Sunday Times ‘Wine Companion’ 2016

The region notes are mildly interesting though as Ernie himself notes any aspiring buff should get themselves a decent Wine Atlas / Encyclopaedia.

A wine Journo’s lot must be a happy one. Taste 124 wines averaging €27.58 a bottle and give a cursory opinion validated by a mate. Cost-wise It’s no wonder they all score 8 out of 10 or better.

Do the Sunday Times really believe their average reader punts €28 a bottle every week? Get a grip Ernie.

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We spit so you don’t have to …

… writes Ernie Whalley in last week’s Sunday Times 2013 Wine Companion, an insert in the July 14th edition.

ST-140713

110 wines tasted and reviewed.

Can’t say I disagree with the methodology or even with most of the tasting comments, though I have heard a few of them before.

In fact, I think Whalley’s Terroir notes are quite good.

What strikes me is the types and status of wines tasted and promoted by a mass middle market ‘Quality’ Sunday Newspaper.

Not to mention the vast value for money producing regions and territories completely ignored by a Wine ‘companion’.

Puglia. Loire Valley. Sardinia. Anyone?

A quick tot reveals that it would cost almost €2500 to stock your cellar with just one of each of the 110 bottles.

Yielding an average cost of €22.33 per bottle tasted.

€22.33.

A hefty wedge for a bottle of wine.

For which you would, not unreasonably, expect the wine to rate in the top Decile.

At these prices, swallow, don’t spit.

As one of my sisters in law says, there’s no need to spend more than a tenner a bottle in the off-trade these days, even with our tyrannical excise duty and VAT on wine.

Certainly for everyday drinking, given the many promotions and competition between the multiples.

For special occasions – and perhaps this is what the Sunday Times is aiming for, like its Michelin 3 Star  AA Gill restaurant reviews – OK perhaps, but it smacks to me of: we have a great idea; let’s set up a wine club; review the wines the shippers will give us the best deals on; get a local hack on board; flog the hell out of it – the more expensive the better – the more we’ll make.

Cynical?

Me, perhaps.

The Sunday Times, yes.

Maybe we should all spit.