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About Our Wines and other FAQs

Wines from the Loire Valley in France are unique in that they are, for the most part, made from a single grape variety.

The benchmark white grape variety in Sancerre and Touraine is the Sauvignon Blanc, and you will see that several of our white wines are made from this grape. The main part of the white blend of Cheverny is also the Sauvignon grape. Cheverny is a tiny appellation situated at the foot of the Château of Chambord.

Further down river from Vouvray to Angers, the white Chenin grape comes into its own, making the most outstanding sparkling, sweet, semi-sweet and pudding wines imaginable.

At the end of the Loire River you have the Muscadet appellation which is based on the Melon de Bourgogne grape variety. This makes extremely light and slightly sharper white wines which are just fabulous with a large platter of shellfish!

We have also selected some red wines, blended and single varietals, made from the Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Côt varietals, as well as a delightful sparkling and still rosé wine made from the Pineau d’Aunis grape, which, by the way, only grows in the Loir & Cher county. The Sancerre red, however, is made entirely of the Pinot Noir grape.

All our wines are totally unoaked giving them a distinctive and authentic flavour.

Please read more about our wine growers, whose vineyards have passed from father to son for generations, and who produce these delicious wines on the Meet the Growers page.
You can purchase any wines that take your fancy from the Wine List page.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is often confusing to make the right decision about choosing wines. We think it should be fun and not intimidating to discover both new gourmet wines and your own personal style.

Why is this better than finding bargains at my local off-licence or supermarket?

Our small selection means less misses for you. We have narrowed down our selection through screenings by wine experts as well as our customers, just like you. Now you can focus on your preferences and know that every choice is a winning bottle of wine.

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Who writes the tasting notes?

We have two different wine experts write a short description. Each wine is tasted before it goes on the site. We try to describe it to give you a guideline in making a choice. You can find out more about them on the Wine List pages.

How do I know what style of wine I like?

We have found that most people know the general styles they like. For example, you might prefer white or red wines, light wines, or fuller, rounder wines. We write up each wine to try to match the different wine styles. However, nothing is better than experimenting with different wines.

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What should I do about laying wines down? I have no wine storage space.

All our wines are ready for drinking now. Most of them will stay at their peak for several more years. However, if you do happen to store a little wine you should always make sure it is away from swings in temperature, such as central heating or hot water systems, or refrigerators. The ideal temperature is 12° Celsius; however it is better to keep it at a constant 18° than at 10° for the winter months and 30° for the summer months.
Always store wine lying down, in a cool, dark place.

What does “unoaked” mean?

Unoaked means the wines have not been raised in oak barrels or oak vats. Doing so imparts a flavour into the wine which is often likened to vanilla or buttery, slightly sweeter flavours. Our wines are brought in at harvest, held in tanks for about 6-9 months and then bottled. Therefore, our wines are “aged in the bottle”. The flavours are lighter than oak aged wines and far easier for you to digest. Our wines are all unoaked which means that the flavours you taste are the authentic flavours of the wines.

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What are “tannins”?

Tannins are a natural part of the skins and pips of the grapes. All young wines have pronounced tannins which are an essential part of the balance of the wine. They are vital to the ageing process. They are more noticeable in red wines than in white wines. You will notice them in younger wines by a dryness on the middle to the back of the tongue. If you have ever eaten a whole bunch of red grapes, you would have felt this dryness on the tongue afterwards. Another way of recognising this is to brew yourself a pot of strong tea. Let it cool. Then drink some. You will notice the tannins immediately. Tannins are absorbed by the wine over time. They naturally preserve the balance of the wine for your enjoyment.

Why are corks sometimes made of real cork, sometimes synthetic and sometimes screw caps?

Due to the massive increase in world wine production since WWII and the ensuing demand for cork, the quality of real cork has decreased noticeably. The default known as “cork taint”, which changes the flavour of the wine, has become more and more prevalent and many of our wine growers have gone over to synthetic corks to protect the flavours of their wines and make your wine experience more enjoyable. They will also use screw caps as this becomes easier in France.

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How can I find a wine to match the food I serve?

There are lots of suggestions on the write ups of the wines on the Wine List page and will be elsewhere on the site which we are constantly updating. Try to keep wine matching as simple as possible, matching lighter wines to lighter foods and heavier wines to heavier foods. Alternatively, email us your menu and we will help you with your choice.

Can I talk to someone for help?

Of course.
- Just call us or email us on Amanda@amandaswines.co.uk
- French phone number from the UK: 00 33 254 44 11 62
- We also have a Skype number from London on which you can leave a message and we will call you back: 020 8123 5586.

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What about the ecology? Irrigation?

French wines are probably the most ecologically economic in the world. Vines are not irrigated in France. It is not allowed. Therefore, the roots grow deep down into the soil to search for water. As the vineyards are situated in the central part of France the transport to other European countries is much shorter with less CO2 emissions.

What does the Satisfaction Guarantee mean?

At AmandasWines we want you to be satisfied with every order. Our priority is you! Each wine is sampled and selected to offer the best gourmet wine with ease. Your satisfaction is our guarantee.

If you are not absolutely satisfied, neither are we. So, call us or email us so that we can work with you to replace it, substitute a new wine, or give you a refund.

We have built our business around our customers and want you to be 100% happy with your AmandasWines experience working together to give you the best in discovering and matching your gourmet wines – guaranteed.

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Please go to the Wine List page to purchase cases of these sumptuous wines.

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