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Drink of the week

Republika Pilsner: possibly the best lager in Britain?

Republika Pilsner: possibly the best lager in Britain?

The idea of a Czech-style lager made by a very traditional-sounding British brewery may sound bizarre but this is one of the best lagers - if not the best - I’ve tasted in the UK.

The Pickle House Original Pickle Juice

The Pickle House Original Pickle Juice

If you’ve ever been to the great Pitt Cue Co in Newburgh Street, Soho you may well have had a drink called a pickleback - a bourbon washed down with a chaser of homemade pickle juice.

Coconova Sparkling Brut

Coconova Sparkling Brut

In general I use the drink of the week slot to feature a wine - or other drink - that’s really impressed me but occasionally it’s all about the right wine for the moment.

Dard & Ribo Crozes-Hermitage and Vinujancu Etna Bianco

Dard & Ribo Crozes-Hermitage and Vinujancu Etna Bianco

I couldn’t make up which of these terrific wines to recommend from yesterday’s London Wine Sessions so I’m going for both.

Dappa Grape Marc Spirit

Dappa Grape Marc Spirit

I confess it was the name that hooked me on this week’s drink of the week, Dappa being Devon’s answer to grappa.

Waitrose Heston Fruit Cup

Waitrose Heston Fruit Cup

I’ve never been a great fan of Pimm’s so I wasn’t expecting much from the Heston Blumenthal Fruit Cup which has just been launched by Waitrose.

Laurent Miquel Vendanges Nocturnes Viognier 2013, Pays d’Oc

Laurent Miquel Vendanges Nocturnes Viognier 2013, Pays d’Oc

I like the lushness of Viognier but often find cheaper ones a bit muted, however this one from Languedoc producer Laurent Miquel which is on offer currently at £6.70 in Waitrose and online* is the real deal.

Parcel series Cabernet Merlot Reserve 2012

Parcel series Cabernet Merlot Reserve 2012

South African reds are on a roll right now but few are better value than this elegant Bordeaux style red from Majestic.

Collefrisio Falanghina 2012, Terre di Chieti

Collefrisio Falanghina 2012, Terre di Chieti

Not that many people get past pinot grigio in their exploration of Italian whites but Falanghina (pronounced fal-an-ghee-na) is certainly one you should try.

Cambridge Road Dovetail Martinborough 2011

Cambridge Road Dovetail Martinborough 2011

It’s easy to think you know what to expect with New Zealand wine - immensely drinkable, intense fruit flavours - but this range from Cambridge Road in Martinborough really blew me away

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.

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