Barbican resident Sommelier, Erin Summers, recommends picks from the Bottle Return Scheme at Borough Wines

We are all guilty of relying on supermarket wine when it’s the easy option. But it’s always worth it to try and seek out smaller wine shops and online suppliers. So my idea for this new piece is to find out local places to pick up something nice, but not too dear and this time it’s a short walk across the river to Borough Wines.

I decided to try their range in the Bottle Return Scheme, just look for the wines with the chalk stripe down the front and you are in the right place. Enjoy the wine at home, and next time you’re in the area make sure to bring the bottle back for 50p off your next purchase from the range.

And there’s plenty to choose from, just last week I spotted an English Bacchus, a Montepulciano, a Vinho Verde and a Tempranillo. I can confirm their Sangiovese, their Xarello and a red Mencia are also delicious. But two of my favourites which have really stood out have been their Natural Albana and their Fleurie.

First taking a look at the Natural Albana, I would definitely recommend this if you are new to orange wine as it’s a great introduction! Still made from grapes, not oranges, these wines are made in the same way that reds are, with the juice being left in contact with the skins. This not only adds a bit of colour to the wine, but also flavour, texture, complexity and often some tannins. I found this wine really approachable, and it really is fantastic and perfect with a bit of sunshine.

The producer is Tre Monti based in Emilia Romagna and the grape is Albana. There’s a lot more going on in the glass than your regular white wine, but despite being quite rich on the palate, it has a great refreshing acidity. On the nose you get lots of peach, apricot, floral notes, elderflower and perhaps a touch of ginger. The palate is more complex, with the ripeness coming through with flavours of melon and honey. I get rose water, some gentle baking spices, and a little bit of tannin which might come as a surprise if you’re not used to drinking wines made with a bit of skin contact.

For the red I’ve chosen to focus on their Fleurie by producer Gilles Monrozier at Château les Moriers. Fleurie is a cru in Beaujolais, with the primary grape grown here being Gamay. The wine is part of their Artesan range, which features producers who take a sustainable and traditional approach to wine making. The wine is light in body, low in tannins with plenty of fresh red fruit. It’s what I would call a fun wine and not to be taken too seriously. There’s plenty of raspberry, strawberry, cherries, ripe red currants, a little black pepper too. A tiny whiff of oak, which on the palate comes through via some sweet baking spices but it’s very faint. This is a great easy drinking wine, which would be nice slightly chilled due to its light body, just perfect to enjoy at a BBQ. A well-known pairing for this wine is actually a burger, which I suggest you give a go! It’s currently £15.50 but paying those extra few pounds does get you a better quality wine. 

Have you tried any of the wines from the Bottle Return Scheme and what did you think?