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Archive for April, 2011

Richard Saxton reviews The Curmudgeon

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Although we have talked about it before, we thought we should put The Curmudgeon in the hands of our wine critic! This is what he thought of our current favourite wine…


I’m never sure if the English can get away with using the word “strewth” yet I found myself on the verge of involuntarily uttering it when I took my first sip of this wine.

This is a big, bold wine with powerful flavours of blackberry and a slight hint of coffee towards the end with a lovely spicy nose. At 14.5% abv it’s a bit of a beast, yet there’s none of the sense of alcohol burn which you get with some wines of this strength. Clearly whoever the mystery winemaker behind this wine is knows his way round a vineyard!

If you’re interested in finding out who the winemaker is there are some cryptic clues on the page for this wine which you can view here ( Anyone with a basic grasp of Google should be able to crack the code. If you can’t then just sit back and have another glass of The Curmudgeon.Ignorance is bliss after all!…..

I’ve always enjoyed bold Aussie Shiraz, even though as a wine style it is now fighting a battle against the more restrained Syrah style wines which seems to be coming back into fashion. If you’re in the mood for something playful and voluptuous you’d do well to find it for cheaper than this! Strewth!……

Tallarook Viognier 2008 (Victoria, Australia)

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Another review from our critic Richard Saxton

I find myself drinking a fair bit of Viognier once we begin our customary limp into Summer. I’ve always found it a suitable glugging wine for a long day spent shuffling frazzled sausages around the barbecue, and it always goes down well with guests. You expect to be greeted with a mouthful of peaches with Viognier, and this one doesn’t lack on this front. There is however an added depth to this wine with a hint of oak and butter on the nose and palate which would certainly sit happily alongside my charcoal flavoured barbecue meals. There’s also a hint of pears and apricot in the mix which all add up to a nice long finish. I sometimes find New World Viognier to be a little oily but this wine steers clear of that potential pitfall. It manages to be a rich and fairly complex wine whilst still being refreshing. Another big tick in the Summer drinking box….. I purposefully hadn’t checked the price of this wine before my first taste as I was keen to see if I could determine its cost for myself. I guessed this would sit around the £8.99 mark which would certainly be a good price for what is a very good wine. Having found out that Find Wine are currently selling this for £6.99 I suspect they might have a Summer hit on their hands. This is a wine full of personality which will definitely get your guests talking long into the evening.

Karri Oak, Semillon Sauvignon, Western Australia. £4.99

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Here is the first of our reviews from our new wine critic Richard Saxton. Find him on Twitter @grapedcrusader

And so my time as Find Wine critic begins…. First things first, this tastes nothing like a £4.99 wine. For that price you’d have no reason to complain for having your throat burnt after your first sip. This however is an absolute joy. It’s a relatively pale wine with scents of lemon peel and custard. The palate is a citrus fest with a nice zip of acidity. If I’d paid £10 for this wine I’d be perfectly happy with it.

At this time of year I tend to judge most wines on their potential for summer glugging. This one scores highly on the taste side of things, as well as scoring very well in terms of value. It’s something of a winning combination…..

There’s no noticeable trace of oak so I presume it hasn’t come into contact with any. This is a slight shame as I was planning a blinding “Karri Oaky” gag. Never mind…… My one remaining worry is if the Chaps at Find Wine will think less of me if I buy a case of the very first wine I review…. I heartily recommend this wine. A very encouraging start to my career as Find Wine critic!


Customers to Invest in North African Wineries

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Innovative online wine retailer FindWine ( <> ) has announced the launch of its latest consumer led initiative – The FindWine ‘Demons’.

Existing and new customers will have the opportunity, for a monthly subscription fee, to be part of the FindWine ‘Demons’ – a community of wine lovers who will be entitled to exclusive wines, preferential pricing and a pre-order system. The monthly subscription fee will be invested directly in independent winemakers who have previously been unable to gain a foothold in the UK market, bringing new and exclusive wines to the FindWine stable. ‘Demons’ will be able sip on their favourite new discovery, safe in the knowledge that they are supporting burgeoning winemakers from some of the world’s most exciting new wine regions.

Loosely modelled on the Naked Wines ‘Angels’ scheme, the initiative, which will launch later this year, will initially focus on bringing the emerging wineries of North Africa – Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria – to UK consumers. Historically unable to find a route to market, the scheme will allow winemakers in these regions to concentrate on what they do best – make wine, rather than having to fret over marketing, distribution and logistics.
All subscription fees generated will be transferred directly to the selected winemakers via FindWine’s Western Union account, with the retailer also looking to plough a proportion of its sales revenue into the scheme.

Commenting on the development, FindWine founder Mike Howes said: “I have the utmost respect for the Naked model – it obviously strikes a cord with consumers who act as quasi benefactors to their winemakers. Imitation, as they say, is the sincerest form of flattery, and we just hope we can carve out our own niche in North Africa and benefit our customers as much as Naked have benefitted theirs.”

Howes continues: “We look forward to driving this initiative forward and letting our customers put the wines of North Africa firmly on the map. With all the current political unrest in North Africa we thought it was about time we gave something back to some the oldest wine making nations on earth. Jesus drank their wine, so why shouldn’t our customers!”