Wine Tasting at Home with The Pip Stop


I had a rather exciting Friday night in yesterday! I had the pleasure of hosting a mini wine tasting night with my Mam! I was invited down to The Pip Stop in Durham earlier this month however, I was in Spain so missed the initial wine tasting evening which I was devastated about because I have always wanted to try the activity since it involves my two favourite things, wine and keeping hydrated *winky face*. So not wanting me to miss out on the fun, the team at The Pip Stop kindly sent me over an at home wine tasting kit, I was so excited!

The Pip Stop is based in a charming old village in County Durham called Lanchester, where they have renovated a 1950’s car garage into a one off wine retailing experience. They stock a vast range of wines to suit everyone’s taste buds and budgets, also offering a specialised local beer selection and best of all, a tasting area for all us curious wine connoisseurs. Plus something else which I think is worth mentioning is the fact that they have non-alcoholic options for those who either don’t drink or unfortunate designated drivers! How considerate. I must visit when I get the chance.

So after chatting to the team, they asked me what my favourite kind of wines were and I wrote back with a lengthy list of rose’s, fizzy’s and the likes meaning they carefully crafted me a wine kit based on my suggestions. I was so excited when I received my kit, inside was two bottles, a note to say that they’d purposely not sent any of my favourites so that instead they were allowing me to try something a little bit different, they also named and described the wine they had sent me plus what I should expect. I was also sent a wine tasting guide bible with all of the information I needed to know about how to taste, sip and swirl the wine. I was all set to go! I had no idea that the reason behind swirling your wine was to allow some oxygen into the wine which helps the aromas open up.


Lets start with the Miss Pip Stop White Zinfandel, they described this wine on my personalized note as a much loved, coral coloured, soft fruity flavour, delicate and refreshing wine. So me and my Mam gave the guide a read, looked at the colour, gave the wine a swirl, smelt the wine and tasted. This was our initial thoughts on the wine:

  • Smooth on the pallete
  • Fruity without being overpowering or too sweet
  • Peachy colour
  • A definite taste of strawberries
  • Strong/long lingering after taste

Taste rating: 8/10

We weren’t too far off with how it’s described on the website to be honest, it’s product description states that it’s ‘Coral pink in colour. Delicate and refreshing like its label, soft fruit flavours of strawberries and peaches.’ 

Wine Style Guide Rating: 6 (‘1’ being driest, through to ‘9’ being sweetest.)

Vintage: 2013

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Now onto the Moonstruck, which they’ve described to me as a cracking Shiraz Tempranillo blend created by Australia’s McPherson Wine Company. They stated it was a blend of blackberry and pepper with a hint of savoury fruit and wonderful length. So again we carried out the wine tasting practiced and took a swirl and these were our initial thoughts on the wine:

  • Strong oaky taste
  • Intense and powerful grape taste
  • Full bodied and rich
  • Pepper long finish

Taste rating: 9/10

Again we weren’t far off how it was described on their site, they describe it as ‘A rich and elegant Shiraz with a chalky tannin and a blend of blackberry and pepper flavours. Hints of savoury fruit burst through with integrated french oak to leave a spicy palate and a wonderful length.’ 

Food Match: Definitely made to be enjoyed with food so a juicy lamb shoulder or a good old fashioned fillet steak.

Vintage: 2014

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So in conclusion, I love both wines but favour the Shiraz over the Zinfandel. My reasoning behind this is yes the Zinfandel did make me want to drink more BUT the Shiraz was so rich and tasty, I can only imagine how well it would good with a steak… heavenly. I loved the idea of the home wine tasting kit, it was great fun learning via the guide which was written perfectly, making sense and easily understandable. I think the kit would make a great addition to a party or a girly night in, it really did sprouse up our Friday evening instead of just watching Googlebox and First Dates on repeat so HUGE thank you to The Pip Stop.

*This post contains PR samples.


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