Explorations: Romanian Wine

There has been a long-standing amusement amongst my colleagues for the last four years about my passion for Eastern European wines, and my enthusiasm for them, which was cemented even further last week when I had the opportunity to visit Romania. I really did not know what to expect going over there, but I was hugely impressed, both with the quality of the wines, and the country itself. I visited AOC Recas in the south west of the country, very close to the Hungarian and Serbian borders, and centred around Romania’s third largest city, Timisoara. The city of Timisoara is rich in history, being the birthplace of the revolution in 1989, and the pain and conflict is clearly marked on the historical buildings around the city.

Romania 1

Romania is the 6th biggest wine producing country in Europe, with over 179,000 h/a planted under vine, with over 100,000 h/a being planted under native grape varieties. The vineyard I visited is called Cramele Recas, which has a history of wine making dating back to 1447.

Romania 2

On my first morning in Romania, we drove north to the Carpathian Mountains, into Transylvanian to another AOC called Arad.  After leaving the luxury of my host’s car (Philip Cox of Cramele Recas) we got into what has to be the most primitive form of transportation to drive up 45® slopes of the vineyards – a bench attached to the back of a tractor. After the traumatic 30 minute journey up the hill, we got out to admire the view right down to the Hungarian planes and the vineyards to have our first taste of a native Romanian grape variety.

Romania 3The wine was made from the little known Feteasca Neagra, a red grape varietal. The wine literally translates as ‘little black maiden’ and originates from the Moldavia region (incorporating today’s Republic of Moldova and the Romanian region of Moldova). The wines produced from this grape are full bodied, with intense spice and ripe black fruits. The wines age fantastically well in American oak specifically, adding a sweet coconut flavours to the wines. Throughout the two days, I tasted a dozen wines made from this grape, as well as a variety of international grapes such as Syrah and Cabernet Franc. Among the most impressive were certainly the Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio which had nice fruit character and refreshing qualities.

Romania 4

We drove back to have a tour of the winery, which once again completely exceeded my expectations. Philip and his wife Elvira have invested £30 million in the last ten years in the winery, ensuring that they have the most up to date technology and equipment to make their wines.

Romania 6

They employ winemakers from Australia, Rioja, South Africa and France to produce their exceptional wines, and the international influence can most definitely be tasted. From the complex Bordeaux style red wines they are making, to the completely unusual Solo Quinta range, which are a blend of 5 grape varieties. They make this as a white, red and rose wine, each blend differing from year to year.  They are probably one of the most interesting and diverse wines I have ever tasted. The white is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Feteasca Regala (the white version of Neagra, meaning ‘little white maiden’) and one of the most rare grape varieites of which there is only 13 h/a recorded of being planted in the world, Negru de Dragasani, which, unexpectedly, is a red varietal.  The rose and red wines are made in a similar way, using 4 red grapes and Gewurtraminer to make the rose and 4 white grapes and the Feteasca Neagra to make the red. I was so impressed by this take on a wine blend, showcasing the Roman grape varieties and making truly impressive and interesting wines. The two days were an absolute delight and I was hugely impressed with the technology and entrepreneurial approach that Philip and Elvira are taking at Cramele Recas.

Needless to say, I have come back with a renewed enthusiasm for Eastern European wines, which I shall do my best to impress upon my colleagues…watch this space…..or our wine list!



Jascots’ Street Wine at the Casual Dining Show

Casual Dining

Taking inspiration from the UK’s rapidly expanding and hugely popular street food movement Jascots Wine Merchants will be presenting its exciting new “Street Wine” concept at The Casual Dining Show. By harnessing the power, approachability and simplicity of the street food movement and translating it into a wine offering Jascots will demonstrate that wine can also be straight up, unfussy, and compelling to casual dining consumers.

Jascots are experts in the casual dining market and know what is important to operators, especially when it comes to adding value. Bag in box and draft wine, which will be on display and available for tasting, can be preferable to bottled wines for many operators, offering consumers fresher wine that has been bottled on-site, reduced environmental impact, storage and of course offer cost savings*! Street Wine epitomises what the casual dining wine offering and serving should be – contemporary and modern without compromising on quality.

Operators will also get the chance to explore the different Street Wine dispense methods including on draught tap, mock barrel, multiple use bottle and carafe.

Visit Jascots at stand U117 at The Casual Dining Show at London’s Business Design Centre on 24 and 25 February 2016.

For more information on the Casual Dining Show, or for more information on Wine on Tap, email enquiries@jascots.co.uk

*Benefits of Bag-in-Box:

  1. Wine Quality- same wine, different packaging
  2. Stays Fresh Longer- wine can stay fresh six to eight weeks after opening
  3. Space Saving- store more wine in a smaller area
  4. Reduce Waste- fewer bottles and less wine that goes off before sale
  5. Value- lower overhead in materials and shipping costs factored in pricing
  6. Durability and Cleanliness- less breakage and minimal chance of wine faults

10L Bag-in-Box = 13.3 Bottles = 60-80 Glasses of Wine

Current wines offered in Bag-in-Box format by Jascots:

  • Mas de la Source Rouge, France
  • Mas de la Source Blanc, France
  • Mas de la Source Rose, France
  • Clarence River Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
  • 3 Wooly Sheep Pinot Noir, New Zealand

Offered in Key Keg:

  • Vino Vispo, Italian Sparkling Wine


Wine on Tap with customised badges and various tap styles to fit your bar

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Easy pour straight from the tap

wine on tap

Various serving options- glass, carafe, refillable bottle (customised with your restaurant’s logo)

Alternatively, Bag-in-Box can be placed inside an oak barrel




Jascots’ Carbon Footprint Reduced 4th Year On The Trot

CarbonMeasued LogoEvery year Jascots calculates its carbon footprint and, uniquely within the wine industry, they have it independently verified by the Carbon Trust. Jascots has gained full Carbon Trust verification in every year since 2011.

For 2015 Jascots’ carbon footprint was 82.4 tonCO2e. This is a reduction of 9.4% from 90.9 tonCO2e in 2014. Remarkably, this was achieved whilst Jascots’ delivered 6.8% more bottles in 2015 compared to 2014.

Just for the record, that is on the back of a 19.9% reduction in 2014, down from 113.5 tCO2e in the previous year. This is the fourth year in a row Jascots has reduced their carbon footprint.
CO2 that could not be reduced was once again offset through the purchase of carbon credits making Jascots carbon neutral.

At the end of 2011 Jascots launched their innovative industry leading service ‘Going That Extra Green Mile’. That is their ‘milk man’ service – a complimentary pick up and recycling service for empty wine bottles and boxes. In 2015 Jascots recycled 4,047 empty bottles of wine and 4.35 tonnes of cardboard.

In December 2015 Jascots earned Approved Supplier status by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). To earn the association’s approval, suppliers, like Jascots, must undergo a comprehensive audit which examines 14 key focus areas across three main sustainability categories – Sourcing, Environment and Society.

Dated: 27th January 2016

recovery of waste

recovery of waste

Christmas & New Year’s Office Hours and Deliveries

Please note that our office hours and delivery schedule will change to the following over the Christmas period. Normal hours of operation will resume on Monday 4 January 2016.

Christmas Eve Thursday 24 December: 8:00 – 15:00 ; Delivery Day 29/12/15

CLOSED Christmas Day Friday 25 December – 28 December 2015

Tueday 29/12/15: 8:30 – 16:30 ; Delivery Day 30/12/15

Wednesday 30/12/15: 8:30 – 16:30 ; Delivery Day 30/12/15

New Year’s Eve, Thursday 31/12/15: 8:30 – 16:30 ; Delivery Day 2/1/16 & 3/1/16

CLOSED New Year’s Day

Monday 4/1/16: 8:00 – 18:00; Delivery Day Tuesday 5/1/16

To place your order, contact us at:

Telephone 020 8965 2000

Fax 020 8965 9500


SRA logoJascots, the specialist wine supplier to the UK’s top restaurants, hotels and caterers has been awarded official approval from The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) for its green credentials, in particular its low environmental impact including smart resource consumption, transportation, purchasing and low waste production.

The SRA is a not-for-profit membership organisation helping restaurants become more sustainable and diners make more sustainable choices when dining out. They help restaurants source food more sustainably, manage resources more efficiently and work more closely with their community. They also help diners identify those restaurants and restaurant suppliers doing the right thing.

Jascots’ Managing Director John Charnock commented that:

“Jascots is very proud to become an approved supplier and this accreditation is part of our ongoing commitment to social and environmental sustainability.

“Every year Jascots carefully calculates its carbon footprint and, uniquely within the wine industry, we have it independently verified by the Carbon Trust. CO2 that is not reduced is offset through the purchase of carbon credits making Jascots carbon neutral. At the end of 2011 we launched our innovative industry-leading service ‘Going That Extra Green Mile’. This is our ‘milk man’ service – a complimentary pick up and recycling service for empty wine bottles and boxes – which our customers love!”

Adding to the portfolio of green awards, Jascots also holds ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System) certification, has received a special commendation from the Drink Business Green Awards 2013 and was also awarded The Drinks Business Green Retailer of the Year in 2014 in which judges described Jascots operation as “walking the talk” when it comes to waste and energy use.

To earn the approval of the SRA, suppliers, like Jascots, undergo a comprehensive audit which examines 14 key focus areas across three main sustainability categories– Sourcing, Environment and Society. The SRA Approved Supplier badge is therefore a mark of confidence for food service and catering businesses.

It was December 2010, when Jascots first embarked on an extraordinary environmental journey, and ever since have been ‘Going that extra Green Mile’ to do what is right by the environment and innovating on behalf of the industry. To date, Jascots currently recycles 90% of office waste, and has reduced its usage of paper by 25% in the last four years. Overall Jascots has reduced the volume of its waste going to landfill by 50%.

As well as sporting approval from the SRA, Jascots have recently had their wine and service training courses officially endorsed by the Institute of Hospitality, making it the first wine merchant in the UK to receive this recognition.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association is founded as a not-for-profit organization by Giles Gibbons, Simon Heppner, and two restaurant owners, Henry Dimbleby MBE (Co-Founder of Leon, Co-Author of the School Food Plan and Founder of StreetFeast) and Mark Sainsbury (Founder of Moro, The Zetter Group & Grainstore). The SRA created a unique framework to simplify the complexity of sustainability for the industry.


The Institute of Hospitality is the professional body for managers and aspiring managers working and studying in the hospitality, leisure and tourism (HLT) industry. The Institute has been in existence since 1938 promoting the highest professional standards of management and education in the sector.


December 2015 Awards

The results from the latest Internatioanl Wine Challenge are in and Jascots’ wines walked away with a total of 28 awards.

IWC Silver

Les Bonnes Rouge Minervois, 2013, Chateau d’Agel: “Traditional style with lovely crunchy berry fruits, tart acidity and a savoury and leathery underbelly. Enjoy with cote de boeuf. ”

Luccio Lugana Classico, 2014, Tenuta Roveglia: “Clean, bright, light lemon peel. Super fresh with zesty palate and a rich finish.”

Pouilly-Fuissé ‘Vieilles Vignes’, 2014, Domaine de la Chapelle: “Bright lemony palate and nose with melon and citrus fruits. Fruit in contrast of the oak-balanced acidity and perfect example of the style and region.”

Sancerre ‘La Comtesse’, 2014, Domaine Laporte: “Lemon meringue and yellow plum tart. Vibrant and energetic with medium body and a creamy, bouncy palate.”

IWC 2016 Bronze

Athena’s Vineyard Chardonnay, 2012, Bellvale: “Pineapple, melon and vanilla with a round, lactic and buttery palate.”

Quercus Pinot Noir, 2013, Bellvale: “Raspberry and a nuance of dried herbs. Sweet fruit with good bit and smooth tannins.”

Cairats, 2014, Celler Cairats: Notes of cocao, riple plum and smokiness on the nose. Raspberry jam in abundance on the palate.

Chablis, 2014, Domaine Louis Robin: “Raindrops, flint and citrus. Very pure, natural and well defined. Super attack and vitality on the palate. crisp and linear with wonderful typicity.”

Champagne Rimbaud Brut, NV: “Nose of baked apple and brioche, clean acidity.”

Château Pavillon de la Brie Blanc, 2014, Château La Brie: “Greengage and gooseberry over a rich, yet medium bodied wine with firm acidity.”

Crozes-Hermitage ‘La Rollande’, 2012, La Maison Brotte: “Rich, rounded peppery red fruit with a soft ripe finish.”

Domaine Grosset Cairanne, 2013, La Maison Brotte: “Red fruits and liquorice style with good structure and vibrancy.”

Evergreen Riesling, 2013, Efeste: “Ripe lemon spectrum & profile. Lively acidity, perfumed palate and a fresh finish.”

Gigondas ‘Vieux Clocher’, 2013, Arnoux & Fils: “Pretty red compote and juicy. Blackberries with pepper and spice.”

Lacrimus, 2014, Bodegas Sendero Royal: “Pleasingly floral nose and a red fruited chocolatey palate.”

Le Calice de St-Pierre Chãteauneuf-du-Pape, 2014, Domaine Peres de l’Eglise: “Lifted camphor and plum. An earthy berry character and a long, dry finish.”

Muscadet-Sevre-et-Maine-Sur-Lie ‘Les Roches Gaudinieres’, 2014, Domaine Derame: “Bramley apples and rich fruit towards the mid palate. a good long finish.”

Château Simon Sauternes, 2010: “Attractive sweet wine with pleasant notes of caramel and apricot. Ideal with a light dessert.”

Villa Cervia Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 2014, Rocca dei Bottari: “Bright and appealing cherry fruit nose. Perfect with pizza.”

IWC 2016

3 Wooly Sheep Sauvignon Blanc, 2014

Clarence River Sauvignon Blanc, 2014

Crémant de Bourgogne Brut, NV, Louis Picamelot

Lugana Limne, 2014, Tenuta Roveglia

Mâcon La Roche-Vineuse, 2014, Le Château de La Greffière

Querciavalle Chianti Classico, 2010, Agricola Losi

St Veran ‘Les Perriers’, 2014, Domaine de la Chapelle

tePa Pinot Gris, 2013, MacDonald Family Home Vineyard

Touraine Sauvignon Blanc ‘La Prée Vinette’, 2014, Domaine Paris Simoneau


Mulled Wine

HighRes-Scholey- Jascots headshots & wine-food7736 (1)

Earlier this month bonfire night marked the official start of when it’s acceptable to drink warm wine outside, so we dusted down our favourite mulled wine recipes and put them to the test.  We also sampled our preferred pre mixed option- Harvest Fruits Mulled Wine.

It showed well with sweet clove spice and a generous finish.  Surprisingly delicate, it was  a convenient option offering great value and ease of use.  It did however lack the theatre of the mulling spices and orange quarters – which make great props around the serving dish and enhance sales.  It may also be more tricky to sell in the New Year, so making your own may be a better option.

We tried two different wines as the base for our blends, the Spinnaker Red from South Africa as well as the Mas de la Source Red from the South of France (also available in Bag-in-Box for added convenience).  Both performed well – the vibrancy and earthiness of the South African shining through as well as the more subtle vivid fruit of the garrigue scrubland in the South of France.  It was however the spices, sugar and orange juice that dominated and with just a handful of ingredients common to most professional kitchens we were able to mull many bottles of wine.

Top tips:
Make a syrup base with one bottle of your wine, bring to just before boiling and leave to infuse for as long as possible.  This can be done when the kitchen is quiet, and reheated in a chafing dish during service to avoid creating a bottle neck.

Nearer the time add the remaining bottles and heat gently.  Be careful not to boil off all the alcohol!  We’ve given our recipe as a guide but check a small quantity of syrup and wine before combining it all together.  A little spices go a long way and you don’t need 10x the spices for 10x the wine, but the orange juice and sugar do add a sweet sour tang on the finish and should be scaled up accordingly.

Prepare more than you think you need, you will be surprised by the demand, Any surplus can be used by the kitchen to make jelly for cheese places or syrups for dessert garnish.


Makes about 12 servings

2 unwaxed oranges
1 lemon (peel only)
100g white to 50g brown sugar
5 cloves, plus extra for garnish
5 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 bottles of unoaked red wine
Thumb size piece of fresh ginger

1. In a large saucepan, combine the juice of 1 orange, lemon peel, ginger, sugar and spices. Add just enough water to cover/dissolve sugar.  While stirring, bring to boil and cook for 5 – 8 minutes until you have a thicker syrup*.
2. Turn the heat down, and add remaining wine. Serve warmed with slice of clove studded orange.

*Syrup may be cooled and used later on.


Jascots Strengthens Team with New Additions

(from left: Matthew Cocks, Lindsay Holas, Richard Masterson)

(from left: Matthew Cocks, Lindsay Holas, Richard Masterson)

Jascots Wine Merchants announces the appointment of three new members to its growing team; Matthew Cocks as Head of Wine Training Development, Lindsay Holas as Marketing Executive, and Richard Masterson as Buyer.

As Head of Wine Training, Matthew Cocks will continue the development of Jascots’ wine & wine service training courses, helping its clients to increase sales, improve the guest experience and to retain great staff. Matthew was beverage manager and group buyer for the highly respected Cubitt House Group where he created an outstanding wine & wine service training program that helped to deliver growth in sales and profitability.

“We are very excited to welcome Matt to our team, his knowledge and insight of wine sales and service in restaurants is second to none. His creative approach to training has inspired many hospitality professionals and this new role gives him the opportunity to reach many more.” Miles MacInnes – Sales & Marketing Director

Lindsay Holas will be joining Marketing to support the company’s strategic growth initiatives through the continued development of communications, digital marketing as well as market research. Lindsay worked with wine and spirit importer/distributor Domaine Select in New York City as Associate Brand Manager, where she oversaw marketing activities for major brands such as Rum Diplomatico. She also holds an MSc Wine Business and WSET Advanced qualification.

Richard Masterson joins from Direct Wines (Laithwaites) where he worked as Wine Buying Assistant. A former sommelier, with extensive experience in the on-trade sector, he will work with the Jascots team to source wines of quality and value for the restaurant, hospitality and catering sectors. Masterson is currently completing the WSET Diploma.

New Season, New Wines & New Vintages– 2015

Collage 4Jascots hosted wine buyers from restaurants, hotels & caterers across London and the UK to taste 55 brand new wines and vintages. The event showcased new and exclusive wines from across the world and also launched Champagne Rimbaud, a new Champagne by Jascots and Volleraux.

Picture1 collage


The event took place at Boyds Brasserie on Northumberland Avenue on Wednesday afternoon 23rd September 2015.

For more information about the wines at the tasting or abouts Jascots products and merchandise, please contact: enquiries@jascots.co.uk






RBDA Champagne Rimbaud Contest

Submit your original and contemporary alternative to Madame Bollinger’s famous Champagne description (below) by midnight on Monday, September 28th.
The winner will receive a pair of tickets to the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards and three runners-up will each receive a bottle of Jascots’ newest portfolio addition, Champagne Rimbaud.

Bollinger quote

Enter for your chance to win by emailing: marketing@jascots.co.uk


The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, the world’s only event dedicated exclusively to the design of food and drink spaces, will gather industry leaders on October 1st, 2015 at The Old Truman Brewery to honour this year’s most innovative and creative designs. At the awards ceremony, Jascots are partnering with Holborn Dining Rooms to pour the new, limited edition Champagne Rimbaud.

Champagne Rimbaud, Jascots Wine Merchants’ newest creation, will be commemorating the special occasion. This unique Champagne which boasts delicious finesse, elegance, purity of fruit and drinkability; created in limited quantity from the free run juice of top quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier. Available only to restaurants and bars.