Wine Club Celebrate Wineuary

Wine Club – January meeting

Upton wine club celebrated “Wineuary” this month with a selection of wines where we had tried to find a bargain buy!  Whilst you should look out for offers from places such as the Sunday Times Wine Club (where most of our wines were sourced this month), the best priced wine of the evening came from Strictly Wine, which had no sale, “just permanently good priced wine all year round!” as Brian put it.

The aim was to keep it under a tenner per bottle and see what bargains could be found.   To start, we tried Tenuta Ca’Bolani, a perfectly good Prosecco from the North West of Italy.   Light and easy drinking, it had a fruity flavour with good intensity.  A good wine that would work well as a welcome drink to any party.

The next white was a 2.4K Sauvignon Blanc from the tip of the NewZeland South Island.  Just round  the corner from the more famous Marlborough region.  Do not let this give you any indication on it’s taste!  With a ripe peach and apricot aroma on the nose and lots of tropical fruits coming through when tasting, you could be forgiven for not picking this up as a Sauv Blanc.  If you are not a typical lover of this grape then please try this as something a different!

The third wine, from, was a new grape to the wine club.  From the less well known region of the Republic of North Macedonia.  Tikves Smederevka (we all had fun pronouncing that one!) produces a white wine with tropical and stone fruit aromas, underpinned by a zesty lemon note.  This is an award winning wine made from the Smederevka grape that produces a great alternative to some of the more well know varieties.

Our last white was a Chardonnay from the Limestone Coast, Australia.  A “Cleanskin” wine, meaning The distributors do not detail the exact source of wine, just letting you know the region (which helps keep the prices low).  A good, reasonably balanced wine, with some length that reflects the quality of it’s origin.

Our first red was a Shiraz, Malbec blend from Australia called Mr Anderson.  A rich wine full of black fruit and herbal notes.   A smooth finish with some length that went down well with the members.  The suggested pairing is with any rich sauced pasta dish.

We then compared two further Shiraz wines.  A cleanskin from the Langhorne Creek region and Deep River Shiraz from the same region in McCaren Vale.  The second wine was billed as a half price offer wine (normally over £18).  Shiraz is one of Australia’s most popular grapes and both were labelled as bold, medium acidity with medium tannic.  Both were very nice wines and if you love Shiraz you would not be disappointed.  On reflection you could tell the Deep River had a few more years to mature.

Our last wine was a classic Rioja from the Alavesa region.  Baron de Barbon is a classic Rioja full of red fruit and full body, with a typical vanilla taste.  Good value Rioja, “safe” and paired with grilled lamb chops , char-grilled vegetable kebabs for example.

Wine fact for the month:  Rioja has over 140,000 acres of cultivated land that produces  250 million litres of wine annually, helping make Spain the 3rd largest producer of wine in the world!

Next month, we will be asking our members to select a wine to talk about.  Looking forward to a wide selection of wines to try!   If you would like to come along and see what it is all about please visit our website ( or email

Hope to see you on the 19th February!