Tag Archives: wine blog

Blog: ANTIFREEZE IN YOUR WINE?! | Why now is the time to re-visit Austrian Wine and get excited.

By Sam Johnson

Sam brings you a story natural beauty, music, scandal and revival… he also tells you why you should start getting excited by Austrian Wine and its groundbreaking new makers, keen to show off what the country has to offer.

 When you think of Austria, you think of snow capped Alps and glüwein on the piste; a land of quaint alpine lodges, where insubordinate nuns sing in the rolling meadows of the hilltops, while the faint sound of Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute Overture’ can be heard drifting up from the quiet town below. Thinking of their wine, you may even think of cheap, thin and acidic, mass-produced antifreeze…

But gone are those days! Now is the time to reconsider your view on the export of this once overlooked wine producing region, in a big way!

The State of Austrian Wine Today

2003 gave us the new DAC system (Austria’s equivalent of the Italian DOC) and through greater levels of control in Austrian winemaking, Austrian wine has not only recovered from its horror period in the 1980s, but also gone from strength to strength.

Now producing on average way over 250million bottles a year, the majority of Austria’s wine production is focused on three lesser-known varieties and well as more familiar names such as Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay:

  • Grüner Veltliner

Often likened to Sauvignon Blanc, it makes crisp, dry and fresh white wines that are un-oaked. Its delicate citrus flavours intertwine with peach and a waft of dry, spicy, white pepper that works brilliantly with simple grilled fish dishes.

  • Zweigelt

The most planted red variety in Austria, Zweigelt is a lighter style of red wine that more often than not is un-oaked. Sometimes lacking a little depth initially, Zweigelt opens up to develop concentrated notes of raspberry and black cherry.

  • Blaufränkisch

If you’re looking for something a little heavier then Blaufränkisch is the way to go. Age-worthy, with big tannins, its wines retain a lovely acidity and freshness with notes of blackberry, cassis and sour cherry.

So whatever it is that you’re looking for, why not to reach for an Austrian Wine next time you come to pick something up? There really is something for everybody!

Who’s Behind It?

A big part of the rebirth of Austrian Wine is down to a new generation of winemakers in the country who are embracing new ideas and techniques, and striving to produce better wines at every turn. One example would be Arnold Holzer at Eschenhoff Holzer, who after taking over the winery at just 22 years of age, has gone on to produce some stunning examples of both Grüner Veltliner and Zweigelt that are not only low in sulphur, but also embrace modern packaging and label design reminiscent of the hyper trendy Craft Beer scene.

Another producer that we are really proud to work with is Weingut R&A Pfaffl. Pfaffl are a really top end Austrian producer who make the lovable and affordable ‘Dot’ series, all the way up to the stunning Passion Reserve Riesling (a personal favourite of mine), which although at a premium price, is just simply a delightful glass of wine!

The Pfaffl family are at the forefront of vineyard and cellar management techniques in Austria and are a worthy overseas flag-bearer for their nation. So we were super excited to send Will, our Assistant Manager, out to Austria to take a look around the winery and taste through their range to make sure that we are stocking the best of what’s out there! Take a look at some of his photos below. (I know… It’s a hard job that he’s got, our Will!)


In the 1980’s it would have been impossible to think that such quality could come from the ashes of one of the great wine scandals of the 20th century, but yet here we find ourselves. Austria’s new generation of winemakers are tearing up the European wine scene, refusing to be ignored, and they have the grape-based goods to back it up. That alone is a reason for you to stop passing them over, give them a whirl, and get excited!

Next week: “Glassware: is it really worth it?”

For any information regarding the blog or social media, please contact sam@thewhalleywineshop.com



BLOG: Exciting Shop News! | Why not come along for the ride?

 By Tom Jones – Owner

Tom gives us an update on the Shop’s future plans and get’s the ball rolling with the first of our new blog series.

Welcome to the first of our new wine blogs!

Here we aim to give you little snippets of informations relating to the shop and our plans for the year, give an overview of interesting debates and questions that are fermenting away under the surface across wine industry and generally plenty of engaging content that appeals to the wine, beer and spirits geek that lives inside all of us at the shop! We are going to have great fun writing it and I hope you will get some enjoyment out of reading it.

A Quick Overview

I am delighted to say that The Whalley Wine Shop had another successful year with 2017 being our busiest year to date. Almost unbelievably we will be 8 years old in April of this year and we could not have achieved either of these things without the continued support from the village and all our fantastic customers, near and far. Without you and your support there would be no Whalley Wine Shop; the team and myself never forget this simple fact!

Time To Get Excited!

Looking ahead and 2018 is going to be an incredibly exciting year for us at the shop with lots of new developments and plans already in place.

Firstly our social media and online communications should get a lot more interesting! This blog is just a starting point; we will have articles, polls, exclusive deals and offers, exciting giveaways, competitions and more on both our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Make sure you follow us and stay tuned so that you never miss out!

We will also be starting a couple of specific mailing lists, tailored to your specific interests. For starters, we will be sending out emails about ‘Fine Wine’, primarily premium wine and collectable wines, as well as a newsletter for our ‘Beer Heads’ regarding new arrivals and hard to find, limited stock craft beers and ales. If you’re interested in either of these, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Will (will@thewhalleywineshop.com) so he can give you more information and get you signed up.

We are also revamping our website (hurrah!), it is long overdue and we can’t wait to have a shiny new one that will keep you all up to date with our offers, events and tastings, what’s in our ‘By The Glass machine’, and keep an eye out for a new feature down the line, allowing you to order and purchase certain products online. Watch this space!

New Stock!

In the short term we have just had our major buying season and it has been a fantastic success! We have already found 50+ new wines that will be landing in-store over the next couple of weeks. We’ve picked out a bunch of exciting wines that caught our eye (and taste buds) due to their fantastic quality and excellent value. Why not head in and check out the new arrivals on our shelves? Make sure you check out of social media channels as we will be posting updates on new stock, as and when they arrive!

Quaffable Cases

Finally we just want to let you know about our seasonal ‘Quaffable cases’. This is a mixed case of 12 wines that offer serious drinkability at a great price: the definition of ‘Quaffable’ wines! It consists of a fixed case of 6 whites and 6 reds for just £74.99 or only £6.25 a bottle. The Spring case will launch in-store on Wednesday 7th of March with Summer, Autumn and Winter cases being released later in the year. This is a great chance to find new wines so if you’d like to reserve one, please contact Jen (jen@thewhalleywineshop.com). We even deliver, too!

That’s it for now; make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming blogs over the next few weeks!

Thank you for reading and thanks again for supporting The Whalley Wine Shop! We are aiming to have a great year and give our customers ever better service and wines. Why not come along for the ride?

Have a great week!
Tom and the Team

Next Week: It’s Time To Talk About Sulphites!

For any information regarding the blog, please contact sam@thewhalleywineshop.com