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Welcome to Majestic

Tunbridge Wells

Contact Information
T: 01892 615877
F: 01892 615877
E: tun@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
319 St Johns Road
Tunbridge Wells
TN4 9XE
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(498)

Like Chilean Wine??Date published: 24/04/14

Like Chilean Wine??

Why not come to our Spotlight Tasting event, all about Chilean wine?

This is an informal, 30-minute or so tasting around our tasting counter in-store, where we'll give you an in-depth tasting of 6 Chilean wines, along with a few dinner party facts.

Best of all, like all our tastings, this is totally free!

The Chilean Spotlight Tasting is on Saturday 3rd May at 3pm, do let us know if you would like to come along.

Either call 01892 615 877, email tun@majestic.co.uk, or contact us on Twitter, we're @majestictun.


Rosé-Time!Date published: 24/04/14

Rosé-Time!

Sometimes an off-dry rosé is just what you need on a hot summer's day sitting in the garden with a good book!  Here's one that I can't get enough of...

Château La Gravette 2013, Minervois Rosé  £5.99!!

Grape: Cinsault, Grenache, Carignan

Origin: A superb vineyard located in the south of Minervois which is run by the Orosquette family who have generations of vine growing experience.  Grapes were probably introduced into the region by Roman Legionaries, as alluded to by writers such as Cicero and Pliny.  

Taste: A fabulous bouquet of vanilla flowers and stewed strawberries follow through to a light and fresh palate of red fruits, mineral acidity, with an off-dry finish.

Enjoy: Enjoy on its own or with seafood and lightly spiced dishes.

10 Wine Facts of the WeekDate published: 19/04/14

1) Grenache is one of the most widely planted red grapes in the world and is dominant in most southern Rhône wines, it also happens to be Stuart's favourite!

2) Cabernet Franc is the red grape used in Bouvet Rose, on our Easter pick 'n' mix for £8.99

3) Rioja Alta is known more for its "old world" style of wine - higher altitude makes for a shorter growing season and more intense fruit flavours.

4) 2009 was a fantastic year in Bordeaux, and in fact all over France with a spectacular summer, and conditions just right during harvest to produce a cracking vintage. 

5) The Conde de San Cristobel on our tasting counter comes from Ribera del Duero, a valley in Spain, which produces similar style wines to Rioja. Lovely stuff!

6) The Douro, a wine growing area of the Douro Valley in Portugal, traditionally transported wine in boats down river to be stored in cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Porto.

7) Pinotage is South Africa's trademark black grape created by Professor Perold in 1925 by crossing Cinsault and Pinot Noir,

8) The famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape (roughly meaning "The Pope's new castle" ) is a wine that, since the 2009 version of the AOC, allows 18 different grape varieties.

9) Sangiovese is a black grape widely grown in Central Italy and the main component of Chianti.

10) Muscat refers to a family of grapes of which there are around 200 different branches and can produce a range of wines from pale, bone dry whites, through to golden yellow, rich, sweet wines.

Rosé-Time!Date published: 17/04/14

Rosé-Time!

Open to taste today is one of my favourite Provence rosés - The Minuty!! And at £9.99 it's a right bargain!

M de Minuty Rosé 2013, Cotes de Provence.

Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren

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

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

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

Happy Malbec Day - “To the sound of MalbecDate published: 17/04/14

Happy Malbec Day everyone! That's right today is April 17th which means it is officially World Malbec Day, so in honour of that fact let's dive into the wonderful world of Argentina's signature grape.

Officially World Malbec Day was created to commemorate the date, April 17th 1853, when president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina took it upon himself to transform Argentina's wine industry. It is now a day that's celebrated around the world with events to promote Argentinian culture, food and of course magical Malbec.

So why not come down and get yourself some Malbec to celebrate, we have cracked opened some Viñalba Reservado 2012 (£7.99 when you buy 2 or more) on the tasting counter especially!


Stuart Gushes About GrenacheDate published: 16/04/14

Stuart Gushes About Grenache

Hello, I'm Stuart and I'm a Grenache addict. I believe that Grenache is the greatest and most important grape variety in the world and I'm about to explain why. Firstly it's delicious, on it's own it has gloriously rich fruit, often plummy, raisiny, a bit pruney. Good examples have some interesting spice notes like pepper and sometimes vanilla if aged in oak. The best ones have great tannic structure as well, starting out almost fizzy in the youthful examples and softening with age. So you've got complexity, intensity, structure and length, literally high quality.

They can also be varied, Grenache is popularly grown in a bush vine method, which adds warmth and richness to the finished wines. While some are grown on carefully trained and treillised vines, showing as more elegant and fragrant in the finished wine.

However Grenache is usually found in famous blended wines, Chateauneuf-du-Pape (probably the most famous wine appellation in the world) and equally most of the southern Rhone valley produces red wines where Grenache is the most significant part of the blend along with Syrah and Mourvedre. Grenache also plays an important role in some of the best Spanish wines, including Rioja (probably the best-selling red wine style in the UK), Ribera del Duero and the vineyards of the eastern coast.

My favourite example comes from the South of France and a little appellation called Tautavel. Gerard Bertrand owns about 90% of this part of the world and clearly agrees with me on Grenache: He produces a fine wine from here which is 100% Grenache. The first time I tried this it blew my mind. It was the 2008 vintage, which I tried in 2011. This one had tannins so lively they felt like popping candy, and despite it's high alcohol content, it had almost no burn as it had been well integrated with the abundant fruit. I'm currently laying down a bottle of this to try in the next year or so. More recently I have tried the newer 2010 vintage, which felt a little more sophisticated despite being only a year older.

In short, give Grenache a go, a lot of wine critics and producers agree with me and I think it's woefully undervalued.

Wine of the Week - Leyda Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012Date published: 16/04/14

This week we have gone for a Chilean Pinot Noir from wine producers Viña Leyda, who were established in 1997, on a small cluster of vineyard sites in the San Antonio part of Leyda Valley.

This wine is supremely fresh in aroma, with an intense and vivacious raspberry and cherry nose, accented by hints of green herbs. The palate is nicely refined, with an elegant shape and very direct fruit. 

We have this at £8.99 when you buy 2 or more and would be a good match with the delicately gamy flavours of guineafowl or pheasant.



 

A Guide to the Regions of South France Part 3: Languedoc-RousillonDate published: 15/04/14

A Guide to the Regions of South France Part 3: Languedoc-Rousillon

Languedoc and Rousillon wines were - for most of the 20th century - considered quite poor, thin wines, blended with Algerian imports and not exported much at all. But by the end of the 90s the area had found its identity. All-be-it an identity somewhat shared with the Rhone Valley. However where the Rhone is tightly constrained by viticulture rules, Languedoc-Rousillon is a bit more free and easy. The grapes tend to be the same. Reds are Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvedre among others. The whites are more typical Rhone fair; Marsanne, Rousanne, Viognier, with a sprinkling of more international varieties like Grenache Blanc, Macabeo, Chardonnay and Vermentino.

What makes this area so exciting is the variety of appellations, all with their own identity. The broadest appellations for quality wine are Coteaux du Languedoc and Cotes-du-Rousillon, both producing mainly reds in the classic Rhone style with a GSM (thats Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) blend. Next you have big appellations like Minervois, Costieres de Nimes, Corbieres and Fitou, again producing Rhone-style wines.

Look, let me put it this way, red-wise it's basically Rhone blends for the entire region. The key is finding the smaller appellations and best producers, who will vintage after vintage produce cracking wines, on par quality wise with some of the best that the Rhone valley can offer. Big names include Gerard Bertrand, who, other than producing consistently great wines from the bottom of his range to the top also owns most of one particular appellation. This area is called Tautavel, and here he produces one of his premium wines, made from 100% Grenache which is spectacular. Paul Mas is a big name here producing lots of simple, varietally labelled wines (a rarity for France) which are always quintessential of the varieties used and of a high quality. Alain Grignon and his co-op is a company we do a lot of work with, they produce bargain-priced wines, which are of astounding quality for the price. Beyond this I would recommend Hugh Johnson's vintage guide pocket books. He has a list every year of wine-makers from this area that he recommends to keep an eye on. 

Next time we look at Provence...

10 Wine Facts of the WeekDate published: 12/04/14

1) There are four ways of producing Rose - Direct pressing, Drawing off, Saignée (French for "Bleed"), and Mixing.

2) The famous wine producer Gérard Betrand also used to play international rugby for France.

3) In 1855 five 'first growths' were classified following the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris - these were Château Mouton-Rothschild, Latour, Margaux, Lafite Rothschild, and Haut-Brion.

4) Cortese is an Italian white grape grown mainly in the South-eastern areas of Piedmont. My favourite Cortese wine is the Gavi La Toledana. (On for £10.99 when you buy 2 or more).

5) Tiny crystals at the bottom of a wine are not a bad thing! They are caused by tartaric or oxalic acid and mean the wine has a good level of acidity.

6) Straw wine is made from grapes that have been dried to concentrate their juices, this results in a much sweeter wine. The classic method is to dry bunches on straw mats out in the sun.

7) Constantia is a South African dessert wine made from Muscat from the Constantia region, south of Cape Town. First made and exported to Europe in the 1660's they have been made famous by the literature of Austen, Dickens and Baudelaire. Try our Vin de Constance 2008 - a fantastic example and the late Nelson Mandela's favourite!

8) Store your wine glasses the right way up,  keeping them upside down may keep out the dust  but also can give them a stale 'cupboardy' smell which may affect the wine.

9) Hippocras is a very ancient form of spiced wine (named after the Greek physician Hippocrates) and is made with white wine, port, cinnamon and cloves.

10) Three basic rules to the order of serving wine - Drink dry wines before sweet, young wines before old, and lesser quality before fine ones.

Easter Opening HoursDate published: 10/04/14

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 - Select Blocks Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Ara, MarlboroughDate published: 10/04/14

Our wine choice this week is finally a Sauvignon Blanc! It is a classic example of New Zealand Marlborough wine from Ara winemaker Jeff Clarke who was among the first wave of producers in Marlborough, establishing an early understanding of the local terroir alongside the Marlborough Research Institute. He has twice been named International White Winemaker of the Year.

This wine's single-estate source is evident in its purity of fruit, with defined gooseberry and grapefruit flavours delivered with vigour and ripeness, and a refined, dry finish.

We currently have this available for £8.99 when you buy 2 or more, and is perfectly enjoyable on it's own or with seafood dishes such as fresh haddock or monkfish.
 

Charles Taylor Wines: London TastingDate published: 09/04/14

Charles Taylor Wines: London Tasting

Last night, went to a wine tasting in London hosted Charles Taylor, who imports many of the lines we stock in Majestic. We tasted lots of yummy wines and here are my highlights:

The Classic: Pouilly-Fumé 2012, Jean Vincent (£9.99 when you purchase two or more bottles)

Jean Vincent produces classic, crisp 100% Sauvignon wine from a variety of chalk and flint soils.  All are fermented and aged in stainless steel vats to give maximum freshness and aroma.  2012 was a dry year and therefore produced intensely flavoured grapes, leading to the production of a wine which punches far above it's £9.99 weight.

Great Value: St. Aubin 1er Cru 2012, Domaine Gérard Thomas et filles. (£19.99)

White Burgundy for under £20. WOW! Saint Aubin nestles in the hills just above Puligny and Chassagne-Montrachet.  In the capable hands of Gérard Thomas and his daughters Anne and Isabelle, it is a fine source of classy white Burgundy at a sensible price. This wine is 100% barrel fermented, exhibits a smoky nose with a palate that is crisper and fresher than the wines of the Montrachets.

The Wild Card: Savigny-Les-Beaune Blanc 2012, Domain Jean-Jacques Girard (£19 on the Fine Wine Deal)

90% of the production of Savigny is red but the upper slopes have a higher proportion of chalk in the soil and are better suited to the growing of Chardonnay and the production of white wine.  This is barrel-fermented (20% new oak) and the old vines give a rich, concentrated wine of great class and character.  Exhibiting a tropical nose, this is one I would recommend to lovers of new world chardonnay.

The Red: Crozes-Hermitage 2011, Domain Yann CHanve (£15.99 when you purchase two or more bottles)

This 20 hectare domaine is certified organic situated in the southern part of the appellation where the famed galets roulés abound.  Made from 100% Syrah, Yann picks his grapes late in order to achieve optimal ripeness, then treats the wines with a light touch to avoid over-extraction or heaviness.  The resulting wines are supple and rich but with freshness and vibrancy alongside the classic Northern Rhone aromas of pepper and earth.


10 Facts about RoséDate published: 08/04/14

Let's will on the Easter weather and talk about rosé!

1) Rosé is usually made from red grapes where the juice has 2-4 weeks contact time with the skins, to extract the pink colour

2) Rosé Champagne is the only exception, where red and white wines can be blended

3) Pinot Grigio Blush is the palest as it comes from 'grey' skinned grapes

4) Provence rosés from the south of France are all the rage, and are pale, crisp and refreshing

5) We stock Magnum sizes of Provence rosé!

6) White Zinfandel is a sweeter style from California

7) Generally, the darker the rosé is in colour, the more red fruit character it will have

8) Sancerre rosé  (made from Pinot Noir grapes) from Loire,is very limited in production and can command premium prices

9) Rioja Rosé from Spain is often made from Grenache and is aged for a small amount of time before release

10) Rosés make nice aperitifs and are also the perfect accompaniment to a picnic

My current favourite is the 'Black Cottage' Rosé from New Zealand and also the 'Vinalba' from Argentina (coming soon!) Why not ask other members of staff for their recommendations?


Sian's Favourite Spanish Wine!Date published: 05/04/14

Siân's Favourite Spanish Wine!

Pétalos Bierzo 2011 Descendientes de J. Palacios

£15.99 when you buy two or more bottles.

Alvaro Palacios is one of the world's greatest winemakers. He searched high and low for the perfect plot in Bierzo.  High up on the rocky hills he found his site, 300 hectares of difficult, old, gnarled vineyard, perfect for making epic wine!

The vineyards are farmed biodynamically, with very little vineyard intervention.  Crop management and precise handling in the winery are hallmarks of Palacios' winemaking. 

This wine is an incredible concoction of flavour, it's savoury like herbs and olives, with sweet rich fruit on top, a little oak and a silky mouthfeel.  And to think this is his 'village' wine!!

Come in-store and taste it today!

Wine of the Week - Montecastrillo 2012, Ribera del DueroDate published: 04/04/14

Wine of the Week!

Montecastrillo 2012, Ribera del Duero

£7.99 when purchasing two or more bottles.

Grape: Tempranillo

Origin: This wine is made by Finca Torremilanos, a family-run estate located at the eastern end of Ribera del Duero. Its 200 hectares of vineyards are spread across some 140 organically-farmed plots, including some which are over 100 years old.

Taste: A fruit-focussed and easy-drinking wine, with medium weight tannins framing a core of ripe blackcurrant and raspberry flavour, accented with hints of cocoa.

Enjoy: Best enjoyed with barbecued chops. 


Ice Wine - 10 facts!Date published: 03/04/14

On the back of my recent trip to Torronto..thought I'd share a little bit about the delight that is ice wine:

1) Ice wine is a dessert wine

2) It is primarily made in Canada, though also in a few other places such as Germany

3) It is produced by freezing the grapes on the vine so that they become small, frozen raisins that are concentrated and high in sugar

4) It is generally expensive due to quality and high production costs

5) Sparkling varieties are also produced

6) Grapes used include Vidal, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon

7) Oak-aged examples are produced

8) They make fantastic cocktails and slush-puppies!

9) Birds are a major pest to the vine in Canada

10) We currently don't stock one, but have many dessert wines that are of equivalent quality..ask a member of staff for details



10 Wine Facts of the WeekDate published: 29/03/14

1) Lodi is a Californian wine region most famous for it's old vine Zinfandel, but also produces Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. 

2) Primary characteristics of a wine come from the fruit, for example the Tempranillo grape is characterised by full red fruit flavours.

3) Secondary characteristics arise chiefly during the fermentation process and also if the wine has been aged.

4) Tertiary characteristics of a wine, such as flavours of leather and wood, come as a result of ageing. 

5) Vintage Wines contain grapes all from one 'good' year.

6) Non-Vintage wines will contain a blend of grapes from different, earlier, reserve years to achieve the right balance.

7) Chablis is a village in Northern Burgundy which gives it's name to the famous French wine which is made with Chardonnay. The grape grow particularly well in this region.

8) Christopher Merret (1614/5 - 1695) is the Englishmen credited with the discovery of adding sugar to wine before bottling to make sparkling wine.

9) Ice wine is a form of dessert wine that is made from grapes picked whilst frozen, the water in the grape freezes solid whilst the sugars do not. This results in a more concentrated, sweeter wine when the grapes are pressed. It is an extremely hard thing to do and incredibly risky for the wine producer.

10) "There is no such thing as a bad year, just a bad producer".

Wine of the Week - Testimonio 2011 Luigi BoscaDate published: 29/03/14

This weeks offering is from Argentina and comes from the family run estate of Bodegas Luigi Bosca which, established in 1901 by Leoncio Arizu, is over three generations old.

Testimonio is a deep, dark and dense blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah-Shiraz and Tannat, with a backbone of inky cassis fruit surrounded by plush, silky tannins. The weighty palate carries with it hints of spice and vanilla which would match well with strong, firm cheeses, or rare sirloin steak.

This wine is on for £8.66 when you buy two or more and we have just opened a bottle on the tasting counter, so coem down and give it a try! 

Wine of the Week - Matsu El Viejo 2011 ToroDate published: 22/03/14

This weeks selection is another fantastic Spanish wine which comes from the fully organic Tinta de Toro vines, averaging 110 years old, the wine is aptly named El Viejo - 'The Old One'. 

Matsu El Viejo is immensely powerful and complex, offering cigar box, lavender and graphite nuances against a backdrop of dense cherry and bramble fruit. The word Matsu is also Japanese for 'wait', and is a philosophy that is fully embraced by the winery; one of patience and environmental harmony. 

El Viejo is perfectly enjoyable immediately with good quality steak or rare roasts, but will also reward cellaring of 5 years or more.

We currently have this available for £20.00 when you buy 2 or more, and have just opened up a bottle on our tasting counter for you to try.

Wine Facts of the WeekDate published: 21/03/14

1) Phylloxera is a pest that was brought to Europe in the nineteenth century via trade across the Atlantic. Once here it decimated vineyards as the European vines possessed no natural resistance. This pesky louse was finally dealt with when the vines were grafted onto American roots which were resistant to the bug.

2) In 1998 roughly 8 million hectares of the entire Earth's surface was planted with vines and this number has only continued to grow.

3) The Rioja wine-growing region of Spain, famous for it's Tempranillo grape, is divided into 3 sub-regions: Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja.

4) The world's most planted grape (2010) is Cabernet Sauvignon followed by Merlot in second place.

5) Aside from the vine itself the second most important ingredient in wine is...the weather! Without enough rain or warmth the grapes will not ripen and too much of either will adversely effect the wines quality. Weather and climate of a wine region are crucial!

6) Tannins in wine (usually only in red) are extracted from the grape skin and oak; they contribute to the richness of a wine.

7)The single most planted grape variety in Argentina is Malbec.

8) Marlborough is the premier wine growing region of New Zealand where Sauvignon Blanc is the dominant grape.

9) Sur Lie, meaning 'on lees' in French, refers to wine that is bottled from the lees - lees referring to deposits of dead yeast. This can give a wine more depth and complexity.

10) Wine is best drunk from plain glasses with wide bowls and narrow openings thereby concentrating the bouquet on the nose. We don't want to lose that precious aroma!

10 Wine Facts about New ZealandDate published: 20/03/14

1) New Zealand is divided into north and south Island, each having there own famous wine regions

2) The Marlborough region is famous for Sauvignon Blanc

3) Demand for Sauvignon from Asia is driving prices up

4) Hawkes Bay is famous for Chardonnay

5) Central Otago makes amazing Pinot Noir

6) Pinot Grigio is grown and sold as 'Pinot Gris', arguably a more interesting style

7) Cloudy Bay is one of the original iconic producers of Sauvignon

8) Grimblett Gravels produce their take on a Bordeaux blend

9) Riesling and Gewurztraminer are also grown

10) Our best selling New Zealand wine is 'The Ned'..ask a member of staff for details



Wine of the Week - Rioja Gran Reserva 2004 Viña EguíaDate published: 18/03/14

This weeks choice is swiftly becoming a favourite of mine, its an absolutely stunning Rioja and thoroughly deserves to be our Wine of the Week.

The winemakers of this fine Rioja, Bodegas Eguía, are located in the village of Elciego in the Rioja Alavesa subregion of Spain. 

Ruby red with medium density and a brick-like rim. The fruit is very mature, exhibiting raisin, prune and caramel notes, accompanied by vanilla, clove and leather. Silky mouth-feel and good length. To achieve this the wine receives 30 months in barrel and 3 years in bottle before release.

This stunning wine is available at the moment at £9.99 when you buy 2 or more as part of a mixed case. We have also got a bottle open on our tasting counter so come and try it for yourself!

A Guide to the Regions of South France Part 2: The South-WestDate published: 17/03/14

A Guide to the Regions of South France Part 2: The South-West

Next up is the South-West, the border with Spain. South-East of Bergerac, on the River Lot is the region of Cahors. Cahors is known for producing wines made with grapes now more commonly associated with Argentina. Grapes like Malbec and Tannat. These produce bold wine in the climate of Cahors, significantly warmer than Bordeaux. Usually the blend is softened by the addition of Merlot. Merlot blends well with the fruity flavours of Malbec and helps calm down the high tannin of Tannat, no prizes for guessing where the name of that grape comes from.

Further south and east you find the region of Gaillac, sitting on the river Tarn. Gaillac was once known for its sweet wines, replicating those of Sauternes but using different grapes like, Mauzac, Len de L'el and Ondenc. My experiences of modern Gaillac though are dry wines using the same grape, sometimes with a slight spritz in their youth. Flavours are somewhat reminiscent of Picpoul; pear and citrus. Reds are also produced here using more local varieties such as Braucol and Duras, though Syrah has been making an appearance on it's weekend breaks from the Rhone valley.

Next is Cotes de Gascogne. This area chiefly produces grapes made into the brandy Armagnac. But it has a burgeoning industry producing crisp, dry, white wines of reasonable quality from the same grapes used to make Armagnac. For the most part this is Ugni Blanc, but there are a few other varietals chucked in for good measure.

Bordering Cotes de Gascogne is the superb region of Madiran. While they do produce some sweet wines, the real gems from this region are the dry reds made chiefly from Tannat. Winemakers in this part of the world are incredibly talented and innovative, using techniques like oak ageing and partial deliberate oxidation. They produce wines on par quality-wise with some Bordeaux, and the best can be aged for 7 or 8 years to show some real flare.

Finally Jurancon is so far south-west it's almost in Spain. Manseng is the name of the game/grapes here. Gros Manseng is used to make dry, early-picked wines, with refreshing acidity and bursting with citrus fruit. While Petit Manseng, with it's significantly smaller berries and thinner skin, is often left on the vine for ages to intensify acidity and sugar to produce a sweeter wine. This is closer in style to a Molleux Vouvray than a Sauternes and is drunk locally at the start of a meal with Foie Gras.

Next time: The wines of Languedoc and the surrounding environs.

All Vina Eguia on the Pic 'n' Mix.Date published: 13/03/14

All Vina Eguia on the Pic 'n' Mix.

Vina Eguia Crianza £6.33*

Vivid cherry red in colour.  The aromas show off the wine's oak ageing, with vanilla, coconut and balsamic notes coming to the fore.  An elegant palate of ripe fruit framed by soft, polished tannins.  The definitive accompaniment to tapas, especially those of red meat or cured cheeses.  

Vina Eguia Reserva £6.66* Offer ends Monday

Beautifully deep ruby coloured, with subtle cedar hints to the rim.  The bouquet is an intense mix of dark fruit, toasted oak and clove aromas/  The palate has weight yet an elegant profile.  Match with a mature steak, or with a board of chorizo and manchego.  

Vine Eguia Gran Reserva £8.99* Offer end on Monday

Ruby red with medium density and a brick-like rim.  The fruit is very mature, exhibiting raisin, prune and caramel notes, accompanied by vanilla, clove and leather.  Silky mouthfeel and good length. Drink with slow-cooked lamb-dishes, or with nutty-tasting cheeses.

*when purchasing any other Pic 'n' Mix wine as part of your mixed case of 6.  


Ned Sauvignon Blanc - £6.99!Date published: 13/03/14

With only 5 days left  to get the Ned Sauvignon at £6.99 when you buy any two bottles from the March Pick 'N' Mix I think it's high time I let you all know what you're missing! 

This New Zealand Sauvignon carries all that glorious gooseberry flavour you know and love in your new world Sauvignon but with the added complexity of subtle mineral notes from the stony terroir. You can also enjoy notes of nettles and grass on the nose, enhancing the flavour on the palate. 

In the time it has taken me to write this 6 boxes have gone out the door! I cannot emphasis this great and limited offer enough - waste no time in coming and getting some or make an internet order or phone us on 01892 615877!

10 Wine Facts of the WeekDate published: 13/03/14

This week we are focusing on grape varieties, so here is a bit of info on a select few:

 1) Gewürztraminer is a popular aromatic grape grown throughout Europe, the New World, New Zealand, it also does well in the Mendoza region of Argentina.The nose brims with the classic aromas of lychee and spice and is fantastic when matched with Asian cuisine -  a Thai curry would go perfectly.

2) Chardonnay takes its name from a village in Mâconnais, Burgundy, but is now planted around the world. Cooler climates give wines with apple, pear or green plum fruit notes whereas warmer climates tend to be more exotic.

3) Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are made from the same grape, however the former is found in France and the latter is Italian in origin. The two differ very much in terms of style. Pinot Gris displaying notes of ripe, exotic fruit and Pinot Grigio being generally lighter and more neutral in character. 

4) Viognier is a grape that is becoming increasingly popular, the finest being found in northern Rhône but also in Australia and California. It generally needs warm conditions to ripen and develops delicate flavours of peach, pear and violet.

5) Riesling is planted around the world and produces wines in a range of styles. In cooler climates it has characters of fresh grape and apple, whereas warmer regions tend to give more citrus and peach flavours. They can age fairly well and can develop notes of honey and smoke.

6) Merlot is one of the two famous grapes found in Bordeaux, but is also emulated successfully in the New World, and usually tends to be in one of two styles. Some are harvested as late as possible giving intense flavours of plum, blackberry with a rich, full body. You can also harvest early to get a medium body with a fresh red fruit character.

7) Cabernet Sauvignon is the second of the classic Bordeaux grapes and is widely planted also in the New World. They are full-bodied, respond fantastically to oak ageing, and can display notes of blackcurrant, blackberry, as well as black cherry.

8) Tempranillo is considered to be the leading variety of red grape in Spain and is the majority grape found in the best Riojas. Fruit flavours of strawberry and plum can develop and is best when blended with other varieties and oak aged.

9) Pinot Noir is most well known as being a Burgundy grape but can be found all over the world, and being thin-skinned usually has soft, light tannins with fruity flavours of cherry, raspberry, and strawberry.

10) Syrah and Shiraz are another variety which come from the same grape. Syrah is thought to be one of oldest grape types and typically is deep in colour with black fruit and spice aromas. It can be found in the best wines of the Northern Rhône whereas Shiraz is the most widely planted grape of Australia and are generally more full-bodied, fruity and higher in alcohol.

Wine of the Week - Barista Pinotage, 2013, Western CapeDate published: 12/03/14

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

Intense on the nose with aromas of chocolate, coffee, plum and cherry. On the palate the tannins are ripe and enhance the flavours of plum and mulberry fruit.

This wine would be perfectly enjoyable on it's own or with a lamb stew.

It's currently on offer for £7.49 when you buy 2 or more, and best of all it's currently open on our tasting counter.

9 new and improved 'corking' deals - for a week only!!Date published: 11/03/14

1) The Ned Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) - £6.99*

Gooseberry, green, punchy, nation-wide favourite

2) Chateau Meaume Bordeaux Superieur - £6.66

soft, plummy, damson, good with cheese or lamb

3) Gavi Montiero (Italy) -£5.99

honey, pear, green apple, aperitif or good with white fish

4) Rioja Gran Reserva Eguia (Spain) -  £8.99

strawberry jam, cedar, mellow, good with lamb or paella

5) Rioja Reserva Eguia (Spain) - £6.66

pencil shavings, red fruit and vanilla, serve with Manchego cheese or sausage casserole

6) Nicholas Feuilatte NV (Champagne) - £16.66

excellent value, brioche, biscuit and baked apples

7) Veuve Clicquot NV (Champagne) - £29.98

yellow label, iconic, crisp and clean, quality!

8) Prosecco Corte Alta (Italy) - £6.66

pear drops, sherbert, grapefruit, perfect picnic fizz

9) Villa Maria Cellar Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) - £8.33

crisp, minerality, elderflower, lemon and green-bell pepper


*all prices are based on 2 or more bottles as part of a mixed 6 bottle case

A Guide to the Regions of South France Part 1: The DordogneDate published: 10/03/14

A Guide to the Regions of South France Part 1: The Dordogne

The regions of France south of the powerhouses of Bordeaux and Rhone have been and still are some of the most exciting and up-and-coming wine producing parts of the world. Historically, as you will see, these regions produced very bland table wine, down-trodden and crestfallen as they were by the more famous wine regions of France. But a revolution of sorts has happened, and big names and big wines have emerged from the area. To start with we'll look at the regions just south of Bordeaux, surrounding the Dordogne river.

Bergerac is the most important region. The wines from here are almost identical to those of Bordeaux in both red and white. The grapes are the same; Cab Sauv, Merlot and Cab Franc are the reds, while Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon dominate the whites. Where the region differs from Bordeaux is its distance from the moderating and quite considerable body of water known as the Atlantic Ocean. As such, temperatures tend to be more extreme than Bordeaux. This results in wines with more intense and riper flavours. But also provides new challenges to the vintner, namely more chance of ground frosts, and trickier canopy management to protect the grapes from the hot sun.

Montravel produces mainly white wines. The dry wines are Sauvignon Blancs aged in oak, much like the Californian style Fumé Blanc, but with the old-world savoury flavours. Semillon is also used to make sweet wines, with a Botrytis influence, similar to the sweet wines of Bordeaux.

Finally here we have Monbazillac where they produce chiefly, sweet whites to rival the quality, but maybe not the prestige of Sauternes. The grapes are Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and sometimes Muscadelle, and again Botrytis gets a look in to help sweeten the wines. Botrytis can be fickle though, especially in Sauternes, too much and you get grey rot, which me-no-likey. But if the weather isn't right then you don't get enough. Monbazillac has it made though, it lies right on the Dordogne, and gets both fogs and breezes from the river, helping develop the noble rot and keep them free of the more extreme grey rot.

Next time we'll look further south.

Pick of the Pick 'n' MixDate published: 10/03/14

Gavi Araldica - NEW! just £6.66* 

(*when you buy any 2 wines from our Pick 'n' Mix selection, as part of your box of 6)

This is one of my favourite wines from our March Pick 'n' Mix selection. If you are dubious about rising alcohol levels in wine, this one is just 11.5%. Made from the Cortese grape, this wine comes from the Piedmont (foot of the mountains) region of northern Italy. It is crisp, light and clean. Displaying aromas of honey and pear, it leads to herbaceous notes of fennel on the palate. The ideal aperitif, but will also go nicely alongside light salads or white fish, such as grilled seabass

10 Facts about BeaujolaisDate published: 10/03/14

As it's getting a bit sunnier, it may be time for a lighter style of red such as Beaujolais; so here are 10 little snippets about it:

1) Beaujolais wines take their name from the region they come from in southern Burgundy, France

2) Wines are made from the Gamay grape

3) Vines are trained 'en gobelet', where they hang below the leaf canopy

4) The grapes like granite soils

5) Beaujolais villages wines can source the grapes from any of the villages in the region

6) There are 10 cru, which are the best villages. If one is stated on the label, the grapes must come exclusively from there

7) Those cru are: Fleurie, Morgon, Regnie, Brouilly, Cotes de Brouilly, Julienas, St Armour, Moulin a Vent, Chenas and Chiroubles

8) Wines are often 'carbonically macerated' - that is to say that whole bunches of uncrushed grapes ferment under a blanket of carbon dioxide

9) This means that little tannin is released or colour, so wines are very light in body and low in tannin

10) They often display character of banana and bubblegum, underpinned by lots of red fruit 


Top Champagnes on the March Pic 'n' Mix!Date published: 08/03/14

Top Champagnes on the March Pic 'n' Mix!

Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial NV  £28.98

Perhaps the best known Champagne, the Brut Imperial from Moet embodies their house style: crisp and clean, this classic Champagne shows citrus aromas and hints of biscuity flavours.  An excellent apéritif.  

Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut NV £24.99

Produced in the Epernay region, and dating back to 1811, Perrier Jouet consistently produces excellent Champagnes.  The style is friendly and open, with a refreshing ripeness to the soft, appley fruit and a zesty mousse.

Taittinger Brut Réserve NV £27.99

From Champagne's oldest cellars, this Champagne has peach and acacia notes on the nose, a citrus-fresh yet delicately honeyed palate, and beautiful, elegant finish. 

Laurent Perrier Brut NV £27.99

A lighter house style.  Subtle citrus, toast and spice predominate this perfectly balanced Champagne, with a strong structure giving the wine good food compatibility.

Nicolas Feuillatte 2006 £19.99

This vintage cuvée combines freshness with a subtle yeastiness from extended ageing on the lees. Great as a party wine, or as a match with antipasto and cured meats.  

Heidsieck & Co Monopole Brut NV £16.66

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.  

Come in and explore the range!!

Rhone 2012 En Primeur: Lay and Wheeler TastingDate published: 07/03/14

Rhone 2012 En Primeur: Lay and Wheeler Tasting

I recently poured wines at a Lay and Wheeler En Primeur tasting of the Rhone wines from the 2012 vintage.

I particularly enjoyed the selection of Condrieu I had at my table from the producer Francois Villard.

Francois Villard is a young winemaker, whose portfolio spans an astonishing array of wines.  With exceptional vineyard plots up and down the region's appellations, a tasting here can take a few hours! This is a man who knows and understands his individual sites and consistently strives to extract the very best from each terroir.  It is his Condrieu for which he is most revered; they are focussed, pure and mineral and are among France's most sought-after white wines.

Condrieu, Les Terrasses du Palat: Nicely ripe apple fruit dominates the bouquet.  On the palate this is full and round, impressively intense and conentrated with once again the hint of spice on the finish that runs through all the wines from this domaine this year.  Very long on the finish, this is an excellent Condrieu in a rich, fruit-dominated style.

Condrieu Le Grand Vallon: Extremely complex and intriguing with its cocktail of mineral and saline notes, with freshly cut white flowers and white peach, the nose of this wine if delightful.  The palate does not disappoint; savoury with excellent weight and power, the core of stone fruit character is followed on the finish by spicy notes. 

Condrieu DePoncins: An absolutely huge wine, but at this early stage it is still a little shy and muted on the nose, however the palate is an explosion of powerful flavours; apricot, clove, pepper, butterscotch and citrus notes on the finish, that goes on and on - very impressive.  

10 Wine Facts in my first Majestic weekDate published: 06/03/14

1) The Bordeaux region is naturally divided by a river - the Gironde Estuary, the right bank is dominated by Merlot and the left Cabernet Sauvignon. 

2) The Loire Valley in France is most famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, as in Sancerre and Pouilly Fume.

3) Wine from the Rioja region in Spain is divided into three age groups: Crianza being the youngest, followed by Reserva and Gran Reserva.

4) The principal grape of Rioja is Tempranillo.

5) Gavi, produced in northern Italy - the region of Piedmont (foot of the mountains), is made from a local grape; Cortese.

6) White wine from Burgundy is predominantly made from Chardonnay (a small amount of Aligote is also produced). 

7) Red wine from Burgundy is made from Pinot Noir.

8) Syrah and Shiraz are actually one and the same grape, where they differentiate is in their growing regions, Syrah being produced in France and Shiraz in Australia.

9) Pinotage is a cult South African grape which is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault.

10) The difference between Vintage and Non-Vintage Champagne is that all the grapes in a Vintage bottle come from the same year.

First Wine Tasting - Vergelegen Sauvignon BlancDate published: 05/03/14

Hello all! 

Tom here, a new member of the Majestic team at Tunbridge Wells. My first day yesterday so I'd thought I'd share my first official wine tasting with you all. How exciting!

The wine in question is a South African Vergelegen Sauvignon Blanc, a beautifully clear lemon-green what struck me immediately was it's fruity intensity both on the nose and palate, with clear flavours of green apple, lemon and gooseberry. A dry white wine, it would match splendidly with a fish dish. Not bad for a first go!

Normally on for £10.99, you could grab it now for £7.33 when you buy 2 bottles in a mixed case, and is available on our tasting counter, so come down and give it a try yourself!

Hello Tunbridge Wells!!Date published: 03/03/14

Hello Tunbridge Wells!!

If you pop in to store, you'll notice that we have a new team member!!

My name is Siân and I join Tunbridge Wells after my stint in our Sevenoaks store. I will often be found browsing the Fine Wine shelves as I like to treat myself...

My tastes are rather diverse ranging from Italian Chardonnay to Alsace Gewurztraminer, and who doesn't like vintage champagne??

My all-time favourite is Vigneto du Lot Soave 2008 - AMAZING!

Come in and tell me what your favourites are.

Siân

It's all about Portillo MalbecDate published: 02/03/14

We are fresh out of the Vinabla Malbec Reservado so here is a great alternative: the Portillo Malbec!

The recent winner of Decanter's 'Best Argentinian Malbec under £10' award, the Portillo comes from the largest cool-climate estate in Argentina, with 2000ha of vines. Their Malbec is grown 1050m above sea level. The Portillo has an intense red-purple colour and a rich nose of plum and bramble. This great Malbec fills the mouth with lush fresh black fruits and is just crying out to join your lamb tagine for dinner tonight!

Open on our tasting counter and only £6.66 down from £9.99 when you buy two!

St. David's Day DelightsDate published: 01/03/14

Celebrate St. David's Day with something extra special to go with your traditional lamb. Our choice is 'La Réserve de Léoville-Barton 2007' St-Julien. Grown in the gravelly dunes of Léoville-Barton's vineyard, this wine is great value for money. Smoky blackberry fruit and pencil lead on the nose typical of the left bank style. Enjoy ample fruit on the palate with tannin enough to stand up to the shoulder of lamb.

Happy St. David's Day all!

Viñalba Reservado MalbecDate published: 01/03/14

As this is proving so popular in store I thought I would share it quickly with the online Malbec lovers.


The Viñalba Reservado Malbec is truly one of the best Malbec's I think we offer, Second to its big brother the Gran Reservado!

The Malbec Reserva from the Vinalba estate has previously won a Decanter award for its quality. Sourced from vineyards at the foot of the Andes, grown at different altitudes to achieve the perfect balance between tannin and acidity.

This wine literally wraps itself around every corner of your mouth with its ripe dark plum fruits, sweet tannins and dark chocolate and mocha. Flavours linger for a long time.


Down from £11.99 to £7.99

Last Chance for these 33.3% offers!Date published: 01/03/14

Last Chance for these 33.3% offers!

The end of our current Pick'n'Mix offers are heading out on the 3rd of march, this weekend being the last chance to grab these amazing offers!

Here is a pick of the White, Red and the Sparkling I would personally Grab


White:

Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay, Originally £11.99 now £7.99

Sourced mainly from the Limarí Valley, the northernmost vineyard district in Chile. Although closer to the equator, the valley is efficiently cooled by sea breezes, due to its east-west orientation. This Chardonnay is barrel fermented and undergoes regular lees stirring. 

Bright golden in colour, with a faint green tint. The nose offers good ripeness, with citrus aromas turning to a softer, more apple and stone fruit character. Weighty and creamy on the palate.


Red:

Rustenberg RM Nicholson,  originally £13.99 now £9.32

This wine was named in honour of one of the estate's former owners, Reg Merriman Nicholson, who lived and worked as winemaker at Rustenberg for 30 years. Small batches of each variety are vinified separately, blended, then aged in oak for 7 months for good integration.

Blackcurrant aroma complemented by notes of dried herbs and black pepper. The palate is fleshy and firmly structured, with weighty red fruit flavours and bold tannins.


Fizz:

Heidsieck Monopole Gold Top 2007, Originally £30.00 now £19.99

Heidsieck & C° Monopole, now owned by Vranken and Pommery is one of the oldest champagne firms in the Champagne region. This vintage Champagne is soft and rich, with hints of citrus, apple and subtle vanilla. Perfect with canapes.


Make sure you come and find your favourites before the offer run out!

Cheers

Malbec MadnessDate published: 28/02/14

A quick tasting guide on one of the best Malbecs we have to offer!

The Vinabla Malbec is a glorious deep purple colour offering liquorice, black cherry and blackcurrant on the nose and all this with a kick of black pepper on the palate. This is an exceptional wine for the current offer price of £7.99 each when you buy two which can boost of a refreshing finish and well-rounded tannins. Perfect with your lamb or beef steaks this weekend!

Best of all it is open on the tasting counter in store! Come on down and get it quick though, I foresee a mad rush this weekend!

10 Facts about LoireDate published: 27/02/14

1) The Loire region, takes its name from the long river that runs through it

2) It is so long that there are varying micro-climates in the different vineyards that run along it, thus many grapes varieties are successfully planted

3) At the mouth of the Loire, where it meets the Atlantic, it is 'Muscadet' land

4) Muscadet is a white wine that is well-paired with seafood. Typically, it has some residual CO2 resulting in a slight spritz

5) Muscadet can also be produced 'sur lie' which is when it ages on its dead lees (yeasts) to give a more creamy, distinctive character

6) Half way along the Loire red is found, such as Chinons from Cabernet Franc

7) Chenin is also successful and can produce wines of varying levels of sweetness, i.e. Demi Secs such as some Vouvrays

8) At the east end of the Loire, it becomes Sauvignon Blanc country - Here lie the famous regions of Sancerre and Pouilly Fume

9) Sancerre also produces a small amount of rose from Pinot Noir

10) Sauvignon here is paired with the local goats cheese - yum!




Wine of the Week: Gavi MontieroDate published: 27/02/14

The town of Gavi lies in the far south of Piedmont, Italy by the border with Liguria, and is home to some of the earliest plantings of the Cortese grape from which this wine is made. This dry wine has glorious zesty qualities of lime and grapefruit accompanied by hints of fennel. A clean and refreshing finish – lovely! Perfect as an apertif or with some simple fresh white fish.


A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 4: South Italy and the IslandsDate published: 24/02/14

A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 4: South Italy and the Islands

This last bit concludes our tour of Italy. South Italy is dominated by Puglia in the wine world. Negromaro is the grape of choice for the most part. Negromaro comes from both the Latin (Negro) and Greek (Marvo) for black, this mirrors the clash of civilizations that you find in this part of the world. It is used to produce the reds of the two key regions Copertino and Salice Salentino, which produce wines with bramble fruit, and a bitter-sweet edge. They're of very high quality for the price you pay and I highly recommend them. The other wine of note from Puglia is Primitivo di Manduria, also known as Zinfandel in the USA, a wine thought to originate in Greece, the Greek name of which I cannot possibly recall. Primitivo produces rich, smooth, and full-bodied wines, with pleasant black and red fruit notes and a hint of sweet spice.

Campania and Basilicata are best known for producing a wine called Aglianico or Aglianico del Vulture in Basilicata. Aglianico is a version of the Italian word for Greek, Ellenico, but the word is as corrupted as the famous crime syndicates from this part of the world. Starting to see a pattern of Greek stuff here. Aglianico is somewhat similar to Nebbiolo in flavours and structure, cherry fruit, crisp acidity and firm tannins. This comparison has been taken to the point that Aglianico is sometimes referred to as the 'Barolo of the South'. Fiano, is a soft white produced in some quantity here with apple flavours. And finally Greco, another Italian word for Greek, because that's where it's from (they're imaginative with the names aren't they?) Greco is fairly nondescript, perhaps filling the niche that Pinot Grigio would fill elsewhere in Italy.

Sardinia we'll ignore, sorry Sardinia but we don't get much of your wine here. Sicily on the other hand is quite interesting, wine has been produced here with the same grapes and in the same way for over a thousand years. The reds come in the shape of Nero D'avola, medium bodied, black fruit, and gentle yet noticeable tannin. Grillo is the white, ripe citrus, and refreshing acidity. Both of these are very cheap and very good value, although they are starting to see a fashionable revitalisation raising prices from a few boutique wineries.

And that is small onion (shallot - the lot).

Next we will look at Spain.

10 Facts about BordeauxDate published: 24/02/14

1) Bordeaux is divided by an estuary into what is termed as left and right bank

2) All reds are a blend of red grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc

3) Right bank wines are predominant in Merlot, and left bank in Cabernet

4) There are 5 first growths (top Chateaux that were classified in 1855): Margaux, Mouton Rothschild, Latour, Lafite, Haut-Brion

5) 'Entre-deux-mers' is the region between the two rivers which specialises in white wines: Sauvignon and Semillon

6) Sauternes is the region's famous dessert wine,which is made from nobly rotten grapes

7) The top Chateau for dessert wine is Yquem

8) Investors can buy 'en primeur', that is to say before wine is bottled

9)Top wines can fetch thousands at auction

10) Top regions/wine types include: Pomerol, St Emilion, Medoc and Pauillac amongst others

Hungary for dessert?Date published: 21/02/14

Hungary for dessert?

In the spirit of puddings I'm taking a look at one of the best dessert wines around; the Tokaji from Hungary. This was one of the first wines to be systematically classified and legally protected in Hungary in the 18th century. 

Tokaji is made mostly from the Furmint grape which gives a delicious apple flavour when young and a combination of honey and nuts on the palate when aged. The grape is late-ripening and susceptible to botrytis (noble rot) which makes it the perfect choice for a dessert wine. The affected grapes are called "Aszu" and the wines made from them are called "Tokaji Azsu", though this is typically shortened to just "Tokaji". The Tokaji region is ideal for growing Furmint; located in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in far north-east Hungary close to the Slovak border. The vineyards here benefit from warm southerly exposures which give long dry autumns (I wonder what that's like...) This combined with the misty mornings created by the rivers Bodrog and Tisza encourages noble rot further. 

While botrytis is essential for Tokaji it is more of a fickle rot than a noble one, affecting the grapes at different rates which means the pickers must pass several times through the vineyard to harvest the grapes at the optimum moment.

The production of Tokaji starts with a base wine made from grapes which have not been affected by noble rot, then either during or after fermentation (producer's choice) the Aszu berries are macerated in this base wine for up to 36 hours. This mixture is then pressed and matured for at least 3 years, 2 of those must be in oak. The amount of Aszu grapes added determines the ultimate sweetness of the wine. The unit is measured in "puttony" and ranges from 3 to 6 puttonyos. The sweetest wine using Aszu berries is the Aszu Eszencia, these are very rare and expensive and are only made in the best years from the very best vineyards. Sweeter even than this is the Tokaji Eszencia which has at least 450g of sugar per litre of wine! You can probably just have that one as the dessert!

Classic Tokaji is deep amber and has marmalade, apricot and honey flavours and yes remains refreshing. All round yumminess! 

Wine of the Week - Pizarras De Otero 2012 BierzoDate published: 21/02/14

This wine comes from an 18th century vineyard which had lain dormant for many years until, luckily for us, it was revived by Bodegas Martin Códax in 2003. In Spanish 'Pizarra' means slate and the soils of Bierzo are mineral-rich and rocky. Full of deep fruit flavours of red cherry and plum with subtle notes of violet which lift the fruit. On the nose the fruit notes also include strawberry and blackberry. An elegant red all round.

This would go great with lamb cutlets or a fresh home-made bolognese. 

Best of all it is on offer down to £7.49 from £9.99 when you buy two and open on the tasting counter!


A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 3: Central ItalyDate published: 20/02/14

A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 3: Central Italy

Central Italy is quite a broad - or should that be long - region. The spine is made by the Apennines, making this a very varied place terroir-wise. To illustrate this I'd point out that the average altitude of vineyards in Tuscany to the west is just 130ft, compare that to the average altitude of the more central Umbria of 1673ft and you can begin to see the opportunities available for a diverse wine-culture. However this also creates the problem of finding somewhere practical to plant vines. As you will see, the main character of the story of Central Italy is Tuscany.

Tuscany is a beautiful part of Italy with lots of rolling hills and pretty cities like San Gimignano - the city of towers and Firenze, known to us as Florence. The big thing happening in Tuscany at the moment is Supertuscans. Supertuscans are a style of wine that does some of that DOC trashing that has been so common in these articles. They use lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blended with the native Sangiovese to produce wines of power, yet refinement and complexity. You may well have heard of Sassicaia, one of the biggest names, the current vintage of which sells for somewhere in the region of £130 a bottle! Also popular is the house Antinori, who, among a multitude of other styles, produce a blend of Grechetto and Chardonnay called Cervaro. This is reminiscent of a great Montrachet, and is currently a pinch at £45 a bottle from us!

With regards to red wine, the rest of Tuscany is over-run by Sangiovese, and whatever they happen to call Sangiovese in the local town. Around and south of Florence, Sangiovese is called Chianti. This is a vast area, who's supposedly better Classico zone, keeps expanding, to the point that it barely means anything anymore. I'm not a big fan of Chianti, it does present some pleasant, soft, cherry notes with perhaps a hint of spice. Unless you're pairing it with human liver and fava beans, I wouldn't really bother! West of Florence you will find the aforementioned San Gimignano, where you get the white wine Vernaccia. This was once thought of as 'the plonk we give to the tourists'. But thanks to the work of some decent winemakers, who are restraining the yields of their vines a little, this wine is now seeing a renaissance of sorts, and is a very pleasant, summery wine.

Further south, in the Siena hills, you'll find a town called Montalcino, where, in the late 19th Century, a chap called Clemente Santi was getting a bit fed up with all the attention Barolo was receiving. He said, "Right, that's it! Something must be done!" I'm paraphrasing from the original Italian, and I've made it up entirely. So he decided he was going to clone Sangiovese and call it Brunello. But he might as well not have because it is Sangiovese for all intents and purposes. This a hefty style to compare with Barolo, with lots of black fruit, and rich in tannins. The best examples I've had, have come from Banfi, the big American-owned winery.

Further south still you get a town called Montepulciano, which certainly looks very nice in the picture I have in front of me! This is not to be confused with the grape Montepulciano which I don't think is even from here, and even if it is, isn't grown here but elsewhere that I will mention later. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is again Sangiovese dominant, and a style somewhere between the elegance of Chianti, and the weight of Brunello. A winery of note here is Avignonesi, who are dabbling in the Supertuscan style. Their Rosso is fantastic, and just £7.99 a bottle. I've got two bottles left, except, no I don't because I've just bought them. Vin Santo, a traditional style of sweet wine made with sun-dried grapes is also from here, but we don't see much of it unfortunately.

Even further south, yet again, you'll find Scansano, where they call Sangiovese Morellino, thus Morellino di Scansano. This is a style of tremendous quality for the price, due to the cheaper vineyards in the south of the region. Also near here you find an abundance of the in-vogue Vermentino. A white grape producing refreshing wines with a light pear characteristic, try with a Waldorf Salad.

That just about covers Tuscany. As for the rest, here it is: In Umbria you'll find mainly Orvieto, a now well thought of white wine in both dry and off-dry styles. This presents a crisp citrus flavour and is excellent with shellfish. In Marche you find a style or red wine called Rosso Piceno, a blend of Sangiovese and Montepulciano, which is all of the following, inexpensive, delightful, soft, voluptuous, good with tomoatoey (is that how you spell tomatoey?) pasta, good with pizza. Also a style called Verdicchio, a white made with a grape by the same name, which can vary in quality but is generally citrussy (again is that how you spell citrussy?) and grassy. Lazio, the area surrounding Rome produces mainly Frascati, a wine synonymous with Rome and everything Roman (not Abramovich) which is very appley (appley?), floral and easy-drinking. Finally, almost in southern Italy is the region Abruzzi, really known for producing just one thing; Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. This is the grape not the region. And although generally being inexpensive, can also be of high quality, especially the wines of Masciarelli who says "Non vendo vino, vendo emozioni" meaning "I don't sell wine, I sell emotions" NICE!

That was quite big one. Next time is Southern Italy.

10 facts about ChileDate published: 18/02/14

Yesterday we explored Argentina, so today we shall look at its neighbour..Chile:

1) Chile is often called 'the long thin country' at the tip of South America

2) As such, vineyards cover 900km from north to south, but no more than 100km from east to west

3) Its sandy soils mean that it remains phylloxera free (the louse that caused an epidemic, destroying millions of vines worldwide) 

4) It benefits from protection from the Andes in the east (the back-bone between Argentina and Chile), as well as a moderating breeze from the Pacific ocean in the west

5) The 'Humbolt current' also blows up from the Antarctic, further moderating the otherwise Mediterranean climate

6) All the above factors arguably create a near perfect growing environment for grapes!

7) Carmenere has become its cult red grape (which has very similar DNA to Merlot)

8) The country is broadly defined by four regions: Coquimbo in the north, Aconcagua, The Central valley, and the Southern region

9)There are sub-regions of each of these above, each suited for growing different grape varieties

10) Casablanca (sub-region of Anconcagua) produces good whites such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Pinot Noir


10 Facts about ArgentinaDate published: 17/02/14

Following the success of our Argentinian tasting week and my pending visit to Mendoza, I though I would share some pearls of wisdom about this fascinating country:

1) Malbec is the cult red grape

2) These wines are best paired with a  nice steak (the perfect BBQ wine!)

3) Nicholas Catena was one of the original iconic wine producers here

4) 70 % of production comes from the Mendoza region

5) It is all about the altitude...grapes are planted higher than almost anywhere else in the world, otherwise the climate would be too hot

6) Higher altitude gives a wider diurnal range (difference between day and night-time temperature)

7) Bonarda is another red varietal that is consistently being explored

8) The cult white variety is 'Torrontes', which has a distinctively floral quality; reminiscent of white blossom and rose

9) International varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are also planted successfully

10) Water for irrigation is plentiful due to the snow-drip of the Andes

Wine CourseDate published: 16/02/14

Wine course - an inspiring introduction to wine!


This 90 minute appetiser sheds light on everything from tasting jargon to how to choose the perfect wine from your meal. Our down-to-earth staff will welcome your queries, so you never need feel tongue tied in front of a surly waiter again! There's plenty of 'practical investigation' along the way... and did we mention that its FREE!

A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 3: Northeast Italy - 3 Veneto and Friuli-Venezia GiuliaDate published: 16/02/14

A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 3: Northeast Italy - 3 Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia

The last regions of Northeast Italy to be discussed are quite large. Veneto and Venezia are home to the increasingly popular Prosecco. Prosecco was historically made only in the area known as Conegliano-Valdobbiadene (pronounced "Konn-Elly-Arno Val-Dobby-Addin-Ay") near Treviso. Back then the grape was called Glera. But the demand for the Spumante (proper fizzy) wine made with this grape has become so great that they have expanded the area to include Treviso and the surrounding environs. And because the still wines made from Glera are so boring and insipid they gave up on them and renamed the grape Prosecco, to make it clear what it is mostly used for.

Other than Prosecco, not a lot else of note is produced in this region. More inexpensive Pinot Grigio and some Pinot Bianco, which has a nice, soft Melon or Pear characteristic.

Next time we look at Central Italy.

A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 3: Northeast Italy - 2 Trentino and Alto AdigeDate published: 15/02/14

A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 3: Northeast Italy - 2 Trentino and Alto Adige

The next region in the Northeast is Trentino, coupled with Alto Adige. These regions follow the valley of the Aldige river. This is quite a large place but the valley is so steep that only 15% of it can be used for growing grapes. The surrounding roads form an important north-south link and consequently are very busy. However if you were to step off the track into the valley you'd find tranquillity with vines taking up every available spot on the lower slopes and other fruit crops on the valley floor.

Trentino is the area in the south and Alto Adige is to the north. Trentino has pretty much always been Italian, and produces for the most part cheap Pinot Grigio, and a lesser known red wine called Teroldego, which we don't really see any of. Alto Adige on the other hand was once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and is an autonomous state now. German is the first language of this Alpine region, as such, varieties of grapes usually associated with Germany, Austria and Alsace are dominant here. Red wise we don't see much of the production of Schiava and Lagrein. But when it comes to the whites we do see a bit. Riesling, Sylvaner, Gruner Veltliner and most importantly Gewurztraminer are all grown here. Gewurztraminer is actually from this region, namely the town Traminer or Termeno in Italian. Most of this stuff is exported to Germany and us.

Next time we will look at the huge area of Veneto.

A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 3: Northeast Italy - 1 VeronaDate published: 14/02/14

A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 3: Northeast Italy - 1 Verona

Northeast Italy is home to the capital Milan, the financial powerhouse of Italy. Much like the financial competition that happens in this part of Italy, the land is heavily competed for by winemakers for vineyard sites. It is home to some of the most famous appellation names in Italian wine. Here the vintners have shrugged off the old DOC classification system I discussed in the introduction to these articles, more than anyone else in Italy. Being so packed full of important names in Italian wine I'm dividing this region up further, to start with, Veorna:

Home to Romeo and Juliet and the famous Lake Garda. White-wise we have Soave, made with the grape Garganega, which has found a beautiful expression here after being blended with cheap Pinot Grigio for ages. The best examples have a fresh, crisp acidity, herbaceous notes and soft citrus characteristics. It goes particularly well with fish caught from the lake! Next we have the young-drunk Bardolino, so light, it's almost Rosé. They use the grapes Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. This is fresh and fruity and ready to be drunk almost as soon as it is fermented. Finally and most importantly is Valpolicella, which is where it gets complicated. All Valpolicella is made with the previously mentioned Corvina. Basic Valpolicella is made in a very normal way, but then you have Ripasso and Amarone styles. Amarone is made using grapes, partially sundried on straw mats, producing rich, intense wines with heady coffee and chocolate notes. They can be very pricey though, to get a decent example you'll be spending about £30 a bottle. Ripasso is mid-point between Amarone and Valpolicella, utilising the left over grape skins from the Amarone production. This style is rich, but not quite as expressive as Amarone, none-the-less it's a staff favourite, at half the price of an equivalent Amarone.


Wither Hills Sauvignon..back in stock!!Date published: 12/02/14

If you have been a fan of 'Wither Hills' New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in the past, we are re-stocking it for a limited time only. What's more, it's at the bargain price of just £6.66!  (when you buy 2 or more as part of your mixed 6 bottle case)

Fill your boots while stocks last!

A-Z of grape varieties - 'Z is for ZinfandelDate published: 12/02/14

Zinfandel is a red grape,  primarily grown in California, making full-bodied wines which are very high in alcohol (sometimes up to 15/16%) They are full of black fruit and liquorice character. Wines range from budget to premium.

White Zinfandel on the other hand, makes cheaper, quite sweet roses, such as 'Fetzer'

Zinfandel is also rumoured to be the same grape as Primitivo from Italy.

Why not try one today? Our personal favourite: 'Lodi Ravenswood' Curently buy 2 save £5 = £9.49 from £11.99



Wine of the Week: Luigi Bosca MalbecDate published: 12/02/14

Bodega Luigi Bosca was founded in 1901 in Vistalba as part of the original Italian winemakers to settle in Argentina. Located 990m above sea level, the vineyard is now in its fourth generation of family ownership.

A perfect example of a Malbec this full-bodied wine is full of luscious dark, juicy fruits and a subtle note of vanilla and will go beautifully with venison. Best of all it's only £12.99 when you buy two and open on our tasting counter!


Sweets for your SweetsDate published: 11/02/14

With the sweetest day of the year approaching (that's Valentine's Day this Friday people!) I'm taking a look at one of the best dessert wines: Sauternes.

Sauternes are from the west bank of Bordeaux where the river Garonne creates lovely misty autumns - perfect noble rot growing weather. The noble rot or botrytis creates grapes rich in sugar with distinctive honey and dried fruit aromas. The chief grapes used in Sauternes are Semillon - perfect because its thin skin is more susceptible to botrytis; and Sauvignon Blanc - used to create those delicious fruit aromas and refreshing finish. 

Should the autumn not be misty enough to create those ideal noble rot conditions, producers will allow  Passerillage to occur to help concentrate sugars. This is when the grapes are left on the vine to dehydrate and essentially become raisins. This combination of growing techniques and the difference in rates which they take effect on individual grapes means pickers must pass through the vineyards repeatedly during a harvest period which may last several weeks. The best Sauternes are from Chateau d'Yquem and will deliver marmalade, apricot, honey and vanilla and although rich are not cloying in the mouth. Enjoy twice this Valentine's Day with your foie gras and chocolate fondant! 

Happy loving everyone!

A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 2: Northwest ItalyDate published: 10/02/14

A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 2: Northwest Italy

For the most part, Northwest Italian wine production is in a region called Piedmont or Piemonte to the natives. The name means literally, at the foot of the mountains, and as such is quite a hilly place. The area used to be part of the Kingdom of Savoy, the Duke of which appeared in an episode of The Musketeers last night (I do love a sword fight)!

The region is best known for producing red wines, the most noble grape in the Northwest arsenal is Nebbiolo, famous for producing Barolo and Barbaresco outside Piedmont, among others like Langhe and Dolcetto in Piedmont. Nebbiolo can express itself as a big, meaty, complex and somewhat tannic wine as with Barolo or as a softer, fruitier style as with Dolcetto.

However the grape that produces the most wine in the region is Barbera which is grown in vast quantities around the towns of Asti and Alba. Barbera d'Alba is a staff favourite round these parts, packed full of ripe cherry fruit, a soft, creamy, yet full texture and a crisp acidity making it a great pair with tomato-based pasta dishes.

White wine production, while certainly on a smaller scale than the reds is on the rise in the region. Moscato is used to make sparkling wines in Frizzante (slight bubble) and Spumante (proper fizz) styles, Moscato d'Asti produces wines with very floral notes, reminiscent of an Iced Tea on a hot summers day. Cortese is used to make the ever-increasing-in-popularity Gavi. Gavi produces wines somewhat similar to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, hence the popularity. They have zingy citrus fruit like gooseberry and lemon, crisp acidity, but a slightly softer mouthfeel.

Next Time: Northeast Italy

Wine of the Week: Catena Alta Chardonnay Date published: 07/02/14

This week we are celebrating the best of Argentina. i.e lots of Malbec

But there are also lots of delicious white wines produced in Argentina and therefore...

our Wine of the Week is Catena Alta Chardonnay:

Origin: Mendoza, Argentina. The grapes used to make this wine were sourced from the best rows in two of the Catena family's vineyards. 

Taste: Expect tropical mango and pineapple with notes of ripe pear and fig. Sweet spice and minerality enhance a rich palate with a long lasting, fresh finish.

Enjoy: If you are feeling fancy then match with lobster. However for me it's very drinkable on its own or with roast chicken. 

It's part of our 'Fine Wine at House Wine Prices' range, which means buy 2 save £10!

Reduced from  £23 to £18


A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 1: IntroductionDate published: 07/02/14

A Guide to the Regions of Italy Part 1: Introduction

Italy is renowned as being one of the most complicated wine-making countries to understand. I'm not sure anyone could claim to completely understand it, but we thought we'd make your wine choosing a bit more easy by briefly describing its most famous regions.

Historically DOCG is the most prestigious classification, it stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. In sensible terms this means that the wine has been made in the traditional and legally defined way, using the legally defined grapes, and the wine has been tasted by a panel of authorities to make sure it is of high quality and representative of the style of the region. DOC comes next and then IGT, standing for Indicazione Geografica Tipica. This was traditionally thought of as the least of the classifications, but is undergoing a revolution: There is a new wave of young winemakers who are throwing off the shackles of the old classification system which for the most part limits innovation and variety, and stifles creativity. These new winemakers make the wine they want with the grapes they want to use, regardless of whether they are Italian or not. Among the wines they produce are some of the highest quality in the country, which sell for the highest prices. So all in all the current appellation classification is slightly useless when looking for quality wines. Instead the tactic is to look for quality producers regardless of appellation.

Next time will be the regions of Northwest Italy.

Pinotage: A GuideDate published: 07/02/14

Pinotage is a black grape variety grown almost exclusively in South Africa. It is a cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsault and is made in a range of styles; the variety is still being eagerly explored by producers.

You may find some Pinotage similar to Beaujolais in style with red berry fruit characteristics. In contrast, wines from old bush vines may show characteristics of rubber, bonfire, coffee and tobacco along with spiced berry fruits and are full in body. Currently open on our tasting counter is one such example, Barista from the Western Cape. Look for burnt rubber, smoke, plum and mulberry on the nose with plum, white pepper, smoke and coffee on the palate. Perfect with your lamb tagine this evening and only £7.49 when you buy two bottles! That's the weekend set up nicely I think!

Ella's Pick of the Pick 'n' MixDate published: 06/02/14

Here are a few of my favourites from our February Pick 'n' Mix:

Don't forget you can mix and match across everything that's on the promotion!

Montes Reserve Malbec: £9.99 £6.66

We were lucky enough to try this at our Winter tasting back in November and were all very impressed. I know that typically you think Malbec...Argentina. But, Chile are producing some great value Malbec and this one in particular is definitely worth a try!

This wine comes from some of Chile's oldest Malbec vines, some of which are about 100 years old. Overflowing with rich, ripe black fruit with vanilla and spicey notes from 6 months in French oak. Honestly just amazing value...

Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay: £11.99 £7.99 

I love an oaky Chardonnay, New World in particular. This wine is barrel fermented and has undergone lees stirring. Plenty of baked apple, citrus and stone fruit flavours. Great body and a creamy finish.

As a fairly rich wine it can easily stand up to porky belly or roast chicken. Yum. 

Perrier Jouet Blason Rosé: £45 £29.98 

Perrier Jouet is one of my favourite Champagne houses, this rosé is consistent with their style and absolutely delicious! 

Intense pink in colour, with lovely flavours of strawberry, raspberry and floral notes, namely rose petal (how romantic) 

P.S this would be a great choice for Valentines Day...


New in stock - HOGSTAR LagerDate published: 05/02/14

New in stock - HOGSTAR Lager


If you're looking for something a little different to a regular lager the why not try the HOGSTAR by Hogs Back Brewery, it is an amazing new English Craft Lager. This is cold matured for a month to create a deep flavour. Not too heavy at 4.5% ABV.

A rich, golden yellow colour with a distinctive gently hopped aroma. A fuller taste with good balance between sweetness and bitterness.

12 x 330ml bottles is just £21.60.


Brancott Sauvignon just £6.66!!!Date published: 04/02/14

If you are already missing our 20% off New Zealand deal, fear not! The Brancott Marlborough Sauvignon is just £6.66!!

We wouldn't let you go without :)

A-Z of grape varieties - 'X is for Xarel-loDate published: 04/02/14

Xarel-lo is a white grape producing powerful sparkling and still wines in the Catalonia region of Spain. It is particularly important in the Penedes region where it pairs with Macabeo and Parellada to make Cava; contributing a very distinctive aroma. The vine is vigorous and hence productive, but buds early making it prone to spring frost damage

End of Ned at £7.99 Date published: 31/01/14

This is the last weekend of Ned at £7.99...

If this is one of your favourites it's going up to £10.99 on Monday 2nd so now is the time to stock up! 

Stuart's End of Offers SelectionDate published: 31/01/14

Stuart's End of Offers Selection

Continuing Ella's selection, here's my pick of the bunch from the offers ending on Monday the 3rd of February.

Louis Roderer Brut Pemier NV: £42 £27.99 - Save a Third on selected fizz

This is one of the staff favourites when it comes to Champagne; most of the company is split between Roederer and Bollinger. Roederer is characterised by a slightly fuller body than Bollinger and tends to emphasize the red fruit flavours derived from the Pinot Noir. This comes with a pleasant yeastiness, and brioche notes to finish.

Portillo Malbec: £9.99 £6.99 - Buy 2 bottles save £6

Nothing to do with the former Tory politician come railway enthusiast, this is a delightful offering from Argentina, especially when one considers the price. Full of rich blackcurrant and plum fruit. This one comes with some impressive yet smooth tannins, which gives you a slight chewiness and the backbone to stand up to a hearty steak or three!

'Angels Share' Shiraz, Two Hands, McLaren Vale: £23 18 - Buy any two selected fine wines save £10

Angels Share refers to an old winemaker's superstition, when you leave wine to ferment or age in oak, because it is not an airtight container, some of the wine inevitably evaporates. In ye olde times, this was inexplicable so they used to say that it was the Angels taking their tax for making the wine. Two hands are a superb producer, specialising mainly in Shiraz, and showing off it's expressions from different parts of South Australia. This example from the McLaren Vale is packed with Plum and Bramble fruit flavours, complemented by some nutty, creamy notes from the oak ageing.

Ella's End of Offers SelectionDate published: 30/01/14

As some of you may know our current offers (20% off Chile, Australia, New Zealand and Rhone) come to an end Monday 3rd. 

So, here are three of my favourite wines, on great deals that I think should not be missed! 

Bollinger Special Cuvee: £45 £30 - buy 6 bottles save £90

We are still using our Christmas offers and therefore still have some great reductions across our fizz range. In my opinion the best deal is Bollinger for sure, their signature style is rich and toasty, simply delicious! Why not treat yourself?

Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva: £14.99 £9.99 - buy 2 bottles save £10

This is one of our most popular Rioja's and with good reason! A classic Reserva style, it's full-bodied, smooth with flavours of dark summer fruits, vanilla and hints of oak. I know many of our customers are loyal Riscal lovers, so if this is you...now is your chance. 

Luis Felipe Edwards Gran Reserva Chardonnay: £9.36 £7.49 

I am a big fan of an oaky Chardonnay and this wine ticks all the boxes. Luscious baked apple and stone fruit flavours, undertones of vanilla and lemon. Personally I think this wine offers amazing value for money and compares to some of the white Burgundy's we have in stock! 


A-Z of grape varieties - 'W is for WurzerDate published: 29/01/14

'Wurzer' is a crossing of Gewurztraminer and Muller-Thurgau. It was invented in Alzey in 1932, then planted in the 1980s, peaking in 1995 at a mere 300 acres in Rheinhessen. Wines are heady and concentrated and grapes yield well.

Passimento 2011 PasquaDate published: 29/01/14

Passimento 2011 Pasqua

The name of this wine is derived from 'appassimento', the traditional Valpolicella method of partially drying grapes before fermentation. In one month the grapes lose around 30% of their water content, concentrating the juice and intensifying the wine's flavour.

on the palate,

A dense and deeply coloured wine, full of concentrated black and red cherry flavour, and hints of leather and spice. The palate has a layered texture, with muscular tannins providing a long finish.


Buy 2 bottles save £6 down to £8.99 from £11.99



A-Z of grape varieties - 'V is for VerdicchioDate published: 28/01/14

'Verdicchio' is a white grape grown in the Marche and Umbria regions of Italy. It produces fresh, dry, crisp wines with a slightly herbaceous character. They are best served with white fish.

Why not try one of our classic examples:

'Rondini'  - currently buy two save £4 = £6.99 from £8.99

New: Gavi AraldicaDate published: 25/01/14

New: Gavi Araldica

Grape: Cortese

Origin: Gavi is a small town and winemaking sub-region in the far south-east corner of Piedmont, around 50km inland of the Med, famed for the Cortese grape which is indigenous to the north of Italy, and a popular feature in the restaurants of the Ligurian coast.

Taste: Zippy, fresh and predominantly citrus-flavoured wine, with a racy lime-zest and nettle aroma. Refreshingly clean on the palate, with enduring, mouthwatering acidity.

Enjoy: Drink with spaghetti genovese, or any fresh seafood dish.

New Zealand snapshotDate published: 24/01/14

I was lucky enough to go to the New Zealand tasting evening in London this week, it was a great evening with lots of delicious wines to taste. So here is a snapshot of the night with only the best bits.

The largest wine producing area in New Zealand is, you've guessed it, Marlborough! They have 19, 024 hectares of vineyards, outstripping the second largest area, Hawkes's Bay by 14, 031 hectares! The smallest is Waikato/Bay of Plenty with only 147 producing hectares.

By far and away my favourite grape of the night (and now favourite full stop) was the Riesling. 90% of the Kiwi produced Rieslings are grown in the South Island, the climate there is ideally suited to the grape with cool, long, sunny autumns and low humidity. Top try of the night for this grape was the Main Divide Riesling. Some botrytized grapes are added to this wine to create a honeyed richness. Enjoy the ripe apricot, lime and honeysuckle on the palate balanced by a zip of acidity. Great with some chinese duck or just glass after glass on its own - delicious and only £10.99 when you buy another Kiwi wine!

My favourite New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, The Jackson Stich, was not toppled by any of the others, delicious crisp gooseberry on the palate, never a disappointment and only £9.99 in the New Zealand offer.

The great surprise for the night was a late harvest Chardonnay from Waipara West. Think apricot tart and believe me when I say it was heavenly! Unfortunately not currently stocked by Majestic, so I hereby start the petition to get it in! Join me - you won't be disappointed.

A-Z of grape varieties - 'U is for Ugni BlancDate published: 22/01/14

Ugni Blanc is actually a synonym for Italy's 'Trebbiano'. In actual fact, it is the most commonly planted white grape in France; its plantings even outnumbered that of Chardonnay 5 to 1 in the 1980s. You wouldn't know it as the grape has a poor reputation and as such wines are not labelled according to its variety. Though wines are relatively thin, it is perfect for making Cognac and Armagnac, thus commonly sees brandy stills (as Airen in Spain)

Australia day! Sunday Jan 26th!Date published: 20/01/14

As I am sure some of you are aware this Sunday brings Australia day!

Whether you're having a BBQ, playing cricket or just using this as an excuse to have a few Australian beverages then it's essential that you come down and check out the current offers in store.

We have 20% off Australian wines at the moment, this means you can mix and match  any Australian wines to get the 20% off price, allowing you to explore the wonderful selection the Aussies have to offer. 

Here are a few that I would grab:

Peter Lehmann Shriaz - Plenty of spice on the palate, with concentrated blackcurrant and bramble fruit as well as hints of mocha and dark chocolate. Full bodied and rich, a classic Aussie Shiraz. Originally £10.99 down to £8.79.

Heggies Chardonnay - Careful handling of oak means this wine has a subtle toasty character which mingles well with the ripe apple and pear fruits. A creamy roundness completes the finish. Originally £18.74 down to £14.99

Also we have the Coopers Pale Ale on offer, saving £10 when you buy two cases!

A crisp fruity refreshing traditional Aussie beer, Its left with some hoppy yeast in the bottle to add complexity and richness so you have to roll it on the bar top to wake it up! In the glass it looks a cloudy golden colour, the perfect refreshment and an absolute beauty of a beer... Single case price is £20.99, when you buy two it comes down to £15.99

I hope you have a cracking Aussie day!

http://www.majestic.co.uk/australian-wine

Cheers!

Beaujolais Nouveau down to £6.99Date published: 18/01/14

Beaujolais Nouveau down to £6.99 * while stocks last

From the famous house of Duboeuf comes this Beaujolais Nouveau; a style of wine released only weeks after harvest. Traditionally the maturation would happen in barrel during transportation to the market. It is released on the third Thursday in November each year.

Southern French Tasting WeekDate published: 18/01/14

We are currently enjoying our Southern French Tasting week. Here is a run down of my favourites on the tasting counter today.

Domaine de Montval Syrah: £9.99 £6.99

This is a fairly soft, medium weight style of Syrah. A core of blackcurrant, blackberry and cherry fruit. A peppery finish with hints of dark cocoa.

Louis Latour Grand Ardeche Chardonnay: £10.99 £9.99

A nice, buttery wine. Flavours of baked apple and peach with notes of almond and vanilla. Would be perfect with a roast!

Wedding Consultation Day, Sunday March 9th!!Date published: 18/01/14

Firstly, congratulations on your engagement! Pop down on this date and we will have a range of reds and whites plus some fizz open for you to sample; all of which are tried and tested for wedding requirements. We can advise on quantities, menu matching, budgets etc and draw you up a quote. Book a 30 minute appointment for this bespoke one-to-one service

Check out our events page for more details...

A - Z of grape varieties 'T is for TorrontesDate published: 18/01/14

Torrontes is the white grape that Argentina have hailed as their own. Its natural high acidity and strong flavour mean that it adapts well to the arid drying conditions. It is unusual in that it is very aromatic and floral, with notes of honeysuckle, rose and white blossom, underpinned by tropical fruit.

Wine of the Week: Picpoul de Pinet VillemarinDate published: 17/01/14

Picpoul de Pinet Villemarin - £7.99 £6.49

Origin: one of the named crus of Coteaux de Languedoc, producing white wine exclusively from the rarely used Picpoul grape.

Taste: A youthful and zesty wine. Bundles of lemon and lime, crunchy green apple and hints of white blossom.

This would make a great option for Sauvignon Blanc drinkers who perhaps fancy trying something different... 


A-Z of grape varieties - 'S is for Sauvignon BlancDate published: 17/01/14

There's so much to say about the ubiquitous Sauvignon Blanc, so here are my top 10 facts:

1) It is grown extensively in the Loire Valley in France, making up all their important wines such as Sancerre and Pouilly Fume

2) The food match in Loire is local goats cheese

3) It is 'the grape' of New Zealand, making up the majority of the plantings in the Marlborough region

4) It blends well with Semillon, particularly in dessert wines

5) It is high in acidity

6) Wines are full of gooseberry and elderflower character

7) South African Sauvignon is very green and displays notes of pea, grass, raw green bell pepper and asparagus

8) It is aged in oak in California - 'Fume Blanc'

9) prices range from bargain £5 wines to high end for the best Sancerres

10) It shares a certain quality with the red grape 'Cabernet Sauvignon' in that it is quite herbacous

A-Z of grape varieties - 'R is for Riesling Date published: 16/01/14

Where do I start with Riesling?! A white grape originating in Germany, it got a bad press in the 80's in the era of 'Blue Nun' and the like (which isn't even made from this grape, it's just unfortunate enough to come from the same place!) The Mosel and Rheinhessen make great examples, of varying levels of sweetness. Typically it has lime character and can develop petrol and mineral notes with age. Good new world examples, which are often drier, are also made (particularly in the Clare and Eden valleys in Australia) This grape has good acidity which means it partners oriental food perfectly.

Where do the bubbles come from?Date published: 16/01/14

Fresh back in store from my Head Office visit, one of the most interesting things I learnt about was the production of Champagne. So I am here to share the magic with you now!

Not as straightforward to make as it is to taste, Champagne starts life as still wine which is given a mixture of sugar, yeast and clarifying agents to produce a second fermentation, which is when the alcohol level is increased and the bubbles begin appearing! The bottles are stored horizontally on the rack and slowly turned over time until the bottle is bottom up. As this turning process, known as 'riddling' is taking place, the yeast is dying off and slowly settles in the top of the bottle. The top is then frozen and removed with, thankfully, all the dead yeast too. Luckily for us the missing volume in the bottle is now topped up but in the past producers would simply disguise the missing liquid with the foil around the neck of the bottle - whilst the foil remains, the cheekiness does not!

Those beautiful little bubbles are now all set to whizz their way up your flute glass and tickle your tongue! And I promise this information will further sweeten the great deal which Bollinger is on at the moment - £30.00 each when you buy 6!

A - Z of grape varieties 'P is for PicpoulDate published: 15/01/14

A - Z of grape varieties 'P is for Picpoul'


Picpoul or Piquepoul is a grape variety grown in the Languedoc, Southern France. The word Piquepoul means 'lip stinger' it can come in the form of Picpoul Noir, a light coloured young drinking wine and not very commonly found (can also be found hiding in Chateauneuf-du-pape) Picpoul Blanc also a hard to find type, mainly used in a blend for white wine, used to create a strong element of crispness!

However, the most common that you might find is the Picpoul de Pinet - A named Cru of Coteaux du Languedoc, producing a green gold white wine with strong lemon flavours; something that has been crafted for the market that differs from the typical Picpoul white wine of this region.

The best way to drink this would be sat in the evening sun in the South of France eating Oysters and sipping the  Picpoul! alternatively we offer a good substitute in store that you can enjoy anywhere you see fit!

Here is a great one we currently have in store, Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet.

Tasting note : Youthfully pale lemon yellow, with a nose of lemon and lime fruit, and an intriguing blend of white blossom and green herb notes. Vibrant green apple fruit with a refreshingly dry and acidic finish.

Buy two bottles and save £3.00 - down to £6.49! 

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc, £6.99Date published: 15/01/14

Heads up to all our New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc lovers!

Brancott Estate is now just £6.99 (down from £8.74)! on our 20% New Zealand offer. 

For those that haven't tried this before its a beautiful clean and crisp white with vibrant aromas of ripe tropical fruits and gooseberry. Bracing acidity tempered by concentrated green fruits, citrus and hints of grass with a reviving fresh finish.

Perfect to slap along side a nice fresh fish dinner!

This white is featured on-line as a January money saver, and to be honestly I think its unbeatable at that price! 

http://www.majestic.co.uk/Brancott-Estate-Sauvignon-Blanc-zid37083?tracking=|searchterm:

Two Old Rioja's!Date published: 15/01/14

Currently we have some super savings to be had with our Bargain hunt collection.

However two that really stand out are two Riojas, both from 1991! Now this isn't what you can call a young wine, but for something a little different this may just be a nice treat for someone. Now an old Rioja can be quite opposite to the fuller Rioja you find commonly in store - the older reds seem to be a little lighter in colour but still have that classic Rioja charm Usually the older the wine, the more focused it will be on the secondary flavour characteristics,(something like the spice might be more evident) 

Here is a little information about both of these, in no particular order!

The first one is the 100% Tempranillo, Monte Real, Reserva. This was made to cellar, driven by a 24-30 month age in american oak barrels and cellared at the famous Bodegas Riojannas. It invites you in with a powerful nose showing aromas of dried fruit, herbs and vanilla. The complexity continues on the palate, which is mellow and soft, yet savoury and enduring.The second Vina Albina Reserva, is a blend of Tempranillo (80%), Mazuelo (15%) and just a touch of Garaciano (5%)! Aged for up to 30 months in American oak casks, where it develops that sweet spice typical of Rioja. This is an elegant style with a strong structure and complexity focusing on the secondary flavour characteristics such as the spice!


Both of these wines are currently at the amazing price of £12.66, this is however whilst stocks last!


Cheers!

A - Z of grape varieties 'O is for OndencDate published: 14/01/14

Ondenc used to be an important variety in southwest France, particularly in Gaillac. Nowadays it is scarce as it is a winemaker's nightmare, yielding poorly and being prone to rot. In the 19th century it must have been popular in Bordeaux, where it was taken over to Australia - in Great Western it was named 'Irvine's White' and in the south it was called 'Sercial'. Plantings have also fallen away there.

A-Z of grape varieties - 'N is for NégretteDate published: 13/01/14

A-Z of grape varieties - 'N is for Négrette'

Négrette is a wonderful unknown grape variety. It is most commonly used in wines from Cotes du Frontonnais north of Toulouse or Fronton for short, here it has to dominate the blend of the wine. In nearby Vins de Lavilledieu it must make up at least 35% of the blend.

Négrette is somewhat similar to another lesser known variety; Tannat. However Négrette tends to be more delicate and aromatic. It is often described as having a 'barnyard' flavour, which sounds confusing but makes sense when you try it, it's slightly 'animally'.

To paraphrase the famous French lyric, 'Je Négrette rien' does not apply to us, I do have some Négrette in stock in the shape of the delightful Château Jouaninel Fronton, currently £6.99 when you buy two or more bottles as part of your mixed case.

A-Z of grape varieties - 'M is for MenciaDate published: 11/01/14

Mencia is a black grape that makes the wines of the Bierzo region of northern Spain. It produces light, pale, fragrant wines that are best consumed early. It is thought to be identical to the Portuguese grape 'Jaen'

January Wines under £6Date published: 07/01/14

I think it's fair to say that some of us are feeling the pinch after the festive season... 

Never fear though, here at Majestic we have plenty of great wines under £6 to fit in with your January budget!

Here are a couple of my best buys:

Yali Sauvignon Blanc, Chile: £7.49  £5.99

A fresh, fruity bouquet of zesty lime and grapefruit. This follows through onto the palate alongside crisp gooseberry flavours.  An easy drinking wine, either on it's own or with some fish (perfect if you're trying to be a bit more healthy this year)

I know that New Zealand tends to be many peoples country of choice when it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, but this wine is an absolute steal and definitely worth a try.

Santa Ana Malbec, Argentina: £8.99  £5.99

Lots of juicy black fruit characteristics such as blackcurrant, plum and cherry. A medium-bodied, soft style of Malbec which would pair well with beef or a chunk of cheddar.

Bodegas Santa Ana is one of Argentina's oldest wineries, this is their benchmark Malbec and offers great value for money!

A-Z of grape varieties - 'L is for Len de l'ElDate published: 04/01/14

Len de l'El is like Manseng in that it is the pride of South West France. Previously a major component of the white wines of Gaillac, it still plays a part in their blends. Wines are powerful and concentrated, but can be flabbby if poorly made. Its name is taken from local dialect for 'loin de l'oeil', meaning 'far from sight'. The vine itself is vigorous, requiring a well-ventialted site with good drainage so that it escapes rot in poorer vintages.

A little insight to our Bargain hunt collection!Date published: 03/01/14

As you may be aware we currently have 33.3% off selected end-of-line wines. These offer fantastic value for money and a good chance to get hold of some old favourites before they disappear. 

There are a few however that i would really recommend grabbing before it all disappears!

Firstly I would definetly grab one of the Alsace Domaine Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris, its a slightly off dry style with melon, honey and a grapefruit crispness! A must have with a nice terrine! Now just £9.99!

The next one I would grab would be the Australian Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon blend by Cape Mentelle, a bone dry typical Sauvignon with a uplifting lemon blossom aroma, complementary of the friendly Semillion grape! down from £18.74 to just £12.49

Now another that I would not hesitate to pick up would be the KC Cabernet Merlot. A very typical south African red wine packing loads of deep ruby colour, with a massive finish perfect bunked up next to beef casserole, but just £7.33!

Remember that all this is a clearance of end-of-line wines so it is whilst stocks last; every store has different stock levels and different products.

Just pop in and see what we have - these are just a few of the cracking offers to be had!

Bargain Hunters are you ready?Date published: 02/01/14

Currently we have the Christmas collection still in full swing, offering great value on some selected lines over the Christmas collection, this offer ends 2nd of February. 

But as of tomorrow morning we will have the 'Bargain Hunt' collection, a selection of end-of-line wines at a super discount (33.3%)! These are whilst stocks last and I don't expect many of them to hang about!  You can mix and match within your six to get the offer price, with a wide range of products to choose from from Spanish Rioja to Chilean Sauvignon! Each majestic store will have different selections so make sure you pop down early to make sure you get hold of the bits you want!

New Year New Knowledge!Date published: 02/01/14

Some facts I have picked up during my first festive Majestic!

Ageing in Spain is as follows: Crianza - reds aged for a minimum of 24 months, 6 of which are in oak barrels
                                                                white and rose aged for a minimum of 18 months

                                                Reserva - reds aged for 36 months minimum, 12 at least in oak barrels
                                                                 white and rose aged for 18 months, 6 at least in small oak barrels

                                                Gran Reserva - reds aged for 60 months minimum, 18 of which in oak barrels minimum
                                                                          white and rose for 48 months, including 6 months in oak barrels. These wines are only                                                                                       produced from exceptional vintages.


Carmenere and Merlot have been playing switch-a-roo in Chile - Carmenere most likely arrived in Chile with some Merlot cuttings in the nineteenth century but was only spotted in 1994 as a Merlot imposter. Good examples of Carmenere have black fruit characteristics with herbal and red pepper aromas. A great offer on a Chilean Carmenere is the Santa Rita on offer at £6.39!


In Australia dessert wines are known as "Stickies"!


And lastly you can choose from a Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, a dry fruity rose or a Zinfandel to go with a lamb kebab!

New Year Fizz!Date published: 30/12/13

As 2013 comes to a close, and those January Blues feel like they have come in earlier with the wind and rain, a glass of something sparkly is the best way to raise the spirits for 2014! Here at Majestic we have the bottle to complete your celebrations whether you are having a huge gathering of family and friends, or just a quiet New Year cuddle on the sofa with a loved one at home!

On a great offer at the moment is the Lindauer Special Reserve at £9.99 when you buy two bottles - the nose boosts of peach and nectarine, while the palate is creamy with a lovely fruity clean finish.

Another perfect celebration fizz is the J de Telmont Grande Reserve at £16.00 when you buy two bottles - a lovely medium bodied, fruity and yeasty Champagne from one of the few remaining family-owned Champagne houses.

Pretty in pink is the Oeil de Perdrix Rose with an amazing £10 off when you buy two at £19.99 - this salmon-pink coloured Champagne is complex and fruity, a delicious choice.

For a truly British New Year the best choice by far is the Nyetimber Classic Cuvee at £23.99 when you buy two bottles - this elegant sparkling stands up against Champagne offering citrus fruit, brioche and shortbread on the nose, and is nothing short of glorious!

To really get in the celebratory mood we have the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV on special offer at £45! A really wonderful Champagne that will give an extra something special to your Midnight toast!

Or if you really want to see the New Year in with style we also have Champagne and sparkling magnums ranging from £40 to £100!


Happy New Year!





DeliveriesDate published: 17/12/13

Unfortunately we are now only able to deliver a few local deliveries (within 5 miles) on Christmas Eve morning. However, should you want us to get something ready for collection please give us a call!

DeliveriesDate published: 14/12/13

We currently only have slots available for delivery before Christmas on:

 Saturday 21st, Monday 23nd and Tues 24th(am only) 

Bollinger..get it while you can!!Date published: 11/12/13

My personal favourite champagne, Bollinger, is currently at the incredible price of £30 !! (based on a purchase of 6 or more bottles)

However, stocks are going fast, so if you fancy this to accompany your turkey on Christmas day give us a shout to avoid disappointment!



Christmas Spotlight TastingDate published: 07/12/13

Well I am sure you all have heard that we had our spotlight tasting today, an informative talk through what to eat with your Christmas lunch!

This is a little information for the unlucky few that couldn't make it. 


First up we had the Jermann Pinot Grigio (2012 Friuli), a world away from the enormous yields and charmless production associated with most Pinot Grigio from Italy. In fact this is far more similar to an Alsatian Pinot Gris, as it is macerated on the skins for a long period of time, a process that gives the wine it’s rich body. Lees ageing, but no oak leads to  minerality and complexity.

Perfect to prep the taste buds for the Christmas pallet assassination...


Next up we have the Meursault 2011 Nicolas Potel, Meursault is arguably the most famous white name in Burgundy. Commonly thought of as the most powerful expression of Chardonnay in the world. There is always a lot of oak involved in Meursault, as the powerful grapes can take it. This wine is cold settled after pressing for 24 hours, which allows the juice to oxidise slightly. This is then fermented in oak, aged in oak; and it also undergoes malolactic fermentation (lactic acid turns to malic - think apples versus milk).Thus it is much softer and creamier. 10 months later it has a year in stainless steel which means it retains freshness also. 

This is the ideal white to pop with your turkey; a robust, buttery structured white to stand up against all the trimmings...


But what about a red with the turkey? well we have the Viña Ardanza, Rioja Reserva 2004.

One of the very best of Riojas produced from fruit exclusively grown in the bodega's 360 hectare vineyard holdings in the Rioja Alta region, and named after one of the region's founding families. Remaining under family ownership, this is of the most sought-after bodegas. Complex and perfumed primary and secondary aromas of earth, spice and red fruits with a long, elegantly structured medium weight body with spicy tannins and layers of flavour. Super with the turkey and sprouts!


Now what about the cheese board?? well today we recommended the Château l'Hospitalet 2011 Grand Vin.

Chateau l’Hospitalet is a luxury hotel as well as a winery. The whole estate revolves around the southern French philosophy l’art de vivre, the art of life, which promotes an active healthy lifestyle, full of imagination, good food and good wine. This muscular wine displays an intense blend of firm tannins, inky black fruit and lifted spice and floral aromas, smoothed and integrated by the influence of over a year in French oak Barriques. 

Perfect to stand up against the hard cheese on the wooden board!


So there you have it, a little information to bare in mind when selecting your Christmas wines!


A-Z of grape varieties - 'K is for KardarkaDate published: 05/12/13

Kardarka is arguably the most famous red varietal of Hungary, due to its production of 'Bull's Blood'. However, in recent years it has largely been replaced by the more robust 'Kekfrankos' and 'Kekoporto'. It is still grown on the great plain and just across the Danube in Szekszard, to the west. It causes problems for the winemaker as it is susceptible to grey rot.

Fully ripened it is capable of producing well-structured, tannic reds that can be maturated.



#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 03/12/13

#7WordWineReview - 'Belleruche Cote de Rhones'- Buy 2 save 20% = £7.99 from £9.99

#pepper, blackberry, leather, vanilla, plum, herb and violettes

Fine Wine of the Week The Chocolate Block 2012Date published: 29/11/13

Fine Wine of the Week

The Chocolate Block 2012,

Boukenhoutskloof, Western Cape

An exciting blend of 5 grape varieties, from innovative winemaker Marc Kent. Dominated by around 67% Syrah, the grapes come from several specially selected blocks of vines on Boukenhoutskoloof's estate, fermented and aged for up to 18 months in old French oak.

An earthy, rustic nose gives up aromas of leather, earth and spices over a backdrop of blackcurrant and ripe raspberry fruit. Harmonious and powerful on the palate, with a cocoa and pepper complexity.

Most at home with spice-rubbed steaks, roast rib of beef, or game dishes.

Was £27.00

BUY 2 BOTTLES SAVE £10*

£22.00

*Any 2 selected Fine Wines.


Anybody for bubbles?Date published: 27/11/13

As Christmas comes a-calling many of us will be toasting our turkeys with a bottle of fizz. As part of my training for the festivities I have been learning all about sweetness classifications for champagne and sparkling wine - handy knowledge not just for Christmas but for New Year's also! 

The sweetener added is called dosage and a medium amount will be added to a 'Brut' champagne or sparkling wine, setting the standard level of residual sweetness. If your sweet-tooth is satisfied on mince pies alone, you may prefer an 'Ultra Brut' which has a minimal amount of dosage added. If, like me, you find all the choccy selection tins are empty but you've still got a craving for something sweet a 'Demi-sec' is the one for you. My favourite demi-sec sparkling wine (so far!) is the Nyetimber Demi-Sec, currently on special offer at Majestic for £25.99!

Feeling charitable?Date published: 23/11/13

I'm sure most of you are aware that we support a chosen charity each year, this year it's Children with Cancer UK

This weekend we are donating £1 to Children with Cancer for every bottle of Champagne sold.

So if you're looking to treat yourself or just top up your collection for Christmas then what better excuse than to pop in this weekend and make a easy donation. 


Some of our best offers at the moment are:

Nicolas Feuillatte NV, Currently on the 33% Pick 'n' Mix JUST £16.99

Veuve Clicquot NV, Also on out 33% Pick 'n' Mix -  £29.99 (a saving of just over £15)


But if you miss it this weekend there is always a change pot by the tills in your local majestic, with a llollipop for every donation!

The Holidays are on their way!Date published: 22/11/13

With less than five weeks until Christmas to go you may be finding gift ideas and shopping opportunities are thin on the ground; help is at hand at Majestic! New in this week are our mixed cases which offer a selection of wines to make the perfect (and hassle free!) presents this Yuletide.

Included in the 'Festive Favourites' case is the Oxford Landing Estates Cabernet Shiraz 2011 Yalumba, South Australia as part of a delicious easy-going mix this Christmas.

Included in the 'The Seasonal Selection' case is Rioja Reserva 2008 Berberana. This wine has lovely vanilla overtones and softer juicy notes, a cheering combination on the long winter evenings.

Included in the 'The Discovery Case' is Mountain View Merlot 2012 Luis Felipe Edwards, Central Valley. If the traditional turkey is not on the menu this Christmas this wine can be enjoyed with meaty dishes such as a lasagne.

Full details of the wines included in all the mixed cases are available on the website or come and see us in store - we may even have started the Christmas songs!

Delivery schedule over ChristmasDate published: 21/11/13

Coming up to our busiest time of year, we regret that we cannot always offer next day delivery. Therefore, in order to avoid disappointment and help you plan your orders we thought we would publish details of what days we are in your area.

Mondays and Thursdays: Crowborough, Wadhurst, Heathfield, Hailsham, Bexhill-on-sea, Eastbourne, Hastings

Tuesdays: Goudhurst, Cranbrook, Rye, Winchelsea and Camber

Wednesdays: Tonbridge and surrounding areas such as Hildenborough, Leigh, Paddock Wood

Fridays: Tunbridge and local deliveries

NB: local Tunbridge Wells deliveries can be built into any day, usually in the morning or evening on our way to/from other areas


Please book early, particularly if we are only in your area on one day, as our vans have a maximum capacity


New stores may be open in your area, so we will keep you up to date with this as well as any other changes to our delivery fulfilment in the coming 6 weeks

Wooden BoxesDate published: 20/11/13

Hi Everyone.

We receive daily requests for wooden boxes. Unfortunately we won't have any more until the new year as they are being utilised for our displays. Please feel free to pop in in January and ask!


A-Z of grape varieties - 'J is for JaenDate published: 18/11/13

'Jaen' is a widely planted red variety in the Dao region of Portugal. It ripens early and is know for alcoholic wines that lack acidity, thus it is often blended with Touriga National and Alfrocheiro Preto. It is also thought to be identical to Galicia's Mencia.



#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 16/11/13

#7wordWineReview - eucalyptus, blackcurrant, plum,silky, structured, spice, delicious

Paso Creek Cabernet Sauvignon - buy any 2 Californian wines save 20% = £11.99 form £14.99

My first wine facts after just a week at MajesticDate published: 16/11/13

My first week at Majestic in the Tunbridge Wells store is coming to a close and it's been a lot of fun and a lot of learning!

Our Winter Tasting evening on Thursday proved to be a great opportunity to learn about - and taste - a wide variety of wines. I had no idea that Lebanon made wine, evidently they have viticultural roots going back 6000 years! We had the Chateau Musar and the Hochar Pere open, both from the same estate. Initially I found them both to be far too acidic for my taste, however a piece of hard cheese made all the difference and I found I really enjoyed the combination. I had some idea that partnering food with wine could affect the taste of both, but I did not know the extent and it will now be something I am really interested in learning more about. In that vein, the most helpful partnering I have learnt about so far is that you can't go wrong with a Chardonnay and a delicious roast chicken. Vital information now I am in charge of Sunday lunches at home!

I have been spending as much time as possible on the tasting counter to really get to grips with the different grape varieties. I now know to look out for the peach notes in a French Viognier as well as some fresh green apple and citrus flavours.

As we hurtle closer and closer to the festive season I have also been learning about champagne. I was surprised to hear that it is typically made of a mix of three grape varieties; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. I was surprised that two red grapes are used yet champagne is not red - this is because the skins of the grapes, which provide the colour, do not come in to contact with the juice during a maceration period. There is also champagne which only uses Chardonnay and is called Blanc de Blancs.

My favourite wine from this week has been the Jackson Riesling from Marlborough. This dessert wine comes from the oldest vineyard of the Jackson estate which is overlooked by their iconic gum tree stands. This dessert wine is made from grapes which have been allowed to develop noble rot (Botryitis) and it is this which gives the intensely sweet flavours. This wine was also open at our tasting evening and the best tip of the night came from a customer who recommended a cheeky early mince pie alongside the Jackson, the spices and the currants in the pie went perfectly with the citrus blossom flavours and acidic note at the end of the Jackson - pure Yuletide heaven!  

Winter Wine EveningDate published: 14/11/13

Winter Wine Evening

As voted for by a select panel of the people who work here, tonight sees Tunbridge Wells' premier wine event of the year. The Tunbridge Wells Majestic Wine Winter Wine Evening or TWMWWWE for short. We'll have cheese and nibbles and lots of great wine to try. Plus samples of Sipsmith spirits.

Here's a rundown of what we're opening:

Prosecco Salatin, Italy Buy 2 save 33.3% = £19.99 from £14.99

Fevre Chablis Vaillons 1er Cru, Burgundy Buy 2 save £10 = £25 from £30

Torres Vina Sol, Spain Buy 2 save £3 = £6.49 from £7.99 until the end of today 14/11/13 Then buy 2 save £4 = £5.99 until 03/02/14

Ned Pinot Grigio, New Zeland Buy any 2 New Zealand Wines save 20% = £7.99 from £9.99

Quartz Reef Pinot Noir, Central Otago New Zealand Buy any 2 New Zealand Wines save 20% = £16.80 from £21

Lirac Vignobles Abeille, Rhone Valley Buy any 2 Rhone Wines save 20% = £12.79 from £15.99

Chateau Lynch Moussas, Pauillac, Bordeaux £26

Chateau Musar, Lebanon £19.99

Hochar, Lebanon £11.99

Jackson Estate Late Harvest Riesling, New Zealand Buy any 2 New Zealand Wines save 20% = £15.99 from £19.99

Also a selection of wines from PLB and Nyetimber.

We're all terribly excited! Hope to see you tonight.

new!! 'Montes Twins' #7WordWineReviewDate published: 13/11/13

Montes Twins, #7WordWineReview - Cabernet, Malbec, inky, powerful, well-structured, juicy, meat-friendly!

Buy 2 save 33.3% = £7.99 from £11.99

A-Z of grape varieties - I is for 'InzoliaDate published: 13/11/13

Sometimes spelt 'Insolia', this white varietal is mainly grown in Sicily; and to a lesser extent in Tuscany. Synonyms are 'Ansonica' and 'Andzonica'. It was planted in Italy in the 1990s on a total of 13,000 h/a, though plantings are currently declining.

It is mainly used in western Sicily where it adds an aromatic quality when blended with Catarratto, to produce crisp, dry wines. Good examples can develop nutty character, though the worst lack acidity and concentration.

It is also potentially related to the Maltese grape 'Ghirghentina'

The Molly Dooker ""Shake"Date published: 12/11/13

The Molly Dooker Shake, apparently the best way to prepare this massive Shiraz for drinking! The reasoning behind it is to mix in the nitrogen that the Dooker guys and girls use to protect their wines!

They use Nitrogen to replace the as much of the sulphates other producers can use to protect wine in the bottle. Unfortunately the Nitrogen has a reaction on the wine, it basically compresses all the flavours, using the "shake" will push the nitrogen into the wine! This then opens up this delightful red pushing all the flavours out preparing the wine perfectly for immediate drinking!

So the SHAKE...

Step 1 - Open the bottle and pour a small sample out, until the wine has come just below the shoulder of the bottle (keep this to one side)

Step 2 - PUT THE CAP BACK ON

Step 3 - Turn the bottle over, and SHAKE!!

Step 4 - Now you should be able to see fine bubbles of nitrogen rise up to the top! 

Step 5 - Let the nitrogen out... (open the cap)

Step 6 - Repeat steps 2-5, then open and drink!

Bonus Step  - Try a glass of both the shaken wine and the original - Taste and compare! You will be amazed!

This is a pukka red to chuck out on the table at Christmas and even more appealing when you show everyone the SHAKE!!

Very deep garnet-purple coloured. Warm blackberries and blueberries with nuances of menthol and ome spice cake. Concentrated, big, rich and ripe, it offers a very spicy palate with some cumin seed coming through, finishing very very long. Drink it now to 2017+

 Currently at £25, worth every penny, scoring an impressive 91 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown from The Wine Advocate!

A-Z of grape varieties - H is for 'HeroldrebeDate published: 11/11/13

'Heroldrebe' is the German Crossing of two grapes, Portugieser and Limberger,  to which August Herold of the Weinsberg in Wurtemberg put his name. It is high yielding (140 hl/ha) bur ripens very late, making it only suitable for Germany's warmer regions. It therefore flourishes in Pfalz.

Commercially it has been relatively unsuccessful, but did contribute to the spawning of the more viable 'Dornfelder'

A-Z of grape varieties - G is for 'GrunerveltlinerDate published: 09/11/13

'Grunerveltline' is the most widely planted white grape variety in Austria, taking up well over half of it's plantings. It is also grown in Eastern Europe, but for the most part ripens too late to grow successfully in other countries.

It is productive(giving great yields) and hardy; flourishing particularly in the Weinviertel and Wachau regions.

Wines are typically dry and crisp with good minerality and a hint of pepper. Good examples can benefit from some time in bottle and are reminiscent of good white Burgundy.

They work well as apperitifs or with Asian cuisine

My particular favourite is from Domaine Wachau - the 'Weisenkirchen' (currently buy 2 save £2, down to £8.99 - based on a minimum mixed 6 bottle purchase)



A-Z of grape varieties - F is for 'Furmint' Date published: 08/11/13

'Furmint' is a white Hungarian grape that is used to make their most prestigious dessert wines - 'Tokaji'

It is also grown Austria in the Burgenland, where it is known as Mosler, and also in Slovakia.

As a grape, it is highly susceptible to noble rot (hence ideal for sweet, concentrated wines) When botryitized in this way, the berries are know as 'Aszu'. It also has high acidity to balance the sweetness; typically underpinned with rich tropical fruit character and floral notes.

We stock various examples to go alongside your Christmas pudding or cheese board this year..why not come down and ask staff for their favourites?

Christmas part-time delivery driver needed!Date published: 07/11/13

We are currently searching to fill the above position for our new branch in Lewes. This is likely to encompass the last 3 weeks of December. Please contact us if you yourself are interested, or if you know anyone that is. Candidates should be over 21 and with a UK license.

email tun@majestic.co.uk

call: 01892 615877

Californian Tasting WeekDate published: 07/11/13

Californian Tasting Week

Starting tomorrow we are hosting a Californian tasting week in store. California is renowned (other than for Burgundian Grapes) for it's variety of wines and styles. It is often said that almost every single grape varietal is probably being grown somewhere in the state. Hopefully in the coming week we can open your eyes to some interesting things you may not have seen before.

The other thing to say about Californian wine is that it is well known - at least in this country - for being a bit pricey. While we will have a couple of pricier examples open to try we will also have some examples open at the lower end of the scale which are perfect for parties and mid-week drinking.

Keep an eye on our online tasting counter and our tweets for details of what is open each day.

A-Z of grape varieties - E is for 'EzerjoDate published: 07/11/13

'Ezerjo' is a relatively unusual white grape grown almost solely in Hungary. Most of the wine it produces is quite nondescript, however Mori Ezerjo grown in the vineyards surrounding the town of Mor, has a good reputation for producing light, refreshingly crisp wines. Equally, crop grown in the northwest of the country also yields zesty,dry whites which are designed for early consumption

Trivia: Ezerjo means 'a thousand boons'.


Though we currently don't stock this grape, we do have  a good range of Hungarian dessert wines for you this Christmas, so why not #comeandexplore!

A-Z of grape varieties - D is for 'DolcettoDate published: 06/11/13

Dolcetto is an Italian grape produced predominantly in the northern region of Piedmont in Italy.

It is an early-ripening, low-acid grape, producing light, fruity reds with cherry and liquorice character. The wines are designed for early drinking, with the exception of good quality 'Dolcetto d'Alba' from the heart of the region; which will keep for up to 5 years.

The perfect accompaniment to antipasti, meaty pizzas or spaghetti bolognese

We stock a great example by 'Forville' - a fantastic producer..why not come down and give it a try?

A-Z of grape varieties - C is for 'ChardonnayDate published: 02/11/13

Chardonnay is arguably one of the most famous, internationally grown white grapes. It made it's home in Burgundy (France) and is the base for all their iconic wines, i.e. Chablis, Meursault, Montrachet, Macon, Pouilly Fuisse, St Veran

It is also one of the 3 Champagne grapes

It is grown extensively throughout the New World - Australia arguably gave it a bad press in the 80's when they mass produced examples that were poorly oaked (often with oak chips), hence the 'ABC or anything but Chardonnay era.'

Great examples do come from Australia; as well as Chile, California, Argentina and New Zealand (Hawkes Bay in particular)

It blends well with Viognier, Marsanne, Rousanne and, less commonly, Sauvignon.

When un-oaked and produced in a cool climate it displays green apple character and good minerality. When barrel-fermented it shows more tropical fruit, baked-apple and toasty vanilla notes.

In summary, it is perhaps one of the most versatile and  interesting varietals. With some classic representations on our tasting counter at the moment, why not come down #comeandexplore!

Dinner with Direction!Date published: 01/11/13

Tonight's choice for dinner is the Hawaiian variety of Pizza, now we need a little direction for the selection of the perfect wine!

Breaking down the pizza is key to selecting the right wine for the job, looking at the sweeter element of the pineapple covered Hawaiian. We will want something that will compliment this and not overpower any of the flavours.

The first grape that comes to mind would be a Gewurztraminer, a wine that can be semi-sweet. This will play on the sweeter element of this style of pizza hopefully perfectly complementing this doughy delight. This will pair up lovingly with the pineapple as well as the ham, and is also maybe a little controversial to the Italian Vino that some people may choose to go with a pizza...

My personal selection would be of course the Kuhlmann-Platz Gewürztraminer, with its off dry style, aromas of peach and white flowers with a good acidity structure to combat that ham!

Currently on the buy 2 bottles and save, just £8.99.


A-Z of grape varieties - B is for 'BarberaDate published: 01/11/13

A-Z of grape varieties - B is for 'Barbera'

The third most planted red varietal in Italy, it's dominant characteristics are high levels of acidity, a deep ruby colour and intense fruit flavours. Barbera is believed to have originated in Monferrato in Piedmont. The grape accounts for well over 40% of all wine produced in Piedmont. It comes in a range of styles from, youthful and forward drinking to powerful wines that need cellaring. 

Eat with: Tomato based dishes, especially Tomato sauces as the high acidity matches with the acidity in the tomatoes.

A-Z of grape varieties - A is for 'AlbarinoDate published: 31/10/13

'Albarino' is a white grape from the Rias Baixas region (Galicia) in Spain. This is in north-west Spain and is a coastal region, benefiting from cool, moderating wind off the tide. It is also ideally paired with seafood as they do locally. It is famously matched with lobster and langoustines.

In terms of what it tastes like, it is much like the Viognier grape in fruit character - that is to say, full of stone fruit such as apricot and peach. This is underpinned with a light, floral character and notes of honey. It typically has good acidity, some minerality from the local chalky soils and good concentration of flavours.

If you fancy trying a good example, we currently have the 'Caixas' by Codax down to a bargain price of £6.66 (save a third when you by two or more as part of your case - down from £10)

#comeandexplore

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 30/10/13

#7WordWineReview - Eucalyptus, black-cherry, vanilla, smooth, full, liquorice, yummy

This is 'The Scribbler' from Yalumba, a great addition to our range - currently £11.99 when you buy 2 or more Australian wines as part of your mixed case (20% off it's full price) This classic blend of Cabernet and Shiraz is the perfect accompaniment to you roast beef this weekend! A new staff fave for sure..

Christmas Tasting Evening - 14th NovemberDate published: 29/10/13

With only about 9 weeks until Christmas, it's time again for our annual tasting extravaganza!!

We will have a range of about a dozen wines for you to try, all with a festive feel. So if you don't know what red to have with your goose, white with your turkey, or dessert wine with the Xmas pud, then come down and explore! We also have great ideas for party wines and gifts for all your relatives.

It is an informal evening, so you are free to wander around and try whatever takes your fancy from our selection; all accompanied by a fantastic range of cheeses and other nibbles. You might even see some of our suppliers exhibiting their wines.

Book your slot now as spaces are going fast!! Please call  on 01892 615877 or email tun@majestic.co.uk.

Remember, it's FREE!!

Looking forward to seeing you all :)

End of Offers! Date published: 28/10/13

20% off South Africa

Eikendal Chardonnay, Stellenbosch: £9.99

Lots of citrus fruit with undertones of vanilla from it's 7 months spent in oak. A classic style of Chardonnay and a favourite of mine. An excellent partner for chicken. 

Porcupine Ridge Merlot: £6.99 

A lovely, easy drinking red. Soft red fruit flavours, hints of oak and smooth tannins. Bargain at £6.99!


20% off Spain

Marques de Caceres Reserva: £12.79

A complex wine, full of red and black fruit with layers of spiciness. For a classic food and wine match - go for lamb.

Marques de Caceres Blanco: £6.99

Full of of apples, pears and white blossom, floral characteristics. An excellent example of an unoaked white Rioja. Drink well chilled on it's own or with fish.


Heidseick Cuvee Prestige: £17

A great value Champagne. Apple, brioche and lots of bubbles! Perfect for any parties or celebrations. 

 

These offers finish today at 11.59pm. Don't miss out!




New arrivals into the Tunbridge Wells store!Date published: 27/10/13

Cuvee Diane by Vinalba!

Named after the wife of Viñalba winemaker Hervé Joyaux Fabre, thisis a blend of 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot, grown in high quality massal-selected vineyards in Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. A rich and inviting wine that hints at Hervé's Bordeaux background, this blend is full of dark fruit and spice aromas, and has a wonderful palate complexity, offering a plum and damsom backbone bolstered by smooth tannins and spicy oak.

Weekend Wines Under £10: SundayDate published: 27/10/13

Portillo Malbec £9.99 or £8.99 when you buy two!

Bodegas Salentein has one of the largest cool-climate estates in Argentina, with 2000 ha of vines, at up to 1700m above sea level. Their Malbec is grown at around 1050m. This multi-award-winning wine recently won Decanter's 'Best Argentinian Malbec under £10' trophy.An intense red-purple colour, with an equally intense nose of plum and bramble. Round and fulsome on the palate, delivering a swathe of ripe,fresh black fruit held together by lush tannins.Try this with a lightly spicy lamb and date tagine.

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 27/10/13

#dark #fruity #liquorice #aged #blackberry #spice #length

Until 1962, Château Sainte Gemme was effectively part of Lachesnaye,but it was bought by the eminent Jean Boutellier who began to bottle the estate's wine as a brand in its own right. It is a 13 ha estate on the border of St-Julien, close to Gruaud-Larose and Beychevelle. An approachable, accessible, medium-bodied wine, with a ruby core of ripe red berry fruit, accented with plenty of black pepper, toast and vanilla notes, providing satisfying complexity and length.Mature and ready to drink. Pair with red meat.

Magnificent Muga Wines!Date published: 27/10/13

Rioja Reserva 2009, Muga 

Founded by Isaac Muga Martínez and his wife, Auro Caño in 1932, in Haro, at the Western end of Rioja Alta. After fermentation the wine is aged for 6 months in large traditional vats, before 24 months in small oak barrels, and a further year in bottle before release.An enticing and complex nose of pain grille, pencil lead, and blackberry leads into an elegant wine with layers of flavour, fruit and sweet-spice with ripe and integrated tannins and a lengthy finish.This wine can age for up to seven years but is eminently drinkable now.Enjoy with roasted meats, Moroccan lamb or soft cheese. 

Rioja Blanco 2012, Muga

The grapes are planted on clay and calcareous soils at the foot of the Obarenes mountains, which are100% barrel fermented in new oak, from the winery's cooper.Complex and toasted aromas with fresh, vibrant fruits give way to zesty lime, spicy and vanill in toasted oak flavours, fresh acidity, and are freshing spicy finish.Enjoy over the next three years with full-flavoured fish dishes, such as Paella

Rioja Prado Enea Gran Reserva 2005, Muga

Terraced plantings on the clay and alluvial soils at the foot of the Obarenes mountains at the Western edge of Rioja Alta form the basis for Prado Enea Gran Reserva. The wine spends 6 months in vat, 36 months in small barrel and the same period in bottle before release. An elegant, perfumed and complex nose with violet, wood-smoke, vanilla and red berry aromas. A rich, rounded palate of sweet red berries, wood spices and fresh acidity and a long and complex finish.A wine that can age for up to 5 years or be enjoyed right now,particularly with game, grilled meats, soft cheeses.

Fine Wine EveningDate published: 27/10/13

At Majestic it's common for staff to get together occasionally, pool together some money and try some fine wines that we wouldn't normally have the occasion to try. Last night was just one of those evenings. The idea is to try some great wine and have a good time with your colleagues.

We started with a glass of Louis Roederer NV Champagne which is always a favourite among us majestic lot, especially now, when it is on an offer at £28 a bottle! We then moved on to a Condrieu called Les Chaillets Vielles Vignes produced by Yves Cuilleron. Condrieu is a classic Rhone wine made with Viognier. Les Chaillets is the name of a vineyard home to some of the oldest vines (vielles vignes) on Yves Cuilleron's estate. We had the 2011 vintage (£45 a bottle), so it's still quite young but it was full, rich, subtly oaked and a hint of white pepper with the classic peach overtones.

Next up came a big, buttery Chardonnay from California called Rincon (£34 a bottle). Again a 2011 vintage, youth presents a tighter wine, but with a bit of swirling the flavours soon began to jump out the glass, Apple, cream, butter, nuttiness and interesting floral notes made this a complex wine with a long finish.

To finish the whites, James Huzzey, former manager here and current manager of our St Johns Wood branch (home to our fine wine centre) pulled out a mystery wine for us to guess the identity of. It turned out to be a white Pinot Noir from a region well known for its Pinot Noirs; Central Otago. This proved impossible to identify as nobody had tried anything like it before. There were some guesses of Chardonnay, Rousanne and even a Sauvignon Blanc in the American oak-aged Fumé Blanc style. The wine presented with quite a full body, softened by a little oak ageing, and vibrant citrus fruits, definitely worth trying if you come across it (sadly we don't have a listing...yet).

To finish we had a Spanish wine called Pintia (£45 a bottle) from the region Toro which is just next door to Ribera del Duero. The winery is owned by the famous Ribera winery Bodegas Vega Sicilia. It is made from 100% Tempranillo, known locally as Tinto de Toro, literally Toro red. It is aged in 100% new French and American oak. The result is a complex wine abundant in tertiary notes of wood, smoke and earth with hefty black fruit flavours.

We love getting new and exciting fine wines in to our shop, so if there's something in particular you are after we will do our utmost to track it down for you.


#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 26/10/13

#silky #structured #Italian #aromatic #flavoursome #amazing #fruity

The second wine of Ornellaia, Le Serre shares a similar Bordeaux-inspired blend to the flagship wine, but is produced mainly from the estate's younger vines, resulting in a softer, fresher style that can be enjoyed at full maturity with less cellarage. It combines rich black fruit with silky tannins and a firm, well-structured feel, enhanced by a diverse aromatic profile, offering cedar, dried herb and tobacco leaf nuances.

Thought for the day on ...Date published: 26/10/13

Dessert wines!

Many are made in different ways, with botrytis often the most commonly used method of concentrating the sugars in the grape. 

Rustenberg's Straw wine is made in a slightly different way, with the grapes being dried on straw beds after being picked. 

And at £8.99 when you buy any two South African wines, this is an absolute steal! 

Weekday Wines Under £10: SaturdayDate published: 26/10/13

I keep saying it, but the Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc really ticks the boxes for me!

This Sauvignon Blanc has echoes of white Bordeaux, with its 5% Semillon adding a streak of complexity and additional body to the blend. Free-run and gently pressed juice is used to minimise the presence of bitter tannins, and 2-3 months' lees ageing adds to the texture.Aromas of green peppers, asparagus and gooseberry fill the nose, while the palate displays a riper character, with underlying pineapple and passion fruit notes providing a layered feel. Equally adept as a partner for shellfish or lobster as it is for roasted sea bass.

£11.24 or £8.99 when you buy two South African wines!

Clocks going back - Winter warmer time!Date published: 26/10/13

The annual mood of sadness and depression is due to settle over the UK, as the clocks go back on Sunday morning to give us all a well-deserved lie-in! Long-term, however, we all know that it means shorter days, darker evenings and the need for a good, hearty bottle of red wine to get us through the re-runs of Top Gear on Dave and the various pre-Christmas programs (well, that's my plan anyway!).

Here at Majestic Wine, Tunbridge Wells, we have a great many suggestions for your winter warmers. In the interests of time and patience span, below are each of the staff choices for their own comforting wine to while away the evenings!

Stu: "Intense blackberry and blueberry, toasty oak and a long finish..." 

            Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Syrah £19.99 or £15.99 when you buy two.

Chris: "Powerful, full bodied, certainly a wine that will warm your innards!"

Jim Barry Cover Drive £14.99

Ella:  "Really smooth, full bodied, with a spicy warmness. Perfect for a night in by the fire."

            Cuvee Des Antique (CNDP) £17.99 or £14.99 when you buy two.

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 26/10/13

#oily #residual-sweetness #perfumed #fantastic #must-buy!

Heimbourg Gewürztraminer 2008, Domaine Zind Humbrecht £19.99 or £14.99 when you buy two!

Zind Humbrecht is one of the most famous and best producers in Alsace, we have stocked some of their wines before and the parcels in particular always sell out quickly. This wine comes from one of the finest 'lieu dit' sites in Alsace. A 'lieu dit' site is a single vineyard without it's own legally authorised appelation. For example Chassagne Montrachet is an appelation, but there may be sites near Chassagne Montrachet that are just as good but do not have the official prestige. This promises a complex and long wine, definitely worth trying



Weekday Wines Under £10: FridayDate published: 25/10/13

New Arrival - 'Santa Ana Malbec' (Argentina)

 just £5.99 when you buy two or more as part of your mixed case!

#7WordWineReview - liquorice, smooth, vanilla, blackberry, red-fruit, easy-drinking, versatile

Perfect on its own or alongside any rich meat dishes such as roast beef, chilli con carne, sausage casserole or steak (as the Argentinians do!)

Wine and cheese matchingDate published: 25/10/13

Two of my favourite things are wine and cheese,so here are my top 10 recommendations:

1) Cheddar/hard cheeses - Cabernet Sauvignon/left bank Bordeaux

2) Goats Cheese - Sancerre or New Zealand Sauvignon

3) Gorgonzola/Stilton- Sweet wine such as Sauternes

4) Brie/Camembert - Beaujolais or white Burgundy

5) Gruyere - Blanc de Blancs Champagne or Alsatian Gewurztraminer

6) Roquefort - Port

7) Parmesan - Barolo or Amarone

8) Mozzarella - Chianti or Greco di Tufo or Gavi

9) Boursin or cheeses with herbs - Gewurztraminer

10) Smoked Cheese - Shiraz or Zinfandel

Masianco: Masi 2012Date published: 25/10/13

This is an unusual wine, a blend of 75% Pinot Grigio and 25% Verduzzo. Described as a "super-premium" Pinot Grigio by some, it has amazing complexity, a far cry from a typically light Italian Pinot Grigio.

The late-harvested Verduzzo grapes undergo the Appassimento process, whereby they are partially dried. This results in greater concentration of flavours and sugar and gives this wine it's richness and layers of aroma and taste characteristics. 

Aromas of tropical and stone fruit flavours: pineapple, apricot, and white peach. Dry, crisp and citrussy on the palate. This is a lovely wine and definitely worth a try if you like Viognier or unoaked Chardonnay.


£9.99*


*when you buy two or more as part of a mixed case

10 facts about TaittingerDate published: 25/10/13

Having just returned from a  fantastic trip to Taittinger in Champagne, I thought I would  share a few things that I learnt:

1) Taittinger is the 2nd most visited Champagne house

2) It has the 3rd largest vineyard holdings in Champagne after Veuve and Moet (who are essentially part of the same company)

3)Their top wine (prestige cuvee) is the 'Comte de Champagne' which is 100% Chardonnay

4) There are currently about 3 million bottles of this in their cellars at Reims

5) they only produce around 10,000 of their rose equivalent

6) The rose is made by the 'addition' method - that is to say the blending of white and red wine before 2nd fermentation

7)These bottles are 'riddled' (turned to encourage yeast autolysis and invert the bottles to expel yeasts), by a team of only 4 men!!

8)The chalk caves in which the bottles are maturated create the perfect, porous conditions for ageing

9)Two pests to the vineyards are rabbits and red spider mite

10) Taittinger remains one of the few family owned Champagne houses


Lastly, their whole range is delicious, their 'Prelude' (a non-vintage blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir) being my personal favourite.


Why not come down and ask staff for their recommendations?


New arrivals into the Tunbridge Wells store!Date published: 24/10/13

Geyser Peak was founded in 1880, and sits in a picturesque location in the Alexander Valley, overlooking Geyserville and the Russian River. They have around 100 acres of estate-owned vineyards, as well as access tot hose of several partner growers in Sonoma and Mendocino.A bright and vibrant style of Chardonnay, with a soft, tropical fruit character typical of Californian examples. Medium palate weight, with a pleasing mix of racy acidity and buttery softness.Drink with a chicken or beef stroganoff.

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 24/10/13

#fruity #fresh #intense #oaky #malbec #butterscotch #spice

Fattori Soave £8.99

This wine comes from some of Chile's oldest plantings of the Malbec grape, some of which are around 100 years old, in Colchagua Valley. It has been matured for just 6 months in French oak barrels, to add complexity and softness while maintaining the fruit character.A dark and intense ruby red, this wine brims with blueberry and raspberry fruit, with a subtle layer of vanilla, butterscotch and pudding spice aromas. Smooth and lightly savoury.Great with spaghetti bolognese.

Weekday Wines Under £10: ThursdayDate published: 24/10/13

Montes Reserve Malbec - £9.99 or £7.99 when you buy two!

This wine comes from some of Chile's oldest plantings of the Malbec grape, some of which are around 100 years old, in Colchagua Valley. It has been matured for just 6 months in French oak barrels, to add complexity and softness while maintaining the fruit character.A dark and intense ruby red, this wine brims with blueberry and raspberry fruit, with a subtle layer of vanilla, butterscotch and pudding spice aromas. Smooth and lightly savoury.Great with spaghetti bolognese.

Fine Wines open this weekendDate published: 24/10/13

On Saturday we will be opening two fine wines for you to come in and try on our tasting counter:

Heimbourg Gewürztraminer 2008,Domaine Zind Humbrecht

Zind Humbrecht is one of the most famous and best producers in Alsace, we have stocked some of their wines before and the parcels in particular always sell out quickly. This wine comes from one of the finest 'lieu dit' sites in Alsace. A 'lieu dit' site is a single vineyard without it's own legally authorised appelation. For example Chassagne Montrachet is an appelation, but there may be sites near Chassagne Montrachet that are just as good but do not have the official prestige. This promises a complex and long wine, definitely worth trying.

Was £19.99 now £14.99 per bottle when you buy any two selected fine wines.

Amarone Classico ‘Vigneti di Roccolo’2010, Cantina Negrar

Amarone is a style of wine based on Valpolicella. The key difference is that Amarone is made using grapes that are dried on racks to intensify their flavours and sugars. The result is a dry wine with rich chocolate and coffee characteristics, complemented by sweet spice notes.

Was £23 now £18 per bottle when you buy any two selected fine wines.

Back into store!Date published: 24/10/13

Sancerre Chavignol 'Les Comtesses' 2012, Paul Thomas

The top cuvée from this excellent producer, Paul Thomas. The Sauvignon grapes are sourced from older vines from the best slopes around the village of Chavignol, the village producing perhaps the finest Sancerres. With vibrant aromas of gooseberries, grass and minerals, this is a rich tasting wine with ripe fruit, a lively citrussy finish and complex mineral characters.Superb when matched with goat's cheese or shellfish.

Brewdog: The lowdown!Date published: 23/10/13

Brewdog is part of the wave of new craft beers. The brewery is owned by Jura. Their idea is to make unpretentious, flavoursome and quirky beers. The punk IPA is their flagship beer. It combines the traditional flavours of an Indian pale ale, with vibrant fruit and hop characters. We've just started stocking it - come into store and grab your pack!

Punk IPA 6* for £12.99!

Have some bottles from a party left over?Date published: 23/10/13

It's always difficult to know exactly how much to provide for a party or event and you certainly don't want to run out. Our staff will be happy to offer advice on quantities but to put your mind at ease we also provide a sale-or-return policy.

All we ask is that you arrange sale-or-return in advance when you are placing your order and that everything comes back in a saleable condition – we cannot refund bottles with labels peeling off, or beer in opened or incomplete cases.

We do not offer a collection service so you would be responsible for returning the items to the store from which they were bought.

Sale-or-return is at your local store manager's discretion, and should always be arranged in advance with your local store


Free Glass Hire Service!Date published: 23/10/13

 Our glass hire service includes wine glasses, flutes and hi-ball tumblers.

All we ask for is a £1-a-glass deposit, payable in advance, and that the glasses are returned to us clean and ready for re-use. The deposit is fully refundable – all you pay for is breakages. And since you have paid a deposit, there's no time limit in which you have to return them.

You can request glasses when you order online, by choosing the 'I would like free glass loan' option and entering how many wine glasses, flutes or hi-ball tumblers you'd like, in multiples of 12. The £1 per glass deposit is added to your online order.

When you're done with the glasses, you'll need to return them to the Majestic store that delivered them (or that you collected from) - unfortunately we are not able to offer a collection service for glasses. If paying the deposit by debit or credit card you will need to bring the card with you when returning the glasses. All we ask is that the glasses are returned to us clean and ready to re-use - the good news is they are dishwasher-safe so there's no need to wash them all by hand! A deduction of £1 per glass will be made to cover any breakages or losses.

Glass loan is at your local store manager's discretion, is subject to availability, and only available to customers purchasing wines, spirits and beers in quantities proportionate to the number of glasses requested. Glass loan is only available in areas where we deliver direct from store, and not by courier.


The best wine to have with a sumptuous tomato pasta is ...Date published: 23/10/13

The Piedmont region of Northern Italy, surrounded by the Alps, is home to Italy's third most planted grape variety - Barbera. Barbera d'Asti has the most vines, with many of the vineyards planted on the lower slopes and in sheltered areas resulting in fresher styles.Intense aromas of red cherries, vanilla, rose petals and spice leap from the glass, with the intense, powerful palate exhibiting an elegant balance of fruit and tannin to a long, smooth and crisp finish. Drinkable now, matched with salumi or antipasti, or aged for up to 6 years. The wine will benefit from being decanted before drinking.

New arrivals into the Tunbridge Wells store!Date published: 23/10/13

Santa Ana Malbec - £8.99 or £5.99 when you buy two!

Great value Malbec from Bodegas Santa Ana, one of Argentina's oldest wineries, founded in 1891 By Italian wine pioneer Luis Tirasso. This is their benchmark Malbec, which offers great value and has previously been the recipient of several IWSC awards.Lively ruby colour with the violet hues that typify this grape. Plum and cherry characters predominate on both nose and palate. Medium-bodied,with supple tannins and a pleasantly soft finish. Ideal red for any barbecue, or for pairing with medium-strength firm cheeses.

Your Majestic guide to vintages - White Burgundy!Date published: 23/10/13

Mixed weather produced wines that are generally early-drinking, ranging from light and straight forward Villages wines to aromatic yet elegant Cru wines.

2010: Excellent vintage. Yields were down but good overall conditions produced wines with both weight and acidity.

2009:Cool and mild throughout summer, with a late pre-harvest mini-heatwave. Wines are fresh,well balanced and cellar well in the short term.

2008: Yields were low but very good quality overall, and the wines are generally intense and firmly structured, with good acidity and ageing potential.

2007: A late improvement in the weather led to some ripe, pure and rich whites by patient producers who picked later.

2006: A very good year for rich, ripe and relatively forward wines. Chablis is also excellent with particularly refreshing acidity.

2005: One of the best vintages of recent years, with low yields of outstanding wines across the board.

Weekday Wines Under £10: WednesdayDate published: 23/10/13

Marques De Caceres 2009, Rioja Crianza

Located in Cenicero, in the heart of Rioja Alta, Cáceres was founded by Enrique Forner in the late 1960s. Aided by a fresh micro climate, the Tempranillo grapes attain their expressive best, before the wine is aged for 12 months in oak and up to 14 months in bottle.Cherry and blackberry aromas accompanied by Mediterranean herb aromatics on the nose, with luscious red cherry and strawberry fruits,cinnamon and silky tannins with a long, silky and spicy finish.Enjoy over the next three years with grilled vegetables, paella, ham, chorizo and cheese.

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 23/10/13

#peachy #fruity #crisp #layered #different #apple #pear

This wine comes from a wine making collective in Cers-Portiragnes, a locale between Béziers and the Mediterranean coast. The wines here are typified by bold varietal characters, and are often created by blending unusual combinations of grapes.A fruit-filled and eminently gluggable white wine, offering a lively mixture of white apple, grapefruit, peach and orange zest flavours with a soft and friendly acidity.A great partner for gammon steaks or roast ham.

A new arrival!Date published: 22/10/13

Croix Saint Adel - £7.99 when you buy two!

This wine comes from a wine making collective in Cers-Portiragnes, a locale between Béziers and the Mediterranean coast. The wines here are typified by bold varietal characters, and are often created by blending unusual combinations of grapes.A fruit-filled and eminently gluggable white wine, offering a lively mixture of white apple, grapefruit, peach and orange zest flavours with a soft and friendly acidity.A great partner for gammon steaks or roast ham.

Your Majestic guide to vintages - Spain!Date published: 22/10/13

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

2008: A long, cool summer in Rioja produced many bright and supple reds, and whites with good acidity. A particularly good vintage for the Duero.

2007: Very difficult weather with rain and hail,especially in Rioja, hence quality variable. Top producers made some elegant, forward-drinking wines.

2006: Not as dry as 2005, but an early September heatwave caused generalised problems. Results vary from dull to excellent but overall not as good a vintage as the two previous ones.

2005: Drier than 2003, with drought in many places during the ripening season leading to an early harvest and low yields. Quality from northern regions(Rioja, Navarra, Aragon and Catalunya)ranges from good to excellent.

2004: Good quality in La Mancha and the North West. Other areas suffering a variety of problems from drought in Andalucia to hail in Ribera del Duero. Top Riojas very good. Rioja: The best recent vintages for Gran Reserva and Reserva are 2004, 2001, 1998, and 1996.

Looking for a white wine that will blow the cobwebs away?Date published: 22/10/13

If you haven't tasted the Chateau Musar white wine, then this is a must if you want to broaden your horizons and try something uniquely different!

Produced in one of the most inhospitable areas for wine making, not jus tdue to weather or topography, Serge Hochar has to contend with shelling and troop movements. The picturesque Bekaa valley produces intense and powerful reds along with rich and perfumed whites.Deep golden hues from a glass that exudes baked apple, almond,brioche, apricot and vanilla aromas. A buttery, rich, honey textured and wine with vanilla, butterscotch, roasted stone fruit and spice.A difficult wine to match with food due to the intensity and the rich characteristics. Try with soft and rich cheeses.

Looking for a slightly different big red?Date published: 22/10/13

Then look no further than the Lebanese wines that we have in stock! From the well-known Chateau Musar, these wines aptly convey the terroir of the Lebanese country and style!

Chatea Musar 2005 - £19.99

Lebanese wine might seem obscure, but viticultural roots in Lebanon go back over 6000 years. Château Musar is a uniquely different wine from in the Bekaa Valley, produced by master winemaker Serge Hochar. Concentrated plum and blackberry fruit, hints of fig, prune, distinct liquorice and spice. Firm but fine tannins, good acidity and body, vibrant and fresh with streaks of cedar and cinnamon. Long finish.Château Musar will last for decades and can be enjoyed with everything from French-style roast lamb, to North-African cuisine.

Chateau Musar: Hochar Pere & FiIls - £11.99

This is the second wine of the famed Musar estate, made in a lighter,more easy-going style. Partially aged in oak vats for 6-9 months, the wine undergoes a further 2 years' cellaring prior to bottling .An intense burgundy colour with a complex nose of black fruits backed up by figs, dates and spices. The palate is well integrated with good acidity, fine tannins and a good length. This wine's great structure bestows it with excellent ageing potential.Partner with saddle of lamb or Moroccan cuisine.

Weekday Wines Under £10: TuesdayDate published: 22/10/13

Gran Vendema - £5.99 when you buy any two Spanish wines!


A youthful Crianza wine made from 100% Tempranillo, from 10-15-year-old vines around Cenicero in the heart of Rioja. Aged for 12 months in American oak barrels and a further 12 months in bottle before release.

Vibrant cherry red, with a nose dominated by raspberry and strawberry fruit and lashings of lifted oaky vanilla notes. The palate is supple and soft, with moderate tannins and an easy-going feel.

Supremely versatile, this can be drunk on its own or paired with cured meats, pork chops, and all Mediterranean cuisine.


A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches 'ZDate published: 22/10/13

'Z is for Zabaglione' (Italian whipped custard made with Marsala wine)

Sweet food needs sweet wine to match.

Ideally pair it with Marsala to mirror the flavours, otherwise try the following:

Moscato d'Asti

Beaumes-de-Venise or equivalent Muscat

Vin Santo (Italian dessert wine)

Recioto di Soave (as above)

Sauternes

Asti

Dry or sweet fizz

Madeira (especially Malmsey - sweet)

Coffee

Any sweet Riesling

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 21/10/13

Turkey Flat Butcher 'Marsanne, Roussane, Viognier blend'

#7WordWineReview - Almond, pear, peach, papaya, camomile, rich, long

This great addition to our range comes from the Barossa Valley in Australia; and at Buy 2 save £6, it is down from £14.99 to just £11.99. This is a stunning, interesting, food-friendly wine; from a brilliant producer - a definite new staff favourite! Why not come and try some?

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches 'YDate published: 21/10/13

'Y is for Yams'

Yams are a bit like sweet potato and are undoubtedly best paired with Californian Chardonnay. Why not also try the following:

Off-dry Riesling

Off-dry Gewurztraminer

Viognier

Sparkling wine that has a bit of sweetness to it

Ginger Ale

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches 'WDate published: 20/10/13

W is for 'Wasabi'


An off-dry Riesling would be by far the best match for this spicy little number. Otherwise why not try:

New World Sauvignon

Gewurztraminer

Champagne or Sparkling wine

Zinfandel Rose

Avoid: Big, high tannin reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon

Thought for the day on ...Date published: 20/10/13

... pairing wines for vegetarian menus!

Starting off, a sensible place seems to be the use of unoaked white burgundy. As Chardonnay goes, its production untainted by oak can provide a really crisp, refreshing start to any meal, especially as an apertif! In this respect, I would heartily recommend the Bourgogne Chenaudiers -fermented in tank, this is the epitomy of a great unoaked white wine!

Rose also lends itself well to veggie meals, with an assuming character and subtle tastes providing the best partner to a beautiful pasta or risotto. It works especially well next to a variety of what you could call nibbles ... chickpea hummus, for example. The M De Minuty Rose is a fantastic wine in a stunning bottle, and perfect for these food types!

Finally, if you want a season suggestion for something like a winter soup, look at something unusual like a Maderia. Whilst a lot of people would choose Chardonnay or Viogner, this can render the wine flat and not contributing much to the food at all.


A new Fine Wine of the week approaches!Date published: 19/10/13

Kanonkop 'Paul Sauer' 2009,Stellenbosch - £23.99 when you buy any two South African wines!

This is Kanonkop’s flagship wine - a Bordeaux blend comprising a majority Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In the best Bordeaux tradition this wine is unfiltered.Deep, ruby red colour - concentration of blackcurrant, cassis and tea leaf aromas. Good body with a combination of power and elegance. Silky sweet tannin that leads to a dry finish.Capable of at least a decade of bottle maturation and needs decanting.

Tasting note: Ruby on the eye, with an inviting deep colour promising great things to come!

On the nose, this wine jumps out at you, presenting varied red and black fruit, spice and subtle oaking aging.

Flavours abound as soon as it hits the tongue; a very rounded acidity holds the wine together, along with 4 years of aging. 

Could certainly benefit from further aging, but drinking well at the moment - #comeandexplore our tasting counter this weekend!


A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches 'VDate published: 19/10/13

'V is for Venison'

Any big, full-bodied red will work, with some good structure and tannin to work through the protein. Good concentration will balance the rich flavour. Try The following (the ones in bold being preferable)

ZINFANDEL

BAROSSA SHIRAZ

RHONE VALLEY WINES

(Hermitage, Gigondas, Chateau-Neuf-Du-Pape and Cote-Rotie)

Cabernet Sauvignon

Amarone

Bordeaux

Pinot Noir (especially with mushrooms on the side)



A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches 'TDate published: 18/10/13

T is for 'Tapenade' (Provencal paste of olives, capers and anchovies)


The best match is a dry (Provence!) Rose..as they do in France!

Otherwise,why not try:

Blanc de Blancs Champagne

Sauvignon Blanc (especially form Loire)

Dry Sherry

Zinfandel.



Your Majestic guide to vintages - Red Burgundy!Date published: 18/10/13

We get asked about the style, taste, aromas and origin of the wine; but so rarely does the vintage seem to play any part in the decision making process at all!

Red Burgundy 2010: A challenging vintage with much rain in midsummer. Top estates managed yields well and harvested late, making ripe, well-balanced wines.

2009: Superb weather and lengthy ripening produced reds that are expressive in their youth yet capable of ageing well.

2008: A difficult growing season was rescued by good weather before the harvest. Good producers made good wines from reduced yields.

2007: Fairly dry and warm in early summer,cooling in autumn, resulting in an early harvest.Wines show good ripeness and purity and are forward drinking.

2006: Patchy with a few problems with rot in the Côte de Beaune. But some fruity yet forward reds from the Côte de Nuits.

2005: One of the best vintages in years, producing rich and concentrated wines. Those from the Côte de Nuits are particularly good.

2004: A fine September helped growers who had controlled yields and avoided rot. In general the Côte de Nuits performed better than the Côte de Beaune.

The Magic of Fine Wine 'Chateau SenejacDate published: 17/10/13

Hansi Baumann, our Fine Wine Manager, introduces the seventh wine in our Autumn Magic of Fine Wine tasting season…Château Senejac, Cru Bourgeois

£23 buy 2 save £10 = £18

INTRODUCTION: Great Claret should be more than just a good drink, but should reflect and represent the flavours and style of the appellation from which the wine comes, and the vintage characteristics. The wines from the Médoc, on the left bank of the Gironde estuary, are predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon based, with Cabernet Franc and Merlot in lesser quantities, giving the wines a perfume and structure. The 2010 was an ideal vintage; the wines have ripe fruit and soft tannins for immediate enjoyment along with intensity and concentration for prolonged ageing.FACTS: Senejac was granted 'Cru Bourgeois' status in the 1933 classification. Since the acquisition of the estate by the family who own the 4th Growth St. Julien Château Talbot, and the wine making team of Pontet Canet began making the wines, Château Senejac's quality has improved year on year. The Château dates to 1860 and is situated in a large woodland in the commune of Le Pain Médoc, where only 39 of the 150 hectares are dedicated to vines.

TASTING NOTE: Perfumed black currant, cigar box, blueberry and plum skin aromas, medium bodied with vibrant dark fruit flavours, a rich texture and long finish.

FOOD MATCH: Roast lamb with rosemary and mint sauce.


Come down and try some this weekend!

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches 'SDate published: 17/10/13

S is for 'Sushi'

Sparkling wine or Champagne is best, otherwise check these suggestions out:

Japanese beer

Tea!

Fino Sherry

Sauvignon Blanc

Muscadet

Chablis 

Riesling (especially off-dry)


Avoid: high alcohol, tannin or oaked wines.




#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 17/10/13

#honeyed #luscious #smooth #more-ish #amazing #musthave

This wine is so named because it is made in the 'passito' method, where the harvested grapes are laid out on straw mats and allowed to dry for around 4 weeks, concentrating the sugars. They are then pressed for 4-5 hours and racked to barrel for fermentation.Concentrated aromas of honey, marmalade and ripe peach. Intensely sweet yet vibrantly fruity and involvingly complex. A voluptuously textured palate with plenty of length.Partner with tarte tatin or a fruity sponge pudding.

£8.99 when you buy any two South African wines!

Your Majestic guide to vintages - South Africa!Date published: 16/10/13

SOUTH AFRICA 2010: Very changeable weather tested vignerons,but low yields appear to have produced good quality wines for many.

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

2008: A solid year overall, although variable weather conditions have benefited whites more than reds.

2007: On a par, or perhaps even better than 2006 with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay excellent. Reds have ripe fruit and early accessibility,although top wines are keepers.

2006: White wines are generally excellent,especially Sauvignon Blanc. Reds are also good but more variable.

#3wordwinereview ...Date published: 16/10/13

'#fruity #fresh #young

A youthful Crianza wine made from 100% Tempranillo, from 10-15-year old vines around Cenicero in the heart of Rioja. Aged for 12 months in American oak barrels and a further 12 months in bottle before release.Vibrant cherry red, with a nose dominated by raspberry and strawberry fruit and lashings of lifted oaky vanilla notes. The palate is supple and soft, with moderate tannins and an easy-going feel.Supremely versatile, this can be drunk on its own or paired with cured meats, pork chops, and all Mediterranean cuisine.

New arrivals into the Tunbridge Wells store!Date published: 15/10/13

Château Recougne 2010, Bordeaux Supérieur £9.99

Château Recougne is an early-17th-century estate located around 10km north of Libourne, and is among the most well established of Bordeaux Supérieur properties. It is planted with around 75% Merlot, 15%Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc.Fleshy and robust, full of ripe black fruit accented with hints of mocha,smoke and toast. Plenty of fine-grained tannins providing prodigious grip and savoury texture.Drink now or over the next 5 years. Best with beef.

Château Coufran 2004, Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois Supérieur £19.99

Located in the Haut-Médoc part of Pauillac, Coufran is notable for its unusually high proportion of Merlot, which forms around 85% of the blend. Being a more typical feature of right-bank wines, this has earned Coufran the nickname 'Pomerol of Haut-Médoc'.This wine has a soft, fleshy and ample feel, combining soft bramble and ripe plum flavours with smooth tannins. Subtle cedar and leaf aromas complete the picture.Ready to drink now, with firm cheeses.

Dates For Your Diary at Majestic Tunbridge Wells ...Date published: 15/10/13

Wine Courses:

This is a FREE 90 minute appetiser that gives an introduction on how to taste wine as well as food and wine matching, helping you choose the perfect wine for your meal!

Upcoming Date:

Sunday 27th October at 2.30pm

Places are limited so give us a call, e-mail us or pop in to book your place!

Tasting Weeks

FREE informal tasting weeks. We will have a selection of wines open over the week on the tasting counter and will be happy to guide you through them and answer any questions you may have.

Wines of Argentina

11th-17th October

New Arrivals

9th - 15th November

319-323 St John's Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9XE

(01892) 615877 | tun@majestic.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter to keep up to date: @majestictun


The arrival of a wonderfully priced white wine ...Date published: 15/10/13

One of my all-time favourite 'quaffers' has just been put on offer at a simply unbelievable price! Quinta de Azevedo 2012, Vinho Verde is at £5.99 when you buy any two Portuguese wines!

Hailing from the Northern area of Portugal known as the Minho region, this wine literally translates as 'green wine'. Historically fermented in open stone lagares before being run off into cask and undergoing malolactic fermentation. Fermentation now occurs in vat, retaining the classic spritz or CO2 bubble in the wine. Complex aromas of white and tropical fruits, citrus and white flowers. A lively and stimulating wine, with good acidity and well balanced, hints of spritz and bubble, with a concentrated and fresh finish.At its best now, as a partner to seafood, green salads and pasta. 

Your Majestic guide to vintages - Bordeaux!Date published: 15/10/13

We get asked about the style, taste, aromas and origin of the wine; but so rarely does the vintage seem to play any part in the decision making process at all!

Bordeaux 2010: Widely acknowledged to be one of the best vintages of modern times, with quality generally outstanding from all communes.

2009: Warm, clear days and cool nights produced one of the finest vintages ever. Top wines have immense cellar potential and first-growths hit record prices.

2008: A very highly regarded vintage, producing wines with excellent ripeness and elegance,enjoyable in the medium term.

2007: A cool and damp vintage, rescued by warm temperatures late in the season. Some under ripe and early-drinking wines, especially from the Left Bank. Later-picked Right-bank wines better. Sweet whites superb. 

2006: Not as good as 2005, particularly for Cabernet based reds which didn't ripen fully.However, whites are delicious and sweet whites very good.

2005: An outstanding vintage across the board thanks to perfect weather conditions. Reds are balanced and elegant with ripe fruit and beautiful aromatics. Sauternes is also exceptional.

2004: A large vintage of variable quality. Where yields were kept in check some very good wines have been produced from Merlot and both the Cabernets. 

2003: Unusually hot weather tested many winemakers. As a result quality varies wildly.Some wines are exceptional, others are unbalanced.

2002: A poor summer saved by a sunny September.Patchy quality though some very good in Médoc. 

Older top vintages: 2000, 1998, 1996, and 1995

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches "SDate published: 15/10/13

'S' is for the slightly-unusual setting of Salt Cod! Good wine matches include:

Albarino

Chablis

Champagne

Frascati

Gruner Veltliner

Pinot Grigio

Rioja

Rose

Sherry

Soave

Sparkling Wine

And the star wine for this food match is ...

Fattori Soave - at a stunning £6.99 when you buy two bottles!

Winemaker Antonio Fattori and his brother Giovanni are the third generation owners of the Fattori winery, having taken over from their parents in 1970. Since then, they have modernised the operation, adding new vineyard plantings and the latest wine making equipment.A pale, light-bodied wine, with a core of citrus and white apple fruit. The bouquet is enhanced by subtle hints of sage and nettle, while the palate is fresh, crisp and gently mineral textured.Drink with pasta alle vongole.

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 15/10/13

#crisp #fresh #fruity #herbaceous #green #delicious #tempting!

...

Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc = £8.99 when you buy any two South African wines!

This Sauvignon Blanc has echoes of white Bordeaux, with its 5% Semillon adding a streak of complexity and additional body to the blend. Free-run and gently pressed juice is used to minimise the presence of bitter tannins, and 2-3 months' lees ageing adds to the texture.Aromas of green peppers, asparagus and gooseberry fill the nose, while the palate displays a riper character, with underlying pineapple and passion fruit notes providing a layered feel. Equally adept as a partner for shellfish or lobster as it is for roasted sea bass.

Weekday Wines Under £10: TuesdayDate published: 15/10/13

Vina Eguia Gran Reserva - £8.99 when you buy any two Spanish wines!

Bodegas Eguía are located in Elciego in the Rioja Alavesa subregion,where they have 50 hectares of estate vineyards as well as several partner growers, with vines averaging 40 years of age. This wine receives 30 months in barrel and 3 years in bottle before release.Ruby red with medium density and a brick-like rim. The fruit is very mature, exhibiting raisin, prune and caramel notes, accompanied by vanilla, clove and leather. Silky mouth-feel and good length. Drink with all slow-cooked lamb dishes, or with nutty-tasting cheeses.

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches "RDate published: 15/10/13

Rabbit!

'Aged' Bandol Rose

Barberesco (stewed Rabbit)

Barolo

Beaujolais

Champagne

Chateau Nuef Du Pape

Cote-Rotie

Pomerol

Rioja

Shiraz

Chardonnay

Gewurtzraminer

and the star wine for this match is ...

Galarej Barolo 2009,Fontanafredda! £15.99

The Fontanafredda estate is owned and run by a bank, the Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Whilst owning 70 hectares of land, surplus grapes are ordered in from local growers. The producer makes many wines in Tuscany and Piedmont, with this Barolo one of their best.This is a robust, full bodied wine packed with structure and fully capable of standing the test of time. The bouquet is clean and intense, with typical Barolo characteristics of wild roses and tar.Due to the full-bodied nature of Barolo, full-flavoured dishes such as Bolognese and spicy meatballs are required.

And the use for the wine box was ...Date published: 15/10/13

... holding crisps and general snacks at The Oast Theatre (Tonbridge Theatre and Arts Club)! Located in Tonbridge, the theatre kindly sent in photos of their use of the six-bottle wooden wine box - adding a rustic air to proceedings!

Currently showing 'Flare Path', the theatre has recently introduced online ticket ordering, meaning that you can effortlessly organise your night of culture and enjoyment!

(We also approve of the choice of crisps; Tyrells are a Majestic favourite too!

Another use for a wine box!Date published: 15/10/13

Here is the teaser picture of the box and its occupants - can anyone guess its use, location and even what wine may have been held within it? 

As a bit of background, here in Tunbridge Wells we have been asking people who take advantage of our free wooden wine boxes to provide us with a picture showing us the uses that they put the receptacle to!

Last month we had a photo sent in from the chap at Churchill Tanks, who uses a six-bottle wooden box to store his tank-fixing tools in ... pretty cool, I'm sure you'll agree!

Everlasting amounts of kudos to those who can identify the location of this box and its place in the grand scheme of the place ...

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 14/10/13

#velvety #fruity #complex #amazing #far-reaching #buyit!

Château La Croix de Gay 2007, Pomerol

£30.00 per bottle

This small estate of 13 hectares only produces around 3000 cases a year and Majestic has snapped up a direct parcel at cracking prices.Comprising 80% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, these wines are usually dark and direct.With an aromatic nose of raspberries, cherries, smoke and espresso, the palate is rich and opulent with loads of fruit and a plush texture.Drinking well now, this vintage ripened Merlot better than Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy over the next 4-5 years; decant before drinking.

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches "QDate published: 14/10/13

'Q' is for Quail!

Recommended grilled or roasted, the various wines that will suit this bird include:

Red Bordeaux

Red Burgundy

Cabernet Sauvignon 

Champagne

Big, oaky Chardonnay

Cotes Du Rhone

New World Pinot Noir

Rioja Reserva

Shiraz/Syrah

and the star wine match to go with quail is ...

Rioja Reserva 2008, Berberana - £8.79 when you buy any two Spanish wines!

Founded in 1877 by Don Miguel Martínez Berberana, this is now one of the best selling Riojas. The Reserva is matured for a minimum 2 years in American oak cask and only released when it is ready to drink.Deep ruby red, with delicious vanilla overtones backed up by juicy soft strawberry and morello cherry flavours. Round and full, well balanced,long and elegant.A good choice for roasted red meats such as lamb, or with stews and casseroles.

Weekday Wines Under £10: MondayDate published: 14/10/13

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2013 ... £9.49 when you buy two!

Made from a selection of the best grapes grown throughout Marlborough. During vinification the wine was left on its lees for a brief spell which has given it excellent concentration and added depth.Displays pronounced aromas of gooseberry and passion fruit on the nose. It is fresh and beautifully crisp on the palate while being vibrantly fruity, ending in a long zingy finish.The perfect wine to take along to summer parties. Enjoy on its own or with crab or poached salmon salad.

For me, this Sauvignon just hits you in the face with its aromas, tastes and overall body!

Thought for the day on ...Date published: 14/10/13

Rioja Reserva Viña Ardanza 2004,La Rioja Alta

One of the very best of Rioja's produced from fruit exclusively grown in the bodega's 360 hectare vineyard holdings in the Rioja Alta region, and named after one of the Region's founding families. Remaining under family ownership, this is of the most sought-after bodegas.Complex and perfumed primary and secondary aromas of earth, spice and red fruits with a long, elegantly structured medium weight body of spicy tannins and layers of flavour.Enjoy over the next decade as the richness and power will soften to spice and earth, augmenting game casserole or wild duck.

£17.99 when you buy two bottles!

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches "PDate published: 14/10/13

Paella!

Albarino

Beaujolais

Spanish Red wine

Ribera Del Duero, especially with chicken and sausage paella.

Fino Sherry

Tempranillo

Viognier.

And the star wine for this match is the...

Martin Caixas Albarino, at £7.99 when you buy any two spanish wines!

Galicia's signature white wine, from the region's most famous producer. Made exclusively for Majestic, with some of the grapes having been picked by Majestic's own staff, as a small number go to Galicia each year to help with the harvest.A light, fresh and youthful wine, with a zesty and well defined citrus backbone, over layed with subtle hints of stone fruits and nectar. Crisp and refreshing, yet rounded and enduring on the finish.Drink with mussels and other shellfish, or all simple fish dishes such as grilled sardines.

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches "ODate published: 14/10/13

Oysters are a favourite with white burgundy drinkers, going down just so! Champagne is another typical partner. The primary flavour of the oyster relates to its briny character and minerality, which is where a high acid wine comes into play. 

Avoiding oak is essential if you want to maintain a clean, crisp feel to your meal!

Other wine choices include:

Albarino

ALigote

Beer

White Bordeaux

Cava

Chablis

Chenin Blanc

Cider

Muscadet.

Star choice for Oysters is the Muscadet Sur Lie ...£6.99 when you buy two!

The term 'sur lie' sorts the wheat from the chaff in the world of Muscadet. An extended period of lees contact after fermentation leads to a greater complexity of flavour and character.With ripe fruit aromas, a pleasant richness and fine minerality, this is a classic Loire white. Bottled with a slight natural spritz to help retain freshness.

Made by night, drunk by day ...Date published: 14/10/13

Taittinger Nocturne!

Taittinger Nocturne is a non-vintage Champagne blend with a higher'dosage', making it noticeably sweeter than the Brut NV, lending a rich roundness and food-friendliness to the wine.

Picked at night, this is a champagne whose grapes will have benefited from the cooler temperatures of the midnight moon!

£45, or £40 when you buy any two sparkling wines. 

Rich, tropical and sumptous!Date published: 14/10/13

Catena Alta Chardonnay - £23 or £18 when you buy two or more!

Catena sources fruit from the best vineyard rows for the Catena Alta wines. This Chardonnay hails from the Adrianna vineyard, located 1,500 metres above sea level, with shallow sandy, rocky soils. Bursting with fruit and minerality. Tropical mango and pineapple alongside ripe pear and fig flavours. Notes of sweet spice enhances the rich palate and finishes with great freshness and a long length.A classy wine deserves classy food. Try with lobster or duck à l'orange.

A new addition to our Bordeaux family! Date published: 14/10/13

Chateau Fourcas Dupre - £15.99

There have been vines planted on the site of Fourcas-Dupré since the early 18th century, but it is only since 1970 that the estate has taken on its modern identity, steadily improving its quality until it was awarded Cru Bourgeois Supérieur status in 2003.A rich and abundantly aromatic claret, full of meaty red fruit, accented by hints of truffle, cedar and perfumed spice. Plenty of body and graphite-like tannins.Drink now or cellar for another 3-5 years. Best served with roast lamb.

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 14/10/13

#mocha #chocolate #dark #alluring #tasty #merlot #chilean 

Montes Reserva Malbec!

This wine comes from some of Chile's oldest plantings of the Malbec grape, some of which are around 100 years old, in Colchagua Valley. It has been matured for just 6 months in French oak barrels, to add complexity and softness while maintaining the fruit character.A dark and intense ruby red, this wine brims with blueberry and raspberry fruit, with a subtle layer of vanilla, butterscotch and pudding spice aromas. Smooth and lightly savoury.Great with spaghetti bolognese.

My choice for a cracking dessert wine!Date published: 13/10/13

This is the second wine of Château Suduiraut, a premier Cru Classé Sauternes whose vines border those of Château d'Yquem. Crafted after stringent grape selection, this is a well-made and elegant wine.With seductive aromas of fragrant orange blossom, spices and fudge.The smooth initial taste develops into soft sweetness on the palate backed by the delicate aromas that are found on the nose.Savour these great value half bottles as a partner to traditional foie gras terrine or alternatively just enjoy it on its own.

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches "NDate published: 13/10/13

'Nachos'

Beer/Lager

Margaritas 

Sparkling Wine

Zinfandel.

And my choice of the star match is ...

Lodi, in the Northern part of California's Central Valley, is know as the Zinfandel Capital of the World. Home to mature vine Zinfandel plantings in well-drained sandy soils, produce powerful and extractive wines that underline Ravenswood's 'No Wimpy Wines' motto.Bursting with concentrated sweet blueberry, plums and spice aromas.Bright and fruity with soft, ripe roundness and well balanced acidity,filled with vanilla and toasted spices that linger on the finish.A pleasure to drink by itself or with flavourful duck dishes or a cheese platter. Enjoy over the next four years.

Only £8.99 when you buy two bottles!

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 13/10/13

#oaky #lees-aged #different #complex #likemarmite!

Dog Point Section 94 - Open to taste today and tomorrow!

Section 94 is a subsection of Marlborough's Hawkesbury Run,identified for its Sauvignon's vibrant yellow fruit. The wine is an unorthodox example of Marlborough Sauvignon, made with native yeast fermentation in old French oak barrels, in which the wine undergoes extended lees ageing of 18 months. The result is a complex, grippy, yet soft and supremely drinkable wine of immense depth and texture.

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches "MDate published: 13/10/13

...Moussaka! (Greek eggplant and lamb casserole)

Cabernet Sauvignon

Chianti

Cotes Du Rhone

Ribera Del Duero

Rioja

And Louise's star choice for this dish is the ...

R.M Nicholson from Rustenberg!

This wine was named in honour of one of the estate's former owners,Reg Merriman Nicholson, who lived and worked as winemaker at Rustenberg for 30 years. Small batches of each variety are vinified separately, blended, then aged in oak for 7 months for good integration.Blackcurrant aroma complemented by notes of dried herbs and black pepper. The palate is fleshy and firmly structured, with weighty red fruit flavours and bold tannins.Correctly cellared, this wine will continue to improve, and keep for 8-10 years.

Weekday Wines Under £10: Sunday!Date published: 13/10/13

For this day of rest, Sunday roasts and F1 racing, my pick for the day is the Vinalb Malbec Touriga Nacional! At £8.99 when you buy two bottles or more, this will add some warmth and character to what is a very dull day today!

An intriguing blend of mature-vine Malbec with the traditional Port grape,Touriga Nacional, in a dry and fruit-driven style. Although grown in the Andean foothills, the Douro Valley influence is immediately evident in this blend, with its dark hue and earthy nose.Heady violet and mulberry aromas fill the nose, and the rich black fruit from both Malbec and Touriga Nacional combine on the palate to dominate and leave a rich, long finish.The dense, full nature of this interesting blend make it open to a large array of dishes, but try with rich or spicy casserole.

This Italian Pinot Grigio is so much different ...Date published: 13/10/13

Whenever I hear someone say that Italian pinot grigio is boring, same-ish, has nothing to it and doesn't serve as much more than an aperitif, one of the wines that I always point them towards is the Pinot-Grigio-dominated blend produced by the Masi producers. The same guys who do the fantastic Masi Amarone, their Masianco combines the use of the widely known Pinot Grigio grape with the lesser-known Verduzzo grape. The quantities are 75% to 25%, so bystanders could be lead to believe that the verduzzo influence is overwhelmed by the so-cited 'blandness of the giant variety. Not so!

The verduzzo grape adds some structure, pizzaz, a little bit of complexity which changes the nature of the wine. More than apertif material, this wine could stand up very well to seafood, including mussels and clams!

Below are the notes from our buyers, and it certainly is a great buy at £9.99 (when you buy two bottles or more)

This unique wine is a blend of 75% Pinot Grigio with 25% Verduzzo, a local grape that has been late-harvested and partially dried, before fermentation in steel and wood vessels, adding richness and complexity to the blend.A bright and inviting golden colour, this wine is alive with notes of peach,apricot, pear and pineapple. A lush, generous palate offering good ripeness and a dry, citrussy finish.  

Magnums that are sure to pique your interest ...Date published: 13/10/13

Bollinger Grand Annee Magnums, at £160 or £144 when you buy 6!

Bollinger is made from first-run juice only, and the majority of vineyards used have Premier and Grand Cru status, resulting in a full-bodied Champagne of great class. Delightful pale gold in colour, the mousse is light and persistent. Only produced in exceptional years from exclusively Grand Cru rated grapes. Rich, biscuity and yeasty, this wine carries the ultimate expression of the house style.

Bollinger Special Cuvee (pictured below) is a great step-down from the Grand Anee, at £30 each when you buy 6 bottles.

Looking for a slightly different Italian white?Date published: 13/10/13

Then look no further!

Roero is from the sandy hills in Piedmont in north west Italy. A significant amount of the Arneis grape is grown here. Here is where Marco Porello's estate is located; he is a young winemaker who has an important following in Italy where most of his wine is sold.Aromas of blossom and citrus. It is refreshing with balanced acidity and flavours of lime, grapefruit and green apples. It is beautifully balanced and has an elegant mineral finish.The lightness and refreshing acidity make it an ideal wine to drink on its own but also a great fish and seafood match.

Collectable items!Date published: 13/10/13

This picture is of three great wines from the same producer, each with its own specific characteristics!

Matsu El Picaro: Picaro means 'rogue' or 'rascal', and this rapscallion of a wine is a youthful interpretation of the Toro region's style. The grapes come from mature vines of over 50 years of age, but the wine spends only three months in oak, preserving their natural fruit profile.Vivid crimson-purple in the glass. Aromas are of ripe blackberries and raspberries, with subtle hints of fresh cocoa. The palate is bold yet supple, with ripe tannins and a mineral grip.Enjoy on its own or with boldly flavoured pasta dishes or spicy meat skewers.

MAtsu El Recio: El Recio translates as 'the tough guy', and is a more serious, mature wine, made from the product of some of Toro's oldest vines, which are cultivated using advanced biodynamic techniques. 14 months in new French oak provide opulence and polish.Intense and opaque, this wine is a mass of deep black fruit, chocolate,roasted coffee bean and vanilla pod aromas. Voluptuous and weighty,with a firm structure, held together by silky tannins.A great steak wine, which longs to be paired with rare asado-style beef fillet or sirloin. Drink now or keep for 2-5 years.

Matsu El Veijo: The Old One' of the Matsu range, made from the fruit of selected Tintade Toro vines, averaging 110 years of age. Matsu is the Japanese word for 'wait', and the winery's philosophy is one of patience and environmental harmony. The vineyards are fully organic.The wine is immensely powerful and complex, offering cigar box, lavender and graphite nuances against a backdrop of dense cherry and bramble fruit. Enjoyable immediately, partnered with good quality steak or rare roasts,but will also reward cellaring of 5 years or more.

A blend of the Argentinian and Portuguese ... Date published: 13/10/13

The Vinalba Malbec-Touriga Nacional is great in that it showcases both the traditional Argentinian Malbec grape alongside the Portuguese variety of Touriga Nacional, a core constituent of the port wines!

Although grown in the Andean foothills, the Douro Valley influence is immediately evident in this blend, with its dark hue and earthy nose.Heady violet and mulberry aromas fill the nose, and the rich black fruit from both Malbec and Touriga Nacional combine on the palate to dominate and leave a rich, long finish.The dense, full nature of this interesting blend make it open to a large array of dishes, but try with rich or spicy casserole.

Buy one bottle for £11.99 or buy two for £8.99 each!


Angels are watching over our wine!Date published: 12/10/13

On our tasting counter we have open the Angel's Share Shiraz from the Two Hands producers - so named because the small amount of alcohol that evaporates is given to the angels in payment for watching over the winemaker's good fortune!

Two Hands was established in 1999, with a view toward showcasing the best Shiraz that Australia, and particularly Barossa, could offer. This blockbusting example comes from vineyards in the slightly cooler coastal climes of McLaren Vale.Aromatically rich and complex, with notes of coffee, cocoa and cola against a backdrop of mulberry and plum fruit. Immense and mouth coating,with lashings of soft, rounded tannins.

Beer of the WeekDate published: 12/10/13

Back once again...


This time we will be looking at the beautiful lager from Chapel Down, who are mainly known for their sparkling wines but they have created a small selection of beers including this spectacular lager.

Now, I guarantee this Lager will be slightly different to anything you have tried before. This is down to the way they make it. Once the hops have been gathered they use a second fermentation, using Champagne yeasts and then adding a dosage of a rare hop called Nelson Sauvin. This method creates a cleaner and drier, fresher beer, that just shouldn't be missed.  

Curious Brew won a Gold medal in the 2012 international beer challenge, just proof that this really is one to try!

We have this in store so pop down and grab one!

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches 'LDate published: 12/10/13

'L' is for 'Lasagne'

Any Italy red will work nicely, the best matches being as follows:

CHIANTI

Sangiovese based blends 

Barbera

Pinot Noir (especially with vegetarian lasagne)

As seen on Saturday Kitchen 12/10/13Date published: 12/10/13

Giesen Chardonnay  2012  Marlborough

The Giesen Estate is made up of 13 separate vineyards, most of which are in the Wairau Valley, plus a small proportion in the Awatere Valley. Portions of this wine have been fermented and aged in French oak before blending, followed by several months' lees contact.

Ripe and richly aromatic, offering notes of stone fruits accented by brioche, toasted almond and subtle ginger and spice hints. Fresh, fruity and lightly creamy palate texture.

Buy 2 save £4 = £7.99 from £9.99 (when buying two or more as part of a mixed case)

http://www.majestic.co.uk/Giesen-Chardonnay-zid37272?tracking=|searchterm:geisen|chardonnay&tracking=|search

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches "KDate published: 11/10/13

K is for ... Kidney!

Barbera

Beaujolais

Light-bodied Bordeaux

Red Burgundy (star match)

Cabernet Sauvignon

Chianti

Brandy Cocktails (!)

Star Match wine:Macon Roches Rouge - £9.99 when you buy two or more!

The gentle, rolling hills of the Mâconnais region in the south of Burgundymakes fresh and fruity wines accessible in their youth. This wine issourced from several vineyard sites to create a light and supple blend ofaround 80% Gamay and 20% Pinot Noir.An enticing nose showing subtle hints of redcurrant and raspberry, with afruity, well-balanced palate and a fresh finish.Best consumed while fresh and young, making the perfect red for whitemeat.

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches "JDate published: 10/10/13

J is for....

.....Japanese Food

If you're having sushi or raw fish then a dry white is likely to work best.

- Champagne

- Chenin Blanc

- Riesling, particularly a dry style

- Sauvignon Blanc

If you're a red drinker or are having Teriyaki, a soft, fruity wine will work best.

- Beaujolais 

- Zinfandel

- Merlot



Beer of the WeekDate published: 08/10/13

Hi Boys and Girls!

Lets have a look at some beers... It's coming up to Christmas and everyone needs a few good beers lurking in the fridge, for the moment when the thirsty youths return for their holiday from University, or just a cheeky after work beverage, in these ever darker evenings.

This week we will be looking at Budweiser Budvar. The first point to make is that it is not related to the American Lager 'Budweiser'.

Budweiser is a term used in Germany to describe something that comes from the city, Budvar is the company that produce this magnificent lager. This Czech lager is produced in the city of České Budějovice (Budweis) established in 1895. The beer is easily one of my favourites here at Majestic, it is a typical Czech 'Hoppy' lager: crisp and refreshing with a big old body!

For just £30 you can take a pack (24 x 330ml bottles) home and give it a whirl! Guaranteed enjoyment! I think it is AMAZING...

So remember to grab a case next time you're passing... perfect for that lager moment!


Cheers!!



A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches, 'IDate published: 08/10/13

I is for 'Indian'

Spicy food is notoriously hard to match but basically avoid tannin, high alcohol and anything too expensive. Beer is best, but failing that, check out our other recommendations (the ones in capitals being preferable)

GEWURZTRAMINER

RIESLING (especially off-dry)

PINOT GRIS

DRY ROSE

Sauvignon Blanc (especially from New Zealand)

Vouvray (Demi-Sec)

Viognier

Merlot

Enjoy!



A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches, 'HDate published: 07/10/13

'H' is for Hummus

The obvious thing to do would be to match it with a Greek White. However the following will also work quite well (the examples in capitals being the more preferable of matches):

PINOT GRIGIO

PINOT NOIR

DRY ROSE

White Burgundy

Champagne

Buttery Chardonnay (particularly a nutty Californian style)

Vernaccia



The 5 Golden Rules of Food & Wine Matching: # 1Date published: 05/10/13

Rule # 1: Think Regionally. If It Grows Together, It Goes Together. 

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

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

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matchesDate published: 05/10/13

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matches

G is for...

...Gazpacho Soup.

Yes it's not just an excellent reference to Red Dwarf, it's also a delicious cold soup.

Dry Sherries are perfect, especially Fino and Manzanilla styles, you can even pour a little in the bottom of the bowl before adding the soup.

Other two options are...

...Crisp and citrussy like Pouilly Fumé, German Kabinett Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Or...

...Aromatic, like Italian Verdichhio and Soave or Viognier.

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matchesDate published: 04/10/13

F is for....

       ... Foie Gras 

- Sauternes

- Gewürztraminer (off-dry to sweet)

- Pinot Gris (Alsatian or late harvest)

I think the main point to take from this is that full-bodied, off-dry styles of white wine work best as they can stand up to the richness of foie gras. 

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matchesDate published: 03/10/13

E is for...

  ... Eggplant

Full bodied red wines such as Tempranillo, Syrah and Zinfandel. 

The bitterness of Eggplant means that can easily smooth out young, tannic wines. 

AKA "the miracle tannin fighter of all time" apparently...


A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matchesDate published: 02/10/13

'D is for Dominos (pizza)'

Barbera

Argentinian Malbec

Merlot

Sangiovese (especially with Pepperoni!)

Avoid: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel (anything with too much tannin!)

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matchesDate published: 01/10/13

'C is for Clams'


The best matches by far are a good Chablis or Muscadet but try also:

Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris

Sauvignon Blanc (especially New Zealand)

Albarino

Aligote

Champagne (especially Blanc de Blancs)

Riesling

Dry Rose

Vouvray (especially with spicier clams)

Vinha Verde


Avoid: oaked whites;and if you must go red, stick to a light Beaujolais or something equivalent and low in tannin


#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 30/09/13

#off-dry #complex #fruity #honeysuckle #glorious #summery

...

Château St Ferréol is based in a medieval priory, where wines are known to have been made since records began in 1146. Today, although they grow several varieties, the jewel in their crown is this barrel-fermented Viognier, modelled on the fine wines of Condrieu. Intensely aromatic, the wine overflows with ripe nectarine and honeysuckle notes. The palate carries on the stone fruit theme,combining glassy freshness with a mature, dried apricot complexity.Drink now or keep for 3-5 years. Try with teriyaki-glazed chicken.

Matua Sauvignon and Pinot Noir ...Date published: 30/09/13

A relatively new addition to our lines here in Majestic, here is some information behind the brand and the wine!

Matua is a Maori word which translates as 'head of the family', and is somewhat appropriate for this winery, which was part of New Zealand's first wave of modern winemakers who began making great Sauvignon Blanc in the mid-1970's.A great all-round Kiwi Sauvignon, combining tangy grapefruit and gooseberry flavours with hints of passion fruit and capsicum, all delivered with an explosion of refreshing acidity.Chill well and enjoy as a mouthwatering dry aperitif.

Matua was started by brothers Bill and Ross Spence in 1974. Beginning as a very small shed-based operation near Auckland, they branched out into Marlborough and other regions, and have become one of New Zealand's most renowned international wine brands.An elegantly structured yet satisfyingly concentrated Pinot Noir, full ofripe redcurrant fruit, delivered with juicy, lipsmacking acidity and subtlehints of wild thyme.Enjoy on its own or with food. Best served with lamb steaks.

This is my promis to you ...Date published: 30/09/13

After a long time, the Promis Gaja has finally come back into the store! This is a fantastic wine that has a dedicated following, and for good reason ...

This modern Tuscan blend is from one of the legends of Italian winemaking. Although making a name for himself in the Piedmont region with his stunning Barberescos and Barolos, this is Decanter Man of the Year 1998's take on a Tuscan IGT, unconstrained by normal DOC laws.Providing an array of aromas on the nose, the palate is dominated by dark plum fruits and cassis, with structure added by soft, supple tannins and a spicy, lingering finish.This will really reward drinkers over the next five years, and will harmonise with spicy pork or pasta dishes.

Grapes dried on straw beds?Date published: 30/09/13

This can only mean the Rustenberg Straw Wine. (Well, it can mean other things, but for my experience last night, this is the wine!). 

This wine is so named because it is made in the 'passito' method, where the harvested grapes are laid out on straw mats and allowed to dry for around 4 weeks, concentrating the sugars. They are then pressed for 4-5 hours and racked to barrel for fermentation.Concentrated aromas of honey, marmalade and ripe peach. Intensely sweet yet vibrantly fruity and involvingly complex. A voluptuously textured palate with plenty of length.Partner with tarte tatin or a fruity sponge pudding.

A small portion in the glass doesn't last long, especially between two people! I would suggest getting two bottles - one to enjoy that night, and one for its aging potential!

Thought for the day on ...Date published: 30/09/13

Muga Seleccion Especial!

Founded by Isaac Muga Martínez and his wife, Auro Caño in 1932, in Haro, at the western end of Rioja Alta. The best grapes are selected for the Especial blend, and aged for 6 months in large vats, before 30 months in small oak barrels, and a further year in bottle.Intense, concentrated and powerful aromas of black fruit, red berries,spice and hints of wild flowers complement an intense and very powerful,fruit driven palate with layers of flavour and exotic spice.An harmonious wine that will age gracefully for ten years but can be enjoyed now. Drink with game or duck.

Dates For Your Diary at Majestic Tunbridge WellsDate published: 30/09/13


Wine Courses: Sunday 27th October at 2.30pm

This is a FREE 90 minute appetiser that gives an introduction on 'how to taste wine' as well as food and wine matching, helping you choose the perfect wine for your meal! RSVP only

Tasting weeks

We will have an extended range of wines open for you to taste with a specific theme. This is a FREE and informal tasting, where staff will be on hand to guide you and answer any questions you may have.

Themes and Dates:

4th - 10th October – South Africa

11th - 17th October – Argentina

(Anytime during usual opening hours)

Christmas Tasting

This will take place in November so please look out for dates!


St Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon BlancDate published: 29/09/13

We've just opened this on the tasting counter and it truly is a fantastic wine. Anyone who loves New Zealand Sauvignon (and I know there are many of you out there!) this is definitely worth a try and now is great time as it's only £15.99*

The St Clair family estate only started producing wine in 1994, but they are quickly becoming one of Marlborough's most reputable wineries. The Pioneer Block range consists of many varietals including: Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and some more unusual ones such as Gruner Vetliner and Pinot Gris. The grapes used to make the wines are sourced from various different vineyards with excellent reputations for their individual terroir characteristics. The current "block" we have in stock is Bell Block sourced from a vineyard named Dillon Point. 

The intensity of fruit in this wine is outstanding; overflowing with tropical passionfruit and gooseberry. With undercurrents of herbaceous notes and steely minerality and an extremely long finish. Perfect with some seafood. Love it... 


*when you buy two or more as part of a mixed case.

Need a present for someone?Date published: 28/09/13

Gifts via Majestic stores

If you're looking for a gift of 6 bottles or more you can take advantage of the much wider range of products and offers available in your local Majestic store.

Our normal home delivery service is well-suited to the delivery of gifts. Your order will be looked after by the local team, and delivered in a Majestic van. For businesses we can deliver during normal office hours, but for private addresses we ask for a telephone number so we can call ahead to arrange delivery at a time we know someone will be in.

When you checkout online you'll be given the option of specifying a gift message that we can include with your gift. There is also a box for additional delivery instructions; if you're targeting a particular date like a birthday or anniversary leave us a note here so we can work your requirements in to our delivery schedules.

In mainland UK, delivery is free for orders over £40, or £5 for orders under £40. For non-mainland addresses (Northern Ireland, Scottish Islands, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly) we charge £7.50 for delivery.


#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 28/09/13

#fruity #complex #personable #excitable #rhone #good-producer...

Guigal is arguably the most famous producer in the Rhône Valley.Founded by Étienne Guigal in 1946, his son Marcel is almost singlehandedlyresponsible for the regions resurgence over the last fewdecades.This full-bodied wine offers a robust core of dark fruit, and savoury whitepepper notes that make it a superb food wine.Try with any red meat dishes or with rich vegetarian dishes likemoussaka.

A-Z of weird and wonderful wine and food matchesDate published: 28/09/13

A is for Asparagus:

Asparagus is notoriously difficult to match, so here are a few recommendations (the ones in capitals being the most highly recommended):

CHABLIS/UNOAKED CHARDONNAY (particularly when served with butter or hollandaise sauce)

GRUNER VELTLINER (especially when served with lemon)

POUILLY FUME/NEW ZEALAND SAUVIGNON

MUSCAT

Champagne

Fume Blanc

Muscadet

Verdicchio

Semillon


Avoid: Red wines, high in tannin and oaked whites





The Genius of Wine Apps!Date published: 27/09/13

If, like me, you have trouble remembering that amazing wine you had at a friends, or maybe one you bought before but can't quite visualize the label, then get a wine app. If you have a smart phone then there are loads you could choose from and they really do help. Taking a picture of my favourite wines and making notes of them on my wine app means i can always revisit them, and also recommend them to friends. For example, the Chassagne-Monrechet i had by Gagnard Delagrand (2010), which was awesome! Classy, well balanced, citrusy, good length with subtle, well integrated oak ( i have here noted down on my phone). I even awarded it 95 points in my own version of the Robert Parker, Wine Advocate rating system. Had loads of fun doing that!

Alternatively, once you join the Majestic Customer List, our database will remember anything you've had before, so no more forgetting great wines!

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 27/09/13

Recently re-discovered - 'Muga Blanco' 25% off this week only (£8.99 when you buy two or more as part of your mixed case)


almonds, citrus, pears, rich, individual, camomile, versatile

Treat yourself!

New arrivals into the Tunbridge Wells store!Date published: 27/09/13

Montes Reserva Malbec 2012,Colchagua Valley

This malbec wine comes from some of Chile's oldest plantings of the Malbec grape, some of which are around 100 years old, in Colchagua Valley. It has been matured for just 6 months in French oak barrels, to add complexity and softness while maintaining the fruit character.A dark and intense ruby red, this wine brims with blueberry and raspberry fruit, with a subtle layer of vanilla, butterscotch and pudding spice aromas. Smooth and lightly savoury.Great with spaghetti bolognese.

Cousiño-Macul Antiguas Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Maipo Valley

Cousiño-Macul was founded in 1856, and is the only Chilean winery from the 19th century that remains in the hands of its founding family today.This wine comes from vines descended from some of Chile's earliest plantings of Bordeaux-sourced Cabernet Sauvignon vines.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.Ready to enjoy now, with red meats.

Spotlight Tasting Focus on ...Date published: 27/09/13

The 'Belleruche' by Chapoutier!

This is on our tasting counter as a blend of predominately grenache and syrah ...

The Chapoutier family have produced wines in the Rhône Valley since1808. Michel Chapoutier, currently in charge, has combined tradition with a dynamic, creative approach and makes some of the best wines of the region.A superb wine with rich aromas of dark fruit, earthy minerals and spice.Soft and round on the palate with smooth tannins, rich blackberry and cherry fruit, hints of liquorice and a substantial finish.This wine can be enjoyed over the next several years and will superbly partner most rich meat dishes.

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 27/09/13

...

#chocolate #coffee #smooth #hot-climate #scrumptious #carmenere

I am, of course, talking about the Medalla Real Carmenere - and not just because it is the manager's favourite red wine!

Unlike the majority of its wines which are very modern and fruit-driven,Santa Rita's Medalla Real wines are made in a more classic style, with alittle more in the way of secondary, savoury characters. This Carménèrecomes from sites in the Marchigüe and Apalta regions.Plush and full bodied, this wine offers the nose and palate an array ofblueberry, plum and oak-softened cassis fruit, accented with intriguingcoffee and dark chocolate aromas.Will stand up well to steaks, as well as something a little gamier, such aspot roasted rabbit or duck.

Syrah vs ShirazDate published: 27/09/13

As I'm sure many of you are aware Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape and the wines are similar in their characteristics. Old world wines from areas such as Rhone tend to use the French origin 'Syrah', whereas New World countries such as Australia often use 'Shiraz'. There are various stories and myths as to where the name Shiraz came from, but it was definitely the Australian usage and Australian wines that made the name popular. 

Here a run down of two of my favourite Syrah/Shiraz's:

Kangarilla Road Shiraz: McLaren Vale: £11.99*

Full, dark, plum and cherry flavours with hints of white pepper and spice. Full bodied, complex and excellently balanced with well integrated oak.

Belleruche Chapoutier: Cote De Rhone: £8.99*

A blend of Grenache and Syrah, this wine represents many of the typical Syrah characteristics. Rich blackberry fruit flavours, with earthy tones and spicy notes. Smooth tannins, with a long finish. Very good for £8.99!


Our Syrah/Shiraz tasting week starts today and we've got plenty of wines open for you to try.


*when you buy two or more bottles as part of a mixed case

The perfect wine for a lamb roast! Date published: 26/09/13

For all those planning their Sunday roasts, this is a perfect wine to go with your lamb dish!

In 1858, Don Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga, the Marqués de Riscalbrought groundbreaking winemaking techniques from Bordeaux andtransformed the face of Rioja. The Reserva is one of their iconic wines,widely regarded as one of the top examples of traditional Rioja.A classic Rioja Reserva. Full bodied and muscular, yet smoothly polishedand embellished with complex aromas of vanilla and toasted oak,combined with summer fruit flavours.This wine goes well with lamb, ham, cheeses, and spicy casseroles. Will age for a further 5+ years.

£13.74 for one bottle, or £10.30 when you buy any two Spanish wines.

Thought for the day on ...Date published: 26/09/13

Beaune 1er Cru by Louis Jadot!

Made from a blend of wines from a range of Premier Cru vineyards, thisis an excellent quality Pinot Noir, and a great all-round representation ofBeaune. Matured in French barriques for 16 months, the wine displays afine balance between tight structure and softness.Hints of violets on the nose are followed by delicious savoury, fleshyredcurrant fruit on the palate, held together with remarkablyapproachable tannins.Drinking now, or cellar for 5 years or more.

£25 for one bottle or £20 each when you buy any 'two fine wines at house wine prices.'

Weekday Wines Under £10: WednesdayDate published: 25/09/13

Normally at £12.99, this fantastic Chardonnay from Nicolas Potel is on offer at a buy two save £8 deal - £8.99!

Made from a blend of grapes grown on mature vines in a number ofdifferent vineyard sites in the Mâcon, Côte Chalonnaise and the Côted'Or. Fermented and matured in stainless steel, no oak is used inproduction, maintaining the wine's elegance and minerality.The classically citrus-led nose also offers notes of marzipan and acaciaflowers. Initially straightforward and nicely rounded on the palate, withan almondy complexity on the finish.Serve alongside simple and subtly flavoured dishes such as comté cheesetart, chicken salads, fresh pasta or pâté.

Dog Point: Section 94Date published: 25/09/13

This is an absolutely fabulous wine! Section 94 is a subsection of Marlborough's Hawkesbury Run, identified for its Sauvignon's vibrant yellow fruit. The wine is an unorthodox example of Marlborough Sauvignon, made with native yeast fermentation in old French oak barrels, in which the wine undergoes extended lees ageing of 18 months. The result is a complex, grippy, yet soft and supremely drinkable wine of immense depth and texture.

Here in Tunbridge Wells we have had an allocation of just 12 bottles of this fantastic wine; and as you only have to buy one bottle (as part of a mixed case of 6) at £27.50, there is no reason not to try it!

Region Focus: Central Italy Date published: 25/09/13

The wines of Italy are vast and plentiful. Here at Majestic we like to get our heads around the different areas by breaking up the country into its significant sections. Today I'm going to focus on central Italy and its three key wine regions, Tuscany, Chianti and Abruzzo. 

Tuscany: Tuscany has long had the financial resources to remain at the forefront of Italian viticulture. Within its boundaries lie six of the country's DOCGs and it is here that the 'Super-Tuscans' were first created. Viticulture is divided into two bands, north and south. The coastal strip, at a relatively low altitude, enjoys a pronounced maritime influence that is ideal for Bordeaux varieties. Inland a wide variation in day and night temperatures encourages structured reds with firm acidity. The main grape variety planted here is Sangiovese and it has the ability to create the finest wines. High in acidity and tannin with medium alcohol, sangiovese has an affinity for oak and  and complex fruit flavours such as blueberry and sour cherry.

Chianti: This is Italy's most exported wine. There are massive variations between quality and style as up to 20% of other varieties are used in the blend. Chianti Classico DOCG lies between the cities of Florence and Siena and continues to produce the finest examples of this particular wine. However, every satellite within Chianti has been given DOCG status, resulting in uproar among the Classico estates. Ageing, too, has been the subject of much debate with some growers using traditional oak botte and others opting for French barriques. 

Abruzzo: Abruzzo is home to just two varieties, Montepulciano and Trebbiano. Both are more than capable of the odd flash of brilliance. Mntepulciano's pungent gamey nose and naturally high levels of tannin, alcohol and acidity are usually squandered through high yields. Note that the grape Montepulciano has no link with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG from Tuscany. Reliable rather than inspiring, the region's best Trebbiano shows an appealing red apple character. 

Sunday Roast, the fine wine guideDate published: 22/09/13

Sunday Roast, the fine wine guide

Sunday Roast is an important part of the week now we're into the chillier months of the year. Sometimes it's nice to make the meal a little more special with a bottle of fine wine. Over the next three weeks we will give you an idea for a red and white fine wine to have with the three most popular roast meats. Week one is...

...Chicken

Red: Roast Chicken is a hearty style of meal and the "trimmings" that go with it can be quite hefty, so we can afford to forgo the traditional thinking that only a white wine would match chicken. I'd choose the Coney Pizzicato Martinborough Pinot Noir. Martinborough is home to New Zealand's oldest Pinot Noir vines, the age of these vines leads to more earthy notes than the fruit driven styles from Marlborough and Central Otago. This wine has juicy black cherry fruit, some sweet and savoury spice, a hint of soft tannin, and most importantly some crisp acidity to help cut through some of the salty and fatty elements of the dish. Currently £18 on our buy any two selected fine wines save £10 offer.

White: This is an easy choice, it's gotta be Chardonnay and it's gotta be oaky and buttery. My pick of the bunch is the Shaw and Smith M3 Chardonnay. This wine undergoes ten months ageing in oak, some barrel fermentation and partial malo-lactic fermentation resulting in a rich, buttery, toasty Chardonnay with tropical fruit and stone fruit characteristics. The grapes are hand picked, which while upping the price of the wine also ups the quality of the fruit. £23 a bottle.

What shall I drink with my Chinese takeaway tonight?Date published: 21/09/13

Gewurztraminer (Gewurz meaning spice) mirrors some of the spicy chilli notes found in oriental cooking. Usually off-dry, it is packed with floral notes and tropical fruit, including lychee. The slightly oily texture also cuts through the oil in the food well. It doesn't matter that typically it is quite high in alcohol...it is the weekend after all! So if you fancy something a little bit different, why not come down and ask a member of staff for their favourite recommendations?

A Dessert wine like none other!Date published: 21/09/13

On the tasting counter this weekend we have the #cloudybay Late Harvest Riesling! Described as an 8 on our scale of sweetness, this will complete your pudding like few other new-world wines will!

Cloudy Bay make this wine in very small quantities from two vineyardsites late in the growing season, when many of the bunches arebotrytised, although some non-botrytised grapes are included for addedfreshness. 8 months maturation in oak ensures harmony and richness.Richly aromatic, offering notes of honey, nougat, orange blossom andpeach. Indulgently sweet, the palate glows with luscious flavours of ripefig and apricot, all the way through a long finish.Superb with crème brulée.

What is the highest skill level in Wine? Date published: 21/09/13

Customers are often impressed at our ability to talk about wine until the cows come home; this being because we know about both the range of wines and the background behind them all. All Majestic staff work towards attaining the Level 3 award in WSET - the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Some even go on to study for a long two years to earn a diploma - a routine of digging deep into the world of oenology, viticulture, wine marketing and regulations, as well as many blind tastings! 

However, there is a level of education in wine which is currently held by only 300 people in the world - and none of these in China or India, the majority being, surprisingly, from the USA! 
An 'MW' (Master of Wine) is the product of years of research and dedication to the wine cause. With a success rate of 10% and costs of around £8000, this is a vaunted qualification which is attainable only by the most passionate and knowledgeable of students. Developed in 1953 as a method of identifying those with superior knowledge of, among other things, wine transportation processes, it yielded a modest 6 graduates.  


Since then, the world of wine has developed tremendously and so too have the requirements to learn about the production, marketing, selling and consumer practices, as well as the culture and traditions of tens of incredibly unique wine-producing areas. Unlike in the past where graduates of the course would practice a certain air of authority and a tendency not to keep up with developments, today it is essential for successful MW's to be constantly learning and researching as the world of wine follows the changes in consumer preference to influence the style of wine in the global marketplace. 
For our Majestic customers who are interested, we supply wines from a few producers who have as their Chief winemaker a holder of the MW award - now that's a pedigree that you cannot simply buy! The producers are: Villa Maria, Craggy Range and Zind-Humbrecht

Sauvignon Tasting Week Starts Today!Date published: 20/09/13

Below are a selection of the Sauvignons from around the world on our tasting counter today!

Robertson Winery Sauvignon Blanc - £5.24 when you buy any two South African wines in the 25% offer!

In the warm and dry climate in the Robertson Valley lies this winery withthe same name. It is further inland than most vineyards in South Africa,but the Breede River, running through it, provides a cooling influence forthis classic Sauvignon Blanc.With a fresh aromatic nose, this is a crisp, dry wine with plenty of zestygooseberry and green apple flavours.Superb with seafood and creamy pasta dishes.

Sauvignon De Touraine - £8.49 when you buy two!

From a superb small grower in the Touraine region, situated in themiddle of the Loire Valley. Whilst not as elegant as a Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé, these wines have lots of fruit and an attractive grassiness.Aromatic, steely Sauvignon just bursting with gooseberry fruit, cut grassand citrus.The perfect accompaniment for seafood, but try with red pepper andtomato based vegetarian dishes or Thai food.


There are plenty more open and ready to open over the next week; differing styles, tastes and prices for everyone!

#7wordwinereview ...Date published: 20/09/13

#saffers #coffee #dark #fruity #full #rich #mysterious

... the Barista Pinotage!

From the Val de Vie wine estate in the heart of the cape winelands,where wine production dates back to 1825. This is a deliberately modernoffering by winemaker Bertus Fourie, who has concentrated on drawingout the coffee-like aromas of South Africa's signature grape.Intense on the nose, with a bouquet of coffee, chocolate and cherry, withmeaty, savoury hints. The tannins are ripe, perfectly suiting the roundand mouth-filling plum and mulberry fruit.Drink on its own or with red meat dishes. Bertus' recommends a bluecheese-filled brandy snap with chocolate and roasted coffee beans!

Thought for the day on ...Date published: 20/09/13

Springfield Special Cuvee Sauvignon Blanc!


Springfield's vineyards lie set in amongst the mountains and rivers of theRobertson Valley, in South Africa's Western Cape region. Planted byFrench farmers from the Loire Valley in 1688, the vineyards lie on limerichsoil with rocky, clay, and sandy soil outcrops.Distinct minerally undertones are covered with layers of luscious passionfruit flavours, together with gooseberry and citrus fruit flavours and veryfresh, vibrant and crisp acidity to balance the fruit.Drink over the next two years either on its own as an apéritif or withsalads and seafood.


The upshot is that this wine has a very refreshing mouthfeel, and expresses a slightly different feel to the normal Sauvignon Blanc grape variety!

Weekday Wines: Friday Date published: 20/09/13

So tonight's wine is the Main Divide Riesling. At £10.99* it doesn't quite fit into the £10 budget, but it's definitely worth the money! 

As a full-bodied, slightly off-dry wine we think it needs food and reckon that Chinese Duck would go really well. So order in a takeaway and splurge a little bit extra on this lovely wine. 

An extremely potent nose of burnt rubber (in a good way) layered with citrus and stone fruit. On the palate it's floral, with apricot and peach again with some undertones of minerality. They have added in some botrytized grapes, essentially concentrated grapes with lots of sweetness which adds in a honeyed texture to the wine. 

Enjoy!

*when you buy two or more as part of a mixed case of 6.

Weekday Wines Under £10: ThursdayDate published: 19/09/13

My pick of the wine for #thirstythursday is the Cune Rioja Reserva 2008. At a good £12.49, this comes down to £9.99 when you buy any two Spanish wines!

Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España, CVNE, was founded in 1879 inand is still family owned. Their wines are made in the original Harowinery and hail back to the first wines produced here, then sold as 'CunéClairette'- a Bordeaux lookalike.A soft luxurious wine, mid garnet in colour with a lovely brambly nose anda hint of spice. Nuances of warm leather, caramel and coffee over richautumn fruit. Excellent balance and a lingering finish.Try served with grilled lamb, duck and most rich meats.

A fantastic, reliable producer with a wine that is guaranteed to raise an eyebrow! 

Weekday Wines Under £10: WednesdayDate published: 18/09/13

Weekday Wines Under £10: Wednesday

Muga Rioja Blanco £9.59*

This wine is made with two classic white Rioja grapes, Malvasia and Viura. The fermentation takes place in new oak barrels, and is then aged in oak barrels, so expect it to have some interesting characteristics of cream, vanilla and toast along with bright, lively fruit flavours of pineapple, melon and peach. Try it with a paella.

*when you buy 2 or more Spanish bottles as part of your mixed case

Wine Alphabet: A is for AcidificationDate published: 18/09/13

Wine Alphabet: A is for Acidification

Acidification is the process of increasing the acidity of a wine...obviously.

First let's discuss why you would do this.

Why?

Acidity may sound like an unpleasant quality to a beverage but it is actually very important in wine. The first thing acidity does is to make a wine fresh and vibrant, acidity makes you salivate and brings life to the fruit flavours. Acidity also provides protection for the wine against bacterial infection, and stabilises the colour.

Next, where do they do this.

Where?

In cooler climates acidity isn't really a problem. The Malic or Appley acids that we associate with acidity are converted to sugar as the grapes ripen. However in hotter climates where the grapes have been left to develop full, fruity flavours, they may also have very low acidity. In this case the winemaker may need to artificially acidify their wine. This is not a preferable course but is sometimes the only option left.

Finally, how would you do this.

How?

There are three different types of acid that can be added to a wine to acidify it, each has advantages and disadvantages and specific uses. First is Tartaric acid. This is the acid of choice for most winemakers, it can be used early in the winemaking process and is not vulnerable to microbiological attack. However Tartaric acid can precipitate as Tartarate crystals, which are unpleasant in a finished wine and hard to stabilise. Tartaric acid is also the most expensive of the three options.

Malic acid, while being the natural acid type found in grapes is not used much as it is very vulnerable to attack by lactic acids, which would completely change the characteristics of the wine. It is also quite expensive.

Finally we have Citric acid, I'll give you three guesses to figure out what kind of fruit that comes from! This is used most commonly in inexpensive wine as it is the cheapest option and will not precipitate into crystals which would be very off-putting to consumers of inexpensive wine.

Weekday Wines Under £10: Tuesday Date published: 17/09/13

Les Hauts de Castelmaure Corbieres £9.99*

This is a wine I return to time and again. It's ever reliable and the big, plummy, herby flavours it carries with it make it a great match for a heavier dish. It's full bodied and has enough tannin to allow it to stand up to meat. It's also smooth and soft enough to be drunk on it's own. It's full-bodied though, so not for the faint of heart. The label is an interesting issue as well, I personally love it but I think it's a bit of a marmite thing. See what you think by following this link,  http://majw.co/18VPP6J

Why does corked wine taste so disgusting?Date published: 17/09/13

Why does corked wine taste so disgusting?

Everyone knows that feeling in the pit of the stomach as you pull one of your long-awaited wines from the rack, gently uncork and pour a sample that smells and tastes like the dusty, forgotten corner of your attic. This is down to the presence of trichloroanisole that is admitted to the wine through the material of the cork; otherwise known as cork taint. Cork failures are estimated to affect as many as one in ten of all bottles that use corks as the preferred stoppage method. But all unhappy recipients of this chemical in their wine will be relieved to know that it is not the TCA itself that you experience in the aromas and palate! 


A recent BBC article explained that researchers in Japan have found that the presence of TCA inhibits the ability of the nasal senses to detect the natural aromas and flavours of the wine, instead allowing the mind to 'create' a sense of smell in the absence of the expected characteristics. This is termed as pseudo-olfactory, and is applicable regardless of the degrees in which the TCA is picked up by individual consumers. 

 
Various alternatives have been bought in, with varying degrees of success. The screwcap is the most effective, but still susceptible to sulphidisation (a result of reduced oxygen content leading to the concentrating of sulphur gases in the wine.) The responsibility lies with producers of wine and corks, those who store and transfer the wine, and the final sterilizers in the process.  


So, next time you open a bottle of your favourite Bordeaux and get the wet dog smells in your nose, be consoled by the fact that the wine does not actually smell like that - it is just your mind tricking you! 


We'll leave the debate of cork versus screw cap for another day ... answers on a postcard! 

Weekday Wines Under £10: Monday Date published: 16/09/13

Weekday Wines Under £10: Monday 

Many people enjoy a glass of wine (or two) in the evening, but understandably don't want to splash out for a weekday. Luckily we have some excellent wines within budget for this Monday to Friday dilemma! 

Montecastrillo Ribera del Duero    £7.99* 

This is fairly new in to us at Majestic, I love it and think it's really great value. Aromas of rich almost confected blackcurrant, with hints of spice. Red fruit on the palate, think redcurrant and raspberry with a bit of cocoa. The wine has good acidity and tannin levels, not too much, but enough that it will stand up against fairly rich foods, would pair well with beef. But to be honest we just drank it with a chunk of mature cheddar and it was perfect!

P.S it's organic as well


*when bought with any other Spanish wine as part of a mixed case of 6

20% off Spanish Wines

Jean-Pierre Moueix Right Bank Bordeaux Tasting Date published: 14/09/13

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend a Right Bank Bordeaux seminar for Majestic staff, presented by Edouard Mouiex. A charismatic man, he spoke with great passion about his philosophies and wines. His company refuses to sell to wine funds, instead choosing to sell exclusively to people who will actually drink the wine. 

We started off with three St-Emilion, the most recognisable of which for Majestic customers would be the Château Grand Corbin 2009. These Merlot dominant wines were very approachable with lively acidity. We then moved on to a series of five Pomerol, my two favourites amongst these were the Château Chantoulette 2007 and the Château Hosanna 2004. Both were soft, smooth, juicy and complex. We finished off with Dominus Napa Valley Red Wine 2006, which you would honestly find difficult to pick out as a New World wine in a blind tasting. Dominus is a huge, powerful, fruity, tannic wine and consequently needs ageing to be fully appreciated.

In summary, some of these wines are perfect to drink now, some of them in the slightly distance future. But all are for drinking - not trading!

Sparkling Saturday: Heidsieck & Co Monopole Cuvée PrestigeDate published: 14/09/13

This champagne is new to our Autumn range at Majestic and is exclusive to us in the UK, part of the reason why it's at such a great price!

The grapes are a blend from about 40 different crus all over Champagne, ensuring a consistent house style. Composed of 70% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Meunier: it is a rich and full bodied Champagne.

Abundant aromas of white peach and brioche, following through on the palate alongside toasty, almond flavours. This is a very elegant sparkling and would go down a treat as an aperitif or for a party!

£17.00*


*when you buy at least two or more as part of a mixed case

Taste and Explore!Date published: 12/09/13

At Majestic, every day is as an occasion to taste, learn and explore. So in all our stores you'll find a tasting counter with open bottles ready to sample. Try them alone, with friends or with some help from us.


We're always on hand to guide you to something that is right for your palate and your pocket. And we're well qualified to do so because all our people are required to pass the demanding Wine and Spirit Education Trust's Advanced Certificate.

Just as the best way to enjoy wine is with others, we think the best way to choose it is to taste with others.

That's why we hold free, regular tasting events that are designed for all levels of knowledge and we keep them all relaxed, informal and social.

Whether you're trying Argentinian wine for the first time or you're a seasoned wine collector, our courses can make your personal wine journey that much more informative and enjoyable

#7wordwinereview on ...Date published: 12/09/13

... see if you can guess from the description!


#creamy #full #rich #lengthy #finebubbles #buttery

It is a champagne that goes by the name of Roederer! My favourite champagne as quoted in the last article, this leave you wanting more. Other styles that are similar to this include the mighty:

Taittinger Brut: From Champagne's oldest cellars, this Champagne has peach and acacia notes on the nose, a citrus-fresh yet delicately honeyed palate, and a beautiful, elegant finish. Buy 2 save 33% - £28

Bollinger Special Cuvee: Bollinger is made from first-run juice only, and the majority of vineyards used have Premier and Grand Cru status, resulting in a full-bodied Champagne of great class. Delightful pale gold in colour, the mousse is light and persistent. Buy 6 save 33% - £30 a bottle!


The wine-hikers guide to the ...Date published: 12/09/13

.. magic of champagne!

Here are three of what we think are some of the best Champagnes around at the moment!

The first one comes from ...

Chris - My favourite is the Louis Roederer. One of those champagnes that stays with you throughout the day, tantalising your tastebuds and reminding you to buy another bottle soon. From the maker of Cristal, a deliciously rich Champagne, with an overt fruitiness and nutty, yeasty notes. A long, complex and rewarding finish is a hallmark of the house style. Definitely the champion of the £30 range, and competes excellently with the higher priced ones as well! Beats any other NV (Non-vintages) into the ground!

£42 single bottle price or £37 when you buy two as part of a mixed case!

Need a New Wine List?Date published: 11/09/13

Need a New Wine List?

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 01892 615877 or email us at tun@majestic.co.uk, and leave the rest up to us.


Thought of the day on ...Date published: 10/09/13

Matsu wines! Three different bttles, three different faces - but what do they mean?

Picaro means 'rogue' or 'rascal', and this rapscallion of a wine is a youthful interpretation of the Toro region's style. The grapes come from
mature vines of over 50 years of age, but the wine spends only three months in oak, preserving their natural fruit profile. Vivid crimson-purple in the glass. Aromas are of ripe blackberries and raspberries, with subtle hints of fresh cocoa. The palate is bold yet supple, with ripe tannins and a mineral grip. Enjoy on its own or with boldly flavoured pasta dishes or spicy meat skewers.

El Recio translates as 'the tough guy', and is a more serious, mature wine, made from the product of some of Toro's oldest vines, which are cultivated using advanced biodynamic techniques. 14 months in new French oak provide opulence and polish.
Intense and opaque, this wine is a mass of deep black fruit, chocolate, roasted coffee bean and vanilla pod aromas. Voluptuous and weighty, with a firm structure, held together by silky tannins. A great steak wine, which longs to be paired with rare asado-style beef
fillet or sirloin. Drink now or keep for 2-5 years.

'The Old One' of the Matsu range, made from the fruit of selected Tinta de Toro vines, averaging 110 years of age. Matsu is the Japanese word for 'wait', and the winery's philosophy is one of patience and environmental harmony. The vineyards are fully organic. The wine is immensely powerful and complex, offering cigar box, lavender and graphite nuances against a backdrop of dense cherry and bramble
fruit. Enjoyable immediately, partnered with good quality steak or rare roasts, but will also reward cellaring of 5 years or more.

The Influence of Place: Puy de Dome Pinot NoirDate published: 10/09/13

Puy De Dome, Pinot Noir

oooh a Pinot Noir from Loire, a wine that rhymes! The cool climate is perfect for the delicate Pinot Noir grape. Puy de Dome is in the Auvergene Region just to the south of Loire, the commune is named after the local landmark - a volcanic dome! The vineyards are at fairly high altitude so this adds to the average temperature of the area. The granitic soils have a part to play in the grape development as well: this soil type warms quickly and retains heat well which reduces acidity levels in the grapes, very important for acidic varietals such as Pinot Noir.

This wine is really excellent value and stands out amongst Burgundys in the same price range. Abundant red fruit flavours such as raspberry and cherry and a softness imparted from a year spent in oak.

£8.99*

*buy 2 save £6 when you buy as part of a mixed case.

P.S. they also do a lovely unoaked Chardonnay!

The wine-hikers guide to the ...Date published: 09/09/13

... awesome world of Blanc De Blancs Champagne!

The first is Ruinart Blanc de Blancs. Grand Cru Chardonnay has been used to make this Champagne. Citrus,peach and white flower aromas evolve into a fresh and supple palate, ideal when married with oysters and sashimi!

The Lindauer Special Reserve range is a step up from the standard range, spending 24 months on its lees rather than the usual 15 months.
This Blanc de Blancs NV comes from 100% Chardonnay grapes, which also give Champagne their elegance. Elegant citrus fruit, a slight creaminess and fine, soft bubbles make this balanced sparkling wine a real bargain and a fantastic, if slightly lighter alternative, to Champagne. Brilliant as an apéritif due to its subtle elegance, it's also a superb partner to shellfish.

#7wordwinereview on ...Date published: 08/09/13

... Santa Ema Sauvignon Blanc!

#crisp #dry #grassy #fruity #tropical #balanced #apertif

Although based in Maipo, Santa Ema works with a number of partner growers in Leyda Valley to produce this hand-picked cool-climate

Sauvignon Blanc. Leyda has a semi-arid climate and granite and clay soils, producing wines with excellent acidity and minerality.
An inviting and complex nose of grapefruit and passion fruit, framed by subtle herb and mineral notes. The equally expressive palate has wellbalanced fruit character and acidity. At its best with freshly made citrussy ceviche.

A 4-part introduction to our party service ... Part 4!Date published: 08/09/13

t Majestic we have a wide range of lagers, ales and ciders available by the case.

Quantities depend largely on knowing your guests' likely preference for lager, ale or cider but as a rule it's best to over-order. Majestic will refund any unopened cases of beer or cider that you have left over.

A case of lager generally comprises either 12 or 24 x 33cl bottles (just over half a pint per bottle) although popular brands may come in 27.5cl.

Bottled ales, bitters and ciders usually come in packs of 12 x 50cl bottles (just under a pint a bottle) and at Majestic we take pride in our large and carefully chosen range of Great British beers.


Serving spirits can be labour-intensive, but at Majestic we try and make things easy.

We stock a good range of mainline and speciality spirits from around the world, as well as quality mixers from Schweppes, Coca-Cola and Fever Tree.

We recommend you use a true shot measure, as 'home measures' can lead to you serving drinks much stronger than you intended!

We can also provide hi-ball (tall) glasses for serving spirits and mixers.


Soft drinks are often an afterthought but they can be extremely important.

You'll need soft drinks for mixers, as well as for drivers, non-drinkers and younger guests. Schweppes, Coca-Cola, sparkling water, lemonade, orange juice and tonic water are must-haves, but you could also consider a grown-up alternative like cranberry juice or sparkling elderflower.

A 2 litre bottle of soft drink will provide approximately 7-9 servings, and a 50cl bottle of tonic will adequately make 3 spirit-based mixer drinks. Remember to enjoy your party safely.

For all-day functions like weddings, you should allow at least half a litre of water per person. It's a good idea to alternate soft drinks or water with each alcoholic drink. Over the course of an evening you and your guests can consume more than you realise.

It's important that your guests enjoy themselves and that they get home safely - keep some information about local taxi services to hand and always encourage your guests not to drink and drive.

#7wordwinereview on ...Date published: 07/09/13

... Clos Du Bois Merlot!

£18.99 or £14.99 when you buy two bottles (as part of a mixed case of 6)

#californian #lush #plump #full-on #fruity #loveable


Clos du Bois own around 500 acres of Sonoma County vineyards, the choicest of which are found in the Alexander Valley. Lots are vinified
separately before spending 18 months maturing in new and old oak. Barrel selection then determines which wines make this premium blend. Lush, round and eminently Californian in style, this blackberry-backboned Merlot offers a core of rich fruit and voluptuous tannins enveloped by hints of mocha, baking spices, cedar and tobacco. Best enjoyed with lamb or beef, slow-cooked with wild herbs and
mushrooms.

Thought of the day on ...Date published: 07/09/13

.. Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011!


What an amazing wine this is! It has been open for a couple of hours now, and has the scent of excitment and possibility about it. 

Cloudy Bay is a cult wine and, clever marketing aside, there is no denying the quality of this Chardonnay. A cool climate location and lots of
sunshine means long, slow ripening - a recipe for success with Chardonnay. A complex nose that ranges from figs and lemon butter to more savoury elements of fresh hay with hints of butterscotch. The palate is substantial and rounded with toasty complexity and a long finish. Eminently drinkable now but it will reward those with the patience to age the wine for a further 3 to 4 years.

A 4-part introduction to our party service ... Part 3!Date published: 07/09/13

Whether you're doing drinks with the neighbours or running a large-scale fundraising event, getting the right quantity of the right wine is crucial. As a general rule, allow half a bottle per person then add a margin for safety.

A standard sized bottle of wine (75cl) will provide 6 small wine glasses (125ml). So one case of wine (12 bottles) will provide 72 glasses. So for 100 guests you'll need 100 x 3 glasses = 300 glasses, or 50 bottles.

Preferences for red and white wines are usually evenly split, but be aware of seasonal variations (warmer weather = more white than red, and vice versa) and don't forget about rosé!

It's often worth considering the corkage option when hiring a venue for a wedding or similar function – with Majestic's great range and prices you can often improve on the venue's house wines and save money. For example, if a house wine costs £17 a bottle but corkage would be £10 a bottle, you can spend up to £7 a bottle at Majestic – and almost certainly improve the quality of the wine you offer.

Make sure you are ordering the right wine by organising a tasting before you order. At Majestic we have an extensive range of wines open to taste on our tasting counters, and can often open specific bottles on request.


Thought of the day on ...Date published: 06/09/13

... the stunning Graham Beck 'Anthony's Yard' wine from South Africa, on offer at £6.99 when you buy any two South African wines.

This is a Bordeaux style, produced from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. This is then aged for 12 months in French oak to help integration and impart extra complexities and texture. Aromas of fruitcake and spice, with red and black fruits on the textured palate and the oak-ageing lending hints of cigar box. A balanced structure and good length. Goes extremely well with beef, lamb and strong cheeses.

This is a wine that as soon as you open the bottle, you can smell the impact of well-applied oak aging.

Hazy Hog - New to Tunbridge Wells!Date published: 06/09/13

Hogsback Brewery have bought out a new product this year - the Hazy Hog cider! Made using Thatcher's Apples, this is a naturally hazy cider with added apple juice to give the hint of nature that every good cider has!


In its usual attractive package with a rather snazzy pig, this is a cider that everyone should try - and indeed has the chance to, with free samples available in store!

It is currently at £2.20 a bottle - fantastic value for a cracking cider!

#comeandexplore our NEW beer tasting counter display - featuring the new Chapel Down IPA, Orchard Pig cider and many others! Free to taste, of course!

A 4-part introduction to our party service ... Part 2!Date published: 06/09/13

Champagne and Sparkling Wine


If it's a special occasion, or you want to get your celebrations started with a swing, you can't beat a glass of fizz. At Majestic we're real sparkling specialists and always include a wide range of fantastic fizzes on amazing offers.

A standard sized bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine (75cl) will provide 6 flutes. For a wedding reception or toast you'll need 2-3 glasses per person. So for 100 guests you'll need at least 100 x 2 glasses = 200 flutes, or 34 bottles.

Consider using a big-name Champagne for toasts and a more cost-effective, great tasting sparkling wine for further drinking.

It's always difficult to know how much alcohol you'll need for an event, so it's worth remembering that Majestic offer a sale-or-return option – meaning you needn't be stuck with any excess.


The Influence of Place: Real Compania de Vinos Verdejo Date published: 05/09/13

Real Compania de Vinos Verdejo                                                      20% off Spanish Wines!

This wine is from North-Central Spain, which has a slightly cooler climate. These temperatures suit the Verdejo grape well and as a result the wine is delicate with fresh acidity. The flavours are predominatly citrus and gooseberry with a hint of grassiness.

I would say this grape is relatively unknown to many people but is definitely worth a try if you like crisp, dry whites such as Sauvignon.

A bargain at £5.59* this is perfect for parties or just nicely chilled for an evening in.


*when bought with any other Spanish wines as part of a mixed case



A 4-part introduction to our party service!Date published: 05/09/13

1.) PLANNING!

At Majestic, we've been helping our customers plan successful parties for years. Our online Party Planning Guide is a distillation of this knowledge, created to ensure that you have all the ingredients you need to throw a fantastic party - whether it's a casual drinks bash or a full-scale wedding.

You need to decide how many guests you are inviting and the budget you'll be working to – then you can decide on your venue.

If you're holding your 'do' at home, will you need additional seating or tables? Will you need to hire a marquee? Alternatively, if you're hiring a venue it's worth finding out if you can take your own wines and pay a corkage fee.

Always remember to get the date in early, especially in the busier 'party seasons' during the summer and at Christmas. It's a good idea to send a 'save the date' email, text or card as soon as you've finalised the date – you can then follow this up with a more formal invitation if necessary. It's worth checking the date for any major clashes, as you may upset a few people if your party is the same day/night as a must-see sporting event!


Spotlight Tasting No.1Date published: 05/09/13

Free to attend!

This Saturday 7th September, we are showcasing 6 wines in 30 minutes for the first of our spotlight tastings! 

Chardonnay is the flavour of the day, with differing styles on hand to sample. Tastings will take place at 12pm and 3pm on Saturday. Oaked, unokaed, new world or old world, full bodied or light - the variation is immense!

Also open will be our usual fantastic selection of reds and whites!

Ring on 01892 615877 or email tun@majestic.co.uk. Or even tweet us a@majestictun with your name and number!


#7wordwinereview on ...Date published: 05/09/13

... Giesen sauvignon blanc! 

#refreshing #sauvignon #newzealand #grassy #citrus #fantastic!

The Giesen brothers Theo, Alex and Marcel started the winery in the 1980s and today have 13 vineyards covering the length and breadth of
the Wairau Valley. This wine is blended from 32 separate vineyard parcels, vinified in the winery in the town of Blenheim.
A richly tropical nose, dominated by youthful aromas of lime, lemongrass and green herbs. Fruit on the palate leans more toward gooseberry and citrus, with a zesty acidity. Drink with a seafood risotto or paella.

Thought of the day on ...Date published: 04/09/13

... Lindauer Special Reserve!


Released in 1996, Special Reserve was created to reflect the style and elegance of New Zealand winemaking. This premium cuvée of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay undergoes secondary fermentation in bottle. 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 Enjoy chilled as an apéritif or with seafood, fish or pork and chicken.


The blush colour of this special sparkling is a joy to drink, and will provide many a celebration with the right atmosphere!

The Influence of Place: Thelema Mountain Vineyards MerlotDate published: 04/09/13

Thelema Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2009              20% off South African wines!

The Thelema Mountain Vineyards are, as the name suggests, on the slopes of Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch. The region benefits from it's proximity to False Bay as the water has a cooling influence upon the climate. This, alongside the high altitude at which the grapes are grown results in a uniquely long ripening period, meaning the flavours have plenty of time to develop!

This is a lovely example of a Merlot. Juicy, concentrated red fruit flavours with a smokiness and depth from 18 months ageing in French oak. Drink now with BBQ'd meats or rich pasta. Or save it for a few years to see how the flavours mature...

£15.99*

*when you buy at least 2 South African wines as part of a mixed case






#7wordwinereview on ...Date published: 04/09/13

... Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise!

#cabernet sauvignon blend with shiraz and class!

The Wirra Wirra cellars were constructed in the early 20th century by Robert Strangways Wigley, who also studied law and architecture, and played cricket for South Australia. Wirra Wirra is an aboriginal expression meaning 'amongst the gums'. A brilliant crimson with a purple edge, this is a youthful and vibrant wine offering raspberry, cherry and blackberry fruit, lifted by hints of violet and spicy oak notes.
Drink now or over the next 5 years. Best served with red meat.

Thought of the day on ...Date published: 30/08/13

... fantastic Pomerol with a simply amazing eye-catching label!

This small estate of 13 hectares only produces around 3000 cases a year and Majestic has snapped up a direct parcel at cracking prices.
Comprising 80% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, these wines are usually dark and direct.
With an aromatic nose of raspberries, cherries, smoke and espresso, the palate is rich and opulent with loads of fruit and a plush texture.
Drinking well now, this vintage ripened Merlot better than Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy over the next 4-5 years; decant before drinking.

This is by far and away my favourite Pomerol. and certainly ranks in my top 3 wines of all time! If you want a soft, fruity and mellow Bordeaux, this is perfect.

Who doesn't like Sparkles?!Date published: 30/08/13

Due to popular demand, the range of New Zealand sparkling wines from Lindauer has come back into store today! Crisp, fresh and appealing, these are some of the best sparkling wines at fantastic prices!

Lindauer Brut

Produced and owned by Montana, and released in 1981, Lindauer holds the title of New Zealand's most exported wine. Produced from grapes grown on Hawkes Bay and Gisborne's silt and clay soils, it undergoes primary fermentation in tank and secondary fermentation in bottle. A fresh and ripe fruity bouquet exhibiting subtle aromas of toast and black fruits. A fresh and vibrant palate with zingy acidity, crisp citrus fruit characters and a mineral finish. The perfect apéritif, enjoy chilled.

Lindauer Rose NV

Produced and owned by Montana, and first released in 1981, Lindauer holds the title of New Zealand's most exported wine. Produced from
grapes grown on Hawkes Bay and Gisborne's silt and clay soils, it undergoes primary and secondary fermentation in tank prior to bottling.
Vibrant pink in colour, with a large number of beads of fast rising bubbles and aromas of red fruits, spice, currants and peach. A full
bodied and refreshing wine with ripe red fruit and citrus flavours. Enjoy chilled on its own or with lightly spiced mediterranean foods and
seafood.


Lindauer Special Reserve

Released in 1996, Special Reserve was created to reflect the style and elegance of New Zealand winemaking. This premium cuvée of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay undergoes secondary fermentation in bottle. 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. Enjoy chilled as an apéritif or with seafood, fish or pork and chicken.


Lindauer Blanc de Blancs

The Lindauer Special Reserve range is a step up from the standard range, spending 24 months on its lees rather than the usual 15 months.
This Blanc de Blancs NV comes from 100% Chardonnay grapes, which also give Champagne their elegance.
Elegant citrus fruit, a slight creaminess and fine, soft bubbles make this balanced sparkling wine a real bargain and a fantastic, if slightly lighter alternative, to Champagne. Brilliant as an apéritif due to its subtle elegance, it's also a superb partner to shellfish.


#7wordwinereview on ...Date published: 30/08/13

... the Peter Lehman Shiraz!

#personable #loud #outthere #fruity #brooding #cherry #autumn


Peter Lehmann, known as the 'Baron of Barossa,' selects this classic Shiraz from some of the best vineyards in the region, some of which
remain ungrafted due to an absence of phylloxera. Ageing in French and American oak for 12 months occurs before bottling.
Plenty of flesh and spice on the palate, with concentrated blackcurrant and bramble fruit as well as hints of mocha and dark chocolate. Full
bodied and rich, a classic Aussie Shiraz. A great partner for beef and richly flavoured, peppery meat dishes, drink this over the next couple of years for maximum pleasure.

#7wordwinereview on ...Date published: 29/08/13

... the newly arrived Matua Pinot Noir, hailing from the mighty region of Marlborough!

smooth, fruity, red and black fruit abound!

Matua was started by brothers Bill and Ross Spence in 1974. Beginning as a very small shed-based operation near Auckland, they branched out into Marlborough and other regions, and have become one of New Zealand's most renowned international wine brands.
An elegantly structured yet satisfyingly concentrated Pinot Noir, full of ripe redcurrant fruit, delivered with juicy, lipsmacking acidity and subtle
hints of wild thyme. Enjoy on its own or with food. Best served with lamb steaks.

A typically well rounded New Zealand Pinot Noir!



Thought of the day on ...Date published: 29/08/13

Giesen Brothers Sauvignon Blanc!

The Giesen Brothers' winery is located in the Dillon's Point area of Marlborough, and it is here that most of their Sauvignon Blanc grapes
are grown. A small proportion of the wine has been fermented in seasoned French oak barrels, adding complexity and ageing potential.
A distinctive blend of classic Marlborough aromas – gooseberry, dry grass, currant leaf, ripe pineapple and floral notes that flow onto a
palate of crushed herbs, supple fruit sweetness and crisp acidity. Enjoy immediately or cellar carefully for up to 5 years. Enjoy with goat's
cheese tartlets.

Thought of the day on ...Date published: 28/08/13

 the Masi Masianco!

This unique wine is a blend of 75% Pinot Grigio with 25% Verduzzo, a local grape that has been late-harvested and partially dried, before
fermentation in steel and wood vessels, adding richness and complexity to the blend.
A bright and inviting golden colour, this wine is alive with notes of peach, apricot, pear and pineapple. A lush, generous palate offering good
ripeness and a dry, citrussy finish. Enjoy with fresh linguine served with mussels and clams.


One of my top favourite Italian whites!

The weird and wonderful uses for ..Date published: 28/08/13

... wine boxes!


For the next few weeks, we will be publishing the most imaginative and different uses for the wooden wine boxes that many of our wines come in! From the colourful, glittery La Croix De Gay (a delicious Pomerol wine with a label to match the box!) to the more conservative South African Vergelegen boxes. From pet coffins to this week's amazing entry from one of our customers, there are almost unlimited uses for our decorated, sturdy wine carrriers!

For this first week, the last in August, our first photo comes from Nigel, who has the fascinating task of restoring old Churchill tanks! In this picture, he utilises wine boxes (in the foreground) for holding his tools, dwarfed only ever so slightly by the huge tank in the background! The box in question is our Spanish fine wine, the Gaudium.If you would like to see more of Nigel's fascinating work, visit his website at www.churchilltank.co.uk!  

Next week we will have another photograph for you from another enterprising customer, who is looking to smarten his establishment up with the addition of a wine box to add to the decor! If you have any interesting uses for our wooden wine boxes, give us a tweet @majestictun, using the hastag #wineboxes!


Region Focus: ItalyDate published: 26/08/13

Italy, with an annual wine production of nearly five billion litres, is, together with France, one of the two giants of global wine production. Greek settlers introduced the vine to Italy as early as 800BC and it took to Italy's rugged countenance with zeal. Modern Italian wine makers have succesfully coupled centuries of viticultural knowledge with modern technologies so as to create consistantly food friendly wines. Italy is currently on a 25% off offer  for a limited time only, so come and grab yourself a bargain. We have plenty of tasty treats waiting for you on the tasting counter!!

Magnums are the order of the day!Date published: 23/08/13

As we approach the tail-end of summer, and the Aix Rose Magnums reach their last few bottles before 2014, we are looking ahead to some of the more exciting magnums which will tickle your taste buds and tantalise your tongue!

One that many of you will be familiar with are the Riscal magnums. In 1858, Don Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga, the Marqués de Riscal
brought groundbreaking winemaking techniques from Bordeaux and transformed the face of Rioja. The Reserva is one of their iconic wines,
widely regarded as one of the top examples of traditional Rioja. A classic Rioja Reserva. Full bodied and muscular, yet smoothly polished
and embellished with complex aromas of vanilla and toasted oak, combined with summer fruit flavours.
This wine goes well with ham, cheeses, and spicy casseroles. Will age for a further 5+ years.

My other favourite is the Zonin magnums, a new prosecco to the Majestic range this year! Established in 1821, Zonin has become Italy's largest privately-owned winery, and are owners of Italy's largest Prosecco vineyards. This example is made from grapes grown only in the DOC region within Veneto and as such, is entitled to use the Prosecco name on the bottle. Deliberately light and refreshing in style, with a palate of fresh pear and dessert apple fruit, further lifted by subtle floral and almond aromas. Delicately off-dry, with a clean finish.
Wonderfully versatile. Serve as an aperitif, a partner for fish courses, or even with light fruit desserts.


Keep an eye out for more magnums, including some rather exciting Louis Latour ones!

Our new wine of the week is ...Date published: 23/08/13

... the Montes Twins!

The Twins in question are this wine's two constituent grape varieties which are more often seen as single-varietals in South America.

A 50/50 blend of the two grapes, matured over 10 months, with 60% of the blend spending this period in new French oak.
This wine combines the smooth texture and raisin-like notes of Malbec with Cabernet Sauvignon's firm structure, intense bramble fruit and
subtle minty nuances. Decant before drinking!


Thought of the day on ...Date published: 23/08/13

... Lasagne! In particular, all things red and made from Italian grapes.

In keeping with our amazing 25% off all Italian red and white wines, and as it nears a natural point of tea time today, my stomach is starting to remind me of a rather good (although I say so myself) lasagne that I am prone to making from time to time. With a homemade cheese sauce, plenty of love and adoration and some quick stirring skills, my lasagne deserves a matching wine!

The one I have in mind is the Barbera D'Asti Forville. Made from the Barbera grape, this wine has elegance, poise and a truckload of taste and flavour! The Piedmont region of Northern Italy, surrounded by the Alps, is home to Italy's third most planted grape variety - Barbera. Barbera d'Asti has the most vines, with many of the vineyards planted on the lower slopes and in sheltered areas resulting in fresher styles.
Intense aromas of red cherries, vanilla, rose petals and spice leap from the glass, with the intense, powerful palate exhibiting an elegant balance of fruit and tannin to a long, smooth and crisp finish. Drinkable now, matched with salumi or antipasti, or aged for up to 6
years. The wine will benefit from being decanted before drinking.

New in - GlassesDate published: 18/08/13

In store at the moment we have fabulous new wine glasses.

The idea of these glasses is that they enhance every possible type of wine. So instead of having numerous sets and styles of glass, this glass is the only one you need!

Not only that, but they are also pretty 'funky' (Voicing Stu!), they are almost tulip shaped, but slightly more angular.

At the moment these Gabriel-Glas Standart glasses are £10 each. A bargain when you think of the use you will get out of them!

Wine of the Week Date published: 17/08/13

Montes Twins 2011, Colchagua Valley

£9.59

(when buying 2 or more bottles)

Montes began in 1987, where 4 founding 'fathers' created the first Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon which was respected and gained recognition in over 100 countries worldwide, being the first premium wine to be made in Chile. Montes have since grown and gone from strength to strength.

The twins in question in this wine are the two grape varieties Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, which are more often seen as single varieties in South America.

The wine is a beautiful lively ruby red color. Being young, it has great power. The perfect harmony between the aromas of red fruits from Cabernet Sauvignon and the hint of plums from Malbec makes this wine very elegant and attractive. Sweet, fresh and firm tannins from Cabernet Sauvignon combine very nicely with the velvety and smooth body from Malbec. A seductive lingering in the mouth.

Decant at least 30 minutes before serving and drink with a rare sirloin.


New Additions to Majestic Tunbridge WellsDate published: 16/08/13

Having been away for the hugely long time of 5 days (it was my cousins wedding, it went very well thank you!), I have come back in to the store to see many new wines hiding around the store.

Well I say hiding, because their labels are far from inconspicuous! I feel there must be a fashion for bright 'modern' 'alternative' labels.

Take the Tucamen Malbec for example (£7.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles) it has been described to me today by my colleagues as a cereal box, an old holiday poster (from woody the woodpecker no less), a bill board and I myself believe it to look like an old fashioned cartoon!
Now we are not saying this is a bad thing, for the bottle certainly stands out from other malbecs on the shelf, but it is 'different'. The wine itself is made in a deliberately youthful style so is very approachable. It is full to the brim of cherry, plum and black berry fruit. Come in and see the bottle for yourself and please let us know what you think.  http://majw.co/1aceeor


There are 2 new arrivals to the Loire region a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay. They both originate from the sub region 'Puy de Dome' which is home to the brand of tyres Michelin. This is the where the inspiration for the label comes. The Pinot Noir (£8.99 when buy 2 or more) is characterised by redcurrant, raspberry and cherry fruit, but with a softness that comes from a year in oak. The Chardonnay (£8.99 when you buy 2 or more) is one of the few unoaked chardonnays in store. It has citrus fruit character, with an intriguing nutty character and profound minerality! The label is not very 'loire', but very modern and eye catching. Would you buy a bottle? http://majw.co/1acelQP


A few more have coaught my attention, but will tell you about those tomorrow!

An Even Better Italian Deal...Date published: 15/08/13

Knowing that you everyone loves Italian wines, whether they be big juicy reds or delicate, fresh whites; we thought it best to let you know in advance that Italian wines are coming onto an even better offer!

Instead of 20% off, the wines from this varied region will now be a whopping 25% off!  

This is a short term offer, that starts on Tuesday 20th August until Monday 2nd September.  

Don't miss this Fantastic Deal!! 

A few of our staff favourites to tickle your tastebuds: 

Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2010, La Casetta:

This wine is made in the beautiful hilly villages east of Lake Garda using Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella. Being a Ripasso wine, it uses a portion of fermented, dried skins from Amarone. This therefore combines the power and class of an Amarone with the bright fruit of a classic Valpolicella. Beautiful plum and berry fruits and hints of vanilla on the nose, on the palate it is fine and rounded, bursting with intense and complex flavours. Perfect for all meats and strong cheeses!      

Campofiorin 2009, Masi

The Boscaini family have owned and run Masi for 6 generations, and are one of Veneto's most well established producers. Again using some partially dry grapes to create rich and complex flavours. A lovely dark ruby red, with aromas of ripe cherries and hints of vanilla and cinnamon. It is a rich and mouth filling wine, with a velvety finish. It is good with all things Italian - Mature cheeses, black olives and Parma Ham    

Falanghina 2012, Terredora

One of Italy's great unsung white wines. It undergoes  3 months lees ageing prior to bottling, which gives the wine added depth and texture. As no oak is used, it still retains a light and fruit driven character. This wine had plenty of citrus fruit, combined with notes of apple and quince on the nose. And the palate offers a hint of nutty complexity that is very more-ish! The balance of crispness and texture allows this wine to accompany a huge variety of foods, from roasted vegetables to fish and poultry!    

This is just a tiny selection of wines that we have to offer from Italy.

So please pop in from the 16th August to 2nd September to make the most of this short term deal!

The wine-hikers guide to the ...Date published: 14/08/13

... lesser known wine countries!

A is for ... Albania!

This country claims one of the longest histories of viticulture. It has been suggested that the Ionian islands of Greece and Dalmatia (which are now known as Bosnia and Hercegovina) may well have been the last known refuge of the lowly vine before the ice age. Though wine making was known to have flourished in as early as the 8th century, by the 17th century wine production diminished considerably under the influence of Islam. However, between the establishment of the first Albanian government in 1912 and 1944, viticulture once again began to flourish. Main grape varieites include traditional shesh i zi and shesh i bardhe, and account for 35% of the Albanian wine crop. However, Albania is known for more recognisable (and pronouncable!) grape varieties including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, and Aligote.


El Classico, quaint, old-fashioned ...Date published: 13/08/13

... all words used to describe the label of the Leon Perdigal CDR! But what of the wine inside the bottle?

This is a classic blend sourced from several sites in the southern Rhône. It has been named in honour of Léon Perdigal, the first cellarmaster at Ogier's now famous cellars, when they were founded in 1859 in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The nose has intense aromas of red fruits and spice, with subtle pepper and garrigue notes. The spice-tinged red fruits continue on the palate, which is medium-bodied and has a pleasing length. Enjoy with all spiced Mediterranean dishes or barbecued meats.

Thought of the day on ... Date published: 13/08/13

The Masianco by Masi.

Made by the same producers of the red Campofiorin, this is an Italian white with a litte something added to it to make a provocative blend of classic Pinot Grigio and the addition of a local grape, Verduzzo. This is one of my favourite whites at this price for a number of reasons. Unlike straight Italian pinot grigio, this blend keeps you guessing as the fruit flavours develop in the mouth and on the nose. Whilst the addition of an unkown grape variety may put some people off, for others this is a challenge to explore some of the lesser used grape varieties that Italy has to offer - and they have a veritable range of them!

Stuart's take on the Masianco - This is crisp, pear-like, citrussy, fresh, zingy - and a perfect apaertif for some fresh seafood!

Louise - Peachy, mellow, versatile, fresh! Great as a stand-alone wine for a warm summer's day!

You can do a lot worse than sample this outgoing, mediterranean wine from a country used to producing some of the greats of the wine world!

Thought of the day on ...Date published: 12/08/13

the Roero Arneis by Marco Porello.

A new one for us both, this wine is made from the Arneis grape, and has a particularly pungent quality about it!

Emily - Similar nose to a Gavi or an Albarino, showing lots of white fruit, such as peach and nectarine. Soft and easy drinking wine, perfect for enjoying in the summer sun. Definitely one of the more interesting grape varieties that I've tried so far, this wine will keep you guessing as its favlours develop beautifully in your mouth!

Chris - You will struggle to find a better representation of elegance, poise and balance than this Italian wine from the Piedmont region! Floral characters abound on the nose, chased by vestiges of citrus flavours and entrancing temptations of flavoursome apples. Perfect for enjoying on its own, or a soul-mate for some fresh, tasty seafood!

Some new faces in the crowd ...Date published: 11/08/13

Tomorrow (Monday), we are opening some of our new arrivals and welcoming them to the Majestic family! We are also opening a couple of wines that we personally haven't tried, and that we think you good people of Tunbridge Wells and the South will really take to!

Firstly, the Leon Pedigal CDR! This is a classic blend sourced from several sites in the southern Rhône. It has been named in honour of Léon Perdigal, the first cellarmaster at Ogier's now famous cellars, when they were founded in 1859 in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.The nose has intense aromas of red fruits and spice, with subtle pepper and garrigue notes. The spice-tinged red fruits continue on the palate,
which is medium-bodied and has a pleasing length. Enjoy with all spiced Mediterranean dishes or barbecued meats.

Next, the Roero Arneis by Marco Porello. Roero is from the sandy hills in Piedmont in northwest Italy. A significant amount of the Arneis grape is grown here. Here is where Marco Porello's estate is located; he is a young winemaker who has an important
following in Italy where most of his wine is sold. Aromas of blossom and citrus. It is refreshing with balanced acidity and
flavours of lime, grapefruit and green apples. It is beautifully balanced and has an elegant mineral finish.
The lightness and refreshing acidity make it an ideal wine to drink on its own but also a great fish and seafood match.

And lastly in this bunch comes the Los Boldos Chardonnay from Chile. Château Los Boldos was established in 1991, with the aim of making quality wines by applying traditional French winemaking techniques to grapes grown Chile's high-altitude terroirs. Winemaker is Burgundy trained oenologist Stephane Geneste. Bright greenish yellow hinting at fresh citrus fruit, confirmed by the nose, which adds subtle green apple, pear and honey characters. Crisp acidity segues into a delicately buttery finish. Perfect with creamy fish dishes.


#comeandexplore instore and join us on our new #wineadventure!

Which side of the bank are you on??? Date published: 10/08/13

Bordeaux can be split into three broad areas, the Dordogne and and Garonne rivers combine to form the Gironde Estuary that divides the region. To the South of the Gironde lie the districts of Medoc, Graves and Sauternes and this is referred to as the left bank. Bordeaux hailing form the left bank are usually Cabernet Sauvignon dominant. The left bank produces wines that are very structured with high-tannins and acid with a concentrated core of blackcurrant fruit overlaid by flavours of toasted oak. The right bank consists of the districts of St Emilion, Blaye and Pomerol, here, wine is Merlot dominant, so generally softer and fruiter with a body of ripe cooked plums and blackberries. Let us know which side of the bank you favour, we have a great variety of fantastic Bordeaux's and could find the perfect one to suit your tastes!!

Free Wine Course in August ...Date published: 10/08/13

Here at Majestic Wine Tunbridge Wells, we like to talk. Mostly about wine of course, and sometimes the weather! But most of all, we like to discuss the pros and cons of traditional champagne versus new world sparkling, good and bad food matches -  all things that we introduce you to over a 1.5hr sit-down wine course!

Free to attend, these provide a great insight into the wine world, give us a chance to get to know you all and gives you the opportunity to grill us about the most obscure wines you have ever tasted! We particularly enjoy listening to anecdotes about your experiences in wineries and vineyards! But back to the subject ...

If you would like to book onto our wine course, give us a call on 01892 615877 or email on tun@majestic.co.uk!

We look forward to seeing you in store soon! 


Wine Tastes Better in a Bigger Bottle!Date published: 08/08/13

Its true, scientifically proven in fact! No I jest...But it has actually been found that wine ages better in a bigger bottle as there is a smaller glass to wine ratio.

Not only that, but they are to opitomy of cool. If you show up to any social gathering with a magnum of wine, you WILL be the most popular person there.

At the moment  we have red, white and rose all available to purchase


White:

Macon Lugny Louis Latour - £19.99

Yes, yourfavour white burgandy is available in a magnum, it still has the beguiling aroma of fresh apples and lemon curd with butter and peach on the palate and a long, warming finish.


Rose:

AIX Provence Rosé - £19.99

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


Red:

Rioja Reserva 2007 Marques de Riscal - £30

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

Rioja Reserva 2004 Vina Ardanza - £36

Complex and perfumed primary and secondary aromas of earth, spice and red fruits with a long, elegantly structured medium weight body of spicy tannins and layers of flavour. 

Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2011, Clos de L'Oratoire - £46

A complex and aromatic wine, with a spicy nose of leather and ginger, and hints of moss and earth. Powerful yet silky on the palate, with a
freshness of fruit and mineral grip.

Why don't you try one and see for yourself - if wine really does taste better in a bigger bottle!?


We think you deserve a Fine WineDate published: 06/08/13

Feeling like we need to treat ourselves and YOU! We have decided to open a beautiful fine wine from Argentina. No not a malbec, a rich rounded Chardonnay.

Here's what we think:

Emily: baked apples spring from the glass, with a hint of creme brulee. It has a long and rich finish, that would be paried well with a rich creamy seafood linguine,

Louise: It's just yum. My favourite Chardonnay in the 5 years I have worked at Majestic! Definitely worth a try.

Yana: the nose oozes cream and butter, with a touch of toffee and even some minerality. On the palate it doesnt disappoint, its has a beautifully rich mouthfeel. Tropical flavours, mango, caramalised banana shine through, with a hint of sweet spice. This is a devastatingly complex wine, that deserves a brilliant plate of food to accompany it.

This wine is on our fine wine deal, meaning that if you buy any 2 fine wines, you will save £8.

Catena Alta Chardonnay

£20.00 wine buying any 2 selected fine wines.

(£24.00 single bottle price)

Wine of the WeekDate published: 06/08/13

As the sun is still trying to shine through the clouds, and many of us are perservering and going ahead with a great british BBQ or two (whether we need an umbrella or not!), I thought it would be best to to tell you about a fantastic wine, at a fantastic price that will match a barbequed steak perfectly.

Gestos Malbec

£6.99 (was £9.99) when you buy 2 or more bottles

This is one of Flichman's top wine, and it combines the unique characteristics of two terroirs withn a single grape variety. Vineyards in Tupungato which is at a height of 1,100m gives freshness and structure whilst vineyards in Barrancas, at 700m altitude, adds colour and
density. The wine is then aged for over 6 months in American and French oak, giving complexity.
An intense red colour leads to aromas of plums combined with delicate oak, spices and chocolate. Red berry fruit continues on the palate where it is met with a hint of herbal spice.

For the chocolate lovers out there, this wine also compliments rich dark chocolate puddings!

This wine is open to taste at the moment, so i'll look forward to seeing you at the tasting counter for a tipple and a chat!

Z is for Zinfandel Date published: 05/08/13

Zinfandel is an exotic black grape variety of European origin and is cultivated primarily in California. Zinfandel took a firm hold of the Californian wine-business for it's ability to produce large yeilds. The grapes typically produce a robust red wine, although a semi-sweet rosé (blush-style) wine called White Zinfandel has six times the sales of the red wine in the United States. The grape's high sugar content can be fermented into levels of alcohol exceeding 15 percent, so while it may be deceptively easy-drinking the night before, watch out for those head-aches in the morning!

Y is for Yquem ( Chateau d') Date published: 04/08/13

Chateau d'Yquem Is the greatest wine of the Sauternes, and according to the famous 1855 classification it is golden, deliciously sweet and practically immortal. It's fame and prestige was even noted as far-a-field as North America where records show that both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington purchased as many as 30 dozen bottles each.

The wine is made using botrytized grapes. Botrytis is a type of noble rot, which has spores that puncture the skin of the grapes , leading to concentration of sugars. This leads to the production of a very sweet wine.

Having never tried an Yquem, it is in the top 3 on my list of wines to try!

If you have tried it, please by all means let me know how good it is and make me feel jealous!

X is for ...Date published: 03/08/13

Xarel -lo is one of three grapes used in the production of cava! Whilst the sun is out and the weather is warm, sparkling wines are enjoying their hayday! Cava is a good alternative to Prosecco, using a blend of Xarel-lo, Macabeu and Parellada - all native grape varieties for Spain.

The characteristics of the Xarel-lo grapes tend to be more aromatic and flavoursome compared to the other two main grape contributants. It is typically the smell of the Xarel-lo grape that distinguishes it from it's sister grapes. It also takes a lot of looking after, due to the vigorous nature of the vine's growth and its susceptibility to spring frost.

One of the Cavas that we do here is the Codorniu Brut NV, a classic blend of the three grapes and displaying characteristics of green apple, brioche, almond and citrus. This will serve perfectly as an apertif, or with a range of seafood dishes and light salads.

At £6.99 when you buy two, this is an absolute bargain!

 


The lengthy 'Ladoucette' from Loire ...Date published: 03/08/13

Newly open today, a Pouilly Fume that will knock the socks off of your taste buds! Here's what the team thinks of this prestigious Loire Sauvignon:

Yana: To begin with, it has aromas of wet slate, with more complex aromas making themselves known as the wine opens out. There are wisps of honeysuckle. Mmmm, smells good! ... with a lingering finish.

Emily: It smells soft and creamy on the nose, with some minerality evident. Refined and classy. I'll take two!

Chris: Refreshingly crisp, this is the perfect start to a Saturday lunch, try pairing it with a roasted chicken salad, homemade garlic crutons and a light lemon and corriander dressing. Yum! 

This really is a bargain at £24.00 when buying two or more bottles, so pop down and bag yourself a couple today

Sparkling Saturday has arrived!Date published: 03/08/13

Our sparkling wine of choice today is the offering from Samur in France; the Bouvet Ladubet! Owned by the prestigious Champagne House Taittinger, this wine is made from the Chenin Blanc grape, a popular grape in the Loire region from which it hails. With the pedigree of the producers holding the title of the second oldest sparkling wine in the Loire, this is a chance to try a tradtionally produced sparkling wine with the length and structure of a good quality sparkling!


The nose and palate keep you guessing, with acacia, honeysuckle and (somewhat ambiguously!) bruised apples on the palate; when you taste it, you'll see what we mean by the difference between fresh green apples, ripe apples and 'bruised ones'!


Overall, this will go perfectly with fish chips (similar to one of the Champagne greats, Bollinger, in fact!), but also stand alone as a great tasting apertif.

Come and try out #sparklingsaturday wine, at an amazing price of £9.99!

A - Z of Wine: W is for WoodDate published: 02/08/13

Wood has a huge influence on the style and taste of wine.

It has been the most popular storage of wine  for centuries. Although the exact science is still not fully understood, it is known that wooden containers exposes the wine to a certain amount of oxygen, which clarifies and stabilises the wine as well as adding a lot of different flavours

Flavour:

Certain substance in wood are directly absorbed into the wine:

Lactones are responisble for the aroma of oak. Vanillin adds vanilla. Volatile phenols add a clove-like spicy character.

Tannin balances the wine and also can remove unpleasant aromas from the wine.

Wood Type:

There is a strong difference between American and French Oak, American gives much more vanilla and coconut aromas, whereas French gives more of a smokey, cedar-ey woody aroma and flavour.

Age of Container:

Generally the newer the container, the stronger the flavours they impart. This, however, is not always highly regarded in the wine making world, the string flavours can overwhelm the wine. Older barrels are important for wine slow oxygenation but with no oak flavourings wanted, for example in Port, Sherry and sometimes Rioja.

Amazing Short Term OfferDate published: 01/08/13

Giesen....The New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc you all know and love is on a FANTASTIC short term deal.

Now only

£5.99 !!

(when buying any 2 bottles of NZ wines)


Pop in store and get some while this short term offer lasts, no time to come in store? Call us to order some and qualify for free delivery!


V is for...Date published: 01/08/13


Very Old Rioja!

This year, we had a parcel of wine arrive in store which was completely different to anything that I had tasted before ... 


When you mention Rioja to your friends, they will wistfully think about tender lamb, cuts of beef or just enjoying a glass by itself. They may even wonder whether it hails from the Alta, Alavesa or Baja sub-regions of Rioja (which is itself a region in Spain, the main grapes used being Tempranillo and Garnacha for the reds). Almost certainly, black fruits, a certain presence of oak and generally an abundance of varietal flavours will spring to mind.  


But what about raisins, prunes, dusty folio books and that corner of the attic that you never go in? Because these are what the nose and palate detect with this very special bottle of 'aged' Rioja that has waited over 2 decades to be drunk now. Pretty much everything with the 1986 Conde Valdemar has mellowed to the point that it is in the twilight of its bottle life. Tannins are virtually non-existent, and any fresh black fruit that flourished in the beginning of its journey ripened and matured sometime in the 1990's. This is certainly not a wine to be laid down, but one to be opened, savoured and explored.  


It is exactly like marmite in the way that there is no middle ground - this is a wine that you either relish the style of, or never touch a bottle again. The 1995 Conde Valdemar still retains some of its original fruit, and has a little more of the original character of the bottled wine. But if you're going to try an aged rioja, there's no point 'playing it safe' ... 


 The 1986 Conde De Valdemar is a wine that will make you sit up and take notice.

Time to try something new? Definitely. 



Santa Rita Medalla Real Carmenere is back in store!Date published: 30/07/13

One of our staff favourites, this wine is also popular with many customers (so grab some quick before it runs out!).

The wine is made in a classic style, which gives a little more inthe way of secondary, savoury characteristics. This Carménère is plush and full bodied, with a nose that offers blueberry, plum and oak softened cassis fruit.  This is replicated on the palate, and is accentuated with coffee and dark chocolate aromas.

This wine will stand up to steaks as well as something a little gamier like roast duck.

A perfect little treat on a drizzley day like today!

And only £8.79 (when you buy any 2 Chilean wines)

And guess what.......it's open to try on our tasting counter!!


Pop in to try some



U is for ... Date published: 30/07/13

Ugni-Blanc! A grape known mainly for cognac, it also known as Italy's ubiquitous Trebbiano and is a feature in some of our French white wines. Imported from Italy during the 14th century, it not a native of France. It was primarily introduced as a replacement for Folle Blanche grape when the phylloxera virus hit native species. As a resistant to grey rot, the grape became the dominant variety for use in cognac.
Characteristics include citrus fruits and a leafy character reminiscent of summer days and barbecues!


A-Z of Wine: T is for TanninsDate published: 27/07/13

Tannins are the mouth drying part of a wine which is usually young and has not yet had time to soften up.  They come from the skins, stalks and seeds of a grape and are what give the wine it’s structure, like a skeleton holding up a body. They aren’t just present in wine – if you’ve ever had a cup of tea that has just made you thirstier – those are the tannins doing their thing! They can be softened with food; try big, tannic Bordeaux with some strong, hard cheese – magic.

A-Z of Wine: S is for SancerreDate published: 26/07/13

Hello and welcome to the latest installment of the A-Z of wine. Today is sponsored by the letter 'S' (pretty apt really); so let's get stuck into Sancerre!

Sancerre is a French wine AC located in the eastern part of the Loire Valley.  Almost all of the appellation lies on the left bank of the Loire River, opposite Pouilly-Fumé.  It is well-regarded for its production of quality Sauvignon Blanc wines, although (to a lesser extent) Pinot Noir is also grown.  The reds are light and fruity, and their rosés are not unlike Beaujolais in style!

The vineyards of Sancerre lie on soils consisting of a mixture of chalk, flint and gravel.  These reults in wines ranging in style from fruity to flinty!  There really is something for everyone.

Dates For Your Diary at Majestic Tunbridge WellsDate published: 22/07/13

Wine Courses

This is a FREE 90 minute appetiser that gives an introduction on 'how to taste wine' as well as food and wine matching, helping you choose the perfect wine for your meal!

Dates:

Sunday 25th August at 2:30pm

Places are limited so give us a call, e-mail us or pop in to book your place!

Tasting Weeks

A themed week of tasting, with a number of different wines open from selected regions. Staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have!

Upcoming Tasting Weeks

Wines from Loire and Beaujolais

Friday 26th July – Thursday 1st August


A - Z of wine: R is for RieslingDate published: 21/07/13

Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany.

Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines.

As of 2004, Riesling was estimated to be the world's 20th most grown variety at 120,000 acres, but the once shunned grape variety is starting to make its come back and is gaining ever more popularity.

Riesling is a variety which is highly "terroir-expressive", meaning that the character of Riesling wines is clearly influenced by the wine's place of origin.

We have many different Riesings from the old world, (Alsace and Germany) as well as many from the new world (Australia and New Zealand to name a few!)


Pop in store to see what is on offer!

Pre Order Ned at £6.99!Date published: 20/07/13

On tuesday 22nd July the wonderful Ned Sauvignon Blanc will be raising in price by £1 to £7.99.

The wine is currently on the way from New Zealand, so f you want to pre order some at the lower price of

£6.99*

and we can the arrange collection or delievery when its in.

Please ask a member of staff for details!

*when you buy any 2 New Zealand wines as part of a mixed case


Sparkling Saturday! Nyetimber Vintage Rose 2009Date published: 20/07/13

It may not be as suny as yesterday, but that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy a nice glass of sparkling Nyetimber Vinatge Rose!

When Nyetimber started in 1988 and was only a diddly 35 acres, but now this has expanded to 400 acres and can produce 1 million bottles every year!

This rosé is made from hand picked grapes of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varieties, and gives aromas of redcurrants and cherries, with a hint of yeastiness (as a result of ageing on the lees). The palate has great texture, with very fine bubbles so as not to distractfrom the flavours.

This is an english altenative to Champagne (debates are ongoing whether to call it Merritt after Christopher Merritt, the englishman who first documented the production method). And its going to be open ALL DAY on out tasting counter.


I look forward to seeing you at the tasting counter for a tipple and a chat!

A - Z of wine: Q is for QueenslandDate published: 20/07/13

Queensland is the hot north-eastern state of Austrailia, that despite its heat and latitude still manages to produce some fantastic wines!

Since the 1990's the wine producing area has expanded north from the New South Wales border, and now numerous wineries are producing Chardonnay, Semillon, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Unfortunately we dont have any wines from Queensland in store, but that's because tourists to the area drinkall the supplies!



Talking of Provence...Date published: 18/07/13

We decided that we deserved a treat today, so along with some blueberry and lemon drizzle cake (yum!), we opened a provence rose to try.

But this isn't just any provence rose... This is the Minuty Cuvee Prestige 2010.

Château de Minuty is located on the St Tropez Peninsular, with its vineyards virtually overlooking the Mediterranean. This blend uses the Tibouren grape, a variety grown almost exclusively in Provence.


The wine is a glorious honey suckle pink, and offers a nose of cirtus fruit, wth lovely floral hints. The wine is lively on the palate, yet still maintains a rounded feel.


This is the top wine of the Minuty Château, and is definitely worth a try!

Currently £22 Majestic price


Hope to see you at the tatsing counter soon for a tipple and chat!



The A-Z of wine P is for ProvenceDate published: 18/07/13

P is for Provence

Provence in South East France is home to many prestigious Rose's made from a variety of grapes in a blend potentially including 'Carignan, Grenache, Cinsault, Ugni Blanc and Clairette. They are typically very pale salmon in colour with flavours of Strawberry. Raspberry a hint of cream and rose petal in a fresh crisp style.

My favourite of our Provence Rose's is Commanderie De Peyrassol. This has a light fresh flavour that will match seafood dishes or equally as an aperitif with nibbles. Perfect in our heatwave in the sunshine with olives and charcuterie in the garden!


A – Z of Wine O is for OakDate published: 17/07/13

A – Z of Wine O is for Oak

Oak is incredibly important in wine making, from large old oak casks which are used for fermenting wine to the more noticeable oak barriques which affect the flavours of a wine. The two main types of oak used are American and European Oak. European oak interacts with the wine during barrel ageing and produces flavours of soft spice, supple tannins and mouth feel, it also helps the wine to age gracefully. American oak has a bolder structure, texture and flavours of more pronounced vanilla. Each are suited to different styles of wine, Great Rioja, Bordeaux and Burgundy, along with New World wines show the complexity of barrel ageing onto wine and show how a mix of various types of oak, time in barrel and age of barrel can make such a difference to the taste. If you want to see what oak does to a wine, why not try a Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva Rioja (Eguia are a great example) to see how age and oak affect the wine.


A-Z of Wine N is for NebbioloDate published: 16/07/13

Nebbiolo is a black grape variety responsible for some of the finest and longest lived wines in Italy. It is native to the Piedmont region in the North-West and is its most distinguished vine. Nebbiolo is the grape variety used in prestigious wines such as Barolo.

A-Z of Wine M is for Medoc Date published: 16/07/13

Medoc is the most famous red wine district in Bordeaux and possibly in the world. Medoc grows at least three different grape varieties. The majority being Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Merlot and Cabernet Franc with possibly a late ripening of Petit Verdot.

A- Z of Wine L is for Laurent-PerrierDate published: 14/07/13

Laurent-Perrier is a globally recognised champagne house founded in 1812. It is one of the world's best selling Champagne house's next to Moet and Chandon and Veuve Cliquot. Light, fresh fruity and crisp in style this is the perfect Champagne for any special occasion and a bargain as only £24.99!!

A - Z of WIne: K is for KirDate published: 13/07/13

K is for Kir

Kir is another name for 'Vin Blanc Cassis'. Blackcurrant Liqueur (Cassis and White Wine). It was named after a hero of the Burgundian resistance movement during the Second World War: Canon Kir the mayor of Dijon. The Cote D'Or grows blackcurrants and makes fantastic liqueurs. The best wine is a simple unoaked white with relatively high acidity.

To make an even more special drink go for sparkling wine or Champagne and make a Kir Royal.


The A-Z of wine: J is for JulienasDate published: 12/07/13

One of the 10 Beaujolais Crus.

Julienas is one of the Northernmost crus of Beaujolais and has a real backbone to its wine. It is named after Julius Ceaser as the Romans reportedly planted their first vineyards in this area. The other crus are Chenas, Brouilly, Cotes De Brouilly, Fleurie, Moulin A Vent, St Amour, Morgon, Regnie and Chiroubles. They each have their own expression of the Gamay grape showing the differences in terroir.


A-Z of wine I is for IsinglassDate published: 11/07/13

A-Z of wine I is for Isinglass

Isinglass is a protein that is obtained out of the most unlikely of places...fish bladders mainly sturgeon and other fresh water fish! This protein has been used to 'fine' wine for centuries – it helps to clear and clarify all the unwanted particles out of wine before bottling.

The isinglass reacts with the excess harsh tannins from young wines and in the clarification of white wines. It is totally undetectable in the finished product but is the reason why some wines are named as not vegetarian!


A-Z of Wine H is for HungaryDate published: 10/07/13

Hungarian wine

Historically highly important in the wine industry with a huge range and depth of styles and flavours Hungary is once again trying to make its name great. Long gone are the days of generic 'Bulls Blood', as Furmint dry and sweet once again put this country on the international wine map. The climatic conditions, mountains, volcanoes and lakes offer a variety of soils and temperatures in which the vines thrive.

Dry Furmint and Tokaj made from the Furmint grape are probably the two most famous on the export market, although more international varietals such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Cabernet Sauvignon alongside native varietals: Keknyelu and Kekfrankos are rising in popularity.

The most luxurious Tokaj is made only from the juice that the aszu (botritised) berries ooze as they are waiting to be crushed, this liquid is so complex in flavours and sugars that it hardly ferments at all and the legend that is Tokaj Essencia can be around 7 % and will age for decades commanding very high prices.

Hungarian wines are beginning to appear more in our shops and wine lists, I encourage you to try one if you have the chance!


A - Z of wine: G is for Gewurztraminer Date published: 07/07/13

Gewurztraminer is a pink skinned grape variety, that produces very intensely flavoured, full bodied white wines. It is one of the easiest wines to identify by smell alone due to the exotic aroma (and flavour) of lychees.

Gewurztraminer is most famously from Alsace, here it can produce extremely serious wines capable of ageing for many decades!

New world Gewurztraminers tend to be slightly different, mostly due to higher temperatures which create a fuller more rich and ripe style of wine, they still have a floral nose, with tropical lychee fruit aromas and are a great wine pairing with Thai or lighlty spiced cuisine.

In store, we currently have a few Gewurztraminers from Alsace, Spain and New Zealand (whose cooler climate is able to produce acidity)

I look forward to seeing you in store!


Your favourite beer is back in stock!Date published: 06/07/13

The ever popular larger, made with Champagne yeasts, giving a richer, smoother taste, is back in stock!

Yes, it's true. It's here ready and waiting for you.

It goes perfectly with a hot sunny weekend, You might not be able to find it on the website, so pop down and grab your self a box or call us on 01892 615877!


A - Z of wine: F is for FleurieDate published: 06/07/13

Fleurie is one of the 10 Beaujolais Crus (and we think the appellation in France with the prettiest name!)

Funnily enough, the region does produce wines with a distinctly floral nose. The wines are of very good quality and sometimes can demand very high prices.

In store, Beaujolais is currently on offer, saving 20% when you buy any 2 wines from the region!

We look forward to you popping in to see what we have to offer!


A - Z of wine: E is for EisweinDate published: 05/07/13

Eiswein - German for 'Ice Wine' is a wine that is very highin sugar and acidity, which is a direct result of the grapes freezing on the vine.

The grapes are picked and pressed immediately so that the ice stays in the press and only the sweetest juice is extracted.

In order for the grapes to freeze, temperatures need be below -8 degrees celcius, so picking usually happend very early in the morning.

Due to their acidity they are very easy to drink when young, and are very refreshing.

Even though Eiswein is becoming ever popular in Germany and Europe in General, it is Canada that produces the most.


I was fortunate to try some Canadian Icewine at the London International Wine Fair, and trust me when I say that you NEED to try some at some point in your life!! Its just such a shame its so hard to come by in England :(


Quote from Dan "Ice Wine is Nice wine!"


A - Z of wine: D is for DOURODate published: 04/07/13

Douro is a Portuguese wine region centered on the Douro River in the Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro region. While the region is associated primarily with Port wine production, the Douro produces just as much table wine (non-fortified wines) as it does fortified wine. The non-fortified wines are typically referred to as "Douro wines". Why not give one of them a try? Crasto Duoro at £9.99 a truly delicious and unique wine proudly stocked bt Majestic.

A - Z of wine: C is for ChampagneDate published: 02/07/13

Champagne, delicious, bubbly, perfect for any occassion!

The biggest myth of champagne is that is was invented by a Dom Perignon, this is in fact a lie! The earliest recordings of the production of champagne was by an englishman, Mr Christopher Merritt!

The reason for Champagne's unique loveliness is the method of production, and the grapes used. Champagne is usually a blend of Chardonnay (white), Pinot Noir (red) and Pinot Meunier (red) grapes.

1. Make a still wine from each of these grapes, then blend them together to make one neutral flavoured wine.

2. Ferment the wine in the bottle, the carbon dioxide given off by fermentation has no where to go so dissolves in the bottle forming the bubbles we all know and love.

3.The yeast (from the sugars of grapes) dies at the end of fermentation, and this gives the champagne its unique biscuitey flavour.

4. The wine is then aged in cellar for 15 months if it is non-Vintage, or 36 months for vintage champagne.

5. In order to get the dead yeast cells out of the wine (no one wants to be driningthose!), the wine undergoes a process called riddling. This is where the bottles are slowly twisted around, whilst being moved vertically to an upside-down position. Therefore moving all the yeast into the neck of the bottle.

6. The neck of the bottle is then put into a freezing brine solution, which freezes the yeast cells into a natural cork. This is then popped out (discorgement) and the bottle is topped up with a sweetened wine.

INTERESTING FACT. The long foil neck on Champagne bottles was originally to hide the low filled bottles that weren’t topped up after disgorgement.


Pop in store to see some of the fantastic deal we have on Champagnes at the moment!

A - Z of Wine: B if for BaroloDate published: 29/06/13

Barolo is a famous red wine from the Piedmont ('foot of the mountains') region of north-western Italy, taking its title from the village of the same name.

'The Wine of Kings, King of Wines', as it has been referred to by its fans, is the highest quality appellation (DOCG)

Made from the Nebbiollo grape, it  is dark in colour and high in tannin; resulting in a full-bodied, concentrated and mouth-filling wine. The refreshing acidity is best matched with Italian foods also high in acidity, i.e. tomato-based pasta dishes.

Typically, it has bags of bramble fruit, but when mature, offers more complex secondary and tertiary flavours such as dried herbs, stewed fruit , game and leather.

Why not come and ask a member of staff for their favourite examples found in store...

The A-Z of Wine: A is for AligoteDate published: 20/06/13

A is for 'aligote'....

This is thought of as the 2nd white grape of Burgundy after Chardonnay. However, in a good year, when it ripens well and achieves good fruit character, it's high acidity can be well balanced.


Come in and ask a member of staff for more details



Perfect Fathers Day WinesDate published: 15/06/13

It's the time of year once again where the whole day is given to the one and only: dad! It's definitely time to show him how much he means to you, and what better way than buying him a lovely bottle of wine (or 3!!)

Here at majestic tunbridge wells we have picked our favourites that we thik any dad would love!


White Wine:

Chablis 1er cru Fourchaume 2011, Séguinot-Bordet

£18.00 when you buy 2 seleted Fine Wines

The Kimmeridgian clay soils in the area are said to contribute to this wines subtle iodine like character. It has an intense and focuaed nose of stone and citrus fruits, with smoky mineral notes and very subtle oak. Perfect for a Sunday Fathers day roast chicken dinner!


Red Wine

Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2011, Two Hands, Barossa Valley

£18.00 when you buy 2 seleted Fine Wines

This wine is sourced from a number of parcels of mature, gnarly Shiraz vines, and aged in oak for 12 months. Intense fruit on the nose, accented by notes of chestnuts, burnt toffee, chocolate and lavender. Full and lush on the palate, with a supple texture and good length.
Enjoyable immediately, but will develop nicely for up to 5 years in bottle.

Champagne:
After all every occasion could do with a little fizz!

Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV


Was £38.00 now £25.00

Produced in the Epernay region of Champagne, and dating back to 1811, Perrier Jouët consistently produces excellent Champagnes. The
style is friendly and open, with a refreshing ripeness to the soft, appley fruit and a zesty mousse.


Hope this gives you some inspiration!

BBQ wine Tasting TutorialsDate published: 15/06/13

Happening today!


At 12pm and 3pm, pop in and have a brief tutorial about which wines best match all your BBQ favourites from fish to steak!


hope to see you at the tasting counter for a tipple and a chat!




Saturdy Night dinnerDate published: 08/06/13

Tonight I'm having a nice big burger so I need a nice juicy Malbec to accompany it. Here is my latest favourite:

'Benegas Malbec' Libertad Vineyards, Mendoza, Argentina - Buy 2 save £8 = £13.99 from £17.99

The grapes for this wine are sourced from a vineyard literally at the foot of the Andes. The high altitude, pure snow drip water used for irrigation, unique soil, quality grapes and winemaking expertise result in an elegant, yet intense, blanced Malbec. It is packed with juicy black fruit, vanilla notes nad hints of Liquorice.

Can't wait to get stuck in!




Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2011, Clos de L'OratoireDate published: 07/06/13

Open this weekend only: to celebrate the sunshine we have Clos De L'Oratoire Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc! This is mainly Roussane which is oak aged alongside a variety of Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Bourboulenc in this rare Southern Rhone blend. A rich, floral and ripe pear start with a creamy long lingering refreshing finish. Delightful to enjoy with rich creamy light dishes, or on its own in the sun, a must have this weekend. Woe-betide the sun disappears this wine will cellar and become more complex and concentrated in 2-4 years.

AIX Magnums Back in Stock!Date published: 01/06/13

Yes...Finally! The elusive AIX magnums are back. And don't worry, we have a fair few so they wont be running out too soon!

An award-winning wine from one of the region's largest and most prestigious wineries, Domaine de la Grande Séouve, who have
established AIX as perhaps the definitive Provence rosé. Boldly brought to you in a magnum; a great addition to the most decadent of
party. Unashamedly vibrant and summery, with a bright pink colour and a delicate balance of crisp acidity and soft, ripe summer fruit.
A superb choice for any event, and the perfect match for canapés or seafood.

Currently at £19.99

It looks so good, and its still fridge sized, how can you resist?


Sparkling Saturday! Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2004Date published: 01/06/13

It's another sunny Saturday here in Tunbridge Wells, and we thought that something Sparkley is suitably justified..

Just last week I tried this wine, and I could not get enough, I might even go as far as to say that it beats some Champagnes!

Made from the three Champagne grapes - Chardonnay, Pinot Noira and Pinot Meunier.  Nyetimber are located in West Sussex, and since their original plantings of classic varieties in 1988, have established themselves as England's premier sparkling wine house. The wines they make are world class, and do actually beat Champagnes in blind tastings!

On th enose the wine is so enticing, with brioche, shortbread and citrus fruit.The mousse is very fine, soft yet mouth filling. this is the ultimate home-grown alternative to Champagne, for all special occasions!

Currently on a special offer of £23.99!

Definitely worth having a bottle in the fridge!

Aged Rioja Parcel WinesDate published: 31/05/13

Available in store now in limited quantities are quality aged Rioja's from two top producers

Five generations of the Martinez Bujanda family have made wine since the foundation of their first winery in 1889. Conde de Valdemar is their flagship Rioja brand and is widely regarded as a benchmark for the top wines of the region.

Years Available:

1984: Prunes, coffee, and vanilla - Classic mature Gran Reserva Rioja.

£12.99

1985: This wine is what Rioja is all about - fruitiness and smoothness in one delicious package.

£13.99

1986: Only a very tiny proportion of Rioja's best wines made the Gran Reserva grade. This is one of them and it doesn't disappoint.

£13.99

1994: From a legendary Rioja vintage, we strongly recommend adding a case of this wine to your order.

£16.99

1995: The freshness of this wine at 18 years of age is simply astounding

£16.99

Magnum 1998: Aged in a large format bottle, this wine is evolving slowly and has many, many years of life ahead of it.

£19.99

One of Spain's best selling brands, Viña Albina is one of the more

traditionally styled wines in the Bodegas Riojanas portfolio, offering an elegant profile, and an emphasis on the spicy characters acquired from extended barrel ageing.

1987: Now fully mature, this wine is fine and delicate, subtly blending notes of old leather, cigar tobacco and clove with raisin fruit flavours.

£14.99 when buying 2 or more bottles


Beer of the Week: Curious BrewDate published: 25/05/13

Theres nothng like spotting a local beer when doing your weekly shop! This award winning beauty comes from just down the road in Tenterden by England's leading winemaker Chapel Down. 

The brewers have taken their knowledge of producing excellent sparkling wines, have included Champage yeast and even given the lager a 'dosage' of rare and fragrant Nelson Sauvin hop. This beer has a crisp, refreshing taste with a slight taste similiar to Champagne!

At £17.99 for 12 bottles, Curious Brew was a winner of a Gold Medal at the International Beer Challenge 2012 and this time of year is perfect to appreciate this unique product.

Sparkling Saturday!Date published: 25/05/13

What's better than enjoying your bank holiday saturday sitting in the garden and drinking some sparkles...the answer is nothing!

We're having a BBQ tonight and have chosen some sparkling wine to wind down with.

Cloudy Bay Pelorus NV, New Zealand

Was £21.99 - Now £15.99 

Made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the Pelorus NV is made using traditional vinification techniques, and only the best juice from the press is used to ensure maximum softness and elegance! The final blend of Pelorus NV is aged on its lees for two years prior to
disgorging.
From a Chardonnay-dominant blend of selected vintages, this is a fresh, apéritif style of sparkling wine. Crisp apple flavours are backed up by a nutty, yeasty complexity from its time on lees. Drink this well chilled, and it is a perfect match with the lighter side of a BBQ, the salads, pastas, grilled chicken and prawns!

We are super excited to drink this wine!

Bank Holiday Opening HoursDate published: 25/05/13

Yes the joy of a bank holiday weekend, and the sun has even made an appearance for the occasion!

Nevertheless, we will still be here for all your wine related needs!

Opening hours:
Saturday 9-7pm
Sunday 10-5pm
Monday10-5pm
Then back to normal Tuesday!

We have some lovely wines open to taste, so we look forward to seeing you at the tasting counter for a tipple anmd a chat!



News Flash - Dom Pérignon 2004 Released!Date published: 25/05/13

Dom Pérignon is of course one of the most prestigious Champagnes known to man kind! And this week, as a bank holiday treat they have released the 2004 vintage.

This is available on our webiste as an exclusive so Please do not miss this opportunity!

Lay and Wheeler's description of the wine

"2004 is a vintage that marks a return to a highly elegant and refined style, in contrast with the exuberance of the 2003 and the intensity of the 2002. While the word "classic" has become something of a cliché when describing wine, it is certainly one that applies here. 2004 is the perfect expression of Dom Pérignon in its purest form."

This is being sold in unsplit cases of 6 for £600.

Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in this once in a life time opportunity!

Fine Wine Deal Top 3!Date published: 25/05/13

In store at the moment we have a fantsatic deal on some fabuloous fine wines. You can mix and match between Fine Wines and save £8 for every two that you buy!

The sun is out, which definitely means its time to treat yourself. So here is Dan and I's top 3 from the selection:

Third Place: 

Meursault Vieilles Vignes 2010, Le Meurger £20*

This Meursault is made from fully hand-picked grapes, making for an quality wine, with fermentation and maturation taking place entirely in cask.
Closer to the more weighty, voluptuous end of the white Burgundy spectrum, this is a classic Meursault, full of ripe golden apple fruit, hints
of honeyed toast and a rich, satisfying texture. Drink with quality roast poultry, but personally we think that a few extra years would definitely help this wine!

Second Place:

Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2011, Two Hands, Barossa Valley £18*

Two Hands are dedicated to showcasing the wide range of styles available from Barossa's many and varied plots. This example is sourced
from a number of parcels of mature, gnarly Shiraz vines, and aged in a mixture of new and old French oak hogsheads for 12 months.
Intense and complex on the nose, which offers an array of fruit accented by notes of chestnuts, burnt toffee, chocolate and lavender. Full and lush on the palate, with a supple texture and good length.
Enjoyable immediately, but will develop nicely for up to 5 years in bottle.

and the BIg Winner:

Rioja Reserva 2004, Viña Ardanza, La Rioja Alta £18*

One of the very best of Rioja's produced from fruit exclusively grown in the bodega's 360 hectare vineyard holdings in the Rioja Alta region, and named after one of the Region's founding families. Remaining under family ownership, this is of the most sought-after bodegas.
Complex and perfumed primary and secondary aromas of earth, spice and red fruits with a long, elegantly structured medium weight body of spicy tannins and layers of flavour.
Enjoy over the next decade as the richness and power will soften to spice and earth, augmenting game casserole or wild duck.


This is just a few of the brilliant fine wines we have to offer, we look forward to seeing you soon!

*when buying any 2 fine wines included in the deal

Wine of the Week!Date published: 23/05/13

Having opened this wine last night to let it breathe, we have just had a little taster in store, and oh my! What a wine!.

Even the look of the bottle is impressive, with its big chunky wax top, and simple, understated label. You can tell it's a good'un!

It's from Langhorne Creek, a premium wine growing region of South OZ, it's on the Fleurie Peninsula near Adelaide. The vineyards are located on the banks of Lake Alexandrina, with rich and fertile soils, giving outstanding grape growing for the Shiraz variety.

Once in the glass, it is a deep crimson colour, with purple tinges. A mass of vanilla extends from the glass, combined with ripe berry characters. The palate, we found to be, very elegant and refined, something quite unlike any other Aussie Shiraz I have ever tried. It still exudes rich black fruit flavours, with a hint of vanilla and a touch of menthol, but is well balanced with a velvety finish.

This wine will benefit from some bottle ageing as well as being drunk now. Enjoy with a lamb ragu or a meaty stew.

The wine:

Mcguigan Handmade Shiraz, 2008, Langhorne Creek

£20 (when buying to or more bottles)

Its open to try so pop in soon!


Italian Staff Favourites Date published: 19/05/13

As it's Italian tasting week, we thought we'd share with you three of our big staff favourites.

1)Masi Campofiorin:

Dark and ruby red in colour this wine, hailing from Veneto, undergoes a double fermentation process. The latter stage involving fermentation with dried grapes to add complexity and distinctive layers. As a result the wine is rich and bursting with both fresh and cooked fruit flavours. The tannins are well integrated and so provide a smooth mouth feel with a soft finish. This makes for incredibly easy drinking and is a steal at just £9.99.

2) Gavi Toledana:

Ripe with fresh apple and pear notes and finishing with a citrus zing this is an elegant but pronounced wine. Similar in style to a softer new world Sauvignon blanc, it's an ideal alternative party wine that is sure to please the masses. With Italy on offer this outstanding wine could be yours for just £7.99

3)Amarone Della Valpolicella:

We like to treat you here at Tunbridge Wells and so have opened one of our Italian fine wines. Rich and intense in colour the nose is filled with both fresh forest fruits as well as prunes and light spice. If you're into your 'chewy' full bodied reds then this is for you. The Amarone is on our buy two fine wines save £8 deal, so why not treat yourself this summer? Alternatively you could buy a single bottle for £22.00.


Wine Quiz...Date published: 18/05/13

Emily's Big Fat Wine Quiz

1) What does 'Extra Brut' mean on a Champagne label?

2) Which grape is rumoured to be the same as Primitivo?

3) Which white wine most tastes like Viognier (i.e. full of stone fruit character)?

4) In which country is Walker Bay?

5) In which country are Eden and Clare Valley?...

6)...Which grape are they famed for producing?

7) Name a mass wine brand from California..

8)..and Australia

9)Match the wines and soils:

Chateau-Neuf-du-Pape

Chablis

Riesling


Slate

Kimmeridgian Clay

Pudding stones or 'Galets'


10) Name 3 red grapes grown in Bordeaux

11) Name three different dessert wines and the countries in which the are produced

12) What does 'frizzante' on a label mean?

13) What is the name for a Champagne bottle that is equivalent in size to 4 normal bottles?

14) Name a synonym for Pinot Grigio...

15) ..and for Shiraz

16) What does 'Sur Lie' mean?

17) What is the difference between Pouilly Fumé and Pouilly Fuissé?

18) What is the difference between Rully and Reuilly?

19) How many grapes are permitted in the production of Chateau-Neuf-du-Pape?

20) Name 3 countries where Pinot Noir is produced?

21) What are the 3 total ageing requirements for Rioja...?


Crianza

Reserva

Gran Reserva


22)What grape is primarily used for Rioja production?

23) Name 3 fortified wines

24) Which grape makes Sancerre and Quincy?

25) Which grape makes Vouvray?

26 )Name the cult red grape of Argentina?..

27)..and cult white grape?

28) Name 3 of the 10 Beaujolais Cru

29)Describe the style of Provence Rosé in 6 words

30) What does 'Veuve Cliquot' translate as?

31) What does 'Oeil de Perdrix' translate as?

32) Name a valley in Australia that is famed for Shiraz?

33) What does 'Premier Cru' mean on a Burgundy label?

34)..and is 'Grand Cru' better or worse?

35) Name 3 different Italian white wines with 3 key words for each

36) Where does Lirac come from?

37) Name 3 noble grapes grown in Alsace

38) On a German wine label, what does 'Spatlese' mean?

39) Where is Saumur made and what is it?

40) What does 'Blanc de Blanc' on a sparkling wine label mean?...

41)..and 'Blanc de Noir'?

What is the raw material for tequila?

43) What is Calvados?

44) Name a raw material that can be used to make Vodka?

45) What are botanicals?

46) Is it true or false that rosé champagne is the only wine in the EU allowed to blend red and white wine to create a rosé?

47) Where in the grape is tannin found?

48) Which two countries primarily produce oak barrels for maturation?

49) Describe Cabernet Sauvignon in 5 words

50) What is 'Riddling'?


Italian Whites: Not Just Pinot Grigio!Date published: 16/05/13

As our Wines of Italy tasting week begins tomorrow I thought it would be apt to mention just a few whites that Italy offer apart from the more familiar Pinot Grigio.

Gavi

The village located in Piedmont, North West Italy has been dubbed the Chablis of Italy due to its steely taste. Made of the Cortese grape the wine is light, fresh and full of peach this would suit a seafood dish. My Gavi of choice would be the Gavi Toledana at £7.99.

Soave

Moving across the North to the North Eastern area of Italy, mainly made from Gargenaga and Trebbiano grapes. The Inama Soave Classico at £11.99 is made from the heart of the area and is full of apricot, honey and floral notes on the palate.

Verdicchio

The Rondini Verdicchio is new to Majestic this summer. From the center of Italy in the Easterly Marche region, this young, light wine is crisp and dry with ample characters of lemon and lime on the palate. The Rondini is at £6.99 per bottle

Greco

The name represents this varieties' Greek origins and is a very up-and-coming wine. Located in the south of Italy near Naples, the Fremondo Greco at £7.99 perfectly expresses fresh honeysuckle and minerally stone fruits perfect for a hot summers day.

Pecorino

Named so because the grape bunches grow in a triangular shape which the local population believe to look like the shape of a sheep's head which funnily enough goes perfectly with Pecorino cheese! The Contessa Pecorino at £7.99 has had 30% of the wine oak fermented creating beautifully intense nose and palate of citrus and orange peel with mineral complexity.

Prices based upon buying any two or more Italian wines and saving 20%.



Wine of the Week!Date published: 15/05/13

We've all just had a 10 minute breather to try the wines on the tasting counter and my collegues and I have decided that this wine deserves the 'wine of the week' title!

It is the  Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2012, South Australia
Viognier is an up and coming grape and is becoming very 'trendy', and Australian viogniers in particular are very tastey. The Barossa Valley has some of the oldest vines in the world and is home to Yalumba, founded in 1849. Yalumba has had considerable success with the rare and aromatic Viognier grape.
This is a full-bodied dry white, with a gorgeously perfumed floral scent and a ripe, peach and apricot fruit, with a silky palate-feel.
Enjoy with a light pasta flavoured with herbs, seared swordfish or tuna.

This is available to taste so i hope to see you at the tasting counter for a tipple and a chat!

Reasons to come to our Summer Wine EveningDate published: 13/05/13

I have been slowly unveiling some of the wines that will be open to try tomorrow (14th May) as part of our summer wine evening, but I haven't given them all away. Sometimes in life it's nice to have a little surprise! If these revelations have not tempted you already, then I have some other legitimate reasons to pop in tomorrow!

1. It's free

2. There will be nibbles (including some amazing cheeses!)

3. It gives you a chance to try a variety of wines in differing styles from across the globe

4. There will be two external suppliers joining us, showcasing some of there popular wines

5. Its an informal, fun evening

6. It beats watching Eastenders (and other Tuesday night television selections!)

7. Did I mention that it's free!

I hope to see you in store tomorrow for a tipple and a chat!

Top 5 Takeaway and Wine Matches!Date published: 11/05/13

It is Saturday after all!

Pizza and Barbera d’Alba Sucule 2009/10, Lo Zoccolaio - £8.39 when buying 2 or more Italian wines

The refreshing acidity combined with dark fruits, and spice is perfect to match the rich tomato sauces of pizza and pasta dishes


Thai and Domaine Zind Humbrecht Gewürztraminer 2011 - £12.99 when buying 2 or more bottles

With just just enough sweetness to balance the slight spice of Asian Cuisine.


Indian and Cusquena - £10.99 for a case of 12

What better than a refreshing beer to compliment a spicy creamy curry


Chinese and Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé 2012, Côtes de Provence - £9.99 when buying 2 or more bottles

This dry rosé has a spicy warmth to the fruit, lifted by refreshing acidity and a peachy edge. Creating a refreshing contrast to a chinese takeaway.


Fish and Chips with Pol Roger Réserve NV - £32.00

It is well known in Majestic that if you are having a fish and chips, its nice to have something sparkly to go with it. I have chosen Pol Roger with its super-fine mousse, a great champagne that I really love.


Want something special for a Summer BBQ?Date published: 11/05/13

So summer is upon us (even thoughon days like tyoday it may not feel like it!), and therefore BBQ season is beginning!

There's nothing better than getting freinds and family together on a sunny Saturday afternoon, but we have something for you that will make any event extra special

Jeroboams of Rose!!

AIX Rosé 2012, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, Jeroboam

£50

Yes thats 4 bottles of wine in one huge bottle!!

An award-winning wine from one of the region's largest and most prestigious wineries, Domaine de la Grande Séouve, who have
established AIX as perhaps the definitive Provence rosé. Boldly brought to you in a double magnum; a great addition to the most decadent of
party. Unashamedly vibrant and summery, with a bright pink colour and a delicate balance of crisp acidity and soft, ripe summer fruit.
A superb choice for any event, and the perfect match for canapés or seafood.

For smaller, yet equally special parties we do have the ever popular AIX Magnums in stock at £19.99!

These are in limited stock so if you would like to order or reserve any then please do not hesitate to give me a call on 01892 615877


Emily's Top PicksDate published: 11/05/13

Having just tried a few wines from the tasting counter, I thought I'd let you know my 2 favourites!

The first is Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2011 Casablanca Valley

£9.99 when buying any 2 Chilean Wines

Made as part of the 'rejuvenation' of Chile, two winemakers Aurelio and Douglas persued making premium wines in Casablanca Valley. They use barrel fermentation with French Oak which gives complexity to this wine.

With hints of banana and pineapple on the nose due to the warmth of the climate, this then gives a fresher tropical feel on the palate with mango and passion fruit. These fruity flavours are complimented by a buttery creamy character given by the oak, which gives a long finish with hints of toffee. 

Rich and fruity Chardonnays like this can work quite well with spicy dishes, and are classic partners to poultry in creamy sauces.


The second is Campofiorin 2009, Masi

£9.99 when buying any 2 Italian wines

This is a family run producers, yet is one of the most well established. The wine is blend of Corvina (famous for making Amarone) and other local grapes and is made by fermenting fresh grapes, then refermenting the wine along with some dried grapes. This adds an element of sweet raison flavours and aso helps create rich and complex flavours.

The wine is a dark ruby red with subtle violet tinges, there are aromas of ripe red cherries on the nose, with nuances of vanilla and cinnamon. This wine has a lovely full moth fill, with soft tannins and a hint of something savoury, leading to a well balanced, very drinkable wine.

Drink with all things Italian, for example matured cheeses, black olives and Parma ham.

These wines are open to try on the counter so i'm hoping this will make you want to come in a try some!!

I'm back for the Fifth Reveal!Date published: 10/05/13

I know, I haven't written in a couple of days, but even the best of us need a couple of days off! Have no fear, I'm back now, and I have a wine that all of us in the store are extremely excited about opening.

All of us here have tried the Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay from the same producer, and we absolutely love them. You'll know this if you have been in store in the past few weeks as we are telling EVERYONE about how amazing these wines are!

So wine 5....

Clos du Bois Sonoma Reserve Merlot 2009, Alexander Valley, California

£14.99 when buying 2 or more bottles (£18.99 single bottle price)

Slightly more expensive than its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay counterparts, but only because it comes from the prestigious Sonoma County Vineyards! Clos du Bois own around 500 acres within this region, and the best of these are in Alexander Valley. The grapes from these different areas are kept separately even when ageing for 18 months in new and old oak. Only after ageing is completed are wines selected for this premium blend.

This californian style Merlot is lush and round with a back bone of rich blackberry fruit with voluptuous tannins. With the fruit enduring, it is combined with hints of mocha, spice and cedar.

This wine matches slow cooked lamb or beef with herbs and mushrooms wonderfully.


Wine of the week!Date published: 10/05/13

Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2011, Margaret River

£11.99
when buying any 2 Australian Wines

Located in Margaret River, in the South Western corner of Australia, Vasse Felix have a state-of-the-art winery where this Chardonnay is
produced using premium parcels of fruit and partial wild yeast fermentation in French oak barriques. Because of this, it is a typical BIG Aussie Chardonnay, and is personally my favourite from the region.
It has a toasty, nutty nose, with hints of fresh fruit. The palate is more fruit focused, showcasing peach and tropical fruits, complemented by nutty hints and a touch of vanilla toast. Giving a full flavoured wine, but still manages to be reserved and well integrated.
A fabulous choice for white-meat dishes, perfect for barbequed chicken in my opinion!

Wine 4 of the Summer Wine Evening!Date published: 07/05/13

So today I'm taking you to the exotic land o f South America, to Chile more specifically. With its coastal breezes and high altitudes this region has been up and coming for the last 20 years, getting more and more popular as people have started to realise the incredible potential that these sites have to offer.

This wine is named in honour of the pioneering winemakers who originally came to Chile in search of new vine growing opportunities. This wine comes from a small plot within the infamous Leyda Valley, which has proven itself to be ideally suited to Pinot Noir vines.

Wine 4....

Terrior Hunter Pinot Noir 2011, Leyda Valley, Undurraga

£12.79 when buying any 2 Chilean wines

This Pinot Noir has all the classic aromas of red and black cherry, but has added notes od wild herbs, earth and orange peel. It has a medium body, with a vibrant acidity that lifts the red fruit on the palate.

Coming into summer this wine pairs well with white meats and salads, a perfect alternative to a white or rose if you fancy something a bit more substantial.


Wine Reveal Number 3! Date published: 06/05/13

Yesterday I promised you that I would reveal the first red of the Summer Wine Evening, and I am not going to disappoint.

This wine needs a build up, it is a favourite of many people I know, from a brilliant vintage. If this wine doesn't tempt you to make it on May 14th, I don't know what will!

Wine 3...

Rioja Reserva 2004, Viña Ardanza, La Rioja Alta

£18.00 when you buy two or more selected fine wines

Made from a blend of Grenache and Tempranillo, it is one of the very best Riojas produced from fruit from an exclusive site. Its a 360 hectare vineyard in the Rioja Alta region (the best of three) and is named after one of the regions founding families. It still remains under family ownership, and s one of the most sought after bodegas in the region.

This wine is complex and perfumed, with aromas of red fruit, spice and a hint of earthiness. It has a well balanced and structured medium weight, that has a depth of flavour and an enduring finish.

This wine will last for another decade in bottle, but can also br drunk now with hearty dishes like casseroles and duck.

I hope that this has ignited your taste buds, and I look forward to seeing you for a taste in a couple of weeks!

Day Two of the Big Reveal!Date published: 05/05/13

I know that you have been waiting with eager anticipation, and I can promise that this preview won't disappoint!

Wine 2...

Chateau de Tracy 2010, Pouilly-Fumé

£19.99

A Sauvingnon Blanc made from vineyards owned by the Count and Countess Alain d'Estutt d'Assay who ressurected the area in 1952! It is now ran by their sun Henry d'Assay and his sisters.

This wine is pale gold with a silvery shimmer, making it very eye catching. It has an open an intense nose of black currant and citrus fruit, with a hint of something vegetal and savoury, The wine has minerality on the palate, with a citurs backbone.

As with many Pouilly fumés, it compliments goats cheese very well, as well as sea food dishes.

This fine wine is definitely one not to be missed so call us now to book your place on the Summer Wine evening Tuesday 14th May.

Tune in tomorrow to find out the first red of the selection!


Count Down to the Wine EveningDate published: 04/05/13

The day is drawing ever closer, and with baited breath we wait. Just to add to the anticipation of this summers main event, I thought I would tease you with a preview of some of the spectacular wines we are going to open especially for you!

Every day I will be revealing another fantastic wine, so don't forget to tune in!

Wine 1....

Black Cottage Rosé 2012, Marlborough

£9.99 when buying any 2 New Zealand Wines

A slight shock to me, but they don't use the sauvignon grape that their counterpart it so well known for, instead this wine uses a blend of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. However, the wine maker has used the time he spent in Corsica and France to make a wine more typical of Provence rather than the bolder overwhelming style of new world Rosé,

The pale salmon pink of this Rosé has a gentle nose of ripe red berries and subtle spice. It is very light and refreshing with a fruity crispness that leads to a clean dry finish.

Summer is finally upon us and as this wine is a perfect match to salads and prawn dishes, it's definitely a wine that you should have in the fridge in case the situation arises!

Don't forget to come back tomorrow to discover another treat we will be opening on May 14th!

Bank Holiday Wines!Date published: 03/05/13

Each of us down here at Tunbridge Wells have racked our brains and decided on a wine that we think you deserve as a Bank Holiday Weekend treat!

Louise says - 'The suns out so its definitely time for some rose, Black Cottage Rose is my favourite!'

£9.99 when buying 2 or more bottles as part of a mixed case

Dan says- 'Try Jackson Pinot Noir, because its smooth and soft with lovely cherry notes that will make any summer evening feel like a holiday!'

£15.99 when buying any 2 New Zealand wines

Emily says

'Jean Vincent Pouilly Fume is a must try Loire wine. Matching brilliantly with goats cheese, its perfect for summery salads!'

£9.99 when buyin 2 or more bottles

I say

'Our new wine Mister Shiraz is a fab red thats open on our tasting counter! It is perfect for an English BBQ, and a must this bank holiday, I bought myself a bottle last night! - Check out the funky label!'

£6.99 when buying 2 or more bottles

Looking forward to seeing you at the tasting counter for a tipple and a chat!

Wine of the week!Date published: 26/04/13

Clos du Bois Pinot Noir 2011, California
£9.99
(when buying 2 or more bottles)

Clos du Bois have almost 800 acres of vineyards throughout Sonoma County and the coastal regions of California. This Pinot Noir comes mainly from the Central and North Coast areas, and has been matured for 8 months in French, American and Eastern European oak.

A blend of Pinot Noir, Grenache and Syrah, makes for a lush fruit driven wine, made in California's trademark style. With strawberry and cherry fruit accompanied by hints of lavender and a touch of something savoury. The tannins are silky, leading to a rounded, complex wine, that perfectly matches slow roasted pork with apple sauce.

This is a new wine to majestic and is open to taste on the counter, I look forward to seeing you for a tipple and a chat!


Wine of the week!Date published: 22/04/13

Kangarilla Road Shiraz 2010, McLaren Vale, Australia

£11.99 (when buying 2 or more bottles)

This wine of the week is made in a tiny boutique winery in the up-and-coming McLaren Vale region in Australia. As the vineyards are more northern than other sub-regions, the cooler climate means that the grapes ripen later. This results in a smoother, more floral wine than your typical Aussie Shiraz.

Rich berry aromas with warm spices and herbs; the palate is complex, yet smooth and elegant. This will pair perfectly with chargrilled fillet steak fresh off the barbecue! Enjoy!

Top 10 Cheese and Wine MatchesDate published: 20/04/13

Since our two favourites are wine and cheese it makes sense to pair the two together.  Here are our recommendations for you to try:

 

Cheddar - Bordeaux

Gorgonzola - Sauternes

Manchego - Rioja

Goats Cheese - Sancerre

Camembert - St Veran

Halloumi - Grüner Veltliner

Wensledale with apricots - Viognier

Mozzarella - Fiano

Stilton - Port

Parmesan - Chianti

Katy's 3 Top PicksDate published: 16/04/13

Here are my top three picks, a red, white and rose!

Meerlust Merlot

Delicious, rich and fruity with 11% Cabernet Franc which adds extra weight body complexity and a bitter Chocolatey edge!. £15.99 when you buy any two South African wines.

Vinas del Vero Gewurztraminer

This little Spanish beauty goes perfectly with a lightly spiced Thai curry with the residual sugar balancing out the spiciness and a snip at just £6.39 when you buy any 2 Spanish wines.

La Grille Pinot Noir Rose

I don't know if you were lucky enough to see and enjoy the sun on Sunday... well I think this is the pefect accompaniament to an afternoon in the sun with friends, just think strawberries and cream!

£6.49 on mulitbuy.

Guide to grapes for dummies!Date published: 15/04/13

For those of you who are new to wine, or those looking for something new to try, check out our 'three word wine reviews' for all the main varietals :

Whites:

Sauvignon Blanc: Gooseberry, herbacious, elderflower

Chardonnay: Unoaked, i.e. Chablis: lemon, minerality, green apple

                       Oaked: buttery, tropical, baked apple

Riesling: varying sweetness, lime, steely

Gewurztraminer: spicy, lychee, floral

Viognier: Peach, apricot, honeysuckle

Pinot Grigio: neutral, light, crowd-pleaser

Chenin Blanc: pear, lemon, melon

 

Reds:

Merlot: plummy, soft, blackberry

Cabernet Sauvignon: blackcurrant, body and structure

Pinot Noir: light, cranberry, sweet spice

Malbec: liquorice, vanilla, blackcherry

Shiraz: blackcherry, euycalyptus, vanilla

           French Shiraz or 'Syrah':  black fruit, black pepper and game

Tempranillo (ie Rioja): strawberry, cedar, leather

Sangiovese (i.e Chianti): redcurrant, refreshing, food-wine

Gamay (i.e. Beaujolais): light, banana, bubble-gum

Carmenere: chocolate, smoke, blackfruit

Louise's pick of the weekDate published: 13/04/13

Rustenberg Chardonnay, South Africa

A beautiful rich buttery wine, with a silky milk-like texture. It is full of baked apple and tropical fruit character, leading to a nutty finish.

Enjoy alongside creamy dishes such as pasta carbonara or tarragon chicken.

 

Grab it now while South African wines are still 20% off - £10.99 when you buy 2 or more South African wines, as part of your mixed case.

 

 

 

Chardonnay Lover...?Date published: 09/04/13

...Then why not try a 'Roussanne'?

 

My favourite is Domaine St Rose, 'La Nuit Blanche', Buy 2 save £2 = £8.99

 

A fulker bodied white, with bags of grapefruit character. Try something new?

Emily's Top PicksDate published: 06/04/13

1) Conde Valedmar, 1985, light, spicy and easy drinking, the perfect treat in the evening. (£17.49 single bottle price; £13.99 when you buy two or more)

2) Montagny Villes Vignes Buxy, soft, creamy with a delicate buttery finish, great with seafood, chicken or to simply enjoy on its own. (£9.99 single bottle price; £7.99 when you buy two or more)

3) Heidsieck Monopole Champagne, the perfect breakfast champagne. Goes incredibly well with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs! Why not treat that someone special this summer?!! (£20.00 set price)

Rox' s Top 3 PicksDate published: 30/03/13

Recently I've enjoyed:

 

  • Vinalba Malbec Reserva (Argentina) - A smooth, liquorice little number with a great body  (buy 2 save £6 = £7.99, from £10.99)
  • Campofiorin Masi (Italy) - Great structure, with herbal hints and jammy fruit. Refreshing acidity makes for a great food wine. (£12.49)
  • Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne - The best Chamagne for your Summer party £16
  • New Permanant Store Opening Hours!Date published: 29/03/13

    From the 2nd April our opening hours will be changing to the following:

    Monday - Wednesday: 10 AM - 7 PM

    Thursday and Friday: 10 AM - 8 PM

    Saturday: 9 AM - 7 PM

    Sunday: 10 AM - 5 PM

     

    Due to Monday 1st April being a Bank Holiday we will be operating at our usual Bank Holiday hours of 10 AM - 5 PM  

    Easter Opening hoursDate published: 28/03/13

    Good Friday: 10-8pm

    Saturday: 9-7pm

    Sunday - Closed

    Monday: Bank Holiday Hours 10 - 5pm

    3 wine tipsDate published: 23/03/13

  • salt helps get red wine stains out of fabric
  • tiny crystals at the bottom of the wine are tartrates which are totally harmless
  • keep left over/oxidised wine for your risotto, gravy or bolognese sauce
  • Fall in Love with Chateau Musar this Easter...Date published: 16/03/13

    Lebanon is among one of the oldest sites of wine production in the world with its history dating back more than five millenia. Subsequently, years of experience, tradition and passion have been invested into many Lebanese wineries. Chateau Musar, established in 1930 by Gaston Hochar following his return from Bordeaux, is arguably one of the most reputable wineries in Lebanon. Musar wines have often been compared to wines hailing from Bordeaux, Burgundy or Rhone but feature those delicious idiosyncrasies that have earned it a 'cult status'. Majestic wine proudly stocks both Chateau Musar (2007 vintage) and Hochar Pere et Fils. Despite beliefs that the wines of Musar appeal to a certain audience, I believe that these two fantastic wines can be enjoyed by all, particularly those who want to challenge their palates and explore wines that are slightly out of their comfort zone. Hochar: Rich and ruby red in colour, the bouquet is filled with fruits such as ripe red and black cherries complimented by hints of chocolate and smoky cigar box. The palate stays true to the nose and provides smooth and richly textured spicy red fruit including prunes, damsons, plums, cherries and fresh tea leaves. The finish is long and elegant; a mixture of mature fruits, subtle tannins, chocolate and spice. Chateau Musar: Deep blood red in colour, with a smoky and spicy nose of black fruits, toasted bread, dark chocolate and cigar box. The palate is filled with complementing notes of both black and red fruits, cherries, black currants, prunes, dark chocolate and fresh tea leaves. The finish is long with fine velvety tannins. Both of these wines have a good potential for ageing and would make a fine addition to any wine cellar. Alternatively, both are suitable for drinking now and would be the perfect accompaniment to spicy lamb dishes such as Tagine.

    Come and try our BRAND NEW Chilean Chardonnay!!! Date published: 02/03/13

    READ THIS IF YOU WANT TO.........

    1)Learn about a fantastic tasting opportunity

    2)Rediscover Chardonnay

    3)Come and explore!

    Chardonnay isn't to everyone's taste, I certainly thought it wasn't to mine. For a long time, as I'm sure many people have, I believed the majority of Chardonnay wines were far too heavily oaked and dense. Chardonnay gained notoriety for these traits following its boom in popularity during the 80's and early 90's. Initially Chardonnay was matured in oak casks to produce subtle and refined flavours, comparable to White Burgundy. However, as popularity and demand grew, Chardonnay was challenged to increase the rate at which it was being produced. This led Wine-makers to substitute the oak casks for what can only be likened to giant 'tea bags' filled with oak chippings. These were added to the wine during the fermentation process. Whilst this both sped up the production process and cut costs it jeopardised the quality of the wine. 

    Though the stigma of previous years is still attached to Chardonnay, I'm here to tell you that Majestic has a fantastic range of Chardonnays, both new and old world, that redefine our understanding of the wine. I highly recommend that you come in and try one of the latest additions to the Majestic Chilean range. The Tabali 'Talinay Chardonnay'  2011 comes from Limari, a small valley in Chile. Located just 12km from the Pacific. The Ocean's cooling fog creeps into the valley in the morning and retreats as the sun rises over the Andes in the late afternoon. With less than 4 inches of rainfall per year, drip irrigation, coupled with a fortunate geographical positioning allows the Limari valley to produce fresh wines with a distinct mineral edge.

    The 'Talinay' exhibits invitingly fruity characteristics paired with a smooth, creamy and buttery body. The finish is complex and is comprised of lingering notes of ripe apple, refreshing citrus tones and a satisfying acidity. For the incredibly reasonable price of £12.99 on a multi-buy deal (and £16.99 for a single bottle) this really is a class above many of our other excellent Chardonnays. We have opened a bottle on the tasting counter for you all to come and enjoy, so come and explore and hopefully we can change your opinion of Chardonnay.

    Louise's Top PicksDate published: 28/02/13

    3 wines I've enjoyed recently:

    1. Jordan Chardonnay from South Africa. A buttery, butterscotch delight (buy 2 or more South African wines save 20% = £11.99)
    2. Catena Malbec from Argentina. A big, bold, liquoricey little number (buy 2 save £6  = £9.99 from £12.99)
    3. Muga Reserva Rioja. A typical flagship Rioja with bags of strawberry jam, vanilla and leather. Yum! (buy 2 save £7 = £13.99 from £17.49)

    Feng Shui and wine? Really??Date published: 10/02/13

    Absolutely!

    You may be familiar with our Montes wines from Chile (the Alpha Merlot and Chardonnay) but I would now like to introduce to you two of the finer wines from their range, the Purple Angel and the Folly.

    A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to visit the Montes Winery in the Apalta Valley and discovered that Feng Shui was at the heart of the design of the winery. Water, metal and wood (the prime elements in the concept of Feng Shui) were incorporated in the design and build of this fantastic building. At the entrance of the winery a wooden access bridge crosses a small lagoon whose water flows towards the building in accordance with the fundamental principle of feng shui, that prosperity will only come if the water, representing energy, flows towards the centre of the building, not away from it. At the centre of the winery a fountain lies underneath a lily shaped skylight, representing the sun and the moon, the point from which energy is distributed, connecting the building to the outside universe.

    Inside the winery Montes has a barrel room, where the wine is matured in American oak, where they play Baroque music to the barrels. Why? Well they experimented with 2 rooms. In one room they played heavy metal, rock style music to the maturing wine and in the other room they played Baroque style music. When the wines were tasted they discovered that the wines stored in the Baroque room were much smoother and accessible than the wines stored in the room where the loud rock music was played.

    Both these wines were stored in this very room,

    Purple Angel Carmenere 2010, Montes - £30 - This is a blend of 92% Carmenere and 8% Petit Verdot and only the very best grapes are used in the production of this fantastic wine. Blending elegance and power, Purple Angel shows the spicyness typical of Carmenere and has ripe, gentle tannins with a palette of red berries and dark chocolate. The Petit Verdot enhances the structure, colour and potential for aging. This wine is the perfect match with Lamb cutlets with rosemary.

    Montes Folly 2010 - £40 - Chile's first super-premium Syrah (or Shiraz).The name is derived as conventional wine growers and trade considered it "Folly" to plant Syrah in the region as it was an untested variety in that part of Chile and double "Folly" to plant vines on such high slopes as they are extremely expensive to clear, plant and grow. However it works perfectly and the result is a tiny yield and a stunning wine. With intense black ripe fruit, plums and a hint of chocolate on the palette this is a must for all Syrah lovers.

    Bargain Hunt 2013 UpdateDate published: 19/01/13

    The search for those bargains continues! We have managed to acquire a good number of some of our exceptional Bargain Hunt wines including some previous tasting counter favourites like the citrus led  Mount Pleasant 'Elizabeth' Semillon 2005 down from £9.99 to £7.99 when you buy any two Australian Wines.

    After a cosy red to accompany a hearty winter dish this evening? How about a tasty Bordeaux style Aussie red like the McHenry Hohnen Cabernet Merlot 2011 which has the great combination of French structure and typical Australian fruit with blackcurrant and plum notes on the palate.  Currently reduced from £11.24 to £8.99 when purchased with any Australian wine the McHenry is a perfect addition to those warm winter evenings by the fire.

    If you are looking to treat yourself we have an interesting desert style Vouvray made from 30 year old vines and a mix of ripe and botrytised grapes for a sweet, rich taste of figs and lemon perfect to partner a caramel pudding. The Vouvray Moelleux La Levrière 2011 is currently down to £7.99 from 12.99 when you buy two bottles or more.

    We also have very few left of the following wines so get in there fast!

    Loire Valley, France: Saumur Champigny 2010, Château de Targé

    Valençay 'Le Clos du Château' 2011, Claude Lafond

    Southern French Reds/Whites:

    Mas des Mas 2011, Languedoc ** Château La Dournie 2010, St Chinian ** Domaine Tranquillité 2009, Bernard Magrez, Vin de Pays d'Oc ** Mas des Mas Corbières 2011, Jean-Claude Mas ** Domaine des Crès Ricards 'Alexaume' 2011 **  PGI Mont Baudile Saint Michel Rouge 2009/10, ** PDO Gaillac Crès Ricards Marsanne Roussanne 2011, ** PGI Pays d'Oc Marquis de Pennautier Chardonnay 'Terroirs d'Altitude' 2010, ** PGI Pays d'Oc Paul Mas Vermentino 2011, PGI Pays d'Oc

    Australian Wines:

    The Galvo Garage 2007, d'Arenberg, McLaren Vale

     

    New Zealand Wines:

    Composite Sauvignon

    Chilean Wines: Tabalí Reserva Especial 'Caliza Vineyard' Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Limarí Valley

    Tabalí Reserva Especial Chardonnay 2011, Limarí Valley

     

    Argentinian Wines:

    Catalpa Chardonnay 2011, Atamisque

    Catalpa Pinot Noir 2011, Atamisque

    Join us on our Wine Courses!Date published: 17/01/13

    It's that time of year again! Now that we're back in the swing of it after Christmas, how about joining us to learn about some soon-to-be favourite wines and how they are made?

    For more information, have a look at the 'Wine Course' video on this page.

    http://www.majestic.co.uk/About/WineEvents

    Our wine courses will be running in the evenings of;

    Tuesday 5th Feb

    Sunday 24th Feb

    Sunday 17th March

    To book your place, give us a ring on 01892 615 877 The team at Majestic Tunbridge Wells.

    Dan's wine of the weekDate published: 16/01/13

    Chosen by trainee manager Dan, our wine of the week from 16th - 22nd January is:

    Zorita Tempranillo

    Once visited by Christopher Columbus the Hacienda Zorita vineyard and monastery is located in the heart of the Duero Valley in west Spain. The 100% tempranillo is oaked for 12 months in American and French oak.

    In glass the wine presents itself as a deep cherry red and provides a bouquet of red fruits on the nose. With soft tannins cherry and strawberry follow from the nose to the palate along with the oak influenced vanilla and subtle chocolate finish. The Zorita is perfectly drinkable on its own and would also go hand in hand with red meat and pasta dishes

    Currently available to taste in store the Zorita is £9.99 for a single bottle or £7.99 when you purchase two or more bottles as part of a mixed case.

    Bargain Hunt 2013Date published: 05/01/13

    Anyone remember the amazing Bargain Hunt of 2012? Well it's back for 2013!! We can now announce the 36 wines that will be included in this years event. The offer runs until the end of the winter promotion on 4th February or while stocks last.

    These are wines that are being delisted to make room for new and exciting products due in this summer.

    All of the below feature significant savings - up to £6 per bottle off existing prices. All promotional prices are applicable as multibuys, i.e. when two or more are purchased together as part of your case. Highlights include:

     

    Loire Valley, France:

    Saumur Champigny 2010, Château de Targé - Buy 2 bottles save £7.50

    Valençay 'Le Clos du Château' 2011, Claude Lafond - Buy 2 bottles save £6

    Vouvray Moelleux La Levrière 2011, Bourillon d'Orleans (Desert wine- Half bottle) - Buy 2 bottles save £10

    Southern French Reds/Whites:

    Mas des Mas 2011, Languedoc - Buy 2 bottles save £6.66

    Château La Dournie 2010, St Chinian - Buy 2 bottles save £6

    Domaine Tranquillité 2009, Bernard Magrez, Vin de Pays d'Oc - Buy 2 bottles save £5.50

    Mas des Mas Corbières 2011, Jean-Claude Mas - Buy 2 bottles save £6.66

    Domaine des Crès Ricards 'Alexaume' 2011, PGI Mont Baudile - Buy 2 bottles save £6.66

    Saint Michel Rouge 2009/10, PDO Gaillac - Buy 2 bottles save £5.50

    Crès Ricards Marsanne Roussanne 2011, PGI Pays d'Oc - Buy 2 bottles save £6.66

    Marquis de Pennautier Chardonnay 'Terroirs d'Altitude' 2010, PGI Pays d'Oc - Buy 2 bottles save £6.66

    Paul Mas Vermentino 2011, PGI Pays d'Oc - Buy 2 bottles save £5.50

    20% off Australian Wines:

    McHenry Hohnen Cabernet Merlot 2011, Margaret River

    The Galvo Garage 2007, d'Arenberg, McLaren Vale

    Mount Pleasant 'Elizabeth' Semillon 2005, McWilliams, Hunter Valley

    20% off New Zealand Wines:

    Te Mata Chardonnay, Woodthorpe Vineyard 2010, Hawke's Bay

    20% off Chilean Wines:

    Vistasur Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Central Valley

    Tabalí Reserva Especial 'Caliza Vineyard' Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Limarí Valley

    Tabalí Reserva Especial Chardonnay 2011, Limarí Valley  

    Argentinian Wines:

    Catalpa Chardonnay 2011, Atamisque - Buy 2 bottles save £9

    Catalpa Pinot Noir 2011, Atamisque - Buy 2 bottles save £9  

    Limited Availability Fine Wine ParcelDate published: 05/01/13

    We have just closed down our store in Weybridge for major refurbishment works during January and February. As a result we have received a tiny parcel of fantastic Fine Wines that are only avilable in store.

     

    Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron 1996, Pauillac, 2eme Cru Classé £175

    Chateau Lynch-Bages 1996, Pauillac 5eme Cru Classe £200

    Chateau de Fargues 2005, Sauternes £75

    Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Hameau de Blagny 2007, Domaine Martelet de Cherisey £40

    Meursault 2008, Domaine Pierre Morey £35

    Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs Canet 2008, Louis Carillon £50

    Puligny-Montrachet 2007, Moret-Nominé £30

    Puligny Montrachet 2008, Jean Marc Boillot £33

    Hermitage Farconnet Rouge 2007, J.L. Chave Selection £40

     

    Stocks of these wines are very limited so call in soon to talk to a member of team and pick up one of our fantastic wines.

    Winter warmers from BordeauxDate published: 08/12/12

    With Christmas on our doorstep there isn't a better time to stock up some hearty reds for the festive season.  One of the main reasons for the success of this French region is the excellent environment from the weather to the limestone foundations allowing growth of quality vines and prestigious wines.

    The red wines within the region of Bordeaux are more commonly a blend of grape varieties constructed from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Carmenere the latter two of which are less common these days.

    The typical blend of a Bordeaux wine consists of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot. 

    The region of Bordeaux is broken down small areas or 'appellations' each with their own laws dictating the structure of the wines and the quantity of each grape variety.  A common discussion topic for Bordeaux reds is the difference between the left and right banks of the rivers that flow down the middle of this wine region.  

    The Right Bank in Bordeaux is generally Merlot driven with significantly less Cabernet Sauvignon and are home to the Saint Emillion and Pomerol Appellations. A great example of a Saint-Emillion is the Vieux Remparts which is currently at £8.99 when you buy two or more bottles

      The Left Bank home to the Five classified First growths, Medoc and Graves Appellations in contrast will usually be predominately Cabernet Sauvignon and be more tannic to it's Right Bank counterparts.   The second wine of the Second Growth house Leoville Barton (Reserve de Leoville Barton) is currently reduced from £20 from £25 per bottle in stores. The incredibly popular blends of Bordeaux are replicated across the world particularly in the 'new world' (generally the southern hemisphere) such as the South African R M Nicholson by Rustenberg at £8.99 reduced from £12.99 when you buy two or more or the Benegas Lynch from the Mendoza region Argentina reduced from £30 to £25 per bottle.  

    Argentina Tasting WeekDate published: 19/10/12

    Starting today, we have a selection of wines from Argentina open to taste.

    From Argentina's signature grape variety Malbec to an intriuging blend incorporating Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Alongside the reds are two gorgeously rich Chardonnays and a clean and crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

    Catena is one of Argentina's premier wineries who provide the benchmark when it comes to Malbec in Argentina. Their standard bearer is a regular favourite and is currently on offer at £9.99 from £12.99*

    From the same stable is their Chardonnay which has had nine months barrel ageing giving a soft buttery texture to this luscious wine. Like its sibling the Malbec, it's on offer at £9.99 from £12.99*

    Vinalba is a bodega that won rave reviews when they introduced their Malbec a couple of years ago. Since then we've seen a range of wines from them not least this intuiging blend of Caberner Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot, all of which are varieties traditional to Bordeaux and S.W France, but here given the Argentinan treatment of rich fruit and soft tannin. On offer at £8.99 from £11.99*

    La Plata Sauvignon Blanc is a great value wine that is ideal for parties or a refreshing aperitif. Citrussy and light bodied this will be ideal with salads or seafood. On offer at £5.99 from £6.99*

     

    * When you buy two or more bottles as part of a mixed case of 6

    Trade Customer?Date published: 06/10/12

    If you're shopping for a business please contact us on 01892 615877 and we can
    put you in touch with our dedicated Commercial team. We offer exclusive
    wines, free delivery and credit terms.

    Need wine in a hurry? Call us now and to discuss your needs.
     

    Fine Wine FridayDate published: 02/10/12

    This month's wine is a real treat! From our special Spanish parcel is Vina Ardanza Reserva 1995, a Rioja that is fully mature (being old enough to sit its GCSEs were it a person!) With maturity comes complexity and mellowness - all that youthful vibrancy softens out into a plethora of flavours from strawberry fruit to truffles.

    Open this Friday 5th October, join us to discover a rarely available wine that's in very limited quantities at Majestic and in the UK.

    The Chocolate Block 2011Date published: 29/09/12

    From the amazing producer Boukenhoutskloof comes this iconic wine. With only 13000 bottles produced a year this is a rare beast we have just received.

    With a fascinating blend of 5 grape varieties, Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon and, Cinsault, it is fermented separately and aged for up to 18 months in French oak.

    It has a rustic nose and on the palate it transforms in to a fruity rich wine with flavours of ripe red fruit, leather and spice, with background flavours of dark chocolate (of course!) and coffee.

    It's perfect with a good fillet of Beef!

    It's currently on the South African multibuy, which means that it's down from £25.00 to £19.99 when you buy any 2 South African wines.

    Also from the same producer we have their exquisite Syrah, which is down from £30.00 to  £23.99 also on the South African multibuy.

    Decanter World Wine Awards 2012Date published: 21/09/12

    So this week the results of this years DWWA have been announced and we are pleased to announce that no less that 4 of our wines won renowned International Trophies, 3 wines won Regional Trophies, 9 of our wines won Gold medals and 33 won Silver medals.

    In total 166 medals we awarded to wines in our range.

    Here are a selection of winning wines.

    International Trophies

    The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2011 £9.99 (Please be aware that we have just taken delivery of the 2012 vintage after we sold out of the 2011. Word from New Zealand indicates that 2012 has surpassed the quality of last years vintage...)

    Paul Mas Grenache Blanc 2011 £8.49

    Bellingham Bernard Series Bush Vine Pinotage 2010 £11.99 when you buy any 2 SA wines

    Portillo Malbec 2011 £6.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles (Please note, this wine is due to arrive in Tunbridge Wells on Wednesday 26th September)

     

    Regional Trophies

    Marques de Caceres Antea Blanco 2010  £8.49 when you buy any 2 Spanish wines

     

    Gold Medals

    Taittinger 2005 £38, when you buy 2 or more bottles

    Taittinger Prelude Grands Crus £38, when you buy 2 or more bottles

    Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2010 £12.49, when you buy 2 or more bottles

    The Ned 'A Sticky End' Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2010 £12.99

    Wines of SpainDate published: 13/09/12

    As the Autumn starts to kick in, the food friendly wines from Spain come into their own as more hearty dishes make their way to our tables.

    Rioja is its most famous region, producing some of the best quality wines in the world, their wines are often a delight whether drunk by themselves or when partnering food. Recently, we have received an exciting parcel of mature Rioja from an impeccable source, all of which are from excellent vintages, from 1982 to 1995. There are some older vintages from our most popular Riojas such as Marqués de Riscal, Cune and Viña Ardanza. These wines are very limited, so get them while you can!

    Try: Viña Albina 1994 £18.74 or £14.99 when you buy any two Spanish wines*.

    If you prefer something a bit fruitier, Spain also produces excellent wines from the Tempranillo grape variety that are very different from what is produced in Rioja. Wines from the Ribera del Duero and the Toro region are often full bodied with a fruit driven character, more along the wines from the Rhone rather than Bordeaux.

    Try: Emilio Moro 2009, Ribera del Duero. £16.99 or £13.59 when you buy any two Spanish wines*

    Spain doesn't just grow Tempranillo of course. Garnacha (aka Grenache) is also grown, often as an adjunct to Tempranillo, but in some cases, it is the star. Papa Luna from Calatayud is a Grenache dominated blend which is full bodied and rich, not unlike the wines from the southern Rhône, and will appeal to fans of this style and Australian Shiraz.

    Try: Papa Luna 2010, Calatayud, £9.99 or £7.99 when you buy any two Spanish wines*

    Mencia is a grape variety that is by-and-large new to the UK, it comes from the Bierzo region, and has a host of fans who love its silky smooth tannins, cherry and bramble fruit character along with a streak of minerality that keeps it fresh. This variety will appeal to fans of New World Pinot Noir.

    Try: Pétalos 2010, Bierzo, £15.99 or £12.79 when you buy any two Spanish wines*

     

    *Offer excludes wines under £4.99 or over £25 and sherry.

    Wine of the Week - Yalumba 'Eden' Viognier 2010, South AustraliaDate published: 01/09/12

    Yalumba 'Eden' Viognier 2010, South Australia
    www.yalumba.com   @yalumba

    Yalumba has the largest mature Viognier resource and the oldest commercial vines in the Southern Hemisphere. The finest Viognier makes wines with intense perfume, with honeyed peach and apricot fruit.

    The grapes which formed this wine were harvested between 16th February and 5th March 2010 and had been subject to near-perfect growing conditions through an "even" summer of cool nights and no heat spikes – perfect for the ripening of flavours in the berries. As always it is a full-bodied dry wine, with a gorgeously perfumed floral scent and a ripe, peach and apricot fruit, with a silky palate-feel. Some lees ageing also gives a lovely creamy, nutty richness to the finish.

    This wine will continue to develop in the bottle firstly showing enhanced apricots and spice, then after a couple of years developing honey flavours and toast. A wonderful food wine - try it with Moroccan Tagine, or Thai noodles.

    Q is for...Date published: 24/08/12

    QUINCY

    A small region in the Loire Valley that produces white wines from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The grapes are generally grown on the left bank of the Cher tributary on sand and gravel soil. Racy and rustic especially when compared to its eastern neighbours Sancerre and Menetou-Salon.

    Try: J.C. Borgnat Quincy £9.99 or £8.99 if you buy two or more as part of a mixed case of six.

    P is for...Date published: 24/08/12

    PORT

    A fortified wine made by adding grape spirit (brandy) to arrest fermentation to produce a wine that is sweet and high in alcohol. Port's name comes from Oporto, the second largest city in Portugal.

    Port has been shipped to Britain for over 3oo years, originating from the trade wars between England and France, and through harsh taxation on French wines by William of Orange. The wines from the Douro Valley were dark coloured and astringent by the time they arrivd in London and earned the name of 'Blackstrap'. To stabilise the wines, wine merchants added brandy and thus Port was born producing similar wines to those that we know today.

    There are two broad categories of Port whose style is shaped from whether it has been cask or bottle aged.

    RUBY: The cheapest and simplest style of port. The wines are aged in bulk in wood or stainless steel tanks for 2-3 years before being bottled. These wines are characterised by their fiery yet fruity quality.

    TAWNY: A port that has been aged in wood over a number of years. Good quality tawnies will have an age statement on the label indicating that the wine are an average of 10, 20, 30, or even 40 years old. These wines have been aged in cask and sometimes go through a system of fractional blending similar to that of sherry.

    VINTAGE PORT: The flagship wine of Port. Wines are made from a single year from a blend of various parcels of the Estate's best land and grapes. The wine is aged in wood for 2-3 years before being bottles. The wine is then sold where further nuturing is left to the wine merchant or customer - Vintage Port can age over decades. Vintage ports are 'declared' only in years where the quality, quantity available and the market is judged fit. Vintage ports are usually only declared three times a decade.

    SINGLE QUINTA: Many Estates such as Graham's or Taylor's produce vinatge style ports from single plots of land in years where the quality was very good but not exceptional enough to be declared as a Vintage Port. These can be drunk younger than Vintage Ports, but can also age for a long period of time.

    LBV: Late Bottled Vintage. A wine that is from a single year, bottled between the fourth and sixth years after harvest. Designed to be drunk young and are made in years that were good but not excellent enough to be declared for vintage ports. The best styles are non-filtered as they retain their character.

    CRUSTED PORT: So called because of the deposit it creates in the bottle. This is a relatively new invention despite its 'crusty' name! They are a a blend of wines from different vintages and are bottled young with no filtration (hence its name). Like LBVs, they are a good, cheaper alternative to Vintage and Single Quinta ports.

    O is for...Date published: 23/08/12

    OENO-

    Oenophile - lover of wine

    Oenology - the knowledge or study of wine and is synonymous with 'winemaker'.

    Oenologist - one who is a winemaker.

    N is For...Date published: 23/08/12

    NYETIMBER

    The vineyard that put English sparkling wine on the map, and rivals many well known Champagne houses.

    Made in West Chiddlington in East Sussex, Nyetimber is mentioned in the Domesday book an was once home to Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's fourth and divorced wife.

    Nyetimber was purchased in 1986 by Stuart and Sandy Moss who believed that the gentle, well drained south facing slopes were ideal for producing quality grapes to make sparkling wine. They planted 20 Ha of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, and produced their first wine in 1992, a blanc de blancs (a wine made from just white grapes, in this case Chardonnay). In 1993 they produced their first blended wine their 'Classic Cuvée' which is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Nyetimber has been well regarded by our domestic market, but others were not convinced until 1997 when Nyetimber's '92 Blanc de Blancs caused a stir in France who were convinced it was French! It has since gained many accolades and has appeared at State banquets many times.

    Nyetimber is here at Majestic, the Classic Cuvée on offer at  £24.99 from £29.99,

    Blanc de Blancs is  £34.99  and the Rosé at £34.99 from £39.99

    New Cider in storeDate published: 18/08/12

    Ooops! Sorry it's Cidré not Cider! Stella's new Belgian Cidré now in stock at only £21.60 per case (£1.80 per bottle).

    Perfect for this, the hottest weekend of the year so far...

    Codorniu RoséDate published: 04/08/12

    Great value Cava Rosé - £7.99 (when you buy 2+ bottles)

    A chance for us to introduce you to Codorniu's new flagship Rosé, Codorniu Rosé.

    This wine is replacing the Extra de Codorniu (a favourite here in Tunbridge Wells!)

    Codorniu was established in 1551 and is a family owned winery in the Penendes region near Barcelona. In 1872 Codorniu was the first Spanish company to make sparkling wine using the traditional method (as used in Champagne) - later known as Cava.

    Codorniu Rosé is a traditional blend of local Spanish grapes, Monastrell, Garnacha and Trepat .

    An elegant, fruity sparkling wine, with flavours of citrus and strawberries to get your mouth watering.

    Perfect as an aperitif or as a partner for tapas and summer fruit desserts.

    The Rosé was awarded 'Gold' and 'Great Value Award' at the International Wine Challenge 2012.

    Codorniu BrutDate published: 04/08/12

    Great value Cava - £6.99

    A chance for us to introduce you to Codorniu's new flagship wine, Codorniu Brut.

    This wine is replacing the Extra de Codorniu (a favourite here in Tunbridge Wells!)

    Codorniu was established in 1551 and is a family owned winery in the Penendes region near Barcelona. In 1872 Codorniu was the first Spanish company to make sparkling wine using the traditional method (as used in Champagne) - later known as Cava.

    Codorniu Brut is a traditional blend of local Spanish grapes, Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada and remains true to the original style of Cava.

    It's fresh, crisp and elegant, with flavours of cotrus and apple.

    Perfect as an aperitif or as a partner for tapas and fish dishes.

    Fine Wine FridayDate published: 02/08/12

    Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2011 £19.99 for 2 or more or when you  mix with any other 20% New Zealand wines.

    This friday we are excited to be opening the finest sauvignon blanc from the Saint Clair family, the Wairau Reserve.

    Made using the finest grapes, this is a classic white wine sourced from two vineyard sites between Grovetwon and Riversdale in Marlborough, South Island. The climate is very similar to Martinborough but is cooler and windier so as a result, the sauvignons from here have higher acidity and a distinctively pungent tomato character. Also, the gravelly soils in the valley can give Sauvignon with pronounced capsicum whereas the smaller valleys that run off the south are hotter and give Sauvignons almost overripe tropical flavours..

    Saint Clair choose to ferment their wines with selected yeasts in 100% staineless steel vessels this is a favoured option of New World whites as the wines retain fruity characteristics and acidity, which is practiced through 90% of New Zealand Sauvignons.

    This wine has subtle fragrences of honeysuckle, powerful passion fruit and gooseberry flavours on the nose which develop into  citrus lime and ripe nettles on the palate. Full, rich and firm as well as a good partner to seafood dishes.

    We look forward to seeing you in store to taste the wine and plenty of others!

    M is for...Date published: 23/07/12

    M is for MACON LUGNY

    Macon Lugny is from the village of Lugny which is situated in the Macon region of Burgundy which lies south of the Cote d'Or, hence the name 'Macon Lugny'.

    The vast majority of wines made here are white, and the grape variety grown here is chardonnay. The wines are mostly vinified in stainless steel or glass lined concrete vats, creating a wine that is light and crisp that's ideal for early drinking.

    A wine that typifies this style is Domaines Terres Gentilles Macon Lugny 2011. A family run domaine of 50 Ha, they're committed to producing quality wines by limiting yields and strict selection of grapes at harvest before being vinified in stainless steel tanks. The wine itself is crisp and delicate with green apple fruit and hints of citrus and elderflower, perfect with salads and picnics.

    Jane McQuitty's Top 100 Summer Wines Part 1 - Whites and SparklingDate published: 21/07/12

    2011 Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc - £5.99 (When you buy 2+ Chilean Wines)
    Squeaky clean and proud of it, this stainless steel fermented and aged
    sauvignon is the wine to serve to Loire devotees who feel New World
    sauvignon somehow fails to hit the spot. Named in honour of the 120
    soldiers who hid in Santa Rita's cellars during Chile's war for
    independence, this grassy, punchy, 13.5 per cent alcohol, lime and green
    pepper-scented sauvignon is the wine to serve at all those mixed buffet
    summer parties.

    2011 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc - £5.99 (When you buy 2+ NZ Wines)
    Star Buy - Best Value
    This bowled me over with its mouthwatering blast of zesty, verdant, nettle,
    grass cuttings and flowering currant pisazz. All that, and closing on the
    zingy, tropical fruit note that has made Marlborough sauvignon so famous,
    effortlessly put Giesen ahead of the pack. Made with grapes from 32 plots
    in the Wairau valley, Giesen is just the job served with asparagus, or an
    Asian-spiced salad.

    2011 Wither Hills Chardonnay - £7.99 (When you buy 2+ NZ Wines)
    Star Buy - Best Buy
    Anyone tasting this 14 per cent alcohol Kiwi chardonnay will wonder why
    they bother with white burgundy - it made mincemeat of most of the sub-£8
    white burgundies it was lined up with. It oozes spiced baked apple and
    cinnamon flavours. With a fine, nutty, toasty, oak-derived finish, it was
    impossible to fault.

    2009 Les Princes Abbes Riesling Schlumberger £10.99 (When you buy 2+ bottles)
    Unthinkable to go through the summer without a fine Alsace white to savour
    alongside those powerfully flavoured summer dishes. If you have
    stomach-space for just one, make it this racy riesling. Schlumberger differ
    from other Alsace producers in that every wine it produces comes from
    grapes grown in its own vineyards. Such quality control has paid off and
    this mouthwatering riesling oozes bold, vibrant, thrillingly complex musk
    peach, lime and floral fruit.

    2008 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos St-Jean £24.99 (Price valid until 2nd August)
    The Gagnard family work together, which helps to explain why this premier
    cru is so good. From the northern end of the appellation, this swanky
    premier cru has lots of delicious, ripe, toasty, smoky, steely, again
    heavily oak-spiced fruit.

    Bouvet-Ladubay Saumur Brut NV £7.99
    Star Buy - Bargain Fizz
    Big summer party in view? Then you and yours will need a brilliant, bargain
    bubbly to crack open for the occasion. Made exclusively from the Loire's
    classy chenin blanc grape and stored in long, cold galleries hewn out of
    the region's tuffeau stone, what you get from this fine sparkler is lots of
    zippy, zesty, waxy, floral, honey-baked apple fruit.
     

    L is for...Date published: 17/07/12

    LEES

    Lees is an Old English word for dregs or sediment, and is the dead yeast cells, grape seeds, pulp, and the stem and skin fragments that are deposited during the winemaking process.

    Most wines are separated from their lees soon after fermentation to avoid the flavour compounds that is associated when using this method. Those that choose to deliberately stay on its lees - often for months or even years* at a time - do so to encourage a second fermentation known as malolactic fermentation. This process converts the harsh malic acid (commonly found in apples) into the softer lactic acid (commonly found in milk). The bacteria feed on the lees during this process resulting in a greater complexity of flavour in the wine. These flavours usually have a brioche-toasty-yeasty-nutty qualities and are celebrated in Champagnes and white Burgundies. 

    Some winemakers seek to increase the influence of the lees by stirring - known as 'batonnage' in French, and is literally stirred with a stick. Those wines that have had their lees stirred tend to have less influence from the oak barrels and are paler and less tannic than those wines whose lees have beeen left alone.

    Wines that are made deliberately to have contact with their lees is often described as SUR LIE. Muscadet is a famous example of this, and those that carry this suffix on their labels are generally of above average quality. To try a Muscadet Sur Lie, I would recommend Château du Cléray (£8.99 or £7.99 if you buy two or more bottles) - which is a steely dry wine with notes of toast and brioche and would pair well with white fish or mussels.

     

    *e.g. Champagne. Non- vintage Champagnes are aged on their lees for a minimum of 15 months whereas Vintage Champagnes are aged for a minimum of three years, but a few Houses keep them on for as much as a decade!

    Emily's Desert Island 6Date published: 10/07/12

    Astrolabe Kekerengu Coast, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010: £15.99 when 2 or more New Zealand wines are purchased (£19.99 single bottle)

    A superb Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. Crisp lime and grapefruit flavours with delicate floral undertones. Gorgeous.

    Rioja Reserva 2001, Vina Ardanza, La Rioja Alta: £18 when 2 or more are purchased (£22 single bottle price)

    A complex Rioja with plenty of red fruits and perfectly balanced spice and tannins. Great with braised lamb shanks.

    Shadowfax Chardonnay 2010, Mornington Peninsular, Victoria: £20 when 2 or more are purchased (£25 single bottle)

    A Big Australian Chardonnay but done with elegance. Tropical fruit with a slight nuttyness. Would stand up to richer poultry dishes.

    Sancerre Blanc 2011, Domaine Vacheron: £17.99

    All the gooseberry flavours you would expect from a Sancerre with an added minerality that gives a clean, crisp palate. Classically matched with goat's cheese. The first bottle I ever bought when I started working here and still a favourite.

    Kangarilla Road Shiraz, 2009, Mclaren Vale: £11.99 when 2 or more Australian wines are purchased (£14.99 single bottle)

    Warm and spicy with beautiful berry flavours. Perfect alongside roast beef with all the trimmings

    Pedro Xininez Triana, Hildago: £11.99

    Christmas pudding in a glass. Thick and sweet it is the ultimate comfort drink. Try drizzled over vanilla ice cream.

    Tuedsay 17th July - The Olympic Torch Relay Date published: 07/07/12

    Please be aware that there will be resricted access to the store from the south of Tunbridge Wells (Crowborough/ Langton Green/ Wadhurst/Groombridge) on this day due to the Olympic Torch visiting the town.

    If you have any queries regarding deliveries or collections on this day, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01892 615877.

    Fine Wine Friday Head-to-Head South Africa v FranceDate published: 03/07/12

    This Friday we are opening two fabulous wines, one from Walker Bay South Africa, and the other from Chassagne-Montrachet in Burgundy, France. Both wines are Chardonnays which have been carefully selected to suit the soils that they're planted on, and have under-gone similar processes during vinification and ageing, but can you tell the difference?

    To help, a little information on both wines: first up is Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet Clos St Jean 2008. On offer at £24.99, from £30.00

    Clos St Jean lies to the northern edge of the appellation of Chassagne-Montrachet near to St Aubin in the Cote de Beaune. The vineyards lie on limestone soils which give the wines its inherent mineral quality. The Fontaine-Gagnard family own about 10 Ha in the area producing some of the most famous and greatest wines in Burgundy. The wine is fermented in oak before ageing in French oak barriques for one year prior to bottling. The wine is golden in colour, full bodied and rich, intense with flavours of honey, caramel, citrus notes and a touch of apricot and a hint of toasty oak.

    Next up is Ataraxia Chardonnay 2009, Hemel-en-Aarde, Walker Bay, Western Cape, South Africa £28.99 or £23.00 if you buy two or more bottles.

    Ataraxia, Greek for 'tranquility' was founded in 2004 by a husband and wife team, Kevin and Hanli Grant and a few of their friends. The vineyards are west of Cape Agulhas the soputhernmost tip of South Africa and are grown on south facing slopes beneath the BabylonsToren mountain range. These factors give the area a mild climate and with the complex soils of sandstone, granite and shale, contribute to the exceptional quality of the wines. The wine is 100% barrel fermented in French oak and then is matured in small French oak barriques made by Burgundian coopers. Ataraxia though new world in provenance aims for Burgundian style and finesse. This wine is intense yet subtle with a core of grapefruit, peach, ripe pear and grilled hazelnuts with a mineral streak, and a creaminess lent by the oak.

    Rebecca's Desert Island 6Date published: 02/07/12

    Here are Rebecca's choices for her desert island 6.

    Au Bon Climat Hildegard 2006 Santa Maria Valley, California. £25.00

    This wine at first appears to be an unusual blend of 55% Pinot Gris, 40% Pinot Blanc and 5% Aligote, but is actually inspired by the oft-forgotten varieties grown in Burgundy. This wine is not to be forgotten however - it is rich yet is so light, full of hazelnut and almond notes as well as fruit flavours of pears and green apples, the oak lends a creamy texture to the whole. A must-have with smoked salmon or creamy chicken dishes.

    Chateau Musar 2004, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon £18.99 or £17.99 if you buy two or more bottles

    From the ancient vineyards in the Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley has Biblical roots - the Land of Milk and Honey. However the varieties that make up the red wine of Chateau Musar owes more to south west France being a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan. These are grapes that can thrive in the hot conditions of the Middle East, and give this wine its distinctive character. It is full bodied with flavours of blackcurrants blackberries, figs, and prunes with a cedar and sweet spice notes. Lamb tagine is a perfect partner for this wine.

    Cheval des Andes 2006, Mendoza, Argentina £45.00

    A project between Terrazes and Cheval Blanc, this is one of my all time favourite wines. It is a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, giving it an inky colour, silky smoothness, and it has an intense dark fruit flavour with myriad notes of spice, vanilla and oak. Steak is a must of course!

    Domaine Jomain Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 2009 'Les Perriers' £37.00

    I love white Burgundy, and this is a great expression of what Chardonnay can do. Rich but also a wine of great finesse, this wine has well integrated oak giving a creamy texture. Green apples, honey and hazelnuts on the palate, and a thread of minerality to give a clean edge to the wine. Drink now or it can go on for another 5-10 years.

    Torre Muga 2006, Rioja, Spain £45.00

    Rioja is my first love in wine, and Muga is my favourite Bodega. This is very serious Rioja that is just Majestic. Rich, intense, yet refined, it has a palate of dark fruit, plums and sweet spice. Drink with lamb or beef, or just by itself! It will also age for 20 years if you were so inclined!

    Bodegas Hildago Manzanilla Pastrana, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain. £10.99

    I'm a sucker for good sherry, and this is a fantastic bone-dry sherry from the coastal town of Sanlucar de Barrameda. Many of you may be familiar with their standard sherry 'La Gitana', this is a much richer and fuller example made from grapes from their best vineyard 'Pastrana'. Toasty brioche and lemon citrus, with that distinct savoury/salty tang that is unique to Manzanilla, this is something I always have sitting in my fridge at home and is great as an aperitif with olives and almonds.

    Rebecca's Reasonably Priced 6Date published: 02/07/12

    Now we are able to deliver you just 6 bottles we thought that you might like to hear about some of our own personal mixed cases that might inspire you to select some wines that you might not normally think of buying.

    Here are six wines that I've compiled which I believe are fantastic value for money.

    To start is a wine from my favourite region especially for great value wines, the Languedoc in South-West France:

    La Vielle Capitelle Gerard Bertrand 2009 £7.99, or £5.99 if you buy two or more bottles

    This wine is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mouvedre and Carignan, varieties that are traditionally found in the Rhone Valley, but are equally at home in the sunny South-West. This is a great mid-week wine being full bodied but not heavy, nice firm tannin and plenty of hedgerow fruit flavours. Perfect with bangers and mash!

    Chateau Romefort 2006, Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Medoc. £9.99 or £8.49 if you buy two or more bottles.

    I'm a big fan of Bordeaux wines (and the city!) and Chateau Romefort is a typical wine from the area, being a mid-weight dry red wine with lots of blackcurrant and brambly fruit and notes of cedar and vanilla. A lovely match for Sunday's roast beef.

    Anakena Indo Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Chile. £8.74 or £6.99 if you buy any two Chilean wines

    A great value New World Cabernet Sauvignon. Lashings of blackcurrant fruit but has complex notes of blackcurrant leaf, vanilla, coffee and  mulberries. Will go well with hard cheeses and casseroles.

    Domaine Aigle Chardonnay 2010, Languedoc, France. £10.99 or £8.99 if you buy two or more bottles.

    Another unashamed recommendation for a wine from the Languedoc! This time from a high altitude site in the Limoux, which extends the growing season giving the wine such finesse that you could be forgiven for thinking that this is a wine from the Cote d'Or in Burgundy! Golden delicious apples, hazelnuts with a streak of minerality runs through on the palate, it's amazingly well  balanced and nuanced. Enjoy with roast chicken and bread sauce.

    Montenovo Godello 2010/2011 Valdesil, Valdeorras, Spain. £9.99 or £7.99 when you buy two or more bottles.

    Godello is a native Spanish variety, and being new to me I just had to try it! And well worth the effort too - it's dry and crisp but not acidic, a nice mouth filling texture and flavours of apples and pears on the palate with a streak of aromatic herbaceous notes. This would be great with light tapas, especially pan-seared squid with lemon and black pepper.

    Corvina Rosso Veronese 2009 Ca'del Pipa £9.99 or £7.99 if you buy any two Italian wines

    From the Venice region, this wine is made from an excellent producer of Amarone, and the same attention to detail is displayed in this wine. This is a luxurious and velvety red with dark berry fruit, licorice, chocolate and sweet spices, and would be a great partner for duck and beef dishes.

    In the Press this weekDate published: 01/07/12

    The Times - Jane MacQuitty - 30 June

    Les Tourelles de Longueville 2007 (Available to order)
    Pichon-Baron is one of Pauillac's most prestigious second growths and, as
    such, even in a distinctly ordinary Bordeaux vintage such as 2007, an
    extraordinary good claret has been made. As befits a second wine made from
    lesser plots and less successful vats, this claret is just beginning to
    come into its own, displaying some elegant, forward, coffee bean, truffle,
    mocha and green pepper pizzazz. Still a little young for claret purists who
    will want to cellar this wine until at least 2017-2019. The rest of us will
    be sorely tempted to tuck into this juicy, young claret now with the likes
    beef carpaccio and rosy-pink roast lamb.


    The Independent - Kate Hilpern - 29 June

    Aix Rose 2011
    A magnum of decent wine is a treat for a get-together and this won't
    disappoint. Vibrant and summery, it is the definitive Provence rose. Good
    with canapes or seafood.

    Chateau Pigoudet La Chapelle Rose 2011
    A super-light wine with aromas of red apples and ripe cherries. It's
    fantastically fresh thanks to the winemaker's southern position.
     

    Montaudon Champagne open this weekend @ majestictun.Date published: 29/06/12

    This weekend we will be opening a Champagne new to Majestic Wine. The Montaudon from the Champagne headquarters, Reims.

    Champagne is a region (and drink of course) that  I have been fascinated with since joing the company. I have enjoyed examining the different styles and regions of Champagne including Montagne de Reims, Valle De La Marne, Epernay and The Cotes De Blancs.

    Reims is the headquarters of several of the greatest Champagne houses and quite a few smaller ones; about forty firms in total including Veuve Clicquot, Charles Heidsieck, Krug, Taittinger and Louis Roederer.

    The Montagne is hardly a mountain, more a large hill, and the vineyards run continuously along its northern slopes from Villers-Allerand to Mailly and for the very finest from Verzenay to Verzy. The blend from the region is usually Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier with a superb marriage of freshness and power, with rich fruit and mouth filling mousse. Mountaudon is a blend of 45% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Meunier plus 20% is from reserve wines to keep the blend consistent.

    There are several stages to the process of Champagne. Once the grapes are harvested, pressed and blended, they undergo a secondary fermentation that takes place in the bottle. The wine then follows a riddling process where the bottles are roated from horizontal to vertical positions before being allowed to rest for eighteen to thirty six months depending on vintage style.

    I hope you can come in this weekend to try the Montaudon and at just £15.00 per bottle and hopefully some glorious sunshine, I hope you can take some home!

    Paul's Desert Island SixDate published: 29/06/12

    Now we are able to deliver you just 6 bottles we thought that you might like to hear about some of our own personal mixed cases that might inspire you to select some wines that you might not normally think of buying.

    Here are Paul's choices for his desert island 6:

    Krug Grande Cuvée - £117 (per bottle when buying 6)

    Krug's uncompromising and single-minded determination to produce the best Champagne is legendary. Unquestionably one of the finest Champagnes in the world.

    Riesling Steinertal Smaragd 2009, Pichler - £33

    One of Wachau's most highly rated wineries, now in its 5th generation of family ownership. Minerality is to the fore, with crushed stone and iodine balancing lime-leaf and white stone fruit characters. There is a dart of citrus zest acidity, coming through on the finish, giving this wine a pure and refreshing nature. This is a wine that could be kept to evolve for enjoyment many years hence.

    Planeta 2009, Cometa - £25

    First produced 2000, this wine has quickly gained cult status as the finest expression of Fiano, the signature grape of Sicily. It displays an intense nose, with strident tangerine, peach and thyme notes. The palate is well structured with broad, creamy characters balanced by fine acidity and incredible length.

    Chianti Classico 2007, Castello di Fonterutoli - £35

    Juicy, refined, rich but nuanced - showing the achetypal Chianti ingredients of dark cherry, spice and a fine smokiness. New to our range, and sure to be a hit!

    Royal Tokaji, Szt. Tamas 1er Cru, 2003, 6 Puttonyos - £55

    The ultimate in sweet and unique wine - possibly Hungary's finest export! The 'Puttonyos' refers to the number of hods of sweet botrytised grapes added to the barrel in traditional production - 6 Puttonyos is rare, and sumptuous - full of rich apricot, peach and orange marmalade characters. Ethereal. Has to be tried to be believed.

    Château Lynch-Moussas 2006, Pauillac - £28

    An up-and-coming Château, a good vintage that's just now approaching drinking age, and classic Pauillac character - sweet vanilla, tobacco leaf, blackcurrant, and licorice. A treat.

    Paul's Reasonably Priced SixDate published: 29/06/12

    Proof that great wine needn't cost a fortune, the wines below are great examples of each type - the emphasis being on straightforward, easily-appreciated quality. 

    Casale di Valle Chianti 2010 DOCG - £6.39 (when you buy 2 or more Italian wines)

    The perfect accompaniment to my spag bol - lively and supple cherry and fresh red fruits mingled with spicy pepper notes. Not overly heavy at 12%, so ideal for a mid-week treat.

    McGuigan Shiraz 2011, South Eastern Australia - £5.99 (when you buy 2 or more Australian wines)

    Smooth drinking and delicious. Berry and plum fruit flavours predominate, and the trademark Shiraz pepper finish is evident. 

    Paul Mas Merlot 2011, PGI Pays d'Oc - £6.49 (when you buy 2 or more)

    Domaines Paul Mas are one of the largest and most successful wineries in the Languedoc. A textbook example of the rich and soft style of Merlot, structured by a bit of tannin.

    Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2011, South Australia - £7.59 (when you buy 2 or more Australian wines)

    Pioneers of the Viognier grape in Australia, Yalumba are experts in the production of this easy-drinking, peachy and apricot-y variety. This is a zippy, refreshing white, with a gorgeously perfumed floral scent and a ripe, peach and apricot fruit, with a silky palate-feel. Perfect with Lamb Tagine, or Thai noodles.

    Anakena Single Vineyard 'Lilen' Viognier 2011, Requínoa Valley - £7.99 (when you buy 2 or more Chilean wines)

    I love the Viogniers so muich, I had to include another! This one, from Chile, is a softer, creamier style. The restrained apricot fruit, accented with a savoury pancetta-like smoky note, would work beautifully with a mild chicken curry.

    Fairleigh Estate Pinot Noir Rosé 2011, Marlborough - £7.49 (when you buy 2 or more New Zealand wines)

    Exclusive to Majestic! I'm a big fan of Pinot Noir, and its delciously fruity roses. Chock-full of classic Pinot Noir aromas of raspberry and red cherry, delivered with delicacy and subtlety.

    James' Budget 6Date published: 25/06/12

    So you've seen my desert island 6, here's something with every bottle under a tenner.

    Santa Rita 120 Merlot 2011 - £5.99 (when you buy 2 or more Chilean wines)

    The Santa Rita 120 series are named in honour of the 120 patriot soldiers who found refuge in Santa Rita's hacienda during Chile's war of independance. The cellars where they were hidden are still being used today. This wine also has a tiny bit of Syrah in the blend and is showing intense aromas of red fruits and is accompanied by some floral, vanilla and tobacco notes. With soft tannins and the typical Chilean ripe fruit this is an obvious choice for light red meat dishes and pasta.

    Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc 2011 - £5.99 (when you buy 2 or more Chilean wines)

    The 120 range places the emphasis on lively, up front fruit flavours and great value. The grapes are hand harvested and after cool fermentation to maintain the full fruit character a tiny bit of Semillion is added to keep the wine well rounded. This is a crisp and refreshing wine with grapefruit and lemon fruit flavours and is perfect with seafood.

    Rioja Reserva 2006, Vina Eguia - £5.99 (when you buy 2 or more bottles)

    Made from 100% Tempranillio from the heart of the Rioja Alavesa sub region, this wine is aged for 24 months in French and American oak and 2 years in bottle. It has a deep, ruby appearance and has dark fruit, toasted oak and clove aromas on the palate. This goes well with a mature steak or manchego cheese and chorizo platter.

    Contessa Pecorino 2011 - £7.99 (when you buy 2 or more Italian wines)

    Pecorino is an early ripening, thick skinned grape native to central parts of Italy. Having been partly fermented in oak barrels (30%) this has a pleasing minerality and combined with citrus fruits, hints of hawthorn and orange blossom matches really well with Pecorino cheese or simple cod dishes.

    Barbera d'Alba Sucule 2008 - £7.99 (when you buy 2 or more Italian wines)

    Barbera is Italy's 3rd most planted grape variety and can be found in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. Alba is one of the best sites for growing Barbera and produces wines good enough to compete with Barolo. This shows black cherries, plums, spice and cherrys. Pasta with a fab tomato sauce partners this wine perfectly.

    St Michel Blanc Perlé 2010 - £6.99 (when you buy 2 or more bottles)

    Perlé is the french term for young wines with a natural 'pearls' or tiny bubbles preserved in the wine. This wine is made with grapes local to the area between Toulouse and Albi in southwest France. Zesty lemon and grapefruit characters are evident on the nose and the palate is equally as citrussy making this wine a perfect match for grilled fish and fresh seafood.

    James' Desert Island 6Date published: 25/06/12

    Now we are able to deliver you just 6 bottles we thought that you might like to hear about some of our own personal mixed cases that might inspire you to select some wines that you might not normally think of buying.

    Here are James' choices for his desert island 6.

    Bollinger Grand Annee 2002 - £60

    Only produced in exceptional vintages from Grand Cru grapes, this is rich, biscuity and Yeasty and is Bollinger to a tee.

    Castillo Ygay Tinto Gran Reserva Especial 2004 - £40

    Made from Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano all carefully selected from the estate in La Rioja giving the winemakers total control from picking the grapes to producing the wine. Made in the very best years this is a complex wine with aromas of black and red berry fruit and with additional spice and and vanilla on the palate leading to a sumptuous finish.

    Chateau Batailley 2004 - £35

    Unlike most left bank wines, this is mostly made up of Cabernet Franc and has a deep ruby/purple colour with elegant blackberry and truffle flavours. Drinking now this matches well with roast tederloin of Pork.

    Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Clos de la Garenne' 2008,  Jadot - £45

    A youthful PM full of lemon, apple and peach flavours with background scents of Seville oranges, roasted almonds and with a touch of oak this is drinking well now, or for those of us with patience will evolve over the next 10 years.

    Domaines Ott Rosé 2001, Bandol - £27

    The ultimate Provonce Rosé! Founded in 1896, Domaines Ott uses hand picking, careful sorting and delicate pressing to make a well balanced, complex rosé showing fresh berry aromas and hints of spice. Great as an aperitif or matched wit Asian cuisine.

    Amarone 2007, Allegrini - £50

    Allegrini are one of the 'famous five' Amarone producers. After careful fruit selection by hand picking, the fruit is then dried on straw mats unitil raisined then pressed to extract the rich concentrated juice to produce this amazing lush, complex wine. With aromas of smoked meat and balck cherry and violets on the palate this a unique wine experience and will match well with a rib of beef and Yorshire pud!

    The Joy of SixDate published: 16/06/12

    With the advent of our new minimum 6 bottle requirement for delivery, we have come up with 6 bottle cases that follow themes and hopefully will inspire you to try something new.

    So to start, a 6 bottle case of 'Every day Reds'

    2 x La Vielle Capitelle £7.99, buy two save £4, £5.99 per bottle

    2 x Esperanza Malbec £5.79

    2 x Vina Eguia Gran Reserva £12.99, buy two bottles save £8, £8.99 per bottle

    Total for case: £41.54

    Everday Whites

    2 x Macon Villages, Cave de Lugny, £7.99, buy two save £2, £6.99 per bottle

    2 x La Grille Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, £7.49, buy two save £2, £6.49 per bottle

    2 x Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc, £8.74, buy any two New Zealand wines save 20% £6.99 per bottle

    Total for case: £40.94

    Something for the Weekend (Reds)

    2 x Mendel Malbec £17.99, buy two save £6 £14.99

    2 x Matsu El Recio £15.99, buy two save £6 £12.99

    2 x La Casetta Valpollicella £15.99, buy any two Italian wines save 20%, £12.79 per bottle

    Total for case £81.54

     

    Look out for more ideas coming soon!

    Shadowfax gallops into viewDate published: 10/06/12

    Shadowfax. Isn't that the name of Gandalf's horse?

    It's also a smashingly good winery in Australia.

     

    On tasting this weekend is their 2009 Chardonnay grown in the cooler climates in southern Victoria, from various sites such as the Macedon Ranges (45%), Gippsland (24%), Geelong (20%) and Beechworth (11%).

    Hand picked, it is then fermented in French oak hogsheads using natural (local) yeasts as opposed to commercial yeasts, giving the wine a unique quality. It's aged for nine months in French oak barriques before bottling.

    Fresh and crisp, but with depth and weight, this wine has a delicate touch of oak, tropical fruit, and a touch of brioche. Elegant and Burgundian in style, this is the antithesis of the heavyweight Australian chardonnays of the 1980s and 90s.

    Shadowfax Chardonnay is a perfect accompiament for roast chicken with bread sauce or pan fried scallops.

    £25 or £20 each when you buy two or more bottles as part of a mixed case.

    Fine Wine Friday Head-to-HeadDate published: 31/05/12

    This Friday we are opening up two white wines from the the renowned producer Comte Lafond, the Sancerre 2010 and, the Pouilly Fumé 'Ladoucette' 2009.

    The domaine has been in the Lafond and Ladoucette families since 1787 when the Comte Lafond purchased the vineyards and Château from the illegitimate daughter of Louis XV. The current Baron, Patrick de Ladoucette, has been in charge of the estates since 1972 and has invested heavilly into the business creating some of the finest wines in Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé.

    Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé are two adjacent appellations (areas) facing the Loire River in France. The area is well known for its white wines - Sauvignon Blanc - but some reds and rosé are also produced (made from Pinot Noir).

    The soil types are important to the growing of these vines, each giving different qualities and as such, each parcel is vinified separately to preserve their distinctive qualities. Limestone produces wines that are perfumed and delicate, flint gives more depth and a mineral character whilst clay makes a beefier wine. The wines are fermented in stainless steel preserving the freshness that is inherent in the grape variety of Sauvignon Blanc, and are aged on their lees for 6 to 9 months giving a richness to the wines.

    The Sancerre has a great depth of flavour whilst the Pouilly Fume has a strong mineral character with that classic gunshot and smokiness - so come in this Friday to taste the difference between these two areas,and see which one you prefer!

    Both Ladoucette Pouilly Fumé and the Lafond Sancerre are £25 each as part of a mixed case of six.

    K is for...Date published: 12/05/12

    Krug Champagne house was set up by German born Johan-Joseph Krug in 1843. It is a relatively small house but with an excellent reputation. Krug specialises in Prestige Cuvees and it's Grand Cuvee (a blend of 6-9 vintages) is the most well known. Krug 1996 is an extraordinary wine and has been described as faultless. It is now run by Olivier Krug.

    Champagne is unique because it is the only wine producing region that just makes sparkling wine. There are 3 main grape varieties used, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The traditional method (aka the Champagne method) must be used and does differ from the production of other sparkling wines. Even though 66% of the grapes used for Champagne are black the majority of the wine produced is white, this means that the grapes need to be pressed as quickly and as carefully as possible to avoid the colour bleeding into the wine.

    Fermentation usually takes place in stainless steel tanks as the temperature can be controlled more easily than it can in oak. Champagne houses rely on blending various vintages and base wines to maintain the quality of their non-vintage Champagnes. Some of the largest producers have up to 70 wines at their disposal. Once the belnding has taken place liqueur de tirage (wine,sugar,yeast and clarfifying agensts) is added. The bottle is then sealed.

    The bottles are then stacked horizontally. The secondary fermentation takes around 6-8 weeks, the CO2 created by the dying yeast cells create the fizz.. The dead yeast cells create a sediment that needs to be removed, this is done in a 2 step process, riddling and disgorgement. Riddling is the process by which the bottles are slowly turned into an upside down vertical position. When the sediment has settled into the neck of the bottle it is plunged into a very cold brine solution that freezes the liquid and the sediment. The bottle is unsealed and the pressure built up within the bottle pushes out the frozen plug. The bottle is topped up and a cork is inserted and a wire cage is added.

    J is for...Date published: 03/05/12

    Jerez is the city at the fore front of the sherry industry. It lies in Andalucia on the south west of Spain. The English word sherry comes from a mispronounciation of the word Jerez. The 2 biggest markets for sherry, other than Spain itself, are Great Britain and the Netherlands.

    Only 3 grape types are permitted in Jerez. Palomino makes up 95% of the vines grown in the area and are used to make dry sherries. Pedro Ximinez and Muscat of Alexandria are planted in very small amounts and are used to produce sweet sherries. The climate of the region is mainly dependent on the prevailing winds but temperatures can reach 40°C during harvest time.

    For dry sherry, the Palomino grapes are harvested and taken to press as quickly as possible to reduce the chances of oxidation. Pressing itself has to be extremely controlled because the amount of pressure exerted can affect the style of the wine produced. The fermentation process, nowadays, usually occurs in stainless steel tanks rather than the traditional oak barrels. The temperature is set to between 20-25°C. The wine can be left to ferment for as long as 12 weeks when all the sugar has been converted into alcohol. The end product is a very dry, fermented wine with an average alcohol content of 11-12%.

    The wine is then left unsealed to allow layers of yeast cells (flor) to occur. The flor feeds off the alcohol and the oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and acetaldehyde, the substance that gives sherry its unique flavour.

    The solera system is the well known maturation process in sherry. Rows of oak butts are arranged in levels called criadera, there can be between 3 and 14 cridera in a single solera. Each level holds sherry of different average ages, for example the top level, the 3rd cridera holds the youngest and the bottom level, called the solera holds the oldest. When the desired average age is met the wine is extracted and space is created in the butts. Wine is added to the top cridera and allowed to filter down through the levels. At each level it is blended with the sherry already present. It is impossible to tell the exact age of the sherry due to this blending process, so an average age is given. Producers will commonly keep the seperate cridera in seperate buildings in case there is a fire or other disaster.

    Come and try Tio Pepe this weekend on our tasting counter. It is best served as an aperitif ice cold and works well with tapas dishes.

    Fine Wine FridayDate published: 03/05/12

    Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru, Nicolas Potal 2006 - £19.99

    Morey-Saint-Denis is a village in Burgandy producing red wine from pinot noir. It is located between the well known Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertain. Like its location the style of red wine produced from Morey-Saint-Denis is often described as being in between the 2, lighter in style than Gevrey-Chambertain and heavier than Chambolle-Musigny. Morey-Saint-Denis has 4 grand cru vineyards, Clos de la Roche, Clos St-Denis, Clos des Lambreys and Clos de Tart. 

    This Nicolas Potel wine comes from the vineyard Les Sorbes, a premier cru situated on clay and chalk which is ideal for the style of wine. Nicolas Potel is a well known producer in Burgandy and is now based in Nuits-Saint-Georges. The majority of wines produced are red although he does produce some high quality white wines as well.

    The wine has red fruit characterswith hints of smoke giving the palate added complexity. It is drinking now or could be left for another couple of years. It will go really well with pan fried duck due to its fruity character.

    Come in and try it for youself instore Friday 4th May. 

    I is for...Date published: 27/04/12

    Italy is one of the largest wine producing countires in the world. Due to its shape and location the climate throughout can vary considerably. For the purpose of wine production the climate is mainly affected by altitude. The Romans began planting vines on mountain sides and that is still very much the case today, with a few minor exceptions. Italian winters can be exceptionally harsh and many high altitude crops can be lost. Vineyards closer to sea level tend to ripen and therefore harvest earlier, due to cool days and warm nights.

    Italy still use some ancient grape varieties, some can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks. Others are more modern introductions. Italy's best known grape types include sangiovese, barbera, pinot grigio and nebbiolo.

    Like a lot of European countries Italy designates certain wines and regions to main high production standards. The Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP) are registered with the EU and include:

    Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) is the highest classification. These wines must meet certain, strict criteria, for example they must be bottled in the same region and they may be subject to tasting by the Minstry of Agriculture. They include red, white and sparkling wines such as Barolo, Chianti, Gavi, Vernaccia di San Gimigano and Conegliano-Valdobbiadene.

    Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) is slightly less controlled than DOCG wines. DOC controls the geographical area, the types of grapes used and often the alcohol content. There are over 300 DOC wines.

    Come and make the most of our 20% off Italy offer. You can make up a mixed case of a wide range of wines to suit any palate. A couple to highlight:

    A new sangiovese blend - Spolverino, this will go great with BBQ pork this summer and Poggioargentiera Vermentino, a clean, fresh and citrussy white that will stand up to lighly spiced dishes. Both are open to tast this weekend in our Summer Arrivals tasting week.

    H is for ...Date published: 13/04/12

    Haut-Brion is a famous chateau in the Pessac region of Bordeaux. It was the first to become a premier cru in the 1855 classification of Bordeaux wines and Samuel Pepys also spoke of it in 1663, claiming it was like nothing he had ever tasted.

    Premier crus (or first growths) in the Bordeaux sense were classified to exhibit the most prestigious Chateaux (Chx) in the region. They include Ch. Lafite, Ch. Letour, Ch. Margaux, Ch. Haut-Brion and Ch. Mouton Rothschild. Haut-Brion being the only one classified not to be a Medoc. Even though technically not classified Pétrus is still very well thought of.

    The 16th century Chateau Haut-Brion is situated in 130 acres of vinyards. Broken down into cabernet sauvignon (55%), merlot (23%) and cabernet franc (22%). It produces around 13,000 cases of wines a year, including their white wine which is made up of nearly equal parts sémillon and sauvignon blanc.

    The Chateau was owned by the Pontac family in the late 17th century, until Francois-Auguste de Pontac died leaving no obvious heirs. The estate was split and not reunited until 1840. After this it saw a number of unsuccessful owners until it was bought by Clarence Dillon, an American banker, in 1935 and is now owned by his grand-daughter.

    G is for...Date published: 04/04/12

    Gamay is a French grape variety responsible for the distinctive characteristics of Beaujolais wines. It was introduced in the late 1300s and was not well received by many who believed that more should have been done to retain pinot noir vines. The gamay vine is a reasonably delicate one, flowering and ripening early which makes it suseptable to spring frosts. This does, however, mean that it can flourish is cooler areas.

    Gamay juice is often vinified in a hurry due to market pressure. Vinification techniques can vary but most common is a local variation to carbonic maceration. The juice is paler and bluer than most other reds and had relatively high acidity and a simple aroma of fresh red fruits and often vague smells of things assiciated with rapid, anaerated fermentation such as bananas, boiled sweets and acetone.

    In France and Switzerland it is often blended with pinot noir, which tends to disguise with characteristics associated with both grape types.

    The gamay fruits are naturally low in potential alcohol and the main attraction is the refreshing lightness it posesses. Beaujolais regulations state that alcohol content cannot exceed 13%. Gamay and Beaujolais are entirely linked, very few other areas are completely dominated by a single grape variety.

    Very few wine-producing regions outside France and Switzerland bother with gamay. A small number of Californian growers have imported true gamay vines but they are in the minority.

    Try ... Morgon Jean Descombes, 2010, Georges Duboeuf £9.99 (when 2 or more bottles are purchased as part of a mixed case). It is new in and open on our tasting counter. Will be great with lighter roasts, such as pork, this Easter!

    F is for...Date published: 28/03/12

    Fermentation (in wine) is the process in which sugar is converted into ethanol (ethyl alcohol) and CO2 is created by the metabolism of yeast cells.

    There are 2 categories of yeast used for wine fermentation. Cultured yeasts are strains of natural yeasts that have been produced in a lab. They may be used because the juice has been cleansed, the wine-maker may prefer their reliability or because specific strains are more tolerant to higher alcohol levels or higher pressures (in sparkling wine fermentation). Natural yeasts are found in the waxy substance that covers the skin or ripe grapes. When fully ripe the coating of yeast can reach 10 million cells, although only 1% are "wine yeasts"

    In red wine the grapes are destemmed and lightly crushed before being pumped into a vat where fermentation will begin between 12 hours and several days later. To encourage fermentation the juice may be heated or yeast cultures added. Juice is pumped from the bottom of the vat to the top to keep it in contact with the skins for as long as possible to ensure maximum colour extraction. Higher temperatures during fermentation mean more colour and higher tannins, while lower temperatures give fresher fruit flavours. The optimum temperature for fermenting red wine is 29.4°C.

    Whire wine differs only slightly in the fermentation process. The juice is extracted and separated from the skins. The juice is cleansed and then pumped into a fermenting vat or directly into oak barrels. Yeast cultures are more likely to be added as the juice is in very limited contaced with the natural yeast on the skins. The optimum temperature for fermenting white wine is 18°C. Altough many wine-makers prefer lower temperatures as they give lighter, less acidic wines.

    Fermentation can be halted in a number of ways but the yeast will die when the alcohol levels become toxic, usually around 15-16%, unless they have been especially bred to withstand higher %.

    Malolactic fermentation is posively encouraged in red wines and fuller, more complex white wines. It tends to be avoided in light, crisp wines. It is a biochemical process that converts "hard" malic acid of unripe grapes in 2 parts "soft" lactic acid and 1 part carbonic gas.

    Wine makers have a choice between oak or stanless steel containers for fermentaion and the following maturation. The cost is an important factor but the containers also have opposing effects on the wine. Stainless steel is long lasting and easy to keep clean. It is also well suited to all forms of temprature control and produces wine that are fresh and pure in character. Oak casks have a limited life and are not easy to keep clean as they cannot be steralised. Temperature control can be a problem. Air can move in and out causing oxidisation and evaporation, both effecting the flavour of the end wine. Oak gives the wine a distinctive "vanillary" and creamy component.

    E is for...Date published: 21/03/12

    España is the third most important wine producing country in the world. 3.5 millions acres of planted vines produce 924 million gallons of wine. This is quite a low yield for the amount of vines, this is thought to be due to the drought like conditions in central Spain.

    Wine laws in spain were brought into line with other European countries when it joined the EU. According to the Instituto Nacional de Denominaciones de Origen (INDO) there is a 4 tiered system for classifying regions. Vino de mesa (VdM) is at the bottom and includes all wine made from unclassified vineyards or wine that has been declassified due to blending. Vino de la Tierra (VdlT) applies to wines from a specific region provided that producers conform to local guidelines. Denominación de Origen (DO) regions make up the majoity of the country. Each DO has its own regulator that controls the growing, making and marketing of wines by making sure they comply with regional standards. Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa) were added due to the large numbers of DOs. Rioja was the first region to become a DOCa in 1991.

    The Spanish claim to have up to 600 grape varieties but just 20 make up over 80% of the vines that cover Spain. Problems with phylloxera have meant that varieties that are well suited to local climates are favoured. The white grape airén grows very well in areas of drought and is grown through out central Spain. It is the most widely planted grape followed by garnacha which flourishes in windy conditions and is a grape used in red and rose wines. Tempranillo is Spain's best known grape and can be used to make some high quality wines.

    Tempranillo is well suited to oak aging as it picks up the flavour well. Spanish wine makers tend to use American oak rather than French due to the lower costs. Oak aged reds are classified as crianza, reserva or gran reserva depending on how long they have been kept in oak. Crianza is aged for at least one year, 6 months of which need to be in oak. Reserva is aged for 3 years, 1 of which needs to be in oak and gran reserva is aged for 2 years in barrels and a further 3 years in tanks or bottles.

    Come and try some Spanish wines during our Spanish tasting week (23rd-30th March) and enjoy 20% off Spanish wines until 23rd April.

    Try... Rioja Reserva Vendimia Seleccionada, 2006, Muriel £5.99 when at least 2 Spanish wines are purchased. This will work great with Spring lamb dishes over Easter!

    D is for ...Date published: 15/03/12

    Douro DOC (Deniminação de Origem Controlada) is a wine producing region that runs from Spain into Portugal. It has only been easily accessible by road since the late 1980s. Douro was not an obvious area for any type of large scale growing due to its steep slopes, slatey surfaces with very little top soil and the summer sun can get up to temperature of 38ºC. Human intervention and the hardiness of vines was required. Walls were built in "terraces" to avoid the land and vines falling away, which also stopped the water running straight off the hillsides.

    A large canyon runs through the Douro. The least developed area, which also happens to be the driest and the flattest is known as the Upper Douro or Douro Superior and produces some of the finest wines in the area.

    Douro is principally known for its Port, even though as much "table" wine is produced as its fortified counterpart. The initial fermentaion of Port differs very little from that of the rest of the world except the vinification temperatures can be as high as 32ºC. When the alcohol level reaches 6-8% the wine is fortified. When the sweetness of the fermenting juices drops to around 90g/l a clear, flavourless, grape-distilled spirit of 77% alcohol, known as aguardente in Portugal, is added. If done correctly the aguardente halts fermentation and eventually harmonises with the fruit and natural sweetness of the wine.

    Until 1986, all Port had to be matured and bottled at Vila Nova de Gaia on the left bank of the Douro estuary. This is no longer law.

    Try...

    Taylors Late Bottled Vintage Port, 2005, £13.99

    Also..

    Come and try some other Portugese wines at out Portugal tasting week from 16th-19th March

    Wine of the Week - Marqués de Riscal Reserva 2006Date published: 13/03/12

     Marqués de Riscal Reserva - £13.74 or buy any two Spanish wines, save 20% -  £10.99 each.

    With the latest promotion, we are highlighting the hugely popular Marqués de Riscal Reserva 2006, and is also very much a staff favourite. This bodega has a long and illustrious history with Don Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga, the Marqués de Riscal who brought groundbreaking winemaking techniques from Bordeaux and transformed the face of Rioja in 1858. The Reserva is one of their iconic wines, widely regarded as one of the top examples of traditional Rioja. Their winery is an amalgam of state of the art architecture – designed by Frank Gehry – and the traditional, the wines being aged in cellars dating back to the 19th century.

    Marqués de Riscal Reserva wines are basically made from tempranillo vines over 15 years old, grown in the best clay-limestone soils of the Rioja Alavesa. This variety withstands oak and bottle ageing well thanks to its good balance of acidity and fine tannin. The Graciano and Mazuelo varieties, whose presence in the blend does not exceed 10% provides crispness and a deep colour. Riscal reserva spend around two years in American-oak casks, producing the classic Rioja style: fresh, fine, elegant and very suitable for laying down for many years. Before release for sale it spends a minimum of one year softening off in the bottle.

    The wine is a deep ruby red in colour, with spicy aromas of great complexity, with notes of ripe dark berries and nuances lightly toasted oak and vanilla. On the palate, it is full and rich, with good structure and rounded elegant tannins. Hedgerow fruits abound with notes of vanilla, oak and sweet spice, leading to a long and satisfying finish.

    Food pairing: This wine goes well with ham, mild cheeses, casseroles which are not highly spiced, bean and pulse dishes, poultry, red meat, grills and roasts, and is best served between 16º and 18ºC.

    Mid Week MoodbusterDate published: 13/03/12

    As the latest series of Masterchef draws to a close we thought that you might like a few wine suggestions as we watch Tom, Shelina and Andrew battle it out across some of Europe's best Michelin starred restaurants to be crowned Britian's best amateur chef.

    Whilst we can't offer you Petrus, Latour or Lafite to enjoy with your foodie viewing like you might expect to see in the afore mentioned restaurants (well we could if you wanted us to...) here are two wines that have just come back on offer to enhance your viewing pleasure.

    MURIEL RESERVA 2005 £5.99 (when you buy any 2 Spanish wines)

    Having spent two years in French and American oak barrels then two years in bottle, this wine is now a beautiful dark ruby red with Mediterranean herb notes and amazing background vanilla flavours with smooth tannins. Goes great with Moussaka or most pasta dishes.

    FAIRLEIGH ESTATE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011 £5.99 (when you buy 2+ bottles)

    This is a delicious crisp and citrusy wine bursting with gooseberries and passion fruit. Great with fish or chicken dishes.

    Who you rooting for in Masterchef? My money is on Shelina!!!

    Wine of the week - Blind River Sauvignon Blanc, MarlboroughDate published: 07/03/12

    This week we have opened the wonderful Blind River sauvignon blanc.

    New Zealand, in particular Marlborough, is famous for sauvignon blanc, but this wine is not your usual Kiwi sauvignon.

    The Blind River has the gooseberry and grassy notes that are so familiar to lovers of sauvignon blanc, yet these aromas and flavours are enhanced by oak aging.  10% of the wine is barrel-fermented.  This gives the wine real depth and richness.  This style of wine is known as fume blanc in the U.S.A.

    The deep fruit flavour is impressive, with passion fruit, guava and citrus to the fore.  There are plenty of other tropical notes to tantalise the taste buds. 

    The Blind River is a great wine and matches well with fine seafood dishes, Thai prawn stir-fry or scallops with minted pea puree.

    At £9.99 when buying two or more as part of a case of six, can you afford not to buy it?

    C is for...Date published: 07/03/12

    Chianti is a region in Tuscany. It produces red wine from at least 75% sangiovese and up to 10% cananiolo and trebbiano. Chianti is classified as a DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) the highest ranking in Italy. When the classification occured its yields of wine were decreased, the amount of white grapes used in the blend were reduced and up to 10% cabernet sauvignon was permitted.

    Chianti is made in 1 of 2 main styles. Fruity and fresh designed for drinking young or drier and more tannic intended for barrel or tank and then bottle ageing. A local tradtion is to add governo, a very sweet, dried grape to the wine after fermentation to make it referment and add a slight fizz. This process is rarely used in wines intended for ageing.

    As the DOCG was given to the entire area of Chiant it is not a complete garuntee of quality. The finest Chiantis are often sold as classico and have the lowest yields to maintain the demand.

    The best basic chianti shows juicy cherry, raspberry and plummy flavours and its considered an "easy drinker".

    Try...

    Poliziano Chianti DOCG, 2009 £8.99 (when 2 or more bottles are purchased as party of a mixed case. This wine will work well with cured meats and other antipasti

    Argentinian Malbec in depthDate published: 04/03/12

    As it's Argentinian tasting week, here is a little information on its main wine region Mendoza, and its grape, Malbec.

    Along with Lionel Messi and its beef, Malbec is Argentina's greatest export (and yes, Messi is another celebrity with his own vineyard).

    Although Malbec is Argentina's emblematic grape variety, its origins are in France. It was the most widely planted variety in Bordeaux in the 18th century, but was subsequently affected by the scourge of Phylloxera and the rise of the fashionable Cabernet Sauvignon in the 19th century. These days in France, it's mostly found in the South-West where it is known as the 'Black Grape of Cahors', and as the name suggests, the wines are famed for being deeply coloured and tannic and can require years of ageing.

    The conditions in Argentina however are ideal for the growing of this highly coloured and richly flavoured wine. Where Chile produces quality wines from vineyards based in areas protected by both the Andes and the cool maritime conditions of the Pacific, Argentina produces its best wines at altitude. The province of Mendoza is where the best wines are made in Argentina (the exception being Patagonia), with vineyards ranging from 1,500 to 5,580 feet above sea level. At these lofty heights - unthinkable elsewhere in the world - the cool nights mitigate the high average day time temperatures, allowing the wines to develop finesse that they would not have otherwise.  Being a dry country, the vines are under less stress from disease, which means few or no chemicals are used in the vineyards. The soil also contributes to this overall health.  A high proportion is sandy which allow vines affected by Phylloxera to recover as the louse isn't too keen on this soil type, and thus the vine can grow new shoots to compensate. 

    The intense flavours for which the grapes are reknowned is due to the strong sunlight, the dry air, and the diurnal temperature differences. This climate allows the vines to easily ripen.  Because of this, some viticulturists deliberately slow the process by using natural drip irrigation, thereby intensifying flavours by making the vine work harder!

    Our favourite Malbecs at the Tunbridge Wells store:

    Paul: Vinalba Reserva Malbec 2010 £10.99 or £8.99 when you buy two or more.

    George: BenMarco 2008 £12.99 or £11.99 when you buy two or more.

    Rebecca: Terrazas de los Andes Selection Malbec 2008 £11.99 or £9.99 when you buy two or more.

    B is for ...Date published: 03/03/12

    Bordeaux is a region in the south west of France and is a well known wine producing area. It is reknowned for its red wines which are made from a blend; the 5 main grape varieties are merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, cabernet franc and petit verdot.

    Bordeaux is split into left bank and right bank by the river Gironde and its tributaries Dordogne and Garonne.

    The left bank's dominant grape is cabernet sauvignon and its well known areas include Margaux, Pauillac and Haut-Médoc. The right bank's dominant grape is merlot and its well known areas include Saint-Emilion and Pomerol.

    Cabernet sauvignon takes longer to soften than merlot so right bank wines tend to be drunk younger while left bank wines are better kept for a few more years.

    Try...

    BriO de Cantenac Brown 2007, Margaux £18.99 (when to or more bottles are puchased as part of a mixed case)

    FINE WINE FRIDAY - MASI AMARONE 2007Date published: 02/03/12

    Today is Fine Wine Friday, and this week we're tasting the amazing Amarone from Masi.

    Price £30.00 Buy 2 bottles save £8 - £26.00

    Amarone is a full bodied wine that goes through an unusual process where grapes are dried on bamboo matting for three to four months before fermentation which concentrates the natural sugars and develops extra complexity. The grapes from this wine are grown on the Costasera - these slopes are regarded the best for growing the grapes used for Amarone as they face on a south-westerly direction overlooking Lake Garda (some vines have all the luck!) allowing the vines to have as much exposure to sunlight as possible and benefit from the mild climate around this area. This Amarone is a blend of native grape varieties comprising 70% Corvina, 25% Rodinella, and 5% Molinara. After the drying process and fermentation in large oak barrels, 80% of the wine is matured in new Slavonian oak barrels which can contain between 40 - 80hl, and 20% are aged in smaller French oak barrels that are re-used from the previous two vintages. The wine is aged in these barrels for two years prior to bottling.

    A richly coloured and scented wine, with aromas of baked red fruit, cinnamon and cloves, leading to a seriously silky palate redolent of morello cherries, red apple strudel, raisins, and sweet spices. Drink now or this can happily age for at least a decade or longer if you were so inclined! Will pair well with a saddle of venison, chateaubriand, or a good, hearty stew.It will also be a great alternative to port for a cheeseboard due to its full body and rich fruit flavours.

    This wine is available to taste from today.

    New Arrival - St Hallett Poachers Blend 2010 £4.99Date published: 23/02/12

    Located in the heart of Australia's iconic Barossa wine region, St Hallett Wines has been producing fine wines since it was established in 1944. All the fruit used in St Hallett wines are grown and made in the Barossa, with the region's rich and diverse soils enabling us to create an exciting range of full flavoured and interestingly textured wines - these are savoured around the world and recognised as benchmarks of the Barossa.

    Colour - Pale straw yellow with a subtle green hue.

    Bouquet - The nose is brimming with lifted limes and tropical fruit aromas of passion fruit and rock melon, with underlying grassy aromas.

    Palate - Full flavoured and generous, the palate exhibits an array of lime and tropical fruit flavours that persist over the whole length of the palate, finishing with a zesty lemon twist. The slightly phenolic backbone provides structure and mouth feel, which is balanced with zingy crisp acidity.

    Only £4.99 (2+ bottles £8.99 single bottle price)

    A to Z of Wine. A is for...Date published: 22/02/12

    The grape is known as Albariño in Spain and Alvarinho in Portugal.

    It is a white grape well suited to damp areas due to its relatively thick skin. Which is why it is commonly used in the Rias Biaxas area in north west Spain (one of the five areas that make up Galicia DO) and Vinho Verde in Portugal. Both areas are cooler and wetter than other areas within their respective countries.

    It produces wine often with high acidity and alcohol, giving a destinctive aromatic flavour with citrus and peachy notes. As the main diet in Rias Biaxes consists of seafood, the wine is a great accompaniment to any light seafood dish.

    Try:

    Albariño Martin Codax 2010, Rias Biaxes £9.99 (when 2 or more bottles are purchased)

    Wine of the Week - Muga Reserva 2007Date published: 22/02/12

    Muga Reserva 2007

    £17.49 or £13.99 when you buy two or more bottles


    Bodegas Muga was founded by Isaac Martínez and his wife Auro Caño in 1932 in Haro, at the Western end of Rioja Alta, at the foot of the Montes Obarenses. Martínez and his wife are both descendents of local winemaking families, establishing themselves firstly in the centre of Haro, then later further outside the town alongside two other notable Rioja producers: CVNE and La Rioja Alta, producing some of the area's most famous and outstanding wines.

    The climate here is influenced by Mediterranean, Continental, and Atlantic climates which brings a ripeness and a freshness to the wine. The vineyards are located on a series of terraces on mainly clay and calcerous soils. The predominate variety grown is Tempranillo; Graciano, Garnacha (Grenache) and Mazuelo (Carignan) are used to add greater complexity to Muga's wines.

    The wines are vinified in a traditional manner, using large oak casks ranging from 3,000 to 15,000 kg in capacity, allowing the Bodega to produce different styles and quality of wine. Once the wines have finished the process of ageing in oak casks, the wine is clarified using egg whites, the remnants of which are then composted and used as fertilisers in the vineyards.

    The reserva is aged in large oak vats for 6 months and then is further aged in small oak barrels for 24 months, and then aged for another 12 months in bottle before release. Muga's oak aging far exceeds the requirement for oak ageing for reservas which only require twelve months in oak. Into the blend for the reserva is 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and 10% Mazuelo and Graciano.

    The wine has an intense nose of red berried fruit, vanilla, toasty oak and blackberries, which leads to a rich palate of black fruit, sweet spice and a fresh minerality, allied to supple and seriously smooth tannins. This wine will pair well with lamb shanks, or Mediterranean and North African cuisine.

    This wine is available to taste now!. Come in and try this exquisite wine!

    Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon Sunday 26th February 2012Date published: 19/02/12

    Despite the road closures next Sunday morning throughout Tunbridge Wells due to the Half Marathon we will be open as normal.

    You can access the store via Reynolds Lane and Speldhurst Road.

    For further information, please see www.twharriers.org.uk

    Don't forget that you can always order online or call us on 01892 615877.

    Wine Of The Week - Meerlust Merlot - South AfricaDate published: 16/02/12

    Our Wine of the week is the Meerlust Merlot from Stellenbosch.  Currently with our fantastic 20% off deal, the Meerlust is £15.99 when buying 2 or more South African wines.

    The Meerlust winery, which has been owned by eight generations of the Myburgh family, is situated in the south west of the Stellenbosch region, to the west of Helderberg.  It is not far from False Bay and the winds have a cooling influence on the climate.

    The wine is made very much in the "Right Bank" style of Bordeaux.  Whilst labelled as a Merlot, the wine is actually blended.  It is 89% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc (it is legal to declare just one grape variety in South Africa as long as it accounts for more than 75% of the blend). 

    The juicy plum and mulberry fruit, which is present on both the nose and palate is complimented by subtle hints of chocolate and an almost meaty edge to the mouth feel.  It has silky smooth tannins and good length.  The wine will happily age up to 15 years from vintage, yet the 2007 vintage is already drinking very well.

    A personal favourite of mine, the Meerlust is an excellent match for Beouf Bourguignon or any rich casserole style dish.

    Planning your summer holiday yet?Date published: 12/02/12

    The weather may be slightly depressing at the moment so I expect many of you are starting to plan summer holidays to cheer yourselves up.  Why not incorporate a visit to a wine region into your plans this summer.  To help, over the next few weeks, each member of staff will write about their experiences of such trips to give you some ideas.

    I'll start with my trip to the Napa Valley!

    Back in the summer of 2009 I went to visit a friend of mine in San Francisco. During my stay we took a trip up to the Napa Valley. Prior to my visit I'd always associated the Napa Valley with big, bold Zinfandels. It is true, there is lots of Zinfandel, but also Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and from other Californian regions, Chardonnay.

    I visited several vineyards including Cline and Beringer. At Beringer we had a private tasting as my friend was a member, which was fantastic. The day ended camping by the Russian River, cooking on a barbeque and drinking a particularly nice bottle of 1993 Merlot from Beringer.

    The scenery is stunning, dry and dusty in parts but with steep hills, many of which are surprisingly green given the summer temperatures. It was a wonderful trip and a real wine education. It was after this holiday that I took the decision to leave my job as an accountant and join the wine trade!

    External TastingsDate published: 11/02/12

    Apart from the free wine events we do in our store, we are open to the idea of external tastings in the Tunbridge Wells area. If you have friends, colleagues or clients who would appreciate such an event, let us know. We would present the wines of your choice at any venue. The wines will have to be bought from our store but we would provide our services (presentation, glasses, delivery, chiller bins) free of charge. Drop us a line if you are interested.

    Wine of the Week - Chateau Bel-Air, PomerolDate published: 10/02/12

    Wine of the week time folks, and this week we have the 2007 Chateau Bel-Air from Pomerol.  £19.99 a bottle, or £14.99 if you buy 2 (making a total saving of £10!)

    .
    An exciting new claret, it is a predominantly Merlot-based blend with just a dash (5%) of Cabernet Sauvignon for added complexity and structure.  The Bel-Air estate of 13 hectares has an average vine age of 35, which is not an inconsiderable age.  In general, the older the vine gets, the lower the yield it produces.  This usually results in a higher concentration of flavour, and coupled with a lengthy fermentation means that this is a wine packed full of juicy fruit flavour.  18 months in oak has added real complexity and a lovely fine-grained structure. 


    Well-known wine and Bordeaux writer Robert Parker (aka Bobby P) rates the Bel-Air very highly and suggests that the drinking window is roughly 3-12 years, which means that at nearly 5 years old this wine is drinking beautifully now.  Given the quality of the wine however, I am sure it would age gracefully for another 3-5 years at least.


    You wouldn't go far wrong if you paired this wine with any traditional Sunday roast, but it would also compliment any red meat casserole dishes very nicely indeed.  Personally, I would pair it with a digestive cracker, some butter and a huge chunk of mature Cheddar cheese.  Call in at any point over the next few days to try it, or if these words have already convinced you enough to buy it, give us a call on 01892 615 877 to order.

    Sunday 5th FebuaryDate published: 05/02/12

    Despite the overnight snow, we are open today as normal until 5pm. Our carpark and all access routes are clear so fell free to call in and we will give you the warmest of welcomes.

    Fine Wine Friday!Date published: 02/02/12

    The first Friday of every month is usually a favourite with Majestic staff as it means we get to open a bottle of fine wine on the tasting counter for you (and us) to try.  As it's a particularly cold and bleak February, we've decided to open 2 lovely warming reds to cheer us all up.

    The fuirst wine we've chosen is the 2007 BriO de Cantenac-Brown (£19.99 £18.99 if you buy 2 or more) from acclaimed Bordeaux 3rd Growth Chateau Cantenac Brown.  In addition to 2007 being a slightly more forward, earlier-drinking vintage, the wine is made from the Chateau's younger vines and vinified to be geared towards early drinking.  The result is a fantastic, accessible claret that doesn't need laying down for 10 years to be enjoyable.  The wine itself has a lovely nose of bramble fruit accentuated by aromas of menthol, eucalyptus and pencil lead.  Ripe fruit, medium body and firm tannins ensure that this is a great wine that is drinking well know alongside classic roast dinner, but has enough structure to age further.

    We have also opened the 2004 Gran Reserva from well-loved bodega Marqués de Cáceres (£22 £17 if you buy 2 or more).  Cáceres only make their Gran Reserva in years officially classified as 'excellent' or 'very good', and 2004 is certainly one of those.  Initially thought to be outshone by the 'exceptional '2005' vintage, 2004 has now emerged from the shadow of 2005 to be seen as one of the best ever seen in Rioja.  A slightly more modern style of Rioja, it is a blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Grenache and Graciano, and aged for 2-and-a-half years in top quality oak.  Consequently, the wine has amazing complexity with tonnes of fruit flavour alongside loads of interesting secondary characteristics.  The wine still retains great power and has smooth tannins and an awesome, long finish.  Hard to resist right now with grilled or roasted red meats or a slice of lovely Manchego cheese, this wine nevertheless has enough structure to ensure it can be confidently cellared for another decade or so.

    Hopefully this has whetted your appetite (it certainly has mine), so why not call in to try them!

    For further information or to order, call us on 01892 615 877 or email tun@majestic.co.uk

    The Majestic Bargain HuntDate published: 31/01/12

    Our new spring promotion is the perfect time for a bit of a clear-out to make way for 2012's exciting new wines, so we have just knocked a third off the price of loads of bin ends in the first ever Majestic Bargain Hunt!

    The selection is available in-store now - if you can't visit us in person to hunt out your bargain, please call us or email for more details of what's available.

    We've got over 20 different lines all reduced by 33%, but once they're gone, they're gone forever!  Here's our pick of the bunch:

    Paul: Domaine Py Merlot £6.99 £4.66.  At this price, this is a fantastic, easy-drinking wine and an interesting alternative to the fruitier, fuller-bodied Chilean Merlots.

    Rebecca: G de Guiraud £10.99 £7.32 A dry white Bordeaux made by the famous Sauternes producer Guiraud, this is a lovely sauvignon blanc/semillon blend that has a soft yet fresh style making it a perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken or is superb solo. 

    Marcus: Pulginy Montrachet 1er cru 'Les Combettes', Louis Carillon £50 £33.33.  There have been Carillons making wines in Puligny since the mid-17th century, and the expertise is clear to see in this wine that is full of fruit flavour from comparatively young vines, yet retains an air of elegant understatedness.

    Call us: 01892 615 877

    Email: tun@majestic.co.uk

    Twitter: @majestictun

    Fine Wine Friday 6th January 2012Date published: 05/01/12

    Only 3 vintages of Vina Ardanza, 1964, 1973 and 2001 have deserved the classification 'Reserva Especial'. A unique combination of rain, sun, cold and heat has created a superb wine.

     

    Ladies and gentleman, I present to you Rioja Reserva 2001, Vina Ardanza, La Rioja Alta, our selection for our first Fine Wine Friday of 2012.

    Sunday 8th January and Monday 9th JanuaryDate published: 03/01/12

    Please be aware that we will be closing at 4pm on Sunday 8th January and reopening at 1pm on Monday 9th January.

    New Year Delivery Information And Opening TimesDate published: 07/12/11

    Hello,

    There are now no more delivery slots available prior to the New Year.

    We are open on New Year's Eve from 9am until 5pm.

    Majestic will be closed on Sunday January 1st.

    We are open on Monday January 2nd, from 10am until 5pm, but there will be no deliveries on that day.

    Normal delivery service recommences on Tuesday.

    On Sunday January 8th the store will be closing early at 4pm.

    On Monday January 9th the store will open at 1pm.

    Happy New Year to you all.

    Christmas Opening Hours!Date published: 05/12/11

    Now that it's that time of year, we have increased our opening hours to make it even more convenient for you to pop in.  The hours for this festive period are:

    5th - 11th December
    Monday - Friday 9am - 8pm
    Saturday 9am - 7pm
    Sunday 10am - 5pm

    12th - 18th December
    Monday - Saturday 9am - 8pm
    Sunday 10am - 5pm

    19th - 23rd December
    Mon - Fri 9am - 8pm

    Saturday 24th December
    9am - 5pm

    25th - 27th December
    CLOSED

    28th - 30th December
    10am - 8pm

    Saturday 31st December
    9am - 5pm

    Sunday 1st January
    CLOSED

    Monday 2nd January
    10am - 5pm
     

    Super SaturdayDate published: 03/12/11

    Today is Super Saturday (and no it's nothing to do with football on Sky Sports!).  We've got a huge variety of stuff open to taste, most notably the Fine Wines we opened yesterday for Fine Wine Friday (the 1st Friday of every month if you want to pop in).

     

    First up we have the amazing 'Te Koko' Sauvignon Blanc from world-famous producers Cloudy Bay.  A Marlborough Sauvignon, but not as you know it.   Wild yeasts and a little bit of oak ageing deliver a body and depth of flavour not usually found.  An absolute delight and a steal at £23.99 (down from £30 if you buy any 2 New Zealand still wines).

    We've also opened the Petaluma 'Coonawarra Red' from Australia.  A blend Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Shiraz, this wine is just packed full of dense fruit flavour with a hint of smokiness and a lovely herbal quality.  Again it's on a fantastic offer at the moment at £20 (down from £22 if you buy 2 or more bottles).  This wine would be absolutely perfect with those rich red meat dishes that are a necessity as the temperature finally starts to drop!

     

    We've also got 2 (yes 2!) sparkling wines open today:  the top value Lindauer Blanc de Blancs (£8.99), which has just been recommended in Jane MacQuitty's Top 100 Winter Wines, and the all-time classic Laurent-Perrier Champagne, which has unbelievable balance and depth of flavour and is currently £25 (down from £38).

     

    Add to that the lovely delicate honeyed Vouvray Moelleux dessert wine and Sipsmith's unique Vintage Sloe Gin and it's a tasting counter not to missed!  Hope to see you in store.

    Rhone and Burgundy Tasting WeekDate published: 14/11/11

    If you're anything like us then the Rhone and Burgundy tasting week we have coming up will be getting you very excited.  The two regions produce some of the finest wines in the world and we're about to cram our tasting counter with them, for you to explore.

    Burgundy runs north to south in a strip from Chablis, south-east of Paris, through a place well known for it's food, Dijon to Lyon in the south where Burgundy meets the Rhone Valley. The Rhone then runs South West to the Mediterranean where it meets up with Languedoc, which is another wonderful region, but more on that early next year.

    While other grape varieties are permitted, as far as our tasting is concerened Burgundy has just two varieties, the whites are Chardonnay, and the reds are Pinot Noir.  While ostensibly this simplifies things, in reality things are much more complicated.  The terroirs of Burgundy are so varied in their details that two wines made from vines grown side by side and given the same ageing can taste completely different. It's this variety which makes people fall in love with Burgundy as a region.  Furthermore, these two varietals make great canvasses for winemakers to paint their own unique style of wine.

    The Rhone Valley is home to the oldest, and one of the most famous appelations in France; Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  The region is best known for producing reds of outstanding quality, and that's what we'll be focussing on in our tasting.  There are many permitted varietals of grape, but the best-known three make a blend that has been replicated time and again all over the world: Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre.  This core blend makes wondefully smooth wines with soft, supple tannins, rich port-like fruit and hints of caramel and chocolate.

    As you may be able to tell from my writing, these are two of my favourite winemaking regions in the world.  Keep an eye on our online tasting counter on the left of this webpage to find out what and when we'll be tasting.  You can even keep an eye on our goings on with twitter, you can see our twitter feed just below this article.

    Red Hot Chile WinesDate published: 07/11/11

    Good news for fans of Chilean wine!

    This month sees not only the return of our fantsastic '20% off Chile' offer, but also the arrival of loads of exciting new additions to the Chilean range. To celebrate this, we're going to have lots of Chilean wines on our tasting counter this week (8th November - 15th November) to get you in the mood.

    Despite being on a very large continent, Chile might as well be an Island, with the Atacama Desert to the north, the Pacific to the West, the Andes to the East and the Antarctic to the South.  These not only provide a wide range of climates but have largely stopped the dastardly Phylloxera from spreading into the country. 

    Chile is rapidly forming a very distinct identity for itself as a wine region, despite its relative infancy in terms of winemaking.  They consistently break down stereotypes relating to international varietals of wine, which is usually for the better.  They are undoubtedly pioneers and are responsible for the resurrection of the Carmenere grape as well as leading exponents of new world Syrah.  In addition, the country is steadily changing the perception some people have of it as an exporter of mass-produced cheap & cheerful wines, with a number of exciting new wineries focusing on slightly more premium styles of wine.

    That's not to say that good value is hard to find in Chile, in fact quite the opposite!  You can see our pick of the best of the new arrivals on our virtual tasting counter over on the left, but why not come in and try them for real, alongside some other fantastic wines from elsewhere in the world.

    New and Shiny ThingsDate published: 02/11/11

    Ok they're not all shiny but they are new.  'What's new?', I hear you cry,

    'The things on the tasting counter this weekend', I reply.

    I'm a poet I don't know it, only I do because I just proclaimed such, it's a self defeating statement.

    Anyway I digress.  This weekend we're celebrating some new arrivals to the store for the winter period. We've got a new Australian Chardonnay, an exciting almost fine red from the South of France and lots more, you can take a look here http://majw.co/dJ42p7 .

    With these fantastic new wines come the new winter offers, you should be receiving our new price list and a flyer in you letterbox very soon if not already.  Take a look especially at the current Champagne offers, they really are worth writing home about which is why we have.

    It's also Fine Wine Friday this week, and again we're opening a new wine.  This one is our first fine wine from Southern France and it's called Tautavel, it's 100% Grenache and it's from fantastic, ex-international rugby player Gerard Bertrand, here it is http://majw.co/vjsWM2 .

    To get the celebration of this great season underway we're also cracking open a bottle of Nicolas Feuillate NV.  This is currently on offer at £15 a bottle (I told you our Champagne deals were good) and last time I checked it was the best-selling Champagne in France.

    There, I think that should provide enough reasons for you to visit this weekend, if seeing our smiling faces isn't enough.

    Spiced Pumpkin SoupDate published: 29/10/11

    Halloween looms, ghosts and goblins approach to haunt your neighbourhood.  If you're making a Jackal Lantern or two then don't be so hasty to throw away that pumkin flesh inside.  Try this recipe to warm up your lunch time.

    Take whatever Pumpkin you can cut out and put on a roasting tray with 4 cloves of garlic, spice it with paprika and cinnamon.  Add a little oil and some thyme.  Roast it in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for about half an hour until it's starting to caramelise. Once it's done take it out and leave to cool until you can handle it

    Meanwhile roughly chop a red onion and sweat this in a large heavy bottomed pan, over a gentle heat, in some butter, for 10 minutes with a lid on.  Make sure you stir it every now and then so it doesn't catch.

    Now add the roasted pumpkin and squeeze the garlic out of their papery cases into the pan.

    Add enough chicken or vegetable stock to just cover the veg.

    Bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes just to allow the ingredients to get to know one another.

    Now whizz everything up in a blender until smooth.  Alternatively you can use a hand blender in the pan.

    Return this to the pan and season to taste.  To serve I reccomend a dash of Manzanilla Sherry in the bowl perhaps this one: http://majw.co/rZaUNZ a splodge of creme fraiche, and to drink try this which just won a Decanter award for best International Chardonnay under £10: http://majw.co/sq2qcz

    And The Winner Is...Date published: 23/10/11

    ...With 59% of the vote...excited much?  I'm gonna make you wait a little.

    Scroll down here with me...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...SPAIN!

    Some pundits are talking about a last minute propaganda campaign on Spain's behalf, but I think it's a conspiracy theory.  So stand by the phone/email inbox, because we're about to contact someone to tell them they've won a bottle of Marques de Murrieta Gran Reserva 2003.

    Finally, it's the Final of our Wine World CupDate published: 20/10/11

    Well here it is, at long last  and on the same weekend as the Rugby World Cup, it's the battle of the top two wine regions in our humble little shop, as voted by you, our lovely customers.

    The mighty Spaniard masters face off against the young, but hugely influential Aussies.  Due to government budget cuts, the third place play-off has been cancelled.  But you can decide yourself which is best out of Chile and Southern France White.  However we have got some very nice wines to represent the two finalists.

    For Spain we have one of our favourite Gran Reserva Riojas, from the Marques de Murrieta winery.  Representing Australia we have a fantastic Shiraz from Jim Barry, called the McRae Wood.

    We're also having a special Spanish tasting weekend to show you some of the great offers which are finishing at the end of the month.  We just hope that the extra wines don't lend extra weight to the Spanish vote.

    As usual we'll have a great selection of wines from around the world to taste.

    Voting this week will only be on Saturday the 22nd of October between 9am and 7pm, the result will be announced on Sunday.  Our Ballot-bot will be deployed on the tasting counter for in-store votes and as usual you can vote on twitter if you really can't make it in.  Just send us an @reply, you can keep up to date with us by following @majestictun.

    Boo yah!

    We have our Final 2Date published: 18/10/11

    After 2 months of regions battling away in our Wine World Cup, we have our final.

    Last weekends results were,

    Semi Final 1

    Spain - Campillo Gran Reserva Rioja 1995 - 53%

    beat

    Chile - Casa Lapostolle Syrah 2008 - 47%

     

    Semi Final 2

    Australia - De Bortoli Noble One Semillion - 60%

    beat

    Regional France White - Clos d'Yvigne Saussignac 40%

     

    Therefore on Saturday we will see Spain, represented by Marques de Murrietta Gran Reserva take on Australia, represented by McRae Wood Shiraz.

     

    Voting starts at 9am and will close at 7pm with the winner being announced here on Sunday.

     

    Don't forget that everyone who votes and leaves their details will be entered into a prize draw and will win a bottle of the victorious wine...

    Semi Final Lineup Complete... Date published: 11/10/11

    After a hard fought second 2 quarter finals this weekend we hve now completed the Semi Final lineup in our Wine World Cup.

    QF3 CVNE Reserva Vina Real 2005 (Spain) 60% of the vote beat

             Chateau Boutisse 2004 (Bordeaux) 40%

     

    QF4 McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay 2010 (Australia) 69% beat

             Five Rivers Merlot  2006 (USA) 31%

     

    So this weekend will see Chile face off against Spain and Southern France White against Australia. As usual voting starts at 9am on Saturday morning and will close at 5pm ond Sunday so don't forget to call in and vote...

    Don't Cry For Me Argentina...Date published: 04/10/11

    ...Your wine is fantastic.  This weekend we're celebrating the wonderful and varied wines that come from Argentina; beefy Malbecs, subtle Chardonnays and complex blends we love them all.  The tasting counter will be jam-packed with Argentine wine this weekend, starting on Friday the 7th of October.

    To add to this, it's also the first Friday of the month which means it's Fine Wine Friday, we open a bottle of wine costing £19.99 or more for you to try.  This month we're going to have a double whammy.  We're opening the Argentine A Lisa from Bodega Noemia http://majw.co/pwoOSq and The 'Les Vergers' Chassagne Montrachet from Fontaine Gagnard www.we-don't-have-a-link-for-this.com.

    We've also got the last two quarter-finals of our Wine World Cup at the weekend featuring Bordeaux vs Spain and Australia vs the USA.  We'll have more details on the specific wines for this on Thursday.

    I think you'll find that's more than enough reason to come and see us.

    The first two semi-finalists are..Date published: 03/10/11

    After a full weekend of voting, we can reveal the results of the first two quarter-finals in our Wine World Cup.

    QF1: Chile Casa Lapostolle Pinot Noir wins with 64%
    against
    Red Burgundy Mercurey Domaine de Mercey with 36%

    QF2: Southern France White Louis Latour Grand Ardeche wins with 73%
    against
    Italy La Cassetta Valpolicella with 27%

    Congratulations to Southern France White and Chile who go through to the semi-finals.

    Next weekend is the remaining quarter-finals; Bordeaux vs Spain and Australia vs USA Call in to cast your vote from 9am Saturday to 5pm on Sunday to determine who will qualify for the semi finals.

    Normality ResumedDate published: 29/09/11

    It's time to face facts, Summer is over, despite this lovely weather we've been having recently.  It's back to school, back to work and back to reality.  It's the same with our tasting counter, it seems like it's been ages since we didn't have some tasting event or other filling up the counter with wines concerning a particular region. This is both good and bad.  It's good because it means we get to try a wider variety of wines but bad because we like exploring the wines of a specific region with our customers.

    However just because it's not an official tasting event, doesn't mean we're not going to have a packed tasting counter, including a lovely Rose to complement this Indian Summer.  Our Wine World Cup is still charging ahead at full steam, last week saw an end to the pool stages, so this week is the start of the quarter-finals.  We're running two a weekend and here they are.

    First up the titans of Chile face the giants of Red Burgundy making them both seem normal sized temporarily (thank you David Mitchell for that joke).  That match sees the Casa Lapostolle 'Cuvee Alexandre' Pinot Noir from Chile which is £14.99 a bottle* go against the Mercurey Chateau de Mercey Pinot Noir from Burgundy which is £12.49 a bottle*.

    The other quarter-final is already being described as on this weekend (again thanks David Mitchell).  This one features the old rivals of Southern France White and Italy, who aren't actually rivals in any real sense.  Southern France White go for an old favourite, Louis Latour's Grand Ardeche which is currently £8.99 a bottle*.  While Italy have a Majestic Wines favourite, the Valpolicella Classico from La Cassetta which is on at £12.99 a bottle*.

    Because we have two battles this week, the voting changes slightly, we need a vote for both quarter-finals.  If you're in store using the ballot capsule, you'll see the difference.  But if you want to vote via twitter, your @reply will need to include both votes, remember you can follow us on twitter using @majestictun.  If you like hashtags try this one; #wineworldcup.  As usual voting starts at 9am on Saturday and finishes at 5pm on Sunday.

    If you ask us nicely we can even make you a small gin and tonic to try the fantastic Martin Millers Gin.

    Our online tasting counter will be updated on the morning of Friday the 30th of September, we hope to see you in store over the weekend to share a glass of wine.

    *price shown applies when two or more bottles of the same wine are purchased.

    Indian Summer: Rose offersDate published: 29/09/11

    Not sure if you've looked out the window but we have some rather nice weather at the moment and it looks like it's carrying on for the weekend.  We want to make the most of it and want you to as well.  So we've dropped some prices on a few of our favourite Roses.  Here's a rundown of the offers, the Pinot Grigio Rose from Breganze has been reduced to £4.99 from £6.49, the Bardolino Chiaretto Rose is down to £4.99 from £7.99, the Chateau de Sours Rose is on £6.99 which is an incredible baragin for a wine usually priced £8.49.  Finally the Chateau Sainte Marguerite Rose from Provence, which is possibly our favourite is £9.99 down from £11.99.

    In addition, we're going to have the Sainte Marguerite on our tasting counter starting today.  We'll also be updating our tasting counter tomorrow, and I'll mention that in an article later tonight, it's going to be another jam-packed week with the first quarter-finals in our Wine World cup.

    Wine World Cup Pool D ResultsDate published: 26/09/11

    So the final weekend of voting in the pool stages of our Wine World Cup came to an end yesterday evening and the results completed our quarter final line up.

    1. USA Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 45%

    2. Italy Dolcetta D'Alba De Forville 27%

    3. South Africa Springfield Estate Sauvignon Blanc 18%

    4. White Burgundy Macon Villages Cave de Lugny 10%

     

    So the quarter final line up is as follows,

    QF1 Chile vs Red Burgundy

    QF2 Southern France White vs Italy

    QF3 Bordeaux vs Spain

    QF4 Australia vs USA

     

    These will be played over the weekend of 1st/2nd October (QF1 & 2) and 8th/9th October (QF3 & 4) and as usual voting will take place from 9am on the Saturday to 5pm on the Sunday.

    You Lucky Lucky People!Date published: 22/09/11

    Another week with so much on the tasting counter that it's literally overflowing.  While the Sud de France festival is still on in London, we're putting it on the back burner, because this week we're having a South Afican tasting with plenty of varied wines from all over the country.  One of the South African wines we'll be opening is Kanonkop's Paul Sauer at £22.39* a bottle, which is a left-bank-Bordeaux style blend, so alongside it we're going to try a similarly priced actual left-bank-bordeaux; the Pavillon de Leoville Poyferre 2007, from St Julien at £19.99 a bottle.

    Speaking of the current Rugby World Cup champions, they're playing in our Wine World Cup this week.  That's right, this week is the Pool D play offs, featuring wines from the USA, Italy, White Burgundy and - as I said - South Africa.  Lets take a look at the squad sheet.  The USA struggle to find a wine for less than £10 but in the end just manage with at £9.99 a bottle, a Zinfandel from the famous Ravenswood winery, it's grown in Lodi, which is interesting for any CCR fans.  Italy have a classic from a very prestigious winery; the Dolcetto from De Forville which is also currently at £9.99* a bottle.  White Burgundy are going in very strong with a Macon Village from Cave de Lugny, currently taking some much deserved publicity after being awarded the Decanter award for best White Burgundy, it's also a bargain at £6.99* a bottle.  Finally we come to the reigning champions (of the rugby that is); South Africa are sticking to what they know best, and no it's not a Pinotage, it's white wine.  From the Springfield Estate and produced by the infamous Dr. Robertson we have a delightful Sauvignon Blanc for £9.59* a bottle

    As usual the best way to vote is to come in to the shop, try the wines and vote for your favourite region using our sophisticated voting device, you can even have a chin wag with us at the same time, we know lots about wine and love to share our knowledge.  But if you really can't make it in then you can send us your vote in an @reply on twitter by following us on @majestictun.

    We're also keeping the Martin Miller Gin tasting going, so if you fancy putting something different in your G&T or perhaps a Martini if you're visiting a French Casino, then come in and ask us for a try, we've got tonic in the fridge!

    *price indicated applies when you buy two bottles or more of the same wine

    Wine World Cup Pool C ResultsDate published: 19/09/11

    A hard fought battle this weekend.

    1. Spain, Rioja Gran Reserva 2001, Muriel 35%

    2. Australia, Kangarilla Road Chardonnay 2010 28%

    3. Red Burgundy, Pinot Noir Vielles Vignes, Potel 2009 22%

    4. Germany, Prinz von Hessen Riesling Kabinet 2008 15%

     

    So Spain and Australia take their places in the 1/4 finals.

     

    Next weekend sees the final group stage, where South Africa, White Burgundy, USA and Italy face off for the final 2 1/4 final places. Call in to cast your vote. Voting opens at 9am on Saturday 24th and closes at 5pm on Sunday 25th.

    Another Choc-a-block tasting counterDate published: 16/09/11

    We love our tasting counter, it's a great way of striking up a conversation with our customers. As such, we like to ram as much on there as we can.  So here's whats going on at our tasting counter this weekend:

    Another exciting weekend of the Wine World Cup is upon us, the Pool C play offs.  This week we have Germany and Alsace represented by a smashing Kabinett Riesling from Prinz Von Hessen, Australia are going with a classic Chardonnay from Kangarilla Road, Spain have a fantastic 2001 Gran Reserva Rioja from the lovely chaps at Muriel and finally Red Burgundy are fielding Nicolas Potel's Bordeaux. Voting starts at 9am on Saturday and closes 5pm on Sunday, come in to utilise our super advanced ballot box, or you can vote via twitter by following us on @majestictun, this hashtag works well #wineworldcup.

    September sees the famous Sud de France festival in London, here we're joining in the fun with a South of France tasting, plenty of both red and white wines to be tried.  The festival organisers have also been kind enough to send us some fliers with details of the events taking place in London in the coming weeks, ask in store for more information.

    We've been having a chat with the fine folks at Martin Miller Gin (@Martinmillergin) and we've got a special offer sorted; when you buy a bottle of their lovely gin from us you get a free pack of tonic from Fever Tree with it. To celebrate this offer we're going to be tasting gin and tonics all weekend.

    You lucky lucky people!

    Wine World Cup Pool CDate published: 16/09/11

    Another week, another round in our Wine World Cup. This week its,

    Australia - Kangarilla Road Chardonnay 2010

    Red Burgundy - Bourgogne Vielles Vignes Pinot Noir 2009, Potel

    Germany - Prinz Von Hessen Kabinett 2008

    Spain, Rioja Gran Reserva 2001, Bodegas Muriel

     

    Voting starts at 9am Saturday morning and closes at 5pm on Sunday afternoon. Call in to taste and vote or vote via twitter, @majestictun #wineworldcup.

     

    Results will be posted here on Monday morning.

    Wine World Cup Pool B ResultsDate published: 12/09/11

    The results are in...

    Shocks galore this week...

    Regional France White - 41.1% - Group Winners

    Rhone - 35.5% - Group Runners up

    New Zealand - 11.7% - Eliminated

    Argentina - 11.7% - Eliminated

     

    So, Congratulations to Regional France White and Rhone who progress to the 1/4 finals.

     

    Pool C play off starts Saturday 17th September where we will see, Australia, Red Burgundy, Germany/Alsace and Spain attempt to qualify for the next stage...

    International Wine Challenge WinnersDate published: 11/09/11

    Last week saw the winners announced of the annual International Wine Challenge and I'm pleased to say that we once again did rather well...

    For those of you not familliar with how this competition works let me explain.

    Producers or retailers submit their wines for judging. The wines submitted must have details of the wines make up, price and retail availability and must be commercially available in a minimum of 200 cases (50 for sweet wines). 4 bottles are sent for judging, the wines are logged, categorised and coded according to region, type and price.

    Wines are then put into 12's grouped by region, colour, grape, style, vintage and price giving similar wines equal chance to shine. The price brackets are, upto £4.99, £5.00 - £6.99, £7.00 - £9.99, £10.00 - £14.99, £15.00 - £19.99, £20.00 - £29.99, £30.00 - £39.99 and £40+.

    Judges then taste the wines and then compare notes and once a concensus is reached, they are graded as follows, below 14.5/20 - No award, 14.5-15.4/20 - commended, 15.5-16.9/20 - Bronze, 17-18.4/20 - Silver and 18.5 or above - Gold. Wines awarded silver or gold are retasted to confirm the award.

    All the gold medal wines from each region are the put into and under £10 or over £10 price bracket and retasted against the other gold medal winners of their grape variety or style and the best in each catagory is awarded a Regional Trophy.

    Regional trophies of a similar style or variety from around the world are pitted against each other in a tasting headed by Steven Spurrier (chairman of the IWC) and a senoir panel. The best wines are then awarded an International Trophy - the ultimate accolade at the Decanter World Wine Awards.

    Anyway on to the winners!

    INTERNATIONAL TROPHY

    Chardonnay under £10

    Cave de Lugny, Chardonnay Macon Villages, Burgundy, France £6.99 (2+ bottles

    Sauvingnon Blanc under £10

    Waimea Estates Sauvignon Blanc, Nelson, New Zealand £6.99

    REGIONAL TROPHY

    Rosé Vintage Champagne over £10

    Veuve Clicquot Rosé 2004 £55

    Australian White Single Varietal under £10

    Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Demillion 2006 Australia £12.49 (this wine was submitted for juding during our promotion of Australian wines during the summer)

    South African Red Bordeaux Varietal under £10

    KC Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2008 £7.99 (2+ bottles)

    Gold Medals

    Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2000 £100

    Coste del Molino Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico £6.99 (2+ bottles)

    Terrazas de los Andes, Selection Malbec Argentina £9.99 (2+ bottles)

    Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir New Zealand £11.99 (2+ bottles)

    De Bortoli Muscat Australia £14.99

    Silver Medals

    Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand 2010 £6.99 (2+ bottles)

    Roaring Meg Pinot Noir New Zealand £14.99 (2+ bottles)

    These are all currently in stock as of Sunday 11th September. For a full list of winners, please see www.decanter.com or pick up the latest issue of Decanter magazine.

    In addition to these awards, I am pleased to announce that Majestic wines have also been awarded, IWC High Street Retailer of the Year 2011 and Decanters Readers Best National Retailer 2011.

    Wine World Cup Pool B..Date published: 08/09/11

    This weekend is the second of the pool stages for the Wine World Cup. The countries up for the vote are as follows:

    New Zealand - Prestige Parcels Sauvignon Blanc

    Cotes du Rhone - Plan de Dieu

    Argentina - Vinalba Cabernet/Malbec/Petit Verdot

    Southern France White: Domaine L'Aigle Chardonnay

    It looks like it will be another hotly contested Pool! These wines will be on tasting for your vote this Saturday and Sunday, however we will also take votes from our twitter followers if you're not able to make it to our store!

    Follow us on Twitter: @majestictun

    Pool A winners are..Date published: 05/09/11

    After a hard fought contest this weekend, we have a strong winner and runner-up.

    The votes are as follows:

    Chile 47%

    Bordeaux 27%

    U.K 18%

    South of France 4%

     

    Chile and Bordeaux will now go on to the quarter finals, let's see who will join them this weekend from Pool B...

    This Week's Tasting Counter...Date published: 01/09/11

    ...is chocka-block, positively rammed with excitement and wine, and exciting wine.  Not only do we have our new and exciting Wine World Cup, but it's also the first Friday of the month, which means Fine Wine Friday is upon us once more.  Each month we open a bottle of fine wine on our tasting counter so that you lovely people can try it and see just what's possible with that extra few pounds. 

    This month to introduce our new Autumn offers, we're opening a bottle of fine South African Cabernet Sauvingnon from the Rustenberg winery in Stellenbosch.  It's named Peter Barlow, after the founder of the winery, if they've named it after him it must be pretty good stuff. Coming from Rustenberg's very best vineyard on the southwest slopes of the Simonsberg mountains, it then benefits from 20 months aging in new French oak barriques.  It can be enjoyed now or in the coming 10-15 years.  We'd love to see you in-store on Friday, to try the wine at it's finest and to have a chat with us.

     

    Our new Wine World Cup starts this weekend as well, just one week before the Rugby World Cup starts in New Zealand.  The first week is the Pool A play-offs.  Each country is represented by a wine for under £10 in the pool stages.

    Bordeaux have Chateau Griviere stepping up to the oche offering interestingly jammy notes and a good earthiness, this is on at £9.99 when you buy two bottles or more.

    The UK are putting one of their best feet forward with the Enlgish Rose from Chapel Down in Kent, just round the corner from our humble shop. This wine pairs crisp acidity with English summer fruit for a knockout summery rose, it's £9.99 a bottle.

    Chile aren't resting on their yummy laurels either. Representing them is the Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon.  Named after the wine's vineyards which in turn are named after the estate's founder, this packs a punch with juicy black and red fruits and plenty of spice, £9.99 when you buy two or more bottles.

    The last region in Pool A, Southern France Red, is making a bold statement by going for a wine cheaper than the other regions by two pounds, but what would you expect from the region known for it's fantastic bargains on quality wine.  The Chateau Pennautier Terroirs d'Altitude Cabardes is a hotch-potch of almost every red varietal from the region, and offers blackcurrant, chocolate and spice on the palate. At £7.99 a bottle when you buy two bottles or more, what can this underdog do?

    You can vote for our Wine World Cup in-store using our specially designed ballot box which definitely isn't a wine crate with a slot in it.  But if you really can't make it in then you can vote on twitter by sending us an @reply, follow us on @majestictun.  Voting will take place on Saturday between our opening at 9am until 6pm.  Only the top two regions from each pool go through to the quarter finals, so make sure you vote to see your favourite through.

    The World Cup of Wine Pool ADate published: 31/08/11

    Join us on Saturday 3rd September for the 1st stage of this competition.

    1st up it's Bordeaux represented by Chateau Griviere 2002, the UK represented by Chapel Down Rose 2009, Chile represented by Errazuriz Max Reserva 2009 and Southern France Red represented by Chateau Pennautiers Terroirs d'alitiude 2008.

    If you can't join us on Saturday you can always vote via Twitter, follow us @majestictun.

    Voting ends at 7pm Saturday evening.

    Call in on Saturday to send your favourites through to the 1/4 finals.

    Coming Soon - The Wine World Cup!Date published: 19/08/11

    Rugby and Wine go together like peanut butter and chocolate, like love and marriage, like Champagne and fish fingers (trust me it works). So to coincide with the Rugby World Cup, here at Majestic Tunbridge Wells we will be running a Wine World Cup. Each weekend staff-picked wines from different countries and regions will go up against each other on the tasting counter, and you, our customers will vote in-store and via email and tweets on your favourite. Now listen carefully because this is where it gets a little more complicated. First come the pool stages. The pools are as follows:


    Pool A:
    Bordeaux
    UK
    Chile
    Southern France Red


    Pool B:
    New Zealand
    Rhone
    Argentina
    Southern France White


    Pool C:
    Australia
    Red Burgundy
    Germany/Alsace
    Spain


    Pool D:
    South Africa
    White Burgundy
    USA
    Italy


    The top two countries/regions from each pool will go through to the quarter-finals, which will work thusly:


    Quarter-final 1: Winner Pool A - vs - Runner-Up Pool C


    Quarter-final 2: Winner Pool B - vs - Runner-Up Pool D


    Quarter-final 3: Runner-Up Pool A - vs - Winner Pool C


    Quarter-final 4: Runner-Up Pool B - vs - Winner Pool D


    Then come the semi-finals which work like this:


    Semi-final 1: Winner of Quarter-final 1 - vs - Winner of Quarter-final 3


    Semi-final 2: Winner of Quarter-final 2 - vs - Winner of Quarter-final 4


    And last is the big final and third place play-off:


    Final: Winner of Semi-final 1 - vs - Winner of Semi-final 2


    Third Place play-off: Runner-Up of Semi-final 1 - vs - Runner-Up of Semi-final 2

     


    And here's the schedule:


    September 3rd: Pool A play-offs


    September 10th: Pool B play-offs


    September 17th: Pool C play-offs


    September 24th: Pool D play-offs


    October 1st: Quarter-finals 1 & 2


    October 8th: Quarter-finals 3 & 4


    October 15th: Semi-finals


    October 22nd: Final and Third Place play-off

     


    On the eve of the final, once all the votes have been counted, we will be opening a bottle of Champagne in store to celebrate. Watch this space for more news and follow us on twitter (@majestictun) to keep up to date with the latest goings-on with the contest and what's happening in the shop.

    Fine Wine FridayDate published: 01/08/11

    This Friday is 'Fine Wine Friday', an event which takes place on the first Friday of each month, where we open a top quality wine for you to try on our tasting counter.

    This month's choice is from a favourite producer of ours; Christophe Cordier, the wine we will opening is his Pouilly Fuissé 'les Vignes Blanches' 2009, £19.99 a bottle – buy 2 save £2 - £18.99.


    Cordier produces wines mostly from the southern Burgundy area of the Mâconnais, making wines that are especially rich yet subtle. This Pouilly Fuissé is a voluptuous wine that displays the typicity of the region, having classic mineral notes with flavours of stone fruit, apples and nutty tones. Aging in large oak barriques for nine months, lends this wine a subtle toasty note to the wine for extra complexity. Harmonious, balanced and nuanced, this is a lovely wine to explore this Friday.


    Remember we offer free delivery on any order of 12 bottles or more.

    California WaitingDate published: 28/07/11

    As a fan of the region, I'm always disappointed to see that Californian wine never sells much.  I guess it's because of the higher price tag on almost every bottle.  But it's a shame because there are some great wines from the region, and occasionally we have a decent offer on them.

    Take the Sonoma Cutrer - Coast Chardonnay.  It's produced in a lovely sounding area called Chalk Hills, which despite it's name actually contains no chalk.  The soil does however appear chalky because the loamy soil has combined with volcanic ash that has drifted across the Pacific from Mount St Helena.  The result is a is a poorly nourished soil, which leads to lower yields.  However this is no bad thing, lower yield in some cases means higher intensity fruit.  That's what you get here, a full, melony fruit on the palate and some wonderful toasty notes.  Much like a good burgundy, this would go perfectly with shellfish, goats cheese or merely on it's own.  And that's not even the best of it, it's probably the best offer in the shop; down £5 a bottle when you buy two or more, it'll set you back a mere £10.99.

    There are other great offers in the region on wines from Stag Leap and the relatively cheaper Bonterra.  Give them a try and I doubt you'll be disappointed.

    Fine Wine Friday: Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru-La Maltroie Domaine Fontaine GagnardDate published: 01/07/11

    It's the first Friday of the month so that means it's fine wine Friday, we open a special bottle of wine for you to come in and taste.  What's more, this month if you come in on the day and sign up to our new fine wine plan you get a free, yes that's right FREE bottle of the wine we have open today.

    This month is the aforementioned Chassagne Montrachet from Fontaine Gagnard.  A very special White Burgundy, we'd say the ultimate.  Creamy, hints of vanilla from the oak on the nose, complemented by fresh citrus fruit, toasted brioche and some good length on the palate.  http://majw.co/kmg9Z1

    So come in right now, try it, sign up to the Fine Wine plan and you'll get it free!

    Tio Pepe En RamaDate published: 14/06/11

    With the weather warming up there's very little that is finer in life than sitting down with a bowl of olives in the garden and sipping on a dry sherry.

    The famous firm of Gonzalez Byass have produced an exciting release called Fino 'En Rama'. This is an unfiltered and un-clarified fino sherry drawn from the middle of the cask during the spring making this as fresh a Sherry as it is possible to get without actually being in Jerez and drinking it straight from the cask! It does mean however that it's best drunk from three months after it's been bottled - just about the right time to hit the heights of summer and that refreshing drink on a sunny afternoon...

    Tio Pepe 'En Rama' is £11.99 and is in limited quantities - so grab this unique wine while you can!

    Macon Lugny Domaine des Terres GentillesDate published: 05/06/11

    We've just opened this up on our tasting counter.  From a small family owned winery, and at a reasonable price point for Burgundy, This is a great alternative to Louis Latour.  Great Citrus freshness is complemented by just the right amount of Oak.  Pair it with your lemon-herb Chicken kebabs on the barbecue this summer.

    Last Day of Offers for South Africa, Argentina, Spain & PortugalDate published: 01/05/11

    Monday 2nd May is the last day for orders on wines from the above countries. Contact us by 5pm to take advantage of these offers -

    20% off any South African wines

    20% off any Spanish wines*

    Buy any 2 Portuguese wines save £3

    Various deals throughout Argentina

     

    *Excludes wines under £5 or over £20

    Easter Opening HoursDate published: 21/04/11

    Please note our opening hours over the next 11 days.

    Good Friday - 10am - 8pm

    Saturday 23rd - 9am - 7pm

    Easter Sunday - 10am - 5pm

    Easter Monday  - 10am - 5pm (Bank Holiday Hours)

    Tuesday 26th - 10am - 8pm

    Wednesday 27th - 10am - 8pm

    Thursday 28th - 10am - 8pm

    Friday 29th - 10am - 5pm (Bank Holiday Hours)

    Saturday 30th - 9am - 7pm

    Sunday 1st May - 10am - 5pm

    Monday 2nd - 10am - 5pm (Bank Holiday Hours)

    Recipe no.3Date published: 12/03/11

    Recipe of the week

    'Rich Beef Casserole'

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    • 900g braising steak , cut into cubes
    • 2 onions
    • 1 bouquet garni
    • 6 black peppercorns
    • 1tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1 bottle red wine
    • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
    • 3 celery sticks
    • 1/2 cup plain flour
    • 300ml/1 and 1/2 pints beef stock
    • 2tbsp tomato puree
    • 2 crushed garlic cloves
    • 175g/6oz chesnut mushrooms, halved
    • 400g/14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
    • chopped fresh rosemary (optional garnish)

    1) Put the meat, onions, bouquet garni, peppercorns, vinegar and wine in a bowl; cover and leave to marinate in a refrigerator overnight.

    2) The next day, preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Drain the meat, reserving the marinade, and pat dry. Heat the oil in a casserole dish and brown off the meat and onions. Remove the meat and set aside, then brown the celery, remove and set aside also.

    3) Sprinkle the flour into the caserole and stir over heat for 1 minute. Gradually add the reserved marinade and stock, bringing to the boil. Return the meat, onions and celery to the pan, then stir in puree and garlic.

    4) Cover the casserole dish witha tight lid and slow cook for 2 hours fifthteen minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and artichokes, then cook for a further 15 minutes. Garnish with rosemary and serve with creamy mashed potatoes

    5) Serve with ouer wine of the week:

    WINE MATCH RECOMMENDATION: Chateau Tayac Margaux, 2007 (£14.99)

    More than just Port! Date published: 09/03/11

    For a country of Portugal's size - being no more than 600km long and 200km wide, there is a huge diversity of indigenous wine varieties grown. Much of this is due to the climate and topography in Portugal, from the warmer and drier flat coastal plains in the south, to the hillier and cooler region in the north. Wines in the south are generally rich full bodied reds, whereas in the region north of the Douro valley, fresh lively whites are the norm. In recent years huge investment has been made in Portugal to modernise wine making practices and to highlight their unique wines to the rest of the world, and we're proud to stock a selection of what this region has to offer.

    The Douro valley is of course famed for its Ports, but it is also an area that produces quality table wines made from local varieties such as Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Roriz (known as Tempranillo in Spain), and Tinta Barroca. These wines are similar to their fortified cousins as they display that rich full bodied character with herbs, spices and a subtle influence of oak.

    Typical of this style is Crasto Douro Red 2008/9 (£9.99 or £8.49 when you buy two). A sumptuous red that is a blend of Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional, it is silky smooth with rich blackcurrant fruit, violets, and sweet spices, this will be great with a cheese course or a roast.

    The great Port house, Churchill's have produced a lovely table wine made from a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinto Roriz that is a drier version of their port! (£10.99 or £9.49 when you buy two) Strawberries and cherries abound on the palate with subtle oak and spices; this is an elegant wine that again works well with cheese or rich red meat dishes.

    Further north the cooler climate is home to the light and refreshing Vinho Verde. Quinta de Azevedo (£6.99 or £5.49 when you buy two) is a super example of this style. Light (only 11% abv) it has a fresh citrus tang, tropical fruit and a hint of flora, and retains that classic spritz or petillance that bubbles prettily on the tongue. Perfect in the summer, this will go well with salads, picnics and seafood.

    Conversely in the hotter south, from the Setubal region, an area east of Lisbon, is Marco do Pegoes (£6.99 or £5.49 when you buy two). This wine is a blend of native varieties and syrah, which makes for a full bodied red that is different from the Douro wines. Bramble fruits and blackcurrants dominate with a spiciness that adds to the wine's complexity. A hearty wine, this will be great with sausages and casseroles, or just loafing on the sofa in front of the tv with a pizza on a Friday night.

    Portuguese wines are currently on a deal where if you buy any two wines, you'll save £3, so it's a great way to explore these unique and great value wines. If you would like to try these wines in store, Portuguese wines will be headlining our tasting counter over the weekend from Friday 18th to Monday 21st of March. So come in and give them a whirl!

    The Royal Tunbridge Wells Brewing CompanyDate published: 07/03/11

    Some of you may remember the Culverden Brewing Company that dominated the view along St Johns Road. After 200 years of operating there it closed in 1956. The original Tunbridge Wells Brewery was owned and operated by Ian Dormon, at Grange Road, Rusthall which closed in 1983. Well now they're back!! and in Majestic Wines Tunbridge Wells!

    Due to consumers demanding distinctive quality and provenance of local products including Real Ale, the micro brewery is becoming more successful than ever.

    Royal - 4.1%.

    Based on the original recipe brewed by the original Tunbridge Wells Brewery in the 1980s, it's full bodied and made from pale and crystal hops finished with challenger and golding hops. This is a fantastic Best Bitter...

    Sovereign - 3.8%.

    Blended with kentish fuggles, east kent goldings and sovereign hops, this is a perfect session beer. A light ale with a sweet nose and a lovely hoppy bitterness.

    Dipper - 3.7%.

    Back in 1606 Dudley Lord North, a distinguished courtier during the reign of King James I, discovered the waters of the Chalybeate Spring and this appeared to restore his health after having lived an excessive lifestyle in London.

    Several high calibre visitors followed including Henrietta Maria of France (wife of King Charles I) and Catherine of Braganza (wife of King Charles II).

    Dipper is named in honour of the lady that served the water of the Chalybeate Spring. Made from 4 different malts, this a well balanced hoppy beer.

    Beau Porter - 4.8%

    In 1735 Beau Nash appointed himself Master of Ceremonies in Tunbridge Wells and retained control of the entertainment until his death in 1761. Under Nash, Tunbridge Wells attained the height of its fame as a fashionable resort attended by royalty, nobility and the most famous names in the UK.

    There is a pub named after Nash in Tunbridge Wells and the Ragged Trousers in the Pantiles has a plaque outside in his honour.

    The Beau Porter is named in his honour, with a depth of coffee, dark chocolate and liquorice, it is well balanced with a malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness.

    The Royal Tunbridge Wells beers are now in stock at Majestic Tunbridge Wells priced at £23.40 per case (when you buy any 2 12 packs of ales) and are available to taste all day every day.

    Louise's recipe of the week, with wine match!Date published: 05/03/11

    Paella (serves 2-3)

    ****** Serve with 'Hacienda Crianza' £30.00 - Fine wine of the week, open to taste @ Majestic Tunbridge Wells *******

     

    Ingredients

    • 300 g paella rice
    • I x tin of chopped tomatoes
    • I/2 chorizo ring, sliced
    • 2 lrg chicken breasts, cut into sml chunks
    • sml pack of king prawns
    • 1tsp paprika
    • 1tsp turmeric
    • 1-2 fish or chicken stock cubes
    • 1 red pepper, sliced
    • 1 x lrg spanish onion, sliced
    • water
    • olive oil
    • lemon and fresh parsley to garnish (optional)

    Instructions

    1) Fry the onion and pepper in olive oil, in a large flat-bottomed pan that will fit in the oven

    2) Add the chicken and chorizo and fry until coloured

    3) Add the paprika, turmeric and crumbled stock cubes.

    4) Add the tomatoes and simmer until reduced, thick and concentrated

    5) Add the rice and stir then pour in  enough water (boiled in kettle) to cover all ingredients (approx 1ltr and a half)

    6) Simmer for 10 mins until rice starts to rise to the surface

    7) Transfer to oven and bake, uncovered, for 20 mins at 200 degrees C.

    8) Add prawns (defrosted first if using frozen)

    9) Return to the oven for a further 20 mins

    10) Serve with lemon wedges and parsley if desired

    11) Enjoy with our above wine recommendation (See also our wine of the week!)

    ENGLISH WINES NOW IN STOCK!Date published: 03/03/11

    Chapel Down wines are now available from our local vineyard in Tenterden. There is a range of Sparkles, including Brut, Rose and Pinot Rose. We also have their 'Flint Dry' at just £7.99, now available on the tasting counter!

    Recipe of the week, with wine recomendation!Date published: 19/02/11

    Louise's thyme roasted butternut squash and pancetta risotto

    Ingredients

    (serves 2-3 as a main course)

    • half a bag of arborio rice
    • approx 1 and half litres of chicken stock
    • sml glass of white wine..if you don't want to use the good stuff..cooking wine will suffice!
    • lrg knob of butter
    • handful of fresh thyme
    • pack of pancetta cubes
    • 1 medium butternut squash
    • 1 lrg white onion
    • olive oil
    • black pepper
    • half a bag of fresh spinach leaves
    • 1 red chilli (optional)
    • parmesan shavings (optional)
    • pine nuts (optional)

    1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Peel butternut squash and cut into small cubes. Toss in olive oil and sprinkle with the black pepper and thyme. Roast in oven whilst getting on with the rest of the dish.

    2) Unless using fresh stock, make up stock as per instructions on packet (keep on low heat on hob..adding cold stock to the risotto will affect the finally quality of the dish).

    3) Meanwhile, in a large, flat-bottomed pan, fry the pancetta for 2-3 mins in olive oil. Dice the onion and add to pan (pancetta will take longer than the onion to crisp). Add the red chilli, finely chopped.

    4) Melt the butter into the pancetta mix, add rice and stir for 2 -3 mins until rice becomes translucent.

    5) Add glass of wine, stirring until it all becomes absorbed

    6) Add a ladle of stock at a time to the rice, stirring throughout. Continue until rice becomes 'al dente'. You should use more stock as required. This normally takes about 40 minutes.

    7) Gently stir in squash from the oven, which should now be cooked

    8) Stir in spinach at the end (the heat of the risotto will wilt it). No need to season further..pancetta is very salty on its own!

    9) Serve on warm plates with  parmesan shavings and toasted pine nuts.

    WINE RECOMMENDATION: This rich, full flavoured risotto needs a juicy, big white to match! I am suggesting 'Macon Villages, Maillet' , A White Burgundy. This citrussy number also has enough melon and tropical characteristics to balance the flavours in the dish. The green apple nuances work well with the sweet squash. Refreshing  acidity complements the saltiness of the pancetta.

    This new wine is our wine of the week -a steal for a White Burgundy at £11.99 ( as part of your mixed case of 6 or more)

    Are you following us yet?Date published: 16/02/11

    Join us on Twitter @majestictun and be the first to hear about our wine of the week, wines on the tasting counter as and when they are opened, wine courses, staff recommendations and so much more....

    South Africa Tasting DayDate published: 15/02/11

    Join us to explore the Wines of South Africa this Saturday 19th February. With a huge range of wines expected to be open from amazing Sauvignon Blancs to wonderous Chenin Blancs to interesting new Pinotages. Can you afford to miss out??

    Saint Clair Pioneer Block On Line ExclusivesDate published: 15/02/11

    Just been put onto our website are these 4 amazing wines from the extremely popular St Clair range. Wines not to be missed!!!

    IT'S HERE!!!Date published: 09/02/11

    We promised last week that we were going to announce the arrival of a new ale in Majestic Tunbridge Wells...

    Well we are pleased to announce the arrival of the fantastic Royal Tunbridge Wells Brewing Company beers.

    We are stocking the Royal Best Bitter (4.1%), Dipper Bitter (3.7%), Sovereign Blonde Ale (3.8%) and the Beau Porter (4.8%). The range is priced at £23.40/case, that's just £1.95/bottle (when you buy 2 or more cases of  bottled Ale).

    All these ales (except the Dipper) are available to taste all weekend and for a limited time you can claim your free glass when you buy a case.

    BREAKING NEWS!!!!! New local ale to be announced next weekDate published: 05/02/11

    We are very excited to begin stocking a brand new ale to our range at Majestic next week! Check back here for the big launch or join us on our Twitter feed @majestictun.

    Fine Wine FridayDate published: 02/02/11

    Join us this Friday 4th February for our monthly Fine Wine Friday!

    The wine selected this month is the Stags Leap Karia Chardonnay, currently priced at £22.00 when you buy any 2 Stags Leap wines.

    As a special treat we've also opened the Gerard Bertrand Chateau l'Hospitalet 2008 Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre blend priced at an amazing £19.99.

    Join us all day Friday to try these amazing wines...

    New Month - New Prices...Date published: 02/02/11

    Now we're finally into February we thought it was about time we refreshed our prices!

    Since Spring is nearly here we've released our Spring prices...

    South Africa is now 20% off when you buy 2 or more bottles, Portugal is discounted buy £3 when you buy 2 or more bottles (excluding fortified wines) and there are pretty much discounts across our whole Argentinian range.

    As well as amazing parcels in at unbeatble prices, such as the Composite Sauvignion Blanc from New Zealand at £5.99 (2+ bottles), Ravenswood VB Zinfandel at £4.99 and for the first time at Majestic an amazing Spanish Gewurztraminer at only £5.99 (2+ bottles), ther's no reason not to come and see us....

    Three Great Reasons to Come to the Wine Course!Date published: 28/01/11

    At Majestic Wine Tunbridge Wells, we love to hear that Masjestic customers have enjoyed experimenting with purchasing a wider selection of wines - especially if they are staff recommendations! However, if you sometimes feel daunted by the sheer range on offer or don't know what to expect from the more esoteric wines in our listings, our in store two-hour 'Introduction to wine' course is a great place to start learning. If your still not convinced however, here are three great reasons to pick up the phone and call us in store on 01892 615877 to book a place on our next course:

    1. Its free! But not just that, once the course is over there is always the option of using a discount voucher we provide you with as a thank you for attending for use on the night.

    2. Its fun! Bring your friends or family along for an informal and relaxed evening under the tutorage of our experienced members of staff who will take you on a journey through wine viticulture and history of famous wine regions - with many samples and food matching demonstrations on the way! We only invite upto ten customers at a time to make sure everyone gets the most from the evening.

    3. Our customers recommend it! So take your opportunity and be sure not to miss out. As customer and past attendee at our Poole store, wrote after coming to a course last year:

    "I really can’t recommend their introduction evenings highly enough ... Our wine guide's enthusiasm was palpable and whose many insights into geography, viticulture and – which was the chief focus of the evening – tasting were as rewarding as they were engaging."

    Read his entire review of the evening here, if your not sure what to expect: http://www.whitewine.co.uk/articles/majestic-the-wine-course-an-inspiring-introduction-indeed/

    We look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Store Events(3)

    Free Wine Course

    11 May 2014 (14:30 - 16:00)

    A FREE 90 minute wine tutorial, including a look at wine making, different grape varieties and wine and food matching.

    RSVP

    Free Spotlight Tasting

    3 May 2014 (15:00 - 15:30)

    A comprehensive tutorial of all you need to know about Chilean wines - and more!

    Open to all

    Chilean Tasting Week

    2 May 2014 - 8 May 2014

    All week a selection of wines will be open on the tasting counter - pop in and try!

    Open to all

    Store Tasting(6)

    What we're tasting today...

    Meet the team...

    • Keith Sales Assistant

      I joined Majestic in 2007 as a full-time delivery driver.
    • Louise Senior Manager

      I'm new to Tunbridge Wells after managing our Horsham branch for the last two years. Pop down and say hello. I love oaky Chardonnay and Rioja of any description.
    • Robbie Trainee Manager

      New to Sunny Tunny from our East Grinstead store, I'm ready and raring to meet all of Tunbridge Wells' lovely customers. A francophile at heart, I'm slowly expanding my horizons...
    • Siân Trainee Manager

      I joined the Tunbridge Wells team after a stint in our Sevenoaks store. I love Italian expressions of Chardonnay - it's the stuff my 'Dreams' are made of...I also love a splash of vintage Champagne (who doesn't?) You will most likely find me eyeing up the Fine Wine shelves, as I do like to treat myself...Come and join me!
    • Stuart Senior Assistant Manager

      I'm back in Tunbridge Wells, my first Majestic branch. Now I'm the Assistant Manager after a stint working in Edinburgh. My favourite grape is Grenache, but I've got a soft spot for a yeasty Chablis.
    • Tom Trainee Manager

      Another Majestic newbie, this is my first store and I'm looking forward to learning lots about (and drinking) some lovely wine.

    How to find us