Popular Posts

Monday 27 May 2019

Three Laithwaites Wines

A(nother) mixed bag of wines from Laithwaites

A bank holiday weekend meant a trip up to my parents'.

Over the course of three days, we ate, drank and caught up with each other over various meals. The kids had put in a special request for fish and chips and a curry and there were home-cooked meals as well, so we ended up trying quite a range of drinks.

Some were better than others.

Mum has a fondness for Laithwaites wines that I've never quite understood; Dad's generally happy with whatever's put in his glass.

I have to confess to a certain amount of eye-rolling about Laithwaites wines - they are usually not terrible, just rather dull. in that sense, they conform to Rory Sutherland's definition of a brand as being a guarantee of non-crapness.

My complaint is not so much that the wines are mediocre (they are) or that they are oversold (they are) or overpriced (they are). No, it's the whiff of dishonesty that irks; the slight-of-hand, the knowing-yet-confidential references, the casual mentions of high-priced / high-scoring wines, the almost-religious belief in the most tenuous of connections.

I know that Laithwaites are wine sellers, not wine educators, but telling your audience that mediocre wines are great wines just seems a bit ... wrong.

Domaine Bisconte 2017, Cotes du Roussillon AOC (£12.99 plus delivery) the best of the three and highest rated by Laithwaites customers (4.3/5); dark fruits, garrigue herbs and spice; fresh and mineral with very fine tannins. Deft, harmonious and accomplished.


Match with roast red meat or darker game.

Viña Tarapacá Malbec Shiraz 2018 (£10.49 plus delivery) gets a lowly 3.0/5 from Laithwaites customers; confected and jammy, aiming for a bigger-is-better style.


Castelo do Vinteiro 2016, Douro DOC (£10.49 plus delivery) voted 3.5/5; dark berry fruit and fine tannins; on the plus side, it's fresh and balanced.

Pretty ordinary.

No comments:

Post a Comment