THE DRINKER
EAT - DRINK - BE MERRY
PAST WINES OF THE WEEK

2012 JAN TO JUNE

2011 JAN TO JUNE

2010 JULY TO DEC

2010 JAN TO JUNE

2009

WINE OF THE WEEK
9th July 2012
Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde
Majestic £7.49/ £6.49 each when buying 2
Drinker Rating 85
This is a smashing example vinho verde, light ready to drink Portugese numbers. This has a slight spritz to it which goes well with the zingy acidity and refreshing grapey tang. A really good summer wine and with summer only 13 months away it would be really good to get some in now
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WINE OF THE WEEK
16th July 2012
ASDA Petit Chablis 2010
ASDA £7.27
Drinker Rating 89
This is an absolute belter at the price, the right balance of chalky minerality, green apple fruit and good acidity at a brilliant £7.27. Total bargain. Crack one open to celebrate the re-opening of the Bletchley to Oxford line, my Mum's house will be worth a fortune!

WINE OF THE WEEK
23rd July 2012
English Sparkling Brut NV
Marks and Spencer £18.99
Drinker Rating 90
With Bradley doing the business in le Tour on Sunday and the opening ceremony of The Games on Friday there has never been a better time to drink to England. So here's a cracker to celebrate from M&S, it's made by the fantastic bunch down at Chapel Down in Kent and is real value at under £20 a bottle. Well balanced apple notes, good solid acidity and just the right amount of toasty autolytic character. Get it in while the sunshine lasts.

WINE OF THE WEEK
30th July 2012
Cuvee Pecheur 2011
Waitrose £4.69
Drinker Rating 87
It's not a good time to be French, losing out to us on the Olympics was hard enough but then a rosbif goes and wins the Tour de France. I suppose they can console themselves as they still do make some good wine. Try this simple white, fresh, hints of gooseberry and very affordable. Vive Le Grande Bretangne!

WINE OF THE WEEK
6th Aug 2012
Il Papovera Rosato 2011
Laithwaites £6.99
Drinker Rating 88
The thing for me with rosť is that it's always ok to a point. It never seems to get much further than 'OK' With this in mind here's a better than OK rosť, Laithwaites have always provided good value reds and whites under the Papovera label and this is right up there as a cracking house wine - don't think that because it's a sweetie pink colour that it's on the sweet side, it's dry with notes of cherry. Top stuff.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
13th Aug 2012
Coniston No.9 Barley Wine

Limited and seasonal availability see www.conistonbrewery.com
Drinker Rating 88
So this is The Drinker and the question I am frequently asked is why do I have a                       Wine of the Week rather than a Drink of the Week? Good question. So I have decided to change and for my first Drink of the Week I have chosen a wine that's not really a wine. This is the 2012 Champion Beer of Britain, hoppy and sweet, complex and powerful. I tasted it last week at the Great British Beer Festival, but there is limited availability so good luck in getting hold of some. Might well be worth a trip to The Lakes.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
20th Aug 2012
Garganega Pinot Grigio Albinoni
Majestic £4.89 on offer
Drinker Rating 86
Phew, what  scorcher, it's bloody hot isn't it? I don't like this weather so what's called for is a nice long drink. Take this simple, fruity, value, glugger and pour it into a tall glass over lots of ice and add 2x fizzy water and a slice of lemon. That's better - that lawn will have to wait.


DRINK OF THE WEEK
27th Aug 2012
Les Montgolfiers Sauvignon Blanc -Gros Manseng
Co-op £6.99
Drinker Rating 89
I don't buy nearly enough wine from the Co-op and all in all, away from the big label bulk wines, they have a really classy range. This is one such, full on grassy, gooseberry and greengage, a real  refresher. Top stuff, well made and at a great price. All this and points on your divvy too.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
3rd Sept 2012
Lost Sheep Chardonnay
Marks and Spencer £5.99 on offer at
www.marksandspencer.com case price per bottle
Drinker Rating 87
I'm a day late this week as I got last minute tickets to see the swimming at the Paralympics. Top night and to raise a glass to Ellie Simmonds who I saw win in the 200m medley, how about this little cracker. It's about time to get back into Chardonnay, and this has all the New World typicity but with very well judged and restrained oak. Also it's on offer on the M&S website. Belter.


DRINK OF THE WEEK
10th Sept 2012
Valdo Prosecco Marco Oro
Sainsbuy's £7.99
Drinker Rating 87
Are we still in the mood for a celebration? On a wave of national optimism we should be drinking our own excellent fizz - but in the teeth of recession it's far too expensive. Instead try this light peachy Prosecco, raise a glass to all the fab athletes and para-athletes, all the volunteers, Andy Murray, Rory McIlroy and possibly Sainsbury's for their support and great wine.


DRINK OF THE WEEK
17th Sept 2012
Yering Station Mcintyre Lane Pinot Noir 2010
Laithwaite's £12.49
Drinker Rating 91
It's been a terrible weekend, some French magazine has been publishing pics of me topless and the French public have gone balistic. So to that end I'm turning my back on the French - so get this brilliant Aussie pinot noir, better and cheaper than affordable Burgundy. Elegant, subtle, fruity, complex.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
24th Sept 2012
Estevez Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere 2012
ALDI £4.99
Drinker Rating 89

Oi! You plebs! Best learn your place! Your place, like mine, is not in the Cabinet, it's in the drinks cabinet (see what I did there?). So while you're fixing the drinks, you might like to try this little belter from ALDI. Ripe damson, lovely burnt notes balance well with good forward fruit at a magnificent price. And raise a glass to the good men and women of the Police Force and not to idiot Chief Whips.


DRINK OF THE WEEK
1st Oct 2012
El Campeador 2011 Jumilla
Laithwaite's £6.99
Drinker Rating 88

As I write this I am suffering from an awful hangover. This is the result of three days solid enjoyment watching the Ryder Cup with my two betting buddies. In that time we have drunk beer, wine, port and whisky in industrial quantities,so now I feel a little queasy. However a celebration is in order as Jose's boys really did the business and so here's another little cracker from Spain, a nice easy drinking red, with good structure and forward ripe fruit.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
8th Oct 2012
Sainsbury's Fairtrade Pinotage Rose
Sainsbury's £5.99
Drinker Rating 88
I must apologise as this software won't let me put an accent over the e in rose. And talking of accents the South African accent isn't the best in the world is it? Luckily they do however produce some good pinotage. This little beauty is full of fresh fruit and good acidity. A really well made drop at a fab price, it's now my own House Rose.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
22nd Oct 2012
Girt By Sea Cabernet Merlot
Voyager Estate, Margaret River
Justerini & Brooks £15 and a bit
Drinker Rating 92

"Girt by Sea, what does that mean?'" I asked Steve James, Head Winemaker at Voyager Estates, "Surrounded by sea, it's  line from the Aussie national anthem.", he told me. So there you have it, Girt by Sea.
This is all sounding like Call My Bluff, but the wine is quite unambiguous, forward fruit, well measured French oak and not a hint of menthol, Steve told me that they cut all the eucalyptus trees down at Voyager and since then the wines are more elegant, almost European in style.  This is beautiful, subtle, on the pricey side for The Drinker, but worth every penny. You little ripper!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
29th Oct 2012
Extra Special Primitivo
ASDA £5
Drinker Rating 90

Clocks have gone back then. So the autumn's here. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, so we need a dark, bramble scented, leathery wine to match. And this primitivo is it (same grape as zinfandel for California lovers). Lovely deep, intense wine this and a real winner at the price.
Get the fire on and snuggle up with this.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
29th Oct 2012
The Hedonist Shiraz
Waitrose £12.99
Drinker Rating 89

Now you know that ordinarily I wouldn't recommend a wine as expensive as this, but first I have to tell you that this is worth every penny, this is a proper grown up Aussie shiraz, inky with deep ripe black fruit and soft tannins - not the one dimensional blackcurrant juice of old. Second, remember that Waitrose currently have 25% off when you buy six bottles, so hurry the offer ends on Wed.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
12 Nov 2012
Birra Rossini
ALDI £1.49 660ml
Drinker Rating 92

Once in a while I come across a drink that is not only great quality but is also extraordinary value. So it was a very good day at the ALDI press tasting when I came across this little belter. It's the ALDI version of Peroni, however unlike the premier Italian beer you don't need a mortgage to buy it. This comes in at £1.49 or a bit over a pint, it's refreshing and malty and will make a really good party beer. Get some in and let the festive season start early.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
19 Nov 2012
Max Ferdinand Zeppelin Riesling 2011
Laithwaites £10.99
Drinker Rating 87

So Classic FM and Laithwaites have come up with this terrific wheeze to match music and wine, claiming that one enhances the other. I tried this concept out at a tasting in the fab Laithwaites shop in Borough Market and I can kind of see the point, some wines are best accompanied as is some music -not really rocket science I guess. The music to match this little off dry riesling is Bruch's Violin Concerto - check it out on Classic FM every Sunday between 3 and 5 presented by the silky voiced Simon Callow.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
26 Nov 2012
Giesen Estates Pinot Noir
Sainsburys £10.99
Drinker Rating 89
This is a lovely drop, really good developing nose, open and generous with hints of raspberry and new leather, very soft in the mouth with good tannins giving the wine structure.
And all this of only eleven quid - but better still there's currently 25% off wine at Sainsburys when you buy six - belting offer in the run up to Christmas.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
3 Dec 2012
The Fair Mile Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz/Merlot
Tesco £7.49
Drinker Rating 90

This is a cracking little wine, it's not often that I rate a wine in the 90s but this really deserves it and look at the price - even better is that Tesco have 25% off 6 for a limited period, so this is a belter as a house wine for Christmas at £33.66 a case on-line CLICK HERE
Oh yes, bramble, black fruit, spice, medium bodied, great wine - never mind the price.


DRINK OF THE WEEK
10 Dec 2012
Moncaro Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico
Waitrose £5.29
Drinker Rating 88

Good little party wine this one, very much in the affordable bracket and really well balanced fruit and body. Fresh and zesty. And what's more appropriate at this time of year it comes from the Castelli di Jesi, the castle of the little baby Jesus - I don't remember him having a castle in the Bible, maybe he got it just after he won the lottery and he bought that flash car. "And yay, Jesus came down from the mountain in his Triumph"

Here ends the reading.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
17 Dec 2012
Rioja Blanco Muga 2010
Majestic £10.99 £8.99 when buying 2 or more
Drinker Rating 91

Call me a wine snob but I never thought I'd be recommending a white Rioja. But this is  top quality stuff, good summery green fruit on the nose, zesty lime and rounded oaky vanilla notes from barrel fermentation. This is great now but will age a couple of years and at this price it's a perfect gift for Christmas.

Have a good Yuletide and I'll see you all in Jan.