Lifestyle & opinion

Getting the inside track: picks from Wine Society staff

While you don’t have to have an interest in wine to work here, it’s fair to say many of us do and we like nothing more than sharing our latest finds with both colleagues and members. Water-cooler moments at work invariably turn to wine! Here are some recent recommendations from the team.

Getting the inside track: picks from Wine Society staff

Kate Evans – Wine Specialist team, Member Services

Kate Evans

I am always encouraging members to explore new wine horizons, and it’s important that I practise what I preach! Having always enjoyed the wines of Beaujolais, I was thrilled to discover the Austrian zweigelt grape and the Familie Mantler Zweigelt is now a regular item in my basket. With juicy and mouth-watering red and black fruits, and a hint of a peppery finish, this is a smooth easy-drinking wine for any day of the week, which I recently discovered also goes down a treat with a cottage pie. Next time you are considering a Beaujolais, why not pop one of these into your order as well? 

Conrad Braganza – Wine Adviser, The Showroom 

Conrad Braganza

Les Pierres Bordes, Marsanne-Viogner, Pays d’Oc is a gift for wine advisers like me. It combines two grapes that don’t immediately jump to mind but it’s a winning combination of Rhône grapes that creates an easy-drinking, fruity, unoaked white that has you coming back for more. It’s my default recommendation for weddings or parties but can step up to the plate if you’re cooking something exotic like pan-fried scallops too. It ticks all the boxes and I have to confess is a Braganza fridge-door favourite. 

Emily Roskilly – Chief Financial Officer, Executive Team 

Emily Roskilly

I have to admit, I absolutely love Champagne, so as England gets better and more acclaimed in sparkling wine production, I’ve been tasting and testing to find a match. Nyetimber is one of those English wineries producing suberb sparkling wine. Their Brut Classic Cuvée NV is delicious, and three years on its lees adds richness and that toasty flavour I love in Champagne. It was a winner in last year’s Wine Champions and you can tell why! Put this up in a blind tasting alongside a Grand Marque Champagne and see if your guests can tell which is which.  

Thom Buzzard – Fine Wine Merchandiser, Buying 

Thom Buzzard

One of my favourite wines at the moment is The Society's Exhibition Chenin Blanc, Western Cape. It’s a total bargain from one of South Africa’s top producers, Chris Alheit, and for me it’s punching well above the competition at this price point. Chenin is so versatile with or without food, and this exclusive wine under our Exhibition label is a blend of offcuts from Alheit’s top wines – bringing a lovely depth of flavour and brilliant freshness. 

Gareth Park – Marketing Campaign Manager, Marketing 

Gareth Park

I would never brag about being much of a cook, though I’ve mastered meatballs, the results of some of my other my Italian-inspired culinary efforts have been, to put it kindly, a little hit or miss. That’s why Tarantino Primitivo Segnavento, Pervini is always on standby, its luscious dark fruits and generous flavours create a welcome distraction, buying me enough time to find a suitable take away menu! Primitivo shares the same DNA as zinfandel (both of Croatian heritage originally) but this Italian cracker comes in at a few pounds less than California zins which helps to contribute to the evening’s meal.  

Joanna Goodman – Senior Editor, Marketing 

Jean-François Quénard’s Chignin Vers Les Alpes was a wine I discovered during lockdown. It is not often that a wine stops you in your tracks, especially one like this which is all about delicacy and Alpine freshness. But the subtle hints of fennel seed and understated power really struck a chord especially when served with my colleague, Steve Farrow’s gratin dish – a very British sort of take on a Savoie fondu!

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Joanna Goodman

Senior Editor

Joanna Goodman

Part of our Marketing Team for over 30 years, Jo has been editor of Society News for much of that time as well as contributing to our many other communications.

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