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There is one retailer I always recommend to UK residents with a real interest in wine. The advantage of The Wine Society is that it is a venerable wine-buying co-operative whose shareholders are fellow enthusiasts, so there is no inexorable drive to maximise profits. There is an entry price, however, of £40 for a lifetime’s share (of which £20 can be redeemed on the first order if it is placed the minute you join). So it could be argued that it makes sense to amortise this by buying as much wine from them as possible.
They boast that their 1,500-strong range starts at £5.75 a bottle and, at a recent tasting of 36 of their summer wares, I found myself marking 13 of them either GV (good value) or VGV (very good value). That’s a much higher proportion than at most tastings I go to – although I managed to find 12 GVs from the 57 wines I tasted at M&S recently, which is a pretty good ratio for a high-street retailer. The only problem with M&S is its merchandising. It’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for on the shelf and it can be more convenient to order online.
And then she gives a list of the summer bargains
THE WINE SOCIETY
Quinta da Bacalhôa, JP Azeitão 2017 Setúbal, Portugal £6.50 (arriving July 13)
Réthoré Davy, Les Parcelles Chardonnay 2017 IGP, Val de Loire £7.75
Thymiopoulos, Atma Malagousia/Xynomavro 2017 Náoussa, Greece £8.50
Schloss Maissau, Pepp Riesling 2017 Weinviertel, Austria £8.95
Bedrock Wine Co, Shebang! Cuvée IV 2011 North Coast, California £10.95
Cave des Producteurs de Vouvray, Rosnay Sec 2015 Vouvray £11.50
Almeida Garrett, Entre Serras 2015 Beira Interior, Portugal £6.25
Union des Vignerons de St-Pourçain, Réserve Spéciale 2016, St-Pourçain £7.75
Kanonkop, Kadette 2015 Stellenbosch, South Africa, £19 per 150cl magnum
Clos des Cordeliers, Cuvée Tradition 2015 Saumur-Champigny £11.50
Tomàs Cusiné, Vilosell 2015 Costers del Segre, Spain £11.50
Classica, El Pacto Crianza 2015 Rioja, Spain £11.50
Dom Jean-Marc Burgaud, Côte du Py 2016 Morgon, Beaujolais £14.95
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