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Fresh Wines for Spring

Spring is on its way and we’re all ready for a little warmer weather and perhaps even the chance to enjoy a little outside drinking and dining. The sunshine may not be bright but it’s definitely on its way and if you’re looking to buy wine online for your first spring celebration, we have some suggestions you should definitely keep in mind.

Spring Wines from The Fine Wine Company

Drinking according to the season is not necessarily something everyone does, but it can be enjoyable. It’s a great way of trying new flavours. Here are some of the most popular and enjoyable Spring wine options:

Light Rose

Lighter styles of rose are a wonderful choice for spring. You can enjoy the flavours of the South of France or Spanish flavours. The low alcohol content and light pink tones team with delicate and fresh fruit aromas and flavours, perfect for the gentle warmth of spring. Try a Rose such as La Vidaubanaise Comte de Provence.

Younger Pinot Noirs

If you’re a red wine drinker, there’s no need to switch for the freshness of spring. A young Pinot Noir is the perfect choice for Spring. With fresh fruit flavours and the option of serving slightly chilled, this is one way of still enjoying your favourite reds in a traditionally white wine season.


Everyone loves a Prosecco in the sun. It may be more popular when the true summer heat arrives but there’s no reason you can’t add it to your Spring wine list. Gentler and more rounded in flavour than Champagne, you could try Mabis Biscardo Prosecco Frizzante or a similar offering for that gentle fizz that has become so popular.


With an instantly recognisable aroma and a surprisingly deep colour, Gewürztraminer is a great alternative to the summer classic Sauvignon Blanc, for spring. Bright acidic notes stand out and it’s a great alternative white for the springtime.  Lani Gewurztraminer is a great example of how good these flavours can be, with exotic Turkish Delight notes and fresh lychee aroma.

The right wine for the springtime is an entirely personal choice. However, when looking to choose a wine online, these are out top options for when the spring sun arrives.

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The Vegan Wine Conundrum

Statistics from the Vegan Society from 2016 show that there are around half a million vegans in the UK, and this figure is rising. When many people make the decision to switch to a vegan lifestyle they have no idea so many foods contain animal products, and the same can be said for drinks. Most wines are not vegan. This comes as a shock to many but why is this the case? What makes most off-limits to vegans?

Why are most Wines Non-Vegan?

Most wines go through a process of clarification which is known as ‘fining’. This process usually involves animal-based products such as casein, which is made from milk or egg whites. The fining process removes cloudiness from wine and ensures they are clear to drink, with no sediments or similar. High quality white wines and some sparkling wines use a product called isinglass in the fining process. This is a fish by-product and once again, unsuitable for anyone on a vegan diet. Fining agents are not present in the final bottled wine but they were used in the process, which is unacceptable on a true vegan diet.

Tips for Finding Vegan Wines

The rise of veganism in the UK and further afield means there are many vegans wines no available on the market. You can also look out for the following information on any bottle, which should be a clear indicator they are fine to drink as a vegan:

  1. Unfined or unfiletered wines are 100% vegan
  2. Wines filtered using sterile filters such as ceramic filters are vegan
  3. Wines using cross-low filters are vegan
  4. Some wines may be filtered using bentonite but always check with the producer
  5. Organic wines are not always vegan, you must check with the producer

There area number of curated lists online which show which wines are vegans and which aren’t. Like many vegans find with food though, you have to become an expert label reader to ensure you’re enjoying only 100% suitable wines!

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Traditional Wine Serving Rules

We all know that wines are meant to be paired with certain foods (although it never hurts to mix it up a little). However, what about pairing wines with wines? When should you drink which wine? Does it matter the order you choose to drink your wines in? Traditionalists would say yes and below is a closer look at the rules professional sommeliers live by.

Light to Full

It may seem like common sense but going through your wines from light-bodied to full-bodied throughout a meal is always recommended. Serving a range of wines at a dinner party requires real planning and so placing those delicate flavours first is always recommended. A full-bodied and powerful Bordeaux served before a light Pinot will simply ruin the enjoyment of the second wine.

White, Rose, Red

Light-bodied wines come first so white wines must come before reds and roses are best served in between the too. This allows for the acidity and fresh fruit flavours of whites and roses to be enjoyed on a clear and clean palate. If you’re considering a red before white, keep it light such as a Beaujolais.

Start Young

Wines make-up considerably changes as they age. The flavours become smoother and their aromas change too. Red wines gain rich tobacco and leather-like flavours while whites start to develop those sweeter, dried fruit notes. Trying these flavours before a fresh young white wine would simply stop the enjoyment of the second wine and remove the chance to enjoy both sets of flavours. Older wines should be saved for later in the evening.

Acid then Sweetness

Again, a very obvious rule but one which must never be broken! Sweet and fortified wines are designed for the end of the meal, they’re not called dessert wines for no reason. The residual sugar in these wines will kill off the flavours of any younger, non-fortified wine, removing its tannins and acidity.

Planning a traditional dinner party, wines and all, is certainly achievable with a little effort and planning. You can easily buy wine online to suit every course of your meal and wow your guests with a dinner party which allows for great food and perfectly paired wines.

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Who puts the Bubbles in Bubbly?

Champagne remains the most enjoyed and beloved of all sparkling wines, but many people want to know exactly how it is made. As the most famous wine on the planet, it certainly deserves attention and below we’re looking closely at champagne, its make-up and how those bubbles are formed.

Champagne is a very specific type of sparkling wine. It has to be produced in the region of Champagne and it has to fall within the very strict appellation guidelines to truly be classed as Champagne.

Only three grapes are allowed to be used in the making of Champagne. They are:

  • The white grape Chardonnay which adds freshness, acidity as well as fresh flower and fruit aromas and flavours.

  • The red grape Pinot Meunier which adds fruit aromas and helps bring balance to the wine.

  • The red grape Pinot Noir which adds structure, power, body and red fruit flavours to the wine

Most Champagnes will include a blend of these three grapes but it is not essential all three included. A 100% Chardonnay Champagne is known as a Blanc de Blancs and has a remarkably fresh and fruit-enriched flavour. A red grape Champagne, using 100% Pinot Noir or a mix of the two red grapes, is known as Blanc de Noirs. These wines have a richer and more densely structured.

Where do the Bubbles Really Come From?

The unique winemaking process which creates Champagne also creates those much-loved bubbles. The first few steps of creating Champagne are the same as still wine but then some syrup, made up of a combination of sugar and yeasts, is added into each bottle. The yeasts then consume the sugars which produce the alcohol and also carbon dioxide. This process is essentially a second fermentation and the carbon dioxide is trapped within the wine. When the bottle is opened, it is released and the bubbles can be enjoyed!

Of course, newer and less prestigious sparkling wines are popular on the market, but nothing quite takes the place of a classic Champagne.

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All you Need to know about Merlot

If you’re a big fan of Cabernet Sauvignon but are looking for change, classic Merlot could be exactly what you need. Chances are you already have a fair feel for the flavour but have you ever really given it a chance? Merlot is a great alternative to other reds, perfect for food pairing with many different dishes and offers both moderate tannins and balanced acidity. Merlot can be found at all price ranges and is a great safe choice for dinner parties. If you’re looking to buy wine online and want a range of Merlots to choose from, The Fine Wine Company won’t let you down.

Merlot translates from an old regional French dialect to approximately “little blackbird” obviously a nod to its deep, red-black tones. It is the second most planted grape in the world and is the most planted varietal in the popular and well-known wine region of Bordeaux.

Merlot Tasting Profile

Merlot is a rich and fruity wine. Your palate will be awash with berry and dark fruit flavours as well as plum, chocolate and cedar. Merlot is a medium-bodied red wine when compared to others in the category. While it is a great choice for many different meals, merlot goes particularly well with turkey and pork as well as rich stews and wintry vegetable-based meals. It isn’t a great choice for fish or spicy foods.

Merlot Regions

Merlot is of course the shining star of the Bordeaux region. Classically and historically it is the place to go for Merlot, with the best examples coming from The Right Bank area of the region. Appellations such as Pomerol and Fronsac are renowned for the Bordeaux merlot. Classic merlots from this region are earthier and have hints of tobacco in their flavour. New World merlots have a different, lighter flavour. If you’re looking to try something different to a classic Bordeaux flavour then look to Chile and Western Australia. Both these regions produce sterling merlots which have their own unique character, with just a hint of Bordeaux influence.

Our range of Merlot wines ensures you can sample many different flavours from different regions.

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Wine Trends to Watch out for in 2018

Every year brings about a new set of trendy wines, exciting innovations and ideas which storm the market. In 2018 there are many new wine trends to look out for and we hope you’ll be able to enjoy at least one of them with The Fine Wine Company. Take a look at three top trends below:

It’s All About Sauvignon Blanc

Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc have been the market leaders when it comes to white wine recently, but Sauvignon is making a comeback, especially Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa. Sauvignon Blanc has a crisper more acidic flavour than other white wines and often shows off bright tropical notes, as well as a touch of green pepper. Our range of Sauvignon Blanc is vast, incorporating options such as this zesty Chilean offering as well as this classic Marlborough Sauvignon.

Be Prepared for the Impact of Drought

Droughts around the world in key wine growing regions do affect the wines available. We may see lower yields of popular Australian and South African wines due to long dry periods and while there is still plenty of quality being produced, it may affect how much access we have from wine in these regions. The wine growers are of course dedicated to keeping their wine production growing but there is only so much you can do when the climate and weather are not optimal.

Sample a Premium Rose

Rose never goes off trend but now our palates are getting more sophisticated and so are the skills of the wine growers around the world. The South of France is known for its beautiful high-quality roses, from both Provence and Bandol, but other regions are also catching up. The prices may be a little surprising but the flavours make it more than worthwhile. At The Fine Wine Company our wide ranging rose collection ensures there is an offering for everyone, with classic French roses such as Miraval, Cotes de Provence Rose to modern Californian options such as Angels and Cowboys.

These are just three examples of many trends to look out for in 2018. Whether you like to follow the crowd or are just looking for wine inspiration, it’s worth keeping these flavours in mind.

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Vegetarian Wine Pairings

The first thing we hear when talking about wine and food pairings is red wine with red meat and white wine with fish, but what about vegetarians? If you’re planning a dinner party or simply want to ensure your vegetarian friends are able to enjoy a meal out as much as the rest of the group, then knowing how to match up vegetarian foods and wines really helps. Below is a closer look at the right combinations to satisfy every vegetarian palate.

White Wine Pairings

Summery and fresh, most white wines are easily paired with a range of vegetarian dishes but consider these options:

Pinot Grigio

The light and fresh flavour of pinot grigio is a perfect partner for fresh pasta and salad dishes, raw food meals and those incorporates gouda cheese. The lightness of the flavours are perfect when enjoyed together.


Ideal for more exotic meals, the light flavour of Riesling pairs well with Thai cuisine, Vietnamese meals and surprisingly Creole and Southwestern USA-inspired food, including (unexpectedly) barbecue sauce.


With many differently flavoured Chardonnays on the market you can find everything from fresh and crisp offering to those with a buttery, medium-bodied flavour. This makes it a very versatile choice for vegetarian meals perfect for serving with potato or squash based dishes as well as risotto or creamy goat’s cheese.

Red Wine Pairings

Naturally fuller bodied and richer in flavour, red wines are a little harder to match with vegetarian foods but it’s certainly possible:

Pinot Noir

A lighter red wine, with smooth tannins pinot noir is a great choice for mushroom-based dishes, many of which you’ll find in Mediterranean in Asian-inspired dishes. It also works fantastically with fruit-based sauces.


With soft, tempting tannins Grenache tends to be medium-to-full bodied and is a wonderful partner for light Italian meals, freshly grilled vegetables such as peppers and aubergine. It’s also wonderful with the Italian cheese fontina.


The strong tannic flavour of Malbec requires a strong and distinctive food pairing. It’s a great choice of Cajun inspired meals, barbecue foods, baked potatoes and foods liberally flavoured with fresh black pepper.

It is also worth remembering that some wines are not vegetarian friendly so always make sure to check before purchasing.

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The World’s Finest Wine Regions

Many countries around the world produce wines of different qualities and styles, but there are some that stand out, for different regions. Although most of us already know the “top” wine regions, it’s always worth refreshing our knowledge and ensuring we know where to look when looking to restock our wine cupboard. When you look to buy wine online with The Fine Wine Company you can easily browse our site using the many different filters to find the exact wine you’re looking for. Below is a closer look at five of the world’s key wine regions.


The only place to start. Discussing the world’s finest wine is not possible without mentioning France. There are ten unique wine regions in France, each with its own specialty. The finest white wines come from Alsace in the East while Beaujolais is renowned for reds. Bordeaux offers a balance right in the middle and of course, no one can mention France without mentioning the celebrated area of Champagne.


Italy is the world’s largest producer of wine, recently overtaking France. There are twenty different wine regions across Italy and because of the unique shape, size and area the country covers, each region’s flavour is distinct. Regions such as Sicily, Lombardy and Tuscany produce everything from the finest, most expensive wines to those for the regular wine enthusiast.


Spain is the world’s third largest wine producer. Over one million acres of Spanish soil is used for growing grapes. Spanish reds have a truly distinctive flavour but their whites are becoming more popular too, with a crisp freshness which has become popular since New World wines have come onto the scene. Another bonus with Spanish wines is that they are usually available at a much more attractive price than those of France or Italy.


In the top five wine producing countries in the world, Argentinian wine has gained a much more positive reputation in recent years. It has a strong international presence and the wines of the region Mendoza particular are notable for their high quality.


While American wine isn’t all about California it does make up the bulk of their production. In fact, 90% of American wine is grown in California and varying qualities can be found. Areas such as Napa and Sonoma in California are known for their exceptional quality and world class white wines to rival the old countries are regularly produced in these areas.

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Should we really be chilling Red Wines?

For many years we were told that red wine was a room temperature only beverage, no questions. However, in recent times when summer arrives the idea of chilling red wine has become much more popular. Chilled whites and warmer reds has always been the standard but when the sun’s out and your favourite tipple is a refreshing red, why not cool it down?

Chilling red wines isn’t quite as straightforward as it is with whites. Warmer weather makes warmer wine less appealing and chilling a red wine can also bring out its acidity and heighten the fruitiness of its flavour. A chilled red wine should be cool not ice-cold. The chilling process shouldn’t result in a cold to touch red because this is probably too cold and won’t taste right. Experts recommend serving wine at around 12-15 degrees Celsius but if you’re not sure of the temperature, most say removing your red wine from the fridge 10-15 minutes before serving should be good.

What Red Wines can you Enjoy Chilled?

If you’re looking to buy wine online and want to know which reds are best to be enjoyed chilled. The lighter the red, the better it will be at a lower temperature. You should be looking for the lighter bodied, low tannin level reds. Fruity flavours work particularly well but you may find something interesting and unusual about a herby or earthy wine at a cooler temperature too. Two of the most commonly chilled reds are Pinot Noir and Gamay, but you can try others such as Zweigelt or certain Cabernet Franc too.

Essentially you can experiment with your favourite reds and find which ones are best. There is no harm done if you chill a red wine and don’t enjoy it at that temperature, as you can simply let it return to room temperature and enjoy it as normal instead.

Red wines may not naturally seem like something you can enjoy chilled but try it and you may be pleasantly surprised.

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Do you know your French Wine Rules?

When it comes to knowing “all” about wine, most people turn to the French for their guidance. While considered old-fashioned and classical by some, the French approach to wine is tried and tested and barely ever fails. Food and wine pairing is something the French do with style so if you’re planning a dinner party, want to experiment with new wines and food combinations or simply want to try something different it’s worth looking at these French rules for food and wine.

The French school of wine is very strict on its teachings and sommeliers learn a very specific way of serving wines with foods. In France, food and wine pairing is a true art, and something to take very seriously. French rules state:

  1. You can never serve white wine with red meat or game

  2. You can never serve aged red wins with fish or seafood (particularly crustaceans or mussels)

  3. Every meal should involve different wines paired with the different food types

  4. White wine must always be served before red

  5. Lighter wines must be served before more robust offerings

  6. Chilled wines must be served before those served at room temperature

This is just the beginning when it comes to the French sommeliers’ rule book. Some will argue alcohol concentration should also be considered when serving wines, with those with lower concentrations served first. Water is always served between wines at a French dining table, to ensure you can fully appreciate the aroma and bouquet of each individual wine.

Buy Wine Online with The Fine Wine Company

You can buy a range of high quality and flavourful French wines at the Fine Wine Company, ready for your French-inspired dinner party. Alternatively, you can opt for a more casual affair, choose any wine you like from our wide range and still enjoy a fully satisfying and tasty wine and food experience.

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Buy Wine Online

How NOT to Buy Wine Online

At The Fine Wine Company we are committed to helping our customers buy wine online easily and without any issues. We work to ensure our range of wine, our prices and our website are setup in a way which makes your wine buying experience easy, straightforward and even enjoyable. However, when looking to buy wine online you may come across sites which aren’t setup particularly well and here we’re looking at some pointers to look out for when buying wine online and warning signs that maybe you should be considering a different retailer.

  1. Clutter

A cluttered online retail store should always be avoided. Whether or not you know exactly what kind of wine you want to buy it should be easy to explore the different option available, whether it’s by country, type of wine or other deciding factors. If you visit a website and there is no direction, no order and too much going on, you may want to move on.

  1. Poor Design

No one is suggesting that wine sellers need to be expert web designers but a well-designed ecommerce site should be an investment every reputable retailer makes. Many different easy-to-edit and build on platforms are available so even the least tech savvy retailers should be able to have a website they can update easily.

  1. Product Availability

Nothing is worse than finding the wine you want and it not being available. No store can have their full stock range available at all times but when you come across stores with many items out of stock with no explanation or reasoning then you may want to consider looking elsewhere.

Choosing to buy wine online gives you many more options and choice but you need to be clever in your choice of retailers. Make sure you spend a bit of time exploring and choosing a retailer like us ensures you can access a wide variety of wines at reasonable prices, with high quality ensured.

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Cooking with Wine

Everybody cooks with wine but are you making the most of your wines when cooking and are you using the right wines? Wine is usually something we simply plonk into a sauce, use to add a little more flavour when browning meat or simply deglazing a pan. However it can be used in many other ways too and why not get the most out of your wine collection?

What does cooking with wine add to your food?

Wine can add a number of different things to any meal. Principally you’ll add wine to a meal for flavour purposes. The character of wine is often amplified and brought out even further when used in cooking so the key flavour becomes more pronounced. Wine also adds acidity to any meal you include it in, which will change the whole makeup of the dish. How a wine effects a dish will depend on exactly how it is used.

People often question whether the alcohol in wine is all ‘cooked off’ when it’s used in cooking. Alcohol actually evaporates at 81 degrees Celsius and it is very unlikely you will cook off all the alcohol as you prepare a meal, although it could be possible. If you don’t like the idea of cooking with wine then consider using a stock in any recipe that suggests adding wine.

Which Wines should you cook with?

The first place to begin is to avoid anything labelled as “cooking wine” and think about the flavours you like and the wines you like to drink and how they may compliment your food choices.

If you’re cooking with white wine then chardonnay is highly recommended alongside creamy sauces and cheese-based dishes or pasta dishes such as macaroni, pasta alfredo and lasagne. Sauvignon Blanc or pinot grigio can be great for a wide range of different styles of sauce and when cooking with fish as their herbaceous character brings a different character to your meal.

When cooking with red wine then burgundy reds are always recommended when cooking with beef. The rich and robust nature of the wine works perfectly with the similar characteristics of the meat.