With Valentine's Day fast approaching, we got up close and personal with some of our staff to find out what they'll be drinking on the most romantic day of the year.
Treat the love of your life to a unique and luscious wine that really hits the spot with or without food. Only made in exceptional vintages by an outstanding family run estate, it is big and juicy leading into a refined, complex and balanced red wine of the highest quality. Seductive on the nose and silky smooth on the palate, this wine is a real turn on.
This light fruity red is the perfect aperitif for any romantic encounter, it's slight spritz and natural low alcohol is just what's needed to start the night off. The bouquet of strawberries and cream followed by a refreshing red berry palate is enough to seduce anyone's taste buds. Serve in a champagne flute with fresh chocolate dipped strawberries on the side to give a romantic wow factor.
If you really want to impress a person of a certain class, crack this voluptuous wine open. The only use of Carménère in South Africa with Petit Verdot seasoning leading into a refined, complex and balanced Red Wine of the highest quality. Intense, silky and so delicious!
MATTHEW WHITAKER / TURL STREET ASSISTANT SHOP MANAGER
My Valentines evening would ideally (Money Permitting!) start with the best NV Rose in the world. Laurent Perrier Rose is served up in a very seductive dumpy bottle that sits very well on the table. It is a beautiful salmon pink with a delicate mouse. The Pinot Noir produces subtle and elegant flavours of raspberry, strawberry and blackberries. Well worth pushing the boat out for. It will pay back magnificent dividends!
Having spent so much on the first wine of the evening and feeling the effects, I would cut back to less expensive wines! The Esk Valley Sauvignon impressed me so much at a recent tasting. Having got a bit bored of the one dimensional NZ sauvignons of late I was very pleasantly surprised by the extra dimension of flavour shown in this wine. The gooseberry and elderflower is there but with extra layers of tropical fruit. Guava, Passion fruit and Mango.
Finally I have to dig out one of our shining stars. Also at an accessible price. The Figure Libre Cabernet Franc is exceptional. It is an organic wine from a much further south latitude than the Loire where its homeland is. I love varietal Cabernet Franc and this possesses all the violet and perfume you would expect but with an extra dollop of warm sunshine!
MARK WARDE-ALDAM / TURL STREET SHOP MANAGER
In May 2016, on holiday in France, my then girlfriend Jenny and I were driving down to the Alps. Being wine lovers, we stopped in Burgundy for a couple of nights. On the first morning I had planned for us to go for a walk through some of the vineyards of the Cote d'Or, and unbeknownst to Jenny I had planned to propose to her during the walk. We had reached a point upon the hill overlooking Beaune when I decided that we had found the right place - right next to the Cru of Les Aigrots.
My wife, Jenny and I met in Dorset, our home county and in September 2017 we got married in Jenny's home village. Being less than 40 miles away from the wedding venue there was no chance we were going to use any other sparkling wine than Furleigh Estate for our top table. With its traditional method and Champagne grapes it's up there with the serious wines of Champagne - perfect indulgence!
When first moving to Oxford, the house was bare and not very cosy. Deciding to go shopping for wine to warm our spirits, Jenny and I, picked the first easy bottle we found - which just so happened to be a Beaujolais. We got home and into bed where we drank our Beaujolais and to this day on days where we are tired and just want a lazy evening we will partake in Beaujolais in Bed!
THOMAS FOWLER / BOTLEY ROAD SHOP MANAGER
For me, the best dates always start with a Negroni. The bittersweet tang, served ice cold but with that strong, spirity heat takes me straight back to the streetside bars of Italy. At home, I mix mine with Boxer Gin, Campari, and La Copa Vermouth. Plenty of ice and a slice of orange, and you've got something simple but very special. And just like the perfect romantic encounter, one glass always leaves you wanting a little bit more.
The light, vibrant white wines of Tuscany will always be special to me. My husband and I have spent some of our happiest memories at restaurants on the Tuscan coast with the sun on our faces, sand between our toes, a plate of seafood pasta and a bottle of Vernaccia. And on cold, gloomy winter nights, we put a bottle in the fridge, pay a visit to the fishmonger, turn the heating up and remember our Italian summers.
Yes, I know, beer isn't generally considered the most romantic of beverages. But what could be more enjoyable than a few beers and a takeaway pizza with your favourite person? The Cotswold Brewery's Premium Lager has got just the right balance between refreshing citrus and bitter hoppy flavours. Perfect for a lazy night in, some junk food, and a pair of pyjamas!
EMILY SILVA / MARKETING & PR