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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 . . .
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you dread pronouncing wine names and steer away from flute shaped bottles you may want to give this wine a wide berth if you see it on the shelf but put your prejudices aside - it’s well worth a try.
Only a merchant with a pedigree like Berry Bros & Rudd could consider an £8.45 bottle a ‘house wine’ but if your usual fare is classed growth claret I guess it is.