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Drink of the week

Two Sainsbury’s Fairtrade wines to try

Two Sainsbury’s Fairtrade wines to try

Every Fairtrade Fortnight I seem to end up bleating about the quality of Fairtrade wines so I thought this year I would give it a break. And then I found - too late for my Guardian column - a couple of better than average examples in Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range.

Domaine Labet Fleur de Savagnin ‘en chalasse’ Cotes du Jura 2012

Domaine Labet Fleur de Savagnin ‘en chalasse’ Cotes du Jura 2012

I’ve tasted this wine before but was reminded how absolutely delicious it is when we had a bottle at lunch at Bell’s Diner in Bristol this week. (No I don’t spend my *entire* life there despite this article in the Guardian.)

The Garage Project's Chateau Aro

The Garage Project's Chateau Aro

How on earth can I pick a single wine of the week from my two week trip to New Zealand? The answer is I can’t so I’m chickening out and going for a beer

Le Chiassaie 2013 vino spumante

Le Chiassaie 2013 vino spumante

You have to feel sympathy for Italian sparkling wine producers who don’t happen to make prosecco (except possibly those from Franciacorta who manage to charge much the same as champagne).

Shepherd Neame & Sigtuna 2014 Collector’s Edition Barley Wine

Shepherd Neame & Sigtuna 2014 Collector’s Edition Barley Wine

After the excesses of the Christmas period I always reckon January drinking should be about quality rather than quantity with a small sip of something strong and flavourful being infinitely preferable to several glasses of something weak and bland.

The Collector Vermouth

The Collector Vermouth

Not only a candidate for drink of the week but drink of the year, this small-batch Somerset vermouth is one of the most delicious products I’ve come across in 2014.

Snuffle dog beer: rated 5* by dachshunds

Snuffle dog beer: rated 5* by dachshunds

Yes, you did read that right. It’s not April 1st. It’s not a misprint. A dog beer. A Belgian beer for dogs. It doesn’t actually have any alcohol I hasten to reassure you but it does smell vaguely beery.

Delas Grignan-les-Adhemar 2013

Delas Grignan-les-Adhemar 2013

One of the problems about buying wine these days is that there’s just too much choice. But if I had to stick to just one wine this Christmas it would be this gutsy red from the Rhone.

9 great bottles to give this Christmas

9 great bottles to give this Christmas

With the explosion of exotic spirits and liqueurs that is now hitting the supermarket shelves no-one need be stuck for an unusual gift this Christmas.

Tesco finest* Swartland Shiraz Bag-in-Box

Tesco finest* Swartland Shiraz Bag-in-Box

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve recommended Tesco’s juicy, vibrant ‘finest’ Swartland Shiraz but now it’s appeared in bag-in-box format which makes it even more versatile.

Kaiken Terroir Series Torrontes 2014

Kaiken Terroir Series Torrontes 2014

This week I’ve managed to be in both Chile and Argentina so it was a toss-up which should provide the wine of the week . . .

Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2008

As I’m off to New Zealand in January I’m trying to get up to speed with what’s going on over there so I leapt at the opportunity to attend a vertical from one of Marlborough’s leading producers Dog Point.

Compass Box Whisky: The Lost Blend

Compass Box Whisky: The Lost Blend

I’ve long been an admirer of Compass Box whisky who were one of the first blenders to create and package sophisticated modern ‘artisan’ whiskies as they like to describe them.

Marks & Spencer Apple, Pear and Brussel Sprout Juice

Marks & Spencer Apple, Pear and Brussel Sprout Juice

The mere idea of sprout juice may be enough to send the sprout-haters among you running for cover but I have to say I think Marks & Spencer is onto a winner here.

Simmonet Febvre Irancy 2012

Simmonet Febvre Irancy 2012

I’ve lost track of the number of times my wine of the week has been a pinot noir but hell, I’ve been in Burgundy this week so what else could I recommend?

Domaine Marie 2013 Faugères - the perfect autumn red

Domaine Marie 2013 Faugères - the perfect autumn red

I’ve a soft spot for the Faugères wine region which is just up the road from our house in the Languedoc. It’s a beautiful wild hilly area on the foothills of the coastal range which produces some lovely warm spicy reds.

London Cru SW6, Red Wine 1

London Cru SW6, Red Wine 1

The idea of making wine in London from grapes grown in France and Italy sounds a bit of a crazy one but London Cru’s first vintage is an impressive debut.

Audacia Godello 2012, Les Trois Amis, Valdeorras

Audacia Godello 2012, Les Trois Amis, Valdeorras

I don’t often get the chance to taste wines from the northern supermarket chain Booth’s but fell hook, line and sinker for this gorgeous Spanish white they served at their pre-Christmas lunch this week.

Les Perles de Jones Carignan Gris, Côtes Catalanes

Les Perles de Jones Carignan Gris, Côtes Catalanes

This week’s Wine Society tasting was, as always, impressive but there’s one wine I’d urge you to buy now, despite the £16 price tag, as I suspect there isn't much of it.

Caburnio Tenuta Monteti 2010

Caburnio Tenuta Monteti 2010

If you like the style of super-Tuscans but find the prices a bit steep the Tenuta Monteti wines, which are stocked by London merchant Lea & Sandeman, are for you.

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