August's WineUncorked newsletter - WineUncorked: Wine Reviews and Tips

Welcome to the WineUncorked newsletter

Chris Hogg's 2007 English winemaking homebrew extravaganza may have been just a minor mention in the news section of the UK Wine Show podcast but it prompted the WineUncorked investigative nose to wonder What happened afterwards?

The UK Wine Show's back catalogue of podcasts is vast - there's now 669 half-hour shows to listen to, including Show 62 from August 2007 where the main topic was how to match spicy foods to wine in an interview with Warren Edwardes from Wine for Spice with his range of aromatic sparkling wines - blends of Cava and Muscat that match chilli-hot Indian, Thai, Malaysian and even Mexican foods.

Each show also starts with that week's wine news headlines, read by Jane Scott, the founder partner of the show along with husband Chris Scott who also run the wine tasting company ThirtyFifty. Catching up with the wine news is useful background knowledge for any wine enthusiast and the headlines from 2007 were just as fascinating - my ears pricked up considerably with the mention of local (to me here at WineUncorked HQ in the UK Midlands) homebrew shop that was making, bottling and selling 1500 bottles of British wine made with imported grape juice every month. But what, I wondered, had became of this Black Country British wine success?

Contacting Chris Hogg at Hamstead Brewing Centre, I found that the Birmingham-based family business was still going strong. Although he'd stopped making wine he now stocks his own range of wine kits that contain concentrated grape juice to allow the homebrewer to ferment and make their own wines at home.

Times have moved on in the world of podcasts as well as with homebrew wine. Jane Scott tells me that she's "not certain how people first heard about our podcast in the early days other than we were hosting a lot of wine tastings and with word of mouth our audience increased. We were one of very few wine podcasts at the time and so we always came up on i-Tunes if you were searching on wine."

img 1853After downloading, those early podcasts they then had to be transferred to your ipod for personal listening. These days downloading is automatic if you Subscribe. Making the listening of the UK Wine Show, and the many other wine podcasts queuing up on my iphone, easy to listen to while I'm out in the garden dealing with weeds, sowing seeds or generally looking off into the distance at the Welsh hills wondering when the rain will arrive.

In other news I will be teaching more Online Wine Appreciation with Buckinghamshire Adult Learning in the autumn. You can enrol now for the 5-week September 21st start date and also the course starting November 9th. Costing just £51, the courses are open primarily to Buckinghamshire residents who want to learn and taste wines with like-minded people – including me!

If you want to know how I got into teaching adult education then go to the About section on

And finally I’d love your feedback. Newsletters can be rather one-way and the Wineuncorked monthly newsletter could be made better with your suggestions – are we including enough links to wine reviews? Do you have suggestions on topics we haven’t covered yet? If so then get in touch. Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or find me on Twitter, InstagramFacebook and Pinterest as @wineuncorkeduk

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Latest wine reviews 

Morrisons The Best Nerello Mascalese 2019 

£5.50 Morrisons

five stars


The wine’s light raspberry jam and redcurrant flavours have a distinct rose petal addition – more like rose liqueur chocolates or the aromatic sweet flavoured with rose water known as Turkish Delight.


Tuffer's Tipple Margaret River Shiraz 2019

£18.99 Virgin Wines 

three stars


One of six wines from former English cricketer Phil Tufnell, or Tuffers as he is also known, which consists of three whites and three reds. The best of the six wines in the range, this Australian Shiraz is complex with fruits, flowers and spice. But it is expensive – even for a branded wine backed by a famous personality.


When In Rome Vino Bianco Grecco 250ml can

£3.99 When In Rome

three stars


This handy-sized wine in a can offers you a third of bottle (250ml) for £3.99. So not the cheapest way to buy wine but it does allow you to try unusual grape varieties, like this Italian Grecco.


Mocktails Karma Sucra Mockapolitan

£1.60 The Alcohol Free Co.

two stars


This ready-made alcohol free mocktail is actually rather weak tasting cranberry cordial. There's also some juniper and lime which makes it taste a little tropical.

tuffers tipple at new hall 132 01

Latest articles

Review: Cricketer Phil Tufnell's Tuffer's Tipple wines
Former English cricketer Phil Tufnell, or Tuffers as he is also known, has launched his own range of six wines in conjunction with Virgin Wines. The three whites and three reds range in price from £11.99 to £18.99 and can be bought singularly, in cases of 12, or as mixed cases direct from Virgin Wines.

What happened afterwards?
In 2007 Chris Hogg of Birmingham-based Beacon Valley Wines was producing 1500 bottles of British wine made with imported grape juice every month. But what became of this Black Country British wine success?

Donna Elvira: Restaurant quality wines from Italy
What strikes you first about the Donna Elvira range of five wines is the restaurant quality labels and the handsome bottles. Bold colours, Greek symbols and gold lettering adorn the heavy duty Bordolese-style bottles carefully chosen by owner Tony Fink as a nod to nostalgic childhood memories when similar bottles were used as candle holders in tavernas.

Top Ten Tesco Finest Wines
Grabbing the UK's largest share of our supermarket spending, Tesco is a name where 'every little helps' when it comes to finding the best own-brand wines. With over 180 wines to choose from in their Finest and Tesco ranges, their wine aisle is overflowing with great value choices.


More wine reviews and educational articles follow in our next newsletter. In the meantime let us know what you think of the wines you've been quaffing recently or ask us your wine questions: Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or find me on Twitter, InstagramFacebook and Pinterest as @wineuncorkeduk






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About WineUncorked and its editor, Paula Goddard Read more