At the start of May a promotional Tweet appeared on my timeline from Naked Wines, flogging a case of their “essential selection”, or some such, for 30 quid.
I’m torn. Cheap wine’s good for the bank balance but, for the ‘good stuff’ somebody down the line is surely getting shafted at a fiver a bottle, and for someone (me) who thinks we pay too little for much of our booze and food in this country, it jars.
I suppose the intention of the cheap deal is that it’s Naked Wines’ gateway case, for like many of these offers the moment you hit ‘yes please’ you’re tied into some form of monthly payment which I – like many others – I suspect, immediately cancel simpy ‘cos I’m not keen on being tied in.
Your twenty quid a month in this instance would get you “Wine Angel” (eugh) status, meaning discounted bottles from smaller producers dotted around the world, who feature heavily on the Naked Wines website. It’s a nice touch knowing a bit of back-story.
I mentioned one of the bottles last time out that I’d have been disappointed with if paying full price. Here are some amateur wine notes for three of the others:
This 2019 Viognier by a fella called Benjamin Darnault would be £10.99 normally, or £7.99 for ‘Wine Angels’ (words that it pains me to write). Had it with chicken in a cream and mushroom sauce like it was the 1970s (bad pic, won’t share). Green and zesty at first, creamy and rounded on the finish, bit of vegetal something in there too. Described as “peaches and cream” on the Naked Wines website which is, frankly, far better than my efforts.
Verdict: pricey but would pay full whack and neck it with a Sunday roast chicken.
The South African Cabernet Sauvingon was a good ‘un, too, with which we made inroads after tea. Concentrated blackcurrant and vanilla on the nose (‘on the nose’ is how proper wine people talk, and a lot of Wine School was about picking out flavours), and fresh dark fruit when you take a swig. I wrote “sunwhine holidays” at the time, which I think sounds pretty decent.
Verdict: would pay the £9.99/£6.99 asking price. Website calls it a “crowd-pleaser”. I concur.
Later in the week we bottom this Tempranillo Gran Reserva (£9.99/£8.49) with a bowl of chorizo pasta, a maverick move given the website recommendation is to match it with stew.
Made with the same grape as Rioja but this being from Valencia I might be saving a few quid (if I was paying the asking price). Typical ‘rusty’ look naked in the glass, dark fruits and oaky mellowness but with a bit of refreshing zip, too.
Verdict: part gentle sipper, part big supper: would pay full whack.
Three bottles that manage to be both interesting and, let’s be straight, a pleasant way to escape all of The Stuff for a bit. Success.
There’s probably a deal on at Naked Wines as I write this. Have a squiz.