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.
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.
If you’re an albarino fan you’ll have watched with dismay as the price has crept up over the last few years so much so that an albarino under £10 has become something of a rarity.
It takes quite a lot for me to find room in my drinks cupboard for new gins these days but both these have earned their place. I like them because although they’re distinctive they’re not pointlessly so - or overloaded with ingredients that detract from their basic DNA
The fact that this is the second week in succession I’ve posted an alcohol-free spirit says a lot about the fact that this is the most innovative and dynamic sector of the drinks industry at the moment.
As I’ve said many times I’ve yet to find an alcohol-free wine that is as good as its boozy counterpart but Fortnum & Mason's sparkling tea is a really good alternative to champagne.
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)
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
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!)
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