After winning, yet again, the award for best Large Online Retailer of the Year at this year’s Decanter Retailer Awards, The Wine Society remains a consistent source of quality, value and discovery, offering classics and pantry staples alongside lesser-known, and very interesting, conversation starters.
Outside the box
A good winter cellar will surely need a good Prosecco and a value red, to be drunk guiltlessly over the dark, cold evenings, perhaps in lieu of turning the heating on. The Wine Society’s own Prosecco is a must-have for both lovers and sceptics of the style, with its poise and zesty freshness offering unpretentious pleasure. Also from the retailer’s own range, the Australian Cabernet Sauvignon (produced by Yalumba) is a balanced winter-warmer which, at £7.95/bottle, offers great value.
But The Wine Society’s selection firmly invites you to think outside the box, with some of our season favourites hailing from lesser-known and unexpected appellations.
Künstler’s Assmannshauser Rosé Brut Nature is an outstanding sparkling, of moreish complexity which, tasted blind, not many would place in Rheingau, Germany. From Tokaji comes a dry single-vineyard Furmint whose Burgundian elegance and textural complexity speak a lot about the region’s potential beyond the sweet styles that have made it famous. And from the Centre Loire, one of the region’s best-kept secrets: Sancerre Rouge, comes with a vibrancy and depth that are worth keeping in mind as the prices for Burgundy soar.
Among the road-less-travelled options is a true jewel: an aged Xinomavro Rosé from Decanter Rising Star 2022 Apostolos Thymioupoulos. Those familiar with his rosé know of its incredible complexity and character, showing even more expressively in this aged iteration. A proper festive treat!
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You say potato I say…
The pleasure of wine is as much about drinking as it is about discovering the amazing diversity and fun complexity behind each bottle. One of the most fascinating explorations is comparing different expressions of the same grape variety. A fun exercise, perfect for long winter evenings, for which The Wine Society has many interesting comparative pairs: taste the Château Beauregard’s Pouilly-Fussé alongside The Society’s Margaret River Chardonnay; Bründlmayer’s superb Riesling against Framingham’s; Yalumba’s South Australian Cab next to Kanonkop’s South African counterpart. A great way to compare regional, stylistic, vintage and price variations and discover your own personal favourites.
The appeal of a Magnum is manyfold: the wow effect; the guarantee that everyone will get to taste from the same bottle; the greater ageing potential and freshness of big formats; the value-for-money when twice the amount of wine rarely costs twice the money.
For these reasons and, above all, for the quality of the wine they carry, we could not recommend some of The Wine Society’s big formats more. Highlights include Boizel’s Brut Réserve and Bründlmayer’s absolutely outstanding Ried Heiligenstein Lyra Riesling. While both are perfect for Christmas festivities you might want to get a few bottles of the Riesling for cellaring, as this will only get better in coming years.
As much as exploring and selection one’s favourites is a fun exercise, The Wine Society also has exciting Christmas winter selections (available from November) suited to all budgets and tastes, from the Festive Half-bottles case (£45) to the exclusive Wonders of the Wine World (£750, pictured below). While the latter might be off-limits to most, it really is a fabulous treat, with amazing bottles form iconic producers such as Château Lynch-Bages, Kistler or Domaine de Montille. But we have our eyes on the Joy of Wine Experience Home Tasting Kit (pictured above), which for £99 delivers a comprehensive selection of 10 bottles.
The Wine Society: top buys this Autumn
All wines tasted 29 September 2022. Prices do not reflect any special or multi-buy offers.
Some wines might only be available from late October.
Wines grouped by style and ordered by score, in descending order.