Best buys

Mostly wine but occasionally beer, whisky, gin and other drinks that I think represent really good value. Sometimes because they're on promotion, at other times because they're exceptional quality.

Domaine Roc de Chateauxvieux Touraine Gamay

Domaine Roc de Chateauxvieux Touraine Gamay

If you like Beaujolais you’re going to love this 2019 Touraine gamay, from Domaine Roc de Chateauxvieux which has the same bright juicy happy-making fruit.

 A cut-price amarone and some other good wine buys from Asda

A cut-price amarone and some other good wine buys from Asda

It’s easy to overlook Asda as a source of decent drinking because so many of their wines tend to be downright dreary but there are exceptions and their prices - cheaper than Aldi and Lidl in many instances - are hard to ignore.

 8 bottles to buy from Lidl's Spring 2021 wine tour

8 bottles to buy from Lidl's Spring 2021 wine tour

It’s good to find that Lidl hasn’t given up its regular ‘wine tours’ which liven up the range every couple of months. Prices aren’t as keen as they once were, admittedly but if you’re in search of something more interesting than the general supermarket offering (or their own standard range) they’re still good value.

Wildpress: apple juice reimagined

Wildpress: apple juice reimagined

One of the crops that grows really well in this country is apples so it’s great to see a producer taking the whole experience of apple juice to a higher level.

6 of the best English wine buys from Waitrose’s 25% off deal

6 of the best English wine buys from Waitrose’s 25% off deal

I much prefer a 25% across the board discount to offers on individual wines as you can get a good reduction on the bottles you most enjoy. Waitrose does them two or three times a year and the current offer which applies off any six bottles over £5 lasts until next Tuesday, March 9th.*

 4 Fairtrade reds to try

4 Fairtrade reds to try

We’re now a week into Fairtrade Fortnight and if you haven’t yet bought a bottle of Fairtrade wine, now’s your chance.

Nero Oro Grillo Appassimento

Nero Oro Grillo Appassimento

Appassimento - letting wine ferment on semi-dried grapes - is a technique normally used to give extra sweetness and richness to red wines but it has been used in this highly unusual Sicilian white called Nero Oro (which means black gold)

What champagne to buy (and what not to buy) for Valentine's Day

What champagne to buy (and what not to buy) for Valentine's Day

Do you need to splash out on champagne for Valentine’s Day - and if so how much do you need to pay for it? You may not realise quite what pressure you’re under to spend over the odds

Two good Portuguese wine buys from Lidl

Two good Portuguese wine buys from Lidl

Lidl’s latest ‘wine tour’ focuses on Spain and Portugal this month so I tried out a few wines from the selection. These two Portuguese wines struck me as the best buys, not least because they were slightly cheaper than the others. It’s ironic that as other retailers madly scramble to reduce their prices Lidl is steadily creeping up theirs.

Bruno Murciano L’Alegria Bobal

Bruno Murciano L’Alegria Bobal

Some of the most interesting wines I come across currently are from Spain but with restaurants closed I don’t often come across them these days. So full marks to the enterprising London restaurant Arros QD for holding a Saturday night wine tasting to show off some of the wines that are normally on their list.

 Six of the best drinks to carry in a hipflask

Six of the best drinks to carry in a hipflask

Since we’re incarcerated for the forseeable future with only a daily walk as light relief it struck me we need to go back to the days when people carried a hipflask of something warm and sustaining, particularly given the current icy conditions.

Should you buy these Asda wine ‘bargains’?

Should you buy these Asda wine ‘bargains’?

I was recently sent six festive bottles that Asda has on promotion at the moment - well known classics at substantial reductions with some medal-winners among them (though it’s not clear whether these awards apply to the current vintage).

Last minute buys from Sainsbury’s 25% off deal

Last minute buys from Sainsbury’s 25% off deal

Sainsbury’s hasn’t held a press tasting this year so I’m not totally up to speed on their range but here are some wines I’ve enjoyed in the past and which are currently on a 25% off six bottles deal until tomorrow night (December 13th 2020)

The best buys from the 10 at £10 offer at Waitrose, December 2020

The best buys from the 10 at £10 offer at Waitrose, December 2020

Waitrose is running its annual 10 wines under £10 offer until December 16th. All are good reductions but, in my view, having tasted them, some are better than others. Here’s what I’d go for, assuming they’re in stock - some are already out of stock online

 Six of the best reds to buy from Tesco

Six of the best reds to buy from Tesco

Tesco has 25% off six bottles of wine running through until December 1st 2020, a deal it would be worth taking advantage of if you’re stocking up for Christmas. (Note though that the offer does not apply to Tesco Express or branches in Scotland so check the exclusions - and the vintages. I'm only recommending ones I've recently tasted.)

Wine of the Week: Punta de Vacas Malbec 2020

Wine of the Week: Punta de Vacas Malbec 2020

You may remember a while back I recommended a couple of wines from Berkmann Cellars who were selling wine to raise money for the hospitality industry. Well, they’re doing it again during the current lockdown and sent me a couple of wines from their range to try.

10 wines under £10 to buy from the current Waitrose offer

10 wines under £10 to buy from the current Waitrose offer

Waitrose has got one of its 25% off 6 bottle deals - probably the last before Christmas. While it’s not somewhere you would automatically head for a bargain it does bring a substantial amount of their range down under £10 (though I’ve included one that’s just over)

Wine of the week:  Pere Ventura Primer Reserva Cava

Wine of the week: Pere Ventura Primer Reserva Cava

Finding bottles of sparkling wine under £10 that are not prosecco is increasingly hard so snap up this very attractive Pere Ventura Cava which Waitrose is selling (In larger stores and online) at an introductory price of £9.69 until next Tuesday instead of its regular price of £12.99.

10 top wine buys from Aldi

10 top wine buys from Aldi

Aldi held their (socially distanced) autumn wine tasting in London the other week. As usual there were some really good buys, mostly under £7 with a couple of more expensive ones that are well worth the money. These were my standout buys.

 Terrenal Garnacha

Terrenal Garnacha

Marks & Spencer might not be the first place you think of looking for a wine bargain but their Terrenal garnacha from the Cariñena region of Spain is an absolute steal.

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