Domaine Du Grand Mayne you had me at Merlot

Wine is an alcoholic drink which is typically made from fermented grapes and courtesy of Domaine du Grand Mayne Merlot Cabernet wine I got to try theirs and their wine did not disappoint resulting in a lush glass of brilliant red wine, aromas of plums and black cherries, and a spicy fruity taste.

Did you know though that wine has been produced for thousands of years with the earliest coming from ancient China back in 7000 BC? Since then wine has become more and more popular with the European wine market encompassing three of the largest wine producing regions. Today, the five countries with the largest wine producing regions are in France, Spain, Italy, USA and China.

Domaine du Grand Mayne

Domaine du Grand Mayne was founded back in 1985 which was an abandoned vineyard with semi derelict buildings, overgrown copses and fields of maize and sunflowers, to the flourishing vineyard and winery that it is today.

Within a few years Domaine du Grand Mayne was totally transformed into a show piece artisan winery and vineyard who now have over 120,000 vines planted over 34 hectares (84 acres) producing an average of around 200,000 bottles a year.

Over the years the vineyard has been owned and ran by various vineyard owners to this day Domaine du Grand Mayne now benefits from the support of a community of over 900 wine loving shareholder / customers. Underpinned by this supportive shareholder base, Mathieu and his team have continued to produce some wonderful wines that have received many awards and commendations. Martin Meinert is a leading winemaker from South Africa who has worked at some of Bordeaux’s top estates, joined the team in 2014 to bring New World style to the French quality and complexity of our wine.

The vineyard is grown on soil that is 80 percent clay and sand, and 20 percent limestone. These soils are ideally suited to the production of top quality wines, and provide a variety of different styles of fruit each year which they then blend to make the perfect wine from that vintage. Because the substructure of the vineyard is clay, the soil retains water deep in the ground to feed the roots. This means that the vines do not suffer from a lack of water once they are established. Their deep root growth also improves the physiological maturity of the vines and the grapes. They produce a variety of quality wines from Sauvignon, Rose and Merlot.

You had me at Merlot

Upon receiving my bottles of Merlot Cabernet 2017 I was excited in popping it open for a sneaky tipple and to use within my cooking.

Grand Mayne Merlot wine is matured for a year and special care in the process from the grape to the fermenting is achieved by:

  • pruning the vines regularly to avoid excess production, and removing surplus vegetation throughout the growing season
  • a green Harvest cutting a certain percentage of the crop is done in August
  • end of September by machine removable of any unwanted leaves and stalks take place
  • once at the sorting table, the grapes are then passed through a fouloir where they are lightly crushed before being pumped into temperature controlled stainless steel vats
  • after a short maceration of regularly pumping the juice over the skins, followed by a controlled fermentation at about 30 degrees the grapes are then pressed
  • the young wines are left in the vats to settle out during the following months, and finally
  • a secondary malolactic fermentation is done and then their un-oaked wine is then matured in stainless steel for eighteen months before being bottled, with fifteen percent of oak-aged wine to it resulting in a softer style to give extra finesse and length to the wine

Wine O’clock

Upon opening the wine I was met with a wonderful fragrant aroma of plums and black cherries, pouring into a glass the wine was a rich dark red and upon sipping it gave a fruity explosion of fresh ripe fruit, spice, and was a smooth drinking wine.

I also made some Mulled wine with the Merlot as after all Christmas is just round the corner.

Mulled Wine


  • ½ bottle red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 orange slice
  • 1 lemon slice
  • 50g brown sugar


  1. Place all of the ingredients into a saucepan and simmer gently for around 8 minutes, without boiling.
  2. Once hot pour into mulled wine heatproof glasses and sip.

Deliciously spicy, fruity and warming perfect for a Christmas festive tipple.

When it came to cooking I made many pasta dishes from Gino D’Acampo recipes as I love his Italian inspired dishes, as they are all FANTASTICO!

Gino’s Cannelloni Al Pesto Genovese

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6)

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 courgette, finely chopped
  • 500g minced beef
  • ½ glass of red wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 350ml passata (sieved tomatoes)
  • 12 ready made fresh pasta sheets
  • seasoning salt and pepper

For the pesto

  • 30g pine nuts
  • 100g fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 170ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 30g freshly grated parmesan cheese

For the béchamel sauce

  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 500ml semi skimmed milk
  • 50g freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
  2. Place the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and gently fry the onion, carrot and courgette for 10 minutes, until softened.
  3. Add the minced beef and stir continuously for around 5 minutes to cook the meat evenly. Add the wine, then bring to a simmer and cook gently for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the tomato purée, basil leaves and passata, and stir. Simmer on a low heat, with the lid half on for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, then leave to cool at room temperature.
  6. For the pesto, put the pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil and Parmesan in a food processor and blitz together.
  7. To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the flour, whisking constantly, until you get a thick, and creamy texture. Pour in a third of the milk and continue whisking. When the mixture starts to thicken, pour in another third of the milk and continue whisking until all the milk is used then add the Parmesan.
  8. Remove from the heat and mix in the pesto.
  9. Pour a third of the pesto béchamel into the bottom of a baking dish measuring about 30 x 20cm and 5cm deep.
  10. Place a pasta sheet on a chopping board with the longer side nearest you and put a heaped tablespoon of the beef sauce along one edge then gently roll the pasta forward to create a filled cannelloni. Repeat until all the pasta sheets are filled.
  11. Place the cannelloni, seam downwards, in the baking dish and pour the remaining pesto béchamel over them.
  12. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  13. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes before serving as this will help the cannelloni to hold together better.
  14. If you are preparing the cannelloni the day before you plan to eat it, cover with cling film and refrigerate. Take out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking, and bake in a preheated oven at 180ºC/gas mark 4 for 45 minutes.

It was a delicious meat dish, from the tangy tomato, nutty pesto and the rich red fruity Merlot wine.

Recipe is from Gino’s Italian Escape by Gino D’Acampo

Gino’s Rigatoni with Pro Ragu

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g wild boar or pork shoulder (which I used), trimmed and cut into 5cm cubes
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 150g diced smoked pancetta
  • 300ml Merlot red wine
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml hot beef stock
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 500g dried rigatoni
  • 80g freshly grated Parmesan
  • Seasoning salt and fresh ground black pepper


  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan or flameproof casserole over a medium to high heat. When hot, fry the wild boar or pork (depending what you are using) in 2 batches until well browned on all sides. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, carrot, celery and pancetta and fry gently for around 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Increase the heat, pour in the wine and simmer until reduced by half.
  • Add the tomatoes, stock and tomato puree and bring to the boil.
  • Return the meat to the pan with any juices. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for one hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the fennel seeds, re-cover and cook for a further hour.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile cook the rigatoni in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente.
  • Drain the pasta thoroughly and tip it back into the same pan. Pour over the sauce and stir for 30 seconds to combine.
  • Divide the rigatoni between 6 warmed bowls or plates. Sprinkle over the parmesan and serve immediately.

Luxurious a very filling comforting pasta dish. I used pork and it literally melted in the mouth flaking apart and the red wine and tomatoes gave it that extra richness.

Recipe from Gino’s Italian Express by Gino D’Acampo

Gino’s Beef Bolognaise


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 500g minced pork
  • 500g minced beef
  • 50ml Merlot wine
  • 50ml milk
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée
  • 300ml passata
  • 400ml chicken
  • 500g fresh tagliatelle
  • Parmesan grated


  1. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion, celery and carrot for 5 minutes until soft and starting to colour.
  2. While the vegetables are cooking, put all the meat in a large bowl, pour over the remaining olive oil and crumble the meat between your fingertips.
  3. Add the meat to the pan and fry until brown for around 5 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the milk. Simmer for 2 minutes before stirring in the tomato purée, passata and chicken stock.
  5. Simmer gently for 3 hours until reduced and thickened. Once cooked, remove from the hob, season with salt and pepper then cover with a lid and leave for 20 minutes.
  6. When ready to serve, bring a large pan of water to the boil and season generously with salt. Add the pasta to the pan and cook according to instructions on packet. Drain the pasta, then return to the pan with the sauce and toss to combine.
  7. Serve in bowls with a the grated Parmesan.

As this bolognaise was cooked for a number of hours it really did make a difference to the texture and taste of the bolognaise. It was very thick and had an explosion of flavours, totally worth waiting for.

Recipe from Gino’s Italian Escape by Gino D’Acampo

Which of Gino’s dishes appealed to you the most and why?


Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Merlot wine from Grand Mayne did not disappoint. Their Merlot was everything that I would want from a Merlot as it was smooth, rich, spicy and fruity a joy.

Grand Mayne

I highly recommend their Merlot if you love red wine and are looking for a clean smooth fruity wine for a tipple or for a perfect wine to serve at your next dinner party.

Domaine du Grand Mayne order yours

Address UK
Domaine du Grand Mayne
Ashe Park Estate
Near Overton
RG25 3AF
Telephone: 01256 772898

Address France
Domaine du Grand Mayne
47120 Villeneuve de Duras
Telephone: +33 (0)5 53 94 74 17

UK Shop

SPECIAL DISCOUNT save 10% off your first order use special code LPU10 at the checkout.

Thank you to Grand Mayne for your delicious rich fruity smooth tasting wine. All views are my own honest opinion.

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