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.

Morrisons The Best English Sparkling Brut

Morrisons The Best English Sparkling Brut

This week’s wine of the week is a bit of a mystery. It’s an exceptionally good English sparkling wine which Morrisons has bottled under its own label for the very reasonable sum of £20. (There’s also a brilliant 2010 vintage for £25)

Graham’s Blend No 5 White Port

Graham’s Blend No 5 White Port

I must confess I’ve picked my drink of the week this week as much for its looks as its taste - though I like that too. It’s the first serious attempt I’ve seen to make port as appealing to the younger consumer as gin

Alheit Limited Release Red Blend 2018

Alheit Limited Release Red Blend 2018

'Dry red wine' doesn’t sound the most compelling description for a wine, especially one that costs £14.99, but when it comes from Chris and Suzaan Alheit, two of the most highly regarded winemakers in the Cape you sit up and take notice.

Wine of the week: Botham 80 series Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine of the week: Botham 80 series Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

I’m not a big fan of celebrity-endorsed wines and am indeed underwhelmed by the two basic wines in the new Botham range which are on sale in both Morrisons and Waitrose but this slightly more expensive Coonawarra Cabernet, which is on offer at £7.99 in Waitrose at the moment, is a really good buy.

Sharpham Sparkling Elderflower

Sharpham Sparkling Elderflower

I’m not normally a massive fan of elderflower bubbly which I generally find too sweet but I tasted one the other day from Sharpham vineyard that was in a different league.

7 bottles to buy from Sainsbury’s (updated)

7 bottles to buy from Sainsbury’s (updated)

Sainsbury’s has got one of its periodic 25% off 6 bottles deals over the Easter weekend of which you may want to take advantage.

Wine of the week: Château Curton La Perrière Bordeaux 2015

Wine of the week: Château Curton La Perrière Bordeaux 2015

I don’t know about you but I’m instinctively suspicious about emails about amazing wine deals even if I know and trust the merchant they’re coming from. So I probably wouldn’t have dropped by my local wine shop Davis Bell McCraith had I not needed to pop in for something else.

6 wines to buy from Lidl’s Spring Wine Tour 2019

6 wines to buy from Lidl’s Spring Wine Tour 2019

You might wonder why I so regularly flag up Lidl’s season ‘wine tours’. (No, I’m not paid to do so in case you were wondering, it’s just that it’s hard to find decent wines under £7 these days and these limited edition offers are well worth snapping up.

Wine of the week: Bohoek Semillon 2017

Wine of the week: Bohoek Semillon 2017

One of the grape varieties that has impressed me most over the last few days in South Africa has been semillon and here’s a chance to try it at a really good price.

10 good wine buys from Lidl

10 good wine buys from Lidl

Lidl has released its latest limited edition batch of wines including 2 at under £5 - if you can still find them on the shelves. Here are the 10 I think represent best value.

10 wines and regions to explore in Tryanuary

10 wines and regions to explore in Tryanuary

If you're not committed to Dry January you might celebrate 'Tryanuary instead - a month-long celebration of the more obscure corners of the wine world. Let Peter Pharos be your guide:

Square Root Non-Alcoholic Gin and Tonic

Square Root Non-Alcoholic Gin and Tonic

If you’re embarking on dry January you may wonder how you’re going to do without your G & T without buying an expensive alt-gin, as they’re often referred to these days.

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.

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