Blue Nun is famous for being the wine of the 1970’s. If Abigail invited you to a party you wouldn’t be in the slightest bit surprised if she served Blue Nun. It seemed to disappear for a while in a sea of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Grigio.
It has recently re-emerged with new packaging, a stable of new friends and a ‘new formula’. Previously a Leibfraumilch, the ‘Happy Shopper’ of German wines, it is now a Qualitätswein, which means it does have to meet quality standards, and like an appellation controlled wine, must come from a specified location in this case, the Rhine.
The new formula is around a third Riesling, the finest German grape, the remainder being made up of the Muller Thurgau and other nondescript fruit that made up all of the 70’s blend. So what’s it like?
The bottle is blue, and it’s got a picture of a nun on it, so it’s fairly easy to identify. The wine itself is pale, almost colourless. It’s thin and light. The aroma is similarly light, with a grapey, floral scent. OK, so it’s wine so it should smell of grapes, but this one really does.
It’s not as sweet as you might remember from the 70’s. It’s not as dry as a standard Pinot Grigio, more off-dry than sweet. It could use a little more acid, but its certainly not flabby. It taste a little of blossom, with green apples and some stone fruit like peaches and nectarines, with a touch of almonds.
It’s much lighter than many new world wines at just 9.5% making it easy drinking and fine for a glass in the afternoon, without inducing a nap.
I was pleasantly surprised by the new Blue Nun, it’s light and refreshing, with a range of flavours. It goes well with spicy foods, and is great with fruit salad (it’s pretty good in fruit salad too). It comes in 75cl bottles at around £3 at Tesco, and even in handy ‘picnic sized’ 25cl bottles for around £1.50 if you want to try it out first.
It’s easy to be snooty about Blue Nun. It’s a mass market wine, and it’s being marketed towards people who don’t drink a lot of wine at the moment, but it’s a good product, and makes a good entry point for people who may find wine intimidating, and may not know what to choose.
Blue Nun have tried to make life easier for people by introducing a new range of wines of different styles, from Merlot to Eiswein, all in friendly packaging and with an easy drinking style. If they’re up to the same quality as the mainstream Blue Nun product, they’ll be worth looking out for.