A few weeks ago the Guardian published a nice article on buying wine for less than a fiver. With uncanny timing, I interviewed their former budget wine supremo Malcolm Gluck on the same day, as part of a project I’ve been involved in to design a mini-magazine suitable to be given away free with a product.
Gluck, who wrote the Superplonk column for 14 years, has often cut a controversial figure, first and foremost for getting up the noses of the wine establishment by dismissing corks as likely to spoil good vintages.
More recently he caused further outrage for describing many wines as being so full of additives that they resembled “alcoholic cola” on a C4 Dispatches programme, and started a booze-related turf war by suggesting that beer-drinkers were “terrible lovers” in the Guardian‘s Word Of Mouth blog.
Quite apart from all this, I was nervous about interviewing him as he had been a hero of my father (a man who loved to drink wine, but not to spend silly money). What if he wasn’t a very nice bloke?
Thankfully I got a pleasant and informative interview out of Gluck, who recommended that novice drinkers looking to explore interesting wines at good prices should head to Sainsbury’s, Asda and M&S as their first ports of call. With this in mind, here are a select few of the vintages that should be available in Cardiff over the winter. If anyone would like a more comprehensive list please email me, and also see below for an audio extract from the interview.
Winter 2010/11 recommendations from Malcolm Gluck, all under £7. Wines are scored on a value-for-money basis out of a possible 20 points:
- Asda Cava Brut – Spain, 16 points, £4.28
- Asda Vin Du Pays Chardonnay – Italy, 16 points, £3.97
- Asda Soave 2009 – Italy, 16.5 points, £3.28
- Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Bourgogne Aligote – France, 16 points, £6.99
- M&S Orvieto Single Estate 2009 – Italy, 17.5 points, £5.49
- Asda Beaujolais 2009 – France, 17 points, £4.47
- Asda Marques Del Nortes Rioja Joven 2009 – Spain, 16 points, £4.06
- Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Curico Valley Merlot – Chile, 16.5 points, £5.99
- M&S Vina Ulmo Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 – Chile, 17.5 points, £4.99
Excerpt from interview with Malcolm Gluck