In Issue 40 of ZINE, our Senior Account Executive Laura has four wine recommendations she needs you to know about.

"Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a big fan of wine. Which yes, admittedly makes me a little bit of a wine snob.

Working within the hospitality industry for over 7 years, I would often curate wine tasting evenings which meant I needed to know my stuff pretty inside out.

So, without further ado. Here are four of my faves from the beautiful packaging and branding to most importantly, the flavour".

1. MASI Amarone della Valpolicella classico Riserva

Topping my list is the ‘Amarone della Valpolicella classico Riserva’. (A mouthful, I know).

With a minimum price point of £40, this wine isn't one to be taken lightly. It's a full bodied, rich and elegant wine, and it's the perfect accompaniment for a cheese and wine night.

The label design remains traditional yet timeless, with the illustration giving a nod to the rich heritage of the Boscaini family that began making the wine in the valley of ‘Vaio de Masi’ in 1772.

Word of warning, however. Watch how easily it's going down as it does have an average ABV of +15.5%. One large glass can blow your socks off!!

2. Blackstone Merlot

Number two on my list is the 2015 Blackstone Merlot from Blackstone wineries in North California. Continually named ‘America’s favourite merlot’, any red wine fan will understand why this smooth, oaky red is a wine not to go amiss.

The packaging itself deems fairly simple in comparison to the Amarone Classico, but it's the flavour that packs a mean punch; a unique merlot with aromas of plum, cassis, vanilla and spice.

It's primarily sold in boutique wine stores the U.S. But, if you’re lucky enough a few U.K restaurants do stock it so keep your eyes peeled.

3. Iron Horse Barossa Valley Shiraz

My third and final red on the list comes in the shape of the Iron Horse Barossa Valley Shiraz. Anyone who loves Australian wines will know you can’t go wrong with a wine from South Australia’s magnificent Barossa Valley.

It's a lovely every day wine (don't read too much into that) that you can pick up for as little as £7.

The packaging is minimal yet impactful, with the tractor aptly representing the brand name ‘Iron Horse’ – the actual tractor used in the vineyard.

4. Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay

A final acknowledgment to a white wine with a great brand story and an even better flavour, Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay; a wine that left a lasting impression on me from my first sip.

Grown and bottled in the Livermore Valley in the San Francisco Bay region, Morning Fog is so aptly named due to a morning coastal fog pushed by fast moving Pacific winds that reside in the bowl of the San Fransisco bay.

This morning ritual creates an excellent climate for the wine and a beautifully balanced Chardonnay.

Delving into the packaging, the subtle illustration of the Wente Family estate gives a nod to the heritage and the fact they were the first family in California to produce Chardonnay in 1936 from heritage Wente clones.

50% of the wine is fermented in French oak, whilst the other 50% is fermented in stainless steel tanks. It’s this balance that makes it so tasty.

At a price point of around £11-15, this is an accessible wine that all Chardonnay lovers should try.

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