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.

7 bottles to buy from Sainsbury’s

7 bottles to buy from Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s is the latest supermarket to have a 25% off six bottles deal which runs until December 11th. As usual there are restrictions - the offers aren’t available in smaller branches and not at all in Scotland. Watch out too for vintages - these are the ones I recommend based on the a tasting a couple of months ago.

What should you buy from the Waitrose 10 fine wines for £10 offer?

What should you buy from the Waitrose 10 fine wines for £10 offer?

Waitrose has seized the initiative this year with a simple but clever promotion offering 10 ‘fine wines’ (their description) for £10. Some offer significant reductions over and above the discounts they normally run so which should you buy? It depends of course on your taste but these are the ones I’d go for in this order (watch out for the vintages though which can vary in store).

10 bottles under £10 to buy from Tesco

10 bottles under £10 to buy from Tesco

Tesco has a 25% off six bottles deal running until December 3rd that’s worth taking advantage of for your Christmas booze shopping. It applies to both still and sparkling wines though bear in mind not all bottles will be available in all branches and that the discount doesn’t apply in Scotland.

Best buys in Waitrose's autumn 2018 wine range

Best buys in Waitrose's autumn 2018 wine range

Waitrose is currently running one of its 25% off six bottles deals - a good opportunity to stock up for Christmas. I've listed some under £10 bargains from their most recent tasting but also some more expensive wines you mightn't normally buy but which are worth snapping up at this price. (Don't read too much into the picture above by the way - it's simply the wines of which I managed to get a relatively decent shot rather than the ones I rate most highly!)

CEDER’S alcohol-free ‘gin’

CEDER’S alcohol-free ‘gin’

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

Mas Querido white field blend

Mas Querido white field blend

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.

15 wine bargains from Waitrose’s current 25% off deal

15 wine bargains from Waitrose’s current 25% off deal

Waitrose has one of their periodic 25% off discounts until next Tuesday on all wines over £5 - i.e. most of their range.

Cramele Recas Orange Wine

Cramele Recas Orange Wine

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.

3 good white wine buys from Lidl

3 good white wine buys from Lidl

Yesterday saw Lidl release the latest tranche of the limited edition wines it adds to its range every couple of months.

Wine of the week: Booths Manzanilla sherry

Wine of the week: Booths Manzanilla sherry

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.

10 good wine buys from the current Sainsbury’s offer

10 good wine buys from the current Sainsbury’s offer

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

Ramona Grapefruit wine spritz

Ramona Grapefruit wine spritz

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.

Drink of the week: Crodino

Drink of the week: Crodino

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.

Gin of the month: Hepple gin

Gin of the month: Hepple gin

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.

Wine of the week: Louis Pommery England Brut

Wine of the week: Louis Pommery England Brut

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.

4 good red wine buys from Lidl

4 good red wine buys from Lidl

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.

7 good wine buys from Waitrose

7 good wine buys from Waitrose

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

Wine of the week: Zarper malbec

Wine of the week: Zarper malbec

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.

Wine of the Week: Mas de La Dona Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2017

Wine of the Week: Mas de La Dona Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2017

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).

Wine of the week: Planeta Mamertino 2015

Wine of the week: Planeta Mamertino 2015

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.

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