Blossom Hill is the second best selling wine brand in the UK, behind Hardy’s wines, although its sales are growing at twice the rate. It’s available at pubs everywhere and can be the only wine that many people have ever bought.
Much as Carling and Fosters really cheese off CAMRA beer buffs, Blossom Hill infuriates self proclaimed wine lovers, but can it really be that bad?
The Californian White Wine isn’t too specific in its origins. It’s certainly not Napa or Sonoma valley, this is bulk wine made from intensively farmed grapes from California’s vast Central Valley. A hosepipe ban might do it a power of good!
The label doesn’t help much with what the wine is made from. Legally we know its made with grapes but the label gives no clues as to which ones. This gives Blossom Hill plenty of latitude in being able to buy their fruit on the open market.
So what is it like?
It’s clear and bright with a pale, lemon-like colour. It smells fruity, with lemon, apple and a light, Muscat style grape aroma.
So far so good, time to taste. It is dry, but only just really, certainly not bone-dry. It has a ripping acidity, but not in an entirely good way, it’s out of balance. The lemon and apple remain, with a slightly green grape hint.
It’s not a long finish, and with 12.5% ABV alcohol it’s middle of the road in terms of alcohol.
The grape variety is (after a bit of digging around) Colombard. This is rarely sold as a straight varietal, it’s more often used as a blending ingredient, adding acidity to flabbier wines which may have more flavour, but need that extra bit of backbone.
I wouldn’t buy Blossom Hill again. Life’s too short to drink wine that’s ‘just OK’ out of choice. I wouldn’t turn down a glass, though I might want it really chilled, and may even (heaven forefend) add some ice to make it a slightly longer drink as it is refreshing served that way. However, as a mass market wine, in much the same way as Stella Artois and Budweiser represent beer, it’s a reliable, easy to buy drink, and serves as a perfect introduction to wine for people who may otherwise stick to alcopops.