In good time for the festive season, Waitrose has introduced its stylishly packaged new range of Blueprint Wines.
The range features mainstream choices such as Chianti, Rioja, Côtes du Rhône Villages, Claret, Argentinean Malbec, South Australian Shiraz, Pinot Grigio, White Burgundy, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Provence Rosé and Prosecco (of course). There are also more off-beat wines like Romanian Pinot Noir, Italian whites like Soave and Gavi, English Dry White and German Dry Riesling, along with port and sherry. Sensibly some of them are available in halves. Amongst these thirty wines, there is something for everyone.
They are imaginatively presented with elegant blue and white labels that would happily grace any table. However, do they taste any good? So far we have been impressed. All the wines are sourced from reputable producers and are expressive, benchmark examples of their type. The mellow, autumnal tasting Chianti (£5.99) hit the spot with spag bol and the rich, peppery Côtes du Rhône Villages (£6.99) is properly mouth-filling and was excellent with some steak. The versatile Viña Taboexa Albariño (£8.29) would an ideal fridge-door staple, particularly for Sauvignon fans (although the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is no slouch either at £7.99). Priced between £5.99 and £8.99 (including the ports), the range offers excellent value for money – especially French wines like the Reserve Claret (£5.99) from the impressive 2015 vintage.
The wines were launched with quite a fanfare and, like us, many of you might have received a little booklet with discount vouchers in the post. That weekend Waitrose in The Spires was busy with people stocking up and, as a result of the initial popularity, some of the lines may have sold out.
Let’s hope Waitrose is able to keep the supplies coming and maintain the consistency. It’s a lovely bit of branding and a great way to experiment while staying your comfort zone without breaking the bank.