What We’re Drinking in April

At The Oxford Wine Company we spend our days surrounded by thousands of delicious wines, spirits and beers. But which of them do we decide to drink at home? Take a look below for our team’s top picks for this month.

Ted Sandbach, Owner & Chairman

Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc IGP£55.00 £45.00 – Now 4 years old and developing beautifully with strong Viognier influence despite the fact that there are a mass of grapes chucked into this blend! A real keeper but wonderful now  – and different .

Miopasso Fiano, Sicily£11.50 £10.35 – Sunnier afternoons are coming, and if you are regularly host to thirsty guests you need something inexpensive but reliably good on hand. Might I suggest this excellent Sicilian Fiano – dry, refreshing and with plenty of flavour.

Cucumber Gin£39.00 £35.10 – How civilised to have a well-made gin and tonic in the garden (or rather, near the window in the indoor warmth) as the sun is starting to set? Cucumber Gin is a real favourite of mine – it gives a springlike brightness to your regular gin and tonic with no extra effort required.

John Shuckburgh, WSET Educator

Cascina delle Monache Bricco della Lodra 2022 £15.50 £13.95 – Back in stock! Juicy Morello cherry fruit, soft tannins and refreshing acidity make this a super midweek glugger. Directly imported from a young Piemontese producer whose wines are well worth following. Try his Gavi too!

Calera Central Coast Chardonnay 2020 £29.00 £26.10 – California Chardonnay – Rich, buttery and over-oaked? Not this one! Elegant, complex and satisfying. With Burgundy prices as they are, it compares well and is good value.

Vilarnau Gaudi Sleeve Rosé Cava NV£14.00 £12.60 – Great value pink fizz. Dry, with a little yeasty complexity balancing the bright red fruits. Closer to rosé Champagne than pink Prosecco! Summer is nearly here…..

Manda Joyce, Wine Advisor

Library Edition No.1 – Touraine Chenonceaux£18.00 £16.20 – Classy sauvignon blanc made in the shadow of the Loire’s Disneyesque Chenonceaux castle. A top-value alternative for the Sancerre lover.

Jim Barry Assyrtiko, Clare Valley£27.50 £24.75 – I love the bracing acidity of this Greek grape variety grown in the Clare Valley, South Australia. So clean, so lean and limey!

Yamantiev Kaba Gayda, Thracian Valley£26.00 £23.40 –  From the Thrace region of Bulgaria is an easy-drinking, unoaked blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and local variety, Rubin (a dark skinned cross of Nebbiolo and Syrah). Soft, fruity and alive.

Tom Brady, Shop Manager & Spirits Buyer

Ardnamurchan AD Core£52.00 £46.80 – A brand new whisky for us here at The Oxford Wine Company, Ardnamurchan are a fine distillery doing some fantastics things on the West Coast of Scotland. If you love Oban, this whisky should definitely be on your radar.

El Bandarra Vermut Rojo – £26.50 £23.85 – For me this is a quintessential Lowland whisky. Light, delicate, fruity yet complex with notes of peppery rye bread, orange zest and freshly cut grass. An absolute winner.

Caves Martí Serdà El Xitxarel-lo, Penedès£16.50 £14.85 – A deliciously crisp still white from a grape most associated with Cava. This example has a wonderful waxiness to complement fresh citrus, green apple and peachy notes.

Aljoscha Wright, Buyer

Falchini Vin Santo del Chianti DOC Riserva £30.00 £27.00 – Deliciously moreish. Versitile too, with cheese, figs and even cake.

Peri Peri Magara Frappato – IGT Terre Siciliane£18.00 £16.20 – I love the wines of Sicily. Always so lively, fresh and crunchy. Frappato also lends itself to being enjoyed slightly chilled.

Boschendal Pavillion Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch £10.00 £9.00 – We all need great value wines these days and for anyone who loves Chenin that tastes of Chenin this is my winner!

Tim Bradley, Trade Sales & WSET Educator

Marques de Borba Colheita Tinto, João Portugal Ramos, Alentejo £13.00 £11.70 – A delicious blend of six grapes with Touriga National providing some cherry and black fruit bite, but soft and velvety too. Amazing with barbecues or roasted lamb. Tasty!

Dominio de Tares Dostares ‘Estay’ Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon £15.50 £13.95 – Delicious, strawberry and savoury infused wine from Castilla y Leon Spain where this little known grape provides freshness and feeling of sun in the glass! Can be served lightly chilled – perfect as an apertif!

Angus Paul ‘Barbary Fictions’ Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch £24.50 £22.05 – A soft, creamy but tropical fruit zippiness in this amazing Chenin from the terrific Angus Paul. Pure and fresh and all things delicious that Chenin should be.

Dom Smiley, Shop Manager

Monferrato Avamposti Slarina, Azienda Agricola Il Cascinone £15.00 £13.50 – Slarina is a rare grape native to the Monferrato Hills of eastern Piemonte. This wine offers a truly distinctive flavour profile, combining fresh red fruit flavours with slightly more herbal and leafy characteristics.

Cloudy Bay Pelorus, Marlborough£31.50 £28.35 – Cloudy Bay, renowned for elevating New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to global fame, presents an equally remarkable offering in the form of their sparkling wine. Crafted from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes grown in Marlborough, this sparkling wine is produced using the traditional method and is a worthy contender against Champagnes of higher price points.

Frog’s Leap Zinfandel, Napa Valley£39.00 £35.10 – Frog’s Leap, a pioneer in organic farming in Napa Valley, produces its Zinfandel wine using dry-farmed, organic grapes, resulting in a full-bodied wine with vibrant berry fruit flavors and oaky vanilla. With firm yet silky tannins, great intensity and balance, and a long finish, this wine is certainly worth a try this month.

Katy Barker, Retail Marketing Manager

Cascina della Monache Bricco della Lodra£15.50 £13.95 – This wine is a lovely, little gem from Northern Italy, with tart, sour red cherries, cranberries, and the perfect pairing for any tomato based pasta or pizza!

Quinta do Soalheiro Alvarino £21.00 £18.90 – Recently reintroduced to this wine at a tasting and is just as good as I remember with wonderful puritiy and ripeness of citrus fruits and stone fruits with a saline minerality adding freshness.

Nyetimber Blanc de Blanc£46.50 £41.85 – With birthday celebrations in April, sparkling wine is on my mind! When it comes to celebratory events, I always turn to English sparkling over Champagne and this one is of my favourites from Nyetimber with a beautiful balance of focused elegance and richness.

Mark Warde-Aldam, Shop Manager

Txomin Etxaniz Txakolí, Pays Basque £18.00 £16.20 – Five gold stars if you can pronounce this! The Basque Language is a tricky one. Forget about the pronunciation. This is a delightfully light and tingly white from the Pyrenees with a slightly zippy petillant. Springtime drinking?

Greco DOP Janare Selezione, La Guardiense £13.50 £12.15 – Greco is one of my favourite Italian Whites. From Campania in southern Italy it has a nose of Acacia, citrus and tropical fruit followed by a taste of Apricot, pears and almonds… Scrummy!

Campo Real Valpolicella Classico Superiore £18.50 £16.65 – My work colleague and Wine Educator (Tim Bradley) gave me a blind tasting on this last week. I did get Italian but could not pin point it. Wow. It blew me away. Bitter cherries, low tannins and exceptionally silky and smooth. Go on treat yourself!

Min Yee Tseu, Corporate and University Account Manager

Crémant de Limoux Brut La Baume, Tholomies NV£14.00 £12.60 – Bubbly, fresh and fruity, this works perfectly as an apéritif or use it to jazz up a cocktail!

Albert Bichot Horizon de Bichot Chardonnay, Limoux 2021£16.50 £14.85 – I’m a big fan of Burgundy and this is a much more affordable alternative that has a bit more body and texture than perhaps you’d expect from a Chardonnay from the wider France.

Falchini ‘Mora di Selva’ Rosso Toscano IGT 2016£15.50 £13.95 – This is a fantastic Tuscan Sangiovese that has really lovely earthy and savoury notes due to bottle ageing – tasty stuff!

Emily Silva, Head of Retail and Marketing

Botivo Zero Alcohol Aperitif £26.95 £24.26 – My favourite discovery of 2024 so far! This delicious and complex aperitif is based on raw apple cider vinegar, infused with orange zest, gentian, wormood, rosemary and thyme – with the balancing sweetness of wild flower honey. Try it over ice with a dask of soda water and an orange slice.

Château De Fesles ‘La Chapelle’ Cabernet Franc 2021£14.75 £13.28 – A deliciously bright, crunchy Cabernet Franc with juicy red fruit flavours and a stony, granitic minerality. Try it slightly chilled on a spring day – just gorgeous!

Domaine de Savagny Vin Jaune, Cotes Du Jura 2015£50.00 £45.00 – Incredibly complex and beautifully savoury, combining sherry-like salinity and warm nutty notes with ripe vibrant fruit. This rare and unique style of wine is a real favourite of chefs, and it’s not hard to see why.

Nick Gorton, Shop Manager

Vinos del Viento Garnacha Old Vines, Campo de Borja 2021£14.50 £13.05 – My favourite sub £15 bottle in our entire range! Amazingly aromatic, with wonderful red fruit. This Garnacha will be an amazing pairing for a Spring BBQ, or with a roast dinner.

Tuske Pince Panni Siller 2022£17.00 £15.30 – This Hungarian Siller (not a red or rose!) is an amazing wine for this transitional time of year. Fresh enough for warm days, but with enough texture and spice for the cool ones. And great for pairing with food!

Cherubino Pedestal Chardonnay, Margaret River 2022£17.50 £15.75 – Top-drawer oaked Chardonnay for less than £20?! This ripe, rich Aussie beauty is not something you will want to miss if you’re a fan of fuller-bodied, toasty whites.

John Chapman, Managing Director

Gaja Rossj-Bass Grappa£50.00 £45.00 – A strange pick but this is a phenomenal brandy made from the waste skins of and iconic Chardonnay made in Piemonte by the Gaja family. The Gaja wines are sensational but probably not in the price range for everyday drinking. But this grappa is not expensive and brings a soupcon of elegance to even a dreary wet Wednesday in April.

Bodegas Caro Amancaya Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza £21.50 £19.35 – from the collaboration with Catena and Los Vascos the Argentine Rothschild estate. Malbec on its own can be a little passé but when teamed up with a hearty Cab this transforms the wine into a full frontal assault of elegant tannins and classy fruit and has even been known to elevate the quality of steak cooking chez Chapman!

Txomin Etxaniz Txakolí, Pays Basque £18.00 £16.20 – A Txakoli from the Basque country in Northern Spain. A very light white with a touch of spritz and surprisingly long textural flavour. Definitely don’t judge this wine on initial reactions as this wine has hidden complexities and does give plenty of pleasure when served on its own, but also works exceedingly well paired with a heady Tuna Steak. Get cooking.

Thom Allinson, Buying & Logistics

Valdespino Inocente Fino ‘Pago de Macharnudo’ 37.5cl£14.00 £13.05 – Everyone needs a go-to Fino in their life, especially in the sun! This one is my favourite, with tasty saline, herbaceous notes. *sun sold separately*

Domaine A.F Gros Moulin-à-vent£31.00 £27.90 – This is Beaujolais at the top of its game. Made by a prestigeous Burgundy producer, this Moulin-a-Vent shows just how classy it can be.

Val Delle Rose ‘Litorale’ Vermentino, Maremma£17500 £13.50 – One of my favourite white wines at the moment. It’s fresh, crisp, saline nature makes it perfect for the sunny days ahead (we hope!)

Romain Alaphilippe, Shop Manager

Boschendal Vin d’Or Noble late harvest 2022£16.00 £14.40 – This gem was brought along by a friend at one of our recent tastings for the Botnar Research Centre. A sweet nectar with a golden brilliance and tantalizing complexity. Honeyed apricot, hint of exotic spices, it was a symphony of flavours!

Domaine Sainte Anne Fitou 2020 £12.00 £10.80 – The wine I drink most often with my friends from Narbonne, by the Mediterranean sea. Crafted from a blend of hearty Carignan, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, Fitou embodies the essence of the terroir and the spirit of Pays d’Oc. Flavours of dark cherries, blackberries and savoury notes of garrigue herbs.

Chartreuse MOF Liqueur£60.00 £54.00 – Already a huge aficionado of the Green Chartreuse, I discovered and tasted this version at a showcase in London. A truly exceptional liqueur with unparalleled quality and complexity. A masterpiece crafted for the finest restaurant tables but also available to the public. Embrace the spirit of the monks!

Emma Bristow, Wine Advisor

Cherubino Pedestal Chardonnay, Margaret River£17.50 £15.75 – Lovely elegant Chardonnay from a talented winemaker. Delicious stone fruits and balanced acidity, followed through with a creamy lemon finish, which just lifts its subtle oak beautifully. Would work well with scallops or roast chicken.

Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Blanc £17.50 £14.88 – A lovely wine from the Loire, with spring floral aromas and hints of honeysuckle and peach blossom, followed by a delicious tangy apple finish. A wine perfect on its own!

Val Delle Rose Il Ciliegiolo, Maremma Toscana DOC£20.00 £18.00 – A delicious wine from Tuscany, with hibiscus and cherry notes, followed with a chocolatey undertone, surprisingly not too heavy. Would be a great match for rich pasta dishes, and especially a BBQ!