Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Nathan Lane
Wine Correspondent
12:00 AM 25th May 2024

Surprises And Delights Of Wine Clubs

Image by Bonym from Pixabay
Image by Bonym from Pixabay
For the brave wine enthusiast, a wine club offers the chance to have a box of six bottles delivered to your door every month. They can surprise and delight with the opportunity to try delicious wines from regions you may not have explored.

Over the years, I’ve tried many of them, and my doorstep is often littered with their latest offers. However, I find the problem with most wine clubs is that they get off to a strong start with good wines that provide good value and challenge you to try something new, but then, over time, the quality wanes. The case is filled with low-cost, high-volume wines you can often find elsewhere for less.

St John's mixed case
St John's mixed case
There’s also the pleasure of wandering around a wine section of the supermarket or a wine shop to unearth a new wine or find an old favourite. With this in mind, I viewed ordering a mixed case from the legendary London restaurant St John with some trepidation. Those fears were unfounded as the case contained the restaurant’s excellent own label Claret, alongside Gresser Kritt Pinot Blanc 2021, Clos de L'Amandaie Blanc 2021, Colombette Plume Chardonnay 2022, Sichel 1883 2021 and Lascaux Eclats de Garrigues Rosé 2022.

The crisp, light, and incredibly gluggable Plume Chardonnay is perfect for days when the sun comes out, as is the gloriously bright Eclat de Garrigue rosé.

The case represented great value at £125. A new mixed case is available monthly and can be purchased at

Rosé season

Give West Yorkshire 12 hours of consecutive sun, and you can guarantee that BBQs will fire up in back gardens across the region. May Bank Holiday should be named the official start of the rosé season, and here are a couple of fantastic options that provide a great alternative to those pale Provence wines.

Camaleonte, Fabio Ferracane, 2022.

A Sicilian rosé made from a blend of Catarratto, Grillo, Nero d'Avola and Merlot. The wine is a lush strawberry colour that gives intense fruit on the nose.

To taste, a blast of funky bramble fruit is complemented by a hint of mint and menthol. It has a dry finish that is almost salty. It will pair well with fresh fish, salads and, thanks to experimentation - Percy Pigs.

The wine is unfiltered with no sulphites and is aged for six months in steel tanks. It’s a youthful, fun wine that is perfect for drinking with friends in the garden on a warm summer day.

The winemaker uses the remnants from each of his wines to create the Camaleonte or Chameleon, so its composition varies from year to year based on the quantity of grapes available.

Available from Wayward Wines from £26.

Grundstein rosé,
Grundstein rosé,
Nibiru, Grundstein rosé, 2022.

Austria may not be your first port of call for a delicious rosé, but this offering from young winemakers Julia and Josef sets a high standard.

Made from Zweigelt and Blauer Portugieser, this rosé is vibrant and juicy. It offers flavours of wild fruits with a hint of spice and minerality at the end. The wine is Haribo pink in the glass with a blast of wild berries on the nose.

The wine is light and fruity but has much more going on than a Provence rosé. It’s refreshing with a slightly tart finish. In the mouth it is smooth with an oiliness that makes it incredibly drinkable.

It’s made in the glouglou style, which is typically used to describe fruit-forward rosé and orange wines, that are juicy with crisp acidity.

Available from Wayward Wines for £20.25

Nathan Lane
Nathan Lane
Our wine enthusiast Nathan lives in Leeds and runs the PR and marketing company Campfire PR.