Best Cellars Wine Blog

Christmas Wine Gifts

Six Bottle Air PackWell there’s no denying Christmas is underway. Santa’s elves at Best Cellars are hard at work boxing up wine gifts and sending them on their merry way up and down the country. We are enjoying using our new packaging for sending our cases and half cases. For the past couple of months we have been trialing a range of air-pack bags and are delighted with the result. It is easy to use, easy to store and offers much greater protection for the bottles. We are reliably informed that the deflated bags can be recycled with your plastic bottles. We have even suggested to our gift box supplier that they consider designing a wine gift carton that can take air-bags and they seem quite keen on the idea, so watch this space!

Le Clivie ProseccoFor Christmas we have put together some fantastic Special Offer Wine Cases. The Christmas case contains an excellent quality Prosecco Le Clivie, a delicious ruby Port from Krohn, red wines from Australia, South Africa, Italy, Chile, Argentina and white wines from France, Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Italy. At £76.80 it represents a discount of £12 off the usual selling price. This case is an ideal present for the whole family to share, or an impressive corporate wine gift. There is also an option to buy a half case with a bottle of bubbly, a port, two red wines and two white wines.

We have a great selection of smaller gifts ranging from two bottles of New World Wines in double gift box for £13.95 to smart Wooden Wine boxes with a pair of Fine Wines. Our fine wine gift contains French red Wines Nuits Saint George and Chateauneuf du Pape and comes packed in a hinged lid, varnished wooden box for £47.50.

Lallier Grande Reserve ChampagneIn the bubbles department, we have offers on our award winning Lallier Champagne. Grand Cru Vintage Lalliers 2005 is £5 a bottle off. Le Clivie Prosecco 2012 is £2 a bottle off and Australian Jacobs Creek Cool Harvest Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc is competitively priced at £6.95 making it an ideal party wine. We have teamed the Australian bubbly with Craigmoor Estate Red and White Wines to create an Auzzie Trio in a gift box for £24.95.

Auzzie Trio Gift BoxIf you have more than one gift to send, you can place all your orders in one go, as we cater for multiple delivery addresses on orders. Basically, you fill your basket with all the required gifs, proceed to checkout and then select the appropriate number of addresses for delivery. There is the option to send a different message to each recipient and choose a specific delivery date.

Corporate customers with large numbers of recipients may prefer to email a list of names and addresses. We are happy to accept multiple orders on excel spreadsheets or other formats. If you wish to discuss this please give us a call.

Interlink PredictAs you can imagine, this time of year is extremely busy for the couriers. Please make sure that delivery details are correct and where possible please provide a mobile phone number. Our courier operates a very useful service called ‘predict’ where they send a text or email at the beginning of the day giving an E.T.A. for your parcel.

If you wish to place an order and have forgotten your password, please go to the Log In page and enter your email address in the User Name section then click ‘forgotten password’. A new password will be sent to your email address. If you have problems logging in, send us an email and we will happily help.

We wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Thank you to all our customers for their business

Seaons Greetings
Emma & Jonathan Richards

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Stannary Ales and The Devon Hares

Stannary Ales are a small range of Devon-brewed beers which take their name from the towns given the status of Stannary Town in medieval times.  These towns were the centres where tin was brought from the open-cast mines of Dartmoor, to be taxed and sold.  Some of the tinners used an ancient emblem known as the Tinner’s Rabbits, to stamp their ingots and this emblem can be found over the door of our Chagford store.  Currently we have 3 beers on offer, Tinner’s Rabbits, a dry, hoppy ale with a full flavour, brewed to an age old recipe, Tinner’s Fare, a singularly Westcountry ale with a reddish tinge and a particular bitter-sweet flavour and Portreeve’s Challenge, a rich and flavoursome, bottle conditioned ale of character.  Smooth tasting and sought after the year long. The ales are available to buy from our shops in Ashburton and Chagford.

Best Cellars Chagford

Best Cellars Chagford

Here is a photo of our Chagford shop showing the emblem above the door. The large bottle of Champagne is a Nebuchadnezzar, which is equivalent to 20 bottles. It was bought from us by a customer as a present to his parents on their Diamond Wedding Anniversary last year.

Jonathan features in this video that was made by our local news company who were running a story about the history of the three hares emblem in Chagford and other Devon towns. The Devon Hares

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Special Offer Australian Semillon Chardonnay

As special offers are all the rage, we thought we might as well draw our Marktree Semillon Chardonnay 2010 to your attention. A Crisp and fresh white wine with delicate floral aromas and a rich fruit expression. The base for this wine is some fantastic Semillon so unlike some house wines, this will actually improve over a time in your wine rack. Medium bodied with a balanced, long, elegant finish. Delicious as an aperitif or served with roast chicken or pasta salads. We have been able to bring the price of this wine down from £6.55 per bottle to a very reasonable £4.95. Now that’s what I call a Special Offer!

marktree white

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Mothering Sunday 10th March

Mother’s Day and Christmas are all too similar.  They both seem to arrive just when you thought it was safe.  Well, Mother’s Day is just about here and to save you getting caught short, there are a few things which might help.

lallier vintageWe are still offering our Vintage 2005, Grand Cru Lallier Champagne at £34.95 per bottle and the Calvet Chateaneuf du Pape 2007 at £17.95.  There is Calvet Sancerre 2011 at £11.95 too so you can help your Mother’s Day family gathering go with a real swing.

siren redThere are some more economical lines on offer too, take a look at our South African “The Siren” Chenin/Chardonnay/Viognier, 2011 and “The Siren” Shiraz/Grenache, 2012.  Both drinking well.

If distance is a problem, all these wines can be sent as special gifts to arrive in time for Mother’ Day, with gift packaging as an optional extra.


Make Mother’s Day special, you know she’s worth it.

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Mother’s Day gift ideas.

The time has come to recognise, thank and celebrate the person who brought you into this world – your Mum.

The celebration goes back to Roman times where they had a special festival to celebrate Cybele the mother goddess.

For those still lucky enough to have a mum it is a great opportunity to treat her like a Goddess and to do something special. Take her out to lunch, bring her a bunch of flowers get the kids to draw her a lovely picture.

You could bake her a Simnel Cake which is traditionally associated with Mothering Sunday. Here is a recipe for Simnel Cake you could try.

The day also traditionally allows for a break in lenten vows to allow for the celebration, so this is the perfect opportunity to do something extra special and send her a special gift of champagne or wine.

If you won’t be able to be with your mum then don’t worry. We can deliver securely and safely direct to her door in time for to celebrate on Sunday 18th March.

We have a wild selection of quality champagnes and wines that come in special gift boxes or baskets and you can choose your own personal message to go on the gift card.

champagne gift basket

Don’t forget to order in time and enjoy your day with your mum !

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Mother’s Day champage gift baskets

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Burns Night January 25th

The annual celebration of the birth of the Scottish poet, Robbie Burns, is approaching.  On and around January 25th, huge quantities of haggis, bashed tatties and mashed neeps will be consumed, washed down with some very fine malt whisky.

Should you be taking part in these very traditional celebrations, in whichever part of the UK, you could not do better than to sample The Munro, The Malt as your whisky of choice.

The Munro Malt Whisky, SpeysideThere is a choice of two Munro malt whiskies and both are single cask, non-chill-filtered whiskies. An 11 year old malt single whisky, sourced from the heart of Speyside, bottled at 46% has a clean, gristy, grassy, honeyed and very Speyside nose and is barley sweet, lightly spiced with a vanilla fudge suggestion on the palate. The finish carries a warming camphor based cough drop style – running to softer/sweeter spices later.

The Munro Malt Whisky, IslayThe alternative Munro is a 9 year old single malt whisky, sourced from the Hebridean isle of Islay, bottled at 46%.   It opens surprisingly fresh & sweet on the nose with a softly smoked style and a polished leather quality. The palate is mouth coatingly spiced, still sweet and develops to a wood fire character plus burnt sugar. The finish is long carrying a sweet liquorice style with late camphor.

There is much poetry involved in a Burns Supper and this can only be complemented by the right malt whisky.  The Munro The Malt will always be the right compliment.

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Seasonal Wine Tasting Evening

What a wonderful evening we had at our Annual Seasonal Wine Tasting at Chagford on 10th November 2012. We joined forces with Chagford Dairy, who offered delicious cheeses, chutneys, olive oils and much more. The Dairy are now selling gift hampers with selections of their assorted goodies combined with alcoholic offerings from Best Cellars. Please contact us if you are interested in finding out more or would like to send one to a friend or relative.


We showed a total of 20 wines, all of which are new arrivals to our wine list and all are on promotion for Christmas. The first on the list was Mac Macia Brut Nature Cava Reserva, a quality dry sparkling wine made with natural yeasts. The whites included Mastri Vernacoli Trentino Pinot Grigio which surprised many people by displaying character and finesse. People enjoyed the four Peacock Ridge Wines from South Africa, which we wrote about in our previous blog. We were delighted with the response to the two Burgundy wines, Le Vieux Quartier Bourgogne Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, bottled by Jean du Barre. It’s rare to find such good quality Burgundy wines at reasonable prices and we took quite a few orders for these wines. The stars of the show are always predictably the more expensive red wines and this year was no exception. Chianti Classico San Felice went down an absolute treat, as did the Terra Andina Altos Carmenere Carignan and the Ontanon Reserva Rioja.

 Le Vieux Quartier

The people of Chagford tell us that our annual tasting is one of the social events of the year and for many it kicks of the start of their festive season. We are thrilled to be part of this fantastic little community and we hope we can go on supplying these lovely people with wines for many years to come.

Thank you to all who came along, made nice comments and placed a record number of orders for cases of wine! We hope you all have a very merry Christmas with your purchases from Best Cellars.

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New! Peacock Ridge South African Wines

Peacock Ridge, an evocative name, conjouring up an image of warm climates and exotic wildlife.  Well, the truth is all there, this range of wines from Waterkloof Estate, South Africa is everything you would expect.  The red wines are warm and welcoming, with deep fruit flavours, whilst  the white wines are clean and full of fruit.

Introductory Special Offer Price of two pounds off a bottle Peacock Ridge Wines

Peacock Ridge Chenin Blanc

 A well layered wine with thoroughly integrated oak.  The nose has aromas of buttered toast, lemon marmalade and white stone fruit.  The palate is rich and rounded with grilled peach, toasted brioche, sweet apricot tart with toasted almonds.  A very open and generous palate.  The lovely texture is balanced by a bright acidity which provides freshness.  A versatile wine, which will match a variety of dishes.

Peacock Ridge Sauvignon Blanc

A crisp, and elegant wine with green and lemon flavours on the palate and crisp citrus on the nose. The mineral core lifts the concentrated fruit on the palate. The wine has good balance and superb freshness.

Peacock Ridge Shiraz

A very drinkable wine with bright cherries, blueberries, plums as well as earthy notes and sweet spice on the nose.  The palate has lots of creamy fruit, yet feels light weight, with firm food tannins and a lovely sappy finish. Ripe, juicy flavours which are balanced by the fresh acidity.

Peacock Ridge Merlot

Deep, dense and youthful in colour with aromas of cassis, cedar wood, smoke and herbal notes. On the palate the wine is elegant and evolves with upfront dark black fruit, mocha, liquorice and gentle tar, balanced by fine yet seductive tannins. Weight, concentration and a long complex finish.

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Marvelous Malbecs

Malbec appears to be the grape of the moment and at Best Cellars we have a good choice of three to offer you.

Les Volets Malbec Haute de l`Aude

I will start with Les Volets 2010, Haute Vallee de l’Aude, France, as this is the ancestral home of the malbec grape. It has been a stalwart of the Bordeaux wine industry since forever but is also much used further south west and is the grape variety of Cahors. At 13.5% it is a wine with an intensity, perhaps produced by the altitude of the vineyards, the warmth of the Mediterranean days but the cool of the Pyrenean nights. Full fruit flavours throughout and a good finish to every mouthful.

On special offer from £7.35 discounted to £6.65.

Adobe Reserva Emiliana Malbec, Chile, Organic

Chilean malbec is newer on the world stage but the Adobe Reserva organic wines have never failed to satisfy. This 2011 version, from the Rapel Valley, has deep colour of ruby red and forthright aromas of dark fruit. The wine is elegant and very easy to drink, perhaps with cheese or lighter red meats, but as ever delicious just with friends.

On special offer from £8.10 discounted to £7.10.

Nieto Senetiner Reserva Malbec, Argentina

Argentina has worked very hard on making Malbec it’s very own varietal grape and believe me it has had a wonderful success rate. The soil is right and the climate is right; not much more that can be asked. Nieto Sentenier Reserva Malbec 2011 is grown in the Mendoza region, Argentina’s finest, and is aged for 10 months in French oak. It has developed a full body and deep colouring together with complex flavours and a long finish.

On special offer from £9.10 discounted to £8.15.

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