Bloggers have revolutionised wine reviews and offer a refreshing alternative voice on the industry. Oddbins has teamed up with six of the UK's finest. We've given these lovely people free rein to run rampant around our cellars selecting their favourite wines for an exclusive six and twelve bottle case. Six great wines independently chosen by six of the most talented wine writers in the business straight from Oddbins' shelves; what better endorsement could you ask for?
Tara is author of the Every Wine Tells a Story book series and the popular blog WinePassionista.com. She is an enthusiastic teacher and cheerleader of mainstream wine drinkers helping them have a confident, fun experience with wine - all delivered with a dash of flair, addictive enthusiasm and zero snobbery.Tara holds the Diploma and Certified Educator accreditation from WSET. She is also a Certified Specialist of Wine and serves as judge at major annual international wine competitions.
"Loaded with fresh, ripe red fruit and wrapped in soft tannins, this crowd-pleasing combination of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre is a perfect example of superior quality Côtes du Rhône. Enjoy this warming wine at home with classic lasagne or serve it to friends at your next dinner party for a guaranteed smash hit!"
David is a UK-based wine blogger whose site, bigpinots.com, focuses on how technology is being used in the world of wine. Having spent the last 10 years working in various technology-based roles, and at the same time indulging his love of wine (he holds the WSET Advanced Certificate), David now proudly describes himself as "a wine-obsessed geek".
"Forget those full-on Malbecs, this is an easy-drinking, medium-bodied wine with aromas and flavours of strawberry, cherry and marzipan. It has a smooth acidity and medium soft tannins that make it a superb wine to drink on its own, or with dishes such as lasagne, chili, roast lamb, pork, duck, goose or light beef stew. A perfect all-rounder for the festive season."
While Paola loves drinking wine (obviously), she is fascinated by the stories behind what she's tasting - the people, the regions and how the wine is made. With sipswooshspit.com she hopes her enthusiasm rubs off on others. Paola trained as a journalist, and worked for the likes of Sky News, GMTV and BBC radio before jumping ship into communications for major global companies. She now runs her own business.
"This might be the maid-of-honour to the bride of Champagne. But, like Pippa Middleton's derrière draped in silk crepe, this is stylish, shapely and in danger of stealing the show when you serve it at seasonal get-togethers. Creamy, apple soft with a nutty, lemon bite and a delicate mousse. "
Is there no end to this guy's wanderlust? A frequent traveller to the world's wine regions, invariably with camera in hand. Reports appear on Spittoon.biz, a blog founded back in 2004 which has led, over the years, to various writing gigs (for AOL, Guardian Word of Mouth, Via Michelin and book chapters in the likes of Wine Opus). Discovering great food and obscure grape varieties across the wine regions is a passion.
"Get your tastebuds a-tingling with this medium-bodied delight. A touch of spice, a little deep black fruits and is that a touch of chocolate and bitter cherry? A delicious smoothness too. Immediately identifiable as Italian. Valpol with extra oomph - a little grape skin left over from making a rich Amarone is added to the wine making process which results in a wine with an extra edge and complexity over an 'ordinary' Valpolicella. For a food match think of something red meat based, char-grilled chicken, prosciutto or even a risotto packed with mushroom, cheese and sausages. "
Born with a nose on the wrong side of dainty Belinda was destined for the wine trade and put her asset into action the minute she graduated. She started the Miss Bouquet wine blog three years ago officially merging work with pleasure and has since written the wine column for The Notebook magazine, Kensington & Chelsea, been interviewed about wine on the radio, set up a series of wine tasting events for the Thinking Girl and developed 'My Wine Friend', the iphone app that helps everyday wine drinkers to become their own wine expert.
"Pinot Noir has found its adoptive home in California where it creates velvety, luxurious and affordable examples of the king of grapes. This one has all the classic brambly, undergrowth and sweet spicy juiciness that wine lovers and novices will devour over the party season."
Tom Lewis, the Cambridge Wine Blogger, is a wine blogger and presenter from Cambridge with a particular interest in Austria, France and sherries of all hues. A member of the Circle of Wine Writers, he has a regular column on City Connect and has been published in the local press in Cambridge, as well as on JancisRobinson.com. Tom's wine-buying philosophy is to buy as close as possible to where it comes from.
"This mouthfilling, ripe-yet-dry Riesling from Austrian wunderkind Markus Huber shows zesty citrus, tropical fruit acidity and good minerality with thick-skinned toasty, yeasty complexity. Match with almost anything- but especially Big Autumnal dishes or roast turkey. "