by Megan Jones

Hey all, Fionn again this Thursday.

On Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the rather large and rather pleasant Real Wine Fair. In short, one big room, 200 producers, far too many wines to taste, and impeccable vibes. I went early doors and was one of the last ones to leave. Still didn’t get around to everything I wanted… Roll on 2026. Did taste plenty though, as such been shopping.

First up, the new vintages from Testalonga. Craig and Carla are stalwarts of the South African scene. You know, the guys making those insane value bottles with THIS face on. You can't get much better for twenty quid these days...

Well, we’ve just got the top stuff. Single site, single varietal gear. Thankfully, it also doesn't cost the earth. Please stop sleeping on SA...

Two fine fizzers first. Smashed a bottle of this 8.5% fizz last night, before going for a run. Smashed the PB too. Not even joking, like some mildly alcoholic Gatorade. I can't wait till summer. This is a little creamier, but still just as sharp. Saving this one for the first picnic of the year.

The adorably named Sweet Cheeks is a skinsy muscat. Muscat seems to scare people, reckon 'cos everyone assumes it's the sticky sweet stuff. Fear not, this is bone-dry but with all the floral fun you’d expect. I urge you to bring this along to the next spicy BYO of your choosing.

Chenin has found it’s new home in South Africa. Fair play to them, cos they do it well. Craig attempt is no different. This is broadly textured, gingerly spiced, and clean as a whistle. All without SO2. Daisys Pond goes one step further. From their own vines planted a fair few years back. Honestly, I didn’t think young vines could taste so good. I guess when they’ve been grown with nothing but love, you get to taste it in the glass. Tiny quantities.

So you’re a bit of a red head? Well Queen of Spades is 100% Tinta Amarela. A grape you probably won't have heard of, one you probably won’t see again. Defo won’t see it done 100% whole bunch. This is herbal and beautifully broody whilst still being light on its feet. I love this wine, you should love it too cos there are 3 bottles available. If you’re not quick I might make that 2.

Also, in the realm of reds, you’ll never see again. A carbonic Mouverde. Yep, you’re eyes don’t deceive you. Mouverde, Mataro, Monastrell. Whatever you wanna call it is one of the very few grapes I actually can’t stand. It’s a bit too animalistic even for me and my filthy palate. As with wine, there is always an exception to the rule. This is it. It glides with sweet spice, a floral side, and silky smooth tannins.

Having a bit of love for the New World natties this week, so I thought I’d add the new gear from Momemto Morti to the cart. These are a little wilder but in a very good way. If you have had one of Dane's wines before then lucky you and you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t there is no time like the present.

This is something in the mold of Radikon. Dried herbs and fruit galore. A tiny smidge of VA, but the good kind. It gives the wine lift, acentuating not masking the fruit.

This is Nero D'Avola and Muscat? Yep. Sounds weird, but tastes so good. Light and juicy in that ethereal, effortless style of red. Thought that was a weird bedfellow for Nero? Well this one is Lambrusco, Syrah and Sangiovese. Dane likens this to a Jurassic Pinot, and I’d have to agree. How he's done it, who knows. More importantly, who cares? Once opened this will be gone in a flash.

I could and would love to ramble on. Sadly I fear, I might lose you. After the weekend I’ve had I more than anyone know that there is only some much wine you can take without wanting nothing else but a beer…

Peace and love,