I had a case of wine from Waitrose after seeing their new Cellar offering being ramped up – they clearly see wine delivered to home as a market they should be making more money from. I tried a mixed case of own-brand wines from around the world. I’ve bought plenty of own brand John Lewis stuff before, so why shouldn’t the wines be good?
This Waitrose Southern French Grenache looked inviting, a dark purple with reasonable legs, yet it didn’t really smell of much, there was some dark fruit but really I had to sniff hard to get at it, so I used my little aerating gizmo and poured the wine through it into a decanter to see if it would benefit from some fresh air.
It did, after getting a bit of air there was certainly more aroma, with the fruit being joined by something that wasn’t quite lavender, but was a vaguely floral herby kind of smell. It’s dray with a medium level of tannin, acid and alcohol.
Again the flavour took some coaxing out. That not-quite lavender herb thing was there, but very much lurking about, not wanting to make a fuss, along with a stick of licorice that would have been better getting on the dance floor and tripping the light fantastic rather than hiding behind the fruit machine.
At £6 this is a reasonable midweek wine, and that’s the price you’ll get it for when buying it as part of a case, or on Waitrose’s regular discount cycle. At £8 it’s over priced.