Stop buying wine from the supermarket

I used to waste a fair amount of money on buying wine at the various different supermarkets we frequent. I regularly spent way over £10 on bottles that ended up as “Vinegar+” or, at best, “Vinegar+++”. Now and again I’d read the little labels and buy a £20+ bottle.

Every time I was disappointed. I can’t actually think of anything I’ve bought from a supermarket that’s been really good.

So I’ve started buying mixed cases from the likes of:

  • The Wine Society
    Joining fee, but they have a wide variety of wines. I’m a particular fan of their red wine mixed cases. Once I then find a bottle that my wife and I like, we then order a case of it. But, crucially, I don’t think we’ve ever had a rubbish bottle from the Wine Society. Yes we’ve had types that aren’t to our particular taste, that’s fine, but they’ve always been fundamentally good — and even at rates of around £6-8 per bottle.
  • Laithwaites
    During this past Christmas I thought I’d give Laithwaites a go. I logged on and selected a few of their mixed red cases. We’re still going through them at the moment and again, I’m delighted to say I haven’t been frustrated by any of them — but we have found a few highlights that I think we’ll definitely re-order more of.
  • Gerrard Seel
    The boutique wine retailer I came across during a search for a particularly delicious Shiraz I had in Beijing. Gerrard have a good collection of basic mixed cases that we regularly stock up on.

I’m pleased to report good success with the above companies. However I’m keen to explore other possibilities too. So if you’ve any suggestions, please do drop me a note in the comments or by email (

Accessories Must Have Wine

Vinturi: The fastest way to aerate red wine

If you’re in to red wine then this is one of those must haves, especially if you enjoy experimenting with powerful vintages that definitely need a bit of time to breathe.

It’s an arse if you get it wrong. Most good reds usually need half an hour or an hour or so to properly ‘breathe’. The difference in terms of bouquet, flavour and finish between open and 60 minutes later is often quite palpable. But what if a friend pops over? Or if you need to deploy another bottle of red right now? Vinturi is your friend. Let’s have a look at it:

To aerate your wine you simply pour directly from the bottle through the Vinturi Aerator directly into the glass. Job done. It’s ready to drink.

I love it. I think I’ll need to get one.

Here’s what Vinturi delivers:

Better bouquet: Sample the nose of the wine. You’ll appreciate the subtle aromatic differences and the full aroma of the wine. Vinturi allows wine to release its intended aromas.
Enhanced flavours: Take a sip. Vinturi aerated wine tastes better, richer and more expensive as well as more flavoursome with better mouthfeel.
Smoother finish: Vinturi aeration is very effective at softening tannins resulting in a much more pleasant finish. Any bitterness or bad aftertaste is reduced or eliminated.

And the science bit? I’m glad you asked.

The design applies Bernoulli’s principle, which states that as the speed of a moving fluid increases, the pressure within the fluid decreases. When wine is poured in the Vinturi, its design creates an increase in the wine’s velocity and a decrease in its pressure. This pressure difference draws in air, which is mixed with wine for perfect aeration.

There you go.

The Vinturi Aerator retails at £39.95 although if you shop around you’ll probably find it slightly cheaper. This is most certainly ‘job done’ for any of your wine-loving friends given Christmas is coming up.

Here’s the Amazon link: