Wine Review – Central England Co-Operative – Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

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This month for the Central England Co-Operative We Like Wine Blog, I’ve chosen to go for something with a little bit of fizz to celebrate what is finally summer; a Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Australia.  Sparkling wines tend to be fermented twice, as opposed to once for still wines, where the second fermentation produces the bubbles that we all love!image

Britain first started to become aware of the emerging wine growers of Australia in the 1990s, and by 2008 we were consuming more Australian wines than we were French and that love of Australian wines continues to grow today. With the diverse terrain and temperature range that can be found in Australia, you will find many varieties of grapes being grown and therefore a diverse amount of flavours being available to you.

Champagne tends to be made from the Chardonnay and Pinor Noir grapes from the ‘Champagne’ region of France.  The Chardonnay grapes introduce a crisp, citrus flavour whilst the Pinot Noir grape tends to produce a lightly coloured, medium bodied, low tannin wine. This wine from Jacob’s Creek incorporates both of these grapes and all of the flavours of ‘champagne’ without the associated price tag.

Sitting in the garden as the sun was going down on a Saturday evening, whilst enjoying a delicious dinner of roast and sweet potato wedges, chicken breasts stuffed with basil and haggis then wrapped with proscuito along with a serving of roasted onions and peppers, was the perfect accompaniment to this beautifully chilled bottle of wine.

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I was sent a voucher with which to purchase this bottle of wine, which retails at £7.99. (Price as at 04/07/2015).

Wine Review – Central England Co-Operative – Pic Saint Loup

My wine review this month for the Central England Co-Operative is a beautiful, peach coloured, Pic Saint Loup 2013 rosé from the Languedoc region of Southern France, close to Montpelier.

This wine is part of the Co-Operative’s Truly Irresistable range of wines and is in the Top 100 wines produced from the South of France. It has ‘appellation d’origine protégée’ or ‘protected designation of origin’ which means that this wine can only be produced from grapes grown in this area (much as Champagne can only be grown from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France). It’s produced from a blend of the Syrah and Grenache grapes.

This light, crisp dry rosé wine is perfect when served chilled to accompany light pasta dishes, such as my Fusilli Al Vegetali, pizzas, salads and charcuterie. Simply in a glass on it’s own is a wonderfully pleasant drink too.

I can imagine sipping a glass (or two) of this, whilst sitting in the setting summer sun, eating some fabulous food and chatting to friends.  Cheers! 


I was sent a voucher to purchase a bottle of wine of my choice from the range available in the Co-Operative.  The review above is my personal opinion of the bottled wine that I chose.

Wine Review – Central England Co-Operative – Fair-trade Pinot Grigio

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One of two wines I’ve chosen to review for Central England Co-Op We Like Wine blog is from their Fairtrade range which comes from the Famatina Valley in Argentina.  The Famatina Valley is situated from the Velazco mountain ranges in the East to the Andes in the West and is produced by the La Riojana Wine Co-operative.  This Co-Operative helps ensure that farmers receive a better deal for their grapes, thus improving their standards of living.

Argentinian wines benefit from the grapes being grown in very sunny summers, which allows the grapes to ripen fully, whilst the melting winter snows provide ample water to irrigate the vines.  It’s a very reliable region, producing some very consistent wines. Argentina now produces some of the New World’s “oldest wines” following investment from the Dutch, the Spanish, the Italians and the Austrians.

This 2013 Pino Grigio is a vibrant and fruity dry white wine with delicate floral aromas, refreshing apple and citrus fruit flavours which goes perfectly well with creamy pasta dishes, grilled fish or even a Thai green curry.

I chose to pair this wine with my potato topped chicken and leek bake, the recipe for which you can find by clicking on the link.  I’m a strong believer that you should only cook with a wine that you’d be prepared to drink on it’s own.  So on that note, pour yourself a glass (or two), grab your ingredients and cook yourself a tasty dinner.  Cheers!

I was sent a voucher with which to purchase this bottle of wine, which currently retails at £6.99. (Price as at 08/02/2015).

Potato Topped Chicken and Leek Bake

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A delicious meal of chicken and leeks in a white wine and cream sauce topped with thinly sliced potatoes, sprinkled with cheese and baked until golden.  What more can I say?  Except sumptuous!

25g Butter
15ml Rapeseed Oil
2 Leeks, finely sliced
4 Chicken Breasts, cubed into bite sized pieces
15ml Chopped fresh parsley
30ml White Wine
60ml Single Cream
Salt and Pepper to season
4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced (3-4mm)
25g Butter
50g Cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 180℃.
2. Melt the butter and the oil in a large pan.
3. Gently sauté the leeks until softened.
4. Add the diced chicken and cook gently for 5 minutes.
5. Add the chopped parsley, wine and the cream
6. Season to taste.
7. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
8. Meanwhile bring a large pan of water to the boil and drop the sliced potatoes in.
9. Boil for 4-5 minutes until starting to soften.
10. Pour the chicken and leek mixture into a large ovenproof dish.
11. Drain the potato slices and layer on top of the chicken and leek to cover completely.
12. Dot with the butter and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
13. Cook for 20-25 minutes until browned and bubbling on top.
14. Serve with steamed vegetables.
I cooked and paired this dish with a Central Co-Operative Fairtrade 2013 Pinot Grigio which I reviewed on my post {here}