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.

 10 Wines under £10 to buy from Waitrose

10 Wines under £10 to buy from Waitrose

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

 Wine of the Week: Gloria Douro Reserva

Wine of the Week: Gloria Douro Reserva

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.

Wine of the week: a cut-price Sauternes

Wine of the week: a cut-price Sauternes

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.

Wine of the week: Candelilla Albarino  2018

Wine of the week: Candelilla Albarino 2018

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.

Gin(s) of the month: Barentsz and Theodore gin

Gin(s) of the month: Barentsz and Theodore gin

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

Atopia Spiced Citrus ultra-low alcohol spirit

Atopia Spiced Citrus ultra-low alcohol spirit

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.

 Fortnum & Mason Sparkling Tea

Fortnum & Mason Sparkling Tea

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.

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.

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!)

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