Buy organic wine: Oddbins - I Blame The Wine
Oddbins online wine retail

Buy organic wine: Oddbins

oddbins_logoOddbins is definitely a new or no-name store. Having had a few ups and downs lately, some of the shops consolidated their efforts and you can see a shift to provide a better service, but also an interesting choice of wines and craft beers.

I have been visiting a shop in Clapham several times and it has been a hit and miss depending whether a good advisor was working there. I can navigate through wines, but when you get hundred of bottles on display you also need to hear a story – why this wine is better or whether the winemaker or producer had something additional to say when the wine was listed. There are plenty of little facts that can sway your decision towards buying one wine or another.

This time I needed to make a snapshot of their organic offering.

There wasn’t much on offer – up to 10 bottles, and the majority of them were also without any certification as some producers do not bother doing that or paying for that. Same goes on their web store – there are just 9 organic bottles there.

Blau Mari organic Garnacha Cabernet Sauvignon 2014Blau Mari Garnacha & Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Tarragona, Spain.
Passionate winemaking shine through in this wine – it is lower in alcohol than we can expect from such a hot region (just an hour drive from Barcelona), at 13%.
Garnacha is clearly readable with the perfumed red fruits and elegant acidity. I am not sure that Cabernet Sauvignon makes this wine better as when you taste it some really noticeable tannins pop in front – I do not mind tannic wines, on contrary I love them, but this bottle is just slightly off balance. Do not call me picky (even if I am sometimes), when you get this gorgeous organic Garnacha in front, you are just doubtful why you need a bit of ripe cassis and loads of tannins. You don’t!

Regardless of my remark, it is still a very pleasant organic wine so I give it 26/35. It won’t break the bank either – it retails just around £9.

Luzon Organic Monastrell 2014Luzon Verde Organic 2014 Monastrell, Jumilla
I must say that I wasn’t really keen on the label – it looks like a bottle of something you buy for a few euros in a local Spanish corner shop.
The adviser at Oddbins shop (Clapham) was not insisting, but he recommended it over another bottle of a label disaster (that was a Tempranillo from Valencia), so I decided that it can be a better option.
Well, with its black fruit flavours and some interesting counter balance of acidity and sweetness it is not bad. Alcohol is at the higher levels, typical for southern Spain, at 14% .certification organic It is not the wine you will buy for more than 10 pounds and have something to talk about the bottle, but it is pleasant, all over organic (two certificates on the bottle) and well-balanced: I like restrained acidity, good black fruit and juiciness in this young Monastrell.
It is also 26/35 as it offers somewhat different advantages, but still not crossing the boundary of being good and very good.

The price is similar – £8.5.

CrozesHermitage2012Crozes Hermitage 2012, J.Boutin, ‘Les Hauts Granites’, 12.5%
It is natural and un-flltered Syrah that is playing a major role in this gorgeous wine. This bottle comes from Rhone Valley and it is one of those there it is not certified organic, but the grapes are grown organically and additional measures were taken to make it as natural as possible.
It results in a very nice wine that did not go through much intervention. Syrah is restrained yet spicy and expresses both red and black fruit. Aromas, when you sniff it in the beginning, are a bit off, but they are quickly giving away to glorious fruit.
Talking about fruit, it is quite delicate, peppery and spicy, but also multi-dimentional with its sweetness and acidity balance. Really good wine. It is slightly of a lesser body than what I would expect, but it is also lighter and easy to drink. This Syrah provides good complexity and herbal bouquet of rosemary, thyme and even a note of garlic. Really good.
This non filtered wine also proves to be slightly thicker yet it is a mirage – the wine is a lighter one, delivering on flavour, but offering a good balance to drink it even in summer.

27/35 and retails at over £20.

oddbins_storeI think Oddbins itself is proven to be a reliable chain to buy some interesting wine.
The advisor was knowledgeable, friendly and with a good sense of humour (I guess I am a demanding customer after all!).
The problem is that each store is so different – a good advisor makes this shopping experience so much better; yet an absence of it will make it flat (you will be lost looking through the shelves – I know I was!)
Oddballs is a good wine retailer who has all it takes to make it a memorable experience – not yet great in terms of online. When looking at their website, I could not find a clear organic selection, yet was redirected to an organic page when simply searching for an ‘organic’ terms. Mixed cases are a bit of disappointment as well. I have heard that people who love their range prefer to befriend a local store manager and get some wines delivered to their door this way, not via online. Says a lot.
It is a good place to learn more about the wines, should you be lucky with the advisor of course.
Cheers and buy organic wine with confidence!
P.S. Find more organic wines at our exclusive search tool – All Organic Wines. Browse through The Best Organic Wines top list to find out which ones rank really high!
About The Author


Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. 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.

1 Comment

  • Oleguer Brunet Masats

    February 26, 2016

    Thanks for the comments!
    I am the owner of the Blau Marí wine you commented and I will take into consideration your comments. They help!
    I will explain you the reason for a not too high alcohol level (13% for a red) in the Blau Mediterrani: The vines are 4km in straight line from the Mediterranean sea. In the summer, by the coast before the temperatures rise too much the “marinada” wind blows cooling the environment. Temperature doesn’t go higher than 30-32ºC. However, in the Priorat, Montsant, Terra Alta as they are further from the sea they get the “marinada” effect arround noon and then the temperatures are much higher.
    I leave our facebook page in case you are interested or more info:
    There you can also find info regarding our Blau Cel, the white organic that we produce.
    (Blau means “blue” in catalan. Marí has to do with the sea and Cel with the sky)