Dr. L Riesling.

Continuing my plight for low alcohol wines I decided to try a German Riesling again as it has been a while. I have had Australian Riesling recently – the Aussies produce generally dry and sharp Riesling but as Riesling is one of the constituents of Liebfraumilch I was expecting something sweet (scale 3-5) but at an alcohol content of 8.5% it fitted the bill and besides, I was curious. I decided on a “Dr.L” from Loosen Brothers – at £7.00 from Sainsbury, it was a little more expensive than the others that I had in my basket.

Dr L Riesling

Loosen Brothers who are based in BernKastel/Mosel have quite a reputation in the German Riesling world and although this wasn’t their best stuff, I was expecting that it would be good – I wasn’t disappointed. In fact it was well worth the money and as such, I will be buying more before long.

Vintage: 2014

Country of Origin: Germany

Region: Bernkastel, part of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region.

Alcohol: 8.5%

Colour: Pale yellow

Bouquet/Nose/Smell: Vanilla/”fruit salad sweets”/Pineapple (Sainsbury say: “Fruity”)

Palate/Taste: Pineapple also quite “tart” or sharp

Finish: Long finish – pineapple/Tropical fruit

It is a very pleasant wine with tropical fruit tones. (probably a 3 on the Dry-sweet scale) I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again. It is said to go well with spicy food – I would suggest Thai food particularly containing the likes of Lychees – I think that it would be overpowered by the heavy spices of Indian Cuisine.

Storage instructions: Should be drank within one year of purchase – no surprise there.

Loosen Brothers History:

History: The Dr Loosen Estate has been in the same family for over 200 years. When Ernst Loosen assumed ownership in 1988 he realised that with ungrafted vines averaging 60 years old in some of Germany’s best rated vineyards, he had the raw materials to create stunningly intense world class wines. To achieve this Ernst dramatically reduced crop size and stopped all chemical fertilisation, preferring only moderate use of organic fertilisers. He insisted on only fully mature fruit that had been strictly selected. And he turned to gentler cellar practices which allowed the wine to develop to its full potential with the minimum use of handling and technological meddling

Regional information: This entry-level Loosen Riesling embodies the elegant and racy characteristics of steep, slate-soil Mosel vineyards at a very reasonable price. Dr. L comes exclusively from traditional vineyards with steep slopes and slate soil. By working closely with growers on long-term contract, brothers Ernst and Thomas Loosen are able to assure excellent quality in every vintage.

Link to Dr. L on Sainsbury website.




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Beaujolais from Tesco.

I went out in search of something light in taste and alcohol content and preferably, inexpensive (cheap has such negative connotations). I came back with this amongst others:-


Tesco Beaujolais – at £4.50 my expectation was that it it would be a pleasant ordinary wine and in many ways it was, but the lesson here is that you should “never judge a book by it’s cover” because with the simple label and no stated vintage you could easily pass this one by; that would be a mistake if all you want is easy drinking as it out shines many of the slightly more expensive bottles on the shelf. Well worth the money.

Beaujolais appellation d’origine protegee from Alliance de Vignerons Bourgogne Beaujolais.

No stated vintage.

Grape: 100% Gamay

Alcohol (%) 12.5

Price: £4.50

Taste category: B – soft and fruity.

Colour: red/purple

Smell/Bouquet: Tesco say red currents but it reminded us of fig rolls

Taste: We were reminded of strawberries, cherries and plums – Tesco say red berries – very soft and pleasant.

Finish:- sweetish, long and delicate.

Link to Tesco Beaujolais page.

Very pleasant wine and well worth the money. If it is excellence that you are looking for then you are on the wrong shelf or even in the wrong shop – no disrespect to Tesco, but if you are looking for good everyday value then you would do well with this wine.

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Taste the Difference Pinot Noir.

I decided to seek out something out of the ordinary at my local Sainsbury recently. I came across this “Taste the Difference” (a Sainsbury own label range) German Pinot Noir Rheinhessen Qualitatswein. German red is quite a bit rarer than white and Pinot Noir is not a grape that I would normally associate with Germany – I was hoping for a treat.


It is on special offer at the moment at £6.00 (usual price £7.00 per 75 cl).

Bottled by Niersteiner Weingenossenschaft.

Vintage 2015

Alcohol 12.5%

Colour: Very thin colouration – browny red illustrating that this one won’t last very long and may be past its best soon despite only being 2015.

Bouquet/Smell: mild whiskey odour then very mild red fruit.

Taste/Palate: very faint whiskey taste (honest) leading to red berry fruit again. Not very strong flavours at all. Like inexpensive summer fruits squash.

Finish: didn’t last at all.

Overall, a rather watery wine which did a good job of washing cheese down but little else. Quite pleasant and unchallenging but I was a bit disappointed that it was so watery. At £6.00, I think that it was a little over priced – you might do better with the 2014 which has a higher alcohol level at 13% – it may have got a bit more sun.

Link to their 2014 version

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Drink up! Hard truths about ageing wine

The wines that you buy in the supermarket are generally “ready to drink now” but what if you were to seek out wines from independent, perhaps smaller producers? The is often confusion about whether your wine purchase will benefit from cellaring – whether it will improve or deteriorate. This is a great guide to which wines are likely to improve with age and those which are more vibrant in their youth.


Now we’re not committing any more heinous wine storage crimes it’s time to talk about which wines you should and shouldn’t be keeping. This is a topic which constantly comes up when I host wine tastings. The questions usually go something like this:

  • “Does wine always improve with age?”
  • “Is it dangerous to drink aged wine?”
  • “Are aged wines better than young wines?”
  • “How long can you age wine for?”
  • “But you can only age really expensive wines, right?”
  • “So how do you know which wines to age?”

As these questions prove, ageing wine is a topic full of myths, fallacies and misunderstandings. Do not despair. Here’s the first part of my efforts to guide you on your way to ageing like a pro. It all boils down to this basic principle:

So now we’ve got that sorted, let’s talk about ageing wine…

Why do we age wine?

Unlike those…

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Reliable is bad?

I have known for quite a few years that the big names in supermarket wines will produce a consistent “product” year in year out no matter what the “Vintage”, and this Winefantastic post serves to illustrate that – they make the point that it is not all bad news though; take Champagne where the “Famous houses ” have been making their distinctive  “house styles” for many years. It suggests the need to look further than the supermarkets for your wine to find a grape grower/winemaker who is trying his or her best rather than working to a brief.

To be clear, I am referring to reliability of wine style only.

Ever wondered how the big boys of the wine world achieve their consistency of offering?

How the big branded wines never seem to run out in the supermarket?

Regardless of the weather or natural event in the “vineyard”.

Well I’ve been wondering for years.

And a possible answer lies in the desire of members of big supply chains to satisfy a largely unsophisticated market; a market that less and less regards wine (and other agricultural products for that matter) as born from an agricultural product. The turning of wine (apples, beef, milk) into a homogenous, industrial product. One you can “rely” upon to be the same year in year out. Like Coca cola.

These big players only do what “we” ask them to do. They produce that which we will buy. So we get the products we want…

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This weeks wine enjoyment.

This week we had “Pinot Noir vin de France” 2014 from Bouchard Aine & Fils. (Burgundy)


It was bought from Sainsbury at £6.00 for a 75cl bottle (reduced from £7.50) and at this price, I think that it represented good value.

Alcohol %: 12.5%

Colour: Purple

Bouquet/smell: Black Cherry/ Black currants.

Palate/Taste: Ripe fruits/ Black Cherry/Black Currants.

Finish: short – light wine taste does not linger.

Remarks: This wine is very pleasant and easy to drink. We had it with Camembert and they went together well. The food suggestion from Sainsbury is poultry, red meat, game and mature cheese. There is no clear declaration as to which part of France it originates but a little internet digging revealed my strong suspicion that it was from Burgundy. Bouchard Aine & Fils are based in the Beune region of Burgundy.

Conclusion: If you are looking for a light wine that is pleasant and easy to drink either with food or without, you could do well to choose this wine, and at £6.00 it represents good value. This is not a bold or complex wine – it isn’t going to challenge you or make you take notice – a pleasant experience rather than an outstanding one, but sometimes that it what is required. At £7.50, I would pass it by; Sainsbury frequently have it at the £6.00 price mark though, so don’t worry.

Bonne degustation!

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Let sleeping wines lie: 5 common wine storage mistakes

Wine has to treated well if you want the best from it.


Now if you’re anything like me, when I first started buying (and drinking!) wine I cared very little for the finer points of wine storage. In reality, most of the wine I bought was demolished hours after purchase, while the occasional more interesting (meaning more expensive) bottle would spend a week or two on a shelf in my stuffy uni room (that’s college for my American wine friends). Making the most of my student income meant value and offers were the name of the game. Quality came a bit further down the list. Pretty near the bottom, to be honest.

It took a significant wine disaster to shock me out of my complacency; a couple of years ago I read this horrific wine story. The unfortunate chap involved, Robert Dwyer who’s a wine blogger and enthusiast based in Boston, managed to cook a beautiful $100 magnum of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Poor…

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Campo Viejo Reserva offer.

I have to tell you about this. Campo Viejo the Rioja people have a special offer at the moment – buy 2 bottles of their Reserva 2011- from the “Art Series” with neck collars and they will send you a customised Tote bag for free – not even plus postage and packing. CR reserva

Sainsbury have a special offer on the price too – £7.75 per bottle – which is slightly cheaper than usual plus, if you buy 6+ you will get 25% off which works out at £5.81 per bottle (approx). I bought 12 bottles because I really like it which means that I have six tote bags coming my way – each with a different picture and each with a different “inscription” – this one says “uncorkedbottle.uk”:-

Tote bag

All that you have to do is enter the unique numbers from each of two neck collars into the web-site address listed on each collar, give them your details – well they have to know where to send it, and click submit – it’s as simple as that.

You have until the 31st July to redeem the offer – I think that it will be a popular offer so don’t wait too long!

***Update — Campo Viejo took a while to send these out. I ordered six in early June (I still haven’t drunk all twelve bottles as it is too good to hurry – but, I received one after about ten weeks and then I had to jog their memory – I sent them a tweet directly and retweeted my original tweet about this blog post with the addition that I was disappointed that I was still waiting for five of the six, and I knew that I wasn’t the only one! They replied within a few days and I got all of my bags within a week or so (mid October). They also have a page on Facebook, a simple search finds them but if you are not happy using social media to contact them, try the following address:-

Pernod Ricard UK Ltd.,
Building 12,
Chiswick Park,
566, Chiswick High Road,
W4 5AN
Mentioning that it is about the Campo Viejo Bag offer.
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Hello, my name is Paul

Hello everybody, my name is Paul and I would like to welcome you to my new venture “The Uncorked Bottle”. It is a blog about wine – one of my favourite subjects in all the world. The other favourite subject is photography and I have been publishing on my Photography Blog for some time but the love of wine keeps creeping back into my conciousness so I thought that I would write about that as well. I hope to engage with like minded wine lovers through this page, so don’t be afraid to be interactive – I will be posting a wide range of wine related stuff from the web and other media including trivia, information, jokes, reviews of what my wife and I have been drinking – I will be posting things about fine wines but unfortunately my pocket doesn’t match my taste so the reviews will be of the more modestly priced wines.

Today I shall start with some (I think) useful infographics which I found on the internet (Pinterest) just to “get the bottle open”:-


This one gives clues as to the character of certain wines with suggestions about which food it might go with. These things are mighty subjective of course – you will have to try the suggestions out for yourself 😉


This infographic tackles the subject from a slightly different angle (Originating from the Grape and Grain Co.)


It is nice to make your acquaintance – do stop by again soon.

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