Cellar Defenders

The Society’s Portuguese red is such a great stand-by.

My other sub-tenner reds of the year are the Marcillac, Altolandon Bobal and CdR Rive Droite, Rive Gauche. One notch higher, the Saint Cosme CdR and Lone Birch cab sauv from Washington.

For rose, the Umanu was great. And for white, Feudo Arancio Grillo and (external to TWS) Aldi Limoux chardonnay and Sainsbury’s PJA viognier.


Oh, and the Roubine Sablet 2016 is fab QPR at £12.50. Just about qualifies as a “cellar defender”, depending…

As my wine purchase egged on by this society has expanded my cellar defenders have become a little unstuck. There is a thin line of cellar defenders in the cellar due to space constraints with the main bulk of defenders outflanked in the garage which currently is offering very little defence as I have to go out in the potential rain/dark and find the cellar the easier option.

The more lasting defence tends to be leave them in wooden cases and pile 4 cases on top of them. This way good/expensive wine consumption tends to take more planning. Alas what goes in the box sometimes goes wrong. When my brother in law visited ( one who brings very good wine ) I had not extracted one of the 8 Chateau St. Pierre 2011 which I thought was drinking well and found my only bottle of Calon Segur 2011 and opened it. Nice but would have benefited from a few more years cellaring. It was up against the BiL’s El Desafio de Jonato 2015 (exquisite) and Ch9p Beaucastel 1981 (slightly below par as the cork had not lasted the 41 years well).


I’ve never heard of “Cellar defenders” as a term, but I like me it a lot.

Normally, I buy mine through Naked Wines. Don’t snigger, at the back. But I get a mixed box of fine wine every few months and just let it work its magic at the top of the cellar. Some are great, some are average but ultimately if I’m with friends who don’t drink wine, then it doesn’t matter.

For most occasions when my wife’s family are over, I use a NZ Sauvignon Blanc as that pacifies my Mother-In-Law quite nicely. So that tends to be my go to Cellar Defender.

My Dad does tell a great story about going away for a couple of days and my Mum making a beef casserole for his return - only for him to find a bottle of very decent Bordeaux that was saved for a special day, now drained and simmering in a pan.


Sorry, IMO Naked wines for me are sub “cellar defenders” I often describe the term as mistakes :slight_smile:

Avoiding consumption of premature wines is the objective (I think)

The majestic fine wine case for me was perfect cellar defender material too. It never hurts drinking from your cellar based on what you paid vs what it’s worth :slight_smile:

I had a virgin wines call from a sales guy trying to work out at what percentage discount I’d re-establish a financial commitment.

Due to the loss of trust that discount had to be 100%

Which in turn leads me back to TWS or bulk ordering from abroad


Also sorry, your German/Austrian recommendations are so good I’m leaning that way where i can

Good shout on AltoLandon. Everything I’ve had from them has been well priced, interesting, very tasty and ready to drink. Would be great to see a few more Manchuela wines.

Musar Jeune and Hochar provide some lines of defence against the grand vin!


My list of Cellar Defenders:
Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2017 (9) / 2018 (8) £5 - Asda
Bellingham The Bernard Series Chenin Blanc 2021 (8) £6.75 - Tesco
Norton Centenario Finca Perdriel Malbec blend 2016 £5.25 (28), £7 (4), £10 (1) - Asda
Kanonkop Kadette Cape blend 2019 £6 (6) - 6.75 (9) - Tesco
Xanadu The Fusion Cab Sauv 2018 £4 (6) - M&S


How many bottles of these wines did you buy AT these prices because if I thought I could buy the Bellingham for that price I’d chop your hand off for it :joy::joy:


And the Errazuriz at a fiver is pretty remarkable value!

Staff discount?

Updated with quantities and sources now.
Just waited for the Bellingham to go on offer: £11, down to £9 + 25% discount


No staff discount for me :disappointed:. Regular Joe prices these, bought off the shelf. OK I did ask if there was anymore Norton out the back and then took the lot.


Was a ‘Reduce to Clear’ back in mid 2020

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The aforementioned Guigal is so ubiquitous that there is no point storing it.

I’ve found that storing it is worthwhile - it may be ubiquitous and easy to acquire, but IMO with a few additional years in bottle it improves noticeably, and becomes more like drinking a £15-£20 wine rather than the tenner (or less, on offer) you paid for it :slight_smile:


As did I… It’s slumbering nicely in my garage… all 36 bottles of it :rofl: :sweat_smile:.


Great subject. I strangely find it harder to chose wines falling into this category than more expensive options.

Common choices include:-
Guigal CdR
TWS Exhibition Langhe Nebbiolo
TWS Exhibition Cape Chenin
TWS Exhibition Soave

Ahead of the festive season when I allow myself the luxury of midweek drinking I find myself in need of a fresh supply of cellar defenders so have placed an order for a couple of mixed cases.


I wanted some variety and thought that the TWS Wine Champs and Jancis’ recommendations should not be too shabby.


Our cellar defenders are usually supplied by the friends from whom the cellar needs defending🤣 We drink much less wine now than we used to (alcohol tolerance has reduced as age increases sadly) so we concentrate on the wines we like, some better than others.

One of our friends likes a red wine after the meal and kindly brings the stuff with her. Mostly sub £10 supermarket red that has a certain softness and sweetness to it.


Agreed, and I think you are the first to mention it here.

An interesting thing about drinking many bottles of the same type is seeing the “bottle variation”. I put it in quotes because it is IMO largely taster variation, or due to serving at different temperatures, or with different foods. Some modest wines also improve in the time it takes to work through a case. I don’t pretend to be able to predict all those factors, but it has made me a lot more hesitant about assessing a wine from a single experience with it.

Better wines, under cork, and which have had different storage conditions will additionally have “proper” bottle variation.