Staff Choices 2016

Wine is something to be shared and enjoyed. The 'Staff Choice' section, which is updated each month, gives a different staff member from The Society's 200-strong team the opportunity to share a wine from our range that they've particularly enjoyed – and why they think Society members would too.

Below you'll find an archive of this year's previous recommendations from Society staff.
Please note that, as some were published some time ago, not all of the wines will be in stock and some of the prices will be out of date.


December 2016

The Staff Favourites Case

We asked our staff to pick their favourite under-£10 bottles for a special Staff Choice case.

The e-mails began flooding in. 90 different wines were suggested in total. 'How can you choose between so many children?' was one response that summed up the difficulty especially well.

These 12 wines got the most votes – spanning Italy, Austria, France, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, the USA and Spain – and you can buy them for the equivalent of less than £8 a bottle. What are you waiting for?!

The Staff Favourites Case

£95 Case of 12 bottles
Contains two sparkling, five white and five red wines
View case contents

Previous Staff Choices

November 2016

Monbazillac, Château Pech la Calevie 2013

The ritual starts in October with a call to visit the in-laws to help stir the Christmas pudding mix and, of course, make a wish. I may be in my fifties but sometimes I have to just do my duty (and anyway, who hasn't got the odd unfulfilled wish they would like to remind the gods about?).

The next time I see the concoction is just after a seafood Christmas lunch as it is removed from a pot of boiling water where it has just spent the last six hours or so. As this happens our glasses are charged with generous servings of Monbazilliac and our Christmas ritual, which we have followed for more than 20 years, is almost complete.

The observant visitor may notice that the bottle was already open as the first third was consumed with the pâté starter, but to my mind this strongly aromatic sweet wine works so well with Christmas pudding that I cannot imagine Christmas without it.

Dave CollinsDave Collins

£12.95 - Bottle
£155 - Case of 12
View Wine Details

October 2016

Rosé d'Anjou, Famille Bougrier 2015

Summer is not the only time for rosé!

I enjoy this delicious wine all year round. Light, refreshing and only 11% alcohol, it has bags of character for the price with delicious sweet (but never sickly) fruit flavours. Its off-dry palate and lovely delicate flavour makes it all-too-easy to enjoy on its own, but it's also a surprisingly versatile food wine.

Recently it proved a big hit with salmon and some cold cuts; it goes brilliantly with chicken and even a mild Saturday night curry.

Another reason I always keep some of this in my wine rack is because it's my 'mother-in-law wine': she enjoys off-dry rosés, and this always hits the spot!

Lisa FletcherLisa Fletcher
Cellar Showroom Manager

£6.50 - Bottle
£78 - Case of 12
View Wine Details

September 2016

The Society's Sicilian Reserve Red 2013

Plenty of staff raised an eyebrow when Italy buyer Sebastian Payne MW proposed making this wine a Society label – until they tried it.

This soft but generous red has quickly become a wine-rack staple in our home because it works equally well on its own or with a variety of food (pizza, lasagne, barbecues). You always need a dependable, crowd-pleasing red that's versatile, and this fits the bill perfectly.

Louisa PeskettLouisa Peskett
Merchandising Manager

£7.50 - Bottle
£90 - Case of 12
View Wine Details

August 2016

Pemberley Western Australian Chardonnay 2014

One of the many joys of working in the Tastings & Events Team is the opportunity to try so many different wines: choosing just one was far from easy! I have settled on a real gem that has proved to be simply stunning on every occasion that I have opened a bottle.

From just south of Western Australia's Margaret River, this rich ripe wine delivers wonderful texture and freshness. It pleases on so many levels as notes of citrus, green apple and ripe fruit blend perfectly with subtle hints of toast and butterscotch.

If you gave up drinking Australian chardonnay back in the day when it was mass-produced, over-oaked and of poor quality, I would urge you to give this a try. It couldn't be more different. This is new-style Australian chardonnay at its very best.

Stephanie SearleStephanie Searle
Tastings & Events Team

£15.50 - Bottle
£186 - Case of 12
View Wine Details

July 2016

McManis Family Petite Sirah 2014

This is one of my favourite red wines and my firm choice for a BBQ when friends come over – which means it's now their favourite too!

I first introduced it to them at a blind wine-tasting evening at mine. It was wine number 9, and it won hands down; ever since, I'm always asked ahead of an evening together whether I'm bringing 'wine number 9' with me!

The McManis family, who make it, have been growing grapes in California for five generations. Their large-capacity winery is dedicated to producing high-quality wines with 'small winery' methods, by fermenting and ageing in small lots. The result is a powerful, densely coloured, concentrated and full-bodied wine with smooth mocha and chocolate flavours. I recommend you give it a try!

Sarah MercerSarah Mercer
Assistant Merchandiser

£10.50 - Bottle
£126 - Case of 12
View Wine Details

June 2016

Graticciaia, Vallone 2011

I talk to lots of Wine Society members, at tastings and in our research, and they often tell me that their favourite wine is one that they have an emotional association with – something that goes beyond what's in the bottle. It's the same for me: my favourite wine at the moment (though for special occasions only!) is Graticciaia by Vallone, whom I visited when on holiday with my family in nearby Castellana Grotte in 2010; and I found myself taken back there again when I tasted this wine at our Italian growers' tasting in London last month.

The grapes are dried on straw mats (grattici) on the roof of the winery in Puglia before fermentation. The process is similar to Amarone, I believe (though up in the Veneto they usually dry them indoors with the windows open) and it gives the finished wine an extra richness and intensity. Lovely.

Matthew Kirk Matthew Kirk
Head of Marketing

£32 - Bottle
£192 - Case of six
View Wine Details

May 2016

Wirra Wirra McLaren Vale Church Block 2013

I love reds packed full of fruit with silky tannins and which are punchy enough to hold up to a nice steak meal. It's also important for me to have a wine where I can enjoy a glass (or two) just as it is.

Church Block from Wirra Wirra fits the bill nicely. I've been lucky enough to taste a fair few vintages of it at a vertical tasting and it ages surprisingly well for a wine under £12.

Cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and merlot are blended perfectly giving this wine its jammy black-fruit style with enough peppery spice to keep me coming back for more. The stylish bottle only adds to its appeal. A sure bet with all my friends and family. Enjoy!

Alex VooghtAlex Vooght
Inventory Management

£11.50 - Bottle
£69 - Case of six
View Wine Details

April 2016

Moscato d'Asti Elio Perrone 2015

What a gorgeous light wine to enjoy on its own, or accompanied by fruit desserts. Moscato d'Asti is not always appreciated next to other sparklers, but in my book it comfortably sits in its own league. Excellent for sunny evenings, it's light and refreshing, yet deliciously sweet and full of character, with gorgeously balanced grape sweetness and acidity.

Serve it as a surprise choice for your guests, and it will be noticed!

Moscato d'Asti adds a touch of festivity to any occasion and is extremely easy to drink. Being conscious about my alcohol intake, my alarm bells would start ringing, but at only 5% it's far from a guilty pleasure! Another glass, please!

Milda OlendreMilda Olendre
Digital Projects Manager

£7.25 - Bottle
£43.50 - Case of six
View Wine Details

March 2016

The Society's Corbières 2014

This was one of the first wines I purchased after joining The Wine Society in 2012 and has been a firm favourite ever since. A classic blend of carignan and grenache, it has a deep, intense colour, alovely nose of sweet fruit and a rich, intense and spicy palate.

So often, our preference for a wine is rooted in an experience or occasion well beyond the taste or enjoyment of the wine itself. In 2013, the same year this wine won a Gold medal at the International Wine Challenge awards, I along with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams and members of the Executive Team, was fortunate enough to visit the producer, Pierre Bories of Château Ollieux Romanis, who has been making this wine for The Society since the 2007 vintage. And what a revelation it was: the warmth and intensity of the wine clearly emanates from the passion and skill of Pierre - this is such a dependable wine that will never disappoint, whatever the occasion.

Robin McMillanRobin McMillan
Chief Executive

£7.25 - Bottle
£87.00 - Case of 12
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February 2016

Saumur `Les Plantagenets' 2014

I've been a fan of this wine for a long time, mainly due to its honesty. It's not a showstopper or flashy in any way but instead is a good juicy red that, at less than £7 per bottle, comes in at a very reasonable price.

I particularly like the way that there is isn't anything confected or false about the wine. It tastes like product of soil, sun and man all in balance; as they should be. A lovely example of Loire cabernet franc from a cracking vintage.

Gareth ParkGareth Park
Marketing Campaign Manager

£6.95 - Bottle
£83.00 - Case of 12
View Wine Details

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