WATCH Champagne Taittinger's Clovis Taittinger interview

Champagne is the most famous wine region in the world with a number of big name houses producing much of the sparkle that is now synonymous with celebration and style.

In this interview Clovis Taittinger, export director,  explains why he decided to follow in the family business and also dishes out a good champagne and food tip you may want to try this summer!

Taittinger produce around 6 million bottles per year and sell their wines throughout the world. In the UK Taittinger is widely available in many retail outlets and ranges in proce depending on what you are looking for. The range is extensive and the reputation good, so if you are looking for a good benchmark to get the summer rolling, give this a try. The rosé is particularly fun and refreshing and the perfect picnic wine!



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Passitivo, Primitivo, Puglia, Italy - Great value drinking from Dulwich Vintners

We were in Italy a few weeks ago and our dinner partner, a retiring Cambridge professor, held up his glass and said, “I have decided that life is too short to drink bad wine!” I dare say that is pearl of wisdom that should be added to the national curriculum!

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Read more: Passitivo, Primitivo, Puglia, Italy - Great value drinking from Dulwich Vintners

Chateau des Jacques 2010, Moulin-à-Vent, Bargain from Sainsbury's

Chateau des Jacqes 2010 is a the hot tip on my lips right now.

This is the season for warm complex seductive wines and this has all that charm and more. Based in the area of Moulin-à-Vent (named after a windmill!), the region is known for richer wines with a more Burgundian style. It’s not hard to be misled here. The wine has farmyard notes and an unmistakable cherry and plum aroma. The tannin is smooth but present enough to serve with all kinds of gamy meats. I actually had this with a very rare fillet steak and oily salad and was in heaven.

The best bit is that it is an absolute bargain at £15.99 form Sainsbury’s. I would have priced this at around £22-25 myself. Get one bottle, or two…. darn it, get a case in to steady the descent to Christmas!

Ch. des Jacques 2010, Moulin-à-Vent by Louis Jadot - Sainsbury £15.99

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Dugard & Daughters serving up great Montepulciano D'Abrruzo in Herne Hill

The winter has arrived brandishing all kinds of wintry weaponry… the best defence is obviously the cosy confines of the home with windows sealed and glass brimmed with something ruby red, a silly tannic structure and a range flavours that make it an easy going dinner guest or simply a perfect partner for unwinding with festive music.


I walked into Dugard & daughters butcher and deli under the arches in Herne Hill and picked up a bottle of Il Faggio, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo for about £10. This Italian staple red wine is one that is so versatile, soothing and welcome in the evenings, that I urge anyone to give it a go. Perfect for intimate parties (where at least you stand a chance of getting a glass for yourself), home dinners, or just chilling in the bath. 

It is smooth with hint of the expected dark ripe cherry fruit and attractive herbs, perfect for a range of wintry food dishes. It really is a winner.

We served this with stuffed pheasant legs, also from Dugard & Daughters, which were both good value and very tasty indeed. A top tip for locals!

Located at:

Arch 286, Milkwood Road,
Herne Hill,
London SE24 0EZ


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Portal da Aguia - Vinho Regional Tejo 2011

Gorgeous wine at gorgeous value weighing in at around £7... something from Oddbins on Rosendale Road.

Portal da Aguia Oddbins Dulwich

It’s uncomplicated with spicy and earthy fruits like damsons and plum. Fading summer fruits add a little nostalgia to the experience. It has a couple of years age, which in our opinion counts for something.

At this price there is no need to be precious; have fun, nibble cheeses, explore roasted dishes and herbaceous vistas. The main thing… get involved.

Portugal has value and choice coming out of her ears… it is our duty to know more!

Portal da Aguia - Vinho Regional Tejo 2011
Cost: £7.50
Oddnins on Rosendale Road, West Dulwich.

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Wine Quaffing Tip: Marques de Carano, 2008 Gran Reserva from Tesco

I can see why this has won an International Wine silver medal - it’s quaffing delicious!

Spanish wine tip from Tesco

A nose of ripe cherries and hints of gentle vanilla from the oak. To drink it has more of those ripe fruits, soft tannins, rounded with age and nice balance that make it simple and fun. 

The wine is from the little known Carinena, lavished with sunshine like hot kisses that transpire into really easy drinking wine that will make even your most tiresome over chatty friends seem interesting (especially at Christmas when they turn up in spades!).

Tesco have come up with a wine treat here offering great value at £4.99 - buy a case while stocks last. 


Twitter: @InDulwich


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