by Nick Adams

“Quality is not an act. It is a habit” – Aristotle

I do hope you all were fit and well and were able to enjoy the Christmas and New Year celebrations – and indulge in some good wine. I am returning to a previous subject matter regarding the whole concept which wine marketeers often refer to as “the quality to price ratio” in a bottle of wine. This also coincides with the perennial time of the year when people look to drink less – post Christmas – or have a month’s hibernation altogether.

As people’s drinking experiences broaden their exposure to a wider range of wine styles has grown and with it a naturally greater understanding and appreciation if what is on offer – more so than ever, I believe, with the increase in sales of internet wines during the covid lockdowns and restrictions.

The graph above illustrates graphically the exponential value of the wine itself when you pay more. In simple terms – between a £4.95 bottle and one £10 more – the value of the wine is 10 times greater! This is because the fixed and variable costs (from the bottle, shipping, duties etc) remain roughly the same, so more investment is made in the quality of the wine itself. Of course, an important caveat is that you must already like the style, grape, origin, and producer first – but once you have identified what your favourites are I can guarantee that you will experience a significant increased reward in flavour, concentration, and pleasure in trading up to better quality examples.

And this doesn’t mean there is no value at all in a cheaper bottle – of course not – but it is worth looking at this aspect particularly if you are looking to build a small cellar selection at home and would like to enjoy finer examples for special occasions or meals you are planning – or are giving a gift to someone who is into their wine as well. And a noticeable aspect of finer wines is that you tend to “sip” and enjoy them over a longer period as you enjoy the spectrum of aromas and flavours, whereas a there might be a tendency to “swallow” a more mundane example as you search for those elusive flavours you hope it may have.

And with better quality wine the overall reward to just greater; they are also catalysts for more enjoyable sharing experiences and memories – also tend to work better and have a wider range of options when matching with food. As Sir Henry Royce (Rolls Royce) once famously said “The quality will remain when the price is long forgotten”.


You may have noticed on the Wine Trust site that there has been quite an extension in the number of listings and new wines being offered in sealed 6 (and occasionally 12) bottle cases. These not only represent some exciting new wines and styles but also qualify for a 5% when bought in 12 cases. Another aspect of lockdown was that internet shoppers took to buying more wine in the 6 bottle and case format. I also like this option as you can build a nice mini cellar over time which gives you options when looking at food and wine matching throughout the week and weekend along with immediate access to wine when you spontaneously fancy a certain style.

You may also see that the quality of the ranges on offer has increased significantly as Wine Trust has been able to secure allocations on these new lines. Once you know the grape, origin, and style of wine that you really like I feel this is a good way to purchase. Wine Trust are planning to develop the range further soon so please do watch out for plenty of new lines appearing throughout 2022.

And to finish two recommendations – firstly a wine which in my view over delivers (and based on the exponential value you get from spending a bit more) and another highlight from the new 6 pack case listings:

Dandelion Vineyards “Lionheart of the Barossa” Shiraz – £13.95 by the bottle

Winemaker Elena Brooks has hit the bullseye with this sumptuous, supple, and richly fruity Barossa Shiraz – fine texture and notes of blackberry compote, even dark chocolate and a lilting, peppery spice note. I have tasted Barossa Shiraz at twice the price which are no better. 

Château du Moulin-à-Vent, Moulin-à-Vent – £117 per case of 6

The Parinet family have transformed this 18th Century estate over the last 13 years and today is one of the leading Domaines in this revered Beaujolais Cru. Moulin-à-Vent is broadly regarded as the finest of all the 10 top “Crus” or villages in the Beaujolais region. With Gamay vines well over 50 years of age this elegant and refined Beaujolais has deep cherry and strawberry fruit flavours, a touch of minerality and long, satisfying finish. Seriously good – this may well change your view about just how good Beaujolais can be.