body and elegance. Should you find the Special Cuvée too abrasive, try it in magnums which are always fruitier.
Bollinger Grande Année for me has been consistently outstanding (having tried the 2000 vintage twice and the 2002 vintage once) and demonstrates a much richer and developed side of the Bollinger spectrum. I first tried it last Christmas and was blown away by it's deep stewed apple and pastry notes – essentially apple strudel in dry sparkling form – to die for! (and not just because James Bond famously drinks it!).
Finally Bollinger NV Rosé – wow! More of a terracotta colour than actually pink this sumptuous rosé tastes like rhubarb compote, tart green and red apples with subtle pear and croissant notes. My favourite rose Champagne (if not my favourite Champagne altogether!) Bollinger is the first thing I reach for come every special occasion or celebration and is the absolute benchmark for quality Champagne.
Bollinger also have a majority stake in the Saumur house Langlois Chateau, and more recently acquired a minority stake of Delamain of Cognac. They also own Chanson of Burgundy/Beaujolais, and own 40% of Petaluma in South Australia. The two have a joint venture in Tapanappa, Wrattonbully in South Australia. They have also bought the neighbouring house of Ayala.
Bollinger is truly a house par excellence and delivers consistently outstanding wines with true hallmarks of quality. Next on my list are Bollinger RD (recently disgorged), and Grande Année Rosé. In the meantime I'll keep looking for excuses to crack open the bubbly! Search for Bollinger on the Majestic website or pop into store to see the current offers. For now – Santé!

Keeping You in the LoopDate published: 03/08/11

Here at Majestic Wine we pride ourselves on our high standards of customer service. We enjoy getting to know our customers and sharing our passion and insider wine knowledge with them. One way we can do this is by keeping you informed of when your favourite wine is in stock (helpful if it's a sought after rarity) or on a very good offer. Likewise, if there's a particular region or style of wine that excites you, please tell us and we can let you know when a product arrives in store that we think you'd like. We also run various tasting events throughout the year so we can let you know what is going on and when.

We regularly update our store webpage with news and events, but if you would like more personalised information, please leave us with your email address or a contact number and we can keep you in the loop. Alternatively, for the latest store news and opinion you can follow us on twitter:  @majesticmkh

The Majestic Fine Wine PlanDate published: 23/07/11

The world of Fine Wine can often appear intimidating from the outside. Many of our customers appreciate drinking great wine and would love to build up a fine wine collection, however, it can difficult knowing where to start. Luckily, through our partnership with Lay and Wheeler, we have created the Majestic Wine Fine Wine Plan. Not only is this plan the most affordable way to build up your own cellar (min. monthly direct debit £50), but you'll be guided through every part of the process, from choosing the perfect wine to storing your bottles.

The main benefits of the plan are:

  • A free 6 bottle case of Croix de Beaucaillou 2009 worth £150 when you suscribe to a monthly direct debit of £100 or more
  • Dedicated team of Fine Wine specialists to help you build up a great collection to drink in the future
  • Fine Wine Plan Advance-purchase wine up to the value of 3 months suscription in addition to any funds that you have available in the plan

Furthermore, you'll also receive regular offers exclusive to members of the fine wine plan, plus free delivery when you withdraw a case of wine to drink. By paying £50 a month into the plan you'll receive £25 in Majestic vouchers at the end of the first year, you also have the flexibility to increase your monthly payments as and when you wish. All members of the Fine Wine plan have complete online access to their accounts, additionally members have access to one of the lowest rates available for professional storage. If you wish to take advantage of our  bonded cellar facility, Vinotheque, it costs just £8.40 per 12 bottle case per year.

Please contact us today if you would like to discuss our Fine Wine Plan further.

Market Harborough Fine Wine Tasting EveningDate published: 01/05/11

Here at Majestic Wine Market Harborough we're a generous bunch, so I thought that I would report back on the wonderful wines that we sampled on behalf of our customers at our recent Fine Wine evening. After a couple of glasses of Taittinger NV we tried a pair of fantastic whites. Firstly, the Condrieu 'Le Grand Vallon' 2007, Francois Villard  was a complex and aromatic wine, with intense stone fruit flavours and a floral, almost fragrant, character in the background. The second white we tried was a New World offering, Petaluma's Tiers Chardonnay 2007 , however, it was no ordinary Aussie Chardonnay and had a surprising Burgundian-style elegance to it. Being from the Piccadilly Valley, South Australia's coolest vineyard area, has resulted in a rich and well balanced wine, definitely the star white of the night. We then moved on to a contrasting duo of stunning reds. The Château Rouget 2001 was a great example of why Pomerol can be so highly rated. This wine still displayed plenty of upfront fruit character, however it also had layers of complexity and a rich finish. Although drinking well now, we all agreed that it has the capacity to develop further over the next 5-6 years. Then we moved onto the favourite of the night, Masi's Amarone Classico Costasera 2006. Masi has been run the same family for 6 generations so is a great representation of the traditional Venetian styles. This immensely full-bodied Amarone is rich and silky, with intense dried-fruit aromas and a long, complex finish. Robert Parker gave this wine 90 points and we definitely agreed with his opinion. We ended our rather enjoyable voyage of discovery on a deliciously sweet note. The Clos d'Yvigne Saussignac 2005 , is a luxurious wine with complex aromas of honey, apricots and butter. The richness continues on the palate and culminates in an extraordinarily long length. It made the perfect end to a perfect night!

The Alchemy of AlsaceDate published: 28/04/11

A wine-region that I find is frequently overlooked in-store is Alsace,
which is a real shame as it has so much to offer. With its continental
climate it boasts practically perfect conditions for wine-production
and has the stunning backdrops of both the river Rhine, and the Vosges
Mountains, which provide the vineyards with a protective rain shadow.
Owing to the sloped topography of the vineyards the grapes are
frequently hand-picked, which bestows upon the wines a greater sense
of tradition and intrinsic quality. It has changed hands between the
Germans and the French several times, and this collusion of cultures
is represented strongly in the ultimate wine styles. German wine is
frequently cast in a negative light, being seen as overly sweet and
mass-produced. Originally the Alsatian focus was also on quantity
rather than quality, however, it is perhaps the French influence that
has elevated the status of these unusual wines, which are now made
predominantly from noble grape varieties and largely sourced from
their 51 Grand Cru sites. Yields are strictly controlled to increase
the overall quality, and the fact that it is compulsory for these
wines to be presented in flute bottles contributes further to their
prestige, status, and formidable nature!

This orchestra of opulent varieties includes Riesling, Gewurztraminer,
Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir. Riesling is a delightfully expressive
variety which can vary enormously depending on where it is grown – the
Alsatian take on this classic variety results in an extremely balanced
wine dominated by citrus, lime and stone fruits, with an elite
minerality, honeyed complexity, and then the signature petrol aromas
we've come to expect in the more developed examples.
Gewurztraminer is an outstanding variety for a relative unknown, and
the name derives from the German word for spice (Gewurz), a quality
which is inherent in the taste of these wines, along with a subtle
blush colour caused by maceration with the pink grape skins. The spice
dances alongside richly perfumed rose petal and Turkish delight
flavours, making it ideal with aromatic Thai food, or indeed those
hotter dishes.

My first encounter with Alsatian wine was in a BYO Indian restaurant
in Cheltenham, and one of the wines we had was the Philippe Zinck
Grand Cru Eichberg Gewurztraminer, which looks like more of a mystical
potion than a bottle of wine. I had never heard of this style of wine
before, and couldn't even pronounce it! My piquant palate detected the
Turkish delight flavour almost instantly and when I remarked that the
unusual flavours were what I liked about the wine, my Manager at the
time said I should like it because it was a perfect match to the food
we were having. I've never been told why I should like a wine before,
but it certainly stuck with me, and so has the wine. I've laid one
down as it is drinking over the next five to seven years, and will get
more honeyed as it ages. This wine also has something of a fairytale
factor as the label is reminiscent of Rapunzel's golden hair cascading
down the side of her infamous tower. Totally magical!

Since my love affair with Gewurztraminer began I've also recognised my
taste for other styles with a spicy, prickly, yet off-dry edge to
them, which includes the Argentinian Torrontes, Loire Vouvray, and
various expressions of Riesling and Pinot Gris, all equally up to the
challenge of standing up to and complementing those more fiery foods.

Another Alsatian variety that benefits from extra ripening is Pinot
Gris. This may sound like a distant cousin of Pinot Grigio but it is
actually the same variety, just harvested slightly later. The exotic
elixir that derives from these grapes however does taste somewhat far
removed from the more delicate, floral Italian Pinot Grigios we all
know and love. More New World in style, Pinot Gris' are richer in
tropical fruit flavours, particularly stone fruits, which are all
knitted together with a nutty honeyed complexity that positively sings
when paired with spicy food. Examples of this wine range from dry to
medium dry and the blush grape skins infuse the wines with a tactile
prickly character which practically pirouettes on the palate.

It is no surprise then to learn that the native Alsatian cuisine is
rich, hearty, simple food; sausages, casseroles and game are among the
favourites, all richly seasoned and of course well-spiced. And in case
you have room for something sweet, Alsace also produce two types of
dessert-wine: Vendange-Tardive where grapes are literally late
harvested, resulting in shrivelled grapes with very concentrated sugar
levels, and Grains Nobles which requires the use of grapes that have
been affected by botrytis cinerea (noble rot). The best dessert wines
are the latter, and the perfect conditions for noble rot are where the
vine sits alongside a body of water, in a relatively warm climate.
This creates misty mornings and an effectively magical maritime
micro-climate. A symphony of sweet fruit flavours and that trademark
spicy scent result in wines that are nothing short of God's nectar!

In contrast, the reds of Alsace represent the softer side of
wine-making. As they are made using Pinot Noir they can be drunk
slightly chilled on their own, or with light salads, boasting a
crescendo of crisp cherry, red berry and raspberry flavours. Dry yet
fresh this take on a classic is authentically Alsatian yet perfectly
Pinot Noir. It seems that as game frequents their cuisine, it's not a
feature they've encouraged in the flavour of their red wine, which
remains fruity, refreshing, and downright irresistible!

There's always more to say about Alsace, and we're gradually adding
new, exciting producers to our range - Zind Humbrecht being the most
recent and stunning. Hopefully even with this brief look at my
favourite Alsatian grape varieties it is easy to see why this region
should be explored and adored rather than ignored, and that it simply
has so much to offer that one can't help but be seduced by the choir
of Alsatian flutes.
 

6 is the magic number!Date published: 23/02/11

Have you ever wondered why we have a minimum purchase? Or even what it entails?

Well essentially when Majestic first opened it's doors the minimum purchase was 12 bottles. Our unique selling point has always been that this is any mixture of Champagne, wine and spirits, which differs significantly from most case merchants. Since September 2009 this was reduced to a minimum purchase of 6 bottles, still any mix (minimum of 12 bottles online, free delivery as standard).

Beers, soft drinks etc. do not count towards your minimum of 6, and have to be bought by the unsplit case (unless otherwise stated). For example, you couldn't buy 3 cases of beer, and 3 bottles of wine, but you could buy 1 case of beer alongside 6 bottles of wine.

So now you know what's included, and what our minimum purchase is in-store and online, but why have it?

Basically, having a minimum purchase allows us to offer you all kinds of extra services, which set us apart from supermarkets and off-licences. These include:

- Try before you buy: Our increasingly popular tasting counter

- Introduction to Wine Course: An informal evening where our in-store teams can teach you the basics of wine

- Wine Walks: An introduction to new products in-store; unusual limited edition parcels of wine that you may not see for very long

- Summer and Winter tastings: Larger scale tastings where you get to talk to other customers, and staff members, and sample food from a Sardinian Delicatessen called Vallebona. These are useful again for introducing customers to new products.

- Knowledgeable Staff: We can completely sympathise if you've ever been frustrated in supermarkets when it comes to asking members of staff about their beers, wines and spirits, so our solution is to have our staff obtain industry recognised qualifications in the form of the WSET (Wines & Spirits Education Trust) Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Wines and Spirits. They might not know everything but they'll do everything they can to help you so please take advantage of their expertise!

- Carry to car: Another thing that we offer to set us apart from supermarkets is our carry-to-car service - we want every part of your shopping experience at Majestic to be enjoyable, so the last thing we want is for you to injure yourself on your way to the car or have a box break on you! So we help that little bit more by always carrying your wine (and beer etc.) out to the car. We'll even pack it in the best way to prevent it rolling around the boot!

- The Customer List: This unusual feature of the Majestic offering allows us to find out what you've bought previously, so if you forget what you've had before, we can find it for you, and even alert you when your favourites are about to be on a great offer!

- Grape to Glass: Our quarterly magazine is a great way to let you know what initiatives are going on in Majestic, and to introduce you to new products and promotions.

- Extensive Range: At over 800 different wines, our range is nothing short of specialist - you can see now why our staff need to be so knowledgeable, to help you choose exactly the right wine for you or for a given occasion. And if we don't have the wine you want in stock, we'll do our very best to get it for you from another store.

- Event/Wedding/Party Planning Service. We know that organising events can be stressful, so at Majestic we can help you sort the wine; how much you need, food and wine matching, soft drinks and beers, we can even deliver it to a venue of your choice. We also offer FREE glass loan, chiller bins, ice buckets, ice etc. so let us sort the details, and you can sit back and have a great time.

- An overall more personal touch: Here at Majestic we enjoy spending time with our customers, wine is a passion we want to share with you, and we often find our customers have much to teach us in addition to our existing knowledge, so don't be afraid to talk to us, we're here to help you in every way we can.

You're always on the list at Majestic...Date published: 23/02/11

Have you ever wondered what the customer list at Majestic is for?

Firstly it is not so we can bombard you with emails and pass your details onto third parties!

Essentially it is a tool in place for your benefit - If you've ever had a wine from us and can't remember what it is - we can use your history to find out for you! And don't worry if you bought it from another branch, we can give them a call and get them to check your in-store history there, so we can ALWAYS find out what you've bought, as long as you provide us with your surname and postcode every time you shop.

It also allows us to post you our quarterly magazine Grape to Glass, and any flyers detailing our latest offers, so you'll always be first in the know (you can opt out of this free service if you prefer not to receive the mailing, and you still benefit from our personalised product history service!).

There is also an option to signup for emails detailing EXCLUSIVE online parcels that you can't get anywhere else - not even in store! So if you want to be kept in the know about all the best deals here at Majestic, make sure you go on our mailing list - after all, it's there for you!

Store Events(2)

Free Wine Course

21 September 2014 (15:00 - 16:30)

Here is a great chance to try wines from around the world in an educational yet relaxed 90 minute wine tasting where we shall explore the magic of wine

RSVP

Argentina Tasting Week

5 September 2014 - 8 September 2014

Whether it's Malbec or Torrentes. Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon. Argentina does it all and this weekend we want to show you exactly why Argentinian wine is one of the fastest growing sections in the U.K.

Open to all

Store Tasting(6)

What we're tasting today...

Meet the team...

  • David Manager

    After three and a half years I find myself in the quintessential town of Market Harborough. I have a real passion for Italian reds and aromatic whites. I am currently studying towards my WSET Diploma, so you'll often find me at the Tasting Counter or my nose in a book. Outside of work I am a big Coventry City fan, although rarely a happy one.
  • Keiren Assistant Manager

    I have worked for Majestic since Late 2012 and have made my way across the Midlands, to land in Market Harborough. I love most big bold reds in particular a good Aussie Shiraz. I also love my nice easy drinking whites such as a good Picpoul or Muscadet. Why not pop in and say hello!
  • Phil Trainee Manager

    This is my second Majestic store but have been enjoying the product on different continents for 5 years now. My preferred of which was a visit to Marlborough (New Zealand). I like to feel I have an eclectic taste in wine but enjoy a full bodied red most of all. I have additionally tasted wines in Spain, America, and France. Please feel free to stop me and say hi!
  • Rose Trainee Manager

    I have just started working for Majestic after completing my university degree. My wine of choice is a light rose or a South African white wine. However this may all change as I start my WSET and expand my tastes and knowledge. I am always happy to have a chat so feel free to come and say hello.

How to find us