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

2015

2014

2013 JUL TO DEC

2013 JAN TO JUN

2012 JULY TO DEC

2012 JAN TO JUNE

2011 JAN TO JUNE

2010 JULY TO DEC

2010 JAN TO JUNE

2009







2016 PAST DRINKS OF THE WEEK

DRINK OF THE WEEK  -
26th December 2016
Valdo Oro Puro Prosecco
Waitrose £8.99
Drinker Rating 91

In the week running up to New Years eve it's got to be all about fizz. As a nation we drink a hell of a lot of sparkling wine and Champagne and there are some real bargains out there if you know where to look.

Often there will be big label Champagne at the £20 or there abouts mark, Cava has seen a rise in quality lately but suffers from a reputation of being over acidic and cheap, what is never cheap is English fizz, but it's usually worth every penny.

Then of course there's Prosecco, the nation's favourite sparkler. I'd go for this little belter from Waitrose on offer at £8.99 - Valdo Oro Puro - classic off dry style with peach and honey on the palate that's well worth a try.



DRINK OF THE WEEK  -
DRINK OF THE YEAR!

19th December 2016
Puligny Montrachet les Charmes
Maestic £31.50
Drinker Rating 94

So in the week leading up to Christmas I thought that Drink of the Week should become Drink of the Year.

This wonderful white Burgundy is simply the best wine I tasted all year. It's quite young so retains a good fruity and floral backbone but has elegance and poise, it's really all a good Burgundy should be at this price point.

This is a perfect white for Christmas lunch, it will hood its own without being dominant,  it's got fresh and lively acidity and a real touch of class. If you're buying one expensive bottle this year get on down to Majestic for this little beauty.

Merry Christmas.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

12th December 2016
Stepp Pinot Noir
Marks and Spencer £15.00
Drinker Rating 91

So we're on the run up to Christmas and it's the time of year that we really should be spending a few more quid on our wine.

This German pinot noir is a bit on the pricey side but worth every penny for its classiness. It has a really stylish look in terms of the bottle and label and then the wine is very deep. Soft violet, redcurrant and black pepper, easy tannins and a hint of wood smoke.

Really great for the festive season, £15 well spent.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

5th December 2016
Champagne Millesime 2009
Lidl £15.99
Drinker Rating 91

I'm expecting a new member of the family this week as my sister in law is a touch overdue with my new niece or nephew. Naturally this calls for a celebratory drop to wet the baby's head.

It's always got to be fizz for me, the most appropriate drink to mark such good news. I tasted this lovely Champagne from Lidl a while back and was really impressed by its poise and elegance. It's everything it should be, green apple, creamy brioche and lovely yeasty notes. And for only £15.99 it's a real bargain - lots of wine for the money.

Cheers little 'un!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
28th November 2016
Baron de Ona 2012 Rioja Reserva 
Waitrose £10.00
Drinker Rating 91


I'm really impressed with this brilliant Waitrose Christmas Parcels promotion.These are limited quantities of wine released for two weeks ending 6 Dec all at £10 and when they're gone they're gone.

I tasted the Bordeaux, a Haut Medoc which was exceptional, a smart Chianti Classico, Chablis and Gavi - oh yes and the Port was very good too. But the pick of the bunch was the Rioja.

This is a 2012 so it's got a nice bit of development to it, primary cherry turning to soft new leather. It is simply everything an affordable Rioja should be - I'd go as far as to say it's the best £10 Rioja on the market in the UK.

These wines are displayed prominently in Waitrose stores, do look them out they're a real treat.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

21st November 2016
Morrisons Pinot Noir 
Morrisons £4.25
Drinker Rating 89

As we struggle through the murk toward the last payday before Christmas we're going to need an easily priced drink to take our minds off bouncing dogs and parfum ads.

Morrisons is the supermarket that's really going places with well chosen and well priced wines this season. Their own label pinot noir looks bloody terrible and at £4.25  bodes quite poorly. But I can promise a real treat, it's a lovely easy drinking fruit driven pinot, redcurrant and raspberry, soft tannins and fresh acidity, perfect to stave away the gloom.

£4.25! The best sub £5 wine on the shelves at the moment.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

14th November 2016
New York State White 
Marks and Spencer £8.50
Drinker Rating 89

After last week we could all do withy a drink and just to show that not everything that comes out of the USA is ghastly here's a lovely little wine to cheer us up.

There are some fantastic cooler climate wines coming out of New York State, look out for rielsing and pinot noir from the Finger Lakes. This wine has a little touch of riesling aromatics about it, lovely green fruit and white flowers.

Hopefully with a fall in the dollar we might be getting better value for money from the US and this might take our minds off the White House.

God bless us all.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

7th November 2016
Orbitali Primitivo  
Asda £5.00
Drinker Rating 91

Many years ago when I was doing my wine exams with WSET - I really struggled with a couple of things - primarily I couldn't identify oak. Bit of a drawback that - the use of oak was massive in those 80s Aussie and US Chardonnays and is used in the production of most reds worldwide.

The reason behind my oak blindness is that I am a sucker for it I'm easily seduced by the smoke, vanilla and coconut. I really get it now and I wish I could have had this wine during my training as it's the oakiest of all the reds - and I unashamedly love it.

This is full on fruit and power enhanced by a mass of vanilla oak, great value, generous wine.
Cheers.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

31st October 2016
Sous le Soleil Midi Cab' Sauvignon/Merlot  
Waitrose £5.99
Drinker Rating 89

So here, as promised, is the first of my party wine recommendations for the season.This is a belter, it's affordable, available and uncomplicated but with enough depth to hold its own. It has a full on fruity palate, all bramble and damson, quite intense and with really nice integrated tannins, enough for structure but not over bearing.

You could do a lot worse than this for a party wine for Haloween or Bonfire Night -and it would also make a great House Red for autumn.

Cheers.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

24th October 2016
Comuna No.3 Pinot Grigio   
Sainsbury's £7.00
Drinker Rating 89

I'm about to make a list of all my Party Wine recommendations for the up-coming festive season. These will be affordable and easy drinking wines that are generally available, the kind of you can buy in bulk for guests at Christmas, not overly serious but certainly not lacking in character either.

This pinot grigio is certainly on the list. Us wine snobs don't usually give a lot of space to the grape but it sells very well and we'd be foolish to ignore it. Sainsbury's have sourced this from a high altitude region of Argentina and it's all white blossom and refreshing citrus - much more character than your average PG and very well priced
.

DRINK OF THE WEEK

17th October 2016
Pure Hopped Cider
www.bottleshack.uk £1.75 330ml can also   
Tesco £1.99 & 3 for £5
Drinker Rating 89

I was a bit wary tasting this hopped cider - a new one for me,I thought it looked like a producer jumping on two bandwagons at the same time. But I was really pleasantly surprised with the blend of lovely green herbaceous hops and solid Westons Cider.

It has a pleasantly hazy appearance, the cider is refreshing and zippy and the hops really do add a good structure and pine/citrus finish.

At the moment it's only available in cans but look out for it on draft in pubs very soon too.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

10th October 2016
La Marca Prosecco
Tesco £10.00
Drinker Rating 89

I'm not really one for Proscecco, there seems to be far too much of it and lots of it is pretty bland. So when one comes along that shines I really sit up and pay attention.

One such is this by La Marca, it's got a lovely peachy nose, good holding acidity and enough fruit to balance. It's a bit on the pricey side in this competitive market but well worth it and it's one of those rare sparklers that keeps it's fizz overnight!

Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK

3rd October 2016
Meadowhawk Zinfandel
Aldi £7.99
Drinker Rating 90

Oh my, it's beginning to get a bit chilly now isn't it. OK we've got bright crisp days but the nights are drawing in and getting decidedly cooler.

So how about this fab winter warmer - OK, autumn warmer. It's a big powerful zinfandel, deep and inky looking, full on intense, concentrated black fruit on the palate with a whopping 15% alcohol. Trust me £7.99 is an absolute bargain for this wine.

Bring on the cold nights!


DRINK OF THE WEEK

26th September 2016
Full Steam Ahead
Search it out - limited edition £7.50
Drinker Rating 91

Fantastic to find a local brewery championing the local against the multi-nationals. Wiltshire's Box Steam Brewery even went as far as naming Doom Bar as one of the giants to be overcome and of course they're right. My local here in sunny Buckinghamshire sells Doom Bar alongside Tribute - both from Cornwall and a very long way from home, particularly when we've got some great beers around here.

So here's to their wonderful Full Steam Ahead a big fruity barley wine (10%), a great autumn tipple, drink it outside with the last of the year's sun and fight the good fight!


DRINK OF THE WEEK

19th September 2016
Finest Soave Superiore Classico
Tesco £7.00
Drinker Rating 91

Sometimes we get a though of a wine in our heads and can't shift it even if it's completely false. All chardonnay is oaky, all rielsing is sweet and in this case, all Soave is poor.

But it's not poor, this is really really good. In fact it's Soave Classico so right from the heart of the region and regulated a bit more tightly than the bog standard DOC. It has lovely full on fruit all peach and citrus with a delicate nutty back note. For only seven quid it's a belting bargain.

So that's me told.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

12th September 2016
Warwick First Lady Cabernet Sauvignon
Sainsbury's £9.00
Drinker Rating 93

This is one of those unassuming wines that you could easily pass by. At £9 it's a bit on the pricey side for what the average customer will generally pay for a South African wine and cabernet sauvignon is ten a penny.

However go out on a limb to try this and a whole world of depth and sophistication opens up. There is layer after layer of spice, pepper, cloves and thyme with a big ballsy chocolate and black fruit backbone. Big but complex, elegant and balanced - ands if you're still up for a late summer barbie a great match for grilled meat.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

5th September 2016
Signature Chenin Blanc - Swartland
Morrisons £7.00
Drinker Rating 89

Last week I spoke about riesling always being the next 'big thing', and like grape varieties that rise and fall the retailers are much the same. At the moment the next big thing of the supermarkets is Morrisons.

Morrisons has had its problems over the years but right now they are really hitting their straps when it comers to wines right across the board. They are outstripping their rivals in terms of value and quality right now.

This chenin blanc is a great example of their confidence as a buying team, floral and easy drinking this is a belter at the price.



DRINK OF THE WEEK
29th August 2016
Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling
Aldi £6.99
Drinker Rating 89

I'm fed up of saying that riesling will bethe next big thing. It always seems to be about to be the next big thing as does tequila and Arsenal Football Club. So instead let's just consider it a thing, to be big soon or not is irrelevant.

Clare Valley could well be the next big thing, but then again it might not. But it does produce some nice cool rieslings and this is one such. Proper steely green apple and citrus, refreshing but aromatic, lovely and at a proper bargain of a price. This is a tip top late summer white.

This week's big thing.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

22nd August 2016
Signature Torrontes
Morrisons £7.00
Drinker Rating 90

Another big bout of hot summer weather is headed our way so we'll need a solid, affordable weekday wine for sipping by the barbie.

This Argentinian torrontes has all the classic hallmarks of honey, peach and orange blossom. It's got a good fresh acidity and stands well as a summer sipper or with smoky and spicy food. 

Really decent drop at a great price.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

15th August 2016
Broadwood's Folly English Sparkling Wine
Lidl £14.99
Drinker Rating 91

Lots of Gold Medals flying our way so we need a celebration and what better to serve than a classy English fizz?

This beauty is from Surrey (made by Denbies) and has a lovely baked apple aroma, good firm acidity and a fresh English hedgerow palate. Truly lovely, classy stuff.

Keep those medals coming! 


DRINK OF THE WEEK

8th August 2016
Leon Perdigal Cotes du Rhone Rosé
Majestic £6.99 (mix 6 price)
Drinker Rating 91

With the forecast heatwave about to hit it's time for a good summer rosé. Something affordable and really drinkable.

So how about this little belter from Majestic? It's got a lovely fresh floral nose, bone dry with redcurrant and a hint of cherry on the palate. I can see a cold bottle of this with beads of condensation shimmering in the afternoon sun this weekend. 

Good drinking.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

1st August 2016
Albarino Sentidino, Rias Baixas,Spain
Lidl £5.99
Drinker Rating 91

I'm not much of a fashionista, I'm much more Huge Big Git than Hugo Boss. But once in a while, in my chosen field, I hit a fashion before it becomes a fashion. And this is an example of a grape that will be on everyone's lips in the next coming year.

Albarino produces bright, light, white wines, fresh with acidity and with notes of peach, apricot, green fruit and white pepper. And the best of it currently comes from Rias Baixas in Spain and the top lefthand corner of Portugal (where it's know as alvarinho).

This is a fantastic example of what can be done and at a great price. Lovely summer wine.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

26th July 2016
Camden Hells
Waitrose £1.89 (330ml)
Drinker Rating 91

I think it's really important to have a cold beer in the fridge at all times in case of emergency. It could, if you're very lucky be a bit of a scorcher and you'll need a cold one.

Camden Hells Lager has been one of my favorites for some time now, a clean and crisp pils/helles cross, a proper thirst quencher. All I need now is the hot weather back.

Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK

11th July 2016
Janeau Grand Armagnac VSOP
Waitrose £22.99 (500ml)
Drinker Rating 94

I'm going through a bit of a spirits phase at the moment, I've just judged for IWSC on rum, I'm enjoying a new selection of whiskey  I brought back from the US and this for me is cocktail season so it's mojitos all the way at home.

But for pure simple sipping pleasure this is a world class drink, Janeau are  brilliant producers and this is affordable and beautiful. Aromatic intense fruit, apricot and raisin, vanilla, warmth and oak. Complex, balanced, affordable, classy armagnac.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

27th June 2016
Castle Brook Classic Cuvee
Marks and Spencer £30.00
Drinker Rating 91

I think that we all need a little treat after the shock of last week's EU result. Whether you are In or Out it's all been a bit of a wrench. I hope that we can all agree that we are lucky to live in such a great country, it has its faults but I wouldn't swap it for the world.

And in these fab little islands of ours we are able to produce some world class wines. Castle Brook wasn't a winery I was aware of before the recent M&S tasting but they are making some wonderful wines. This is very classy, green apple and brioche on the nose, crisp and complex on the palate - not cheap but worth every penny.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

20th June 2016
Extra Special Bordeaux Blanc Chateau Roberperots
Asda £5.97
Drinker Rating 90

I was really impressed with the quality of the wines at the cheaper end of the scale at a recent Asda press tasting. I dread to think how they wring such great value out of their sub £7 wines - but as punters we're all the better off for it.

This is one such wine, a great contender to be my house white this summer. It's a Bordeaux white, 100% sauvignon blanc, peach and gooseberry to the fore with a pleasing touch of asparagus on the finish.

Top stuff for under six quid.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

13th June 2016
Pinot Grigio Blush Frizzante
Marks and Spencer £7.00
Drinker Rating 90

Well apparently it was National rosť week last week - well who knew? Not me that's for sure so as ever I'm behind the times in getting my
rosť recommendations out for this year. You can see my full list here.
This week however my choice is for a little bit of fun with this fab little frizzante from M&S. This is a perfect party wine, light and refreshing bursting with cherry and raspberry flavour.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

6th June 2016
Grillo Terre Sicilliane
Lidl £4.79
Drinker Rating 89

So the summer's finally here and what we'll need is a cool refreshing glass of white for sipping as the sun goes down after a hard day at work.

This Sicillian grillo is perfect, it's uncomplex but has just enough green fruit notes to keep us interested and we're not after deep and meaningful wines on a Wednesday night are we? Good zippy acidity gives it a lively freshness and at under a fiver this is a perfect summer house white.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

30th May 2016
Bonavita 2014
Waitrose £7.99 (£6.39 from 29/06 to 26/07)
Drinker Rating 93

Portugal is seriously on the way up in terms of wine. A combination of new wineries, better technology and a decent bit of marketing has enabled this once derided country to begin to find its way in the world of wine.

So act now before they get wise and start hiking the prices. This wine is a lovely blend of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Castelao and Syrah, part harvested by hand and then processed with great care in the winery. It is  soft and plummy, quite intense and inky with a hint of pipe tobacco. At under eight quid a bottle it is fantastic value. Also Waitrose has 25% off when buying 3 from 1/6 to 7/6.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

23rd May 2016
Taste the Difference Bordeaux Rose
Sainsbury's £6.00 (offer price)
Drinker Rating 89

So it's Bank Holiday weekend and what we need is a bright and vibrant rose for the first of the summer barbecues.

This is a little beauty from Bordeaux, 100% merlot gives a lovely soft texture in the mouth and it's got fresh raspberry and redcurrant flavour. Subtle and fresh this is just the ticket to say 'hello summer!'.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

16th May 2016
Signature Beaujolais Villages
Morrisons £7.00
Drinker Rating 90

There's no doubt that we generally like to drink whites in the summer and reds in the winter, so what to do in the springtime with scorchers one day and frost the next? Well how about a red you can chill? Please don't recoil in horror, chilling light reds like Beaujolais is just the ticket at this time of year.

The chill can really bring red wines to life and this Beaujolais Village has all the fresh red cherry palate you'd expect. If it is too much to put it in the fridge rest assured that it works perfectly well at room temperature too.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

9th May 2016
Finest Pignoletto
Tesco £7.00 (case price)
Drinker Rating 88

It'sgetting to that time of year for a drop of fizz. As soon as the sun comes out we love to hear a bottle pop, weddings, Wimbledon and England's forthcoming win in the Euros will all need a celebratory drop.

So what we really need is an interesting wine but at an affordable price. Pignoletto is a change from Prosecco, less peach and more pear, slightly drier than its Ital9ian cousin and as it's made in a similar way (the tank method) it's on the cheaper side. 

Get this by the case from Tesco at only £7 a bottle.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

2nd May 2016
Taste the Difference Greco di Tufo
Sainsburys £8.00
Drinker Rating 90

Awards aren't always an indication of quality in a wine - it very much depends on the standard of the competition, how the judges work and how they're selected. But in this case it's all true.

This is an award winning wine, and rightly so. Lovely crisp acidity and a good forward driven tropical fruit palate. It's altogether the complete package for a spring house white.

And what we don't judge on in competitions is the price - look at this it's only eight quid!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
25th April 2016
Aglianico del Vulture
Majestic £7.49 mix six price
Drinker Rating 90

So here's to a snowy May Bank Holiday. The traditional time of year that we all snuggle down in front of a roaring fire with a lovely generous warming glass of red.

This is a belter at the price, lots of wine for the money. At 14% it's got a lovely warming alcohol backbone onto which is layered bramble and spice notes, big oak and tannic structure. And just look at the price!

Cheers to the onset of winter.


DRINK OF THE WEEK
25th April 2016
Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut
ALDI £9.97
Drinker Rating 90

I'm sure you're not at all interested that today is my Nan's birthday. The dear old girl is 90 today and still going strong.

She's rather partial to a brandy or a glass of merlot and has always had a soft spot for a drop of fizz. But having seen recessions, depressions and rationing she's keen on a bargain.

So here it is a miraculous wine at the price, yeast and red apple complexity. Great stuff to raise a glass for our Nan. Happy Birthday Doris.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

11th April 2016
Extra Special Rueda
ASDA £5.00
Drinker Rating 90

Still on the lookout for interesting, well made and affordable wines, Asda keep hitting the target.

Their Extra Special wines are pretty much a sure fire hit across the range, they're not all as cheap as a fiver but none of them are overpriced but they nearly always offer great value.

This Rueda is from Spain, it's fruity, dry and refreshing with lovely citrus notes. He wine is suitable for vegetarians and makes a terrific house white for the spring.

Cheers



DRINK OF THE WEEK

6th April 2016
Cawston Press Rhubarb with sparkling water
Waitrose £4.99 six can pack
Drinker Rating 91

I'm not a big fan of rhubarb, I've never understood the value of something which tastes so bloody awful you have to put loads of sugar and other ingredients with it to make it palatable.

That was until last week whren I had a drink in a Nicholson's pub in London where I found they stock this little beauty. Deliciously tart, fresh and vibrant, there's quite a lot of sugar in it so it really benefits from a good measure of quality gin!

I later found out that Waitrose stock it so it's widely available.

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

28th March 2016
Signature Torrontes
Morrisons £7
Drinker Rating 90

There's currently a load of hoo-har in the wine writing world about whether wine critics buy the drinks they recommend - particularly at the lower end of the price range.

Well as a guy who concentrates on this end of the market I am happy to say that I would never recommend a wine that I wouldn't buy myself or a wine that I hadn't tasted - and I know a few writers who simply churn press releases - that's not The Drinker way.

So get this fab little torrontes from Argentina, lemon and peach, soft and approachable. Also a bargain at £7.


DRINK OF THE WEEK
21st March 2016
Barbaresco Cascina Morassino 2009
Marks and Spencer £30
Drinker Rating 91

Easter seems as good a time as any to treat yourself and your family to a really good wine. Usually the first question I get asked as a wine writer is 'are expensive wines worth the money?' Well in this case yes they are.

This is a classic Barbaresco with a little bit of age which helps soften the sometimes robust style. This is elegant and voluptuous, lovely fine grained tannis add structure to a wine with flavours of forest floor,chocolate and dark black berries.

Tip top and worth every penny.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

14th March 2016
Apols, no drink of the week this week as it's my annual pilgrimage to Cheltenham for the races. If pushed I'd have gone for County Carlow Irish Stout from Marks and Spencer to raise a glass on Paddy's Day. Lovely bitter sweet drop and only £2.30 a bottle.



DRINK OF THE WEEK
7th March 2016
Villanyi Cuvee, Polgar Therapia
Lidl £6.99
Drinker Rating 91

Bizarrely Hungary seems to get left of the shelves of the big wine retailers - with the exception of the lusiously sweet Tokay that is. But it appears that Lidl are determined to put that right.

Lidl have just launched their new season's range (click the Lidl logo to the right) and it's got a big range of wines from Hungary all at great prices, proficiently made and interesting. This red is big, oaky and fruit forward with easy tannins, a very pleasing drop at under seven quid.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

29th February 2016
Finest 1531 Blanquette de Limoux
Tesco £8.50
Drinker Rating 90

With Mother's Day on the horizon it's time for a little celebration, no need to go totally overboard but a drop of good fun, affordable fizz will do the trick very nicely.

This Finest Blanquette de Limoux is a really fresh and vibrant wine all green apple with a hint of toast. It would be great to raise a glass to the old girl over breakfast with some smoked salmon and eggs.

Cheers Mum.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

22nd February 2016
Taste the Difference Alsace Gewertztraminer
Sainsbury's £8.00
Drinker Rating 89

As we're still in the depths of winter what I really need is a big reminder of the warmth and aromas of summer. Gewertztraminer seems deeply unfashionable but I think the lovely tropical aromatics of this wine really do the trick right now.

Add to the nose of perfumed peach and lychee a little hint of sweetness, again really unfashionable, you get a wonderful heady reminder of the warmth to come in summer.  And the price is unbeatable for such depth.

Yummy!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
15th February 2016
Meredith Madeira
Berry Bros. & Rudd £14.75 (50cl)
Drinker Rating 94

I generally don't cover wines from the big posh wine merchants and concentrate instead on the High Street where we all buy our wine. But with the development of online shopping and a general democratisation of the wine biz these big old wine houses aren't nearly as frightening as they used to be - point in case the guy in charge of Berry's now is the bloke who used to head up Tesco's Wine!

So the wine, it's from Madeira, it's unctuous and rich, deeply sweet with hits of coffee and chocolate and great holding acidity. World class and under £15.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

7th February 2016
ManzanillaPasada Pastrana from Hidalgo
Majestic £11.69 mix 6 price
Drinker Rating 91

I had my first drink in the garden of 2016 last weekend,still a bit chilly, wrapped up in a warm jumper inspecting the work I'd completed - who am I kidding, when's a garden ever completed?

So it was a lovely very dry sherry, a Manzanilla Pasada,ripe with green apple and nuttiness, fresh like the air and full of promise of the season to come.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

1st February 2016
Tanunda Hill Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot
Waitrose £9.99
Drinker Rating 91

This is one of those wines where my tasting notes go all over the shop and I start sounding all pretentious and like a real wine snob. So bear with me...

This is a layered and complex wine, deep and intriguing. The nose has intense black fruit and plumminess with back notes of violet, plum, bramble and cedar. A full on wine with  further elements of pencil box and perfume.

What I'm saying is that there's a lot here, a multi-dimensional wine at a very decent price.



DRINK OF THE WEEK

25th January 2016
Peirano Estate Six Clones Merlot
Majestic £11.99 (offer price)
Drinker Rating 91

It's still winter right? And what we need in howling winds and driving rain is a big full on generous warming wine.

So this is just the ticket, ripe black fruit, hints of cinnamon and cocoa and lots of well balanced oak. It's big but got soft easy tannins supported by sweet spices.

A lovely hearty warming drop, on the pricey side but very well worth it.


DRINK OF THE WEEK

18th January 2016
Ben Bracken 22 year old Islay single malt
Lidl £44.99
Drinker Rating 95

Well here's a turn up, take an empty whisky bottle and put the worst possible name on it, you know anything typically Scottish that'll sell, Jocko -McScotty, Sporren Tickler, Dirk McQuikly - oh no,better still Ben Bracken, that'll do.

Then take this terribly titled bottle and fill it up with really fantastic Islay Malt Whisky, I mean REALLY FANTASTIC. And here you have it, beautifully crafted, aged to perfection, wonderfully subtle Islay peatiness, this is possibly the best Islay Malt I have tasted in the last 10 years.


Top work Lidl, but work on the name ok?


DRINK OF THE WEEK

11th January 2016
Les Pioneers Vintage Champagne 2006
Co-operative £24.99
Drinker Rating 92

So today is my birthday and it's time for a celebration. Obvs, no celebration is complete without a good glass of fizz and this Co-op own label Champagne is very good indeed, they also do an extraordinarily good non-vintage too at £16.99.

But decent vintage Champers has good depth,layers of flavour,apples, yeast, brioche and this has a lovely soft feeling in the mouth.

So happy birthday me, you're only 46 once!


DRINK OF THE WEEK

4th January 2016
Freemans Bay Pinot Gris
Aldi £5.69
Drinker Rating 91

So at this time of the year we're all after a bargain. The funds are low until pay day but at the same time we like a little pick me up.

This pinot gris from New Zealand is right up my street, bags of tropical fruit, melon and mango to the fore but refreshing and zippy. It's a perfect little glass of sunshine at the darkest time of the year and at a fab price from a supermarket that's really going places with it's drinks section.