Review: Rick Stein wines - WineUncorked: Wine Reviews and Tips

Chef Rick Stein may be famous for his Padstow fish restaurant and many BBC TV cookery-travel series but he also has an online wine shop that stocks 49 wines, four of which are branded as Rick Stein's wines: a Spanish white made with the Verdejo grape variety (£10.95), Spanish red made from Garnacha (£9.95), white Burgundy (French Chardonnay at £19.95) and a Blanc de Blanc Champagne (£33.95).

Since 2016, Rick's youngest son Charlie has been in charge of choosing the wines for the restaurants and the online wine shop. His choice of wines is backed by the philosophy of wanting "the finest wines available to humanity. And we want them here and we want them now!" (Fans of the 1987 film Withnail and I will get the reference but you can also ask Charlie on Twitter and Instagram @CharlieStein1). 

Charlie's wine knowledge is backed by his WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) level 2 and 3 qualifications and his understanding that wine is "more than simply the characteristics of its particular grape variety; it is in fact singing of its particular place on the planet." So he is in fact a terroir buff.

This belief that wine's flavours are a product of not only what it's made from but also where it is grown shows in his other choice of wines in the online shop - like the South African white Cartology 2018 (£39). This is made with naturally fermented Chenin Blanc and Semillon grape varieties using minimal manipulation sourced from old vines (the 2019 version is available at Waitrose for £36).

Only Rick Stein's four branded wines are available in both the online shop and at his restaurants - the rest of the sixteen page restaurant wine menu has a greater choice of wines at restaurant prices. The difference between the online bottle prices and in-restaurant ranges is not excessive or unexpected: ranging from a two-fold mark up for the Stein champagne (£33.95 to £65 in the restaurant) to a three times price increase for the Spanish red (£9.95 online to £29).

verdicchio dei castelli di jesi 01You don't have to go to Padstow to enjoy the full restaurant experience. Rick Stein's At Home food boxes can be delivered along with a choice of wines (the three course hake menu, £45, serving two people matches the Spanish white Verdejo while the Afternoon Tea box, £55, even comes with half a bottle of Stein champers).

For the ultimate at-home dining experience why not use empty Italian Verdicchio wine bottles to hold a lighted candle (their classic in-out shape makes a good stand in for a candle holder after emptying the bottle of the fresh, lemony wine) standing on red checked tablecloths. Just as the original Padstow Seafood Restaurant used in 1975.

wineuncorked.co.uk reviews of Rick Stein wines

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Rick Stein White Burgundy 2019

£19.95 Rick Stein shop

four stars

 

This buttery Burgundy is made with Chardonnay grapes that is balanced out with apple and lime flavours. Obviously it will be a great match to fish.

 

Rick Stein Spanish Garnacha 2019

£9.95 Rick Stein shop

four stars

 

This Garnacha is light and flavourful with creamy blackberry and cherry fruitiness with some violet flowers plus leather and liquorice spiciness.

 

Rick Stein Spanish White 2020

£10.95 Rick Stein shop

four stars

 

This white made with the Verdejo and Viura grape varieties is a vibrant yellow-green colour with oodles of aromas – lemon, apple, banana, pear, pineapple and flower petals just come out of the glass at a pace. The flavour is crisp and fruity with banana and passionfruit richness backing it up. A nice wine.

 

Rick Stein's Blanc de Blanc Champagne Brut NV

£33.95 Rick Stein shop

three stars

 

A classic Blanc de Blanc champagne made with the ‘white of white’ Chardonnay grape variety. Behind the Rick Stein branded label is champagne producer Rene Beaudouin whose name is there to see printed on the champagne cork and its wire cage. Light gold in colour with a good bubble and aromas of crusty white bread and apple with lemon and honey flavours, this champagne delivers. Nicer than many supermarket champers if slightly more expensive.

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