Wine Club look at paying for the brand.

Have you noticed the price of wine has gone up recently?  If, for example your favourite tipple is a Sancerre or Pouilly Fume, then you will be paying a few extra pounds for the same bottle this year than last. There are a number of reasons for this and not all down to Brexit! Low yields, increases in tax and the simple economics of supply and demand to name but a few. Maybe, you are also paying a bit for the brand?

With this in mind, April’s wine club took on the challenge of comparing similar wines but with a significant price difference!  Members compared two wines at a time, served blind. First, we looked at two sparkling wines. A Cremant de Loire and Taittinger. Both excellent wines with the Champagne giving classic notes of yeast and “ burnt toast” flavour synonymous with that quality wine. The members were split on opinions and with the Cremant nearly 3 times cheaper the overall consensus was that you could taste the difference but if the flavours of Champagne are not your thing then at £12.99 a bottle, what a great alternative!.

Next we looked at two Sauvignon Blanc wines from the Loire region. The North or “upper regions” are famous for producing excellent SB’s. Some of the most well known wines come from the Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire region, which produce excellent but rather expensive whites. We looked at a Pouilly Fume and another SB from the less know area of Touraine, 60 miles to the West. If you like this wine then please do try some from the Touraine area, based on the reaction from our members, there was little to tell between both wines (other than the Olivier Dubois from Touraine was £7.99, over half the price of the Les Cascadeles).

We moved on to the reds and tried two wines with a base grape of Tempranillo. A classic Rioja was compared with wine from Ribera del duero (North West of Spain). The Vina Alarde Reserva Rioja was considered an excellent example of a good Rioja, which at £5.48 per bottle, was a third the price of the Emilio Moro (which was still an excellent wine!) if you have never tried wines from the Ribera region then definitely worth a try from something a little different.

Our last comparison of the evening looked at two wines from Bordeaux. The Wine Societies house Claret was compared with the Society’s Exhibition Margaux. With the Margaux being one of our most expensive wines of the year at nearly £25 per bottle, we were all keen to see if there was much difference. One only had to look at the different quantities of wine in each of David’s (the presenter), tasting glass to see which was his favourite wine of the evening! Sometimes it really is worth paying a bit extra……but do not always go with the wine just because of the brand!

Next month’s wine’s club is on the 15th May and is a must for new and existing members. We are combining food from the Upton Baking club with Members stories – a chance to hear what everyone else has been tasting over the past year or so. Also, we will be voting for the Wine Club Logo! There is still time to submit your entry! For all the details please visit our website:

Ian Langley (Chairman)