The 6th National Wine Week has now finished, but we'll be back in 2018 & yes we still love 'les plaisirs du vin'?

Given the complexity and broader lack of greater consumer  wine knowledge, it’s not really such a silly question! Certainly wine comes from grapes which are pressed to create juice, which in turn is then fermented, but what makes wine taste the way it does and why do different varietals (the different types of grapes) have different flavour profiles and why do those same varietals taste different from country to country, region to region or even vineyard to vineyard?

How come some wines are robust in alcohol and taste and others light in both. Just why does wine become wine rather than just grape juice?  Why are some wines made from a mix of varietals and others from just one type! And just how many different types of wines and varietals are there?

It’s a big, complex area which in the UK is worth over £5 billion+ at retail! And despite the fact that the major supermarkets have recently tried to reduce the number of different types of wine on offer, a walk down any wine aisle will prove how big and complex it really is! Yes, shopping the ‘Wine Wall’ can be an intimidating process for most of us, which is why many people have been buying 'on-offer'!

But as in all things, cheap isn’t always the best option, as a little knowledge can go a long way! So true to our name, here at National Wine Week we’ve simplified the whole wine choice process, giving you the basic wine facts and tips so you can face the Wine Wall or your local restaurant wine list with some confidence and really be able to enjoy ‘Les plaisirs du vin!

Les plaisirs du vin!

Learn about wine

in 3 minutes with WSET

Wine School Videos


Find out more about WSET here

WSET, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, is the foremost international body in the field of wines and spirits education, with a suite of sought-after qualifications. Courtesy of WSET we’re featuring a series of their 3 Minute Wine School videos covering the main wine producing countries, regions and styles around the world. Visit our Countries page.

Become Wine Wise - some useful tips on Vines & Wines

Like to be more Wine Wise, well here’s your chance to improve your wine knowledge and become a bit of a wine wizard in the process. Our downloadable Vines & Wines On-line book gives you a simple grape by grape guide to the most drinkable and enjoyable wines from around the world and the grapes that they're made from. Just click the book to view!

The Week’s Wines

Here are some of our favourite wines from this year's National Wine Week,   some well-known, others not so!         But more importantly what are your favourite wines, let us know and we'll publish the list & name the No.1!

Domaine de Torraccia - Cuvée Oriu           2011 - Corsica

Graillot - Crozes Hermitage                       2009 - Rhone

Kaz – Red Said Fred                                  2014 - Sonoma

Louis de Grenelle - Acajou – Sparkling Cabernet Franc                                            NV – Loire

Trinity Hill - Sauvignon Blanc, Hawke's Bay      2015 – New Zealand

Ridge - Lytton Springs                                    2011 – Sonoma

Raats - Old Vine Chenin Blanc                          2013 - Stellenbosch

Daily News from the            World of Wine                                          Day 6     

Wine is set to continue this year’s winning streak thanks to a boost from sparkling, white and low/no alcohol wines.                                                                 

According to future trends report from IRI, an uplift    in sales within the wine category in 2017 is set to continue thanks to trends which reflect the UK’s      on-going love affair with Prosecco and sparkling,    and a growing move towards low and zero alcohol wines as more and more of the population      embrace the teetotal trend.                                               

Crisp whites have also seen an uplift, possibly reflecting the trend towards lower ABV wines,        whilst overall sales of Champagne and also red    wine and rosé are expected to continue to decline.                    

Day 5  

With Chinese now accounting for 40% of all        buyers of wine estates in Bordeaux, there is real concern in the region that famous Château names  are being changed in order to make them more attractive to Chinese wine drinkers and that this   could change the character of the region! The          300 year old Château Larteau was recently    renamed Château Lapin Imperial (Chateau      Imperial Rabbit). There are more than 8,000    vineyards in Bordeaux, with Chinese owning      around 160 estates, the majority in Bordeaux.                                                                                               Two large French wine exhibitions, ViniSud and VinoVision, are to be held together at the same    venue in Paris in 2019, finally giving the French capital the major wine show it currently lacks.


The International Wine Challenge (IWC) will allow,    for the first time, producers & suppliers to source medals displaying the score of wines that achieve    90 points or more, translating as Silver, Gold and Trophy level awards. The move, which the  competition says follows requests from entrants,      will come into effect immediately, covering the forthcoming 2018 awards onwards, with the score appearing on the Silver, Gold and Trophy-level    bottle labels given out by the competition.                          

Day 4                                                              More on Vivino's Top 50 wines , France  was the    run-away winner with 19 wines in the top 50,    followed by California with 11, Italy - 8, Portugal 5,Argentina 3, Spain 2 and Chile & Australia 1      each. Surprisingly New Zealand didn't make the      Top 50!  Wine is set to continue this year’s winning streak thanks to a boost from sparkling, white and low/no alcohol wines. According to future trends  report from IRI, an uplift in sales within the wine category in 2017 is set to continue thanks to          trends which reflect the UK’s on-going love affair      with Prosecco and sparkling, and a growing move towards low and zero alcohol wines as more and more of the population embrace the teetotal trend.

Day 3                                                                First we had news that In the annual Vivino wine    style survey the Top 50 wines have been chosen,  with the winner a 1976 Sauternes Lur Saluces        from Chateau d'Yquem, which was rated as simply outstanding, mind you at £512+ per bottle it should  be! Then we had news that the recent Catalonian independence move could pose big problems for    one of its most famous products Cava, 95% of    which is produced in the region; over a third of      sales are in Spain. With UK Cava sales already struggling, to compete with Prosecco, the concern      is that a Spanish backlash will affect sales there!                                                                                            Day 2                                                                            The first day started with the news that German supermarket Aldi was launching, in time for        Christmas a wine and beer, specially brewed for        cats & dogs, although obviously non-alcoholic, the concept is an interesting one and just shows how  important our pets are, although whether this is            the right treat for pandered pets is another matter  and the wine, well its for cats and is called        Pawsecco!                                                                     And more on Prosecco, overall Champagne sales      are slipping, except at the premium end, whilst          other sparkling wine, especially Prosecco are          seeing major growth, including English Sparkling although surprising Cava is not doing so well and although a great drink sparkling reds still seem to      have some way to go to establish themselves.                                                                                                  Day 1 & pre the Week!
Well it wasn't a bad run-up to the 6th National          Wine Week, firstly the Chancellor didn't increase         tax on wine, which has to be a good start.            Secondly English sparkling wine has just been highlighted as one of the Top Tipples for 2018.            Jancis Robinson has been tipped to become a        guest judge on ITV's The Wine Show.                              According to Majestic Wine, Eastern European        wines are becoming flavour of the month.                    And finally Victoria Beckham has said that she        wouldn't even touch any wine under £10, well no surprises there then :)

7th National Wine Week returns - Nov 26th- Dec 2nd 2018


National Wine Week fully endorses a responsible attitude to the consumption of wine, or any alcoholic beverage and strictly adhere to drinkaware guidelines -

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