What price should I pay for wine?
In the UK, we pay a good deal more than our European counterparts because our dear old Chancellor adds duty of just under £2 a bottle. This is every bottle - irrespective of the cost of the wine inside. Then there's good old VAT – which at a whopping 20% of the cost of the wine is a serious factor. Then take away the cost of the bottle, labelling, transport etc and the remainder is the cost of the wine. Therefore there is 4 to 5 times the amount of wine value in a £10 bottle than in a £5 bottle – which is astonishing. If you like good wine, you actually do get more 'value' by paying a little more.
Do you always get what you pay for?
Not in wine terms anyway. Take those big name brands. They may be sponsoring Formula 1, Wimbledon or your favourite Premiership football team – but that advertising doesn't come cheap. The Appellation Controlee badge on French wine or similar marques from other countries is not a guarantee of quality – it's a way of banning the competition – which nearly always results in higher prices. The good news is that there are hundreds and hundreds of great small wine producers who are making sensational wine at very reasonable prices. And many of these smaller producers have turned to organic methods – which means that this is a 'win win' scenario.
How do Organic wines compare to wine made from conventional methods?
It would be fair to say that it's just as feasible for an organic wine producer to screw up his winemaking as a non-organic one. However an increasing number of people believe that a good wine made from organic grapes tastes better and looks brighter than a good wine made conventionally. The number of organic wines winning awards in blind tasting competitions around the world has doubled in the last ten years. In fact 30% of the wines in the Wine 2 Dine 4 portfolio have won awards in the last 2 years.
Are organic wines 'hangover-free'?
Despite many claims that you don't get a hangover after drinking organic wine – the reality is that it still depends on how much you drink! There is however, much evidence that many intolerant reactions to wine (eg asthma, migraine, respiratory and skin disorders etc) are the result of adulteration in the winery. Certainly we are in little doubt that due to lower levels of sulphur used in the making of organic wines there are much reduced chances of a hangover.
Do you ever get 'faulty' wine?
Very occasionally. Wine is a "living" product involving the use of oxygen, bacteria and yeast in its production. If the levels of these are not managed correctly by the Winemaker, faults may occur in the finished wine. At Wine 2 Dine 4, we will, of course, exchange obviously faulty bottles but we do need to have them returned quickly before they are overwhelmed by oxidation which will hide anything else that might have been wrong with them. There is, of course, a difference between a wine having a fault and you simply not liking it and it's only through regular tasting that you'll get to spot the difference!
Wine 'Faults' - "Corked Wine"
Wine is said to be 'corked' when the cork has reacted with the wine and imparted a musty aroma and flavour. At its worst, it is very easy to spot as there is a distinct unpleasant dank aroma. Slightly more difficult are those bottles where the dank aroma is less evident. In these cases the wine very often just tastes flat and lifeless and the consumer may simply regard the wine as poor, and not buy it again, rather than identifying the fault. And now, just to risk stating the obvious - if bits of cork crumble off and end up in the wine this does not mean that the wine is corked!
Wine 'Faults' - "Oxidation"
This is where too much oxygen has been in contact with the wine, either at the winemaking stage or once the bottle is open. Some oxygen is good, especially for red wines which soften once opened and allowed to "breathe" - but too much can cause problems. Most red wines react well to the oxygen in the air once a bottle is opened – some may even taste better the following day – but older, more fragile, wines can oxidise very quickly.
The tell tale signs for oxidation are that white wines tend to darken in colour and take on a nutty, taste that lacks freshness. Reds go brown, lose fruit and have a very dry feel in the mouth.
Wine 'Faults' - "Ullage"
When the level of wine in the bottle is low the wine is said to have "ullaged" . This means some wine has escaped and this may well be evident on the capsule and cork. If wine has got out then air has probably got in which may also result in oxidation – see above.
Wine 'Faults' - "High Sulphur Dioxide"
As it sounds, this is where too much Sulphur Dioxide has been used by the winemaker. Almost all winemakers use it as an antioxidant but it can hang around on the wine and still be evident when you pull the cork. It generates a prickly sensation at the back of the nose/throat which may cause sneezing if you are very sensitive and many people even complain of severe headaches and other adverse reactions (see 'Are organic wines 'hangover–free'?' above). However, cases of high sulphur dioxide are virtually unknown with organic wines.
Wine 'Faults' - "Bottle Stink"
Most likely to be encountered in older bottles, 'Bottle Stink' is a very mild reductive aroma which you notice when you open the bottle but which clears very quickly. It will not spoil your enjoyment of the wine in question
Wine 'Faults' - "Gritty Crystals"
These are known as tartrates. They are naturally occurring, tasteless and harmless crystals that precipitate out of wine during fermentation and ageing. They are not a fault.
They crystalise when a wine is kept at low temperatures for more than a few days. Tartrates, like sediment in red wines, should be seen as a positive indication that the wine hasn't been mucked about with too much. Just be careful how you pour the last few drops from the bottle and you won't have any problems.
What does it mean when it says "Contains Sulphites" on the bottle?
Sulphur has been used as a preservative in winemaking for over two hundred years. Unfortunately, freshly pressed grape juice has a tendency to spoil due to contamination from bacteria and wild yeasts present on the grape skins. Not only does sulphur dioxide inhibit the growth of moulds and bacteria, but it also stops oxidation (browning) and preserves the wine's natural flavour.
Firstly, it's important to know that there is no such thing as totally sulphite-free wine. Totally sulphite-free wines are an accident of nature; but wines low in sulphites or free of added sulfites do exist.
Organic winemaking standards limit the use of sulphites to 100ppm in all finished products. However, most organic wines contain less than 40ppm of sulphites.
We warrant that our wines will be of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. If you don't like any wine, or if a bottle is broken or spoilt on delivery, we'll replace or credit it – no quibble!
And just a note about availability…
As wine is an agricultural product, we can run out from time to time. If we do have to substitute wines either for an alternative or for a later vintage – we will contact you before shipping. However, we guarantee that we will not use this as an opportunity to advertise a good wine and replace it with an inferior one.
By providing your details to Wine 2 Dine 4 on our web site, you agree to Wine 2 Dine 4 maintaining, recording and using this information for the purposes of processing your orders, improving our service to you and informing you of special offers. All data is however, legally collected and maintained in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
Wine 2 Dine 4 takes your privacy extremely seriously and will not pass your details to any third party without your express permission except of course where we have to do so in order to process your order.
You can choose the exact date you want your gift delivered.
For the safety of your order and for your peace of mind, all our deliveries are sent by Fedex who have an excellent track record.
Unlike some of our competitors, we do not make a profit out of carriage services and only charge the true cost.
Our standard next day delivery charge is £5.99
Saturday deliveries are also now available at £15 surcharge.
Please note, your order must be placed before 3.30pm for a next day service.
All the wine gift prices quoted on this site include our remarkable carrier approved, 100% recyclable, 'Air Pack' transit bags as standard. However, for that extra 'wow' factor why not add a wooden presentation box with wood wool packing?
The Air Pack bags have an advanced design that moulds itself around your wine gift to provide maximum protection and uses multi chamber technology to ensure that even in the event that one of these chambers becomes punctured during transit your wine gift is still protected.
Both the wooden presentation boxes and the Air Pack bags are protected in recyclable courier approved double walled corrugated board boxes to ensure your wine gift arrives safely and in pristine condition.
We guarantee that your credit card details are safe with us. 100%.
Our website doesn't store your credit cards. All our online card sales go through the extremely trusted, well known "household name" that is SagePay (formally Protx). They handle it all. They run the secure 128bit encrypted servers. They process the money. They check for fraud and stop lost or stopped cards being used.
If you order over the phone, our fully trained and security checked staff type your credit card details straight into the SagePay secure encrypted online terminal. They will never log, record or even write down your credit card details... anywhere... ever. If you phone up again to add more to your order. They'll need to take the card details again.
If you have a PayPal account, you can also choose to pay via PayPal. It's quick, easy and also an amazingly secure method of payment. However, we'd prefer you to use SagePay when using credit/debit cards.
We hope this gives you 100% peace of mind. If you are at all concerned, please call us on 07932 698 687 and ask to speak with Bob or Debbie.
To place your order by phone please call us on 07932 698 687 between 9.00am and 5.30pm, Monday - Friday.