What We’re Drinking in January

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 and Chairman

Ricard Pastis £30.00 £27.00 – I rediscovered Ricard on a recent trip to France, and it has fast become my favourite aperitif of the moment. Dilute with water over plenty of ice, this is a great way to get the gastric juices going before a meal.

Domaine Ferret Pouilly Fuissé 2021 £40.00 £36.00 – You can often find me sitting on a bar stool at our newly opened Oxford Wine Cellar, and I’m often sipping a glass of this Pouilly Fuissé from Domaine Ferret. It’s an old favourite which still represents good value despite the huge increases in price for lots of Burgundy. Good ripe fruit combines with very well judged oak to offer a balanced and reliably delicious wine.

Château Belles Eaux Les Côteaux GSM, Languedoc 2022£14.00 £12.60 – The Languedoc is an area which can tend to be overlooked unless you’re a bit of a wine aficionado – but a closer look can yield excellent value for money. A good example is this Grenache led blend from Château Belles Eaux, showing lovely garrigue spice alongside a soft, fruit-driven palate.

Neil Gladding, Sales Director

Terre Siciliane, Fedele Bianco 2022 – £10.00 £9.00 – Tasted and loved this recently in Sicily – it’s vegan friendly, organic and banging!

Château de la Deidière Rosé, Côtes de Provence 2022 £16.50 £14.85 – We need some sunshine at this time of the year, so drink this and dream of summer.

Monteguelfo Chianti DOCG 2022 £11.00 £9.90 – The softest red I have tried in a long time – very much drinkable.

John Shuckburgh, WSET Educator

Tiefenbrunner Turmhof Lagrein 2021£25.00 £22.50 – This was my 2023 Christmas lunch wine and it proved a superb match for the turkey. An indulgently fruity red from the foothills of the Austro-Italian Alps. Off-Piste maybe, but with such bright red cherry fruit, a whiff of violets and a touch of almond on the palate with spicy hints of oak, it’s a refreshing and rewarding alternative to Pinot Noir.

Bodegas Mateos Letargo Rioja Blanco 2022£11.00 £9.90 – White Rioja made from Tempranillo Blanco (yes, really!). Letargo has been my go-to house white all year. Dry but fruity and refreshing. Amazing value and dangerously gluggable!

Château Cambon la Pelouse Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Médoc 2018£25.50 £22.95 – When the Jauary shivers drive me to snuggle up with something cosy and warming, this is my pick! One of just eight estates in Haut Médoc to be awarded ‘Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel’ , this claret is fantastic value for money and deeply comforting in every way.

Tom Brady, Shop Manager & Spirits Buyer

Greco DOP Janare Selezione, La Guardiense 2022£13.50 £12.15 – Every time I go back to this wine I’m impressed by its balance and complexity. There’s a lovely combination of acidity with softer nutty, honeyed flavours. A great wine with or without food.

Domaine Gayda Chemin de Moscou, Pays d’Oc 2019 £27.00 £24.30 – This is such an underrated wine which just happens to be vegan and organic. Listed in multiple Michelin Star restaurants over in France, the price point for a wine of this quality is unbelievable.

Pentire Coastal Spritz £23.50 £21.15 – For me this is the perfect treat when I want aperitivo without the alcohol. Mixing Pentire with tonic and adding a big fat slice of orange ticks all the boxes for me even when I’m feeling over-indulged after the Christmas season.

Aljoscha Wright, Buyer

Dominio de Tares El Paisano de Tares 2020£13.50 £12.15 – Something light, fruity and absolutely smashable!

Yamantiev Kaba Gayda, Thracian Valley 2022£12.00 £10.80 – An intriguing blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and the local Rubin. Distinctively Bulgarian and very delicious.

Dom Smiley, Shop Manager

Darling Cellars ‘De-Alcoholised’ Sauvignon Blanc£6.00 £5.40 – For those participating in Dry January, this stands out as a distinctive offering in the world of non-alcoholic wines at a bargain price. Embracing the varietal characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc, this de-alcoholised version aims to provide a refreshing experience without compromising on flavour.

Massaya ‘Le Colombier’ Bekaa Valley 2020£18.00 £16.20 – Crafted from equal parts Grenache, Cinsault, and Tempranillo, this wine boasts a luscious blend of peppery and ripe flavours. Hailing from a Lebanese vineyard continually advancing in excellence, it is certainly a wine worth trying this January.

S.A. Prüm Essence Riesling Feinherb 2022£14.00 £12.60 – An easy-drinker that’s even easier on the budget, the Essence Riesling shows off a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.

Katy Barker, Retail Marketing Manager

Jim Barry Assyrtiko, Clare Valley 2021£27.50 £24.75 – Assyrtiko is orginally from Greece and is certainly an unusual grape variety. And to make it ever weirder, this one is from Australia! Made by the famous producer Jim Barry, this has all the lean, fresh and zesty characteristics I love about Assyrtiko.

Vinos del Viento Aventura, Campo de Borja 2021£12.00 £10.80 – One of the best value for money reds we have on the shelf! From old bush vines grown at high altitude, this Garnacha-led blend is super concentrated and smooth.

Peri Peri Magara Frappato – IGT Terre Siciliane 2021£18.00 £16.20 – This native Sicilian variety is perfect for the chilly evenings, packed with lots of juicy red fruits such as pomegranate, strawberry, and cranberries. It’s the perfect wine to try something new this January!

Mark Warde-Aldam, Shop Manager

Ataraxia Chardonnay, Hemel en Aarde 2022£33.00 £29.70 – If you enjoy good White Burgundy you will love this. Lovely soft creamy Chardonnay, more old world than new world in style.

Passagem Tinto, Douro 2021£18.00 £16.20 – Yet another stonking good red from the upper Douro in Northern Portugal. With a high percentage of Touriga National in the blend (Normally associated with Port) this has concentrated Damson and  cinnamon flavour with soft tannins. An excellent winter warmer!

Biscardo Neropasso Rosso, Veneto 2020£14.00 £12.60 –  I call this one poor man’s Amarone! Made in a similar way and producing an intriguing spicy red with concentrated and figgy palate.

Min Yee Tseu, Corporate and University Account Manager

Pét Nat Extra Brut Riesling, Tsarev Brod Winery 2021£20.00 £18.00 – As someone who doesn’t normally like funkier wines, I found this pét nat to be surprisingly drinkable – and it certainly fits the bill as something different for Try January!

Domaine Henri Gouges, Bourgogne Pinot Blanc 2019£34.50 £31.05 – With the vast majority of white Burgundy being made from Chardonnay, this Pinot Blanc is a fun alternative that has bright tropical and stone fruit notes that are complemented by a richness on the palate. Absolutely delicious!

Pietradolce ‘Rampante’ Etna Rosso 2019£48.00 £43.20 – When you think of an Italian red, things like Chianti, Barolo and Brunello might jump to mind, but one region not to be missed is Etna where the indigenous Nerello Mascalese produces light-bodied, fruity and spicy wine not dissimilar to Pinot Noir. This is one of my favourite reds from the region.

Emily Silva, Head of Retail and Marketing

Bowser LEAF Alcohol Free£22.00 £20.80 – This gin alternative is a regular feature in my house when I want the ritual of an aperitif without the alcohol. It’s super fresh and deliciously herbal. I like it served over ice with a slice of lemon and sprig of mint.

Lumière de la Garrigue Picpoul de Pinet 2022£12.50 £11.25 – The ultimate fridge-door white! This Picpoul de Pinet is dry, fresh and vibrant with delicious citrus fruit and floral notes. It’s a great aperitif as well as a versatile food pairing option – brilliant to keep on hand for occasions when you fancy a little glass of something.

Tiefenbrunner Turmhof Sauvignon Blanc 2021£25.00 £22.50 – Pouilly-Fumé meets Italy with this deliciously smoky, flinty, Sauvignon Blanc from Alto Adige legends Tiefenbrunner.

Nick Gorton, Shop Manager

Miopasso Primitivo, Puglia 2021£11.50 £10.35 – With early sunsets and post-christmas budgeting to think of, what you need is a winter warmer that doesn’t break the bank, which is exactly what this Puglian Primitivo offers. And for those doing Veganuary, it’s also vegan friendly!

Original Gunner Non Alcoholic£1.99 £1.79 – A blend of ginger beer, bitters and lime, this handy can contains everything you need for a virgin Dark’n’Stormy.

John Chapman, Managing Director

Bodegas Mateos La Mateo Colecciòn de Familia Vendimia, Rioja 2020£30.00 £27.00 – A month of moderation needs less but good. Treat yourself less often but don’t compromise. Designate a time to savour the Bodegas Mateos Colecciòn de Familia Vendimia. There is good reason why this is the family choice and you’ll see once you give it an hour to breathe. A sumptuous bottle to warm those cold nights ahead.

Albert Bichot Horizon de Bichot Pinot Noir, Limoux 2021£16.50 £14.85 – A budget friendly alternative to Burgundy made by a great Bourgogne house and satisfying with most gentler foods. Definitely a rewarding ‘New Horizon’ for a new year.

Château La Pointe Pomerol 2011£60.00 £54.00 – Why? Because you are worth it and this is too.

 

Thom Allinson, Buying & Logistics

Domaine Clavel Cordelia Chusclan Côtes du Rhône Villages 2020£14.00 £12.60 – A regular in my wine rack. Super perfumed and elegant Côtes du Rhône Villages full of black fruits. Punches well above its weight!

Deya Brewing Company, Steady Rolling Man Pale Ale£6.25 £5.63 – Instead of Dry January I try to drink less but at a higher quality! This is one of my all time favourite beers and delivers enough flavour that one can is enough… most of the time.

Baller Chilli Bacon Vodka£34.00 £30.60 – A New Years Day discovery. Made my first Bloody Mary of the year really sing!