Booze: My first ever wine reviews (Collaborative)

I enjoy wine but I don’t really drink it often. I’ve never reviewed wine before so when given the opportunity to do so, I thought I’d give it a shot.

I know nothing about wine, for the record. I know that there are different types of grape from different regions etc but that’s it.

I have two collaborators for this (Both at separate times).


Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Grigio 2011
Grapes: 100% Pinot Grigio
Country: New Zealand
Region: East Coast
ABV: 13%
RRP: £11.25
Where to buy it: Majestic, Co-op & Waitrose

My mate Glyn joined me for this one… good chap. Likes wine but again, doesn’t know much about it.


Not very pale for a white wine... Very golden in fact.


We agree that it has a very sweet aroma with melons and apples. It's also a bit oakey.


Very sweet. We agree that theres a massive apple taste with some pears, also very acidic with a burning dry finish.


Nate: I'm not a big fan of Pinot Grigios... Not of white wines in general but this is something I could drink regularly. It's sweet but not so sweet that I'm offended by it and it's not as oaky as a lot I've had.

Glyn: Overpriced for a reasonably drinking wine. It's nice though.

Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas Les Méjeans 2009
Grapes: 100% Syrah
Country: France
Region: Rhône Valley
ABV: 13.3%
RRP: £22.99
Where to buy it: Luvian’s Bottle Shop; Handford Wine; Fine Wine Company, Edinburgh; Les Caves Du Patron & Portland Wine Co.

Did this one with my friend Jess; Jess knows a bit about wine (certainly more than I do)!

                A strawberry red colour which is almost blood red with a hint of purple/beetroot. Reminds us of Dracula when television only just went Technicolor.
                First impressions, quite silky and heavy. A reasonable amount of alcohol but once you get past that you get blackberry and spice; a bit stoney like granite but not earthy. Very clean. The spice isn't overpowering but it's sufficient.
                First impressions, quite sharp and slightly bitter. A hint of spice and dark cherry. Jess says she found chocolate but I found Licorice. There was definitely cinnmon in there too. Reasonably dry but not unbearably so, the dark fruitiness balances this out well. We didn't  feel it to be incredibly well rounded, with tastes missing the mid-palate almost completely, but other than that, thought it to be reasonably full bodied. Quite a long and strong finish, with the spice lasting the longest.
                Really silky and firm, a medium weight but not overbearing, probably because of the spiciness/fruit flavours present. Quite a depth of character.
Jess: Preferred it when it had been decanted for a long time (at least 10 mins)... really took away the acidity and the sharp edge. The temperature also seems to be an issue, room temperature or slightly above seems to be the best for me, any cooler and the acidity caused by the alcohol level gets in the way of the flavours.  I understand why people would pay the RRP for it but it's not what I look for in a wine.
Nate: Really liked this straight from the bottle. I love the sharp yet a little bit sweet edge with spiciness and full bodied fruitiness. After it had been decanted for about an hour I started to get really nutty, coffee-like flavours which I dig! I’m gonna buy some more of this in the near future.

Vidal Marlborough Riesling 2010
Grape: 100% Riesling
Country: New Zealand
Region: Rhone Valley
ABV: 12%
RRP: £9.99
Where to buy it: Halifax Wine Company; Dunedin Wines,;; Eynsham Cellars; Ann et Vin; Ellie’s Cellar

Again, this one was with the lovely Jess.

                Golden/Yellow, clean and crisp

                Apricot, a hint of mango, a hint of kiwi fruit. Very oaky.

                Very acidic, sour, sweet and fruity… it has an almost Lambic sourness to it. Jess said she got pears but I was thinking more along the lines of pear drop sweets. The sweetness mellowed over time.

                We agreed that it is definitely not a wine for us. If you like Rieslings, I think you’d love this but it’s really not for us.

Well, it was fun reviewing these. It’s nice to have someone to talk through the aromas and flavours with for a change.

This was our first experience of reviewing wine so if you have any tips or pointers you can give us for next time, please do share!

I want to thank Nicky Ladwiniec from R and R for sending me these to sample and review despite knowing that this would be my first time reviewing wines!




  1. Good review! Not me by the way folks!

    1. Cheers buddy...

      Nope... it wasn't you... you'll be on here tomorrow lunchtime!

  2. The question's really whether you enjoyed them. I'd be surprised if the Pinot Gris had ever seen oak, and staggered if the Riesling had. Wonder what that was? Anyway, fair play for having a go!

    This Systematic Approach might help if you fancy trying again:

    1. Well, I really enjoyed 2 out of 3!

      Yeah, I dunno, we were just saying what we were tasting really.

      Cheers for the PDF... I'll take a look for next time!


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