3 MAY 2008, Page 59

S WIG of west London offers some of our most successful

mini-bars, and when you try these bottles you will see why.

They are exciting, adventurous, mostly New World wines, hard if not impossible to find anywhere else, all at reduced — some very reduced — prices. Even after the Budget they remain excellent value, and if you’re not quite sure, try the sample case, which should certainly make your mind up, smartish.

We have two wines from Waipara in New Zealand. The Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (1) is gorgeous — grapefruit and melon flavours jostling alongside the usual gooseberry and grass. (Did you know that ‘cat’s pee’ is a recognised term for one of the flavours found in Sauvignon? I am pleased to say that I was unable to detect any such thing in this.) A really lovely wine, and reduced by £1 to £8.95.

In Alsace, Pinot Grigio is known as Pinot Gris, and tastes quite different. I absolutely loved this 2007 from Jean-Marc Bernhard (2), which is full of life and freshness and sparky fruit flavours. It would be perfect with all kinds of food, but is also a gorgeous aperitif. At the list price of £13, it’s great. At the offer price of £9.95 it is unmissable. The Waipara West Two Terrace Red 2003 (3) is a Bordeaux knock-off and SWIG’s current bestselling red. The Cabernet Sauvignon gives it a terrific nose and a steely background, and the Merlot adds softness. A very agreeable glugging wine, again reduced by £1 to £8.95.

The greatest bargain of the lot is probably the 2004 Shiraz from Garlands of Mount Barker in Western Australia (4). This is reduced by a stunning £5, or 33 per cent, bringing it down to £10 a bottle. Some Oz Shiraz can be a kind of grape soup — the first glass is delicious, the second OK, and the third the vinous equivalent of eating one chocolate too many. But this is subtle, soft, sophisticated, perfumed. There are herbs here and flowers, even a slight hint of camphor to go with the eucalyptus. Decant it an hour or so before you drink it, and your guests will assume that it is a particularly fine Rhône.

Delivery, as ever, is free, and there is a sample case containing three of each wine.