London wine shops, Review

Fast Movers: 3 Popular Wines in London Today

Perhaps deep down I’ve always subscribed to the Oscar Wilde school of thought that Everything Popular is Wrong. So imagine my surprise when I asked my friends in wine shops to tell me what is popular. What wines are making people crazy with excitement? Having some time on my hands this month, I also witnessed the frenzy first hand. These wines’ popularity defy the prescription that wine has to be cheap, boring and of the same-same grape variety. If these styles are popular, then I am sure Oscar Wilde would approve my longing to be wrong:

2009 Minerale+

by Frantz Saumon, from Montlouis, Loire.

Homely and comforting with the taste of baked apples and honey – but don’t get too comfy yet, it develops a thrilling knife’s edge of minerality which keeps sharp for hours. Chenin Blanc from the near-forgotten region of Montlouis does not age as well as its neighbours in Vouvray, but see this as a plus, as it only makes the wine more attractive right now. (£16.25 per bottle, Vagabond Wines)

2009 Monastrell

by Juan Gill, from Jumilla, Spain.

The canny wine drinker, always one step ahead, is bored already of the cheap purple thrill of Malbec, and has now moved over to Monastrell. Unlike Malbec it is friendlier with more foods other than just sirloin (£9.95 per bottle, Vagabond Wines).

2009 Godello

Adega A Coroa

A new wine for Bibendum, so popular at the Annual Tasting I must mention it: like Verdelho’s sexy older sister with better wit, style and of course, the older vines know how to panache, so to speak (£12.99 per bottle, Bibendum).

A caveat: there was an opportunity to taste the wine before being bought. Is there a lesson here?

Image: From “Drawing Fashion” Exhibition at Design Museum, London until 6 March – Antonio. Joanne Landis Carnegie Hall Stuio, NYT Magazine, 1967



  1. "Crazy with excitement"…"witness the frenzy"… Crikey!!

    This is clearly not our local Oddbins, where the customers tend to shuffle lethargically; or Sainsbury's, where excitement is limited to the 50% reduction on the ends of the aisles.

    Is this like TopShop when the Kate Moss range comes in?

  2. It was not quite like Apple or Kate Moss – but enough to write a post about it: the curious phenomena of when a person buying it will try to sell it you or the person next to them.

    Who would have thought Minerale+ – a Chenin from Montlouis at £17 – but there you are!

    Thanks for reading. :-)

  3. I wouldn't bet against Montlouis being as long lived as Vouvray. Jacky Blot's Remus Plus has proved fairly indestructible. True, there's not really any Huet '47 type Montlouis knocking around (that I know of) but having just visited Frantz Saumon he assured me that the 2002 Mineral+ (his first vintage)is still very much alive and kicking. He recommends the 2009 as a sure fire cellar bet by the way.

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