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Top questions on which wine to enjoy this Autumn answered by our own wine expert

With the evenings turning darker and many of us looking forward to getting cosy at home this Autumn, now is the perfect time to snuggle up on the sofa with a nice glass of something delicious. 

But with so many wine varieties on offer it can be confusing looking for the perfect bottle and Google Trends shows the search for ‘best wines’ increases by 150% from September to December as we spend more time at home and get ready for the festive season. 

To help us find the best options we have enlisted the help of SPAR’s Master of Wine, Philippa Carr, who has carefully curated a range of multi-award winning bottles from across the world. 

What is the UK’s most popular wine?

Of all the grape varieties, red or white, Sauvignon Blanc is currently the most popular in the UK. Wine drinkers love its freshness and there are plenty of countries of origin to choose from – from New Zealand to France via Chile or South Africa. If you fancy a refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc why not try SPAR’s Seashell Bay for its crisp deliciousness.

What is the best wine to drink in the autumn?

As the nights draw in it’s lovely to read through the TV schedules and settle on the sofa with a glass of red wine. The Rios de los Andes Reserva Malbec from Argentina is gorgeously full-bodied and fruity and really tasty with robust foods.

How do I know which wines I will like?

Sharing recommendations with friends is a great way to find new favourites but also remember to check out tasting notes too. If you’re in your local SPAR shop and looking for something different read the Taste Guide on the back label of all SPAR Brand wines – there’s a scale of 1 to 5 for sweetness in white and rose wines (Sauvignon Blanc would be a 1) and 1 (light bodied) to 5 (full bodied) in red wines with the Regional Selection Languedoc Red a 4.

What is the best country to try wine from?

It all depends on the kind of wine you like! Every country has its own distinctive styles depending on grape varieties (many of them local), wine making traditions and the weather because, after all, wine is geography. For example, the cooler climate of Northern Italy gives you the freshness and liveliness of wines like SPAR Regional Selection Dolomiti Pinot Grigio whilst hot summers in Australia offer full-bodied, higher alcohol wines. Why not follow a grape variety around the world and at different price points; or the same style of wine but from different regions. Enjoy the journey!

Can you find Vegan wine?

Yes! And SPAR has made it easy for you as every wine in the SPAR Brand range is now vegan: same award- winning quality, same great flavours but now suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Whatever your preferred wine, red, white, rose or a celebratory  sparkling wine like Prosecco, then there’s a wine for you in the SPAR own label range.

What are the most popular food and wine pairings?

The most popular food and wine matches are those that work for you; but there are some pairings which a lot of people find successful so here are some general guidelines (not rules!)

  • Match the body of the wine with the body of the food – big, full-bodied wines work well with rich dishes
  • If you find some red wines too tannic (that’s the drying sensation on your gums) then matching the wine with protein like meat or hard cheese will make the wine appear smoother
  • Acidity in white wines will soften how you sense the tartness in food and vice versa. If Sauvignon Blanc is too acidic for you, squeeze some lemon juice over your food and the wine will seem milder. The same works with salt – salty foods make a wine taste less astringent
  • Fancy a glass of wine with your pudding? Make sure the wine is sweeter than the dessert, otherwise the combination will taste really tinny
  • And if you need some inspiration, remember you really can’t go wrong when pairing the food of a country or a region with wines  from the same place. Think pasta dishes with SPAR Chianti Colli Senesi.
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