Sipping Point

Ten years ago to the day I decided to write a wine blog. I remember hitting publish on that first post, just a few sentences on how I planned to recommend a couple of wines each week in the hope it might help anyone looking for a little wine inspiration. With three kids under five and a part-time job, it was also my way of carving out an hour or so each week to think about something other than, well, three kids under five and a part-time job. Little did I know how it would change my life. The blog became a book, then two more (and another on the way). And I absolutely love reading your comments and emails, hearing how some of you have started your own wine clubs with friends or helping with wine recommendations for a special occasion. Meeting so many of you at wine tastings and festivals over the years has been a complete joy.

To celebrate, I’d love to buy one of you life-long membership to one of my favourite online wine retailers, The Wine Society. We’ll then select a case of six bottles depending on wine styles you like or want to explore to get you going. To enter, simply leave a comment on the blog below this post and I’ll pick a winner next week.

Cheers, winos. And thank you for making the KMWC what it is x

T&Cs: UK residents only. Must be over 18 years old to enter. Competition closes on 8th October 2019 at 11.59pm. The winner will be notified by email and the prize will be sent to the winner after that date.

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Current white in the fridge: Baron de Ley Varietales

Price: £8.99 - Buy From Aldi

A gorgeous white Rioja made from the Garnacha Blanca grape. Normally this grape doesn’t get to take centre stage but here it is, in the spotlight, looking very good indeed. With glossy citrus flavours and a hint of spice from some ageing in oak barrels, it makes a refreshing change to drink white rather than red Rioja. And its weightiness makes it a properly good match for roast chicken.

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Current red in the rack: Perdebee Shiraz

Price: £9.95 - Buy From The Wine Society

Colder weather calls for warmer reds and this one’s a gem. Made from the Shiraz grape, the cooler region of Darling in South Africa’s Western Cape brings out its spicy side. A little rough around the edges but it works in a kind of earthy way. You have to be a member of the Wine Society to buy it but the one-off lifetime membership costs £40 and once you’re in, there are plenty of really good value wines to choose from.

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67 Comments

  • Sarah Hague
    2 months ago

    Happy Birthday to you! I look forward each week to the day when the KMWC email drops and regularly search the archives when standing in front of supermarket shelves. Happy to be part of the gang;)

  • Julia
    2 months ago

    Happy birthday! How can it possibly be 10 years ago already?!?! 💕 🥂 well done for all that you’ve achieved Helen xxx

  • Patricia Sey
    2 months ago

    Wow 10 years… Now that’s definitely an achievement…I still remember one of the first times I met you and still look out for a good picpoul when I get the chance

  • Emma garfitt
    2 months ago

    10 years! Congratulations!!
    Your first book, which I mistakenly bought thinking it was a novel has opened me up to a whole new world of interesting wines! (I now even drink the odd glass of red!)

    • Mark O'Neill
      1 month ago

      Congrats on this special anniversary 😍🍷

  • Hannah Horobin
    2 months ago

    Hippy hoppy happy birthday 🎈 🎂
    Thank you for the lovely recommendations and here’s to the next 10 🥂

  • Charlotte Milne
    2 months ago

    I look forward to weekly inspiration and a laugh or two along the way. My son may have just graduated uni but I’m still a knackered mother! I wish that I had known about this blog 10 years ago! On the other hand I’ve lots of catching up to do……

    • Emma Nutland
      2 months ago

      Love your blog…….. always entertains…….. who wouldn’t love to win wine? xx

  • 2 months ago

    Helen you are an inspiration and I would love to win!

  • Anna Clark
    2 months ago

    Ahh Happy Happy Birthday! You’re an inspiration Helen. Although all these years later I’m still trying to forge a way in to the trade (and still not brave enough to hit the publish button!🙈) it’s been a joy following your journey. santé x

  • Simon Heape
    2 months ago

    Happy Happy Blogday! I’d be lying if I said I’d followed you from day one but have enjoyed reading your posts for many a year now. Always look forward to your posts to be informed and entertained. Here’s to the next 10!

  • Mrs R
    2 months ago

    I remember that day well! So happy to have jogged along on the journey, enjoying more and more different wines, giggles and plans. Congratulations 💋

  • Jo Doughty
    2 months ago

    Happy Birthday to you! After getting the chance to spend a few hours with you at a Camp Bestival wine tasting afternoon for Mums (where I got fabulously tipsy!) I have followed your blog, watched you on This Morning and drunk the most amazing wines along the way! Here’s to another 10 years!

  • Emma Lucas
    2 months ago

    Happy 10th Birthday from the Newton Abbot KMWC!! 🍷I read your book when my son was 18 months old and I was dying on my feet from sleep deprivation. You made me laugh out loud and realise that it was all perfectly normal. I’ll be forever grateful for that.
    I set up our branch of KMWC almost 2 years ago and we meet every 6-8 weeks to try, compare, quaff, chat and laugh. This week we’re blind tasting a selection of Fitous. That wouldn’t have happened 5 years ago!
    Thank you Helen for saving my sanity and giving me and our group (wine) inspiration. ♥️

  • Jane Pickance
    2 months ago

    Happy bday KMWC!!! I love your
    Monthly missives popping into my inbox, and I’m lucky enough to bump into you around the parish too! Still haven’t managed a collab, maybe as a bday present! X

  • Jackie Waghorn
    2 months ago

    Your book “KNWG” has been a permanent and well-read feature at bedside for the past 5 or so years. I mainly use it as a coaster to rest my Sunday morning cup of tea, but it’s also there when I need to sort my Merlot from my Mersault and my Bacchus from my Bordeaux. Thank you for making the world of wine slightly less daunting!

  • 2 months ago

    Seems like 2 minutes ago since you started! Thank you for not only democratising wine but more importantly Saving my sanity and getting me out of my wine comfort zone! Some blogs really do make a difference and yours is certainly one of them! Enjoy the celebrations!

  • Melissa thomas
    2 months ago

    Happy happy birthday to our favourite knackered mother!! Here’s to 10 more knackered years. 🤗

    • Martina
      2 months ago

      Happy birthday and congratulations!

  • Adam Papaphilippopoulos
    2 months ago

    Great idea, I’d love to mix a case!

  • Lucy
    2 months ago

    Happy birthday! I ‘found’ you while on maternity leave a long time ago and always look forward to a recommendation of something new to try. Also love your instagram posts – great, intelligent and unfussy wine writing. Cheers!

  • Anna
    2 months ago

    Congratulations- a huge achievement for a knackered mother! Well done for carving out time for yourself and thank you for helping this knackered mother prop open her eyes, laugh regularly at your posts and quaff better wine!

    • Amber
      1 month ago

      Congrats! I love this little insight into the wine world so thank you 😀😀

  • Kate
    2 months ago

    I started following your great blog after going to wine tasting at my mum’s church and the host recommending it! Keep up the good work 🙂

  • Helenmarshall
    2 months ago

    I discovered your wine blog when I was on adoption leave and you saved my life. Our world had been turned upside down on its head with the arrival of our 4 year old daughter. When your blog hit the inbox , I was straight on the phone to Dad , I NEED this wine. We have looked forward to it ever since. Sometimes it feels like a treasure hunt if the local branches of Coop or Lidl don’t have it in stock, them off we go to another. Every wine we buy is checked against your recommendation, and we’ve rarely been disappointed. Our daughter is 12 now, and just started that fresh hell of senior school, so Happy Birthday and Keep those wine reviews coming, I think we’re in for a stormy ride

  • Adele Knott
    2 months ago

    Happy birthday! I have enjoyed so many bottles of lovely wine over the last few years thanks to your fabulous blog, thank you so much!

  • Amy Shepherd
    2 months ago

    Happy 10 Year Anniversary KMWC! I first heard of you when I came across your first book in a charity shop, then started following on Insta! Thanks for all the inspiration, I started to love rosé again because of you!

  • Catriona Williams
    2 months ago

    Thank you for deciding to write your blog, I look forward to reading the wine reviews and you have educated me about wines I never would have tried while remaining down to earth and easy to relate to. Looking forward to the next ten years.

  • Alex Appleton
    2 months ago

    Happy Birthday KMWC! What a ride! I’m currently three months into life with baby #3 and dreaming of the moment when I can spend my time perusing wine at my leisure instead of grabbing the nearest bottle of pinot! Or those days when my husband and I would while away an evening in a very non-child friendly bar wine tasting with a sumptuous cheese board…those times come back right?! In the meantime, congratulations and please keep the recommendations coming!

  • Olwen Palmer
    2 months ago

    Happy Birthday and thank you for all the suggestions which make me buy something I would never have considered.

  • Jax Roe
    2 months ago

    Congratulations gorgeous girl, I hope there are many more to come!

  • Janet Readings
    2 months ago

    Happy Birthday! I look forward to reading your introduction and then the wine reviews. You have widened my wine choices and my monthly ‘Monday Lunch Club’ has often enjoyed your recommendations.

  • Jane Cavill
    2 months ago

    Happy blog birthday Helen. Congrats to you!
    I love the blog, insta posts and have more recently found you on the Scummy Mummies podcast. I have listened to the festival episode a couple of times… in the style of ‘Friends’ ‘The One With The Mute’ was so, so funny!!!
    Keep up the good work.
    Jane x

  • Mrs B
    2 months ago

    Congratulations Helen! Keep up the great work. Chin chin 🙂

  • Ginette Filson
    2 months ago

    Happy Birthday to your blog, read it every week and look for the wines when out shopping. Have tried some new wines as a result. Ginette

  • Joyce Scully
    2 months ago

    Many happy returns! Thing is, I’m at the point where I just go with all your wine selections. That is how much I trust your opinions. Costs me a bomb but keeps my husband and me very happy. Here’s to the next ten years.

  • hollie scott
    2 months ago

    From wino to another, happy birthday! Not a mother just plain knackered. Keep your recommendations coming.

  • Alison Gillingham
    2 months ago

    As a knocked mother of an 18 month old your blog reminds me I can still drink good wine that doesn’t break the bank. Keep it up for the next 10.

  • Amyblueeyes
    2 months ago

    Thanks for helping me survive the early years of motherhood !!!!

  • Rachel Bailey Palumbo
    2 months ago

    Happy Birthday & thank you for your brilliant l, funny & insightful blog.
    I look forward to it every week and thanks to you I have tried some fantastic wines.

    Well done. Happy birthday and cheers

  • Kim
    2 months ago

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday and huge congratulations from one knackered mother to another. Thank you for a wonderful blog – it’s a complete joy to read! Cheers to the next ten!

  • Fiona
    2 months ago

    How lovely! Congratulations on 10 years of sipping, and here’s to many more. 🥂

  • Beth Miles
    1 month ago

    Happy Blog day! Thanks for keeping many of us sane, smiling and enjoying some great wine (and other beverages!) Your blog and recommendations have been brilliant especially as with 2 young kids I don’t get out to fancy pants restaurants and bars as much as I once did (did I?) Bless you!

  • Debs
    1 month ago

    Happy Birthday KM! Everyone needs a wino like you on speed dial! You’ve got me through many a birthdays, dates (!) dinners, festivals and so much more….keep it coming xxx

  • Alison Stone
    1 month ago

    Happy Blogday! From one KM to another, love your blog & wine recommendations, keeps me going.Cheers 🍷🍸

  • Pauly
    1 month ago

    Look forward to your recommendations, never disappointed🍷with your guidance discovered some gems. Happy days🤩

  • Helen Sheppard
    1 month ago

    Happy 10th Birthday to a fellow New Forester! I enjoy reading the the wine reviews and weekly blogs! Your books are good and contain great recipes, which have been used as lovely presents for a friend who’s a big gin lover!

    Chin Chin!

  • Rachel Archer
    1 month ago

    Happy Birthday KMWC!! Can’t believe it’s 10 years already, it’s amazing what you have achieved and I mean really, TV with Holly & Phil!! Who’d have thought it 10 years ago. Congrats Helen! Rxx

  • Emily
    1 month ago

    This is a great idea – and happy birthday too Helen!

  • Toni
    1 month ago

    Happy birthday! What are you drinking to celebrate?!

  • Ruth
    1 month ago

    Happy Birthday! And thank you for giving me the excuse to tour around local shops and loiter in the wine hunting for the right bottle 🙂

  • Gemma
    1 month ago

    Happy Wine Blog Birthday, cheers, prost, salute, kippis, sante, huli pau, kia ora, viva, lechyd da! 🙂

  • Alison Howell
    1 month ago

    Happy blog day, and looking forward to many more fabulous recommendations 🥂

  • Alison Howell
    1 month ago

    Happy blog day, thank you for your awesome recommendations, looking forward to the next 10 years of being a wino!! 🥂

    • Helen McGinn
      1 month ago

      Hi Alison, you’ve won! Send me an email (knackeredmother @ gmail dot com) and we’ll get your wine sorted! Congratulations! x

  • Zoe Robson
    1 month ago

    Happy 10th Helen!
    The journey through wine country is a joyous one, made all the sweeter with such a fabulous guide to lead us!
    Looking forward to the next 10 years of new discoveries and old favourites,
    Cin cin! xxx

  • Sarah Francis
    1 month ago

    Happy Anniversary! Love your emails/blog posts so much! X

  • Ali
    1 month ago

    Happy Anniversary, I love reading your blog and taking most of the wines in your recommend! Here’s to another ten years🥂🥂

  • Rachel
    1 month ago

    Congratulations on a decade of dispensing your knowledge and humour. I’ve been following since 2013 when my boss (and fellow Knackered mother) introduced me to you. It’s been a fun journey.

  • Jessica Bottomley
    1 month ago

    Happy Birthday, KMWC! Thanks for making the wine world so easy to navigate, with your lovely disposition. Looking forward to the next ten years x

  • Fiona Taylor
    1 month ago

    Congratulations ! I have only recently discovered you and am reading your blogs (a bit like also catching up on Fleabag and Killer Eve) inbetween children’s tea time, homework, bedtime and glass of wine time. Love a good glass of Cabernet having drunk too much Malbec recently. Hurrah to all knackered mother’s out there.

  • Lucy
    1 month ago

    Cant believe its already 10 years – what a lot you have achieved in that time! I feel I have been following you since the early days before your first book was even thought of – I have them all and have given them to friends as presents – I wish I had done as much… Would love to be entered into the hat again! Lets hope your mother pulls me out this time! Lucy x

  • emma
    3 weeks ago

    Hey!
    Ahh Happy Happy Birthday! You’re an inspiration Helen. Although all these years later I’m still trying to forge a way in to the trade (and still not brave enough to hit the publish button!🙈) it’s been a joy following your journey. santé x

    • Helen McGinn
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you so much! And just do it, hit publish! x

  • emma
    3 weeks ago

    which I mistakenly bought thinking it was a novel has opened me up to a whole new world of interesting wines! (I now even drink the odd glass of red!)

    • Helen McGinn
      3 weeks ago

      That’s so brilliant to hear, thank you! x

  • Melinda Shelbourne
    2 weeks ago

    Congratulations Helen!! So enjoyed meeting you last year and you’ve certainly made my wine choosing so much easier. The fear factor is now a distant memory hey who needs to be an aficionado when we have the Knackered Mother’s Wine Club!

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