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Drink of the week

Sixpoint Bengali Tiger - in a can!

Sixpoint Bengali Tiger - in a can!

This week’s post on the Guardian’s Word of Mouth section about Wetherspoon reminded me that I hadn’t yet tasted the three cans from Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery they’re now stocking.

Montes Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Montes Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

You’re probably expecting me to recommend a Mother’s Day fizz but I’m going to suggest a great red to pour for the Sunday lunch you’re going to (I hope) treat her to instead. Especially if you’re having roast lamb.

Japanese gin - but oddly not from Japan

Japanese gin - but oddly not from Japan

Ask the man in the street where Japanese gin comes from and he’d look at you pityingly. "Japan, of course!" But actually this 42% ultra-premium gin comes from Cambridge, England.

Segredo do Lisboa Castelao-Syrah, Lisboa 2011

Segredo do Lisboa Castelao-Syrah, Lisboa 2011

For obvious reasons* I was all set to recommend a handsomely bottled Irish whiskey I’d discovered this weekend but then I tasted it and actually didn’t rate it so here’s a fantastically good value wine deal I found in my local Co-op instead.

Manor House Fairtrade Shiraz Mourvedre 2011

Manor House Fairtrade Shiraz Mourvedre 2011

Before you get too excited about this week's wine of the week you’re unlikely to be able to buy it unless you live in South Africa or Sweden but I want to flag it up because it’s the best Fairtrade wine I've tasted.

Luigi Bosca Malbec 2011 Vistalba

Luigi Bosca Malbec 2011 Vistalba

After the wild winds and lashing rain we’ve endured in the UK this week my drink of the week really had to be a full-bodied red and what better choice than a Malbec?

Koyle Costa Sauvignon Blanc, Colchagua Costa 2012

Koyle Costa Sauvignon Blanc, Colchagua Costa 2012

If you’re a Sauvignon Blanc fan but are looking for something a little different try this deliciously fresh, elegant Chilean Sauvignon.

Lethbridge Ménage a Noir Geelong Pinot Noir 2010

Lethbridge Ménage a Noir Geelong Pinot Noir 2010

This week’s wine highlight was the Australia Day tasting which seems to get better every year. I could have picked out a whole load of interesting bottles but this came from the producer who made the biggest impact on me, Lethbridge of Geelong

5 great whiskies for Burns’ Night (and other occasions)

5 great whiskies for Burns’ Night (and other occasions)

Given that it’s Burns Night what other bottle could I feature but whisky? And as I couldn’t make up my mind which one here are five!

Weingut Brundlmayer Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben 1999

Weingut Brundlmayer Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben 1999

A cellar clear-out at our French house this week unearthed this neglected treasure from 1999. I couldn’t imagine that it would still be drinkable having travelled from England to France when we moved most of our belongings here six years ago.

 Tierra Hermosa 20° (Veinte Grados) 2010, Andalucia

Tierra Hermosa 20° (Veinte Grados) 2010, Andalucia

Today’s Guardian column was all about getting out of your wine drinking rut which in the case of Spanish wine most likely means Rioja.

Cune Gran Reserva Rioja Imperial 2005

Cune Gran Reserva Rioja Imperial 2005

It’s easy to overlook the familiar in favour of the esoteric, particularly when you’re a wine writer but it’s hard to think of a bottle that consistently gives more pleasure than Cune’s Gran Reserva Imperial Rioja.

Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao Triple Sec

Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao Triple Sec

I was trying to think what would be the most useful drink to recommend over Christmas. Sloe - and damson - gin are favourites but there’s nothing as useful as an orange liqueur.

Adnams Triple Grain whisky No. 2

Adnams Triple Grain whisky No. 2

The idea of a whisky made in Suffolk might strike you as so bizarre as to be not even worth contemplating but if you’re desperately searching for a present for that-impossible-to-buy for (generally male) relative this ticks the box admirably.

Clos Floridène Blanc Graves 2012

Clos Floridène Blanc Graves 2012

Dry, oaked white Bordeaux is one of the most underrated styles of wine in my view. I can’t understand why it’s not more popular (probably because the Bordelais keep most of it for themselves).

G.D. Vajra Langhe Freisa Kyé 2010

G.D. Vajra Langhe Freisa Kyé 2010

I tasted so many great wines last week in Piemonte but this was one of the most fascinating. It’s made from freisa, a grape variety that according to the Vajra family was once the second or third most cultivated grape in the region and used to make vermouth.

Pereira d’Oliveira 1977 Terrantez madeira

Pereira d’Oliveira 1977 Terrantez madeira

I was hard pushed to choose just one bottle from the amazing collection of aged madeiras that was shown at the Berry Bros & Rudd tasting a few weeks ago but went for this 1977 Terrantez from Pereira d'Oliveira on two grounds:

Mas de Libian Bout d’Zan, Côtes du Rhône 2012

Mas de Libian Bout d’Zan, Côtes du Rhône 2012

If you’re after a bright, fruity, sunshine-filled red to carry you through the dark, dreary days of winter you couldn't do better than this delicious Côtes du Rhône.

Le Lieu Chéri Cidre Fermier Demi-Sec - a real bargain

Le Lieu Chéri Cidre Fermier Demi-Sec - a real bargain

If you’re looking to keep the cost of entertaining down this Christmas you could do a great deal worse than buy a case of Normandy cider.

Crozes-Hermitage, Les Galets Domaine des Hauts Chassis  2011

Crozes-Hermitage, Les Galets Domaine des Hauts Chassis 2011

I’ve a bit of a weakness for the Rhône but was really blown away by this amazing Crozes I tasted at the Berry Bros & Rudd tasting this week - part of their Rhône sale which lasts until November 10th.

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