1. Home >
  2. Store finder
  3. >Newcastle Gosforth
Welcome to Majestic

Newcastle Gosforth

Contact Information
T: 0191 284 7231
F:
E: nwc@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
Haddricks Mill Road
South Gosforth
Newcastle
NE3 1SR
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(293)

Upcoming Spotlight Tasting WeeksDate published: 26/07/14

At Majestic Wine, we love variety, especially when it comes to the tasting counter. However sometimes, we like like to showcase a particular Country or Region. Here are details of all our upcoming Spotlight Tasting Weeks:

8th-14th August - Loire & Beaujolais Tasting Week

5th-11th September - Argentinian Tasting Week

12th-19th September - South African Tasting Week

To come along to the tasting week there is no RSVP required. However for the Argentinian & South African Tasting Week there will be a Spotlight Tasting at 6:30pm the Thursday before the Tasting Week officially begins (Argentina - 4th September, South Africa - 11th September). To come to either of these feel free to give us a call on 0191 284 7231, pop us an email at ncs@majestic.co.uk, or come into store. 

Summer Drinking!Date published: 25/07/14

I think it's safe to say that in Newcastle the Summer is officially upon us, and with more to come (hopefully!). As it's my first day in the Newcastle store I've decided to select a Red, White, Rose and Sparkling Wine that's perfect for those long sunny days in the garden, as well as a perfect wine match for classic BBQ foods:

Red:

Beaujolais-Villages 2011/2012 Chateau de la Terriere

In my opinion there's nothing better on a Summer's day than a lightly chilled glass (or more!) of Beaujolais. This one is perfect, and best drunk young. Full of fresh strawberry and pleasant earthy notes, this will go with most things straight off the BBQ, however I'd personally suggest lamb and grilled peppers.

White:

Waimea Estate Pinot Gris 2013 Nelson

Bursting with fresh aromas of pear, honey, apple and a bit of spice, these flavours continue onto the palate. A good all rounder with fresh acidity, good length and soft texture. This white goes great with well marinated pork ribs on the BBQ, it can even handle a slightly spicy marinade. 

Rose:

Vallée Des Pins Rosé 2013 Côteaux d'Aix en Provence

Strawberry, raspberry, and white peach instantly jumps out when trying this wine. It's well balanced, has remarkable aromas and flavours that add depth to this Rose. Great with fresh seafood salads or on it's own nicely chilled. 

Sparkling:

Prosecco La Marca Cuvee NV DOCG 

While I'm not the biggest lover of Prosecco (as I personally prefer something a bit drier with more character), there's no denying the pleasant sweetness and easy going of Prosecco, and therefore it is perfect for a Summer's day. If your going to do Prosecco, I'd suggest this is the best money can buy at Majestic. Delicate and elegant, with distinct aromas of apple and apricot, this well-balanced prosecco makes an excellent aperitif, or try with some light starters off the BBQ.

Love Sauvignon Blanc?Date published: 25/07/14

Love Sauvignon Blanc? Here at Majestic Wine in Newcastle we certainly do! From the big bold ones from New Zealand, to the more laid back sophisticated French versions, there's certainly something for everyone. Here's a run down of our best prices in store of that old classic:

New Zealand:

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc - Buy any selected two and save 33.3%: £6.99

Mud House Sauvignon Blanc - Buy any selected two and save 33.3%: £6.66

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc - Buy any selected two and save 33.3%: £7.99

Argentina:

Santa Ana Sauvignon Blanc - Buy and selected two and save 33.3%: £5.99

Loire, France:

Pouilly-Fume Cascadelles - Buy any selected two and save 25%: £9.98

Sancerre Chavignol Paul Thomas - Buy any selected two and save 15%: £13.59

And for something a bit different...

Symbiose Piquepoul/Sauvignon Blanc (Southern France) - Buy any selected two and save 25%: £6.74


Birthday Offers!Date published: 25/07/14

After the addition of the popular Mont Saint Jean Corbieres @ £4.99 to our Summer Selection and the Picpoul Villemarin at a brilliant price of £5.99, we've decided to add even more great offers in celebration of Majestic.co.uk's Birthday! Here's a run out of the new offers:

Pouilly Fume Jean Vincent - £14/99 £9.99

Les Galets Cotes du Rhone - £8.49 £5.66

Vallee Des Pins Provence Rose - £9.99 £6.66

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc - £10.49 £6.99

For these and other fantastic offers on our Summer Selection pop into our Newcastle store or give us a call on 0191 284 7231!


Wine of the Week - Fleurie, Georges DuboeufDate published: 23/07/14

Wine of the Week

Fleurie, Georges Duboeuf

In the Beaujolais region, Georges Duboeuf is renowned for being one of the best winemakers, and has been nicknamed the King of Beaujolais and this wine is no exception to the rule. Fleurie is one of the 10 Crus of Beaujolais and one of the most sought after too.

Produced using only the Gamay grape, this wine is an intense crimson colour with plentiful fruit and floral aromas. This classic Fleurie is full of concentrated fresh cherry and red berry fruits with a silky texture on the palate. The light tannic presence gives a testament to the Cru status of this wine.

An elegant and fine wine to be enjoyed at any time. This is a refreshing companion to a light summer lunch, with glazed ham or any selection of other cold meats.

£11.75

or save 15% when buying 2 or more

£9.98


New offers for July!Date published: 17/07/14

New offers just in time for the summer holidays!

We've got some great deals on some Majestic favourites to welcome the start of the summer holidays!

Red

Mont St Jean Corbières – ONLY £4.99!

Full of blackberry fruit and herby notes, it is hard to find such a tasty wine for such a good price!

Pennautier Cabernet Sauvignon – ONLY £5.99!

This robust Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect accompaniment to any BBQ!

White

Picpoul de Pinet, Villemarin – ONLY £5.99!

Fresh, citrus-laced and brilliant with white fish, Picpoul de Pinet is becoming a very popular grape amongst Majestic staff and customers alike.

Torres Viña Sol – ONLY £5.99!

Nothing says summer more than this wine! Smooth, crisp and full of apple flavours, it is perfect for sipping in the garden!



Wine of the week- M de Minuty RoseDate published: 16/07/14

The weather is scorching, Get the BBQ up and running and stock up on rose.  

Located on the St Tropez Peninsular, the Chateau de Minuty vineyards overlook the Mediterranean.  Typical of the local style of Rose, Chateau de Minuty have created a blend of grapes, employing the little-known Tibouren grape which is grown almost exclusively in Provence.

Made from a blend of grapes, Grenache, Cinsault and Tibouren, the M de Minuty rose is a nice pale honeysuckle pink colour, offering a clean nose of citrus fruit.  A fresh acidity makes for an incisive and lively palate, with a rounded feel.

This wine is perfect with a mozzarella and sun-ripened tomato salad.  

Ideal for a lovely day in the garden!

AustraliaDate published: 12/07/14

Australia

Australia is the fourth largest wine exporting country in the world, producing some fantastic wines, in a variety of styles. Australia has over 60 Wine regions and in South Australia they have some of the oldest vines in the world!

Spanning an area that could incorporate Europe , Australia is arguably the most diverse wine producing nation in the world in terms of altitude, climate and soil types. The climate in Australia is mostly warm or hot Mediterranean. Loosely speaking, Australian wine tends to come from two main areas, Western Australia or South Eastern Australia.

In Western Australia, the Margaret River, South of Perth, is particularly famous. Closer to the coast, this region has a moderate to warm maritime climate. The climate can be quite similar to that in Bordeaux, which goes some way to explaining why Semillon-Sauvignon blends from this region are so popular! Additionally, the region produces some excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends. If you're looking for a New World alternative to left bank Bordeaux, the Margaret River can be an excellent place to explore!

South Australia is well known, particularly for excellent red wines. Barossa Valley and Eden Valley produce some fantastic Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignons. These tend to be quite weighty, often packed with black fruit flavours, with influences from American oak.

In Victoria, you can find some excellent Australian Chardonnays. A good new world alternative to some of the oaky white Burgundies. Aside from Chardonnay, they offer a diverse range of other varieties, including some excellent Pinot Noir from the Mornington Peninsula.

New South Wales produces some excellent wines, with Shiraz and Semillion from Hunter Valley being the stand-out varieties the region is most famous for. The Semillons age well, and can develop honey and toast flavours with time. The Shiraz from Hunter Valley can have enticing red fruit flavours.


Wine of the Week - King's Favour SauvignonDate published: 10/07/14

King's Favour Sauvignon Blanc, 2012

New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year at the China Wine and Spirits Awards 2013 & New Zealand Winery of the Year - IWSC London 2011.


Marisco Vineyards, home of world renowned brands The Ned & The Kings Series, is located in the Waihopai Valley of Marlborough New Zealand - a location which provides a near perfect environment for producing wines of startling character.


Owned and operated by Brent (Chief Winemaker) and Rosemary Marris - they are a progressive wine company committed to building brands and taking the unique Marlborough, New Zealand story of wine to the world.

An intense aroma of citrus, elderflower and nettles on the nose with complimentary gooseberry and steely minerality on the palate. This beautifully rounded Sauvignon Blanc is sure to satisfy any New Zealand fan and even surprise the ardent old world enthusiasts due to its sophisticated minerality reminiscent of a Sancerre.

With its refreshing acidity, this wine would pair deliciously with fresh oysters, white fish, or soft, creamy goats cheese.


£14.99

or save 33% when bought with

any other summer selection wine

£9.99


Wine of the Week - Tucumen CabernetDate published: 02/07/14

Tucumen Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013

With the weather looking pretty dull, this wine of the week is a nice warming red. The Tucumen Cabernet Sauvignon is a new wine for Majestic this year, following on from the popularity of the their Malbec.

The Budeguer family-owned winery was planted over a century ago in Tucuman, northern Argentina, which gradually increased in quality and the Budeguer family began to set their sights on Mendoza, the most famous wine producing region in Argentina. The Tucumen wines are now a merger of “two dreams and two places.”

This Cabernet Sauvignon is youthful and fruit-driven, bursting with blackberry flavour underpinned by black pepper and eucalyptus. Drink now with barbecued meats or hard cheese, or alternatively cellar for up to 3 years, if you can wait that long!

£11.99

or save 33% when bought with

any other summer selection wine

£7.99


Wine of the Week Battle - Emma vs NickDate published: 25/06/14

Calima Rosé 2013, Catalunya

Nick

A relatively new addition to the Majestic range, Calima's wines offer great value for money. Careful use of the Garnacha grape, with its think skin and low tannins, make for an incredibly fresh and fruity style. Calima means 'mist,' an occurrence that can regularly be seen in the vineyards of Catalunya and no doubt contributes to the freshness of the wine.

Expect fresh strawberries, ripe peach and soft apple with a good amount of racy acidity to marry the whole thing together. Get this well chilled and drink with friends in the garden.

£7.99 or just £5.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles on the 25% off deal!

Chapel Down English Rosé 2013

Emma

Now that England are out of the World Cup we can turn our attention to something that we are actually getting better at: wine making. Based in Kent, Chapel Down are the market leader in English wine, and the cool climate gives the wines an aromatic complexity capable of beating World Class producers in blind tastings.

Having won numerous gold medals for their still and sparkling wines, this rosé, which is made from a delicate Pinot Noir blend, offers fresh strawberry flavours with a dry, refreshing acidity. Superb BBQ wine, and perfect for the English summer!

£11.99 single bottle price.

Please vote for your favourite!


Wine of the Week - 120 CarménèreDate published: 18/06/14

Santa Rita 120 Carménère 2013,

Central Valley

The wines of Santa Rita have been a Majestic favourite for a number of years now and they never fail to impress. The fruit is sourced from the haven of Chile's Central valley, arguably the perfect balance between warm summer sun and cooling Pacific winds.

Velvety smooth red and black fruits give way to a surprising amount of spicy black pepper, tobacco leaf and vanilla; think of it as Merlot with a bit of an extra kick! It's probably about as close as you can get to the perfect BBQ wine... if this weather clears up!

“The 120 Carménère is an illustrative variety of Chilean wines, dominated by aromas of black and red fruits and spices. Its silky, deep tannins make it very easy to drink, and very versatile to pair with a broad diversity of foods.” - Carlos Gatica.

£8.99

Just £5.99 when you buy two or more bottles on the fabulous 33% off Summer Selection!

#comeandexplore


Bring a Friend to Majestic! Date published: 17/06/14

Here at Majestic we love nothing better than sharing our passion for wine. Whether you have drunk it for years, or just getting started, we would love to introduce you to something new and different.

If you have friends who have an interest but are not sure where to start, then bring them along with you next time you shop, and provided they have not shopped with us before, you will both get your 7th bottle absolutely free.

So if you want a little extra of your favourite tipple or would like us to choose something that you will love, then all you have to do is bring a friend to Majestic. And remember, there is always the tasting counter available if you don't know where to start! 


Sparkling Saturday - Berlucchi FranciacortaDate published: 14/06/14

Berlucchi Cuvée Imperiale NV, Franciacorta DOCG

The region of Franciacorta lies in Lombardy in Northern Italy and is home to an increasingly popular sparkling wine. Guido Berlucchi was among the first to produce Italian fizz in a Champagne style and he has undoubtedly started something very special indeed.

The perfect balance of richness and freshness, Berlucchi uses the Traditional Method of a 2nd fermentation in bottle to add elegance and finesse and an extended ageing period in contact with the yeast cells to add the classic doughiness. A whole world away from Prosecco, treat yourself this weekend with a bottle of Franciacorta!

£22.49

Just £14.99 when you buy two or more bottles on our sizzling selection of summer offers!


Wine of the Week - Wave Series Sauvignon BlancDate published: 10/06/14

Wave Series Sauvignon Blanc, 2013 - Carmen

Winemaker Sebastian Labbe boasts two passions in life, wine and surfing; he's honed both of these skills over a number of years in New Zealand and Chile. The Wave Series is inspired by Chile's perfect terroir, where rolling Pacific Ocean waves provide the perfect cooling influence to allow the country's wines to become so fruity and expressive.

Wonderfully clean and crisp with classic Sauvignon aromas of lemon, gooseberry and lime, this wine really captures what summer is all about.

Although it will go with all manner of fresh seafood, pairing it with grilled king prawns in a zingy lime dressing will give you a real feast to remember!

£9.99

Or just £6.66 when you buy two or more bottles on our fantastic Summer Selection.


Amazing Champagne Deal!Date published: 04/06/14

Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Brut NV

*SPECIAL OFFER*

Representing Heidsieck's Pinot-dominant, rich yet approachable house style, this cuvée offers a harmonious balance between crisp golden fruit, satisfying brioche notes and an abundant mousse. 

A fantastic offer that you cannot miss out on!

Only £14.99 when buying 2 at 33.3% off!

Hurry while stocks last!


Wine of the Week - Côtes-du-Rhône Saint-Esprit 2012 Delas-FrèresDate published: 04/06/14

Côtes-du-Rhône Saint-Esprit 2012 Delas-Frères

After having a few White wines for our Wine of the Week I feel it is time for a change and so chose something a little unconventional for hot sunny days. However, with summer finally here what better time to invite friends round for a BBQ and enjoy succulent meats with a delicious red wine to match!

Founded in 1835 Delas is based in the heart of Northern Rhone. The company produce wines with the utmost care and is reputed for their fine flavours, complexity and concentration.

This Syrah-Grenache blend is packed full of juicy blackfruits with hints of spice on both the nose and palate with a peppery influence from the Syrah.

Enjoy with spicy meats on the BBQ or keep for 5-6 years (if you can resist it that long!)

£6.66

When you buy any 2 wines on 33.3%

or £9.99 Single Bottle Price



Sparkling Saturday - Bouvet Saumur Rosé Brut NVDate published: 31/05/14

Sparkling Saturday

Bouvet Saumur Rosé Brut NV

The house of Bouvet-Ladubay is one of Loire's world class sparkling wine producers and was founded in 1851 by Etienne Bouvet and his wife, Celestine Ladubay. The grapes are sourced from several local producers and are then vinified using the traditional method.

Produced using only Cabernet Franc there is a tempting yet delicate salmon pink tint to this sparkling wine. The palate is light yet refreshing, with floral hints and further characteristics of raspberry and peach fruits. Fine bubbles create a mousse like texture for a soft and delicious finish.

Perfect to enjoy on a summers day as an aperitif!

£13.49

Just £8.99 when you buy

as part of our 33% off Summer Selection


Offers Ending on Monday!!Date published: 30/05/14

Hurry!! There is only a few days left to get your favourite wines at 33.3% off!

These are just a few that I will be sad not to see at the front of the store anymore: 

Champagne: 

Veuve Clicquot @ £29.98

Tattinger @ £27.99

Heidsick Gold Top @ £19.99

Reds:

Portillo Malbec @ 6.99

Montes Twins @ £7.99

Whites:

Oyster Bay @£7.99

Gavi Toledana @ £7.99


Order now online at www.majestic.co.uk or pick up the phone to arrange a FREE delivery! 

Alternatively come into store and see what is open on the tasting counter! 

Viña Ardanza 2005Date published: 30/05/14

Viña Ardanza 2005, Reserva Rioja

La Rioja Alta are one of the oldest bodegas in Rioja, and produce some of the finest wines to come out of the region. The Viña Ardanza 2005 Reserva is one of our favourite Riojas.

It is only made in years deemed very good or excellent by the Rioja Consejo Regulador and already has the best part of ten years' age by the time you are able to purchase it in store – the Riojans firmly believing that wine should be released when ready to drink. This is made in a very traditional style and undergoes several rackings before bottling – this is where the wine is transferred from one barrel to another, exposing it to air during the ageing process. This leads to quite a light colour, but a lot of complexity.

On the nose, red fruit is joined by a herbal character with vanilla and spicy, earthy notes. These continue through to the palate, with the tannins supple and unobtrusive, but enough to allow further ageing if desired.

This is a classical and classy wine, a great gift or a perfect way to treat yourself, it will be a perfect match for roast lamb, or chicken with chorizo.

£24, or buy any two selected

fine wine and spirits, save £10!

£19


Fentimans Favourites! Date published: 16/05/14

Fentimans Favourites!

Five generations of family expertise, and based locally in Hexham, Fentimans are renowned their distinctive flavours, botanically brewed soft drinks made from 100% natural ingredients. They offer a range of soft drinks including Rose Lemonade, Cherry Cola and Ginger Ale. Here I introduce you to a couple of our favourites:

Hollow's & Fentiman's Alcoholic Ginger Beer

New to the Fentimans range, Ginger Beer but with alcohol: now that's our kind of Ginger Beer! Makes excellent summer time drinking, plus there's no preservatives or artificial sweeteners so it's basically good for you.

£18 (Beers sold in cases of 8)

Fentimans Tonic Water

If you are going to have good gin, you need good tonic. FULL STOP. A G&T is after all 75% tonic (roughly!). Fentimans tonic has a subtle herbal infusion of juniper and lemongrass that could just as easily be enjoyed on its own.

Why not try a local gin with your local tonic: Jack Cain's or Durham Gin?

Buy 2 packs for £2.55 each, or £3 for a single pack of 4 bottles. 


Beer of the MonthDate published: 11/05/14

Feeling Curious?

Chapel Down, one of England's biggest wine producers, have been consistently wowing us with their quality beers and ales... so much so that we'd make a little display and tell you all about them!

Chapel Down's ingredients are anything but simple; across their range, they can boast the use of East Anglian malt, Champagne yeast and the fragrant Nelson Sauvin hop. Simply put, they are producing brews that others cannot compete with!

Curious Brew Lager

In Chapel Down's own words, a “drier, cleaner, fresher lager”. A Gold Medal winner in the International Beer Challenge, this is far far away from any of the conventional lagers you'll have down at the pub.

Curious Brew IPA

Chapel Down's secret to a great IPA is a trio of specially selected hops; the fresh English Goldings, fruity Bramling Cross and spicy Chinook are a marriage made in heaven. Light, malty and incredibly moreish – we dare you to have just one!

Just £14.99 for a case of 12!


Wine of the Week - Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay 2013, Leyda ValleyDate published: 03/05/14

Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay 2013, Leyda Valley

Founded by Domingo Fernandez in 1880, Santa Rita is one of Chile's most historic producers. It is now run by the Claro Group who have perfectly combined modern vinification techniques with Chile's ideal wine producing climate.

Their Medalla Real range represents some of the best wines the country has to offer; the grapes are hand-picked and the wine is barrel fermented in temperature controlled warehouses. Regular lees stirring and further barrel ageing gives this wine a wonderful creaminess but still manages to retain the crisp tropical fruit that Leyda Valley manages to express so well.

Bright, intense, olive green in colour. The nose features a combination of fresh fruits, some citrus notes, dried fruits, and minerals. It is fresh yet weighty on the palate, with a creamy texture and a long, persistent finish.” - Andrés Ilabaca Andonie

£11.99 single bottle price

Just £7.99 when you buy two or more bottles on the 33% offer!


10% Discount Every time you shop at Majestic!Date published: 02/05/14

10% Discount Every time you shop at Majestic!


At Majestic Wine, all of us are passionate about wine, and whilst we happily snaffle some of our great bargains for the majority of the wine we drink, what gets us really excited is Fine Wine, whether it is classed growth Bordeaux, Premier Cru Burgundy or any one of the plethora of prestigious wines produced in the New World. That is why so many of us have signed up to the Fine Wine Plan run by our sister company Lay and Wheeler.

You pay in money each month (from as little as £50) to create a fund to buy your wines, Lay and Wheeler also provide credit in the amount of 3x your monthly subscription. You can be as proactive or as hands off as you like in choosing your wines, Lay and Wheeler's expert staff will be happy to guide you, whether you are buying Vintage Port as a christening gift or White Burgundy for next summer's drinking.

Other great benefits include exclusive offers for fine wine plan members at seriously advantageous prices and if you subscribe over £100 per month you receive a free case of wine when you join the plan and the Fine Wine Plan Privilege Card which gives you a whopping 10% off all your purchases from Majestic Wine!!!

If you have any questions, pop in and ask us in-store, visit the Lay and Wheeler Website (www.laywheeler.com) or give them a call on 01473 313 330.



Wine of the Week - LFE Gran Reserva MerlotDate published: 16/04/14

The IWSC's 'Chilean Producer of 2012', LFE was founded in 1976 and is now the largest family owned wine producer in Chile. Their Gran Reserva Merlot is made from grapes sourced from the Colcahgua region in Chile's famous Central Valley, arguably one of the best wine producing climates with warm sunshine and the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains.

A perfect marriage of delicate red fruits and dominant black fruits, expect ripe plums and blackberries with subtle hints of strawberry. Subtle aromas of tobacco leaf and vanilla are perfectly integrated by careful oak ageing, giving a smooth velvety finish; this wine is certainly not one to be missed!

Fantastic with robust and herby tomato-based dishes, give this a go with moussaka or veggie lasagne.

Single bottle price £10.99

or £7.99 when you buy as part of our fantastic Pick N Mix offer!


Wine of the Week - M de Minuty RoséDate published: 11/04/14

M de Minuty Rosé 2013, Côtes de Provence

Hooray! The first rosé of the year: that means it's nearly summer and it's nearly time for BBQ's in the garden. I can't wait.

Château de Minuty is in the Provence region in the south of France, virtually overlooking the Mediterranean sea. You can imagine it, sat in the sunshine by the sea, enjoying a glass or two al fresco with fresh seafood, no wonder this region is famous for its rosé production!

Provence rosés are made from Cinsault, Grenache and Tibouren (a variety grown almost exclusively in the Provence) and are made by gently pressing black grapes to extract a little colour from the skin but not too much tannin, which produces the most delicately coloured rosé wines.

Offering a not only a nose of citrus, but with an extra hint of floral and candied notes. The fresh acidity gives it a lively yet rounded palate, making it one of our favourie rosés! Ideal with any shellfish or summer salads.


Single bottle price £14.99

or

£9.99 when you buy it as part of our Easter Pick N Mix offer! 


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 - Vinho VerdeDate published: 02/04/14

Wine of the Week - Vinho Verde

Quinta de Azevedo 2012,

Vinho Verde

Choosing our Wine of the Week this week was an easy decision. This really is a stand-out wine for me, and it's the cheapest it's been for some time. Despite the distinctly un-Portuguese weather, there's no reason not to love this Vinho Verde!

From the Minho region of Northern Portugal, Vinho Verde literally means “green wine” - potentially referring to the youthful style in which it's sold, or the beautifully lush green countryside inland of the Costa Verde where this is produced.

The wine is elegant and fresh, with apple and citrus fruit, and is lively and refreshing. It has good acidity, quite low alcohol and the classic Vinho Verde “spritz”.

Enjoy with seafood, green salads or pasta.

£5.99 per bottle

when you buy 2 or more as part of Pick'n'mix

£8.99

single bottle price


Wine of the Week - Georges Duboeuf JulienasDate published: 26/03/14

There are two reasons for choosing Georges Duboeuf's Juliénas this week. Firstly, for the little pink flower on the label in homage to our lovely spring, but also because we think it's a pretty top notch Beaujolais.

Juliénas is one of the ten “Beaujolais Crus” - the same quality level as the more well known Fleurie or Morgon. Named after Julius Caesar, Juliénas is believed to be the first part of Beaujolais to be planted with vines by Roman settlers. It has a more varied terrain than any other cru, and produces wine with good complexity.

A medium-bodied, lively wine with plenty of blackcurrant and blueberry fruit. Juicy with balanced tannin, it's perfect with roast lamb which as we all know, is now in season!

£8.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

£11.99 single bottle price


Wine of the Week - El Chaparral, NavarraDate published: 19/03/14

This week's pick is an old favourite. I'm a big fan of wines from Navarra, a Spanish region which deserves better than playing second fiddle to the likes of Rioja and Ribera del Duero.

Navarra is situated in Northern Spain , adjacent to Rioja. The region was historically more well known for its high alcohol, rosé wines which oxidised easily. Thankfully, reds have taken over and rosé now accounts for less than 5% of their total production. Garnacha, also known as Grenache, is King.

This particular wine comes from the Nekeas Valley. The cooling influence from the Atlantic contributes to higher acidity, balancing the quick ripening Garnacha. The vines are between 70-100 years old and produce low yields of high quality berries. Robert Parker awarded it 90 points – and we're inclined to agree with him on this one!

Intense, vibrant, fleshy blackberry and raspberry fruit on the nose and on the palate, with added texture from the ripe tannins. This can be enjoyed on its own, but also a great match with a grilled Rib-Eye, medium-rare of course!


Wine of the Week - Paul Mas Viognier 'Nicole Vineyard', 2013Date published: 12/03/14

Paul Mas Viognier 'Nicole Vineyard', 2013


The sun is shining and spring appears to be just around the corner, so a fresh, floral white is just what is needed this week. This Viognier from Paul Mas is fresh, fruity and a great alternative to the usual: a definite mid-week treat!

Located around the town of Pézanas near the Mediterranean coast, the Paul Mas vineyards account for nearly 100 hectares. Viognier offers a soft, full bodied style similar to Chardonnay but with a more aromatic character. Only 15% of the grapes are aged in oak, the emphasis is placed on the fresh floral notes.

Characteristically, the main aromas are of peach and stone fruit, but the subtle oak adds delicate embellishments of vanilla and honey. Try it with lightly spiced dishes such as a Thai Green Curry or a Chinese stir fry, or alternatively enjoy with any blue cheeses.



Single bottle price £9.99

or

£6.66 when you buy it as part of our March Pick N Mix offer! 


Wine of the Week - Gavi AraldicaDate published: 08/03/14

Wine of the Week - Gavi 2013, Araldica

A brand new wine for Majestic this spring, we've been looking forward to trying this for a while. The town of Gavi lies in the Italian region of 'Piedmont' and despite the area being better known for its powerful reds such as Barolo and Barberesco, Gavi is starting to develop its own strong following. Made exclusively from the Cortese grape, it gives a classically steely finish which has led to Gavi often being described as “the Chablis of Italy”. The likes of the Gavi Montiero and the Gavi Toledana have been Majestic favourites for a long time and we think that the Araldica is just as good.

Intense citrus aromas with notes of lime zest and nettles, it has a natural acidity that gives a long and very crisp finish. In terms of food matches, it's quite versatile, working excellently with both fresh seafood or light Italian pasta dishes.

Single bottle price £9.99

or

£6.66 when you buy it as part of our March Pick N Mix offer!  



A-Z of Wine Jargon - Y is for YeastDate published: 07/03/14

Y is for Yeast

Yeast is the enzyme responsible for converting sugar into alcohol. The most important wine yeast is called Saccharomyces Cerevisae. Yeasts are naturally present on the skins of the grapes so once the grapes are crushed, fermentation will begin naturally. 

In New World Wineries, it is almost automatic practise (and beginning to be more common in the Old World) for the winemaker to select cultivated yeasts that are best adapted for the wine that is to be made. Cultivated yeasts, normally added in the form of powder, reduce the need to add sulphur dioxide and may be selected to give a particular character to a wine. Specially cultivated yeasts are essential for the production of certain wines, e.g. the secondary fermentation in Champagne requires a yeast capable of operating under extreme pressure. 

When the yeasts die at the end of fermentation, they sink to the bottom and form a sediment, which is called lees. Often white wines may be left 'on their lees' while ageing as this can give the wine extra body and character.    

A-Z of Wine Jargon - W is for Wild FermentationDate published: 28/02/14

W is for Wild Fermentation


There are a few bottles here at Majestic that make a big deal of having been made by "Wild Fermentation". And we're often asked what that actually means.

Yeast is on of the main components in winemaking - it reacts with the sugar in the grape to produce alcohol and CO2 (in still wines, the CO2 is allowed to escape. In sparkling wines, the CO2 is trapped inside the bottle or tank, and since it has no means of escape, dissolves into the wine to produce the bubbles). Wild yeasts are present on the skins of the grape and in the winery, and once this yeast comes into contact with the wine, fermentation will start naturally.

Many winemakers will leave these yeasts to their own devices as it produces interesting, complex wines with greater vintage variation and clear expression of region and grape characteristics. The wild yeasts are however, unreliable and do not give a consistent style. For this reason, it has become common practice in New World wineries particularly, to use cultured yeast in order to gain a consistent style and a reliable fermentation. Different strains of yeast are adapted to suit different grape varieties and can be used to impart certain characteristics to the wine.

Wine of the Week - Planalto DouroDate published: 26/02/14

Planalto White Reserva, Douro

Being my last week in Newcastle I'm using Wine of the Week to try something I've never tasted before. This wine from the Douro in Portugal is made from indigenous varieties and is an expression of modern Portuguese wine making.


Mythology of the Douro says that the wines from here were so terrible they had to be fortified to make Port. 50% of wines from the Douro are in fact unfortified, often made to tradition and for the local market. This producer, the same as the AA Ferreira once Portugal's most prestigious red wine, uses modern techniques to give a fresh and aromatic style.


Its is pronounced on the nose, giving citrus and some blossom, dry and delicate on the palate with more soft fruits and slight complexity! This wine would match well with a big bowl of Paella!



£6.49 per bottle

when you buy 2 or more

£7.99

single bottle price


Argentinian Malbecs added to Pick'n'MixDate published: 25/02/14

As a special treat for all you Malbec lovers, for six days only, we're knocking a third off the vast majority of our range of Argentinian Malbecs.  As an extra bonus, if we are out of stock of your favourite, you can buy it now at the lower price and we'll deliver when it arrives.

The offer runs from Wednesday 26th February - Monday 3rd March and some highlights are noted below:

Alternatively, browse on-line at www.majestic.co.uk/latest-malbec-offers

Callia Bella - now £5.99

Portillo - now £6.66

Catena - now £9.33

Argento - now £6.66

Joffre - now £7.33

Luigi Bosca - now £10.66

A-Z of Wine Jargon - V is for VintagesDate published: 24/02/14

V is for Vintages

When it comes to understanding wine, vintages can be one of the aspects most people tend to find complicated, but in fact it is quite simple.

In simple terms a wine's vintage tells you which year the grapes were picked. Within the Southern hemisphere a vintage dated wine carries the year the grapes were actually picked, whereas in the Northern hemisphere a vintage dated wine will carry the year in which both the vine growth occurred and the grapes were picked. The weather can affect why some vintages are better than others as the micro-climate in each region varies from one year to the next and so each grape varieties respond differently to this.

If a wine is meant for ageing, the vintage year stated on the label can be particularly relevant in helping to decide when to open it. Almost all still wines are a single vintage which will be stated on their label, however a non vintage (NV) is a blend of different vintages. This is common in sparkling wines and champagne, but an outstanding year will result in a vintage. Vintage Ports are amongst some of the longest lived wine produced anywhere.

Vintage years did not become a norm until the end of the 17th Century when bottles and corks replaced barrels for long term storage. Then in the 18th Century they became even more important when bottle shapes evolved allowing wine to be stored on its side.  


A-Z of Wine Jargon - U is for Units of AlcoholDate published: 22/02/14

U is for Units of Alcohol

At Majestic we have a responsibility when retailing alcohol and so it is important for everyone to be aware of all the details as there can be harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption.

In simplified terms a Unit of Alcohol is defined as 10ml of pure alcohol. With standard measurements in the UK, each type of drink will contain a similar amount of alcohol units. However, it is important to remember that 1 drink does not equal 1 unit. The size and strength of drinks can be large factors in determining the units.

A single 25ml measure of a spirit (vodka, rum, gin) is 1 unit of alcohol

and a 175ml glass of wine at 12% (abv) is 2.1 units.

The guidelines for a healthy amount state 3-4 units per day for men and 2-3 units per day for women. On average it takes about 1 hour for the body to metabolise a single unit of alcohol. This can very from person to person depending on body weight, gender, age, food intake and the strength of alcohol consumed. Many people have drinks at home and so you can easily drink more than you realise, measuring spirits and finishing your drink before a top up can keep you on track of your alcohol intake – and might even prevent that next day headache!


A-Z of Wine Jargon - T is for TartratesDate published: 20/02/14

A-Z of Wine Jargon - T is for Tartrates

Tartrates are a harmless, crystalline deposit that can be found in aged wines, or ones that have been treated to very little clarification or filtration.  They will be seen as either small crystals embedded in the cork, or in the bottom of the bottle and look rather like salt crystals.  They are also a commercial by-product of the wine industry, which is one of the only sources of them for products such as baking soda and Rochelle salt.

Wine of the Week - Eguia Gran Reserva 2004Date published: 19/02/14

Vina Eguia, Gran Reserva 2004

With very little improvements in the weather forecast, this wine of the week needed to be something warm and toasty. Everyone knows that Eguia have a great range of Riojas, the Crianza and the Reserva are some of our best sellers which everybody love, so this week I am going to give their Gran Reserva the limelight. The name Eguia comes from “egia” meaning truth, reflecting their passion to create a true reflection of traditional Rioja.

Gran Reserva wines are only produced in exceptional vintages and must be at least five years old before release; two years in wood and three in bottle. This particular 2004 Gran Reserva spent its first 24 months in French and American Oak and has been improving in the bottle ever since. The predominant grape variety is Tempranillo, which although is not the most widely planted variety, is the country's premier grape and appears throughout most of Northern Spain's vineyards.

Bright cherry-red in colour, with aromas of ripe red fruits and spices. The palate is delicate, elegant and complex with subtle caramel and vanilla notes, leaving a long and velvety finish. A substantial and classic Rioja, perfect with meat dishes or cheese and an excellent addition to your dinner table, all for under £10!


£9.99 when you buy two

or

£13.49 single bottle price.


A-Z of Wine Jargon - S is for SulphitesDate published: 18/02/14

A-Z of Wine Jargon - S is for Sulphites

A very hot topic in the world of wine currently, Sulphites are always present in wine, as they are a by-product of fermenting yeast. Their presence in wine is also due to the use of Sulphur Dioxide as a preservative and anti-oxidant in the wine-making process which greatly reduces the risk of spoilage. The only wines which do not use Sulphur are so-called 'natural' wines, discussion of which is easy to find on-line.

Different people have different sensitivities to Sulphur, but it is legally allowed in all wines to different levels. Red wines are allowed the least (160mg/l), as red grape skins contain more natural anti-oxidants than white skins, and sweet white wines are allowed the most as additional Sulphur is required to prevent re-fermentation of the sugars.


A-Z of Wine Jargon - R is for RiddlingDate published: 16/02/14

R is for Riddling

Riddling is the process used in the traditional method of making Champagne whereby the sediment that forms during ageing is moved into the neck of the bottle against the cork. This is followed by disgorgement, the removal of the sediment. Riddling is achieved over a period of time by altering the position of the bottle from the horizontal plane to the upside down vertical plane. This slides the deposit gently down into the neck of the bottle. The traditional technique was developed at the beginning of the 19th Century, by the widow 'Veuve' Cliquot herself. 

The neck of the bottle is put in an angled hole in a rack known as a pupitre. The bottle starts off horizontally and each day is given a gentle shake and twist and inclined more towards the inverted vertical. This work is done by hand, and a skilled remueur can turn up to 30,000 bottles a day. It is a very labour-intensive and costly process. Consequently, over the years mechanical systems have been developed so the work can be carried out in bulk, saving time and labour. The most effective tool is the gyropalette, a cage holding 504 bottles on a hydraulic arm. Whole banks of these can be controlled by a computer to rotate and incline, thus simulating the action of the remueurs. Most producers now use these, though they normally keep a few pupitres for the tourists to admire. 

A-Z of Wine Jargon - Q is for QuintaDate published: 14/02/14

Q is for Quinta

Quinta is a Portuguese word meaning farm, which may also refer to a wine producing estate or vineyard.

Single-quinta ports are those made from a single year and from a single estate in the Douro Valley. They are full vintage ports; exceptional products of one particular year, typically from the best vineyards only. Single-quintas are the flagship of the shippers vineyard holdings. They are often aged in Porto by the suppliers and released when they are mature. 

A-Z of Wine Jargon - P is for ParkerDate published: 13/02/14

Robert Parker is an American wine critic and advocate. Starting his career as a Lawyer his interest in wine peaked in the mid 1970's while on a trip to France. Returning to the US, he became frustrated at the lack of independent wine criticism which lead to him creating his own wine consumer guide. Along with tasting notes, he created a score system based on the American schooling grades of 50-100. The purpose for this being that american readers could use a grading system they are familiar with. There is some criticism of his use of grade scoring wines, but he insists that tasting notes should be used along side these grades. 

He has become so influential world wide now that his tasting notes and gradings can influence the price of wine hugely, influencing the general market as well as collectors, investors and en primeur. His original monthly publication 'The Wine Advocate' is now read in 35 countries and various languages. Critic's of his work claim that he doesn't always get it right but admit he has an exceptional palate. Dangerously some producers have leaned the style of wine making toward this one exceptional palate rather than those of the public. 

Parker has rated many wines that we stock at Majestic, including Chateaux Barde-Haut, St-Emilion 2001. You can find many more in store on your next visit!!

Wine of the Week - Alamos ChardonnayDate published: 12/02/14

It's Argentinian tasting week! To celebrate we've got a staple of Argentinian viticulture open to try and on as our Wine of the Week! It's not quiet spring but fortunately this wine has a toasty oak character that is warming for the current season. Being slightly off dry I find this wine a comforting and ideal with late winter rustic meals. 

The Alamos name is Catena's second label, Catena being the bench mark for Argentinian wine. Nicolas Catena established the vineyards in Mendoza early in the 20th century and he is often considered the pioneer of current Argentinian viticulture, exporting more wine world wide than any other Argentinian producer. 

The wine is not shy on the nose and presents itself as a pure expression of chardonnay with racy peach, pear and red apple. These follow through to the palate being met with the warming influence of oak and the smooth, softness this brings. Hugh Johnson describes this wine as 'an excellent value Chardonnay' and I agree! Matched well with creamy dishes of poultry or meaty fish, for me a big bowl of seafood chowder would be match made in wine heaven! 

Smashing value at just £6.99 when you buy two or more. Single bottle price is £8.99! 

A-Z of Wine Jargon - O is for OakDate published: 11/02/14

A-Z of Wine Jargon - O is for Oak

Oak was the wood of choice traditionally as it was hard, supple, watertight and easy to work with. Oak barrels come in various sizes, smaller barrels will have more impact on the wine as there is more contact in relation to the volume of liquid. The wine can be barrel fermented or aged in barrels once the wine is fermented. Barrel fermentation will generally influence the wine more as elements in the oak impart their influence. 

Oak for barrels can come from many countries, the most common of which are French or American. American oak gives stronger flavour while French oak is more subtle. New oak will also give stronger more oaky characteristic to the wine while old oak will give more subtle flavour. Components in the oak give a wine stability and can extract tannin to give a structured wine. 

Flavours from oak come in many different forms; buttery, toasty and vanilla flavours are common characteristics found in a white wine that has seen oak. In reds, muscular tannin, caramel, chocolate, coffee and sometimes an oxidative flavour are a result of oak contact. 

Spanish Rioja and Australian Oaked Chardonnay are two wines worth trying to see the influence of oak on wine!

A-Z of Wine Jargon - N is for NoseDate published: 08/02/14

This may seem fairly self explanatory, but here's a little insight into what part your nose plays when it comes to wine.

When tasting wine, we often talk about the "nose". This refers not only to particular aromas found in the wine, but can also give an indication of a wine's age and readiness to drink, as well as one of the first clues to any faults in the wine. Sense of smell is equally as important as taste and a bit of a sniffle can have a dramatic impact on your ability to taste.


A-Z of Wine Jargon - M is for Malolactic FermentationDate published: 06/02/14

What is Malolactic Fermentation?

Malolactic Fermentation is the process of converting sharp, malic acid (also found in apples), to softer, lactic acid (also found in milk).


How does it happen?

Lactic bacteria is almost always naturally present in established wineries, but can be cultured in new wineries. The process follows alcoholic fermentation and is used for most red, some white and most Champagnes (the notable exception being Lanson, with its high acidity). It can happen spontaneously once bottled if any lactic bacteria is present during bottling, and this would be considered a fault in the wine.


Why do some winemakers do it, and others not?

It is not suitable for all wines. Some winemakers, particularly in hotter climates where acidity is lower, will suppress malolactic fermentation in order to preserve acidity. While it is almost all red wines that go through this process, Chardonnay is one of the only whites that is suitable, particularly if there is to be some oak ageing. 

A-Z os Wine Jargon - L is for LeesDate published: 06/02/14

L is for Lees

The lees refers to a sediment that is made up of dead yeast cells, grape seeds, pulp and insoluble tartrates which are gathered after fermentation and throughout the ageing process. Most wines are separated from the lees as soon as possible to begin clarification, however some maybe left on the lees such as Champagne, Chardonnay and many reds. If left on the lees, it may be stirred whilst in casks in order to help extract yeasty aromas and tastes to increase complexity and body of the wine. Muscadet Sur Lie (translates from French as on Lees) is an example of wine that is made in this fashion.


A-Z of Wine Jargon - K is for KabinettDate published: 06/02/14

K is for Kabinett

Within the German language, Kabinett is a wine term for a style of wine that is made from fully ripened grapes at the main harvest time. Although usually picked in September, the wine cannot be sold before the beginning of the January following the vintage.

The Kabinett style tends to be delicate and light with a minerality characteristic making them excellent wines for aperitifs. It is semi sweet by default but also can be dry if designated so and is best enjoyed between the ages of 1-5 years. Kabinetts tend to posses the lowest alcohol content of all German wines.

Rieslings produced in this style will be light in body with a crisp acidity and flavours of green apple and citrus fruits.  



Wine of the Week - PassimentoDate published: 05/02/14

This Wine of the Week is another new one to add to the collection. The first thing that strikes you is the label, coming from a unique spot in Verona, Romeo and Juliet's wall; where 3000 love messages a day from every corner of the world, any religion, and culture trapped for ever in one single frame.

Passimento takes its name from the traditional “appassimento” method in Valpolicella of drying grapes before fermentation. In one month the grapes lose around 30% of their water content, concentrating the juice and intensifying the wines flavour.

This elegant blend of Merlot, Corvina and Croativa offers intense aromas of red berries and hints of spices. The palate is balanced black and red cherry with hints of leather with velvety tannins and a soft, round and long finish.

£11.99 per bottle

when you buy 2 or more

£8.99

single bottle price


A-Z of Wine Jargon - J is for JéroboamDate published: 01/02/14

A-Z of Wine Jargon - J is for Jéroboam 

Everyone loves a over-sized novelty bottle of wine but do they hold any real purpose? 

As the names of these size bottles would suggest, French winemakers particularly those of Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux pioneered the larger sized bottles. The 75cl bottle came about as a standard size as 75cl was roughly a lung full of air for glass blowers making bottles. Magnums which are quiet common are 1.5L or 2 bottles. Marie-Jeanne's which are incredibly rare and unique to Bordeaux are 2.25l or 3 standard bottles. Next is jéroboam which can vary depending on where the wine is from. In Bordeaux it is 4.5L or 6 bottles, in Champagne and Burgundy jéroboam's are double magnums, 3L or 4 bottles. Outside of France they can be rounded up to 5L as they do in Spain. 

For still wines, larger bottle sizes will give a slower more subtle aging as there will be more volume in relation to exposure to oxygen. For champagne, the main purpose for larger bottle sizes are publicity and novelty. Any bottle larger than magnum is made through transfer method, as riddling would be too difficult. 


Majestic stock a number of Jéroboam Champagne's which may need special distribution, but do ask! 


A-Z of Wine Jargon - I is for Intensity Date published: 29/01/14

A-Z of Wine Jargon - I is for Intensity 

Often Used when describing a wine but what does it mean?

Intensity may not be reflective of the alcohol or body in a wine. Good intensity can often be a sign of a quality made wine. On the nose, good intensity gives aroma's that are easily detectable and clean. On the palate good intensity will again give clean aroma's and when matched with a balanced wine with complexity and good length of flavour leads to a very pleasant drinking experience! Intensity is related to the grape variety and the intended style of wine. For example, a quality Sancerre would not be overly intense but will characteristics that are easily detectable. A quality New Zealand Gewztraminer will be intense while having clean characteristics also. 





Wine of the Week - Yalumba Y-Series Cabernet SauvignonDate published: 29/01/14

With the New Year, come new arrivals. Attempting to narrow those new arrivals down to just one was difficult, but the pick of the bunch was the Yalumba Cabernet.

Yalumba was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, British migrant and English brewer, who had brought his family to Angaston seeking a new life. After purchasing a 30-acre parcel of land just beyond the southern-eastern boundary of Angaston, Smith and his son began planting the first vines by moonlight. Samuel named his patch "Yalumba" – aboriginal for "all the land around".

This particular Cabernet is produced from grapes sourced from several quality vineyards across South Australia – primarily Wrattonbully and the warmer Barossa. A third of the blend has been aged in old oak to produce a rounded yet clearly Australian, fruit focused style.

Deep crimson red in colour with aromas of violets and ripe red fruit. On the palate, it is soft, supple and juicy with a touch of black fruit and a subtle leafy note. Classic Aussie Cab!

£7.99 per bottle when you buy 2 or more Australian wines

(£9.99 single bottle price)


A-Z of Wine Jargon - H is for HybridDate published: 27/01/14

A hybrid is the offspring of two varieties of different species, such as the European Vitus Vinifera and the American Vitus Riparia. Hybrids can occur naturally by cross-pollination or more commonly by artificial evolution. Different species of Vitus contain genes with natural tolerance or resistance to winter cold, salinity, botrytis bunch rot or disease; therefore it is logical to explore new possibilities of hybrid varieties for wine production. 

Generally speaking, hybrids are forbidden for the production of quality wine in the European Union. However they are widely grown in a number of countries as they may be particularly resistant to heavy frosts or excessive humidity.  

A-Z of Wine Jargon - G is for GraftingDate published: 25/01/14

Grafting is when two pieces of living plant tissue are connected so that they unite and grow as one plant. Traditionally grafting was done by hand, however today it is done mostly by machines. The root from one plant is combined with the stems of another so that it can benefit from the drought or disease resistance of the roots with the high quality fruit of the stem. 

In the majority of cases, European Vitus Vinifera are grafted onto the rootstock of American species of Vitus. It is done to give European vines resistance from soil-borne pests and diseases, especially the Phylloxera louse, a small, yellow, root-feeding aphid which kills grapevines by attacking their roots. American vines are used because they have evolved with Phylloxera and have therefore developed resistance to it. The unwelcome import of the Phylloxera louse to France in the early 1860's from America, spread throughout Europe, devastating the majority of its vineyards, and for many years there was no known cure. In the history of agriculture it rivals the potato blight of Ireland as a plant disease with widespread social issues (in France alone 6.2 million acres of vineyards were destroyed. The fruit on the American vines was not suitable high quality wines and so it was only through grafting the European cuttings onto American rootstock that commercially acceptable European wines could continue to be made.      

Burns Night DrinksDate published: 24/01/14

Burns Night Drinks


Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 

Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!

But which drink should take it's place,

Beer, Whisky or Wine?

To accompany the wordy grace

That makes the night go fine.


A perfectly sensible question, wrapped up in some badly butchered prose.  The short answer, as is often the case with food and drink matching, is whatever you like, but I have some suggestions for what may be the best foil for traditional Burns fare.


Haggis, Neeps & Tatties

My personal choice for the main would always be a Scotch Whisky, probably accompanied by a dark, malty ale.  This years' picks are Bowmore 15yo and Wylam Shot Pit.  The fuller flavoured, often island, Whiskies tend to stand up to the spicing in the Haggis better than lighter, more delicate Speysides and Lowlands, and whilst I would never advise against something blonde and hoppy, the richness of a darker ale or porter seem more at home with the wintry flavours.

If you'd rather go for a wine, I think that reds are the obvious choice and go for something with a peppery/spicy character to mirror the flavours found in the meal.  For my tastes, these would generally be Syrah/Grenache based-wines from the Rhône and Southern France, but could also lead you to Malbec, Aussie Shiraz or Chilean Carmenere.


Whatever you choose to celebrate with this Burns night, Sláinte!

A-Z of Wine Jargon - F is for FiningDate published: 24/01/14

What is Fining?

Fining is a process that improves the clarity in a wine by encouraging even the smallest particles to clump together and form a deposit. It can also be used to remove colloids (tannins and colour compounds) which might cause the wine to become hazy after bottling.

Over time, tannin and colour compounds (unstable colloids) change and form particles that are large enough to make a wine appear hazy or form a sediment. Wines intended for a long maturation period (Bordeaux, for example) naturally deposit their unstable colloids prior to bottling - this process can be sped up by fining.

The 2 most common products used for fining are egg-whites and bentonite (volcanic clay). Colloids have an electrostatic charge - tannins are negatively charged and proteins positively charged. Put the two together and they will form clumps which are large enough to form a sediment. For the cooks amongst you, this is almost the same as clarifying a stock - adding a protein will cause the fat to coagulate in order to be removed, resulting in a clear, not cloudy stock!

Fining agents can have the added effect of altering the flavour and character of the wine. Classed-Growth Bordeaux estates tend to use egg-whites as these remove the astringent tannins from the wine, without altering the desirable flavour components.

Fining is almost universally practised and is vital to ensure a wine is stable. Some producers of fine wine however, do not use any fining agents at all as they do not want anything to interfere with the flavour of their wine.

Arrowfield Online ParcelDate published: 21/01/14

Arrowfield Online Parcel

There are three wines in the parcel, two Chardonnays; one unoaked, the other a reserve from the producer and a Semilion. The wines are made from vines in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, noted for growing both grape varieties. Semilion from the Hunter Valley was once known as Hunter's Riesling giving a nod to the style that can be expected. Arrowfield itself is a notable producer founded in 1824, with other wines from their collection being Wollombi Brook and Simon Gilbert. 

This parcel is an online exclusive meaning it cannot be ordered in store, however once you order online the wine will be brought to the Newcastle branch where we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection. You can choose to prepay online or pay through us at Gosforth. The parcel has limited stock so we suggest you move quickly if you fancy some quality wines at once off price! 

We cannot recommend this opportunity to stock up on some amazing value wines enough! The parcels are bought in half cases (6 bottles) and range from £35.94 to £47.94. You can find out more from following the link on the Majestic home page.  

A-Z of Wine Jargon - E is for En PrimeurDate published: 21/01/14

What is “En Primeur”?

En Primeur is a wine trade term for wine sold before bottling. It is generally, but not exclusively, used for classed growth Bordeaux and has long since been available to the wine trade, but only undertaken by wine consumers in the late 20th Century.


The Positives

Throughout the 1980s, when excellent vintages coincided with economic prosperity, this was an immensely popular investment opportunity with consumers paying the lowest possible price and securing the most sought-after wines before bottling – after which the price increased. Demand for certain wines, coupled with inflation saw high return on investment.  


The Negatives

En Primeur purchases also have their disadvantages. In times of recession, there is a possibility that one of the many links in the chain between producer and consumer will fail – leaving the buyer having paid for a wine with no possibility of receiving it! There is also the fact that that en primeur purchases involve investing in a product that isn't finished – and a third party's assessment of a sample taken at six months from a single cask is poor justification for what could potentially be a large financial outlay. Buying en primeur may therefore only make financial sense for the very best vintages, from the very best produces and most sought-after wines.



Wine of the Week - Argento ChardonnayDate published: 18/01/14

Argento Chardonnay 2012,

Mendoza, Argentina

You have experienced our pick of the Bargain Hunt reds, so now our wine of the week focuses on our choice of Bargain Hunt whites.

Even though it is Winter and the evenings are cold, there is still a demand for those soft fruity whites that won't break the bank, and this is it.

Argento means silver in Latin and is often used when referring to a person or product that is truly Argentine – much like this Chardonnay! This wine is produced in the high vineyards of Agrelo and Tupungato, then in the wine making facilities situated in the lower foothills of the Andes Mountains.

This wine is lightly oaked and offers aromas of tropical fruit and ripe citrus. The palate is full of grapefruit, apple and pear flavours which are complemented by a light vanilla characteristic. There is a crisp acidity to the wine giving it a refreshing finish.

Enjoy this wine with lightly spiced foods or even just on its own.

£6.00 per bottle

when you buy 2 or more “Bargain Hunt” wines

£8.99

Single bottle price


A-Z of Wine Jargon - D is for DecantingDate published: 17/01/14

D is for Decanting

Many customers ask the staff here at Majestic Newcastle if their wines need to be decanted and how to do so – well here is your step by step guide to decanting.

Firstly before you start pouring, not all wines benefit from the airing which decanting provides. This process can be used to enhance the maturity of a wine as allowing air to those that are slightly younger and not fully matured will create more development on the palate. It helps to soften tannins and brings secondary characteristics to a wine giving it more complexity. Try to avoid decanting wines that are very mature.

Over time red wines throw a natural deposit collects in the base of the bottle and consists of tannins and colouring pigments. This can also be removed by decanting.

Remove your bottle from the wine rack and stand upright for a while to allow any sediment to sink to the bottom of the bottle.

Using a cork screw carefully pull out the cork from the bottle and wipe inside the top of the bottle. This removes any excess cork or deposit that may have gathered over time around it.

For the steadier hand pour over a light source to ensure no sediment falls into the wine. Another tip is to use fine grade coffee filter paper to catch the deposits as well. 


A-Z of Wine Jargon - C is for Cork TaintDate published: 16/01/14

A-Z of Wine Jargon - C is for Cork Taint

What is Cork Taint?

Cork Taint is one of wines' greatest enemies. It is the presence of 2,4,6 -Trichloroanisole (TCA) in a wine which in many cases will have been transferred from the cork itself, but can also have been transferred through it. TCA is a natural compound and although it poses no health issues, can affect and ruin a wine regardless of price, quality or age.

Cork taint is commonly mistaken for when a wine contains small floating fragments of the cork itself. This is not true and in actual fact this is a serving fault leading to the wine purely needing to be decanted.

How do you recognise the signs?

Although a cork may not show any signs of being affected the wine will give you all the signals you need to recognise cork taint. There are certain characteristics inherent to a corked wine containing TCA which can be described as musty or mouldy aromas or even a damp basement smell. In virtually all cases, the wine's original aromas and flavours are reduced dramatically and very tainted wines are unpalatable. 


A-Z of Wine Jargon - B is for BotrytisDate published: 15/01/14

B - Botrytis

Botrytis Cinerea is a fungus which infects grapes and in certain climates can make the most complex and longest-living of all the sweet white table wines. They are distinctively scented in youth, often honeyed, and are capable of extremely long bottle ageing, for many decades in some cases. 

A temperate climate is ideal for botrytis. Early morning mists allow development of the fungus, and if followed by warm sunny autumn afternoons in which the grapes are dried, the progress of the fungus is restrained and noble rot is formed. Grapes affected by noble rot and wines produced from them are often called botrytized or botrytis affected. If the grapes are not dried in the warm afternoons, then the fungus may spread so quickly that the grape skins split, forming the unfavourable grey rot (botrytis bunch rot). 

Any white grape variety may be infected by the botrytis fungus but certain varieties are particularly sensitive and well adapted to the production of botrytized wines. Traditionally Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Furmint are favoured. 

Sauternes (in the Bordeaux region) has the potential to produce the greatest quantity of top quality botrytized wine. The confluence of the rivers Ciron and Garonne provide an excellent mesoclimate for the development of noble rot. Germany is the other famous source of botrytized wines, using Riesling as the classic grape. Tokaj, in Hungary, is also closely associated with botrytized wine-making. In the New World, botrytised wines are made with increasing frequency. In Australia, New Zealand and California particularly, a host of botrytized Rieslings have emerged.   

Bargain Hunt - Save 33%!Date published: 14/01/14

The 2014 Majestic Bargain hunt is well underway!


We've had a few extras delivered this week, so if you missed out on your favourites at the start, it's worth taking another look.


We'll be updating the list regularly to keep you up to date with what we still have, but things are selling fast so buy now, or regret it later!


Marques de Caceres Crianza Magnum - Rioja, Spain: £16.66 (1 btl)

Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot - Margaret River: £13.32 (5 btls)

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc - NZ: £12.49  SOLD OUT

Casabel Vinho Tinto - Portugal: £5.32  (17 btls)

Argento Chardonnay - Argentina: £6.00  (33 btls)

La Plata Sauvignon Blanc - Argentina: £4.66  (82 btls)

La Plata Merlot - Argentina: £4.66  (2 btls)

Pomal Reserva 1994 - Rioja, Spain: £8.33  (6 btls)

Macon-Cruzille Cave de Lugny - Burgundy: £7.33  SOLD OUT

A-Z of Wine Jargon - A is for AcidityDate published: 13/01/14

A - Acidity

What is acidity?

Acidity is the fresh, tart or sour taste usually sensed on the palate by a prickling sensation on the side of the tongue. It generally makes your mouth water and leaves you wanting more. It is important to balance the acidic character with the sweet and bitter components of the wine. Too much acidity, due to less than ripe grapes or over acidification can make the wine sharp, tart and sometimes unpleasant. On the other hand, wines lacking in acidity will be flat, flabby and equally unappealing. 

What affects acidity?

One major affect on acidity is the climate; cool climates produce more acidic wines, where as warm climates produces less acidity. It is therefore common practise in warmer regions, particularly in the new world, to add tartaric acid to the grape juice before fermentation to increase the acidity. This is known as acidification and is usually sanctioned by local wine regulations.

Food and wine matching

The acidity in foods must be matched by the acidity in the accompanying wines, for example, tomatoes, which are high in acidity go well with the usually high acidity found in most Italian reds. Wines with a good level of acidity can also be superb with rich oily foods such as pate or fatty meats, such as duck or goose. Pinot Noir, particularly as it ages and takes on more savoury characteristics would complement game really well. The acidity in the wine helps it cut through the fattiness of the food. Dishes dominated by tart acidic flavour (lemon, lime or vinegar) can be difficult to match as they tend to overpower most wines.  

Wine of the Week - Villemarin Picpoul de PinetDate published: 09/01/14

Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet 2012

Côteaux du Languedoc

With every New Year there is a new resolution, so why not try something a little different this year and explore new possibilites? This particular Wine of the Week is often forgotten about but it is a fantastic alternative to Sauvignon Blanc and it is great value too!

Just a few miles from the Mediterranean coastline, situated in the red-biased applellations of the Languedoc, Picpoul de Pinet is a rather unexpected find. The vineyards that produce the rare Picpoul grape offer some of the oldest in France, offering a light and zesty wine which is perfect for after Christmas.

The nose is full of lemon and lime fruits which continue onto a refreshingly crisp palate. There are green apple fruit characteristics with an intriguing blend of white blossom flavours. A perfect partner to match seafood such as whitebait, mussels or grilled sardines.


Single bottle price £7.99

or

£6.49 when you buy two or more!



Tasting NotesDate published: 06/01/14

Want to explore the world of wine a little further or impress your friends with your tasting skills? 

Well you can do just that with Majestic Newcastle. When you buy your wine in store we can provide you with FREE tasting notes! Share your knowledge with family and friends - why not put them to the tasting test and see who wins!  


Bargain Hunt - save 33.3%!Date published: 03/01/14

Bargain Hunt - save 33.3%

We have bin-ended a number of wines in our Bargain Hunt for January.  Come and snap up a bargain!  

Buy any 2 selected wines, save 33.3%. (or a third, in old money)

Once they're gone, they're gone...

Highlights include:

1. Chateau de Brens St-Emilion Grand Cru: was £15, now £9.99

2. La Plata Sauvignon Blanc: was £6.99, now £4.66

3. Argento Chardonnay: Was £8.99, now £5.99

4.  Macon-Cruzille Buxy: Was £10.99, now £7.33


Wine of the Week - Parcel Series MerlotDate published: 02/01/14

Now that the celebration and party season is over, and the funds have dried up, this wine of the week offers the perfect alternative to going out. On those cold January evenings, come home, curl up on the sofa by the fire with a film on and enjoy this great value Merlot along with the leftover chocolates!

Recent privatisation of the wine production in South Africa has brought a breath of fresh air to the trade. Growers no longer have a guarenteed price for their grapes, ultimately leading to better quality. The Parcel Series, from the Stellenbosch region, the heart of the quality wine production area, is most famous for reds made from Bordeaux varieties. The climate is warmer than the Medterranean style found elsewhere and the iron-rich clay soils create dark, plummy Merlot that are reminiscent of Pomerol.

A fruity, plummy, classic Merlot with great character; a smooth and supple palate bursting with berry flavours and tinged with subtle, sweet spice. A perfect to match red meats and roasted vegetables making it the ideal companion for a roast on a lazy sunday afternoon. An excellent value wine, worth every penny, so why not give it a try!

Single bottle price £8.99, or £5.99 when you buy two or more! 

Chapel Down Rose BrutDate published: 30/11/13

There's never been a better time to try England's answer to France's finest fizz, with great reductions on the Chapel Down range of sparkling wines.  

A great alternative to Ros Champagne. The vineyard in the south of England, having a south facing slope, and a cool climate creates a great environment for growing sparkling wines. Made from the fruity flavored Pinot Noir, giving strawberry and raspberry aromas. A hint of creaminess and a clean finish to complement the perfectly balanced acidity. An ideal aperitif or with light meat and cheeses. 

Was £24.99, now £20.99

Chapel Down Pinot Reserve 2006Date published: 28/11/13

There's never been a better time to try England's answer to France's finest fizz, with great reductions on the Chapel Down range of sparkling wines.  

Looking for the perfect sparkly to open on Christmas morning? This well balanced, fruity and refreshingly full English sparkling is the ideal companion to a smoked salmon and scrambled egg breakfast. Or alternatively, just a little something for the adults to enjoy whilst the children open their presents! 

Based in Kent, the up and coming Chapel Down winery has recently won a number of awards from Decanter and IWCS, proving that England can hold its own against the rest of the wine world. 

Maturation in the bottle has allowed complex, toasty aromas to develop complementing a background of redcurrant and light floral notes. 

£19.99, down from £23.99.

An English RoseDate published: 25/11/13

There's never been a better time to try England's answer to France's finest fizz, with great reductions on the Chapel Down range of sparkling wines.  

Chapel Down English Sparkling Ros

Fine and delicate: perfect for parties. 

Serve with canapes for the perfect aperitif. A light lemon sherbet on the nose, and a prolonged mousse with touches of blackcurrant and wild strawberry on the palate. 

Coming from England's biggest and arguably finest wine producer, this  resembles a Rose Prosecco but really is very English.

Special Offer: Was £21.99, now £17.99

Chapel Down Sparkling - Brut NVDate published: 23/11/13

There's never been a better time to try England's answer to France's finest fizz, with great reductions on the Chapel Down range of sparkling wines.  

First up, we have the Brut NV, on offer at £15.99 from £19.99.  It's made from the traditional Champagne grapes of Chardonnay and Pinots Noir and Meunier with an added dash of Pinot Blanc.  The nose has red apples and fresh strawberries, interlaced with zesty, bready notes, and leads to a very well-structured palate.  The red berries are here too, along with the autolytic characters, notes of quince and a very delicate mousse from long bottle-aging.

It will be open to try most Saturdays in the run-up to Christmas, so get yourself down and have a taste.

Cheers!

Pick'n'Mix - 2 weeks to go!Date published: 16/11/13

There are now only two weeks remaining of our massively popular 33% off Pick'n'mix offers. There's something available for every taste and pocket. Whether you're searching for good quality everyday drinking, classic French, a splash out bottle for Christmas or festive fizz there's something for you.

My personal favourites on the offer include:

LFE Malbec at £5.99

Serena Pinot Grigio at £6.66

Ravenswood Zinfandel at £7.33

Nicolas Potel Bourgogne Chardonnay at £8.66

Ch Berliquet St Emilion GC at £19.99

Nyetimber Classic Cuvee at £23.98

Louis Roederer NV at £27.99

You can browse the full range on-line at http://www.majestic.co.uk/latest-wine-offers or pop in and have a chat and we're happy to advise.

Wine of the Week - DB Reserve ChardonnayDate published: 13/11/13

De Bortoli Reserve Chardonnay, 2011

Some people seem to be allergic to poor auld Chardonnay but when made right and oaked lightly they can be full of poise, grace and sophistication. This was one of t he first wines I tasted when I started at majestic and is still one of my favourites at this price point.

De Bortoli, originally an Italian immigrant family, are now a massive producer having vineyards spanning many areas of South Eastern Australia. This wine is made from a blend of grapes grown in a number of areas, a purpose made wine not a wine of chance!

It is a well rounded wine, fruit of peach and citrus with smooth texture and extremely pleasant finish of almond and vanilla. Versatile with food, I think matched with rustic poultry dishes would do nicely! Bronze medal winner at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2012, now is the perfect time to acquaint or re-acquaint yourself with Chardonnay as there is 20% of Australian wines.

£7.99 (Buy 2 Australians save 20%, normally £9.99)


Top Treats from CaliforniaDate published: 08/11/13

Wine has been produced in California since 1782, but it wasn't until 1833 that the first commercial winery was established by John-Luis Vignes.  He was also the first to export Californian wines. California initially struggled to match demand with supply, but nowadays has excellent examples of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. 

The Pinot Noirs are light in colour with layers of ripe red fruit such as red cherry and strawberry.

 Clos du Bois, Pinot Noir2011/12,  £9.99*

Au Bon Climat, Pinot Noir 2011, Santa Barbara, £20*

The Cabernet Sauvignons are simple, soft and juicy with light tannins. The most famous are in the Napa Valley, where the extremely expressive wines rival the quality of  the best produced anywhere. 

Beringer,Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, £24*

The Chardonnay is full-bodied, low in acidity and has obvious flavours of oak, and butter underpinning the peach fruit flavours. 

Clos du Bois Chardonnay 2011/12, North Coast, £9.99*

Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, 2010/11, Santa Barbara, £19*

ALL OPEN NOW ON THE TASTING COUNTER!

*When you buy 2 Californian wines as part of a mixed case

Wine of the Week - Montes Reserva MalbecDate published: 07/11/13

One thing I love about returning to work after a couple of weeks off is wandering round the store, hunting for exciting new arrivals. I have always been a fan of Montes and of Malbec, so this kills two birds with one stone so to speak!

Montes have always set out to produce some of Chile's best wines, whilst still offering exceptional value for money. They only use completely ripe fruit for mature tannins and harvest during the night and early morning in order to pre serve grape freshness. Grapes are also hand sorted before pressing to ensure only the highest quality fruit.

This wine comes from some of Chile's oldest plantings of Malbec, some of which are 100 years old. The wine spends just 6 months in French oak barrels to add softness and complexity without overpowering the fruit character.

A dark and intense ruby red, blueberry and raspberry dominate, with a subtle touch of vanilla spice and butterscotch. On the palate, the wine is deliciously smooth with a slight savoury character. Enough tannin to handle a cheese board, smooth enough to drink on its own with a roaring log fire.

£7.99

when you buy 2 or more Chilean wines

£9.99 single bottle price


Wine of the Week- Tucumen MalbecDate published: 25/10/13

Tucumen Malbec,

Mendoza,

2012

After a challenging week while Greig was on holiday last week we are back to feeling very organised and most definitely more relaxed. The wine of the week, the Tucumen Malbec is one to enjoy while relaxing! A laid-back, easy drinking wine suitable for many occasions, it is worth a try and now open to taste on the tasting counter!

From the most prominent region in Argentina, Mendoza the vineyards for this wine are found at around 8200 meters above sea level. The altitude of vineyards is Argentina's signature, giving a cooling affect to the vineyards that would otherwise be regions too hot for vine growing. It is also said to be the only country outside of europe with a natural wine culture.

The wine is soft and fruity. With a ruby purple colour, it is more floral than many styles of red. Cherry, plum and blackberry are all noted with some damson and spice creeping in! Enjoy with meaty pizza or pasta dish, or like us with an Italian meat platter at lunch!

Single bottle price £10.99

or

£7.99 when you buy two or more!


Wine of the Week- Los Boldos Chardonnay 2013Date published: 16/10/13

Chateau Los Boldos

Chardonnay

Rapel Valley

2013

New to the Majestic wine, a Chilean wine with an almost French label, we've made it our wine of the week as a salute to the confusing Autumnal weather we're experiencing! We were curious to try, and so we have it open on our tasting counter.

A wine with a rocky history, the original vineyard dates back to the 19th Century. The wines produced were relatively insignificant until bought by French wine makers in 1990. Sold to the current Portuguese owners in 2008, the wines have been steadily improving. While attempts of portraying the wine to be a wine of history and tradition may be questionable, it hails from the Rapel Valley in Central Chile, the most traditional region. The vineyard site is in good company, surrounded by many notable producers. The wine is made focusing on Burgudian Techiques with the help of Oenologist Stephane Geneste. A single vineyard wine with estate bottling, the French influence is strong.

The nose is punchy with green apple, pear and honey. The wine is crisp and fresh as expected from the high altutide of the Chilian vineyards. With some oak influnce there is a softening buttery finish, making it warming 'moreish' wine! Suited to a variety of white fish dishes, particularly those with a creamy sauce.



Single bottle price £9.99

or

£6.99 when you buy two or more!


Wine of the Week - Cousino-Macul Antiguas ReservaDate published: 09/10/13

Wine of the Week - Cousino-Macul Antiguas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon

This could be my last ever Wine of the Week in Newcastle so I think the theme should reflect this, 'Out with the old and in with the new'. This is one of our new arrivals from Chile and as a Cabernet fan mixed with loving a bargain, this wine seemed to be the perfect choice.

Cousino-Macul was founded in 1856 and is the only Chilean winery to remain in the hands of its founding family. Now, the interesting fact about this wine is that all the grapes derive from Cousino-Maculs earliest plantings which were sourced directly from Bordeaux which if nothing else, this wine has history!

An intense and fruit-focused red, full of black cherry and ripe plum flavours, with ample tannins softened by sweet spice notes developed by maturation in small French oak barrels. As far as food pairing goes, this wine is very diverse if your a red meat lover!

This has been my last hoorah. I hope you enjoy it.


Wine of the Week- Errazuriz Pinot NoirDate published: 02/10/13

Errazuriz, Estate Series,

Pinot Noir 2012,

Casablanca Valley

With October seeing the start of Game season, the wine of the week is a classic match for the culinary delights that can be had! This wine is a good alternative for those who enjoy a Red Burgundy!

From Errazuriz a family owned, long standing and well established Chilean producer. This wine is made from grapes grown along the Aconcagua Coast in the Casablanca Valley, 100kms north of Santiago. The pacific breezes and predictable Chilean summers are ideal for growing Pinot Noir, a notoriously difficult grape variety. With a helping hand from Kiwi Brian Buknell and Californian Ed Flaharty, Errazuriz have been making wines of increasing quality and value. This wine is no exception and is testament to the focus of their efforts.

Cool- fermented and briefly oak barreled, this is a more complex wine than perhaps expected at this price. It has bundles of red fruits, cherry and strawberry. It leans toward jammy fruit with the oak giving earthy and smokey characteristics. Soft tannin and silky smooth, this wine can be slightly chilled on those warmer Autumn days. A good wine for drinking on its own after work or on a lazy Sunday! It matches well also with game and poultry dishes. An excellent value wine, certainly worth a try!


Single bottle price £10.99

or

£8.99 when you buy two or more!


Wine of the Week- Bernard Series Chenin BlancDate published: 21/09/13

The Bernard Series,

Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2012,

Western Cape.

From Bellingham, one of South Africa's most well regarded producers, this Chenin Blanc is part of the Bernard Series, the makers finest collection and described by themselves as the boutique range with fascinating character. The grapes are harvested from the Coastal Region of South Africa the climate is Mediterranean but is influenced by the sea, giving more aromatic styles.


Traditionally Chenin Blanc from this region can be slightly off dry and unoaked but being fascinating as the producer describes it is a dry style with oak influence. On the nose the wine gives tropical fruits and lashings of mineral limestone character and a hint of vanilla. The palate gives slightly more in terms of oak and the fruit is more subtle, with some pleasant aloe vera character.

This wine is unlike many Chenin Blancs and this region is arguably more suited to growing this variety than its native Loire. It is well worth a try for those who enjoy an oaked Chardonnay or Viognier. Well balanced and ready for drinking now, the wine will also drink well for up to two years. Perfectly matched to more rustic dishes with meaty white fish or pork.


Single bottle price £11.99

or

£8.99 when you buy any two South African wines!


Friday Food Match - Pairing wine with Chinese food.Date published: 20/09/13

There are 3 main things to bear in mind when pairing wine with Chinese food. 

First, many dishes consist of deep fried meats, vegetables and even bananas. The perfect wine option with fatty or oily foods would be a Champagne. It cuts through the fat and adds a very refreshing and sharp taste to counter the heaviness of the meal. 

Second, If the dish has a hint of sweetness make sure your wine is also sweet. I would suggest our Trimbach Riesling or most wines with gewurtztraminer as the sole varietal. 

Third, be aware of drinking heavy reds with ingredients that have an intense savoury flavour. It can make the tannin taste sour and metallic. The ideal match therefore would be something light and fruity like our Beaujolais-Villages Duboeuf or our Waimea Pinot Noir.

So if your wanting to splash out on some Champers or go for a cheaper and fruitier alternative we have a great selection to cover your needs. Come and Explore!

Waimea's Winning WinesDate published: 19/09/13

Waimea is one of my favourite producers in New Zealand and has won 12 awards this year for its 2013 whites and 2012 reds out of 13 entries! This isn't only great news for Waimea but the region of Nelson Valley. They have now had 9 different varietals winning a gold medal in recent years and that for a region that is sometimes overshadowed by the stature of the world renowned Marlboro region is quite an achievement. 

Their most recent gold came from the grape variety called Sauvignon Gris. This a variety in its own right and not just a hybrid of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. Its home is in Bordeaux and isn't widely planted around the world. This varietal has a definite pinkish hue to its skin, similar levels of acidity to Sauvignon Blanc but generally produces fruit with higher levels of sugar, gerater aromatics and a rich round mouthfeel to the final wine. 

Hopefully in the near future, we will be stocking this interesting wine but in the mean time, our selection of Waimea wines is still vast and all well worth trying. 

Improved offer - 25% off South Africa!Date published: 17/09/13

For six days only, we're offering 25% off all our South African wines instead of just 20%.  Our South African range has something for everybody, whether you're searching for sub-£6 bargains like the Robertson and Parcel Series range up to World Class £20+ reds from the likes of Kanonkop and Thelema.

Where they really deliver, though is in the £6-12 bracket, with a host of wines that compete with anything we stock.  In white, there are crisp, grassy Sauvignon Blancs from Vergelegen and Springfield, Chenins that range from light and elegant Boschendaal to rich and full Bellingham and Chardonnays largely for those who like a good dash of oak.  The reds contain the ubiquitous Pinotage with its devisive meat and smoke flavours, classic Bordeaux blends (try the Kanonkop Kadette) and South Africa's most improved variety Syrah - DMZ and Porcupine Ridge are both fantastic.

Browse the full range at http://www.majestic.co.uk/south-african-wine and remember if you set Newcastle as your store, you'll get up to the minute on-line stockholdings.

The offer ends Monday 23rd September, so get shopping!

Friday food match - Alamos Malbec with steak and creamy butter beansDate published: 13/09/13

Why does this food and wine match work?

Malbec and steak is a typical wine match, Malbec and has the weight and tannin to match this delicious warming dish - perfect as the nights draw in! 


To serve 4 you will need:

1 small bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked

4  leeks, trimmed and finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped  

1 small glass white wine

500 g good-quality tinned butter beans, drained and rinsed

1 small handful freshly picked parsley leaves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fat-free natural yoghurt  

good-quality peppery extra virgin olive oil  

sea salt  

freshly ground black pepper

4 x 200 g well-marbled quality fillet steaks, 2.5-4cm thick

1  lemon


What to do:

Sweat the leeks, thyme and garlic with a splash of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on a low heat for 20 minutes until they are soft and sweet. Turn up the heat and add the white wine. Let the wine come to the boil, then add the beans and a splash of water, to almost cover the beans. Allow to simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes until the beans are creamy. Add the parsley, yoghurt and a good lug of the extra virgin olive oil and taste for seasoning.

Heat a griddle pan until white-hot, season your steaks and pat with olive oil. 2 to 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Remove from the grill on to a dish and rest for 5 minutes. Squeeze over some lemon juice and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil.Carve the steaks into thick slices. Divide the creamy beans between your plates and place the steak on top, drizzling over some of the resting juices.

Serve with a generous glass of Malbec. 

Wine of the Week - Grange de Combes Saint-Chinian-RoquebrunDate published: 10/09/13

With the weather turning distinctly Autumnal, a wine-loving boy's thoughts turn to Autumn wines.  For me, that means Riojas and reds from the South of France, and as we'll have lots of Rioja open for the tasting week anyway, I've plumped for this lovely bottle from 30 miles West of Montpelier as my wine of the week.

A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre in the Rhône tradition it has earthy notes on the nose, along with pepper and a load of brambly fruit unhindered by any oak influence.  On the palate, the tannins are evident but not overbearing, and there's lots more of that spicy black fruit from the nose with an elegant perfumed quality which leads into a beautifully balanced and long finish.

This wine will happily keep for another few years if you are so minded, but as it's drinking really nicely now I'll be enjoying it this Autumn with a roasted shoulder of lamb and boulangere potatoes.

World Wine News- Californian Wine MonthDate published: 10/09/13

September is California Wine Month! The last two decades have seen a boom in popularity for the Californian export market. Having the luxury of unexplored wine growing regions and the pioneering spirit, the diverse soils and micro climates of California have much potential for exciting things. After a few tougher years, California has welcomed 2012 as record harvest.... bringing with it some excellent wines! At majestic currently we stock a number of Californian wines. Ravenswoods Lodi Zinfandel is £8.99 when bought as a pair,  the Clos Du Bois, Sonoma Reserve Merlot blend at £14.99 when bought as a pair and the Clos Du Bois, North Coast Chardonnay at £9.99 when bought as a pair. With many new grapes variety and regions being explored, popularity for exports can only grow... meaning we could very well see more of these exciting wines on Majestic Shelves!!

Wine of the WeekDate published: 03/09/13

Wine of the Week - Matsu El Picaro 2012

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 3 months in oak, preserving their natural fruit profile.

The Matsu range has took Majestic by storm and has been a hugely popular new arrival in our ever growing Spanish range. The Rogue is the youngest of the three wines that we stock. I have recently tried the Matsu El Viejo which has muscled its way to one of my favourite wines in the store. After doing a little research the current vintage that we stock which is 2010 has been rated 93/100 which is unheard of for a £20 wine. Please try this range as it is most certainly a wine to look out for in the future!

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.

Lay & Wheeler Fine Wine PlanDate published: 02/09/13

I have recently joined the Fine Wine Plan after many many months of contemplation. If you're looking to invest in some great wines for the future or to drink over the next year or two this is definately the way to go.

You pay on a monthly basis of which all goes towards your chosen wines, the wines are stored in bond until you wish to take them out. The expert staff at Lay & Wheeler can advise you on which wines are suited to you. In my short experience I have been extremely impressed with their knowledge.

The benefits you get from joining our plan are as follows;

- 10% discount at Majestic Wine when you subscribe £100 or more per month.

- Free Joining case will be added to your collection.

- Fine wine plan advance which allows you to go three times over your monthly subscription as a credit limit. 

- Exclusive offers on a quarterly basis.

If you have any more questions regarding The Fine Wine Plan pop in and see myself or Greig or give us a call on 0191 2847231


Ten Top Tips for Investing in Fine WineDate published: 23/08/13

For many people, the world of Fine Wine and investing in wine can be a daunting place. We've compiled a list of ten top tips designed to help you get the most out of the market.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10: Invest in wines that offer value and growth potential.
The best way to do this is to compare prices across a range of vintages for a particular estate and also cross-compare these with Robert Parker scores, Vintage quality scores and availability.

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



Why so Curious?Date published: 22/08/13

Chapel Down Curious Brew

Chapel Down as a winery has became very popular in the past decade. With multiple awards to their name, and lots of excellent press coverage this flourishing business it set to be the future of English wine.

There are many difficulties a British wine firm has to take into account when it comes to creating a wine worthy of the current market. The major issue being of course, weather. Lack of heat and too much rain can completely ruin a crop. However, with cultivating a greater area of land to vine, one can hope the excess grape juice can be stored in stainless steel tanks for many years to come.

With it being slap bang in the middle of Craft Beer Tasting week at Majestic, I thought I would write a little something about one of my favourite beers we currently have in our extensive range. Chapel Down Curious Brew. What is unique about this beer is that they ferment it with Champagne yeast which adds a distinct flavour I have tasted in no other. With the Curious Brew winning a gold medal award at the International Beer Festival, this distinct flavour is clearly desirable. We have it open for tasting all week so please come down and ask a member of staff for a little taster and see what the hype is about......


Italian Tasting Week - 25% off!Date published: 22/08/13

The Italian tasting week is at its half way point and I have a few suggestions as to what I will be drinking at the end of the summer period from our vast range of Italian wines at 25% off!!

My pick of the bunch for whites is Gavi Montiero, 2012.  This relatively new wine to Majestic has been hugely succesfull and i'm not surprised! Its made form the Cortese grape which offers a lushious refreshing and clean wine with notes of grapefruit and lime. It goes superbly with most fish dishes and a must try for the summer BBQ season.

Now for my red, I am going with a light style as to stick with the refreshing summer feel. It certainly works ones brain when trying to pronounce the name, Poggioargentiera Morellino di Scansano, 2011. The vast majority of this wine is sangiovese and is finished with a splash of Ciliegiolo. The backbone of this wine is bursting with ripe cherry and strawberry and mixed with a great complexitity and its ability to match many foods I feel this isn't only a safe choice but a must have.

Don't be shy, give them a try.


Planning a PartyDate published: 21/08/13

Here at Majestic Newcastle we know how stressful planning an event can be, whether it be a christening, a birthday, a wedding or just a get-together we are here to help.

We can advise on which wines to choose to suit your budget, champagne or sparkling?, how many bottles you may need as well as provide free glass and chiller bin loans (deposit required).

We always have wines open to taste, so you may be able to sample before buying. Also, we can offer sale or return to ensure you have enough for your guests.

And finally - we can deliver it for FREE at a suitable time to yourself.

So, please don't hesitate to phone 0191 2847231 or come into the store and ask any of the team, we would be happy to help!


World Wine News - Vinho VerdeDate published: 21/08/13

World Wine News - Vinho Verde

The wine trade including ourselves love to sell the quintessential summer white which includes wines like Pinot Grigio, Muscadet and unoaked Chardonnay. Anything that is light, fruity and tastes fresh and has that mouth watering feel so many of us crave.

However the revival of Portugals Vinho Verde is on the turn. It's the old story that for many years this variety has been overlooked due to its mass production of poor quality wines. The area of Minho in North-West Portugal has greatly improved in the past decade and is beginning to make fantastic Vinho Verde that they can be proud to put their name on. Many people nower-days seem to be hunting down a 'summer wine' without the punch of a 14% Kiwi Sauvignon or Californian Chardonnay and with Vinho Verde generally being between 8-12.5% ABV, it seems to be coming into its own again.

We only stock one Vinho Verde but is a huge hit with our customers coming in at £5.99 when you buy two. It's called Quinta de Azevedo and its reputation is often noticed in the press and through wine critics alike. It's a beautiful summer wine with a great price tag!

Wine of the WeekDate published: 20/08/13

Stella Alpina, Alto Adige, Pinot Grigio, 2012

This wine hails from the very North East of Italy from a region more known for growing and producing more aromatic varieties such as Riesling. It is no suprise that this Pinot Grigio is more aromatic than many other Pinot Grigio's from Italy.

The vineyards from which the grapes are grown are in a prime position on the slopes overlooking the River Adige. The region itself has a reputation for being consistent and of high quality, surprising considering the volume of wine it produces.

Full of stone fruit and pear flavours, this wine is a treat for anyone who enjoys Pinot Grigio. More medium bodied than the average Pinot Grigio but still holding a fresh crisp finish. It is matched well with some meatier fish such as Sea Bass with summer salad. This wine is very more-ish and wont last once opened!

Only £8.99

(25% of Italian wines when you buy two Italian's)

£11.99

(Single bottle price)

Grape of the Day- Ugni BlancDate published: 20/08/13

Ugni Blanc is mostly found in the southern French regions of Provence and Midi, or in Italy under the name of Trebbiano. It is known for being a neutral variety often used to make white table wine. Its fresh acidity lends itself well to the making of brandy and cognac's.

When used for making white wine it is often found as a blend, generally with Colombard in France. The growing of Ugni Blanc is in decline but it can still be found in the Majestic range.

Cuvee de Richard Blanc and Cuvee Genvieve Blanc are both examples of a Colombard, Ugni Blanc blend. They are light in style with fresh acidity. Italian San Marco Frascati is a fine example of Trebbiano which is more floral in style with that classic snappy acidity still present.

World Wine News - End up with Profits or Plonk?Date published: 15/08/13

End up with Profits or Plonk?

In the past, there was a basic rule with wine collectors, you could buy 5 cases of claret, wait 10 years, sell 3 and drink the other 2. This would still leave you with enough capital to get another 5 cases and start this process again. It doesn’t only supply the household with a great wine cellar, but allows for a superb investment with very little risk.

However, the market has changed. People now see these expensive cases of wine as profit and not substance.  A huge factor in this is the Asian market, over the past decade they have shown a phenomenal interest in the worlds top wines.

The wines are being drunk younger and younger which means stocks of ‘ready to drink’ wine is rapidly depleting.  There are a huge amount of incredibly wealthy Chinese and the top Bordeaux wines actually sell on their market at a much higher price tag.

Between 2003 and 2011, the value of these wines has gone up by 250%. The one good thing that came out of the global economic downturn is that these prices have now dropped by 1/3.  All this money attracted fraudsters into the market. Fake bottles of 1st growth Bordeaux to poor wealthy investors.

Hopefully in the coming years these counterfeit wines will have been completely eradicated and we can enjoy what our hard earned cash is chosen to be spent on. Be-it to drink these world-class wines or put them down as an investment for the kids.

Wine of the WeekDate published: 14/08/13

Léon Perdigal, Cotes du Rhone

2012

This Cote du Rhone is a new addition to our range at a excellent entry price of only £6.99! A classic blend of grape varieties (Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvedre) gives an easy drinking, food friendly wine.

The namesake of the wine is that of Leon Perdigal, he was the first cellar master at the famous Ogier's found in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Being from the region he is remembered for knowing exactly how to make wine from the grapes of the Rhone.

The wine is medium bodied and full of red fruits and berries. The blend of grapes also gives some subtle complexity of earth and pepper. This is a perfect late summer wine not being too heavy for those warm evenings! Matched well with meaty dishes and a no-brainer for a BBQ!

Only £6.99

(when you buy two or more)

£9.99

(Single bottle price)

Grape of the Day - TempranilloDate published: 12/08/13

This grape variety has surprisingly not ventured very far from its homeland in Spain. Wines from Riojais where you would often find the Tempranillo grape. With its low acid, low tannin, upfront fruit and an eager-to-please affinity with oak barrels, it is a grape that most New World countries should be taking very seriously.
I recently had a Vina Tondonia Reserva 1987 from Majestic and if you like that slightly oxidised flavour you are on to a winner. I was so shocked with how a relatively light wine with low tannin can last for decades but top wines from Rioja are some of the longest maturing wines in the world. Well worth a try if you ever get the chance.

Matsu El Viejo is 100% Tempranillo and what an expression of this fantastic grape it is! The grapes used are all from ancient vines with an average age of 110 years old. It's immensley powerful and complex and a great wine to put down for 5 years and enjoy at a special occasion in the future.

Spotlight on a region - TokajiDate published: 11/08/13

Tokaji is a region in the north east of Hungary, since the 17th century the region has been known for its sweet wines.

Located on the sun drenched south facing foothills of the Carpanthian Mountains, the grapes have a long autumn ripening season which really concentrates their sugars and flavours. The proximity of the rivers Bodrog and Tisza brings humidity and morning fog, creating the perfect conditions for Noble Rot.

Classic Tokaji is deep amber with high acidity and intense aromas. Flavours of orange marmalade, apricots and honey, with the best having hints of smoke, rye bread, coffee and caramel.

Try the Royal Tokaji or the Royal Tokaji Late Havest, great with roquefort cheese, fruit puddings or chocolate.  

World Wine NewsDate published: 10/08/13

This year's vintage of dry white Bordeaux will be in short supply after a freak hail storm hit the Entre Deux Mers region last weekend to devastate entire crops! It has destroyed nearly 5% of Bordeaux's entire crop for the year and could have a huge knock-on effect to the availability and that's right, the price!

The devastation damaged at least 7000 of Bordeaux's total 115,000 hectares and only lasted 15 minutes. This natural disaster is prone in Argentina and shows how much something you would normally overlook, can ruin an entire crop.

Spotlight on a Region - SonomaDate published: 08/08/13

Amid the towering pine forests of Northern California lies the wine producing region of Sonoma. It has a high (and still growing) reputation for fantastic fruit driven wines of great complexity. Red varieties dominate including Zinfandel and Pinot Noir, but they also produce fantastic Chardonnay.

We love the Decoy Zinfandel and the Clos du Bois Pinot Noir. We are also very jealous of Greig who is off stateside this 'fall'.

Grape of the Day - ShirazDate published: 08/08/13

Shiraz, or Syrah as it's known in the Old World is extensively planted in Australia and the South of France in the Rhone Valley. Shiraz and Syrah are the same varietal but are named due to their stylistic differences. Syrah is often more restrained where as Shiraz boasts more fruit, spice and a higher alcohol content due to its warmer climate cultivation. Aussie Shiraz is what sparked my interest in wines from the beginning of my Majestic career. Australia have some incredible options to choose from, like the Gnarly dudes or Jim Barry Mcrae wood but at an affordable price you can't beat the Wakefield Shiraz. The palate is extrememly inviting with ground coffee and vanilla flavours, matched by a big kick of ripe blackberry fruit. Best enjoyed with a rich casserole dish.

Spotlight on a Region - ReuillyDate published: 07/08/13

Reuilly is an area in Loire which some would consider to be in central France due to it being far more Southerly than all other major wine producing regions in the area. Now those of you who don't know, when you ask for a Reuilly in a restaurant you will get a Sauvignon Blanc. I often find Reuilly wines to be of a higher quality at a cheaper price than the entry level wines of Sancerre. I'm in no way dissing Sancerre wines as they can produce some of the best and most elegant wines in the world but I like to find a bargain and when you can get a cheaper wine at a better quality then I say, why not!

My pick from our selection would have to be the Nathalie Lafond 2012. This wine is a cuvee and is only picked from their best vines. It has an intense nose and is packed with gooseberry fruit and mouthwatering acidity. This wine is the perfect match for a sunny garden, and by the looks of things we wont be getting many more of those so give it a try....

Grape of the Day - RieslingDate published: 07/08/13

Riesling producers around the world have 2 Old World prototypes to copy or rebel against. The flowery Germanic style, or the weightier example from Alsace. Only Australia has produced an equal in stature style of Riesling to rival those of Germany and Alsace. The Riesling varietal reacts extremely well to botrytis or noble rot which creates a sweeter style of wine. Trimbach Riesling would be my chosen wine from the store. This family-run producer has been making wine since 1626. This wine shows a hint of minerality, with good ripeness and acidity. As a lover of all Asian food this would be a perfect mathc to a lightly spiced curry.

Grape of the Day - PrimitivoDate published: 02/08/13

Primitivo is an Italian grape and gives its name to the DOC from which the best examples of this grape's wine comes from; Primitivo do Manduria, in the south of Puglia. The vines grow on iron rich terra rossa soil, these soils and the region's hot mediterranean climate make for flavoursome wine with robust acidity, high alcohol and a jammy fruit flavour.    

Try the Surani Costarossa, which is now £7.99 under our 20% off Italy deal.

Which Wylam? Shot PitDate published: 02/08/13

A disctinctive, heavy weight brown ale with a complex malt character. Brewed with two-row crystal and black malts for a full colour and big flavour!

The "Shot-Pit" was a late 18th century manufacturing methos of producing the lead spherical shot so familiar top the soldier and the sportsman. A redundant mine shaft at the Wylam pit was reopened and adopted for this purpose.


Which Wylam? BohemiaDate published: 01/08/13

Bohemia is a Czech style lagered beer made with Pale and Carapils malts, and using a Pilsner strain of yeast. Delicately balanced with Saaz and Hallertau Hersbrucker hops, the beer is deep gold in colour with a heady bouquet of malt and hops and a rich fruit finish.

Wine of the Week - Julienas DuboeufDate published: 31/07/13

Georges Duboeuf, Juliénas

There are two reasons for choosing Georges Duboeuf's Juliénas this week. Firstly, for the little pink flower on the label in homage to our lovely summer, but also because we think it's a pretty top notch Beaujolais.

Juliénas is one of the ten “Beaujolais Crus” - the same quality level as the more well known Fleurie or Morgon. Named after Julius Caesar, Juliénas is believed to be the first part of Beaujolais to be planted with vines by Roman settlers. It has a more varied terrain than any other cru, and produces wine with good complexity.

A medium-bodied, lively wine with plenty of blackcurrant and blueberry fruit. Juicy with balanced tannin, it's perfect with roast lamb which as we all know, is perfect for Easter weekend!

£8.99

when you buy 2 or more bottles of Beaujolais

£11.24 single bottle price

Which Wylam? CollingwoodDate published: 31/07/13

An easy drinking, thirst quenching pale ale with spice and malt on the finish.

Named in honour of Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood. The North East's finest. Battle commander and victor at Trafalgar, friend of Nelson, wit and diplomat, doting husband and father.

"Since heaven made gentlemen, there is no record of a finer one" - W M Thackeray

We think there's no record of a finer ale!

Which Wylam? RocketDate published: 30/07/13

Deceptively easy drinking with a fresh citrus and aromatic character from the Centennial hops, and a good bitter finish.

Named in honour of George Stephenson, who was born in Wylam on the Tyne and designed steam engines to haul coal wagons. His son Robert developed his ideas at the Stephenson's Engine Works in Newcastle (still standing and now the venue for Wylam Brewery's Monthly "Boiler Shop Steamer" event on the first weekend of the month). He disigned and built the steam locomotive "Rocket" in 1829 which was declared winner of the Rainhill speed trials. It was also responsible for the death of Secretary of State at the time when it ran him over during the opening of the Stockton and Darlington railway!

Which Wylam? Red KiteDate published: 29/07/13

A dark ruby ale in the style of a traditional "scotch" where the hops are balanced by residual maltiness to give subtle hop character and a rich palate.

This ale was commissioned by the Northern Kites project in Gateshead which reintroduced the Red Kite back into the Derwent Valley after an abscence of 170 years.

Which Wylam? Loco No. 1Date published: 28/07/13

A german style beer, matured in the traditional Continental way at 1*c for up to four weeks to produce the smooth blend of hops and malt typical of this style.

This beer is named after Locomotion No. 1 (originally named Active) - the first steam locomotive to run on a passenger carrying line. It was built for the Stockton and Darlington Railway by George and Robert Stephenson's company in 1825

Which Wylam? AngelDate published: 27/07/13

Made from a blend of four malts and with Cascade hops, it has a complex malt character and intense hop finish.

This pale amber ale was originally comissioned by Gateshead Borough Council in 2008 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their iconic statue. It has since become one of Wylam's most popular beers.

Spotlight on a Region - PiemonteDate published: 25/07/13

Spotlight on a region - Piemonte

Piemonte literally means 'foot of the mountain', and this wine region in the far North of Italy is certainly influenced by the Alps. Vineyards scurry up the foothills in a band that encircles Turin, the region's capital.

Top quality wines are in abundance in this region. Reds made from the Nebbiolo grape are complex and aromatic - try our Barolo Milani. White wine from this region is generally crisp and great with seafood, the Gavi for example is light and fresh with a whiff of candied fruit. Our Gavi Toledana is fruity with a steely minerality and makes a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc.

Grape of the Day - ProseccoDate published: 24/07/13

Grape of the Day - Prosecco

Prosecco is the grape behind the eponymous Italian fizz, which is currently more popular than it has ever been.  It comes in two main styles: Frizzante (lightly sparkling) and Spumante (fully sparkling) and often has at least a hint of sweetness to it.  The wine can now only be labelled as Prosecco if it is grown in the traditional areas around Venice, otherwise it has to be called Glera.  It has a lightly fruity character and good acidity, so is a perfect base wine for fizz.

Of the various styles of Proseccos I would suggest the following offer the best value:

Frizzante: Villa Sandi, a delicate, lightly sparkling, off-dry wine, great aperitif.

Spumante: Zonin, a fun, fruit-driven style on a great deal for late summer.

Vintage: La Marca, a more serious, dry, delicate style with a lovely floral note.

Wine of the Week - Quinta de Azavedo Vinho VerdeDate published: 24/07/13

Quinta de Azevedo 2012,

Vinho Verde

Choosing our Wine of the Week this week was an easy decision. This really is a stand-out wine for me, and with the weather being almost Portuguese-like, I have been imagining myself sitting in the garden with a glass of this Vinho Verde!

From the Minho region of Northern Portugal, Vinho Verde literally means “green wine” - potentially referring to the youthful style in which it's sold, or the beautifully lush green countryside inland of the Costa Verde where this is produced.

The wine is a complex mix of white and tropical fruits, citrus and white flowers on the nose. On the palate, it is lively and refreshing, with good acidity and the classic Vinho Verde “spritz”.

Enjoy with seafood, green salads and pasta. Or, as I will be doing on my days off this week, on its own with the sun, a picnic blanket and a good book.

Spotlight on a region - Orvieto DOCDate published: 23/07/13

This region straddles the Umbria - Lazio border and surrounds the medieval hill city of Orvieto. Wines from this area were traditionally made sweet but these days they produce crip dry white wines wines from varieties like Grechetto, Trebbiano, Malvasia and Verdello. 

Like the sound of this...? Try Our Orvieto Classico Secco Vigneto Mortaro, with a slight nuttiness this would be great with pesto dishes

Grape of the Day - Orange Muscat Date published: 23/07/13

This grape produces elegant, tangy sweet wines. Orange peel and orange flower aromas make this wine great with fresh fruit dessert. We stock the Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Flora blend, which has citrus and stone fruit characters; a crisp and vibrant wine which will develop richness and complexity with bottle age.

Did you know....? This grape bears no relation to Muscat, despite sharing a name and occasional orange blossom aromas.

Late Summer PromotionsDate published: 23/07/13

Late Summer Promotions

With our cracking summer coming to a close we have some great new offers whether the weather be dull or the sun decides to return. I never thought I would say it but it has been nice to have a few cooler days! I can get more sleep and drink more of my favoured heavy reds.

Our short promo offer lasts just over a month and it sees some of our most popular wines having worked their way into the hot spot.

A personal favourite of mine has to be the Laurent Perrier at £25! A fantastic Champagne that is well known for its light house style and its ability to match with so many foods.

Needing a New Wine List?Date published: 22/07/13

For restaurant, pub, bar, hotel, spa and all other business owners looking for a fantastic wine list, stocked with award winning wines delivered for free 7 days a week, look no further than Majestic! Our commercial team are on hand for a chat about your requirements and to let you know what we can offer and how we can improve your business!

We have a large selection of wines that you won't find on our shop floor, wines that are EXCLUSIVE TO YOU!

Fancy hearing more? Just give us a call on 01912847231, and leave the rest up to us.


Spotlight on a Region - Nuits-St-GeorgesDate published: 22/07/13

Spotlight on a Region - Nuits-St-Georges

Now Red Burgundy has never been a favourite of mine as I much prefer the ripe, fruit driven Pinot Noir from New Zealand. However, I do get the obsession with what many would regard as the longest lived wines in the world. Nuits boasts 27 premier cru vineyards so there are many a wine to chose from.

My pick of the bunch would be Nuits-St-Georges, Jean Bourguignon which offers an extremely vibrant and intense flavour. This wine has been oaked for 10 to 14 months and thus, adds heaps of complexity and finesse.

Grape of the Day - NebbioloDate published: 22/07/13

Grape of the Day - Nebbiolo

A hugely popular grape in Italy but one many of you may not have heard of. It is the main constituant in Barolo and Barbaresco and those of you who know and love these wines, know that this grape must be age-worthy. Some people say that it must be atleast a decade before the wines are drinkable. Nebbiolo is packed with tannin and acidity which are the two key ingredients to a wine that will stand its own through the ages.

Our Barolo, from the producer Ciabot Berton, is a wine from the heart of the Barolo production zone. It is piled with flavours of rose petal, tar and plummy fruit which is balanced up perfectly with a big dose of acidity and tannin. A great wine for lamb shank or a rich stew and can be drunk now or in the next 5 years.

Producer Profile: MasiDate published: 21/07/13

The name "Masi" is derived from "Vaio dei Masi", the small valley in Valpolicella acquired by the Boscaini family at the end of the 18th century - the family still own the land today.

The Venetian regions have always been ideal for viticulture, thanks to the huge variety of historically recognised terroir sites.
Masi has selected the best vineyard sites in foothill and hillside locations, paying particular attention to the development of single vineyard, or cru, wines which express the excellence of individual high quality vineyard sites and consequently have their own unique characteristics.

The main focus of Masi is the production of quality wines, using grapes and methods native to the Venetian regions, whilst also being one of the most innovative producers in Italy. Through collaboration with pretigious intitutes and universities, Masi have contributed to the development of winemaking practices in this region in a valuable way. In particular, they have created an internationally recognised new category for wines from the Veneto - the "Superventian" - derived from the winemaking process for Amarone and used in their Campofiorin. Made using Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, the fresh grapes are fermented, then refermented along with some partially dried grapes giving rich and complex flavours.

Take a look at our website to see which of the Masi wines we have in stock at the moment!




Wine Wisdom - MacerationDate published: 21/07/13

Wine Wisdom - Maceration

This is an ancient word steeping a material in liquid with or without kneading it to seperate the softer parts from the harder parts. This is a very important process in red wine making as this is the method that is used to extract the tannins. With no tannin in our top end Bordeaux wines the ageing potential would be much lower. Tannin allows a wine to age gracefully in many cases, with Cabernet heavy Bordeaux styles being arguably the best in the world.


Grape of the Day - MalbecDate published: 21/07/13

Grape of the Day - Malbec

This grape is native to the South-West of France and has adopted Argentina as its new thriving home. 15 years ago this grape had very little status but since then has shot to the 'A-List' with its deep purple colour and a hugely fat rich fruit flavour with a superbly ripe tannic structure.

The Argentinians would class Malbec as their success story in regards to wine cultivation and have been experimenting with it ever since. For example, Majestic stock a wine named Gestos Malbec/Malbec which is unique in a way that it is a blend of grapes from a very high altitude accompanied with grapes from a much lower altitude. This allows the wine to portray both great styles in one wine. The higher altitude grapes offer freshness and structure where as the lower add colour and density.

A complex wine at the cracking price of £7.99

Jack's Final Top 5!Date published: 20/07/13

Jack's Final Top 5

Over the last few months I have shared my Top 5 wines from one region or another via our store web page. Before I make the move West to our Kendal store I wanted to share my favourite Top 5 wines across our entire range! The list includes some great value bargains as well as a couple of special occasion wines.

Cloudy Bay Riesling - £19.99

I recently splashed out on a bottle of this stunning New Zealand Riesling and was not dissapointed! Whilst I am usually wary of big name producers, I would highly reccomend this wine to anyone looking to treat themselves or a friend/familly member. The nose is simply mind-blowing, with a strong diesel scent mixing with a hint of beeswax. The ageing process has allowed the wine to mature into a highly complex finished product, with much more to come over the next decade I'm sure. The palate is awash with citrus and tropical fruits, giving way to a grassy finish that continues for minutes. I drank mine with a lightly spiced Asian dish; the hint of sweetness working wonderfully with a touch of spice.

Albarino Caixas - £6.99

Easily one of the best offers across the entire Majestic range. Albarino is often selected by customers who are tired of drinking Sauvignon Blanc. The grape usually offers an intense palate, ranging from fresh citrus to ripe tropical fruit. The Caixas is a perfect example of what Spanish whites can offer; zingy lemon, fresh lime and perfect acidity. More than a party wine, this is simply a steal at £6.99!

Angels' Share Shiraz - £18

At the last Majestic Christmas party I was lucky enough to win a half case of this spectacular Aussie Shiraz. Furthermore, my first supplier tasting was with 2 Hands; the producers in question. The wine itself is one of the punchiest reds I have had the pleasure of tasting, demonstrating how a wine with high alcohol (over 15%!) can also be smooth and well extremely well balanced. I last opened a bottle over a friend's Sunday dinner (Pork.....I think) and it was clear that further ageing will be very beneficial.

Cotes du Rhone Belleruche, Chapoutier - £7.99

This blend from the Rhone Valley contains Grenache and Syrah; typical grapes for the region. The palate is the most impressive part of this generous wine, with rich blackberry and cherry sitting alongside hints of liquorice and vanilla spice. The Belleruche has an impressive finish for a wine under £8, making it perfect with a whole range of rich meat dishes. This wine has been my staple mid-week red for a few weeks now and has failed to disappoint on any occasion.

Talinay Chardonnay - £12.98

Rich, buttery, creamy, complex, perfect! Whilst the world forgets about Chardonnay, Majestic continues to proudly fly the flag. For me there's no better example of a winemaker's talent than the ability to create a well balenced oaked Chardonnay. Full bodied doesn't do it justice, and the soft citrus flavours that accompany the autolytic character are simply sublime. Don't discount Chardonnay until you've tried this stunning example of what the grape can offer.


Prices correct at time of publication - 2 bottle prices quoted

Spotlight on a Region - LimariDate published: 20/07/13

The Limari Valley is one of three valleys that form the Coquimbo Region. This region's valleys all have brilliant sunshine tempered by cooling sea breezes or mountain air. The Limari, being in places only 12km from the Pacific, is cooled by fresh sea breezes. These conditions lead to the production of some of Chile's best Chardonnay. We love the Talinay Chardonnay, which has an abundance of zesty and tropical fruit flavours, a crisp minerality and a creamy finish.

Grape of the Day - LoureiroDate published: 20/07/13

This aromatic little number is the principal grape variety used in the production of Vinho Verde. Fruity apricot aromas offset by a touch of savoury bay leaf make Vinho Verde very approachable and great with seafood, green salads or light summer pasta dishes.

Wine of the Week - Bellero BarberaDate published: 17/07/13

Wine of the Week - Bellero Barbera

Barbera is often regarded as the best food wine in the world; versatile and perfect with Italian cuisine. Natural high acidity allows the wine partner tomato based pasta dishes, whilst also complementing a whole range of seafood.

This particular offering is the Bellero Barbera Piemonte, 2012 vintage. Brand new to Majestic, staff and customers alike are queuing up to try this exiting addition to our Italian range.

The palate is pure delight, with red apple, fresh blackcurrants and a hint of violets. Soft tannins lead to a generous finish, demonstrating what great value there is to be had in North-Western Italy.

Personally I'll be trying this with a classic spaghetti bolognese!


Spotlight on a Producer - Kangarilla RoadDate published: 16/07/13

With having no luck finding a region or grape I have chosen to spotlight a producer. This Australian producer is situated in McLaren Vale in the South. This vineyard and winery were founded in 1975, these vineyards offer 30 year matured vines which add richness to their extensive range of wines.

The Shiraz is my favourite in the range and for the price is an absolute steal. It's flavours derive from the aged vines and the excellent terroir that McLaren Vale boasts to create a wine you all must try.

Spotlight on a Region - JerezDate published: 15/07/13

Internationally know as the area at which Sherry is produced. Jerez is situated in South West Spain and only an hour and half drive from the popular tourist destination, Malaga. Sherry as a drink has many different styles which range from nutty and dry to sweet and raisined. The dry styles of sherry are in my opinion an acquired taste but Greig our manager is a huge fan. We have been stocking up on our selection recently, one of which is a 1985 Pedro Ximenez. Delicious!  

Spotlight on a region - IrancyDate published: 14/07/13

Irancy is a small town to the South of Chablis, surrounded by the Côtes d'Auxerre.  Light, elegant reds are produced from Pinot Noir, and delicate, dry, unoaked Chardonnays in the style of Chablis.  You can pop down to Majestic and pick up Pascal Bouchard's 2011 Côtes d'Auxerre for an example of the style - fresh citrus and subtle white flowers on the nose with a crisp and mineral palate, delicious with pan fried white fish.

Spotlight on a Region - Haut-MédocDate published: 13/07/13

The more Southerly, higher part of the Médoc, which contains the classic 'left-bank' (i.e. West of Gironde estuary) Bordeaux communes of Pauillac, Margaux and St-Julien.  Bottles labelled as Haut-Médoc, however, tend to be from the areas around these exhaulted sites and can offer excellent value.  Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted variety here, along with significant amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  There are very few white grapes planted, as wines labelled Haut-Médoc have to be red.

A Majestic stalwart from this area is Chateau Caronne-Ste-Gemme which is one of my favourite Bordeaux.  Quite tough and tannic when young, it softens and blossoms into a lovely, rounded Claret, well worth a try on your next visit.

Grape of the Day - HuxelrebeDate published: 13/07/13

A little known German crossing, prized for its ability to survive colder climes than vines normally do.  For this reason it has also flourished in the South of England, where it produces crisp, grapey wines and can be used to add body to blends.  You'll find it in store in Chapel Down's Flint Dry, which is a great introduction to still English wine, full of grassy citrus characters and great with a picnic.



Spotlight on a Region - GaliciaDate published: 12/07/13

This is Spain's wet North Westerly coast which is probably more well known to the name Rías Biaxas and home to its prized grape variety Albariño. This grape is finally coming into its own on the world stage and can boast high prices. We have a number of excellent Albariño's in-store of which two are by what some would call, the pioneer of the region, Martin Codax. Both are big sellers here at Majestic and both highly recommended by our expert staff.

Grape of the Day - GamayDate published: 12/07/13

This grape varietal, most popularly grown in Beaujolais to the right hand side of the Mâconnais. It is well known for its high acidity, and fresh red fruit flavours. Often due to the method at which the wine is made it has distinct flavours of Banana and boiled sweets. It is meant to be drunk young and will be welcomed at any BBQ.

Majestic External TastingsDate published: 11/07/13

Majestic External Tastings


Every month your local Majestic store hosts several free tasting events. The Wine Course and our new Saturday Tasting Tutorials are a great way for customers and staff to explore the expanding range of great wines availiable. I personally really enjoy presenting The Wine Course as it allows me to share some knowledge whilst learning more about our regular and new customers. Whilst we can accommodate up to 10 people per tasting event, we often struggle to cater for large groups here in store. With this is mind I thought I would remind you of our external tasting service. As with all Majestic events this is a completely free service (except for the wine!) and can be used by anyone. Typically an external tasting will involve anywhere up to 100 people in a relaxed, informal setting. We have presented tastings to charities, local wine groups and work parties. We will work with you beforehand to pick a suitable range of wines (possibly with a theme), considering your budget and the purpose of the event.

If you would like to know more about any of our tasting events please don't hesitate to contact us in store - 0191 284 7231.

I hope to see lots of you at various events (in store and external) over the Summer!

Grape of the Day - FalanghinaDate published: 11/07/13

This is a very characterful ancient white grape which is making its come back to stand its own against the many Italian local varietals. It is grown on the coast of the Campania north of Naples. Its a brilliant all-rounder with flavours of citrus, apple often followed by a nutty undertone which adds texture to the wine. Well worth a try and of course, we do stock a falanghina. Check out our website - www.majestic.co.uk or call us on 0191 2847231.

Spotlight on a region - FaugèresDate published: 11/07/13

Is a promising red wine region in the Languedoc. This area is dominated by mediterranean grape varieties to produce big juicy reds that will taste like a cross between the heavy and spicy reds from Rhone mixed along side the wild and rustic reds of Corbieres.

We do a cracking Faugères which demonstrates these two big flavours coming together to make a beautiful wine either with food or on its own, I choose the latter.

Wine of the Week - Talinay ChardonnayDate published: 11/07/13

With our Chilean tasting week beginning this week I feel it only relevant to open up a Chilean Chardonnay.

This Chardonnay comes from a small valley within Limari. Located just 12km from the Pacific, the maximum average summer temperature here never exceeds 23.5 degrees, allowing a long, moderate ripening season, endowing the wines with well-developed flavours.

This modern cool-climate Chardonnay has an invitingly fruit character, offering citrus and tropical notes in abundance. A lush, creamy palate, with mouth watering acidity and a forthright minerality.

A great accompaniment for linguine with mushrooms in a creamy sauce


Spotlight on a Region - EnglandDate published: 10/07/13

Wine Production in England is nothing new! Wine production was mentioned in Bede's Ecclesiastical History in 731 and 38 vineyards were noted in the Domesday book. Historically vineyards have stretched as far north as Yorkshire and winemakers are still persistantly battling against the unforgiving, and unpredictable British climate.

English Sparkling Wine is increasingly popular, grown on the same soils as Champagne and made in a similar method, it's giving the French some stiff competition, but don't take my word for it try some yourself! Nyetimber and Chapel Down make some great examples and they're available instore now!

Spotlight on a Region - DãoDate published: 09/07/13

Situated in the center of Northern Portugal, the Dão produces some of the country's best wines. Mostly these are firm and tannic reds made from a whole host of indigenous grape varieties; from Tinta Roriz to Bastardo, with the port grape Toriga Nacional added for even more body and tannin.

Grape of the Day - DolcettoDate published: 09/07/13

Dolcetto is a red grape grown in Piedmont in the north of Italy. Dolcetto roughly translates as 'little sweet one' and the wines it produces are soft, round, fruity and fragrant. 


Super Summer WinesDate published: 08/07/13

When the sun is shining there's often nothing better than enjoying an alfresco glass of wine. Here's some suggestions, all perfect in the sunshine.

The Grand Heron: From the Cotes de Gascone this really captures the South of France's sunshine. Made from a blend of Ugni Blanc and Colombard, this is a lively wine with citrus aromas. Like this? Try the Picpoul de Pinet Prestige or the portugese Vinho Verde.

For a lighter red wine, try the George Deboeuf Beaujolais Villages, this is bright and fruity with a fresh finish. To maximise its freshness drink slightly chilled. Other super refreshing reds include the Sancerre Rouge or a New Zealand Pinot Noir.

For light and crisp rose Provence is the place to look; the Minuty rose is pale and crisp with a delicate flavour; the Berne Grande Recolte Rose is juicy and fresh. If you like off dry rose the Rigal Saffran rose or the Poggioargentiera Rosato with it's candied berry flavour might be for you. 



Life After Ned...Date published: 08/07/13

Life After Ned

Unfortunately The Ned Sauvignon Blanc is in short apply across many Majestic stores at the moment whilst we await the new 2013 vintage (which is tipped to be better than ever!). There is, however, no reason to fear; we've compiled a few suggestions to help you survive without your beloved Ned. Give these great alternatives a try and let us know what you think.

Brancott Sauvignon Blanc - £6.99 - Bursting with that indescribable Marlborough flavour. Citrus and gooseberry dominate both the palate and the nose, with a medium/long finish. Match with a variety of sea food dishes and you will not be disapointed.

Ondine Sauvignon Blanc - £5.99 - South Africa's newest attempt at perfecting the Sauvignon grape. The punchy flavour profile is very impressive, with generous helpings of fresh lemon, lime and passionfruit. Surely the best white around for under £6!

The Parcel Series Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc - £5.99 - Austrailia may be in for a rather depressing Summer of sport (fingers crossed!), but at least they can rely on great local wine. This specially selected parcel for Majestic has been impressing customers and staff alike with bold citrus flavours and a long, crisp finish.


The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2013 is due in stores towards the end of this month.

Lay & Wheeler Fine Wine PlanDate published: 08/07/13

I have recently joined the Fine Wine Plan after many many months of contemplation. If you're looking to invest in some great wines for the future or to drink over the next year or two this is definately the way to go.

You pay on a monthly basis of which all goes towards your chosen wines, the wines are stored in bond until you wish to take them out. The expert staff at Lay & Wheeler can advise you on which wines are suited to you. In my short experience I have been extremely impressed with their knowledge.

The benefits you get from joining our plan are as follows;

- 10% discount at Majestic Wine when you subscribe £100 or more per month.

- Free Joining case will be added to your collection.

- Fine wine plan advance which allows you to go three times over your monthly subscription as a credit limit. 

- Exclusive offers on a quarterly basis.

If you have any more questions regarding The Fine Wine Plan pop in and see myself or Greig or give us a call on 0191 2847231




Spotlight on Copertino DOC Date published: 08/07/13

In the region of Puglia in south east of Italy lies the DOC of Copertino. Fom here robust red wines are produced, made from predominantly Negroamaro grapes. The DOC is known for well made wines at resonable prices, and the Copertino we stock is no exception; well balanced with dark plum fruit, and exellent value for money too!

Grape of the Day - Cinsault (or Cinsaut, if you'd rather)Date published: 08/07/13

This cheeky chappie is a red grape which has been grown for centuries in the Langedoc Region in the South of France. Cinsault's drought resistance but tendancy to fall foul to rot in damp conditions means it's well suited to a Mediterannean climate. It's Used in Red and rose production to add suppleness, perfume and fruit flavour to a blend.

Did you know? ...Cinsault's legacy stretches far and wide, it is crossed with Pinot Noir to make South Africa's own grape variety, the complex and intriguing Pinotage.

Spotlight to a Region - BierzoDate published: 07/07/13

Bierzo is a small DO region in North-West Spain. This area has huge potential as it's sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean and the Central Plateau. All it needs now is a little investment to improve its ageing technology, who has some spare cash?


Grape of the Day - BastardoDate published: 07/07/13

Pardon the name, the Bastardo grape is a well travelled varietal used in both Port and Madeira. However, it has also been planted under a number of aliases in California and Australia. It ripens to very high sugar levels, hence its addition to Port.

Your Newcastle Majestic TeamDate published: 07/07/13

Greig - Our glorious leader is now in his 10th year with Majestic. As Senior Manager Greig is your go-to man for all questions/queries involving our expanding range. With knowledge to rival Michael Broadbent and a previous feature in Decanter magazine, Greig can always be relied upon to open a rare and exotic bottle for "staff development".
Ben - Ben is back for his 3rd spell in Newcastle after previously working in our Harrogate and Huddersfield stores. In his role of Senior Assitant Manager, Ben is often spotted advising customers and staff alike, ensuring your visit is both informative and enjoyable. Look out for his unique blue trousers on a Saturday (once seen never forgotten!)
Bex - Since joining Newcastle 4 months ago, Bex has proven a big hit with all our regular customers. As Newcastle's newest Assistant Manager, Bex is often spotted rearranging large sections of our new store ("making them pretty"). Bex has previously worked in our brand new Wakefield store and is therefore our resident rhubarb expert!
Gerry - Brand new to Newcastle, Gerry has come to us via Majestic Chesterfield. Gerry is already leading our varied tasting events including The Wine Course and Saturday Tasting Tutorials. Our newest team member is also the proud owner of several horses, so feel free to consult her on all your equestrian questions!
Peter - Our enigmatic driver is the longest seving member of your local Majestic. Pete has run half marathons, cycled through Northumbria and sang at local community events. At work he is usually on the road delivering your mixed cases or checking out the Rosé on the Tasting Counter!
Jack - The only non-Latin speaker in our current line-up! Jack is usually heard strutting about the store in his rather loud footwear. Always service with a smile, and your go-to guide for our best bargain wine. His ginger locks will not be around forever, as a move to Kendal is due at the end of this month.

Spotlight on a Region - ArdècheDate published: 06/07/13

This region is to the right hand side of the famous Rhône valley and latitudinally slap bang in the middle. Varietals such as Chardonnay and Viognier are most suited in this warm area. We currently stock the Burgundian pioneer Louis Latours' Grand Ardèche. An excellent value white wine with the the consistant quality that the Latour label is renowned for.

Grape of the Day - AlvarinhoDate published: 06/07/13

The Alvarinho grape is from the extreme North-West region of Vinho Verde and with its thick skins it's perfectly matched to the damp conditions in this area. This grape variety is very well known in Portugal and for those of you who love an alcoholic wine this is your go-to drink.

Times' Top 100Date published: 06/07/13

The Times' Top 100

The Saturday Times – Jane MacQuitty

The highly anticipated “Summer Top 100” was published today in the Saturday Times. Below is our pick of the bunch, featuring some of Majestic's most popular lines!

Paul Mas Merlot 2012 - £5.99

Simply a great bargain. Summer fruits dominate the aromatics whilst fresh blackberry steals the show on the palate. Soft tannins lead to a good finish, making this a perfect match for your BBQ meats.

Pizarras de Otero Bierzo 2012 - £6.99

The Pizarras is always catching the eye of staff and customers alike, with its enticing and bold label. Expect a classic Spanish flavour profile, dominated by black fruits and white pepper. The vanilla spice on the finish shows a complexity rarely achieved in a wine of this value. Perfect with braised Lamb.

Sancerre “Clos des Bouffants” Neveu 2012 - £11.99

For many of us Sauvignon Blanc lovers, Sancerre represents the best of the best. This legendary status has led to increasing prices over recent years, and as such it is refreshing to see a reasonably priced yet high quality wine make the “Top 100”. Steely minerality and a distinct flintiness characterise the palate, complemented by fresh citrus. An ideal match for all types of seafood.

Grand Heron Marc Ducournau 2012 - £5.99

A great party wine to finish the list for us. The Grand Heron is perfect for every occasion. The palate is awash with lemon, lime and even gooseberry . Don't worry about food matches, simply enjoy as an aperitif in the garden on these long awaited hot sunny evenings.




2 bottle prices quoted. Minimum purchase 6 bottles – any mix.


Wine of the Week - Tautavel Arago 21Date published: 03/07/13

This wine has been rated 88/100 and for a wine under £10 that is one heck of a bargain! The history behind this wine is very interesting and some may say the flavour comes from within the soil.....

Tautavel is famous for its wine, but it is also famous for the discovery of fossilised remains of prehistoric mankind, excavated in the Arago Caves.

'Arago 21' was the reference code given to a skull belonging to Tautavel Man, believed to be atleast 400,000 years old!

Made from roughly equal proportions of its three constituent grapes, this wine exhibits a blend of vibrant fruit, spicy undertones and firm tannins, with characteristic wild herb nuances.

Drink with some caveman-friendly barbecued chops.

£8.49 per bottle

when you buy 2 or more.

£9.99

single bottle price

Austrian tasting with NEWTS (and 7 word wine reviews)Date published: 28/06/13

As the date approached, I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of telling the North East Wine Tasting Society that I would present a tasting on Austria. I'd tried a few Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners, but it was one of the countries I had least experience of. I needn't have worried, as the wines turned out to be extremely good and well received, especially the ones from our Sister company Lay & Wheeler. I'd spoken to Adrian at Lay & Wheeler for some advice on what to pick and ended up with 4 lovely wines from top Austrian producers Emmerich Knoll and FX Pichler, the Pichlers in particular were jaw-droppingly good.

To try and limit my waxing lyrical about them, I've limited myself to a Seven Word Wine Review for each wine. If you haven't come across this excellent method of wine description, check out www.12x75.com or search for #7WWR or #7wordwinereview on Twitter, whilst you're there, don't forget to follow @majesticncs too!

The full line-up was as follows:

Cava Rosado NV, Codorniu: crisp red fruit with pleasingly dry finish.

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-codorniu+rose

Grüner Veltliner, Domaine Wachau: Mineral, saline, well balanced and good value

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-gruner/product-is-12485

Grüner Veltliner, Kampltaler Terrassen, Weingut Brundlmayer: Richer, more fruit, less acid, white pepper.

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/product-is-12548

Riesling Ried Loibenberg, 2009, Weingut Emmerich Knoll: Zingy lime and lemon, mineral and clean.

Riesling Ried Loibenberg, 1999, Weingut Emmerich Knoll: Good development, some petrol and white flowers.

Grüner Veltliner, Loibenberg Smaragd 2010, FX Pichler: Serious stuff, tropical fruit and great length.

Grüner Veltliner, 'M' Smaragd, 2010, FX Pichler: Monumental indeed, best white had this year.

http://www.laywheeler.com/region/austria

Carnuntum 2009, (Blaufrankisch), Muhr-van der Niepoort: Crunchy red fruit, kind of Cabernet Franc

Eiswein Pinot Noir 2009, Burgenland, Hopler: Luscious, luscious, luscious, got good acidity too.

Sunday Lunch Wine MatchesDate published: 23/06/13

Sunday Lunch Wine Matches

Lamb, roast beef, chicken, gammon or chestnut en croute; the Sunday lunch is a long-standing British tradition. Although nothing can beat your home made roast potatoes and Yorkshire Puddings, we've got some wine match ideas to make this Sunday one to remember!

Lamb

One of the most popular choices for Sunday lunch, Lamb is a dream to match with a whole range of wines. Forget whites and rosé, we're concentrating on punchy reds that will enhance the flavour of the dish, not overpower it. Rioja has to be our starting point; always look to regional food/wine matches for a few tips (Spanish food with Spanish wine). A good Reserva will give you prominent summer fruits with a touch of vanilla spice. The “Lagunilla Casa del Comendador 2007” would be my choice - £6.99 2 bottle price can't be beaten! Lamb can also match well with other oak influenced reds such as a soft Bordeaux.

Beef

Roast beef surely takes some beating as the star of your Sunday lunch. When matching beef dishes with wine it is important to recognise the main flavour you wish to bring across (as Michael Broadbent taught us all those years ago). Choose either a punchy Argentinian Malbec (Callia Bella £5.99) or a softer Chilean Merlot (LFE Gran Reserva £6.99) depending on whether the dish is rich or delicate. Personally I can't resist the combination of beef and new world Malbec (Fresh Blackcurrants and ripe tannins).

Chicken

White or red? That is the question! Chicken is quite versatile in the world of wine matching, with several possibilities that bring different flavours to the table. For me it is a choice between creamy Chardonnay and soft Pinot Noir. White Burgundy doesn't have to break the bank, with the “Bourgogne Chardonnay Chenaudieres” currently just £6.99 a bottle! This rich and complex Chardonnay will partner roast chicken beautifully without overpowering the subtle flavours of the dish. Sticking with Burgundy, the “Louis Latour Pinot Noir” (£10.99) offers a stunning nose (ripe red fruits galore) and would give your lunch a real sense of occasion.

Vegetarian Option

As the child of a vegetarian household I understand that suggested wine/food matches are often centred around steaks and beef bourguignon, whilst neglecting the equivalent vegetarian dishes. I remember Sunday Lunch consisting of nut-roast, lentil loaf and chestnut en croute (always my favourite!). When matching wine to these delicate flavours it is key that the chosen bottle does not clash with any component on the plate. I would stick with softer reds (Merlot, Pinot Noir and Beaujolais). My pick of the bunch has to be the “Flurie Duboeuf” (£8.99).

Jack


Needing a New Wine List?Date published: 21/06/13

For restaurant, pub, bar, hotel, spa and all other business owners looking for a fantastic wine list, stocked with award winning wines delivered for free 7 days a week, look no further than Majestic! Our commercial team are on hand for a chat about your requirements and to let you know what we can offer and how we can improve your business!

We have a large selection of wines that you won't find on our shop floor, wines that are EXCLUSIVE TO YOU!

Fancy hearing more? Just give call on 01912847231, and leave the rest up to us.


Wedding Planning?Date published: 15/06/13

We know planning a wedding can be stressful and at times can give you a headache! This is why Majestic Wine, the UK's biggest and best retailer of wine by the case, have developed a tailored service, which uses both knowledge and expertise to help every couple find that match made in heaven.

Our party planner gives great advice on catering for wedding receptions. When you're ready to start selecting your drinks, the team in the Newcastle store can tailor a drinks package to your exact requirements, taking into account your menu, budget, and above all your personal tastes!

On top of this we can offer FREE glass, ice bucket and chiller bin loan (deposit required), FREE delivery and a sale or return option.

Please feel free to pop into the store to discuss your preferences and maybe try some samples. You can also contact us on 01912847231 or email ncs@majestic.co.uk

We look forward to helping you plan your perfect drinks package soon!


The Rise of the Californian Wine IndustryDate published: 13/06/13

I have been told over and over again to watch the film, Bottle Shock. I finally put some time aside yesterday evening to sit down with a bottle of Majestic's finest Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir. If your not a lover of Californian wines, after this film you are sure to be very intrigued as to what the Californian wine market has to offer.

The film revolves around Steven Spurrier, Decanters current Consultant Editor. He set off on his travels to the Napa Valley to see what its winemakers were kicking up such a huge fuss about. After being very pleasently surprised with the resulting wines he decided to bring the best wines he sampled back to Paris for a blind tasting test against some of the best Chardonnays in France, named the Judgement of Paris.

The wine Spurrier chose to compete against the best, was Chateau Montelena from Napa. The wine critics who held the tasting all came to the same conclusion and chose the Californian wine as their favourite. This sparked massive interest in a wine growing region completely overlooked until that day. This may have helped in the rise of other countries like Chile, New Zealand and Argentina as wine lovers realising that with their 'Terroir', they can rival the top wines of 'The Old World'.

After watching this film my first thoughts were, how much is it for a bottle of Chateau Montelena and does its reputation from the 70's still match up today? We have a number of fine wines from California of which I have tried very few. I haven't been disappointed in any and now aim to try our entire collection. Stags Leap was recently taste tested with the best Cabernets on the world stage and came in 1st. If thats not reason enough to try it then nothing is!

Wine of the Week - Ondine SauvignonDate published: 13/06/13

I know the price of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has gone through the roof and that Ally having left this week has left many sad faces, but I have an excellent substitute for one of the above. The Ondine Sauvignon is from Darling in the Western Cape of South Africa and is an excellent alternative to Marlborough Sauvignon Banc.

Darling is characterised by its ancient granite soils, coupled with a maritime climate enables the vine to be grown without irrigation thus promoting a cool climate style.

Highly aromatic, with intense asparagus, grass and guava notes providinga captivating bouquet. The palate is a delicate mix of citrus fruit and mineral texture.

Great with a creamy camembert dish.

£5.99 per bottle

when you buy 2 bottles

£7.99

single bottle price


Au-revoir NewcastleDate published: 10/06/13


Last day in the Newcastle store so thought I would share some of my favourites I've tried over my time at this store.

If you looking for a excellent easy drinking red that offers both quality and value the Surani Costarossa is brilliant. The wine is made by allowing the Primitivo grapes, more commonly known as Zinfandel to over ripen on the vines. As a result this creates a richer wine that offers flavours of prunes, dates and figs followed by a soft spice. It is certainly full bodied yet very silky. To bring out the best of the wine try with rich food such as Venison. At £7.99 on the 20% off Italian deal its a steal.

Next a wine that gets the imagination going. The Soave 'La Rocca' Pieropan is made from the Garganega grape. You might not of heard of this grape variety but is capable of making complex interesting wines. This one in particular has a nose of peach and citrus fruit. Palate displays character of smooth melon along with hints of honey. Currently at £25 a bottle.

Finally and in my opinion the best has to be Pol Roger Reserve Champagne. I might be a little biased after visiting last year but still the quality is undeniable. At the moment it is on a fantastic offer at £32 a bottle. The cellars are 33m underground and average particularly low temperatures. This environment is suited to slow fermentation and is responsible for Pol Rogers super fine mousse. It offers fresh apple and brioche notes.Truly excellent.

New Offers for the SummerDate published: 09/06/13

With our summer looking bright and the days getting longer the BBQ should be a very popular option. Whether your chilling in the garden with your friends or labouring over the grill with your homemade burgers, I'm sure our new offers will have something there for everyone.

Now, a BBQ for me is very important, so a great wine to go with your hopefully, non-burnt sausages is a vital ingredient to make the evening run smoothly. As some of you may know, I'm a lover of everything Californian so a big jammy Zinfandel would be a great match for all your array of chargrilled meats.

Our enhanced offers which begin next week have been put in place to cater for all, especially those of you who go silly for sparkly. We will be showcasing our summer wines on the tasting counter next week so please do 'Come and Explore'.

Summer Wine CoursesDate published: 08/06/13

The Wine Course is a 90-minute appetiser which sheds light on everything from tasting jargon to how to choose the perfect wine for your meal.  We'll try a range of classic wines of the world in a relaxed setting, followed by some food and wine matching.  Best of all, it's free!  Please get in touch to book a place:

0191 284 7231

ncs@majestic.co.uk

Twitter: @majesticncs


Why so Curious?Date published: 31/05/13

Chapel Down as a winery has became very popular in the past decade. With multiple awards to their name, and lots of excellent press coverage this flourishing business it set to be the future of English wine.

There are many difficulties a British wine firm has to take into account when it comes to creating a wine worthy of the current market. The major issue being of course, weather. Lack of heat and too much rain can completely ruin a crop. However, with cultivating a greater area of land to vine, one can hope the excess grape juice can be stored in stainless steel tanks for many years to come.

With the BBQ season eventually upon us I thought I would write a little something about one of my favourite beers we currently have in our extensive range. Chapel Down Curious Brew. What is unique about this beer is that they ferment it with Champagne yeast which adds a distinct flavour I have tasted in no other. With the Curious Brew winning a gold medal award at the International Beer Festival, this distinct flavour is clearly desirable. Pop down to the Gosforth store and see what the hype is about......

Wine of the Week- Commanderie de Peyrassol Cotes de ProvenceDate published: 29/05/13

Could it be that Summer has finally arrived? We've most definitely been spoiled with two sunny May bank holidays! We could potentially be tempting fate here, but the sun most definitely calls for Provencal rosé!

The Commanderie de Peyrassol was founded in 1308 by the Knights Templar. They have 80ha of vines, with an average age of 25 years, as well as olive trees, oak, deer and wild pigs!

The colour is typically Provence, incredibly pale and peachy. On the nose and palate, the strawberry notes predominate with just a touch of white pepper and a spicy warmth.

As always, the French like to ensure their wines perfectly match their food – if the sun continues to shine, try this in the garden with a picnic of charcuterie, soft goats' cheese and olives.

£9.99 per bottle

when you buy 2 bottles

£10.99

single bottle price

Jack's Top 5 Summer Rosé WinesDate published: 29/05/13

Jack's Top 5 Summer Rosé Wines

Summer is well and truly on the horizon after a beautiful Bank Holiday weekend. The warmer weather means only one thing in the world of wine – Rosé!

Fetzer White Zinfandel Rosé - £6.99 (2 bottle offer)

Fetzer are globally recognised as pioneers of environmentally-sound winemaking. Vinification is powered by renewable energy, including a solar-powered bottling plant. Furthermore, the wine produced is all the better for these pioneering techniques. A hint of sweetness gives the Fetzer Rosé a pleasant palate dominated by fresh cherry and raspberry. A fine natural spritz adds to the drinking experience, ensuring the Fetzer proves a winner with staff and customers alike.

Domaine La Chautarde Rosé Provence - £6.99 (2 bottle offer)

Located near the city of Brignoles in Provence, Domaine La Chautarde is a vast estate of pine and oak forests, olive groves and vineyards. The soil type in known as “argilo-carcaire”; a limestone-rich clay. The wine itself is light, dry and fruity. Expect red cherry flavours with an underlying hint of watermelon and nectarine. Soft acidity and a suggestion of rose petals make for a delightful rosé and a great Summer bargain.

La Grille Rosé d'Anjou, Loire - £6.99 (2 bottle offer)

Oenologist Gwenael Guihard has used specially selected grapes from the schist and granite of the Western Loire to create this delicious off-dry rosé. The grapes undergo cool fermentation to ensure the resulting wine is a truly great expression of Loire rosé. The palate is bursting with a summery zing; strawberry and peach fills the mouth whilst a touch of sweetness makes for a great aperitif on a hot, sunny afternoon.

M de Minuty Rosé, Provence - £9.99 (2 bottle offer)

With vineyards virtually overlooking the Mediterranean, Chateau de Minuty is located on the St Tropez Peninsular. The Tibouren grape is a sparsely planted variety, selected here to add a real point of difference to the blend. Pale honeysuckle pink, with a clean nose of citrus fruit and candied/floral notes. A lively palate is a truly generous expression of Summer fruits accompanied by fresh acidity.

Boschendal Rosé, Coastal Region - £6.99 (2 bottle offer)

Last but by no means least, the Boschendal Rosé is South Africa's proud representative on my Top 5 list. Situated along the GROOT drakenstein Mountain, the vineyards are planted with noble red grape varieties. Ripe cherries and strawberries initially leap out of the glass before succumbing to a crisp and refreshing citrus finish. Enjoy well chilled with cold meats, fish and summer salads.

Prices correct at the time of publication.

Wine of the Week: Callia Bella MalbecDate published: 24/05/13

Wine of the Week: Callia Bella Malbec

This new arrival to Majestic has worked its way into my first wine of the week at the Newcastle branch.

Having tried this wine in my previous store I am certain it will be a hit in the not so sunny North-East.

Callia Bella from San Juan has become one of the foremost wineries in the area. The vineyard area is vast and surrounded on both sides by the Andes mountains.

A lovely deep purple colour that boasts a wealth of wild berry and hints of spice. An excellent depth that with integrated tannins.

A wine that would accompany a rustic Italian meatball dish or on its own over our, what looks like, chilly weekend.

Ben's Cellar SelectionDate published: 21/05/13

Ben's Cellar Selection

I am sad but glad to have left the Huddersfield branch and returned to my nearest and dearest store in Newcastle. One wine from each of the countries that are currently at 20% off.

New Zealand - Blind River Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 - This winery began as a retirement project but grew to be hugely popular and a full time family business. The wine has been partially barrel fermented which adds a richness and allows for a much more restrained wine. Great with seafood or stir-fry.

Chile - Luis Felipe Edwards Seleccion Especial Merlot, 2011 - LFE is a relatively new selection to us but has been hugely popular with its fantastic variety coinciding with its great quality and value. This is a Merlot for those of you who like a slightly bolder wine and with the addition of oak it keeps that much loved silky smooth texture of what people would expect from a Chilean Merlot. A great wine at a great price. Very versatile as far as food goes, will go with most meat dishes. In my opinion, it's excellent on its own.

Italy - Poggioargentiera Morellino di Scansano, 2011 - Again a relatively new arrival but with all three of their wines, proving Italy proud. This red boasts ripe cherry and strawberry with that rustic feel consumers are all seaking out these days. The perfect match for lamb chops.

Beaujolais - Chateau de Pizay Morgon, 2011 - Wines of Beaujolais have become very under-rated of late due to consumer tastes going towards heavier and fruitier reds. However, they still have lots to boast about with this Morgon from Chateau de Pizay. This wine offers fine tannins and a smooth palate. With a big fruit profile it is a wine to be drunk on its own.

Australia - Yalumba Y-Series Viognier, 2012 - Much to my satisfaction, Viognier is becoming more and more popular within the wine world. A full-bodied palate packed with peach and apricot and a wonderfully perfumed floral scent. A top wine at a surprisingly low price.

Wine of the Week: Wirra Wirra Church Block RedDate published: 15/05/13

Wirra Wirra Church Block Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2010 McLaren Vale

£12.49 or buy any 2 Australian wines and save 20%

£9.99


Church Block was the first wine produced by the late Greg Trott using the Wirra Wirra label in 1972. The name Church Block comes from a small church called, Bethany Church, which is situated next to the vineyard and the famous Wirra Wirra, century old ironstone cellars.


Originally a Grenache and Shiraz blend, the wine has evolved over the years into this Cabernet-biased Aussie hybrid. The wine is made using 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Shiraz and 18% Merlot. The wine is matured in French (70%) and American (30%) barriques for 18 months adding a rich complexity.

The wine displays an aromatic nose, full of cedar, aniseed, clove and leaf notes. Bright plum, bramble and cherry fruit characterise the plush and juicy palate, supported by smooth-textured tannins.

Enjoy immediately or cellar for up to 8 years. If you are having a BBQ this wine will partner perfectly with a tender, well seasoned fillet steak.

Fine Wine FrenzyDate published: 08/05/13

Fine Wine Frenzy

Majestic proudly introduces a new and exiting offer when buying a whole range of Fine Wine!

Fine Wine at house prices... Buy any 2 selected Fine Wines and save £8.
Simply select any 2 of the stunning Fine Wines below and receive both at House Wine Prices. This new offer allows you to explore Majestic's Fine Wine range without breaking the bank in the process.

Below are our pick of the bunch!
Prices stated below are at the offer price.

Bordeaux;

- Ch. Guillot Pomerol (£20.00)
- Ch. Grand Faire Larose (£15.99)

White Burgundy;

- Meursault le Meurger VV (£20.00)

Rhone;
- CNDP Domaine Durieu (£19.00)
- CNDP Vignoble Abeille (£22.00)

Italy;
- Guidalberto (£26.00)
- Banfi Brunello (£26.00)
- Amarone Negrar (£18.00)
- Jermann Pinot Grigio (£18.00)

Spain;
- Vina Ardanza (£18.00)

California;
- Mondavi Napa Cabernet (£18.00)
- ABC Isabelle Pinot Noir (£32.00)

Australia;
- Angels Share Shiraz (£18.00)
- Sexy Beast Cabernet (£18.00)
- Gnarly Dudes (£18.00)
- Petaluma Chardonnay (£21.00)

- Petaluma Coonawarra Red (£21.00)

South Africa;
- Meerlust Merlot (£15.99)
- Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon (£22.00)

Wine of the Week: Masi CompofiorinDate published: 08/05/13

The Masi Campofiorin has always been a firm favourite with Majestic staff. As part of our “20% of Italy” offer at the moment, it represents great value for money – and gives us an extra reason to remind ourselves just how good it really is.

Masi has been owned by the Boscaini family for six generations and their reputation in the region for producing exceptional wines is second to none.

The Campofiorin is Masi's original “Superventian” from 1964 – recognised internationally as the creator of a new catergory for wines from the Veneto, inspired by wine making techniques from Amarone. Made using the 3 Amarone grapes, the wine is made by fermenting fresh grapes, then re-fermenting the wine along with some partially dried grapes, giving rich and complex flavours

On the nose, cherries predominate with just a touch of vanilla and cinnamon spice. On the palate, it's velvety smooth with plenty of rich fruit and soft tannins.

A perfect match for mature Italian and Alpine cheese or Parma ham and with enough body to handle grilled meats from the BBQ.

£9.99

when you buy 2 or more italian wines

£12.49

single bottle price

Wine of the Week: Chapel Down Chardonnay ReserveDate published: 03/05/13

As an advocate of all things British, I've been waiting for the opportunity to open this fantastic wine made right here in England!

For years, Chapel Down have been winning award after award for their sparkling wines, and more recently this stunning Chardonnay.

Made in an unoaked style to show the purity of the fruit, the nose is full of apple, stonefruit and pineapple. Typical of good Chardonnay, the wine has excellent weight and texture and a classic 'mineral' finish – not dissimilar to white Burgundy.

Try it with seafood. Or be REALLY British with a garden party and have it with BBQ'd seabream – in the rain, of course.


New! Wine of the Week.....Date published: 21/04/13

Vinas Del Vero Gewürztraminer 2012

Recently arrived this Gewürztraminer is made from selected grapes from single, low yield vineyards. Thought I would give it a try and it certainly didn't disappoint. From the beautiful Somontano region of northern Spain, grapes are harvested in the cool of the night to extract the full varietal characteristics thus ensuring maximum freshness. A wine with velvety complexity it has notes of white roses, lychees and honey. Crisp with an off dry finish. Enjoy with asian foods, asparagus, smoked salmon, fish and seafood.

£6.99 20% off Spanish Wine Or £7.99 (Single Price)

Wine of the Week: Chateau Saint Roche les Vignes RoséDate published: 17/04/13

Château Saint Roche-les-Vignes 2011, Rosé de Provence

As I have such an optimistic outlook I feel that winter is finally away and summer should be just round the corner. With this in mind I fancied trying a Rosé from Southern France. Provençal Rosé from the vineyards around St. Tropez are some of the best in the world.

Made using Grenache grapes, this crisp and refreshing Rosé displays an abundance of delicious red berry fruit with a hint of delicate spice.

Excellent with Mediterranean style salads or enjoy on its own in the garden.

£6.99 (buy 2 save £2) or

£7.99 (Single Price)

Fine Wine Of The MonthDate published: 12/04/13

Jim Barry 'The McRae Wood' Shiraz 2009, Clare Valley

OPEN TO TASTE NEXT WEEKEND FROM FRIDAY 19TH APRIL

Jim Barry was the first qualified winemaker to work in the Clare Valley of South Australia. This particular jewel in his crown honours the vision of Jim Barry when in 1964 he purchased 70 acres of prime grazing land from his neighbour: Duncan McRae Wood, and proceeded to plant his first vineyard with Shiraz.

Low yielding vines that produce outstanding fruit, which typify Clare Valley Shiraz; this wine has won a number of accolades including: 'Best International Shiraz' at the 2006 International Wine Challenge.

Opaque in colour, the Shiraz has a nose of fresh cranberries, blueberries, plums, hints of liquorice and suggestions of lavender followed by an intense, rich and concentrated palate. The palate has flavours of boysenberry, plums and black cherries. A delicious well balanced wine which has a velvety finish.

Food for thought Decant shortly before drinking and enjoy with venison or beef casseroles

£30.00

Malbec World DayDate published: 11/04/13

The 17th of April is Malbec World Day, why not come down to the store and see what special offers we have. We will hopefully have something to try on our tasting counter too!

Spring is here, but what to drink? Date published: 05/04/13

When the weather begins to change, as does my drinking habits.Here are a few recommendations as Spring begins to show it's face...finally.

Contesa Pecorino, Italy

This central Italian white exudes citrus fruit, orange blossom, stone fruits and a touch of honey. A wonderfully sift yet clean finish makes this wine excellent for drinking as an aperitif or alongside simple fish dishes.

£9.99 a bottle, £7.99 when you 2 buy or more

Vinalba Torrontes,  Argentina

As Torrontes' go, this doesn't have the typical perfumed element, but certainly not to it's detriment. Peach, pineapple, melon and pear are joined by floral aromas to give this wine a refreshing and ripe finish. A great match to a prawn salad or mild Thai curry.

£9.99 a bottle, £8.99 when you buy 2 or more

Muga Rioja Rosado,  Spain

From an excellent producer, this wonderful salmon-pink dry rose has intensely fresh, strawberry, raspberry and orange peel aromas. The Spanish blend provides plenty of warm, spicy fruit with crisp acidity.

£10.99 a bottle, £8.79 when you buy any 2 Spanish wines

Louis Latour Pinot Noir Valmoissine, Southern France

A great value Pinot Noir from the Burgundian producer Louis Latour. Candied cherry fruits with a spicy perfume on the nose, a velvety textured palate full of  ripe cherry and strawberry fruits with vanilla and subtle gamey notes to finish. This would match duck breast or pork belly.

£9.99 a bottle, £8.99 when you buy 2 or more

Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero, Spain

A fantastic intensity on the palate, with layers of concentrated blackberry, blackcurrants, toasted herbs, smoke and vanilla with a slight savoury finish. Rich and full bodied the finish goes on and on. A great buy!

£16.99 a bottle, or £13.59 when you buy any 2 Spanish wines

New! Wine of the Week.....Date published: 05/04/13

Wine of the Week

Poggio alle Rondini Verdicchio

Spring is here! Finally the sunshine has arrived and we are more than ready for the more clement temperatures to come. This gives us a great opportunity to open one of our new arrivals...

The Poggio alle Rondini demonstrates the true greatness of the Verdicchio grape. Pale lemon in colour, this youthful white balances crisp acidity with fresh citrus flavours. The finish is generous, with notes of acacia honey making this a great match for lightly spiced seafood dishes.

Single Bottle = £8.99 Buy 2 bottles, save £4 = £6.99

Wine of the Week: Georges Duboeuf JulienasDate published: 29/03/13

There are two reasons for choosing Georges Duboeuf's Juliénas this week. Firstly, for the little pink flower on the label (in some kind of faint hope that spring might be on its way), but also because we think it's a pretty top notch Beaujolais.

Juliénas is one of the ten “Beaujolais Crus” - the same quality level as the more well known Fleurie or Morgon. Named after Julius Caesar, Juliénas is believed to be the first part of Beaujolais to be planted with vines by Roman settlers. It has a more varied terrain than any other cru, and produces wine with good complexity.

A medium-bodied, lively wine with plenty of blackcurrant and blueberry fruit. Juicy with balanced tannin, it's perfect with roast lamb which as we all know, is perfect for Easter weekend!

£8.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

£11.99 single bottle price

We are closed on Easter SundayDate published: 28/03/13

Please note that we will be closed on Easter Sunday, 31 March 2013. We are open our normal Friday hours on Good Friday and our bank holiday hours on Easter Monday.

Wine of the Week: Hacienda Zorita TempranilloDate published: 13/03/13

Whilst making the decision what to open as our Wine of the Week, I was hoping for a little sun and the opportunity to open a fresh, zesty, spring white. However, we got snow instead so we’re back on to a delicious, warming red. This is one I’ve been wanting to try for a while and it doesn’t disappoint.   The small region of Arribes del Duero borders Portugal and is one of many wine producing regions alongside the river Duero. Hacienda Zorita is a 14th Century monastery and vineyard estate - now a luxury hotel and home to one of Marques de la Concordia’s cellars. They can even list Columbus amongst their historic visitors!

Made from 100% tempranillo, this wine is intensely fruity with a touch of vanilla and chocolate coming from the French and American oak barrels it has been matured in. It is soft and juicy with bags of strawberry and cherry flavours balancing perfectly with the oak. Try with a rich pasta dish, I think a good old Spaghetti Bolognese would do the trick!

£9.99 per bottle, or £7.99 per bottle when you buy two or more.

Jack's Top 5 Spring Whites!Date published: 05/03/13

Jack's Top 5 Spring Whites

Spring is right around the corner and as such I've chosen my top 5 whites to welcome sunnier weather and longer evenings. The list is by no means comprehensive but certainly includes my personal best buys for this time of year.

1. Trilogy Cuvée Brut NV - £12.99 (2 bottle price)

Top of the list is of course reserved for a bit of fizz! The Trilogy Cuvée stands out in our range of sparkling wine for both quality and value. Using the three traditional Champagne grapes and the similar transfer method of bottle fermentation leads to a great combination of fresh citrus fruit and yeasty undertones. A great affordable alternative to those pricey Champagnes.

2. Vega de la Reina Verdejo 2011, Marques de la Concordia, Rueda - £6.49 (2 bottle price)

'Spanish whites?', I hear you ask. Perhaps the most underrated area in the Majestic collection, these alternatives to Sauvignon Blanc represent fantastic value for money. The Verdejo is question has lively citrus aromas, followed by a crisp and refreshing palate. Expect fresh melon, peach and lemon; perfect for an evening in the garden watching the sun set!

3.Vinalba Seleccion Torrontes 2012 - £8.99 (2 bottle price)

Vinalba are definitely best known for their impressive range of heavy, full bodied Malbecs, but this Torrontes demonstrates their skill with whites just as well. For those unfamiliar with the aromatic Torrontes grape you are not alone. Once discovered, however, it is easy to see why Torrontes is rapidly becoming Argentina's signature variety. Floral aromas are accompanied by tropical fruit and white peach. Refreshing and complex with an impressive finish.

4. Quinta de Azevedo 2011, Vinho Verde - £6.49 (2 bottle price)

Wild card alert! Portuguese wine has well and truly arrived in the UK over the past few years, with Majestic supplying a varied range of reds and whites. This particular example of the Loureiro variety is the perfect alternative to Pinot Grigio. Complex aromas of tropical fruits and floral notes are followed by citrus flavours and just a hint of fizz on the palate. Discover Portuguese wine today!

5. Fattori Soave 2012 - £6.99 - (2 bottle price)

Last but not least! Italy produces some of the best light white wine in the world; but it's not all Pinot Grigio. Garganega is the grape in question here, typically producing refreshing and fruity alternatives to the international varieties. Subtle hints of sage and nettle add complexity to the nose, whilst a core of fresh apple dominates the palate.

Wine of the Week: Vinalba Touriga NacionalDate published: 04/03/13

Viñalba Malbec Touriga Nacional 2008

I have chosen this intriguing Argentinian blend for our wine of the week as it demonstrates excellent value and a great example of old world meets new. For your Sunday roast beef! (the one your cooking for your Mum this Mothering Sunday)

A blend of Argentina's flagship grape, Malbec, together with the traditional Port grape Touriga Nacional. The influence of the Duoro Valley is evident through the dry and fruit-driven style creating a lighter style of Malbec.

This Decanter bronze award winner boasts light hints of violet on the nose accompanied by darker fruits, such as mulberries and damsons. These fruit flavours continue onto the palate and are joined by a smoky, toasty depth.

Single Bottle = £11.99 Buy 2 bottles, save £6 = £8.99  

Fine Wine FridayDate published: 28/02/13

Kanonkop Estate Paul Sauer, 2009

After becoming fond of Bordeaux reds, I have picked a wine which offers similar character and quality yet with slightly more heft. Even better, this wine is currently on our save 20% offer.

Kanonkop is one of the top estates of South African wine making. It is located on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch, which lies approximately 45km inland from Cape Town. The Estate is situated on 125 hectares, of which 100 hectares are planted to vine. These vines benefit from cool sea breezes and long summer days, sitting on excellent soils - ideal for growing grapes. Most of the vines sit on south and south west facing slopes which are considered the most favourable in the Cape.

The name Kanonkop is derived from a kopje (hillock), from which a cannon was fired in the 17th Century to alert farmers in outlying areas that ships sailing between Europe and the Far East had entered Table Bay for a stopover at Cape Town. They would then load their wagons and set off to Cape Town to barter their produce, mainly fresh fruit and vegetables, to the sailors and travellers who had spent many months at sea.

The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The nose is full of blackberry, cherry fruit and is also slightly smoky. On the palate, the full body is complimented by the juicy fruit character and underlying vanilla notes. A wine with excellent structure and complexity which really gets the taste buds going. Can be enjoyed now or over the next decade.

Excellent value at £23.99 when you 2 or more South African wines, otherwise £30.00

Wine of the WeekDate published: 21/02/13

Etoile de Begude Chardonnay 2010 Limoux

New in this week, we have this extremely high quality wine from France. This is a special parcel for a limited time only.

This Chardonnay comes from the small hilltop domaine very close to the town of Limoux. They make the highest quality grapes, hand-harvested from Domaine Begude's best parcels. The climate is relatively cool and therefore produces a crisp aromatic Chardonnay. It is able to rival some of the best Burgundies yet offers excellent value.

Delicious with poultry or white fish.

£11.99 when you buy at least 2 as part of a mixed case

or

£17.99 Single bottle price  

Saturday 16th Feb - Wines of New Zealand tastingDate published: 13/02/13

As you may have seen in our events calendar we are running 2 tasting tutorials this weekend surrounding the wines of New Zealand. The tasting will include (but is not limited to):

Compare: Same grape, different style:

Villa Maria Pinot Grigio, Marlborough &  Waimea Estate Pinot Gris, Nelson

Compare: Pioneering New Zealand wineries:

Villa Maria, Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc & Cloudy bay Sauvignon Blanc

Compare: Marlborough vs Central Otagao:

Brancott Estate Pinot Noir, Marlborough & Quartz Reef Pinot Noir, Central Otagao

A Champagne filled few days, courtesy of Laurent PerrierDate published: 11/02/13

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Laurent Perrier in Champagne.

Our schedule began with a 9AM start at 'The Grand' - Champagne bar at St Pancras station, ready to depart on the Eurostar. Our host was waiting donned with a magnum (or 2) of Laurent Perrier Brut and Laurent Perrier Rose, ready for the ongoing journey. After a brief stop off through Paris we got the TGV to Reims. Reims is where the majority of the Champagne houses are based, however there are also a handful in nearby Epernay.

That evening we experienced a wonderful meal in a local Reims restaurant; we began with the classic (and very very tasty) wine match of oysters with Laurent Perrier Ultra-Brut, a Champagne made with 0 sugar. The meal continued with pig's trotters, steak and Crepe Suzette, accompanied by Laurent Perrier Vintage.

The following day we headed over to Laurent Perrier itself, about a 30 minute drive out of Reims into the countryside, vineyard after vineyard surrounded us on the journey; passing Moet and Chandon and Canard Duchene among others. Once we arrived at the Champagne house we had a very interesting tour around the working tanks, bottling line and cellars. The cellars, stretching more than 8 miles below the Champagne house and it's grounds, were quite mesmerising. Thousands upon thousands of bottles, magnums and Jeroboams ageing with a particular area holding a bottle from every vintage since the Champagne House started in 1812.

A tasting of their range followed, including their prestigious Grande Siecle, a blend of only their finest vintages with grapes from only Grand Cru sites, an extremely elegant yet complex Champagne.

Another fantastic meal followed in a tiny French restaurant (which felt like someone's front room): Snails, Foie Gras, Venison and Creme Brulee to finish, all accompanied by Laurent Perrier 2002.

We were quite sad to leave, an amazing experience!

Wine of the Week: TestimonioDate published: 11/02/13

Testimonio - by Luigi Bosca

How can you drink wine and help charity at the same time? Buy one of the 12 wines at Majestic that donate 10% of sales to Comic Relief.

This member of the donation dozen is a belter, a Cabernet, Shiraz and Tannat blend that doesn't scrimp on fruitiness - full of bramble, blackcurrant and plum - but also has enough smoky, earthy character to leave you wanting another glass/bottle/case.

Luigi Bosca are one of the oldest producers in Argentina. They are noted specialists in making high quality blends that go particularly well with food. At £12.99 this wine looks very good value. At £10.99 plus a donation to Comic Relief it is fantastic value.

Goes a treat with oxtail stew, enjoy!

£10.99 Special Offer, plus 10% goes to Comic Relief

Wine ReliefDate published: 06/02/13

Wine relief, set up by Janis Robinson and her husband Nick Launder, is part of Comic Relief and takes place every 2 years. Since its launch in 1999, over £4 million has been raised. This money helps change the lives of poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged people across the UK and Africa.

We are supporting the campaign with a number of  Wine Relief wines (some of which are listed below).Between Tuesday 5th February and Monday 18th March, we will donate 10% of the retail price of each bottle sold to Comic Relief.

Caronne Ste-Gemme 2007 Pouilly Vinzelles ‘En Paradis’ Louis Latour 2011 Lirac Domaine des Garrigues 2011 Ch de Pennautier ‘Terroirs d’Altitude’ 2009 Dr L Riesling Loosen 2011 Bardolino ‘Naiano’ Allegrini 2011 BVC Cabernet Sauvignon Peter Lehmann 2010 Testimonio Luigi Bosca 2010

Pop into store, visit our website or give us a call at the store to place you order.

Blackfriars Wine TastingDate published: 06/02/13

Teagan and I had a very enjoyable evening with Andy, Ruth and the staff from Blackfriars Restaurant last night, matching wines from our range to some of their lovely food.  Chestnut risotto, roast chicken and a delightful sticky toffee pudding was the menu and the wines tasted are listed below.  It's an excellent setting for an event, and lovely to get the chance to show wines in the context that a lot of them show best - with food.

 

Please get in touch if you have any food and wine matching queries, or would like us to help out with an events you have.

0191 284 7231

ncs@majestic.co.uk

Blackfriars are at  www.blackfriarsrestaurant.co.uk

 

Prosecco Treviso La Marca

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-la+marca+treviso

Contessa Pecorino

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-pecorino

Errazuriz Single Vineyard Sauvignon

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/product-is-39193

Bellingham 'Bernard' Chenin

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-bernard+chenin

Alamos Chardonnay

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-alamos+chardonnay

Macon Rouge, Louis Jadot

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-macon+Rouge+jadot

Raats Cabernet Franc

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/product-is-20277

Matsu El Recio Toro

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-el+recio

Essnessia Orange Muscat

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/product-is-18225

 

Wine of the Week: Duiker Shiraz CinsaultDate published: 05/02/13

Duiker Shiraz Cinsault Swartland, South Africa

With the new Spring promotions giving you 20% off South African wines, I thought we should crack open one of the newbies to try it out...very glad I did!

A duiker is a vine leaf eating miniature antelope, which Adi Badenhorst (the winemaker) describes as very pretty but also very pesky. The majority of Badenhorst's red grapes are grown on old bush wines, which are unirigated and planted across all kinds of varied terrain.

A classic Rhone Valley blend, with a dash of Viognier. The Shiraz gives the wine a backbone of red berry, white pepper and a perfumed note; the Cinsault and Mouvedre provide softness and texture. Dark plums, black cherries and herbal aromatics are evident on the palate, leading to a spicy and soft finish.

As is suggested by the winemaker this wine is best enjoyed in the company of nice and beautiful people, but we think it would be good with barbecued pork ribs too!

£7.99 a bottle (When you buy 2 or more South African wines) £9.99 single bottle price

Fine Wine Friday: Duckhorn Decoy ZinfandelDate published: 31/01/13

Duckhorn Decoy, Zinfandel, 2008/2009 Napa Valley

Open to taste on Friday 1st February

For the first Fine Wine of the year, we thought we would bring you something a little different. Something to warm you up on those ever chilly nights. In 1976 Dan and Margaret Duchorn established their very own vineyard in the Napa Valley. Duckhorn Vineyards originally concentrated on Bordeaux varieties but has since expanded and embraced other popular grape varieties. These Estate vineyards focus on quality and consistency which is an essential element to make Duckhorn wines of distinction. This is wine is produced from the Zinfandel grape, one of California's most versatile and friendly varieties that became the pillar of winemakeing within the 19th Century. A generous wine, with aromas of blueberry and cherry, accompanied by soft vanilla oak characteristics. These flavours extend onto the robust palate with smooth fruit that is perfectly balanced by the firm tannins.

This wine is truely 'Quacking'! Enjoy Perfect to acompany the savoury flavours of game, venison or even duck confit.

£20.00 (When you Buy 2 or more) £22 Single Bottle Price

Themed Tasting TutorialsDate published: 25/01/13

We are very much looking forward to holding 4 informal themed tutorials on Saturdays throuhgout February and March at 11am and 3pm. Focusing on some of the key wine regions of the world, these free half hour tutorials are designed to give you the chance to explore different grape varieties and styles of wine (and of course a chance to taste!).

Please inform us at the store if you wish to attend by either emailing ncs@majestic.co.uk, phone 0191 284 7231 or twitter @majesticncs

Tutorial dates are as follows:-

February 9th - Italy and Spain

February 16th - New Zealand

March 2nd - Classic France

March 9th - South America.

We hope to see many of you there!

SnowDate published: 18/01/13

We're generally pretty good at getting your wine to you whatever the weather.  If we start getting really serious snow, we will assess the weather conditions as appropriate and in the unlikely event of us not being able to get to you, will give you as much notice as possible.  Please bear in mind that if you can't get your car out, we are unlikely to be able to get in.  Any queries, or if you have any useful guidance to conditions around your house, get in touch:

0191 284 7231

ncs@majestic.co.uk

Twitter: @majesticncs

New Store! (and temporary car park works)Date published: 15/01/13

As you may have noticed if you've passed the store recently, a shiny new building has risen from the other side of the car park.  We are very excited about this, as come mid-March it will be the new Majestic Newcastle!  Purpose-built, with full air conditioning and Fine Wine installation, it will have everything the existing building has plus elegance, water-tightness and a flat floor. 

Sections of the car park are currently being dug up and re-surfaced to create better parking, but the 3 spaces to the right of the store (as you look at it) will always be accessible while works are going on. In the event of all of these being filled, parking on the pavement outside or on the opposite side of the road is allowed, we will of course carry your purchases out to the car for you.

We expect all the car park works to be finished by the end of January, but if you have any questions or queries about the works, please pop in or drop us an e-mail or tweet and we'll tell you what we can.

Wine of the Week!Date published: 12/01/13

McHenry Hohnen Cabernet Merlot, 2011, Margaret River

After enjoying the delights of Bordeaux over the Christmas Period, this wine is a great alternative, from the New World. This Bordeaux style blend offers the structure of a French wine but the powerful concentration and fruit of Australia.

Since the 1970's the McHenrys and the Hohnens have been training their vines and growing grapes in the Southern half of the Margaret River region. The fruit of this wine has been sourced from all four of the family vineyards.

This red blend is a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that is hugely concentrated with succulent blackberry fruits. The palate is firm with oak characteristics and robust tannins. This balances well with the dark balckcurrant and olive notes from the Cabernet and the plummy, brambly Merlot flavours which soften the blend.

Food for thought

A powerful wine perfect for a hearty beef hotpot on a chilly winter night.

£8.99 (When you buy 2 bottles) BARGAIN HUNT SPECIAL OFFER!

£11.24 (Single bottle price)

First Wine of Week of 2013Date published: 09/01/13

Beaujolais-Villages 2010, Domaine des Nugues.

Early January (or at least post Christmas), there is a calling for a wine to match all the food you have left. We chose this Beaujolais to do exactly that, enjoy with all manner of cold meats: ham or turkey for example.

Those of you who are already acquainted with Beaujolais, may have already guessed that this little beauty is made from the Gamay grape. Due to the nature of the fermentation, the grapes for this wine are hand harvested so that the grapes remain uncrushed. Fermentation beings within the grapes in the absence of oxygen. Domaine des Nugues conducts this type of fermentation in open topped vats resulting in a semi-carbonic maceration.

Bright, and vibrant in colour, aromas of red berries, red fruits, and spice leap from the glass. Do not be fooled into thinking that the intensity of the colour is reflected by the tannins. They are light and soft.

Food for thought

Be sure to drink this while it is young, over the next 18 months, with cold meats, or tuna.

£7.99 (Buy 2 bottles save £4)

£9.99 (Single bottle price)

Bargain HuntDate published: 07/01/13

It's that time of year again - our yearly bargain hunt clearance!  15 wines are featured in the Newcastle store, with stock levels ranging from 8 to 40 bottles, so speed is of the essence if you want to grab the pick of them.  I include my stand out recommendations below (the ones I'll be buying for myself!)

Chateau Pennautier, Terroirs Altitude Chardonnay, PGI France.

£9.99, buy 2 save £6.66 = £6.66

A glorious, rich yet balanced Chardonnay from the already good value South of France.  I'll be very sorry to see this leave our range, but can console myself with being able to pick up a box for less than 40 quid.

 

McHenry Hohnen Cabernet Merlot, Margaret River, Western Australia.

£14.99, now £11.24, buy 2 save 20% = £8.99

An excellent Aussie producer, with the blend the Margaret River excells at, there's plenty fruit, but also a herby, cedar undercurrent that lends itself wonderfully to food.

 

Tabali Reserva Especial Sauvignon Blanc, Limari, Chile

£12.99, now £9.99, buy 2 save 20% = £7.99

From one of Chile's most exciting regions, this shows lots of citrus and refined minerality - more restrained than a typical Marlborough style, but showing excellent complexity.

 

Happy Hunting.

Wine of the Week!Date published: 09/12/12

Vouvray Domaine des Aubuisières 2011, Cuvée de Perruches, Bernard Fouquet.

 

This wine was a hit at our winter wine evening last month and I thought it was only right that we award this one our Wine on the Week status, so more of you can get to sample this fantastic wine.

This Vouvray comes from Bernard Fouquet. His vines are planted across a range of soils, and each parcel is hand-picked and vinified separately, partly in oak barrels, and partly in old, glass-lined vats.

The nose shows developed fresh quince and pear, and the palate is bulging with ripe apple fruit, with a delicious honeyed sweetness. Don't let sweet character put you off though, as it is off-set by Chenin's characteristic blade like acidity and mineral grip.

Food for thought

A superb aperitif wine which would also partner the delicate flavours of salmon en croute or cold cured meats.

£8.99 (Buy 2 bottles save £2)

£9.99 (Single bottle price)

Wine of the Week!Date published: 25/11/12

Surani Costarossa 2010, Primitivo di Manduria

This velvety-smooth red is one of my favourite Italian wines. Full of juicy rich fruit and hints of spice, for some bizarre reason it makes me want to eat some mince pies. It is the festive season after all.

This is produced using the Primitivo grape which has identical DNA to the Zinfandel variety. The wine is made by over-ripening the grapes on the vine, then harvesting and fermenting them over a lengthy 20 days, then oak-aged to create a rich style.

Located in Manduria, the surrounding terrior helps give this Primitivo its distinctive character, with a complex structure and yet elegant aromas.

Full bodied and deep ruby in colour. Both the nose and palate display characteristics of prunes, dates and figs, with subtle sweet spice. Silky smooth with plenty to entice the taste buds. Excellent value especially on our 'buy two' deal

Enjoy Will compliment venison

Price £7.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles or £9.99 Single Bottle Price

Christmas Opening Hours!Date published: 17/11/12

Christmas and New Years Opening hours for Majestic Wine Newcastle!

Sunday 9th December 10am -5pm Monday 10th - Friday 14th December 9am-8pm Saturday 15th December 9am-7pm Sunday 16th December: 10am-5pm Monday 17th - Saturday 22nd December 9am-8pm Sunday 23rd December 10am-5pm Monday 24th December 9am-5pm Tuesday 25th December Christmas Day: CLOSED Wednesday 26th December Boxing Day: CLOSED Thursday 27th December: CLOSED Friday 28th December 10am-8pm Saturday 29th December 9am-7pm Sunday 30th - Monday 31st December 10am-5pm Tuesday 1st January New Years Day: CLOSED Wednesday 2nd - Friday 4th January 10am-8pm Saturday 5th January 9am-7pm Sunday 6th January: CLOSED Monday 7th January: 1.00pm-8pm Tuesday 8th January: NORMAL OPENING HOURS RESUMED  

Wine of the Week!Date published: 11/11/12

Leyda, Single Vineyard, Chardonnay

This week it's my wine of choice, a Chardonnay from South America. My favourites are normally Argentinian Chardonnays bursting with lots of tropical fruit and high in alcohol, but after trying this with my Sunday roast, this Chilean beauty has to be my wine of the week. One word 'Smashing'!

Produced in the recently discovered Chile Leyda Valley. It is located 12km from the pacific Ocean making it an ideal spot for viticulture. The maritime influence keeps spring and summer cool allowing for the development of a cool-climate style of Chardonnay.

The vineyards are all on slopes, planted on the least fertile soils managing to keep yields low. This helps create a elegant and restrained Chardonnay that is aged in French oak to preserve the fruit.

A medium bodied wine with delicate characteristics of green apple, lemon and nectarines which dominates both the nose and palate. The oak then adds a slight texture and subtle hints of vanilla and leesy biscuit notes. If your looking for something with complexity and a freshness on the palate then give this a try.

Enjoy Stupendous with roast chicken dinner!

Price £8.79 Buy 2 still Chilean save 20% £10.49 Single Bottle Price

Wine of the Week!Date published: 03/11/12

Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache, 2011, Barossa Valley

There is definitely a chill in the air this week, and so off I went to find a warming red and found myself in Australia. Deviating away from the typical full bodied Shiraz, I stumbled across this wine and what a treat it is!

Based in South Australia, Yalumba was founded in 1849 by Sam Smith, a British migrant and English Brewer. The name Yalumba is Aboriginal for “all the land around” and was named this after Sam Smith acquired his first patch of land.

Produced in the Barossa Valley, this wine is sourced from low yielding gnarly bush vines that are between 35-70 years old. The wild yeasts on the grape skins initiate the fermentation creating individuality.

Made using the Grenache grape this wine has an aroma of dark berries, with hints of spicy clove and savoury characteristics. The palate has an impressive body and a full juicy core portraying sweet plum, cherry and redcurrant fruit flavours. An earthy texture adds complexity to a long and smooth finish.  

Enjoy A perfect match for a juicy Roast Rib of Beef or Pork Belly with a cashew pesto. Delicious!

Price £9.99 Buy 2 still Australian wines save 20% £12.49 Single Bottle Price

Fine Wine Friday - Turkey Flat ShirazDate published: 31/10/12

Turkey Flat Shiraz 2008 Barossa Valley

Open to taste from Friday 2nd November

This Fine Wine Friday we wanted to choose a rich, full bodied red to help comfort the chilling introduction into November. For those lovers of Australian Shiraz, particularly Barossa, this is a real treat and one certainly worthy of your time.

This iconic Shiraz is one of the finest produced in the Barossa Valley. The 'Turkey Flat' property has been in the hands of the Schulz family since 1865. The vines that produce the grapes for the back bone of this fantastic wine were first planted in 1847, these are blended with selected parcels of low yielding Shiraz vines.

A nose that packs a punch of blackcurrant, damson, black cherry and violets. The palate is very concentrated with intelligent use of oak, blending black fruits with hints of smoke and subtle spice; a fabulously smooth texture and finish that lasts.

The Turkey Flat matches beautifully with Beef Wellington or fillet Steak, this wine will evolve for up to another 5-8 years.

A true delight!

£25.00  

Wine of the Week!Date published: 23/10/12

Parcel Series Riesling, 2006, Eden Valley

This week I decided to choose something a little different than usual as my tipple of choice. After much deliberating I finally decided that it was time to re-discover my liking for a good Riesling - and here it is!

A nicely mature dry Riesling from a vineyard on the north-facing slopes of the Eden Valley in Australia. Made from purely the free-run juice from the initial grape crushing, this has resulted in a lighter style, with an emphasis of fruit flavours. Sourced from McWilliams (who are more widely known for their Semillons) this wine is produced using purely the Riesling grape. This delicious wine has developed well with a golden colour and intense nose of lime leaf, lemon and subtle hints of Riesling's distinctive petroleum and honeyed characteristics. The palate is beautifully balanced portraying classic citrus flavours, supported by an elegant minerality. It is complex yet fresh with a good length on the finish.

“Get on-line, drive to your local Majestic, do whatever it takes, but make sure you buy this stunning wine. 92 points.” (Tim Atkin, 24th September 2012)

Enjoy Chill well and allow the tartrate crystals (or wine diamonds) to settle before pouring yourself a glass, and drink with a creamy seafood bake. Perfect!

Price £6.99 When you Buy 2 bottles save £6 £9.99 Single Bottle Price

Côtes du Rhône 2010 Vidal-Fleury Date published: 09/10/12

Now that Autumn is truly here and the chill in the air is ever increasing, this week I decided to re acquaint myself with the red wines of Rhone. For a change I chose a wine that is not necessarily seen as a classic Autumnal match, but wins my vote!

Vidal-Fleury was established in 1781 in the Northern Rhone Valley and is the oldest continuously operating winery within the Rhone Valley. Since the 1980's it has been owned by the Guigal family and has incessantly flourished. They blend traditional techniques with modern equipment and have experience that tracks back through the region of Bordeaux, Austrailia and Argentina.

Made using principally Grenache this wine is complemented with Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan grapes. With a brilliant garnet colour, this Vidal-Fleury gives off classic Rhone aromas on the nose of bramble fruit and spices.
Medium-bodied on the palate ,which is perfect for this time of year, to give a warming feeling when curled up after a hard days work. Persistent tannins are present with masses of red fruit and spices which continue into a good and lengthy finish.

Enjoy this along side a classic Lyonnaise sausage and mashed potato dish. Perfect for those chilly Autumn nights.

Price

£8.99
When you Buy 2 bottles save £2
£9.99 Single Bottle Price

Ben's last wine of the weekDate published: 02/10/12

Dry Furmint 2009, Royal Tokaji


I wanted to try something a little different this week and so, went for a dry Furmint from Hungary. This wines first vintage was in 2003 which was a Decanter Magazine Best Buy.

Hungary is more commonly associated with its dessert wines made from the same grape varietal. This is an interesting demonstration of how a varietal so suited to sweet wine production can also excel in a completely different style of wine.

It is an early budding, late ripening variety and particularly susceptible to noble rot. Its high acidity gives the wine longevity.

Well-defined aromatics comprising rich honey notes and stone fruits on the nose. Plenty of acidity gives the palate crispness and bite, with mineral tinges accenting the fruit-laden, exotic feel.

This wine will go well with strong creamy cheeses and rich poultry dishes.

£8.49
When you buy 2 bottles you will save £3!

£9.99
Single Bottle Price

Make Autumn RedDate published: 29/09/12

It's that time of year again where the nights begin to draw in, we put on our woolly jumpers and wrap up warm for the chilly nights ahead. This means it's the perfect time to re-acquaint yourselves and enjoy the red wines of the world.

Here are a selection of Majestic Newcastle's favourite Autumnal Classics to give you a warm feeling on a cold night.

 

 

  • Muga Rioja Reserva - £13.98 (20% off Spanish Wines)    £17.49 Single Bottle Price  

Elegant wine with layers of flavour, fruit and sweet spice with a lengthy finish. Enjoy with lamb.

  • Penalolen Cabernet Sauvignon £8.99    (Buy 2 save £6) £11.99 Single Bottle Price

Expressive nose of plum and blackberry with aromatic herb and toasty oak notes. A satisfying palate with bright fruit and integrated tannins. Enjoy with rare beef fillet, venison steaks or meat casseroles.

  • Beronia Rioja £10.99 (20% off Spanish Wines) £13.74 Single Bottle Price

A complex nose dominated by clove and cinnamon notes with toasted bread characteristics. Warm fruit and sweet tannins on the palate with a velvet texture. Drink with tapas or embuchados.

  • Alamos Malbec £6.99 (Buy 2 save £4) £8.99 Single Bottle Price

This Malbec oozes dried raisiny fruit characteristics, hints of blackberries and ripe tannins. Perfect with roast meats.

  • Chateau Musar £17.99 (Buy 2 save £2) £18.99 Single Bottle Price

Concentrated plum and blackberry fruit with hints of prune, liquorice and spice. A long finish and fine tannins. This will last for decades and can be enjoyed with a wide range of food.

  • Kanonkop Kadette £8.79 (20% off South African Wines) £10.99 Single Bottle Price

A deep ruby, red coloured wine with ripe raspberries, blackcurrant and mocha flavours on the palate. A dry finish with good length. Enjoy with lamb steaks - barbecued if you prefer.



Go and treat yourself this fall and Make Autumn Red

Wine of the Week: DMZ SyrahDate published: 24/09/12

After tasting this particular Syrah last Autumn when it first came into store I was a convert. A great red wine from De Morgenzon whose DMZ range has been a hit since it arrived (Try their Chardonnay too!!).

With the colder months arriving, this great fruit-driven Syrah has enough body and warmth to match a host of hearty Autumnal dishes.

It's difficult not to be interested in this winery when you hear that they pipe baroque music through the vineyards 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is theory to suggest that the vibrations from the music align anatomical particles in a rhythmical way, and that this ‘order’ is transferred to the wine. A form of holistic wine making.

A youthful and expressive Syrah with a fantastic blend of red and black fruit character on the nose; red plum, blackcurrant and hints of violet. This opulent fruit character follows though to the palate and is joined by sweet spices, cinnamon and vanilla. The finish is rounded, supple and the tannins are well integrated.

This wine can be kept for the next 5-6 years or is drinking well now, enjoy with a range of richly sauced dishes, such as Beef Carbonnade or Mole.

£7.99
When you buy 2 or more wines from South Africa (save 20%)

£9.99
Single Bottle Price

Wine of the WeekDate published: 14/09/12

Parcel Series Riesling 2006, Eden Valley.

Whilst on my last visit home, I was asked by my Mum what would be a good white wine match for her creamy chicken Tika Masala. The chilli in the dish provides just enough heat to make you feel alive, and the creaminess adds and interesting textural dimension. With this in mind, on my return to work I travelled to Australia and picked up this little beaut'! I have known many people, even some hardened wine drinkers to be put off Riesling due to its distinctive bouquet and sometimes slap in the face of petroleum, but I am sure this one will be a hit.

This mature dry Riesling is from the vineyards of the north facing slopes of the Eden Valley, and is made from only the free-run juice from the initial pressings, resulting in a lighter style of Riesling, with an emphasis on fruit flavour.
From a vintage that turned out to be excellent, it is light gold in colour. It is lightly honeyed on the nose with hints of orange blossom. The distinctive petroleum is still there, but in this instance it takes more of a supporting role rather than centre stage.
On the palate there are lemons and limes and an acidity that will leave you thirsty for more.


Food for thought

Enjoy with a creamy chicken Tika Masala. Naturally.


£6.99
(Buy 2 bottles save £6)


£9.99
(Single bottle price)

Fine Wine Friday - Rioja Gran Reserva Imperial 2001 CVNEDate published: 07/09/12

Coming slowly and reluctantly into Autumn, this is definitely time for a Rioja, more specifically a Gran Reserva; with the 20% off Spain offer this is one not to miss out on.

Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España, commonly known as CVNE, produces some of Spain's greatest wines. Made from 20 year old vines and aged in French and American oak, the Imperial range originated in the 1920s, named for its imperial pint bottles exported to the UK.

Full garnet in colour expressing elegant autumn berry fruits married wonderfully with coffee, caramel and cinnamon. The palate is finely structured with dried fruit, plums and damsons combined with toasty vanilla undertones. The finish is clean and stays with you.

This is a wine that will evolve well in bottle and last many years, or can be enjoyed now. Fantastic with roasted meats. The perfect accompaniment to a Sunday roast.

Buy any 2 still Spanish wines (between £5-£20) and save 20% =£19.99
Single Bottle = £25

Wine of the Week!Date published: 01/09/12

Vinalba Reserva Chardonnay 2012, Mendoza

 

Looking for some inspiration for what should be our wine of the week I wanted something new and exciting. Perhaps something I would not usually pick, and hence I give you the Vinalba Reserva Chardonnay! I don't have anything against the Burgundian titan, but it has been a while now since a Chardonnay has excited me like this one.

The high-altitude vineyards of the Lujan de Cuyo area of Mendoza provide low average temperatures and long hours of vivid sunshine, promoting a vibrant, and purely varietal character. This white wizard has seen no oak, for a fresher style.

Apples and pears dominate the nose which translates nicely through to the palate where they are met by fresh pineapples and a hint of nuttiness. It enrobes the mouth leaving it feeling soft and refreshed. With respect to alcohol though it is a bit of a monster coming in at a sizable 14.5%


Food for thought

Ideal with creamy poultry dishes


£8.99
(Buy 2 bottles save £4)


£10.99
(Single bottle price)

Wine of the Week - Gavi Montiero, RoccaDate published: 22/08/12

Gavi Montiero, Rocca
 

This Gavi is a new addition to our range and knowing from experience, it's a great wine to enjoy with a prawn salad. A very approachable wine with an extremely reasonable price tag.


The town of Gavi lies in the far south of Piedmont, by the border with Liguria, and is home to some of the earliest plantings of the Cortese grape. The success of the Cortese in this area is no doubt due to its natural affinity with the fresh seafood of the Ligurian coast.

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.

Food for thought

To appreciate this wine fully, drink with any fresh white fish, served simply with herb butter.


£6.99
(Buy 2 Italian wines and save 20%)


£8.74 Single Bottle Price
(Single bottle price)

Building works next doorDate published: 11/08/12

Many of you maybe wondering about the building works going on next door to our store, we are opening a brand spanking new Majestic Wine Newcastle as of later in the year. Wonderful new fine wine shelves and tasting counter to be included.

The building works are completely seperate to our site so we are still up and running as normal (just with slightly fewer parking spaces) so please don't be put off, we are all here as usual.

 

 

Wine of the Week - Gruner Veltliner, WeissenkirchenDate published: 04/08/12

Grüner Veltliner 2011 Weingut Pfarre Weissenkirchen

Understandably many people are wary of Austrian wines and especially those with such a differing varietal name as Grüner Veltliner, but I would personally urge you to try this one. A great alternative to a Pinot Grigio or unoaked Chardonnay. Fantastically dry, steely and typically peppery, this white grape variety is the most commonly planted in Austria.


Certainly worth taking up a hole in your wine rack!


The Wachau region of Austria comprises of a 33 kilometre long gorge overlooking the Danube river, this wine is produced from vines grown around the Weissenkirchen parish.
The colour of fresh straw, an alluring nose of gooseberries with a hint of green apple and flowers. Well balanced acidity and citrus fruits leading to a spicy, lively wine of minerality and elegance.


Clean, fresh and discreetly spicy now, this wine will drink well up to the next 6 years and with time in bottle will start to taste almost Burgundian. An excellent aperitif or accompaniment to Prosciutto, seared scallops or bisques.

£8.99 a bottle (When you buy 2 or more)
£9.99 Single bottle Price

Fine Wine Friday - Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon BlancDate published: 01/08/12

Cloudy Bay 'Te Koko' Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Marlborough

In 1770 Captain Cook was on his voyage to New Zealand, it was during this time he discovered the Marlborough region and the eastern extremity of the Wairau Valley - he was to name this Cloudy Bay and so the this is where the iconic winery from New Zealand we know and love today takes it name from.

The Maori for Cloudy Bay translates to Te Koko. The legend tells the story of a man named Kupe who whilst exploring the Marlborough Sounds was blown into a sheltering bay (Cloudy Bay). From the spirit of exploration the wild land that is Te Koko was born and the area named Te Koko-O-Kupe.

Produced using the Sauvignon Blanc grape it is then fermented using indigenous 'wild' yeasts from the land and aged in oak. The grapes are harvested in the cool night to preserve the fruit flavour. Released as a 3 year old it is unlike any other wine from New Zealand.

This alternative style of Sauvignon Blanc produces an aromatic nose filled with lemon thyme, gooseberry and nectarine notes with a hint of wood smoke. A full bodied palate offers ample ripe tropical fruits and lemon sorbet characteristics with a rounded complexity. Richer flavours of nougat follow with a crisp, lingering finish! Enjoy!

Food for Thought
This wine can be aged for up to another 5 years but if you can't wait to try it instead it is an ideal partner to oysters, tuna or poached fish.

£23.98 (when you buy 2 New Zealand Wines)
£30 Single Bottle Price

 

Open this Friday to try!

Robert goes to SpainDate published: 28/07/12

I came to it at last. The main reason I joined Majestic almost a year ago.... A trip to a hot, foreign county to taste delicious wine.

On arrival at Valladolid Airport, our team of intrepid travellers made way to the beautiful Hacienda Zorita. A true hidden gem for all those looking for peace, tranquility, and something tasty, wet and Spanish!

Just enough time to slip into our shorts and thongs, before lunch at the Hacienda Zorita Organic Farm. After a brief explanation of the production process of their soft and cured cheese, we were treated to a typical Spanish lunch of cured meats, cheese, Spanish omelette and salad, finished off with a gorgeously smooth goats cheese cheesecake, with walnuts, honey, and a mango puree. Taste sensation!

In the evening we visited the cellars at the hotel, a real eye-opener to the scale of cellaring needed by large producers. Next came a tour of Salamanca, the city of culture of the Duero valley, it has a large student population, and some very impressive architecture - most strikingly in the city's two cathedrals.

For dinner we headed to Casa Paca for some genuine tapas. We leaped over the language barrier like lucky Spanish frogs and enjoyed some real delights.

We popped the cork on the second day with a tasting of not just the Marques de la Concordia and Berberana ranges, but the complete range of producers for United wineries. (http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-berberana)

Next came a 4x4 tour through the Arribes del Duero Natural park, just crossing the border into Portugal, and then a river cruise up the Duero river follow by a BBQ lunch of steak and fish and some local Portuguese Wines.

The remainder of the afternoon was our own to enjoy in the hotel "Wine spa" , and being the hard working Majestic staff that we are, it was well deserved.

For dinner we were treated to a five course meal, each course carefully matched to a Concordia wine. My personal favourite was the carpaccio, and i had did have a rather large soft spot for the Vega de la Reina Verdejo. Voted best White wine in the world, Concour Mondial de Bruxelles. (http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-reina/product-is-14451).

This really was an amazing trip and would like to thank our fearless trip leader, Robert Rand, of United wineries.

If you have any questions about my experiences in Spain, come in and ask. I would be happy to talk your ears off!

Wine of the Week - Domaine Sainte Rose 'Les Derniers Cépages' 2010/2011 Date published: 23/07/12

Domaine Sainte Rose 'Les Derniers Cépages' 2010/2011 PGI Côtes de Thongue


Single Bottle £8.99 or Buy 2 bottles save £2


£7.99


One of my many passions is to try different varieties of wine, and this one is an interesting blend of grapes which caught my eye straight away.


Domaine Sainte Rose is a family owned boutique winery near Servian in the Languedoc region of Southern France. It is run by a British couple, Charles and Ruth Simpson.


Les Derniers Cépages, translated as “the last varieties,” is a unique blend of two late-ripening red grape varieties, Mourvedre and Petit Verdot. In the Languedoc, Mourvedre is known to be the last variety to ripen, as Petit Verdot is in Bordeaux.

Both these varieties are enjoying a resurgence in warmer growing areas like the Languedoc producing clean, concentrated, high-quality fruit.

With the sunshine finally arriving this week, I cranked up the BBQ and bought some steaks from the butchers, lightly seasoned them with salt and pepper, then got cooking. The next stage was to open the wine and start drinking, which is a vital part of the cooking process.

The wine is a deep, opaque purple-black colour, it is a dense and weighty wine. The nose is a brooding mix of black cherry, liquorice with hints of rosemary; and the palate is jammy with wild raspberry and spicy black fruit flavours. It has a good structure with soft tannins and a long, generous finish

The wine matched beautifully with my steaks, a definite recommendation to people who like BBQ's and trying different types of wine.

Wine of the Week - Vermentino 2011 Poggioargentiera Date published: 13/07/12

Vermentino 2011 Poggioargentiera

This Vermentino is from Maremma, in Tuscany by the Mediterranean sea. Produced in a sunny, beautiful and unspoilt area, it is a warm, fruity yet refreshing wine that gives a true taste of Tuscan sun.

With the warm summer months (usually) the majority of people opt for a fruity rose, but I wanted something a little bit different - a taste of Italy! There are many to choose from and being my indecisive self I based my wine of the week purely on the beautiful label. This is not how to choose your wine BUT the label represents it well as I have been pleasantly surprised by this delicious wine.

A clean and fresh nose with hints of peach, the palate offers a swathe of soft pear and stone fruit characters, with a refreshing limey streak. Enjoy!

Food For Thought
This wine matches perfectly to pan-seared salmon, with a fresh, herby tomato salsa. Yum!

Buy 2 Italian wines save 20% = £7.99
Single Bottle = £9.99

Nyetimber Tasting!Date published: 12/07/12

The ultimate sparkling Saturday .....for one day only on Saturday 18th August 11am-5pm, Nyetimber will be joining us at Majestic Wine Newcastle. Here, you will be able to sample the delights of Nyetimber's full range available in store....and its completely free!!

Even if the sun isn't out, celebrate anything with one of England's standout sparkling wines, Nyetimber

Located in West Sussex, Nyetimber have established themselves as England's premier sparkling wine house. Since their original plantings of classic varieties in 1988, they have produced world class wines to rival (and often beat in blind tastings) some of the biggest names in Champagne.

Here is a taster of what you can expect to sample on the day!

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2004 £29.99 Special Offer £24.99
(Magnums of 2005 also available, £59.99)

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

Nyetimber Rose 2007 England £39.99
Aroma of redcurrants and cherries, intermingled with notes of brioche,
the result of ageing on the lees. The complex flavours are echoed on the
palate, which has great texture.

Nyetimber Blanc de Blanc 2003 England £34.99
Golden colour with delicate bubbles. Classic Chardonnay aromas of
peach and citrus, along with floral notes and an almond pastry character,
followed by citrus flavours filling the palate.
 

Flick's Wine of the WeekDate published: 05/07/12

Domaine de l'Aigle Pinot Noir 2010 Gerard Bertrand, PGI Pays d'Oc


Usually this time of year would call for a lighter red, what with the warm summer months...perhaps not so much this year.
A great example of this would be Pinot Noir. I have picked this particular Pinot as my wine of the week as I think it's excellent value and a fantastic example of the Pinot Noir grape.
The Domaine L'Aigle demonstrates a fantastic combination of the incredibly fruit driven style found in the New World, with the somewhat savoury found in Burgundian Pinot Noir.
A distinctive nose of wild strawberries with subtle cinnamon and clove-like notes. The palate does not disappoint, an abundance of summer fruits with a delicious spicy backbone is backed up by tight and bracing tannins leading to a long and mineral finish,
This wine would match beautifully with soft cheeses, duck breast or rare lamb.

Buy 2 or more, save £4 = £8.99
Single Bottle = £10.99

Fine Wine Friday: Jim Barry 'The McRae Wood' Shiraz 2006Date published: 02/07/12

Jim Barry 'The McRae Wood' Shiraz 2006,
Clare Valley

If you like your Aussie Shiraz big and bold...this is most certainly for you, an absolute belter of a Shiraz packed full of fruit, with exceptional length to finish.

Jim Barry was the first qualified winemaker to work in the Clare Valley of South Australia. This particular jewel in his crown honours the vision of Jim Barry when in 1964 he purchased 70 acres of prime grazing land from his neighbour: Duncan McRae Wood, and proceeded to plant his first vineyard with Shiraz.

Low yielding vines that produce outstanding fruit, which typify Clare Valley Shiraz; this wine has won a number of accolades including: 'Best International Shiraz' at the 2006 International Wine Challenge.

Opaque in colour, the Shiraz has a nose of fresh cranberries, blueberries, plums, hints of liquorice and suggestions of lavender followed by an intense, rich and concentrated palate. Having spent 17 months oak ageing the spectrum of red fruits marry wonderfully with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon and liquorice on the palate.
Rich and concentrated with elegant, well integrated tannins make this wine a perfect match with venison or beef casseroles.

£25.00

I love Chardonnay (wine of the week)Date published: 28/06/12

I love Chardonnay.

There, I've said it, and I haven't been engulfed in flames, and as it's my birthday this week, it's one of my favourite Chardonnays for Wine of the Week. If you haven't tried one for a while, then step out of your comfort zone and discover what you've been missing.

Long gone are the massive, slightly sweet, oak and butter-laced golden Aussie Chardonnays of the 80s and 90s, replaced by wines from early-picked grapes, fermented with wild yeasts, oaked lightly and full of poise, grace and sophistication. The Vasse Felix is all of these things, providing crisp, fresh, stone fruit and apple character, a light doughy note and lovely, refreshing acidity.

It is a highly versatile wine, and would pair well with a wide range of salads and rich fish dishes, but my perfect match would be home-made chicken kievs, dripping with garlic butter, on a bed of wilted greens - lush.
 

Moët Hennessy TastingDate published: 27/06/12

Rob,Teagan and I were lucky enough to head up to the fabulous Hotel du Vin in Edinburgh last week for a Champagne tasting with Moët Hennessy.

After finding our way to the 'Burke and Hare' room, decorated accordingly with huge canvases and wall murials of grave robbings and various medical equipment, we sat down and were asked to smell and attempt to identify 8 different nez du vin. Each of the 8, we later found out, were representations of the different flavour characteristics found on the nose and palate of the first Champagne. Jasmine, lemon, cardamom and pineapple were amongst some of the characteristics we identified in the wonderfully elegant Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Blancs meaning the Champagne only uses the Chardonnay grape.

Accompanied by a brief history of each of these powerhouses in Champagne we then went onto taste Moët & Chandon Rosé NV and Veuve Cliquot Rosé NV, both different and both exquisite. Moët full of red currants, raspberries and the lighter in style of the two; Veuve displaying power and finesse not unlike its' Non-Vintage style.

We continued the evening by tasting Moët & Chandon 2002 and Veuve Cliquot 2004 vintage Champagnes. Both excellent examples of the differing Champagne house styles from which they descend. Moët, hailing from the exceptional 2002 vintage, was wonderfully balanced with crisp acidity and subtle richness which would certainly develop over time. Veuve from the 2004 vintage had a pronounced richness full of bready, yeasty and biscuity characters to which you would normally associate vintage Champagne.

We concluded the tasting with the Dom Pérignon 2003. As many will remember 2003 was a famously hot year, which while good for many is not so good for grape ripening and hence very very few Champagne houses declared a vintage. However the Chef de cave at Dom Pérignon determined the grapes good enough for their high standards and went forward with production. In one word...sublime, an incredibly smooth and balanced wine showing classic flavours such as brioche, biscuit and crisp citrus fruit a fantastically different style to follow the mamouth 2002.

A wonderful evening had by all, many thanks to Simon Hibbitt and all at Moët Hennessy
 

Getting Involved OnlineDate published: 25/06/12

Do you have a facebook or twitter account? Enjoy all the latest gossip and keeping up to date with all the best deals?

Well if you like our facebook page or follow our twitter you can have access to all the information you need from our staff here at Majestic Wine Newcastle.

We will let you know of all the hottest deals that are too good to miss, special wines available for you to try in store and any events thats are coming up (i.e. wine courses, special promotions, tasting weeks) and much more!!

AND....If you have any questions just send a tweet or comment our way and we will get back to you personally!

Just a couple of clicks and you will have access to all the information you need to keep up to date!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Majestic-Wine-Newcastle-Gosforth/145915882136537

http://twitter.com/majesticncs

Wine of the week: Viñalba Selectión Torrontés 2011, Lujan de Cuyo.Date published: 19/06/12

Simply, this wine blows my socks off! With all the Sauvignon blanc and Pinot Grigio that is around these days it would be easy to miss this little diamond, and you'd do well not to. If you've spoken to me before, you will know that I am a fruity kind of guy and a fan of all things floral. Hence, this wine is right up my street.

This little known grape variety is a distant relation of Muscat, and has become Argentina's signature white grape variety.

Bouncing out of the glass you'll find aromas of blossom, tropical fruit. These aromas march straight to the palate and are joined by melon, white peach, pineapples and pears. The finish is refreshing and mouth watering without any unpleasant sharpness. Enjoy.

Food for thought.

This wine will stand-up for itself with mildly spiced curries and oriental cuisine, and is a delight to drink on its own.

£7.99
(Buy 2 bottles save £4)
£9.99
(Single bottle price)

Nyetimber - the taste of an English 'summerDate published: 18/06/12

Even if the sun isn't out, celebrate anything with one of England's standout sparkling wines, Nyetimeber:

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2004 £29.99 Special Offer £24.99

(Magnums of 2005 also available, £59.99)

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

 

Nyetimber Rose 2007 England £39.99


Aroma of redcurrants and cherries, intermingled with notes of brioche,
the result of ageing on the lees. The complex flavours are echoed on the
palate, which has great texture.

 

Nyetimber Blanc de Blanc 2003 England £34.99

Golden colour with delicate bubbles. Classic Chardonnay aromas of
peach and citrus, along with floral notes and an almond pastry character,
followed by citrus flavours filling the palate.

The Sud de France Festival.Date published: 15/06/12

The Sud de France Festival celebrates the wines and gastronomic delights of the South of France, with various food and wine events taking place throughout London over the course of June.

We may be 300 miles from London, and would struggle to provide the food, but you should consider the wine sorted here at Majestic Newcastle.

The weekend our tasting counter will be bursting with wine from the South of France, just itching to be tasted.

See you soon.

Wine of the Week! - Paul Mas Vermentino, 2011Date published: 14/06/12

Paul Mas Vermentino, 2011, PGI Pays d'Oc

Paul Mas have been producing wines for over 100 years, creating classic wines in a modern style. They are located in the Languedoc region in southern France.
The legend of the Vinus, the Heron, situated on the label began on the Herault river banks at the foot of Château Paul Mas in Pezenas.

The Vermentino grape is originally native to Italy and featured regularly in many wines from Sicily to Piedmont, however it is now increasingly planted in the South of France.

This wine has a pale golden colour with hints of green. The nose is predominantly citrus aromas yet further characters of berry and slight smoky notes are present. The palate is rich in tropical fruit flavour, with a refreshing acidity and a satisfying length.
 

Food for Thought
Best enjoyed moderately chilled with seafood, poached fish or cold summer salads.

£6.49
When you buy 2 or more
£7.99 Single Bottle Price

 

Free* delivery on any 6 bottles! Date published: 13/06/12

Here at Majestic we understand that life can be busy and so we have made it that little bit easier. You can now purchase as few as SIX bottles and still get a FREE* delivery service!

Whether you just want to top up on the wines you love or wish to make the most of our great deals available then now is the perfect time! Don't hesitate to order on-line or simply give us a call in-store and have your wines delivered to you.

It doesn't matter if you want 6 of the same or mix and match your case - it will still be delivered by our very own Newcastle team straight to your front door!

*Orders over £40 are FREE
*Orders under £40 will have a £5 delivery charge

Planning A Party?Date published: 12/06/12

Planning A Party This Summer?! Daunted by the thought of all the planning?

Here at Majestic we have been helping customers plan their parties for years and have a special sparkling party planning service just for you.
Our new Party Planning Guide offers you all the need-to-know about throwing a fantastic party whether it's casual drinks around a BBQ or a full-scale wedding! So now organising your party is even easier and gives you a chance to sit back and enjoy your event without the added stress!

As well as great deals on wine, we also offer a range of services to suit your party needs:

  • FREE Delivery (7 days a week)
  • FREE* Glass Hire (Wine, Flutes, Tumblers and Pint)
  • FREE* Chiller Bin Loan (Small and Large)
  • Ice Bags
  • Professional advice
  • Sale-or-Return arrangements
  • Advice on quantities
  • Tasting Notes


*All glasses and chiller bins must be returned clean and intact.
*£1 deposit per Glass and £10/£15 deposit per Chiller Bin (Refunded on return!)


Visit our website and take advantage of our 'Party Calculator' to work out bottle quantities needed or pop in to the store to talk to one of our members of staff about your event and pick up your very own Party Planner Booklet.

http://www.majestic.co.uk/Services/Parties

Hope you have a great party!
 

Wine of the Week: Ponte del Diavolo, Pinot BiancoDate published: 03/06/12

Ponte del Diavolo, 2010, Grave del Friul, Pinot Bianco


The Ponte del Diavolo is named after a spectacular 15th Century medieval stone bridge in the town of Cividale in Friuli. The story of the legendary 'Devil's bridge' states that the devil struck a bargain with the local townspeople promising to create them a bridge in return for the soul of the first living creature to cross it. The cunning citizens outwitted the devil by sending a dog across to save themselves and gain a wonderful bridge.

The wine is made by Kiwi winemaker Matt Thomson, consultant winemaker for a number for wineries throughout Italy, Bordeaux and New Zealand.

Pale yellow in colour with hints of green reflections. The nose is lightly fragranced with aromas of dessert apples and subtle blossom notes. These characteristics are followed onto the palate with a soft, peachy acidity. Well balanced and elegantly refreshing.

Food for Thought
Best enjoyed with seafood salads or spaghetti carbonara.

£6.99


When you buy 2 or more Italian Wines between £5-£20
£8.74 Single Bottle Price


 

Fine Wine of the Month - Domaines Ott Provence RoséDate published: 31/05/12

Château Romassan Rosé 2011 Bandol, Domaines Ott

'It's not just a pretty bottle!'


Provence Rosé has become a real favourite this summer amongst the staff here at Majestic Newcastle. With this in mind we have chosen Domaines Ott as this month's fine wine Friday and indeed fine wine of the month.

Founded in1896, Domaines Ott continues to be one of the world's most celebrated rosés.
To achieve the sublime colour that Provençal wines are known for, Domaines Ott undertake an extremely delicate pressing of the grapes. This releases only the 'Coeur de Grain', the finest and richest element of the fruit. With no addition of chemicals, this traditional and natural method ensures a full balance and elegance to the wine.

A classic blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, this is an extremely subtle, balanced and complex rosé showing a nose of strawberries, raspberries and a touch of fennel joined by hints of exotic spice on the palate. One the best rosés in the world.


£27.00

Wine of the Week - Commanderie De Peyrassol RoseDate published: 19/05/12

Commanderie De Peyrassol Rose 2010/2011
Cotes de Provence

The popularity of rosé within the past 50 years has soared and no other region like Provence has embraced it so well. With a culmination of 2000 years of viticultural know-how and a rich cultural heritage, their rosés are market leaders.

The Knights Templar founded Commanderie de Peyrassol in 1308; not only do they produce Rosé wines but also with their addition to the 80ha of vines, it shelters wildlife including a private hunting area amongst olive and oak truffle trees.

Produced using Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault there is a spicy warmth to the fruit yet a refreshing acidity that is accompanied with a peachy edge. Strawberry characteristics predominate the palate which are followed by hints of white pepper on the finish.

Food For Thought
This wine matches perfectly to an array of charouterie and other cold meats, olives, soft cheeses and equally to any fish dishes.

£9.99
Buy 2 Save £2
£10.99 Single Bottle Price

 

Tasting NotesDate published: 17/05/12

Explore the  world of wine a little bit further with Majestic!

Now whenever you purchase your wine, we can provide you with FREE tasting notes!

Share your knowledge with your friends and family - Put them to the test on their tasting skills and see who wins!

Wine of the Week: Falanghina 2010, TerredoraDate published: 11/05/12

Falanghina 2010, Terredora


The good people of Terredora have long recognised the potential of the Campania region, and it's ancient grape varieties, pioneering the development of vineyards in the region since 1978.

Falanghina is a very characterful ancient white grape, and here the producer has sought to make a wine that combines the creative innovation of Terredora wine-making with distinctive fruit and best tradition.

This particular wine displays a rich and aromatic nose of apple, pineapple, and citrus fruits. This tropical fruit character translates well to the palate, where it is balanced with crisp acidity, yet has seen three months lees ageing before bottling which gives the wine an added depth and texture.


Food for thought.

Enjoy with buffalo mozzarella, and Italian pasta dishes.

£8.70
(20% off Italian Wines)


£10.99
(Single bottle price)

Fine Wine of the Month - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vignoble Abeille 2007, Mont RedonDate published: 03/05/12

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vignoble Abeille 2007, Mont Redon

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is arguably the most important appellation on the southern Rhône in terms of quality, producing full-bodied, rich, spicy reds. The wine takes it's name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon in the 14th century and hence translates to 'Pope's new castle'.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape are in part responsible for the first geographical delimitation of a table wine area; caused by adulteration and fraud of their wine, in wake of the wholesale destruction of European vineyards by the phylloxera louse in the second half of the nineteenth century. This has given rise to the modern appellation law which lays down rules for the production of wine in order to maintain a certain level of quality within a given area of wine production.

This particular wine from Jean Abeille's estate, strikes a sublime balance between youthful fruit aromas and warm, oaky complexity. This sweeps smoothly to the palate where amongst the bramble fruit, there are touches of clove and cinnamon.

Food for thought

Enjoy this one with roasted lamb shank.

£22.00
(Buy two bottles save £6)

£25 (Single bottle price)

My amazing few days at Château de BerneDate published: 02/05/12

I have recently had the pleasure of being treated to a couple of wonderful wine and sport filled days at the glorious Château de Berne in the Southern French region of Provence.

We arrived at the Château late afternoon and after a brief walk through the gardens we began, what became a rather competitive, game of Petanque which was accompanied by some Pastis and the delicious Château de Berne Grand Recolte Rosé. As our hosts claimed it was begining to get cold, while we were all dressed in shorts and tee-shirts, we decided to head inside for some Aperitifs before dinner; the favourite of which being their Sparkling Rosé 'Wild Pig'...light, crisp and delicious.

The next day we had a very interesting tour around the winery with their Sales Manager for Asia, 'Hubert', which was followed by a tasting of their various whites, reds, rosés and dessert wines. Apart from their Rosés, the stand out wine was a Muscat dessert wine which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

After a walk round the local market we headed back to The Orangerie, the Château's own restaurant, and enjoyed a 3 course lunch with matching wines for each course...a world away from my Soup and glass of water lunch break. The afternoon was far more active as we embarked on a mountain bike route around the vineyards, where not one of us escaped without some form of bruise or scratch; me being a bit a wimp had to walk some of it, while others were doing jumps and wheelies throughout.

That evening we enjoyed a fantastic 6 course meal, again with matching wines including: Foie Gras matched with Château de Berne's own Ugni Blanc/Vermentino which had been aged in 1 and 2 year old oak for up to 9 months...the 2 matched wonderfully.

Unfortunately we had to head home, but luckily this was via the coastal city of Nice where we all enjoyed a fantastic steak lunch on the beach with our host for the trip, Thomas.

I cannot speak highly enough of the Château itself, the food, the people and of course the wine...a truly fantastic experience...photos to follow.

Wine of the week - Spolverino Toscano 2010, Carpineto.Date published: 02/05/12

Spolverino Toscano 2010, Carpineto.

£9.99
(20% off Italian Wines)

£12.49
(single bottle price)

Had this wine been bottled with a cork, it would have been classified as an official Chianti Classico. Sweeping away centuries of old customs Carpineto have bottled one of their best wines with the modern convenience of screw cap technology.

Spolverino is Italian for 'feather duster', and the label depicts a black rooster, the emblem of Chianti Classico, sweeping away corks. Despite this light-hearted dig, there is nothing light hearted about this Italian. With 80% Sangiovese and 20% Canaiolo, it will sweep you off your feet.

On the palate there are intense red cherry notes, with integrated violets and tobacco notes. These red cherries fill the palate too with a juicy richness and a snappy acidity.


Food for thought

Best with barbecued red meats, and tomato based Italian cuisine.

Wine of the Week: Vui Manent Reserva Viognier.Date published: 26/04/12

Viu Manent Reserva Viognier 2011, Colchagua.

£7.99

(Buy two Chilean wines save 20%)

£9.99

(Single bottle price)

This is a majestic exclusive from the Viu Manent winery.
Viognier has its roots buried deep in the Rhone but is becoming very trendy. Chile is really helping its renaissance with varietals like this.
Family owned since 1935, it is dedicated to sustainable growth and quality environmental practices.

Made without the presence of oak and with careful temperature control, one may expect a wine full of fresh fruit character. Be mindful of the fact that this one has seen a couple of months ageing on its lees adding a touch of depth.

For the want of a better word, a fruit-cocktail awaits those who pour. Pineapples, apricots, and delicate quince on the nose, leading to tropical fruits, peaches and pears on the palate.


Food for thought

The outspoken fruit flavours match well with fruity savoury dishes, and will stand up for itself in a fight with spicier, chilli based dishes too.

Summer LovinDate published: 24/04/12

Summer Lovin'

The winter blues are a distant memory, and spring has certainly sprung, it's fair to say that we have our heads down and are charging to the end zone that is the summertime!

Summer 2012 is already giving us more reasons than usual to celebrate and enjoy ourselves, be it with friends, family, work colleagues, team mates or even on your own (nobody enjoys being tapped on the shoulder and asked to explain the off-side rule in the fading minutes of a crucial world-cup quarter final).

Majestic is here to help you with all of the above. The Queen's Diamond jubilee is starting us off, and speaking of sparklers we have some real gems to help to stay refreshed from hours of frantic union flag waving.

You may (or may not) be going crazy for the Euro championships, but we've got the offers to see you through. A HUGE 20% off Australia, Beaujolais, Chile and New Zealand. And don't forget we have a great range of ales and lagers if that's your thing.

No time to breath as we head to the hallowed turf of SW19. We don't do strawberries and cream, unless they're in a bottle of Rose, but we can provide the champagne. We have the old classics as well as some new faces.

To the greatest show on earth we march. We have Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal award winners amongst the Majestic range.

Whatever your plans this summer, we're here to help. Come instore our visit our website for all up to date offers and prices.

Majestic Wine. Come and explore.

Construction WorksDate published: 18/04/12

Over the next few months Majestic Newcastle Gosforth will be beautifully reconstructed and refitted in the area next to the current store, so at the moment the car park is a building site. We are open for business as usual though, so come and explore, and sorry for any inconvenience!

Wine of the week - Torre Aldea Gran ReservaDate published: 17/04/12

Rioja Gran Reserva 'Torre Aldea' 2005.


£9.59 When you buy two or more bottles as part of a mixed case.

(£11.99 Single bottle price)


This Gran Reserva comes from Spain's leading wine region. It will have seen 24 months in oak before a further three months in bottle before release. Rioja is now about quality, not quantity, and this is certainly reflected with this wine. A product of a family-owned bodega.

A beautiful ruby colour, this wine has classic Gran Reserva flavours of vanilla, leather and raisins, with some chocolate too. There is also some strawberry for you fruit lovers.


Food for thought

Enjoy with spicy lamb dishes

A little bit about the Argentine Wine IndustryDate published: 13/04/12

The Argentine wine industry is the fifth largest producer of wine in the world behind France, Italy, Spain and the USA. It has held this position for many years.


Argentine wine, like aspects of Argentine cuisine, has its roots grown in Spain. During the Spanish colonization of the Americas, vine cuttings were brought to Santiago del Estero in 1557, and the cultivation of the grape and wine production began.
Historically, Argentine winemakers were more interested in quantity than quality with the country consuming 90% of the wine it produced. It is only very recently - perhaps over the last ten or fifteen years - that the industry has really begun to develop the methods, attitudes and will, to become a serious player in the international wine market.


High volume, low quality vines are being replaced by premium varieties. Formerly struggling bodegas have attracted the backing of major international wine companies. Product quality is soaring, and every year the industry balance shifts further from cheap table wines towards premium wines that are increasingly recognised as being amongst the best in the world.


In the rain shadow of the Andes, Argentina is for the most part an arid landscape, but like Chile it benefits from a supply of irrigating water off the mountains. Unlike Chile however, the generally warmer inland region can support vine growing down the length of the country. In the north, the vineyards lie at the same latitude as Morocco; in the south, vineyards share latitude with New Zealand. One of the keys to growing quality wine grapes here is altitude, with vineyards planted at between 2,000 and 3,000 feet to exploit cooler temperatures.


In terms of wine regions Mendoza is Argentina's powerhouse and centre of quality. The regions accounts for over 80% of total production. Producers like Finca Flichman, Catena, Vinalba and Weinert make fine Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay with increasingly impressive Syrahs and Malbecs. Many have been subject to foreign investment from top European houses.


There is no doubt that Malbec is the grape on which Argentina's international reputation as a wine producing nation is founded. It is a difficult grape to which the climate and conditions around Mendoza are arguably ideally suited. It is also a grape which no other country in the world cultivates to anything like the same degree. However there are many other varieties both red and white including;


Reds - Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Barbera, Cabernet Franc


Whites - Torrontés, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano), Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignonasse (Sauvignon Vert), Riesling

On the 17th April 1853, Argentinian presidential candidate Domingo Faustino Sarmentino tasked Michel Aimé Pouget, a French soil expert, with bringing new vines to Argentina. Included in the selection was Malbec - a robust, tannic grape that was most commonly found in Cahors, south-west France. This mission is seen as the pivotal moment in Argentina's wine history, and hence the date is commemorated worldwide by celebrating Argentina's most famous grape varietal.


Majestic Newcastle will be celebrating by opening a selection of magnificent Mendozan Malbecs this weekend for you to taste. Come and explore and see which is your favourite!

Malbec World Day - 17th AprilDate published: 11/04/12

On the 17th April 1853, Argentinian presidential candidate Domingo Faustino Sarmentino tasked Michel Aimé Pouget, a French soil expert, with bringing new vines to Argentina. Included in the selection was Malbec - a robust, tannic grape that was most commonly found in Cahors, south-west France. This mission is seen as the pivotal moment in Argentina's wine history, and hence the date is  commemorated worldwide by celebrating Argentina's most famous grape varietal.

On 17th April, various exhibitions will be seen around the world, including a cocktail party at the Yacht Club in Puerto Madero, tango displays and comedy shows. Not wanting to miss out on all the action, Majestic Newcastle will be celebrating by opening a selection of magnificent Mendozan Malbecs this weekend for you to taste. Come and explore and see which is your favourite!

 

 

Viñalba Malbec Touriga Nacional 2009Date published: 11/04/12

Viñalba Malbec Touriga Nacional 2009


Viñalba produces an exciting range of wines, which showcase the depth and elegance which Argentina can offer. They produce an eclectic range of grape varieties and wines from Mendoza and Patagonia. Viñalba has already won 42 medals, including 5 trophies in the IWC and Decanter awards.

This wine is an intriguing blend of Malbec and the traditional port grape, Touriga Nacional. Although grown in the Andean foothills, the Douro Valley influence is immediately evident in this blend, with its dark hue and earthy nose.

Dark and smooth, this blend has a wonderfully sensuous nose, with dark fruit, spice, liquorice and hints of perfumed violets. It is a big full bodied red, with bags of chunky blackcurrant and mulberry fruit layered over a smoky oak complexity. It has a lovely perfumed lift on the finish with hints of violets and rose petals.

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

Price £10.99 or buy 2 bottles save £4
£8.99

Fine Wine Friday - Viña Muriel Gran Reserva, 1989Date published: 06/04/12

£25 or buy 2 save £15 = £17.50


After spending a total of 23 years ageing (of which 2 were in oak barrels) Muriel Gran Reserva is a wonderful example of a wine that has maximised its ageing potential. Good quality Rioja is capable of ageing up to 25 years, and it is interesting to see the change in characteristics that occur during the ageing process.

One of the first things that you notice about this wine is the colour. After many years in bottle, wine tends to change from deep purple/ruby to garnet/brown. Here is no exception, and we see the appearance of the wine as ruby verging on tawny. The appearance of the wine is not the only change that occurs however, and on the nose aromas of cedar, raisins and baked strawberries replace the younger, fruitier, primary aromas.

On the palate dried fruits such as figs and raisins are predominant, with cedar notes and a subtle hint of vanilla coming through as well. After 23 years of ageing the tannins have softened, giving a velvety-smooth texture and a wonderful, long finish.

At its best now, Muriel Gran Reserva would work well with spring lamb or
hard cheeses.
 

Wine of the Week - Kanonkop KadetteDate published: 05/04/12

Kanonkop Kadette, 2010


£10.99 or 20% off when you buy 2 South African wines


From the renowned vineyard of Kanonkop comes this interesting take on the classic Bordeaux blend. Up to 50% Pinotage is added to the traditional Left-Bank composition of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and then aged for 14 months in French oak barrels from the Nevers forest.

On the nose meaty aromas of dark chocolate and cherry, with a hint of savoury spice come to the fore. These flavours are met on the palette by flavours of baked red fruit, blackberries and a touch of toasted oak. The length is nice and long, and the flavour intensity is restrained enough to be drunk on its own.

If you were looking to dust down the barbecue over the coming months, this wine would work well with barbecued steaks and sausages. Alternatively, roast lamb and rosemary would be very happy to partner Kadette.
 

Wine of the Week - Valpolicella Classico, 2010.Date published: 20/03/12

Valpolicella Classico 2010, Cantina di Negrar

The best Valpolicellas tend to come from the “classico” sub-zone, and this is certainly one of the best. Valpolicella is the second most important Italian red wine growing region after Chianti. It is produced in the western Veneto region of Verona, north-east Italy, where the Corvina grape thrives on soils of limestone and granite.

Red fruit and summer berries radiate from the glass with a touch of spice and a hint of earth. Velvety smooth tannins are here for you to enjoy, the wine wraps itself around your mouth, not wanting to leave.


Food for thought

As with most Italian wines, this will go well with most Italian food, but this one will marry up perfectly with tomato-based pasta dishes, soft cheeses, grilled meats and olives.

 

£7.99 When you buy two or more bottles as part of a mixed case.

(£9.49 Single bottle price)

Enjoy.

A Taste of South-West France - Confit de CanardDate published: 13/03/12

The South-West of France is a culinary hotspot, with famous dishes from Fois Gras to Carcassonne Cassoulet hailing from this region. After spending some time here myself I developed a penchant for the many duck-based dishes available; my personal favourite being cured duck, thinly sliced (much like Carpaccio) and served in salad or even as a pizza topping! Here is a recipe for Confit de Canard, another well-known regional dish, where the duck legs are baked in their own fat.


Ingredients

4 duck legs, each about 175g/6oz, including fat

40g/1½oz sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

4 garlic cloves, unpeeled and crushed with the flat edge of a knife

4 thyme sprigs, leaves only

4 rosemary sprigs

2 bay leaves

1kg/2lb 4oz goose or duck fat, melted

2 tbsp honey

 

Preparation method

1.To make the duck confit, put the duck legs in a small shallow tray, skin-side down, and season with the salt, pepper, garlic and thyme. Cover with cling film, press down and leave to marinate for 2-3 hours in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.

2. Take the duck out of the tray, discarding the marinade. Rinse under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen paper.

3. Put the duck in a large heavy-based casserole or cast iron pan and pour the melted goose fat on top. Cover with a lid or greaseproof paper sealed with foil, place in the oven and bake for 3-4 hours, or you can gently simmer the duck on the stove, covered with a lid, for 3-4 hours.

4. Remove from the oven, or take off the heat if you're cooking on the stove, skim off any fat then cover with foil and set aside.


As an accompaniment, it is worth roasting some potatoes in the duck fat to crispen them up, and serving with braised red cabbage with apples in red wine. Alternatively, puy lentils and diced carrot boiled and seasoned with garlic and garrigue herbs work well with the succulent duck and crispy skin.
 

With regard to a wine match, Burgundian Pinot Noirs such as Domaine Chevailer's Gevry Chambertain work really well, due to the spicy notes and ripe dark cherry flavours. However, in celebration of South-West France, Domaine de l'Aigle Pinot Noir from Gerard Bertrand is an admirable substitute for a tighter budget.

 

Inama Vin Soave 2010 - Wine of the WeekDate published: 12/03/12

Inama Vin Soave 2010
£13.99 or buy 2 bottles and save £4
£11.99


The Inama estate was founded in 1960. The vines are up to 30 years old and their grapes are hand-harvested. Stainless steel fermentation is followed by up to eight months' maturation before bottling.

Soave is made from 100% Garganega, which is a native Italian variety that can only be found in Northern Italy. It has been planted here for over 2000 years. The grapes in this wine are grown exclusively on the mineral rich, volcanic soils in the heart of the Soave Classico district.

This is a full bodied dry white wine with a pronounced floral aroma, crisp acidity and an excellent length. Flavours of apricots, honey, flowers and almonds come through beautifully in this wine. Leading to it being an excellent match for chicken risotto, fish pie and spring vegetable tagliatelle.
 

Greene King IPA - Beer of the Month!Date published: 11/03/12

£15 per case or buy any two cases of ale and save £6!

£12 per case - while stocks last!

Greene King IPA is a perfectly balanced ale, characterised by its fresh, hoppy taste and clean, bitter finish. This hoppy taste and aroma come from two varieties of English hops – Challenger and First Gold – which are combined with pale and crystal malts. A great beer to enjoy with curry, Mexican and other spicy food, or simply on its own.



 

Fine Wine Friday - Mollydooker Boxer (16.5%!)Date published: 29/02/12

Will be opened to try this Friday, 2nd March, please get down to taste it, you are in for a treat:

Despite having only been in existence for 6 years, Sarah and Sparky Marquis of Mollydooker already have more 94+ Parker point scores than any other winemakers in the world. Some would accuse them of making formulaic, massive wines with a view to point-scoring, but there is much more to them than this and if you like your reds big, ripe and full of flavour you can't pick a better place to start.

Amongst the many awards that the Boxer has garnered, the Wine Advocate's 'Best Value Red in the World' is hard to top. Indeed, demand for the Boxer is now so high that it has its own release day each year, such is the interest generated. The name Mollydooker is an Australian synonym for a left-hander, which both Sarah and Sparky are, and it would make a great gift for the leftie in your life.

To prepare the wine to drink in its youth, the winery suggest the 'Mollydooker Shake', which is not a dance move, but a method of releasing Nitrogen from the wine. The wines are bottled with Nitrogen gas to protect them from Oxygen and reduce Sulphite use, but when young the Nitrogen also masks primary fruit flavour. Shaking the bottle frees Nitrogen (listen for the hiss when you open it) and allows the full flavour profile to be restored.

The wine pours almost black into the glass and provides a cornucopia of aromas that beguile and bewitch - lavender, plum, cherry and blueberry mix with meaty notes of bacon, chorizo and game - showstopping. The youthful palate is not quite as multi-faceted as the nose, but still gives lashings of black fruit and spice, along with a big boozy kick, courtesy of the 16.5% alcohol - you read that right, phew! The finish is long, long, long, briary and a little sweet, all in all it's a heady drink that can be broached now, or over the next 10 years. Food isn't necessary, but a large char-grilled steak would be a fine accompaniment.

New Parcel has just arrived!Date published: 24/02/12

St Hallett Poachers Blend White, 2010, Barossa Valley - £8.99 or buy 2 save  £8 = £4.99

An unusual blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Riesling, the grapes have been sourced from several vineyards located on the varied soils of the Barossa Valley in Australia. On the nose we have zingy aromas of lime and tropical fruit, which continues onto the palate, to give a fresh, full-bodied mouth-feel. This would be the perfect accompaniment to a warm chicken salad or poached salmon.

 

 

Composite Sauvignon is now all gone, sorry.

Wine of the Week - De Morgenzon Reserve Chenin BlancDate published: 22/02/12

This excellent wine is grown in the famous Stellenbosch region of South Africa. The vineyards at which its grown are named 'The Morning Sun' Vineyards, as they are the first parts of this region to receive the days sunlight. The Chenin Blanc varietal grows excellently in this region due to its light, sandy soils. The superb flavour of this wine derives from its 39 year old low-yielding bush vines and its vigorous process of grape selection. It is finally aged in French oak barrels to add complexity and a voluptuous body.

This wine is gloriously rich with complex fruit flavours on the nose. Ageing has brought honey and rich oak into the already plentiful tropical fruit notes and lingering finish on the palate.


FOOD MATCH: As a powerful and full-bodied white this wine can really compliment a rich dish, such as foie-gras or pork

Wine of the Week - Blason d'AussieresDate published: 15/02/12

Corbieres lies in the Languedoc region of the South of France. The Languedoc would be the 9th largest vineyard area in the world should it operate alone and has become renowned as one of the last areas of France to offer a real balance of genuine interest at an affordable price. Corbieres lies within this region, north of Perpignan and to the south of the Canal du Midi. With an area covering 33,000 acres of land. Corbieres was declared an appelation in 1985. With such a vast area of land under vine, the quality of each wine depends on both the vineyard site and careful selection in the vineyard.

Corbieres is always a blend of the classic Southern French varieties with Grenache and Carignan featuring strongly along with Syrah. This example is Grenache dominated. It is the second wine of Chateau d'Aussieres which is an ancient property of the Languedoc region which found itself in need of recovery during the mid 1990s. Domaine Barons de Rothschild of Bordeaux fame did just that in 1997.

Around 20% of this wine has been aged in oak for one year giving a subtle background of spice and leather. The fruit is luscious dark berry and plum and there is the unmissable scent of garrigue on the nose. It is long and well balanced with reasonably high alcohol on the finish. The wine has a couple of years bottle age which have nicely softened the tannins but another year or two would be beneficial.

Enjoy this wine with hearty beef stews and casseroles or try it with the roast beef and Yorkshire puddings on a Sunday lunchtime.

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-blason/product-is-09471

Fine Wine at MajesticDate published: 14/02/12

Here at Majestic, we have been looking to extend our fine wine offering over the past few years which is great news for you! Our range of wines priced over £20 has increased dramatically across all regions and styles. The majority of our Fine Wines are from the classic wine regions of the world; Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône, Rioja, Tuscany and Piedmont. We also have an ever increasing selection from the New World with regions in South Africa, New Zealand, California and Australia all covered.

In-store we offer a generous selection of wines, even opening a bottle on the first Friday of every month for you to try. However, if you are looking fior something different or perhaps a bit more expensive then we can order this from our fine wine centre. This is a temperature controlled environment where a larger stock of wine is held which can be ordered and delivered to the branch, usually within a few days.

If you are looking to stock up the cellar or start a collection then last year Majestic, in collaboration with Lay & Wheeler, launched the Fine Wine Plan! The Fine Wine Plan is designed specifically for customers who appreciate drinking great wine, and who aspire to build a fine wine collection for future enjoyment.

We recognise that time is a precious commodity for many of our customers and not everyone can spend hours carefully researching the world of fine wine. We also understand that often it's the hassle and administration involved with owning fine wine which can put off otherwise enthusiastic potential collectors.

So in partnership with our en primeur specialist Lay & Wheeler, we've introduced the Majestic Wine Fine Wine Plan - the simplest and most affordable way to gradually build your own fine wine cellar. At a financial pace that suits you, starting from as little as £50 per month,  you get access to the expertise and in depth knowledge of our small, dedicated team of Fine Wine specialists. You will benefit from Lay & Wheeler's ability to access great, high demand wines en primeur, plus you gain full use of the perfect storage conditions found in our industry leading facility Vinothèque.

For more information and for how to join please follow this link or visit the Fine Wine pages on the Majestic website.

http://www.majesticfinewineplan.co.uk/index.html

Chilli - to Bean or not to BeanDate published: 10/02/12

It's probably because it seems so simple that Chilli has so many variations in form and ingredients.  I've tweaked mine over the years so that it suits my taste, but you'll find the main areas of contention below:

Meat

Almost everyone agrees on beef: mince will do, but a solid hunk of meat works better, cooked until it can be broken up with a spoon.  Shin, blade or cheek is best for this, and also adds some weight to your sauce.  I tend to add a couple of broken up chorizo too.

Veg

I think tinned tomatoes and some tomato puree are essential for depth and fruitiness in the sauce and onions are a stick-on certainty, beyond that it's up to yourself.  I think mushrooms are lost on anything with a decent level of spicing, so best saved for something where you can notice their flavour more.  My most common additions would be red peppers for flavour and texture, and if there's some in the fridge, a few sticks of celery offer a pleasing crunch

To Bean or not to Bean

Originally used as a padding ingredient, or entirely instead of meat.  Purists say no, I normally say yes.  Kidney beans are common in the UK, but if you can find them Pinto beans offer a firmer texture that doesn't tend to break down so much when cooked and a nice nutty taste.

Herbs & Spices

Obviously chillies: I'm looking for a good degree of flavour as much as heat and tend to buy dried peppers, mostly a mix of Chipotle, Ancho, Pasilla and De Arbol.  These are split, the seeds removed, toasted in a dry pan, then refreshed in hot water for 15 minutes and blended to a paste which is then cooked into the sauce.  Garlic can add another dimension of taste but my main other flavourings are coriander, cumin and mustard seeds, again toasted in a dry pan, then ground and cooked off when frying the onions.

Sauce

Beef stock would be good if you had some handy, half a bottle of dry red wine works well too, but you can get by with water, anything to give enough liquid to let it cook down for a few hours.

Drink

A red with lots of flavour, but not too much tannin as this clashes with chilli.  Try Wither Hills Pinot Noir from NZ for a volley of red fruit with a little spice and vanilla or the new Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abuzzo for a fuller, more brambly fruit character.  A good ale is also acceptable, something quite hoppy like Hadrian and Border's Tyneside Blonde.

Let us know any other additions you like, or your perfect drink pairing.

 

 

Kanonkop PinotageDate published: 03/02/12

£23 or buy any 2 South African, save 20% - £18.39

Kanonkop Estate is one of the top estates of South African wine making. It is located on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch, which lies approximately 45km inland from Cape Town. The Estate is situated on 125 hectares, of which 100 hectares are planted to vine. These vines benefit from cool sea breezes and long summer days, sitting on excellent soils - ideal for growing grapes. Most of the vines sit on south and south west facing slopes which are considered the most favourable in the Cape.

The name Kanonkop is derived from a kopje (hillock), from which a cannon was fired in the 17th Century to alert farmers in outlying areas that ships sailing between Europe and the Far East had entered Table Bay for a stopover at Cape Town.
They would then load their wagons and set off to Cape Town to barter their produce, mainly fresh fruit and vegetables, to the sailors and travellers who had spent many months at sea.

Pinotage is the crossing of Cinsault and Pinot Noir vines done in 1925 and is the famous red grape of South Africa. The wines vary from a lighter, fruit laden style to a more serious deep coloured, spicy and rich style of wine which benefits from a touch of oak.

This wine has spent 16 months in French oak providing it with a background of spice which integrates nicely with the lashings of ripe red and black fruits. It is full bodied with warming alcohol levels and excellent length which balance nicely with firm tannins. A wine of real quality.

The wine will develop over the next 10 years should you choose, but will marry well with steaks, beef casseroles or put it on the rack and wait for barbecue season to come round again!

Getting to Know BordeauxDate published: 27/01/12



Location: The Appellations of Bordeaux are located on either side of the river Gironde, which splits into the Dordogne and Garonne further inland. The rivers play a huge part in Bordeaux, as the wines on either bank have a distinctive style.

The Grapes: There are five main red grape varieties used in Bordeaux (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec), with a further three for whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle). Each grape imparts unique characteristics, and the key is to carefully blend the right amount of each in order that they will complement each other, whilst also displaying the characteristics of the region from which they are grown. Merlot is a large, thin-skinned grape, which is the first to ripen, and therefore the first to be harvested. It softens the wine and adds plummy characteristics. Cabernet Sauvignon is a small, thick-skinned grape, which adds colour tannin and spicy blackcurrant characteristics. Cabernet Franc adds similar qualities to the wine as Cabernet Sauvignon. It is rather aromatic and herbaceous, and helps to mature the wine more quickly. Malbec and Petit Verdot are used a little more sparingly to add spice and texture.

Left Bank/Right Bank: To the south and west of Gironde is the Left Bank. The soil is made up of gravel and sand, which suits Cabernet Sauvignon nicely. The general regions are Medoc, Haut Médoc and Graves, but within Haut-Médoc are the prestigious Commune Appellations of Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint-Julien and Margaux. To be able to use these labels, a Chateau must produce a wine of a certain high quality, style and a small yield in order to preserve the prestige. Similarly, on the right Bank, to the north of Dordogne, Fronsac, Pomerol and St-Emilion can command equally high prices. Here, the soil is composed of limestone and clay; ideal for growing the Merlot grape, which results in softer, more fruit-driven wines, which have elegance and freshness.

The Vintage: The vineyards of Bordeaux lie on very flat ground, with no sloping hills to protect from extreme weather conditions such as spring frost and flooding. Consequently, crops can be destroyed or damaged if it is too hot or cold, or if the rainfall is too extreme throughout the year. This means that crops can vary widely in quality and quantity from year to year, meaning that it is important to consider vintage when choosing wines from Bordeaux.

Price: People often wonder if it is worth spending so much on Bordeaux, when many other winemakers outside of France are capable of producing quality Bordeaux blends at a fraction of the price. Yes, there are bargains to be had elsewhere, including from our own range the Kanonkop Kadette (a South African Bordeaux blend with a hint of Pinotage) or Vinalba (Malbec-dominant from Argentina). However, if you have the patience or the means to invest in the higher quality wines from the commune ACs, you will taste the quality, care and attention that has gone into producing these wines.

 

Wine of the Week - Majestic Peaks Pinot NoirDate published: 27/01/12

Majestic Peaks Pinot Noir, Central Otago, 2010

£10.99 or buy any 2 bottles from New Zealand and save 20% - £8.79
The vineyards of Central Otago are the southern-most on earth, planted in the Southern Alps of the South Island. It is the only wine producing region of New Zealand with a continental climate giving warm days and cold nights. Many of the vineyards are planted on sunny hillsides to maximise the sunshine of the region, but the cool nights preserve acidity and freshness. Most grape varieties would find this environment unsuitable but Pinot Noir flourishes here.

Central Otago Pinot is all about elegance and soft tannins, which this wine shows in abundance. Majestic Peaks is made exclusively for us and is light in colour with soft cherry and raspberry on the nose. The palate is a fine balance of fruit and soft tannins with a background of spice. The wine has well balanced acidity which combines to give a wonderfully fresh yet elegant combination of flavours.

As with most Pinot, this wine will age for a couple years but can be happily drunk now. Many New Zealand Pinot Noirs command a high price but this one offers excellant value for money. Try it now with duck or game.

Wines of Provence, Languedoc and RoussillonDate published: 13/01/12

The Vineyards of Provence, Languedoc and Roussillon lie along the Mediterranean coast, from Italy in the east to the Spanish border in the west.

The climate in the south of France is Mediterranean and there many differing soil types. One common factor in many areas is the limestone content in the soils, couple this with the consistent climate, there is great potential to produce excellent wines.

Provence is in the south-east and close to the Mediterranean. It is perhaps the warmest wine region of France and produces mainly rosé and red wine. It covers eight major appellations led by the Provence flagship, Bandol. Some Provence wine can be compared with the Southern Rhône wines as they share both grapes and, to some degree, style and climate. Provence also has a classification of its most prestigious estates, much like Bordeaux.

Languedoc and Roussillon, often paired together, is the largest region in terms of vineyard surface area, and is the region in which much of France's cheap bulk wines have been produced. While still the source of much of France's and Europe's overproduction, the so-called “wine lake” Languedoc-Roussillon is also the home of some innovative producers who combine traditional French wine and international styles while using lessons from the new world. Much Languedoc-Roussillon wine is sold as Vin de Pays D'oc.

Some wines to try from the region,

 

Château Saint Roch-les-Vignes 2009/2010 Côtes de Provence

Grape - Grenache

Origin - The warmer, southern regions of France are the home of rosé wine, and
nowhere else embodies that fresh, herby style better than Rosé de
Provence from the vineyards around St. Tropez.

Taste - A deliciously dry rosé showing soft spice and attractive red berry fruit,
with a crisp, refreshing finish.

Enjoy - Perfect with Mediterranean style food or simply on its own.

 

Domaine Tranquillité 2008/2009 Bernard Magrez, Vin de Pays d'Oc

Grape - Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Grenache, Merlot, Syrah

Origin - An amazing value limited parcel from acclaimed Bordeaux winemaker Bernard Magrez, this combines Bordeaux and Languedoc styles. Part of the blend has seen ageing in French oak barrels for 6 months which, with some bottle age, has softened the once powerful tannins.

Taste - This is a powerful black fruit and spice-driven red, with layers of leafy, herbaceous complexity.

Enjoy - Snap up this wine while you can and marvel at the unbelievably low price over a rich beef stew.

 

Grand Ardèche Chardonnay 2009/2010 Louis Latour, Vin de Pays des Coteaux de l'Ardèche

Grape - Chardonnay

Origin - The climate in the Ardèche, to the west of Rhône, certainly suits Chardonnay. Couple this terroir with Louis Latour's Burgundian expertise and the result is in the style of Meursault. It is treated as if it were grown in one of the Grand Cru vineyards of the Côte-d’Or.

Taste - Yellow-green in colour, with a subtle nose of vanilla. On the palate there are ripe apple and peach fruits with a nutty, buttery creamy texture and notes of vanilla and spice. A powerful and complex wine.

Enjoy - Try with roast chicken and dauphinoise potatoes.

Wine of the Week - Cardela Crianza, Bohórquez 2008, Ribera del DueroDate published: 02/01/12

Cardela Crianza, Bohórquez 2008, Ribera del Duero

£10.99 or buy 2 save £4 = £8.99
The Douro river is probably best known for being at the centre of the Port trade, where in Portugal the grapes are grown inland, and then transported 70km downstream in sailing boats, or barcos rabelos, to the cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, at the mouth of the Douro. However, across the Iberian border and into Spain, we find vineyards on the banks the Ribera del Duero capable of producing some excellent reds.

The climate (long, warm days and cool nights) and soil (limestone) mean that the Tempranillo grape thrives in this region. The product is a thicker-skinned grape than those found in Rioja, which is a consequence of the long period of ripening. In addition, the wine is much darker and have more powerful flavours.

From the steep slopes of Bodegas Bohórquez comes Cardela Crianza. Deep garnet in colour, it has strong aromas of blackberry and elderberry. On the palette the tannins are nicely balanced with the dark fruit flavours continuing from the nose. Despite being a Crianza, the secondary characters of cinnamon and dark chocolate usually associated with older wines are present, suggesting that the wine has been aged in oak longer than the six month minimum requirement for Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) wines.

Cardela Crianza would be an ideal pairing to venison, rib of beef or tapas dishes such as minted lamb or chorizo stew.
 

Make Mine a Double (bottle)Date published: 08/11/11

A magnum (1.5L) is considered to be the perfect size for the bottle ageing of wine, offering the believed ideal ratio of air to wine.  However, there are plenty in the current Majestic range that you can happily open this winter or lay down for celebrations in the future.  Whether you are entertaining many, or just have a good thirst, a magnum lends a touch of class to the dinner table and makes a great centrepiece or converstaion starter.

Caronne-Ste-Gemme is one of my favourite reasonably priced Bordeaux, offering a good chunk of leathery black fruit along with lots of classic Claret character.  Spot on with a roast rib of beef this new year or until at least 2020.

From Spain comes Marques de la Concordia's soft, supple Rioja Crianza from the excellent 2004 vintage.  It's drinking perfectly now and its notes of red fruit and vanilla would sit happily with slow roasted shoulder of lamb.

New to the range, is Majestic favourite Vinalba's multi award-winning Malbec Reserva.  Chock full of chunky black fruit and spice with lots of earthy smoky character.  Have it with steak frites or a bonfire.

A magnum offering wouldn't be complete without a big bottle of Champagne which will set off any winter parties a treat.  We have a couple of fantastic deals on currently, with the classic Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label at £60, and my personal favourite, Louis Roederer down to £55.  It's a big, traditional style of Champagne, replete with creamy, bready biscuit notes over a core of stewed apple fruit.  It will top off a celebration in style any time over the next 5 years.

With their generally smaller production levels, magnums tend to come and go, but there's always a range to choose from, just pop in or give us a call.

Wine of the Week - LEYDA SINGLE VINEYARD PINOT NOIR, 2010Date published: 08/11/11

Introducing one of the new additions to our revamped Chilean range, Viña Leyda have been producing innovative wines in their 245 hectares of vineyards since 1997. 

“One of Chile's finest producers, exemplary for its consistently rewarding cool-climate wines that offer outstanding value for money and wonderful diversity. At Viña Leyda, the range is superlative: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Gris, with barely a weak link between them. It´s hard to believe that the property has only being going since 1997, having pioneered the Leyda/San Antonio appellation, which didn´t exist before its arrival. New plantings bode well for the future too.” Chile's Top 15 Producers - Decanter Magazine, August 2011.

Their ethos is to produce small parcels of wine that showcase the unique characteristics of each vineyard or micro-terroir, and the location of their vineyards - 12km from the Pacific Ocean - gives the grapes the benefit of long, sunny days and cooling ocean breezes. This allows for slow ripening which permits the grapes to reach their maximum sugar level potential, and thus display intense flavours and crisp minerality.

The 2010 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir comes from Leyda's Las Brisas vineyard; this south-west sloping vineyard is perfect for exposing the grapes to fresh ocean breezes, whilst the clay soil creates good drainage, preventing dilution of flavours. Consequently, the resulting wine is full of ripe cherry aromas, with stewed strawberry flavours and subtle herbaceous notes continuing onto the palate. The product is a well-rounded wine with long lasting flavours, with a versatility which allows it to be paired with dishes such as spicy sausage-based stews or even turkey.

£12.49 or 20% off when you buy
any 2 Chilean wines
= £9.99

Hot New Discoveries in ChileDate published: 04/11/11

Chile are fortunate to have near perfect growing conditions and offer an extensive range of the wine industries most popular and sought after grape varietals at a high quality. This allows Chile to compete on the world stage to be a top contender for the most exciting and diverse country in the New World.

Chilean Viticulture improved dramatically over the early 1990s as they heavily invested in technology and expertise, which has dramatically increased not only the quantity but the quality. Chile has became well known in the wine world as the country for producing great value wines, but are longing for a reputation to promote their own unique qualities just as the Australians have mastered with their heavy spicy Shiraz.

After the devastating 2010 earthquakes the Chilean wine industry seems to have started afresh and it aims to create even better quality wines but still at great value.

With these extremely promising factors in mind Majestic have decided to re-vamp nearly half of its Chilean range to reflect the diverse and exciting wines Chile has to offer.

Having tried most of the new wines myself, I am confident in saying that the new lines definitely reflect the country's hopes and expectations. Vina Carmen has a reputation for producing some of the finest wines and their main focus is to find the best locations for each varietal. The Carmenere in particular is a delightful warming wine with velvety tannins and intense black fruit.

Some of my personal favourites include the Leyda single vineyard Pinot Noir with its intensely fresh aromas and direct fruit on the palate and the Anakena Single Vineyard Syrah which is chunky and very fruity. Both are a perfect accompaniment to game or venison.

So with this in mind and the winter months moving frostily upon us come down to Majestic and see for yourselves what all the hype is about!!

Wine of the Week - Viñalba Selección Torrontés 2011, Lujan de CuyoDate published: 01/11/11

 

Viñalba Selección Torrontés 2011,
Lujan de Cuyo

£9.99 or £7.99 when you buy 2 bottles.

A distant relative of Muscat, Argentina is the most famous place in the world where the Torrontés grape can be found. The unique climate of Argentina, especially in the high-altitude vineyards where long sun-exposure is managed by cooling breezes, allow for fruit flavours to develop, whilst maintaining a refreshing level of acidity.

Torrontés is a light yellow wine that occasionally has golden and green hues. Its aroma is reminiscent of roses, jasmine, and geraniums. In the mouth it is pure fruit salad, sometimes with touches of honey or oregano.

Viñalba aim to make wines that represent the high-altitude vineyards, where the cooler climate allows the clean, fresh fruit flavours to stand out. In this Torrontés, the tropical fruits of pineapple and melon are blended with complex notes of blossom and white peach.

The wine is best drunk young with fresh seafood, delicate fish dishes or lightly-spiced Thai food. It can also work well as an aperitif.

Wine of the Week - Waimea Sauvignon Blanc, 2011Date published: 04/10/11

Situated on the north tip of the South Island, Nelson produces a relatively tiny proportion of New Zealand's wine, accounting for a mere 4% of production. Long hours of sunshine and loamy soil ensure that winemakers produce a more restrained style of Sauvignon Blanc, and the Old World style of wine making contributes to the minerality and flinty characteristics.

Waimea's 2010 vintage was recently awarded the Decanter International Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc under £10, and this new vintage doesn't disappoint!

The gooseberry and nettle characteristics that are so typical of Sauvignon Blancs from neighbouring Marlborough are evident in this wine, whilst the tropical fruits of passion fruit and pineapple give a complex, mouthwatering finish.

The crisp and refreshing acidity makes it the perfect accompaniment to white fish drizzled with lemon, or asparagus.
 

£9.99 or buy 2 bottles save £6 = £6.99

Wine of the Week - Muga ReservaDate published: 27/09/11

Bodegas Muga is located in the historical Barrio de La Estación (railway station district) in Haro. The large facilities are two centuries old, built mainly of stone and oak. Oak plays a large part in the winery, with over 10,000 barrels in use at any one time made from a wide variety of oaks (including French, American, Spanish and Russian), each capable of giving different effects and characters to the wine maturing within them. Muga own the majority of their vineyards (620 acres of nearly a thousand) which is by no means the norm in Rioja, but this allows them an enviable level of control over the quality of their wines.

The 2007 Reserva was aged for 6 months in large, traditional Riojan vats, before transferring to smaller barrels for a further 24 months and finally a year of bottle maturation before release. It is a glorious wine, made from 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and 10% Mazuelo & Graciano, that offers ripe and supple berry fruits on the palate, overlaid with vanilla characters from the oak ageing and a delicate herbal character that I find in all of Muga's traditional wines. The tannins are ripe, but still reasonably grippy, and there is still a balanced seam of acidity in the wine, making it suitable to drink now, or cellar for up to a decade.

For me, it is a perfect match for roast lamb, though it would suit other red meats and has enough power of flavour to stand up to moderately spiced Mediterranean or North African dishes.

See the full range of Muga wines Majestic have in stock here:   http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-muga

WINE OF THE WEEKDate published: 21/09/11

Grand Ardèche Chardonnay 2009
Louis Latour, Vin de Pays des Coteaux de l'Ardèche

 

Single Bottle price = £9.99

OR, Buy two bottles, SAVE £2.00


Grape Variety: Chardonnay

Consistency of climate and abundant sunshine in the Ardèche perfectly ripen these bunches of grapes , whilst the drying Mistral wind eliminates any risk of rot. The Grand Ardèche is treated as if it were grown in one of the Grand Cru vineyards of the Côte-d’Or. Fully-ripened grapes are selected and pressed lightly before being aged in oak barrels made at the Latour cooperage in Beaune.
 

Yellow-green in colour, with a subtle nose of vanilla. On the palate there are ripe apple and peach fruits with a nutty, buttery creamy texture and notes of vanilla and spice. A powerful and complex wine. The taste lingers and with time this wine will really unfold!
 

What to eat with my Musar?Date published: 10/08/11

Following the success of the 2004 Château Musar that we had on our Tasting Counter, I was feeling inspired by all things Lebanese, and so decided to explore the culinary delights of the Middle East.


What makes Lebanese food so special is the subtle use of earthy spices such as dried cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, and the way in which the natural flavours of the meats (mainly poultry and lamb) shine through. Pulses and seasonal fruit and vegetables are also prominently featured in many dishes, which are usually served in a Mezza style of many smaller dishes shared amongst a party.


A staple in any Lebanese diet is hummus, which is seasoned with sesame tahini, lemon juice and garlic, or Baba Ghanoush, which is made with mashed aubergine instead of chickpeas. They currently hold the world record for the largest dish of hummus, which weighed over 10,000 kg! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hummus#World_record 


One of Lebanon's specialities is skewered meat (Shawarma) such as chicken, lamb, beef or even quail, marinated and then slow roasted over an open flame. It can be served with Lebanese flat bread, tomatoes, onions and various dips and pickles, and is great for sharing!


The national dish of Lebanon is a Kibbeh Nayyeh, and is similar to a Spanish Paella in the way that the leftovers are used to create the dish. The bulk of the meal consists of bulgur or rice, and leftover chopped meat and spices are then added. The dish is finished with onions, green peppers, mint and olive oil.

Wine Match


Obviously, Serge Hochar's Château Musar would be a perfect accompaniment, with the rich blend of spices and plums working deliciously with the the smoky flavours of Shawarma. Look out for the recently-released 2004 vintage, which is particularly outstanding.


As for a white, Mas de Mas 'Zucco Vineyard' Pinot Blanc provides a crisp, aromatic alternative to the Musar. The subtle acidity and flavours allow the simple, meaty flavours of Lebanese cuisine to shine through. 

Fine Wine Friday - Puligny-Montrachet Truffières 2007 Louis LatourDate published: 04/08/11

'A mellow wine which is already very expressive!'


The family-run company of Maison Louis Latour is one of the most highly-respected négociant-éléveurs in Burgundy. It is renowned throughout the world for the quality of it's red and white wines, the company has built a reputation for tradition and innovation which is why here at Majestic Newcastle, we are delighted to offer this fine wine for you to try!

Puligny-Montrachet Les Truffières is situated high up on the slope just below the hamlet of Blagny. As the name suggests this vineyard was once a truffle-bed and now the wines it produces are equally sought after. This 1er Cru from the esteemed house of Louis Latour has a complex nose of mango, grilled hazelnuts and spring flowers with a hint of pepper; the palate is plump and round with a medium body, crisp acidity and lovely integration of fruit and oak.

This wine is made from the famous Chardonnay grape and is aged in oak barrels for 8 to 10 months with 100% malolactic fermentation.


Standard price: £32
Special offer, this weekend only!
Buy 1 bottle = £30
Buy 2 bottles and save £4

A touch of summer sparkleDate published: 08/07/11

I happily drink sparkling wine all your round, but throughout the warmer months when relaxing in the garden with the evening the sunshine, it seems to go down even easier. We always have a fantastic range of sparkling wines here at Majestic and this summer is no exception.

Ranging from the Cavas of Spain, Italian Prosecco, numerous New World Sparklers and of course English sparkling wine there is plenty to choose from, my top sparkling wines of the summer would be:

La Marca Prosecco Treviso Extra Dry, Italy  £7.99

A light refreshing sparkler with a nose of peach and hints of melon which follows through wonderfully onto the palate. This crisp prosecco has truly refreshing acidity with nuances of pear and white flowers.

Codorníu Reina Maria Crisitna 2007, Spain £9.99

A vintage Cava from the the Codorníu family who have been pioneers in the Penedès region in Catalonia for over a century. With incredibly delicate bubbles, fresh and floral aromas and boasting flavours of brioche and pear this Cava is wonderfully well balanced.
 

Chapel Down Pinot Reserve 2004, England £24.99 £18.99

This vintage sparkling wine comes from England's biggest and arguably finest wine producer. The nose shows green apples with subtle mineral continued on the palate and joined by citrus fruit, particularly lime and hints of Brioche and a subtle but rounded mousse.

Lindauer Special Reserve NV, New Zealand £8.99

A personal favourite. A subtle pink colour with copious beads of small bubbles bursting with aromas of ripe peach, nectarine skin and flesh and hints of black-fruit. Very creamy on the palate, a toasty, fruity and clean finish.

 

Wine of the Week: Berne Rose, Cotes de ProvenceDate published: 14/06/11

From the sunny Côte de Provence in France comes this wonderfully elegant rosé, made from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah.

Pale salmon in colour, the wine has notes of peach, apricot and red fruit on the nose.

On the palate, the peach flavours are met with lemon and subtle spice to produce an easy-drinking rosé perfect chilled on a summer day.

For an ideal food match, try drinking with poached trout with a lemon/herb butter.
 

Special Offer: Buy 2 Save £4 = £7.99
Single bottle price:£9.99

Anyone for Pimms?Date published: 03/06/11

With the British summer time in full swing it is certainly time to embrace Pimms o'clock. Along with the classic Pimms No.1 and lemonade here are a couple of other recipes that are definitely worth a whirl:

 

The Quintessentially British - PIMM's Royale

Start with a champagne flute and mix 25ml of PIMM'S* No.1 with Chapel Down Brut sparkling and top off with a strawberry.

A touch of spice - PIMM's Ginger

Mix together 1 part PIMM'S* No.1 with 3 parts Fever-tree ginger ale and finish with a slice of lemon and sprig of mint

Twist on a classic - PIMM's Spritz

Throw together 1 measure of Pimm`s, 1 measure of Sipsmith Gin with 3 measures of Fentimans Victorian lemonade and garnish with a slice of Lemon and Strawberry

 

Bargain Aussie Parcel!Date published: 25/05/11

Our Australian buyer has done it again.  Not content with just getting up their noses during his Ashes honeymoon (see this season's Grape to Glass for further details), he has secured a range of wines from Australian Vintage (the McGuigan stable) at a knock-down price.  Some of these are being sold by the case on-line only, but several of them have made their way to Newcastle to satisfy bargain-hunting Geordie drinkers.  All offer outstanding value, and all are very much when they're gone, they're gone.  Due to the limited nature of the parcel, most will not be available to order on-line, please pop in or give us a call on 0191 284 7231 to secure your allocation.

 

Currently in stock, we have:

 

McGuigan Sauvignon Blanc, £4.49: Crisp and dry with fresh citrus and gooseberry flavours.

Somerton Semillon/Sauvignon, £4.49: Crisp, yet rounded, this is chock-full of ripe, tropical edged fruit.

Heritage Road Sauvignon Blanc, £4.99: A crisp and deeply flavoured Sauvignon with a clean, zesty palate.

Crocodile Rock Semillon/Chardonnay, £3.99: Rich and ripe melon and tropical fruit characters with a soft yet crisp finish.

Tempus Two Merlot, £4.99: Ripe mulberry fruit character combined with earthiness and spice.

Nepenthe Tryst 2006, £4.99: An eclectic blend of Cabernet, Tempranillo and Zinfandel gives structure, ripe fruit and spice.

Heritage Road Brut NV Sparkling, £5.49: A classic Australian style with a refreshing yet mouthfilling finish.

Crocodile Rock Chardonnay, £3.99: Showing rich varietal fruit character on the soft palate, complexed by delicate oaking.

Acacia Hill Chardonnay/Sauvignon, £4.49: Medium bodied, rich but unoaked Chardonnay blend with fresh tropical fruit flavours.

Heritage Road Chardonnay/Semillon, £4.99: Elegant, with lifted aromas of melon and a citrus finish.

Wet GarlicDate published: 24/05/11

It's a short season for wet garlic, so you need to hunt it out when it's around.  Rather than the more 'normal' garlic that has overwintered, formed in cloves and then been allowed to dry, wet garlic is planted in early spring and looks like a very big spring onion, or a small bulbous leek, and has a much lighter (though still fairly pronounced) garlic taste than its dried counterpart.  You can use it as a substitute for Garlic when you want a lighter character, or it also works well uncooked in salads, which is how I had it yesterday:

 

Wet Garlic, Herb and Bean Salad

 

1 or 2 heads wet garlic (depending on strength desired)

2 or 3 chives

good handful of parsley

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

400g cooked and cooled Butter Beans

(You can vary herbs to personal preference, and I like to use the Spanish Gigante butter beans, but any bean will work.)

 

Put drained beans into a bowl, add chopped garlic and finely chopped herbs, season, add a good glug of olive oil and stir.  Leave it all to infuse for an hour or two and then serve.

Good as part of a mixture of salads, e.g. for a BBQ, we had it as a side for some venison and onion kebabs.

 

Wine Match

 

On its own, something sharp, fresh and white like Paulett's Riesling or Chateau de Cray Bourgogne Aligote.  When having with something meaty, I found that Gerard Charvet's Moulin-a-Vent sat with it beautifully, the crisp cherry and strawberry fruit finding an ally in the creamy beans and flavoursome herbs.

Gin O'ClockDate published: 08/05/11

Here at Majestic Newcastle we have a fairly comprehensive selection of Gins.  So to wet your appetite for some refreshing Gin based fun in the sun I have lifted some cocktail recipes from @Queen_UK, one of my favourite Twitter contributors.  These are perfect for a refreshing early evening drink, garden parties or in the words of Her Fictional Majesty 'entertaining a few hundred dignitaries in the palace'.  Enjoy!

 

Collins
First enjoyed on the lawn of Buckingham Palace.

  • 50ml of your Gin of choice (we recommend Jack Cain's)
  • 25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 15ml Sugar syrup (or 2 teaspoons of caster sugar)
  • 50ml Soda water

Glassware - Highball
Garnish - straw, lemon wedge


Method
Add the lemon juice, sugar and Gin to a clean highball glass. Stir. Add plenty of cubed ice. Stir again. Top with soda water then stir for a final time. Garnish then serve.

The Collins is a fantastic long, light refreshing summery cocktail which can really quench a thirst and energise you. It shows perfect balance between sweetness, sourness, alcohol and the effervescent effect of soda. Perfect for those long, lazy days where foreign Royal families may well come over for a BBQ! Best served with company - why not try making it in 500 pitchers or jugs for those Palace garden parties?! It's like an alcoholic traditional lemonade! By the way, lemons are in season and harvested in Autumn.


White Peach and Elderflower Collins
A favourite of visiting Dukes and Earls

  • 50ml of your Gin of choice (we recommend Blackwoods vintage)
  • 25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice or the juice of half a lemon
  • 15ml Elder flower cordial (good quality like Belvoir)
  • One third of a fresh white peach, diced or 20ml of good quality white peach puree (Funkin Peach Puree only 99p)
  • 50ml Soda water

Glassware - clean Highball glass
Garnish - clear straw and a peach wedge


Method
Muddle the diced white peach in the bottom of a clean highball glass. Add the fresh lemon juice, elder flower cordial and Blackwoods vintage Gin. Stir well. Add plenty of cubed ice. Stir again. Top with soda water then stir for a final time to chill and combine all of the ingredients for a consistent drink. Garnish with a clear straw and a wedge of white peach. Then serve to the assembled Heads of State.


Ginger Mint
A wonderful alternative to Pimm's

  • 50ml of your Gin of choice (we recommend Bombay Sapphire)
  • 100ml FeverTree Ginger Ale
  • 6-8 fresh picked mint leaves

Glassware - Highball
Garnish - straw & big sprig of mint


Method
Pour the Bombay Sapphire into a clean highball glass, clap the mint leaves, rub around the rim of the glass and add to the Bombay Sapphire. Stir. Add plenty of cubed or crushed ice then top with the ginger ale. Stir again then garnish with a clear straw and a big beautiful mint sprig. Particularly suitable if you're having a few hundred people over to celebrate their life achievements.

 

So there you have it, our full range of Gins is:

  • Blackwoods Superior Vintage Gin - £26
  • Jack Cains Premium Gin - £25
  • Sipsmith London Dry Gin - £25
  • Tanquerey Export Strength Gin - £20
  • Blackwoods Vintage Gin - £19
  • Bombay Sapphire - £20 now £18
  • Gordons Gin - £16
  • Plymouth Gin - £15

And for mixing

  • Fever Tree Ginger Beer - £3 for 4*200ml
  • Fever Tree Tonic - £3 for 4*200ml
  • Fentimans Tonic - £2.10 for 4*125ml
  • Belvoir Presses - £2.19
  • Belvoir Cordials - £4.49

JambalayaDate published: 05/05/11

I'd almost forgotten how much I like Jambalaya, but was reminded last night what a brilliant, flavoursome, one-pot wonder it is.  If you want to have a go, read on, please also bear in mind that you can chop and change the meats as much as you like, we also often add prawns at the end if we have any kicking about.

Serves up to 6, depending on level of gluttony.

2 or 3 chicken breasts, 2 or 3 pork steaks, 1 or 2 chorizos, 2 red or orange peppers, 2 medium onions, 250g long grain rice, tin of chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, large glass of white wine, half pint of chicken stock, 1 or 2 chillies, 1 or 2 garlic cloves, 2 blades mace, 1tsp cayenne, 1tsp paprika, oil, 1 large pot.

Brown the chopped chicken and pork in batches and remove from pot.  Chorizo next, I find it's much better to tear the chorizo rather than chop it, as you get rough edges that crisp better and give better texture, add this to the pan and when it's starting to release some oil, chuck in the chopped onion too and cook until the onions start to soften.  Now add the chopped chillies, squashed garlic, ground mace and other spices and cook for a minute, before adding the dry rice and letting that cook in the oil for 3 minutes.  Return the meat to the pan along with the remaining wet ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer.  Have a glass of the wine that you put in, if it's not very good, cook with better wine next time. Cook, covered, for about 45 minutes, checking occasionally that it isn't catching, then remove the lid and cook for another half hour or so, ensuring the rice is cooked and there's not much liquid left.  Slop into bowls and get stuck in, sprinkle some parsley on top if you're feeling posh.

Wine-wise, last night I went for the new Provence Rose from Sainte Victoire because it was open, and it wasn't a bad foil, but I would normally go for a chunky Chardonnay like Montes Alpha that sits happily with the big flavours on offer.

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/product-is-08180

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/product-is-39094

Enjoy!

AsparagusDate published: 22/04/11

With an early start to the British season this year, I look forward to the chance to almost make myself sick (but never completely) of this fantastic vegetable.  I'll normally just pop some fat spears on a baking tray drizzled with Olive Oil and Salt & Pepper, then throw them in a warm oven for 5-10 minutes to soften, blacken slightly and release all their pungent goodness.  The best way to prepare is with hands rather than knife, bend them towards the bottom of the stem, and they'll snap at the bottom of the tender part.

If you fancy something a bit more showy, however, I love wrapping them in Ham.  I find the best are things like Parma or Serrano, but thinly cut streaky bacon can be good too.  Generally 1 slice of Parma will be enough to wrap 3 or 4 spears, just cut it into the appropriate number of smaller pieces and wrap around the Asparagus tightly, leaving the tips uncovered.  Place these onto an oiled baking tray (keeping the end of the ham at the bottom to stop it uncurling) again drizzle with oil, but only pepper this time, as the ham will bring plenty of salt, and cook as above.

The full flavour of Asparagus can make it a difficult wine-matching companion, but for plain spears I would plump for a clean, dry, zingy white, typically Domaine Tourmaline's Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine:

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/product-is-05344

If you opt for the grander version, then I find a red more suitable, though nothing too heavy, the Errazuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir went down a treat with it last week:

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/product-is-39212

Enjoy!

Greig

Spring Lamb RecipeDate published: 13/04/11

For the first in what I plan to make a series of culinary offerings, I'm providing one of my favourite Lamb recipes, that is the sort of culinary alchemy that I love, turning some scraggy meat into a divine dinner!  The dish takes quite a lot of cooking, but the actual prep is simple and quick.  It's culled from HFW's Meat book, but is in itself an old Elizabeth David recipe and strikes me as the sort that lots of people would read, but not many would attempt.  Believe me, it is well worth the (minimal) effort

Breast of Lamb Ste Menehould

1 breast of lamb, 2 carrots - sliced, 2 onions - sliced, a glass of white wine, a glass of water, sprig rosemary, sprig thyme.
To finish: mustard, one egg - beaten, dried breadcrumbs, 100g butter - melted

Place the breast of lamb in an oven-proof dish or casserole, cut into two halves if necessary to fit, with the carrots, onions and herbs scattered under and over it and the wine and water poured over. Season well and cover the dish.

Bake in an oven preheated to 140ºC for two and half to three hours, removing the dish to turn and baste the breast two or three times, until the meat is completely tender - i.e. when you can pull the bones out with almost no resistance. You can also cook it on a low simmer on the hob, though you'll need more water.

As soon as the meat is cool enough to handle, slip the rib bones out of the meat by tugging gently with your fingers - if there is a tough covering of skin on the outer surface, now is a good time to remove this. Press the boneless breasts between two chopping boards, with a weight on top (a couple of big cookbooks do the job nicely) Leave in a cool larder or the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight to allow everything to solidify again.

To finish the dish, slice the cold, pressed breast meat into two-finger width, one-finger length slices. At this stage, or before the slicing, you can pause and refrigerate the meat for up to a couple of days before the final cooking, allowing advance preparation.

Brush the slices with a little mustard (I find Dijon is best, but go English if you want more kick), dip in beaten egg, and press firmly into a bowl of breadcrumbs so they are well coated. Arrange on a wire rack in a roasting tin, brush each with a little melted butter, and place in the centre of an oven pre-heated to 180º C. After 15 minutes, turn on the oven grill (if it doesn’t have one whack the oven up to maximum heat), to get them very crisp (a touch blackened but not incinerated), first on one side, then the other.

Serve on hot plates with a sharp sauce - I find tartare ideal - as a rustic meaty snack, or pair with some steamed greens (purple sprouting broccoli is perfect this time of year) and a bit of mash to get a full dinner.

The perfect wine match is an elegant Beaujolais to help cut the fatty richness of the lamb, I personally went for Chanson's Beaujolais Villages 2009, an absolute joy and packed with crisp strawberry fruit, a floral edge, soft tannin and a well judged bite of acidity.

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/product-is-07190

Enjoy!


 

EAT Newcastle wine fair, Sunday 19th JuneDate published: 02/04/11

EAT Newcastle's yearly wine fair is being held at Newcastle Civic Centre. 8 merchants (local and national) will be showing at least 8 wines each, tickets from www.newcastlewineschool.com - come along and find something new, and of course catch up with your local Majestic team!

Super SpaniardsDate published: 15/03/11

Fresh in for the spring we are now stocking some fantastic top end Riojas, perfect for a special night in with a special someone.  With some of the best discounts in store avaliable there is no better time to indulge in some fine-wine dining at home.  My picks are two Gran Reservas from Marques de Murrieta and Marques de Caceres.  Both avaliable for £18 a bottle when bought in pairs, with a massive discount of £12 and £10 respectively.  Fantastic when paired with roast beef or lamb (medium rare) with seasonal roasted vegetables and a red wine jus (made using a different wine!!).

So light a few candles, pop something in the oven and enjoy a restaurant experience at a fraction of the price.

 

Other Fantastic Spanish Fine Wine offers include:

  • Marques de Murrieta Reserva - £17.99 or buy 2 save £4 = £15.99
  • Vina Ardanza Reserva - £22.00 or buy 2 save £10 = £17.00
  • Cune Imperial Gran Reserva - £25.00 or buy 2 save £10 = £20.00
  • Bohorquez Ribera De Duero - £25.00 or buy 2 save £6 = £22.00

Lager Lager LagerDate published: 11/03/11

For those of you that are sick of, or never liked anyway, anodyne and bland, UK brewed lagers, we have a wide and varied selection of imports to choose from.  These are not stocked by all Majestics so you will not find them on the main website, please get in touch for any further details.

(if anodyne and bland UK brewed lagers are your cup of tea, we do stock them as well)

Chili Beer, Mexico, 4.2%, 6x330ml, £9.60 (£1.65/bottle) - every bottle contains a seranno chili pepper!

Tusker, Kenya, 4.2%, 24x355ml, £37.20 (£1.55)

Desperados, France, 5.9%, 24 x 330ml, £42.00 (£1.75) - laced with Tequilla

Moosehead, Canada, 5.0%, 24x350ml, £32.40 (£1.35)

Peroni Nastro Azzuro, Italy, 5.1%, 12x660ml, £28.80 (£2.40) - BIG bottles

Peroni Gran Riserva, Italy, 6.6%, 24x330ml, £34.80 (£1.45)

Cooper's Pale Ale, Australia, 4.5%, 6x375ml, £9.30 (£1.55)

Cooper's Sparkling, Australia, 5.8%, 6x375ml, £10.50 (£1.75)

Tooheys New, Australia, 4.8%, 24x375ml, £40.80 (£1.70)

Boag's Premium, Australia, 5.0%, 6x375ml, £11.10 (£1.85)

Macs Gold, New Zealand, 4.0%, 12x330ml, £16.80 (£1.40)

Super Bock, Portugal, 5.6%, 6x330ml, £8.10 (£1.35)

Franziskaner Hefe, 5.0%, 20x500ml, £36.00 (£1.80)

 

As ever, please ask in the store about any other lagers that you are interested in and we may be able to get them for you.

Fine Wine FridaysDate published: 11/03/11

Make a date in your diary, calendar, ipod/pad or similar for the first Friday of every month to pop down to the store for Fine Wine Friday (or FWF).  We will have a delicious bottle of wine open in the £20-30 range for your delectation.  These are always wines with something more to say for themselves than run-of-the-mill offerings and we try to ensure we pick a wide range of different styles through the year.  From single-vineyard Soave to oak-aged Sancerre, and aged Rioja to ink-black Aussie Shiraz, you're bound to find something that piques your curiosity.

The choice of wine will be published on-line on the day, but feel free to try and cajole us in advance into picking something that you fancy trying.

Copper Dragon BreweryDate published: 15/01/11

New to us at Newcastle are the following ales from the Copper Dragon brewery in Skipton, all 12 x 500ml.

£22.80 (£1.90 per bottle) per case when bought with any other ale, £25.80 (£2.15 per bottle) otherwise.

Best Bitter, 4.0%: Amber coloured with well balanced malt and hop character

Black Gold, 4.0%: Uses traditional coloured and roasted malts to give a rich and luscious flavour

Golden Pippen, 4.2%: Light, refreshing blond ale with a citrus fruit character

Scotts 1816, 4.4%: Full bodied and flavoursome, from Continental hops

Challenger IPA, 4.8%: Full-bodied and fruity, with more subtle hoppiness than is normal in IPA

Fentimans in Majestic NewcastleDate published: 15/01/11

Exclusive to the Newcastle store, we stock the following Fentimans botanical beverages:

12 x 275ml @ £11.99

Ginger Beer, Rose Lemonade, Shandy, Traditional Lemonade, Orange & Mandarin Jigger and Dandelion & Burdock.

4 x 125ml @ £2.10

Tonic Water

Jack CainDate published: 07/12/10

We are now stocking Jack Cain which is distilled just up the road in Heddon-on-the-Wall. The Gin is handcrafted from hedgegrow botanicals in Northumberland and make a wonderful G&T with Fentimans tomnic, or try it with some of the other flavours from Fentimans. The Gin and Victorian Lemonade is my favourite! The prices are as follows;

Jack Cain Gin £25

Damson Liqueur £35

Sloe Gin £35

Damson or Sloe 20cl bottles £10

Call us at the store or pop in for more details.

A Local BrewDate published: 02/12/10

As well as the wide range of ales already available in store we are proud to support a couple of northern brewers too. A range of ales from Bitter End in Cockermouth (£24.00 per case) are available plus the full range of bottled ales from Wylam (£24.60 per case). Wylam beers available are;

Rocket

Locomotion

Northern Kite

Bohemia

Angel

Collingwood

Store Events(9)

Free Wine Course

17 September 2014 (18:00 - 19:30)

Our FREE 90 minute introduction to wine. Taste 8 classic wine styles, learn about why they taste how they do, and indulge in a bit of food and wine pairing. No experience necessary but booking essential, they fill up quick!

RSVP

Free Wine Course

16 September 2014 (18:00 - 19:30)

Our FREE 90 minute introduction to wine. Taste 8 classic wine styles, learn about why they taste how they do, and indulge in a bit of food and wine pairing. No experience necessary but booking essential, they fill up quick!

RSVP

Spotlight Week - South Africa

12 September 2014 - 19 September 2014 (10:00 - 19:00)

A country of massive variety, classic varieties like Chardonnay and Cabernet rub shoulders with the less common Pinotage and Chenin Blanc. Pop down any time this week when we'll have a selection open to try.

Open to all

Free Spotlight Tasting

11 September 2014 (18:30 - 19:00)

Pop down for a quick, fun look at what South Africa has to offer. We'll take you through half a dozen wines and teach you a little bit more about them.

RSVP

Spotlight Week - Argentina

5 September 2014 - 11 September 2014 (10:00 - 19:00)

Consistently one of our most popular countries, Argentina is a haven for Malbec and heavier reds, but also produces classy whites and rosés. Pop down any time this week when we'll have a selection open to try.

Open to all

Free Spotlight Tasting

4 September 2014 (18:30 - 19:00)

Come down and learn a bit more about Argentinian wines. We'll take a light-hearted look at half a dozen wines and tell you a bit more about them.

RSVP

Free Wine Course

20 August 2014 (18:00 - 19:30)

Our FREE 90 minute introduction to wine. Taste 8 classic wine styles, learn about why they taste how they do, and indulge in a bit of food and wine pairing. No experience necessary but booking essential, they fill up quick!

RSVP

Free Wine Course

19 August 2014 (18:00 - 19:30)

Our FREE 90 minute introduction to wine. Taste 8 classic wine styles, learn about why they taste how they do, and indulge in a bit of food and wine pairing. No experience necessary but booking essential, they fill up quick!

RSVP

Loire & Beaujolais Spotlight Week

8 August 2014 - 14 August 2014

Join us from 8-14 August when the tasting counter will be laden with summery whites from the Loire Valley and light, fruity reds from Beaujolais - perfect for summer sipping.

Open to all

Store Tasting(6)

What we're tasting today...

Meet the team...

  • Andrew

    The (no longer) token Geordie returning to the homeland from the Berwick store. Big Newcastle fan for my sins which explains wine drinking as a hobby. Big lover of Californian reds. Most likely to be seen with a strong coffee in the morning.
  • Chris

    After spending 9 months in Darlington, I've made the (not so long) trip up to Newcastle! My favourite wines include big New World Chardonnays and Old World Pinot Gris. Throughout summer my favourite is the Miraval Rose from Provence.
  • Greig

    Exiled Scot. Occasional Bon Viveur. Pithy Realist. Lover of Riesling, Rioja, Pinot Noir and slow-cooked pig parts. Not a big fan of Marlborough Sauvignon, overly heavy reds or celeriac.
  • Mike

    Hi I'm Mike, 26, GSOH, wltm friendly faces to chat about wine/sports/burger creation. A fan of New World wines but won't turn my nose up at 1er Cru Burgundy (we'll go Dutch). No time-wasters please!
  • Pete

    Peter is enigmatic.
  • Zoe

    Start date TBC, a fellow Scot for Greig and a sensible lady to keep the boys in order.

How to find us