Ocado screenshot

Buy organic wine: Ocado

Ocado is another brand that does not need much introduction. Many consumers still believe that it is a spin-off on Waitrose, but it is not true – they offer basic Waitrose range, yet much more on top.

What I love from that extra range is that you get much more organic brands and produce to choose from. It is easier to source ‘free from’ products, but also a little bit more variety in terms of organic wines as well. Great stuff.

You also get an introductory offer (varies), and if you follow my little secret of ordering groceries mid-week (and not to be delivered during weekend) it would be free (otherwise prepare yourself for £3 to £7 charge).

Ocado logoLet’s go back to wines – they sell a reasonable range of 58 organic wines, it means you definitely has got something to choose from; yet if you think about a total number of titles on offer, which is 1401, you realise how small is the percentage. Yet in absolute figures you still got a better choice than in many supermarkets – well done Ocado!

 

Some of the wines were already reviewed and they are:
Las Mulas Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2013 Chile organicLas Mulas 2013 organic Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile can be bought from either Ocado or Waitrose, but I have started to see this wine at other retailers as well. Does it mean it is popular?

Will a winemaker’s name make much difference to you when you buy your wines? Many know a name of Torres. Afterall, they own a lot of properties in Chile and Spain and have quite a lot of money from their global operations.

Las Mulas (and you have alredy guessed that this wine is dedicated to the mules – those sturdy animals who help a lot in the vineyard!) is a very nice red, rich in black fruit and some blackcurrant flavours. It shows sweet and very ripe fruit together with abundant sweet spice (well, think about vanilla and cloves). As for me it displays quite a sweetish character overall. It is typical for Chile to be on a verge of off-dry, but it is just too sweet for Cabernet Sauvignon. On a plus side, strong blackcurrant flavours are smooth and uninterrupted.

I have given it a mediocre, but OK score of 25/35, but you should probably also flip a coin before deciding on buying this one or not. Did I mention it retails at Ocado for under £9?

Crimson 2010 Red Blend CaliforniaFetzer Crimson 2010, Red Blend, California.

An off dry red wine with a lot if ridiculous amount of residual sugar ! They are probably trying to appeal to a rising sugar consumption amongst US and UK consumers. If you just look up the numbers, the U.S. shows 32% growth in sweet wines year on year and similar research by Mintel shown that in the UK sugar consumption went up 31% since 1990. Will it appeal to the UK consumer too?

NB. This one is not certified organic, but it was featured in ‘What to buy or avoid‘ regular monthly review here, so I just needed to include this one.

Ocado sell this wine online for £9.99, so what about the taste?

It is fruity – simple, but noticeably ripe plums and black cherries, some blackberry and damson. I can see how this wine could be described as ‘lush’, but the acidity is low and sugar is high, so it makes this wine almost undrinkable after one glass.

You can say it can work well to reduce consumption, funny that, but the truth is that it is also very difficult to match with food. I am thinking about lamb with mint sauce will be a better option, whereas other more typical dinner meals would be quite weird with this off-dry red, don’t you think?

Thirsty Earth Primitivo PugliaThis interestingly named wine, Thirsty Earth, is organic and made from Primitivo grapes in IGT Puglia. It is anothr organic find for me in Ocado, so let’s try.

It has some bold black cheery flavours, woody vanilla undertones and hints of violets. It is amazing how good these flavours are expressing themselves – the wine comes from the southern part of Italy, but it is not overripe. This Primitivo brings freshness, yet lush fruit and some underlying spicy sweetness.

What I love to find out is the winemakers commitment to organic viticulture and how they express this passion on the bottle (you can read more about it on the label), but in the wine itself as well – it is balanced, round, deep and very satisfying.

The style is primarily fruity and less woody, some residual sugars exist (hence I knocked out some points off the rating), and the wine is balancing between being dry and off-dry, so if you like a bit drier style then it is not for you. If you still want to try, think about rustic lamb dishes as your food match though.

My Organic wine ranking is 25 out of max 35 for this wine and it is a bit generous me thinks.

Organic Tsantali Cabernet Sauvignon GreeceThe full name of the next  wine is Organiki Tsantali, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Greece and I sourced it from Waitrose first, but you can buy it in Ocado.

The label says it all – it is organic, Greek and made from Cabernet Sauvignon (which is somewhat unusual as they normally prefer to work with the local varieties).

The flavours are recognisable and full of black fruit, hints of mint and other herbs. The aromas are quite tender, but the first sip opens up a powerful mix of flavours, which is also round, smooth and a little bit sweetish.
They are proud of no harmful chemicals added (yet there are sulphites there), and it will go down a treat with your traditional bacon and mushroom casseroles, or, as I have it just now, with the warming steak pie.

The wine is slightly more mature than your usual organic wines that are now on the shelves, and also a bit more on alcoholic strength at 14%.

My Organic wine rating is 25/35 if to judge by the numbers, but black fruit it quite interesting, so I would just put it 25+/35 (being too judgemental?)

My own conclusion: the wines at Ocado are not superbly exciting, but offer a very good value and a standard of approachable everyday wines. In the top range you can find a few bottles of either Aussie Shiraz or Californian reds that are between £20-£23, but that’s about it – the rest is in mid to high priced, no premiums here. Yet I admire their support and promotion of organic produce. At the time of writing they are running Organic September promo with 243 organic items on sale (either 1/3 off, or 20% or a bundled offer), so have a look other you will be interested in trying something new and organic. There are now 43 organic wines on offer – save from 20% to 1/3 and drink organic.

Cheers!

 

About The Author

Dimitri

Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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