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Essential Journal

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The Essential Guide to Picking the Perfect Wine

Dawn Davies’ (Master of Wine and Head Buyer at The Whisky Exchange) offers up a few of her favourite wines to help transport you to the dreamiest lands this spring and beyond

Getting a little lost in all the vine talk and vino verbiage? Fear not, The Whisky Exchange’s Master of Wines, Dawn Davies, offers up her top picks for a well-stocked wine stash to see you through the spring/summer season.

Words by Dawn Davies

The Under £10 Option: Tikves Smederevka 2019 | £8.25

From the Republic of Macedonia this slightly hard-to-pronounce grape – Smederevka – is an indigenous variety native to the Tikveš area. On the nose, there are aromas of fresh pear, apple and with a lick of cream. The palate is all about apples and pears but with a layer of peach and yuzu.

The Sustainable Option: Cantina Goccia 3Q Red Blend 2017 | Frugalpac Paper Bottle | 75cl | £12.45

Perfect to enjoy at a BBQ, the 2017 Q3 Red Blend is a combination of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, presented in sustainable packaging from Frugalpac – made with 94% recycled paperboard with a food-grade liner to hold the wine. Light and well-balanced, this Umbrian wine offers notes of red berries, plums, dark fruit and dark chocolate.

The Natural Option: Niepoort Nat’Cool Drink Me Branco 2019 | 100ml (Litre) | £19.95

A natural wine with a little petillance. Dirk Niepport is the master of all things vinous and this old-style Vinho Verde is an example of just how good he is. In the past, the winemakers used to bottle the Vinho Verdes with a little bit of residual sugar and the fine lees so they re-fermented a bit in the bottle. This wine brings that tradition back. On the nose: shortbread; pineapple; lavender; and apple blossom. The palate has a lovely gentle spritz that lifts the fruity notes of green mango, apples and citrus. This is a wonderful accompaniment to fried fish. This wine will be a little cloudy.

The Special Occasion Option: Kilikanoon Pearce Road Semillon 2017 | 75cl | £19.25  

Kilikanoon father and son team has always been driven by expressing the terroir of their vines. This Semillon thrives in the cool, fertile soils of the Clare Valley. On the nose, a lovely toasty ripe fruit character, baked apples and pears with cinnamon spices with a slight grassy edge. The palate is silky and round with beautifully ripe fruit and a crisp citrus creamy finish. This definitely puts the sex back into Semillon.

Check out more fine wines from The Whisky Exchange here.