Staff Choices 2019

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note that, as some were published some time ago, not all of the wines will be in stock and some of the prices will be out of date.


May 2019

Dogliani, Luigi Einaudi 2017

Dogliani, Luigi Einaudi 2017

In November last year I was lucky enough to join buyers Sebastian Payne MW and Sarah Knowles MW on a trip to Piedmont to select wines for our 2015 Barolo en primeur offer.

Out of the hundreds of fabulous wines we tasted, it was this relatively humble dolcetto that put the biggest smile of the week on my face.

After three days of tasting young Barolo, to sit in a restaurant in the centre of Dogliani with a giant bowl of fresh ragù and a chilled bottle of dolcetto, with its low acidity, sweet fruit and violet perfume, was like slumping in to your favourite chair after a long day on your feet.

I love cooking and (along with every other bloke on the planet) consider my ragù alla bolognese to be the best. And since that day in Dogliani I make sure I have a bottle of Luigi Einaudi’s dolcetto by my side as the pan simmers away and the kitchen fills with the rich smell of this dish. The fruit is sweet and moreish, tempered by half an hour in the fridge, with deliciously bright cherry cola, plum, baking spice and almond flavours.

Now that the sun has started to come out and the old ‘one-pot-wonders’ are returning to the culinary cupboard the kitchen doors are open and the BBQ is back in play – but I know I’ll still be reaching for this!

Mathew HorsleyMathew Horsley
Buying Department Trainee

£11.50 - Bottle
£138 per case of 12

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Previous Staff Choices

April 2019

Viognier Grès du Trias, Coteaux de l'Ardèche, Vignerons Ardechois 2017

Viognier Grès du Trias, Coteaux de l'Ardèche, Vignerons Ardechois 2017

Having worked at The Wine Society for 21 years, I’ve been lucky to try many styles of wine... but the viognier grape is one of my white wine favourites, especially when it comes from the Rhône valley.

This wine and producer were new to our Christmas List last year and with some good press mentions behind it, I decided to give it a try. With lovely peach and apricot aromas so typical of the grape, it is rich, smooth and creamy. It goes really well with my homemade chicken korma and mushroom risotto but with my husband also being a fan of this wine, the bottle’s contents disappear far too quickly! It’s a great-value wine too at just under £10 and I think it could pass as a much more expensive northern Rhône white.

As regional merchandiser, my role is to ensure we are in stock of many wines, including this one, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on stock levels to make sure we never run out!

Helen BourneHelen Bourne
Regional Merchandiser

£9.95 - Bottle
£59.50 per case of six

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March 2019

Susumaniello Salento Rosso, Vallone 2016

Susumaniello Salento Rosso, Vallone 2016

Italy is a favourite when it comes to choosing wines, and I need no excuse to explore our extensive range. This one is a recent discovery I made, and stood out for a few reasons.

As well as being excellent value, it's bursting with fruit on the palate in a delicious and versatile way: it's perfect to open on its own or with food. I tend to enjoy it midweek – especially if there's Italian food on the menu - and can see it becoming my go-to BBQ wine this summer, if I can only stop myself from telling people about how good it is and keep the secret to myself.


Brian DigweedBrian Digweed
Cellar Showroom

£8.25 - Bottle
£49.50 per case of six

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February 2019

The Society's Falanghina 2017

The Society's Falanghina 2017

I’ll have been at The Wine Society for 29 years this April (after four years as a Christmas temp!); when I first came here I didn’t know anything about wine, but over the years I’ve worked out what I like, and what I don’t like.

I’ve discovered I don’t like oaky whites: I much prefer citrusy styles and quite often find myself going for sauvignon blanc wines, especially ones from Chile and New Zealand.

Italy’s falanghina is in a similar ballpark, but has a slightly different flavour. It has a citrusy, clean, gooseberry kind of taste with a spicy feel to it, but it’s still very easy to drink and offers very good value for money.

The first time I opened this, I had some friends round and we tried it with pizza; it worked surprisingly well, but it’s also a great choice for pasta. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a delicious crowd-pleaser.

Janice PattersonJanice Patterson
Members’ Reserves Team Leader

£8.75 - Bottle
£52.50 per case of six

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January 2019

The Society's Exhibition Hermitage Rouge 2014

The Society's Exhibition Hermitage Rouge 2014

It’s rare that I buy any wines from anywhere that isn’t The Wine Society, and bottles like this one are the reason why. Jean-Louis Chave is one of the top names in the northern Rhône, and his Hermitage under his own label is upwards of £100. The fact that I can get my hands on actual Hermitage, made by actual Chave, at under £40 a bottle is insanity; but I’m certainly not complaining. Quite the opposite!

This is a full-bodied red made from syrah, with dark-fruit flavours and a delicious hint of black olive. I didn’t get round to trying it for the first time until two or three years ago, at which point we were listing the 2007 vintage. The vintages aren’t released in chronological order; instead Marcel Orford-Williams (our Rhône buyer) decides which of the vintages in our cellars is tasting best and then will release that one for sale. The 2007 blew my socks off and the 2014 is just as delicious, and is my wine-hack for when I want to drink some really very fine wine but not spend tons of money.

If you fancy a winter warmer or something to go with a casserole, then this is absolutely perfect. I personally like to decant it and drink it without food when I want to treat myself. I’ll tend to enjoy it either on my own (split over a couple of nights… maybe) in front of the TV, or with a wine-loving friend. Sometimes you need to treat yourself!

Freddy BulmerFreddy Bulmer
Wine Buyer

£39 - Bottle
£468 per case of 12

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