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.
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.
This was recommended by the manager at my local Oddbins in Bristol and I really love it.
If you’re a fino fan you’ll love this classic super-dry, tangy sherry - one of three incredibly well-priced sherries Aldi has released in its Exquisite Collection range at just £5.99 for 50cl. (The others are an amontillado and a cream sherry - both good too but slightly sweeter than the classic Spanish style)
There are not one but two gins of the month this month - both limited editions from the same distiller Silent Pool in Surrey. One’s a damson and the other a sloe gin and they come in 50cl bottles at - gulp - £30 a bottle.
I’ve been focussing quite a lot on alcohol-free drinks recently so I headed along to the Mindful Drinking festival in Spitalfields yesterday where I discovered this brilliant range of low alcohol (0.5%) beers.
It’s two for one in the bottle slot today - a terrific new gin and the perfect matching tonic.
If you’re looking for a bottle to celebrate Hallowe’en on Tuesday here’s couple that hit the spot perfectly.
If you’re a fan of dessert wines here’s an absolutely cracking bargain from Lidl’s latest limited edition release which went on sale on Thursday.
If you’re planning to celebrate the start of Oktoberfest this weekend (yes, in September - I *know*) snap up this full-size bottle of Zünftler cherry schnapps from Lidl for just £14.99
If you’re mystified by the initials GSM they stand for grenache, syrah and mourvèdre, three Rhône grape varieties which are often blended together in Australia to make generous hearty reds.