wine review World Cup semi-final edition! : 2016 Tesco Beaujolais

for the second of my France vs. Belgium drinks, i got some Beaujolais. i actually wanted rosé but the little Tesco only had Italian or British ones.

the label describes it as ‘soft and light bodied’,

A vibrant red wine with bright and juicy flavours of red cherry and red currant. Goes with cured meats and cheeses.


to start it’s kind of boozy on the first nose but with a jammy redcurrant note that’s very nice. it’s full and juicy with a tiny bit of spice, and overall i like it a lot, though i wouldn’t call it soft or light bodied exactly.

i’m having it with a turkey shepherd’s pie type thing which is kind of perfect, as i think it might not be dry enough to do well with steak or something like that. overall it’s very tasty and i’ll definitely get it again especially since it only costs £5.25. 4.5/5

semi-relatedly, i only learned the other day, while watching Richard Osman’s House of Games, that Beaujolais is different from Beaujolais Nouveau, which makes sense but i think until now i’d only ever had Beaujolais Nouveau and kind of just assumed they were both the same. learning is fun!

Tesco 2017 South African Pinotage W.O. Western Cape

this is only the second Pinotage i’ve had so i was excited to try it. this is one of my favorite grapes now i think. i’m not sure what the ‘official’ name of this bottle is. on the Tesco website they just call it ‘South African Pinotage’.

it has a wonderful nose of sour cherries. when drinking it’s juicy at first before giving way to a nice dryness that stays fruity, without too much of the woodiness that can come with tannins. i kind of love this wine. i got another bottle to go with some lamb i’m making for easter so i might update this once i’ve tried it with food. 4.5/5

Tesco Finest 2017 Las Hijuelas Carmenere

i’ve never had this grape before but overall it’s nice and i’m glad i found something like-but-not cabernet sauvignon.

plum nose, dry wood, ‘herbs’ like it says on the bottle. the tannins are a little strong, ie it’s dry, which i like, but it’s also a little too heavy for my tastes. (probably) very nice with steak and mushrooms but a little much to have on its own. that said for six quid it is complex and good, strong (13%) dinner wine so i’d definitely get it again. 4ish out of five?

wine review! Tesco Finest Lambrusco Reggiano

omg i love this! it reminds me of Top Topic and Sangria Señorial, though obviously ~with~ alcohol. i love this and want it all the time.

speaking of Top Topic, when i was in Czechia around 2003-2004 i could have sworn i had a red grape Top Topic in addition to the white grape one they show on the website, but i can’t seem to find any references to it anywhere. i could have just had the red Vinea i suppose but for some reason that doesn’t look/feel familiar to me.

anyways back to this! it’s just very nice. juicy but not too sweet, soft bubbles, and lots of fun. i could have this every day, particularly since my ultra-lush luxury emperor dream is to start every morning with some sort of wine-based bubbles.

wine review! 2016 M&S Réserve de la Saurine

i think maybe it has a blackberry nose? i sort of forgot to take it slow at first because it smelled so nice i went in for a big gulp before writing any notes down (my sommelier skills are not exactly super refined).

juicy but with wonderful tannins, full and dry at the end without any spice. i spent way too much time in the wine aisle until i finally decided i wanted my usual kind of red, which is generally a big dry dirt-tasting cabernet. i couldn’t find that so i got this blend instead and it’s turned out quite nicely. it’s right in my wheelhouse because it’s juicy and drinkable up front while still being dry and long at the end. 4.5/5 defo would get again.

guest wine review! 2016 Just Nuisance Merlot Pinotage

most of this review is thanks to a super special guest reviewer, my fiancée.

the wine is named after a dog who, as part of a series of wacky imperial adventures, was enlisted in the British Royal Navy. fuckin’ imperialist wine man.



From the back label:

Serving as an Able Seaman from 1939 to 1944 in Simon’s town, South Africa, Just Nuisance was the only dog ever enlisted in the Royal Navy. The Great Dane affectionately called Nuisance, a gentle giant always in the way of bustling sailors, was not only fond of boats and the company of seamen; he also often traveled on trains, with or without his companions. To cunningly circumvent the need for train tickets he was enlisted as Ordinary Seaman ‘Just Nuisance’. Bone Crusher by trade and Scrounger by affiliation he was promoted to the rank of Able Seaman,some of his ‘duties’ included stopping brawls between tipsy sailors and guiding them back to base after visiting pubs. This wine celebrates an icon of the Cape and the friendship between man and dog.

it’s hard for me to judge this dog too harshly for the British Empire’s crimes, particularly because inducting him into the Navy meant he could scam the super racist railroad company. anyways, on to the wine.

The fiancée’s notes are as follows:

first nose: wine-y, earthy, and flowery. taste: blackberries, smooth and dry at the end. really good wine; i think i did really good [picking it out]. works well with wedding planning and Gilmore Girls; would go well with pasta w/ red sauce, but also easy to drink on it’s own. i would say it’s an all-around crowd pleaser. i’d bring it to a party. 4/5.

[later] maybe getting black pepper on the tip of my tongue at the end. kind of medium bodied, not super complex and yet still very flavorful.

[even later] not good with cheese and fruit tho.


i only tried a little bit but here are my notes: lots of black pepper on the first nose; dry; i guess i sort of get blackberry but it seems more cassis? like it is boozy [eta, well it is 14%].