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.
I’ve been a bit sceptical about the alcohol-free gin category - or alt-gin, as I gather we must now call it - but this couple of products from a South African and Swedish husband and wife team trading as CEDER’S (which apparently has to be written in capital letters) are really quite impressive
In these early days of September it’s good to drink a wine that reminds you it is still summer and I found it at the Majestic tasting this week in a Spanish white from La Mancha called Mas Querido.
Waitrose has one of their periodic 25% off discounts until next Tuesday on all wines over £5 - i.e. most of their range.
If you thought orange wine was the exclusive province of hipster natural wine bars, think again - one has just gone on sale in Aldi. And while most cost nearer £20 than £10 this one is on sale at a very affordable £5.99.
Yesterday saw Lidl release the latest tranche of the limited edition wines it adds to its range every couple of months.
Chilled Manzanilla sherry is one of my favourite drinks at this time of year so I was impressed to come across this great value, full-size bottle at the Booths Christmas in July* tasting last week.
In anticipation of a England World Cup win that sadly didn’t happen Sainsbury’s is running a 25% off six bottles deal this weekend (with some exclusions* including sherry which I normally hoover up when they have one of these promotions). But there are plenty of other good deals
With no end to this sizzling hot summer in sight you may even be tiring of rosé so here’s something cool and different to drink that I came across the other day.
More and more people I talk to seem to be cutting down on booze - or cutting it out entirely. That may be for obvious reasons like becoming pregnant or being on medication with which alcohol is incompatible but it’s definitely a trend - just as eating less meat is increasingly common.
So many botanicals are bandied around these days that it’s easy to forget that the essential heart of a gin is the juniper. And few distillers handle it better than the Moorland Spirit Company, makers of Hepple gin.
The standard of English sparkling wine is already high but I can’t remember being as impressed by a homegrown sparkling wine for a while as I am by this bottle. Of course you could argue that it’s not really English at all as it’s made by the team at Vranken Pommery in collaboration with Hattingley Valley in Hampshire.
Lidl’s limited edition releases which come out every couple of months are always worth looking out for - and considerably more interesting than their basic range. Here are four that caught my eye at their recent tasting and which have just gone on sale.
I was going to recommend an English sparkling wine this weekend (what else with THE wedding of the year?) but came across some other good deals at the Waitrose tasting this week I thought you might want to pick up as well
I was going to recommend a rosé this week having got the misguided impression from the heatwave last weekend that summer was on its way. But today in my home town of Bristol it’s cold, windy and about to rain so I think malbec is more the order of the day.
The spring tasting season has started in earnest and bargains are coming thick and fast but I’ve picked out this appealing Roussillon red from Majestic as it’s on special offer at £7.99 until May 7th if you buy six bottles (after that it will be £9.99 and £11.99 if you buy a single bottle).
One of the most captivating wine books I’ve read is Nina Caplan’s The Wandering Vine which explores the footprint the Romans left on the wine growing areas of Europe. Part wine guide, part travelogue, part personal journey and exploration of her Jewish roots, Caplan traces the interest in wine she derived from her late father.
Tomorrow the annual Fairtrade Fortnight starts in the UK. I wish I could get more enthusiastic about Fairtrade wine but so many of them are underwhelming. Happily this wine which is made in South Africa is an exception: not mindblowing - you wouldn’t expect that for £5 - but a more than decent bottle for the price.
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
Lidl has a new selection of wines in store - one of its regular limited edition releases which generally last for a couple of months although popular wines can sell out more quickly.
With the rise and rise of craft beer quality cider has been somewhat eclipsed of late but this beautifully made - and packaged - cider deserves a place on everyone’s dinner table.