Wonderful winning wines and Champagne!

May 21, 2013 by The Co-operative Food Award winning wine and Champagne

How do you choose your wine and Champagne? Winning gold at the most prestigious wine awards should help convince most of us I think.

Sometimes it can be a challenge just to agree on a red or a white, before you even contemplate the vast ranges within each high level category.

Perhaps you have a few favourites that you always go back to. Or maybe you look at what’s on offer and give it a go? My approach is a mix of these two – an offer will often introduce me to something special, and then I’ll stick with it for a few months.

My ‘try it and see’ approach works well for a bottle with dinner at home, but if we’re entertaining then I like to be a little more certain. It’s at that point that I start paying attention to the awards a particular wine may have won, and that’s how I first came to buy a bottle of the gorgeous Les Pionniers Vintage Champagne from The Co-operative a couple of years back.

It’s not everyday that we drink vintage Champagne at home – by my word it’s good when we do! Les Pionniers Vintage has now carried off the gold from the IWC three years in a row, and it has just won gold from the Decanter awards too. It really is a fabulous drink. The co-chairman of the IWC judges described it as “fruit-driven”, ”immediately appealing” and “youthful but rich with sensational acidity”. And that’s from Charles Metcalfe who knows a thing or two about fine wines.

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) awards are now in their 30th year and wines are ‘blind tasted’ by 10 judges. The more recent Decanter World Wine Awards is a massive event in London where over fourteen thousand wines from 52 countries are tried by 219 judges. Britain is now the world’s largest importer of wines (by value) and so it seems appropriate that the award judging should be held here.

The Co-operative hasn’t only scooped awards for it’s fine vintage Champagne though, it’s sister, the non-vintage Les Pionniers also took gold at the IWC and a bronze from Decanter. To celebrate its success you can buy it at only £16.99 a bottle until 16th July 2013. Another favourite of our household is the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – it took a bronze at both awards and it’s also on offer in store at £7.99 until 4 June 2013. It’s an intense fruity wine from the Explorer’s vineyard in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. These great awards were featured by some of the National red tops, including The Sun and The Daily Mail.

Other winners across the two events were the powerful South African Rustenberg SWB, the Stonehaven sauvignon blanc also from South Arica, Spain’s La Casa sauvignon blanc and The Co-operative’s Premium Series Pinot Grigio.

Of course with hundreds of different bottles on the shelves, and these days hardly a duff one among them, you are rarely going to regret your choice whatever method you use to make your decision, but if a wine has won an award from one, or both of the most important awards in the world then it’s sure good enough for me!

For our latest deals on Wine and Champagnes: http://www.co-operativefood.co.uk/deals/Shopping-List/wines-and-champagnes/

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