Things I STILL don't like about England

My wife is in England and she says: "You can't buy decent wine in pubs and when you ask for a wine list you are automatically classed as a snob and a trouble maker. I bought an Australian Chardonnay in a pub the other night (house wine) since he said the sauvignon blanc was from South Africa and I'm not a huge fan. It tasted awful. I had one sip and refused to drink any more. When he came back I said it didn't taste at all like chardonnay, was he sure he had the right wine. He looked at me as if I was from a different planet (I think I must be) and went off to get the bottle - "There!" he said, pointing pointedly at the label, "Chardonnay". "Yes", I replied, "AND Colombard - that explains why it is so shite". Oh well."

complaining about not getting good wine in wetherspoons is like complaining about not getting a quality burger in macdonalds - suck it up! esp if you are lying face down on the floor in a stupor!!!!!!!

Yep, think a couple pair of my shoes are still on their carpets somewhere ;-)

Brian - did you ever go into to a J D Wetherspoon on a Friday night? Once you go in there, your feet stick to the carpets and you can't get out again..well that's how I remember them anyway!

Go on somebody, tell me a J D Wetherspoon does a decent glass of wine on a Friday evening when the place is heaving. When it is slopped into a glass because staff are too busy then it is often ruined anyway. London places are often good, so are gastro-pubs that now survive on the back of food, but it stops there. As for France... There are many more places that serve dreadful plonk than some people wish to imagine.

I think it depends where you go. There will be some pubs particularly some of the chains who will have wine menus which are made for the general please the majority wine quaffing without appreciating public. If you find an independent pub it can be hit or miss depending on whether the owner is 'into their wine' or not, or whether they use a good wine supplier who promotes decent wines. I have found the best wine lists (rather than wine menus) then to be in owner managed pubs which take their food seriously.

I always ask to see the choice of wines by the glass when I go in somewhere so I can decide rather than opting straight for house wine which usually disappoints. I'm also happy to ask to see the bottle. If they don't have a range of red/white by the glass then they probably don't serve a lot of wine or are wine lazy so I'd opt for a different drink. I only tend to drink one glass at the moment so I make sure it's a good one :)

i agree with cate and i think a lot of smaller town pubs have good wine too. let's be fair here, the local bars here don't have cracking wines and this IS france! restaurants and hotels maybe but most of the bars simply offer a house red, white or pink and it aint all that! and don't get me started on the food! the town i was living in when i left uk is comparable to the size of the town nearest to me here yest there is NO comparison when it comes to the food on offer, the drink on offer (inc wine!) AND they don't all close at 9pm!!! and for the entire xmas/new year holidays. gosh, that feels better, excuse me!!!

Dunno what pub you went to but most London pubs have great wines

Well, it's the Hospice de Beaune Auction today, if you fancy a cheap tipple the Piece de President, sold in aid of Charity by Carla Bruni Sarkozy fetched 270,000€. This works out at 771€ a litre -not bad for raw wine!

thanks for that, i shall put it on the shopping list. we have a new bigger, improved lidl opening next week - yay! what excitement!!!

@ Tracy, whilst you are o er in the wonderful North, pick up some Bottle Green elderflower cordial, and also the ginger and lime grass. They are one of the best non-alcoholic drinks you can find.
They are made in Stroud where we used to live before we moved over here.

Couldn’t agree more Tracy, we love St Bris and people are very surprised that it is grown in Burgundy!

I feel that wine as with anything is all about your own personal taste. I will also say from my experience of drinking any house wines..... there have been very few that have ever been brilliant or participially nice regardless of what country they have been produced in.

I suggest that your wife shouldn't worry about what other people think about her if she asked to see the wine list. Maybe the problem is, as my husband said, the service given in the pub/restaurant....they shouldn't make you feel uncomfortable just because you like finer quality wines.

Maybe you should change where you choose to drink & eat or BYO and pay a surcharge for doing so.

how much? what kind of wine is it? i'm absolutely no buff but i know what i like. i like a red quite light and dry, like the white i guess. what i don't like are those heavy, cloying, rather sweet reds - hardy's from oz seem to be typical. how would you describe it to a wine pleb like me?!!!

Thanks ladies - will look out for those.

look out for pinot grigio and frascati in lidl - they have it from time to time. not always outstanding but ok for cheap plonk. and nice and dry and light which is what i like in a white. generally, french white is too fruity for me. the white gaillac in lidl isn't bad either esp considering it's about 2 euros! the alsace whites are always pretty good when they have their foire de vins too. gold medal winning for around 3-4 euros and dry which is not what you normally associate with riesling. i heard a wine buff saying that riesling from the 3 A's is dry - alsace, austria and australia (i think that was the third one - i tend to avoid oz wines - too heavy).

Well, in Burgundy we have a little known grape called Pinot Beurot, it' s almost dying out but this is it's regional name, it's real name is Pinot Gris (grigio). The bad news is due to Burgundy not generally putting the name of the grape on the bottle it's hard to find. Look for wine from Marsannay (St Jacques from Fougeray de Beauclair)and Aloxe Corton (from Conte Senard)as it is definitely grown in those villages by those two growers.

Along the same lines the wine from St Bris in Burgundy is Sauvignon blanc and very good value for Burgundy.

Yes Charlotte agree - both about the pinot grigio ( and why can't you get that here!!) and about the post.

did you two actually read the post. wife is in uk trying to find a decent white wine to drink in a pub. overall tone smacks of 'good wine is so much easier to find here in france'. forgive me if i misread but i feel a - if you live in france you MUST abandon all that it is to be british - rant coming on!!!

Tony, My advice is if you live in France stop thinking about the UK.