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.
It’s always a thrill to come across a grape variety you don’t know, especially from an area with which you’re fairly familiar and when it adds another dimension to the wines already on offer there.
The South African wine industry has had a torrid 2020 so far with a ban on exports back in April and now a ban for the second time on domestic sales, citing the pressure that hospitals are under dealing with the high levels of alcohol abuse on top of the COVID crisis.
If you're looking for a crisp dry wine to drink with seafood muscadet fits the bill perfectly.
There’s so much English fizz around now it takes something special to make them stand out. These two All Angels wines, have the advantage, for a start, of coming from Berkshire, a county which is not as well known for its wines as more southerly counties such as Hampshire, Sussex and Kent.
It may be so-called flaming June but the weather is anything but summery this weekend so I’m abandoning rosé for the time being and thinking about red.
Anyone who doubts the value of being on Twitter - as I do myself from time to time - should factor in the bonus of having access to insider knowledge.
As I'm sure you know the hospitality industry - i.e. restaurants, pubs and hotels - is in dire straits with no clear idea when businesses can reopen or even if they’ll be viable if they do.
With VE day coming up on Friday you may have already made plans for what you’re going to eat and drink which could well be home-grown, UK produced, wine, beer or cider.
Leicestershire isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think about English wine but I’ve been very struck by two wines I’ve tasted from Rothley Wine.
Recommending a specific wine is a bit of a lottery at the moment. I had planned to tell you about this seductively velvety Chilean red a few days ago but couldn’t get get into the Morrisons site. But I’m hoping you can find the odd bottle in store although its current sharp promotional price of £6 (until April 4th) may make that a long shot.
With supermarket wine aisles looking severely depleted it was good to hear this week that Lidl was going ahead with its usual bi-monthly Wine Tour in the UK, starting today. Not all the wines might be available in all branches and there may be restrictions on the number you can buy but take advantage while you can.
The more, er ... mature ... among you may remember when you went to an Italian restaurant and found a round straw-covered bottle of Chianti on the table, often with a guttering candle stuck in the neck and wax (always red) dripping down the side. It’s rather weirdly called a fiasco - which is Italian for flask as well as referring to a disaster. Like Brexit. Or Boris.
This wine is a winner on three counts - it’s from a lesser-known - and very good value - Burgundy appellation, Saint-Aubin, which is just next door to the better known and more expensive Puligny-Montrachet, it comes from the excellent 2017 vintage and it's an own label bottling from the admirable Wine Society,
In the past Fairtade Fortnight has been nothing to get excited about in wine terms, so much so that I’ve tended to give up writing about it but - hallelujah - here is an absolutely cracking Argentinian red I’d be happy to snap up, Fairtrade or not.
Confession time. Off-dry reds like this 2017 Il Passo Segreto Appassimento Sangiovese are not really my thing but it’s hard to think of a more romantic looking bottle and if you’ve got a sweeter tooth than I have (not hard) you’ll love it.
Of all the alcohol-free products I’ve tasted recently - and I’ve tried a lot - this is the most ingenious. It’s not a full-size bottle for a start but a smart looking box of phials - 9 of them - each containing 30 ml of a concentrated cordial you dilute 10 to 1 (or to taste) with still or sparkling water or tonic.
25% across the board offers are always a good opportunity to get a substantial discount on your favourite wines so take advantage of the current offer at Waitrose which runs until Tuesday 12th inclusive
One of the best sources of good value reds right now is Portugal and if you like full-bodied styles the Douro is the region to look out for. This 2017 Glorio Douro is almost porty which should come as no surprise as it’s made from three of the grapes - tinta roriz, touriga nacional and touriga franca - that are used to make port.
If you’re unsure what to buy it’s always tempting to go for a big name but when you find you’ve got an equally good option at half the price it’s mad not to go for that.