THE DRINKER
EAT - DRINK - BE MERRY




PAST DRINKS OF THE WEEK

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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

2018 Past Drinks of The Week

DRINK OF THE WEEK
30th July 2018
Bellemente Pinot Grigio Blush
Morrisons £4.75
Drinker Rating 89

OK so last year I had a big shout about how you should never really pay more than seven quid for a bottle of rosé. As far as I can see the rules of the game have not changed this year and to prove it here's a super little pink wine for under a fiver - yes - UNDER A FIVER!

This Moldovan wine is light, dry and fairly simple, but it has enough about it to catch your attention. The nose is simple red berry with cranberry freshness on the palate. Rosé  as it should be.

If you feel you need to pay a little more in Morrisons you could try Workshop Bench Blend from Australia at £5.75 or if you really want to splash out go for Vitis Nostra Pinot Noir Rosé and Italian pink that'll knock your socks off for a massive £7!

Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
25th July 2018
Finest Saint Chinian
Tesco £7.50
Drinker Rating 91

With BBQ season in full swing we'll need a good honest red, well priced, unpretentious and easy drinking but robust enough to cope with heat, charred meat and smoke.

There's a wonderful herbal spiciness about many of the wines of Saint Chinian and this Finest from Tesco typifies this style. It has a sold fruity backbone of bramble and blackcurrant with a rosemary and woodsmoke nose - perfect for grilled meats on the barbie.

Looking at the quality and style of this little belter it comes it an amazing £7.50 however this is on offer (if delivered) at only £5.20!

Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
16th July 2018
Blood Orange Wheat Beer
Marks and Spencer £2.00
Drinker Rating 91

I approached this beer with trepidation thinking it was going to be all bitter citrus peel and new world hops - however I was really surprised! This is a little beauty, part of a really well packaged range of beers and ciders in cans by M&S.

You don't get a lot of obvious orange on the nose but you do get a lovely spicy white pepper note, for a canned beer there's good body and the palate is all malt with a lovely marmalade finish.

Made by Adnams this was always going to be a solid brew and it's on a 4 for the price of 3 offer right now so get some in!

Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
9th July 2018
Parcel Series English Fizz
Majestic £22.48 mix 6 price
Drinker Rating 91


It's not such a surprise that the English are producing good sparkling wine, we've all known as much for over 15 years - what is a surprise is that England is producing such good football. So yes, I know I'm tempting fate by recommending a brilliant English wine to celebrate what could be a remarkable week for English football.

This Parcel Series English Fizz has way too frivolous a name for such an amazing wine. It runs deep with green apple and brioche, it is elegant and persistent.

A real English beauty and love's got the world in motion.

Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
25th June 2018
Wine Atlas Negroamaro
Asda £5.68
Drinker Rating 890


We're fully in the swing of a barbecue summer and what we need are wines full on and brutish enough to cope with char-grilled, spiced meats.

Negroamaro doesn't get enough coverage as it often produces big, powerful wines that are surprisingly supple rather than objectionably rustic.

This is a fantastic example from the deep south of Italy where it gets really hot. This is packed with flavour, intense plum and concentrated damson with some lovely liquorice spice.

It's a big mouthful and great value for money. Go on, fire up the barbie!


Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
18th June 2018
Les Richoises Rosé
Morrisons £5.00
Drinker Rating 89


I know we all need a bargain in the mid/end of month period, when pay day seems a bit too far away to splash out on a wine. So how about a cracking little ros
é to help us see the solstice in?

This is French, well priced and perfectly acceptable. It's hard to find world changing rosé at any price so why not settle for perfectly decent and very affordable?

Morrisons keep on going from strength to strength with their wines and it's bottles like this that typify their range.

Oh, it's dry and raspberry scented.




DRINK OF THE WEEK
11th June 2018
Lebegés Grüner Veltliner
Aldi £4.99
Drinker Rating 89


At the Aldi press tasting back in March I wrote some good notes about this wine, fresh as a daisy, soft white pepper and citrus notes etc. What I also wrote was 'ooh, Grüner Veltliner that's deeply unfashionable'.

I then went on to taste a huge number of Grüner Veltliners at all of the orther press tastings in the spring. So what do I know about fashion, they're all doing it right now and I'm the last to cotton on.

Of all the supermarket Grüners out there this is by far the msot affordable and is such great value probably because it comes from Hungary rather than its homeland Austria.

Lovely light white, perfect for a summer's day.


Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
4th June 2018
Taste The Difference Bordeaux Rose
Sainsbury's £7.50
Drinker Rating 89


You're bound to see this wine in the news, it's the talk of the town! The calim is that this wine has less sugar than brocoli. A litre of this rose contains 0.2grams of sugar whereas a cup of brocoli contains 1.5 grams.

Have you ever heard such a load of misleading marketing bollocks in all your life? Naturally, as is the way in these things, it's a lot more complicated than that.

Either way this rose has been on my list of recommendations from Sainsbury's for some time as it's a lovely rose petal scented drop, dry (obviously) but well balanced and refreshing. Great price too.

Sugar my arse!

Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
28th May 2018
Voyages au Sud Vermentino
Waitrose (67 stores and Waitrose Cellar)
£6.49
Drinker Rating 89


This wine is a bit limited in distribution - only 67 Waitrose stores but is available through Waitrose Cellar (click the link above).

This is a new wine for Waitrose and is a great example of how they of things differently in the Languedoc. There's a rebellious streak about htis lovely little part of Southern France, they grow odd grapes and make wines their way.

This classic Italian white grape grows well here and this wine shows craft and care in the growing and producing. It is vibrant and fresh, lots of green fruit notes and a touch of peach lifts it above its pay grade. A perfect summer wine - if you can get hold of it!

Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
21st May 2018
Taste the Difference Bordeaux Rosé
Sainsbury's £6.50 (on offer)
Drinker Rating 90


The rosé revolution continues, in the old days a decent amount was sold in the summer but volumes have ballooned in recent years and show no signs of stopping - even sales in winter are growing.

Bordeaux has been producing decent pink for aeons and this is a belter - particulary when looking at the current offer price.

This is all it should be, straightforward but with a lovely hint of rose petal on the nose, in the mouth it's bursting with fresh cranberry acidity and vibrant raspberry - this is a cracker for your Bank Holiday BBQ.

Cheers
!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
14th May 2018
Tapada de Villar Vinho Verde
Majestic £9.00
Drinker Rating 90


Riding on the back of National Eat What You Like Day it's now National Vegetarian Week and to bring it in a really wonderful seasonal wine.

Many wines are made using animal - particularly fish products generally used in the clarification process. There are plenty of really good vegetarian alternatives and I wonder why all wines aren't made this way -  and this wine is in fact vegan!

This is a green and fresh vinho, as it should it has a lovely spritz in the mouth, crisp acidity and hints of green apple,and citrus - a really springlike wine.

Cracking stuff.

Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
7th May 2018
Nettie Viognier
Majestic £6.00 (offer & Mix Six price)
Drinker Rating 90

.
I love this wine and as I was working out my Drink of the Week I found out it is on offer - this week only!

This is a belter of a wine, bursting with tropical fruit and believe me it's all fruit and NO OAK! For those of you convinced that all American wine is oaky chardonnay this is the antidote.

I have happily bought this wine in the past and at this price I'll be getting a couple of cases to make it my spring house white.

Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
30th April 2018
Ken Forrester Workhorse Chenin Blanc
Marks and Spencer £8.00
Drinker Rating 90

.
In anticipation of National Vegetarian Week (14-20 May) here's a veggie wine.

This is a smasher, full on complex nose, all pear, honey,  green grass and floral. On the palate it's wonderfully fruity, think a tropical fruit salad, mango, melon and lychee. A really refreshing drop just begging for a sunny bank holiday weekend.

A bit more pricey than most you'll see on The Drinker, but it's great value at eight quid, this is a lot of wine for your money.

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
23rd April 2018
Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rosé
Tesco £6.75
Drinker Rating 89

.
Last year I wrote that if you pay more than about £7 for a bottle of rosé  that you really need your head testing. As I embark on the season of Spring wine tastings where all of the supermarkets will be pushing this Summer's wines I anticipate writing much the same again.

Let's not take rosé too seriously, the producers certainly don't. What we're after is something light and refreshing, simple but with enough red berry character to keep us interested - oh yes, and as dry as you like. If it's also got a pretty bottle like this one does then all the better.

La vie en rosé

DRINK OF THE WEEK
16th April 2018
Camden Hells Lager
Available pretty much everywhere on and off sales about £5 a pint
Drinker Rating 90

So this is a curious one, I know my Drink of the Week is usually a wine, this week it's a beer simply because it's what I'm drinking right now as I update my website at Luton Airport. Isn't technology wonderful?

I'm off to Barcelona, so this really should be Sangria, Cava or a deep inky red from Penedes. But hey, it's opening time Sunday lunch so it's a pint of lager.

I've liked beers from Camden Town Brewery for a while and this Hells is still a pretty solid pint even now they've been bought out by SABInBev for £85 million.

I am available for similar rates. Alegries!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
9th April 2018
Morande M Chardonnay (Casablanca - Chile)
Majestic  £6.99 mix 6 price
Drinker Rating 90

If you think that you don't like chardonnay then you probably haven't tasted enough. In my mind the world's most versatile grape is much maligned simply on the grounds that there was masses of very over-oaked stuff made in the 80's and 90's and it dominated the market.

Go buy yourself some Chablis, a blanc de blanc fizz or even get this little number to try to open your mind. This is a dry, fruit driven wine, all tropical pineapple, citrus, pear and apple. It's a very solid wine at a tremendous price.


Go on, time to change your mind.

DRINK OF THE WEEK
2nd April 2018
Visigodo Rueda Verdejo
Lidl  £4.99
Drinker Rating 90


I'm assured that summer is due to start any day now - I bloody hope so as I need to get my tomatoes out! When i do finally get them into the greenhouse I will celebrate with this little bargain from Lidl.

This is a perfectly lovely springlike wine, aromas of blossom, fresh and zippy and with a light sparkle in the mouth. At under five quid you cannot go wrong here a lovely looking bottle and a cracking little wine.

Like the sun I am waiting for Visigodo!


Happy Easter!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
26th March 2018
Ara Single Vineyard Pinot Noir
Waitrose £11.99
Drinker Rating 90


It's a slightly more costly wine this week than I usually recommend on The Drinker. But Easter is a bit of a special time, we're off work and might need something to distract us from intensive time with the family.

Kiwi Pinot Noir is pretty reliable, particularly at this price point - in fact this is the cheaper end for the really good stuff. This has all the lovely red fruit you'd want from a pinot, redcurrant and red cherry with good use of oak, complex, balanced integrated, perfect for roast lamb or turkey. Classy stuff.

Happy Easter!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
19th March 2018
Les Riochoises Colombard/Sauvignon
Morrisons £4.75
Drinker Rating 89


It's all about price isn't it? Well, sadly, yes it is. The real good stuff will cost you, certainly more than six quid and in all probability over a tenner. But wines at the entry level are not generally bad, the problem is sorting the average from the poor.

Occasionally a real bargain turns up and this is one, colombard and sauvignon blanc blend well providing a decent primary fruit palate, peach, pinepple and lime. It's easy drinking and uncomplex but certainly value for money.

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
12th March 2018
Exquisite Collection South Western Australia Sauvignon Blanc
Aldi £5.99
Drinker Rating 90

The biggest stories in wine right now are the unstoppable rise of both rose and prosecco - but there's another phenomena that's been growing for a number of years and it's sauvignon blanc.

I think we can thank the New Zealanders for this as they make big, flowery, blousey sauvignons. These appeal to wine drinkers because they actually taste of something - in contrast to say pinot grigio.

So here's one from Australia, not as aggressively aromatic as the Kiwi version, lightly perfumed, soft and very drinkable.

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
5th March 2018
Finest Saint Mont
Tesco £6.00
Drinker Rating 91

I love the onset of spring and I like a wine to match the season. This Saint Mont is crisp and dry with a lovely hint of tropical peach about it, it makes me think that the weather is warmer than it is.

This is just the right wine to sip in the brief moments of sunshine we have right now - it's fresh and promises of warmth to come. There's a lot to like about this bottle, great value and decent quality, enough wine to keep you interested.

Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
26th February 2018
Atkins Farm Shiraz
Waitrose £9.99
Drinker Rating 91

There's been some talk in the wine pages lately about the price at which quality really kicks in, the general consensus being around a tenner. I think you'll find some really good wines on The Drinker at much more reasonable prices but ten pounds is a pretty good benchmark for quality right now.

So on that mark, or a penny below it, here's a brilliant Aussie Shiraz that's a cut above. It has quite delicate berry fruit notes, cherry and raspberry with some fine herbal tones, the tannins are soft but give good structure and it's all you'll need at a tenner. This is the price point at which subtlety, balance and length really kick in.

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
20th February 2018
Contralto Chianti
Sainsbury's £5.75
Drinker Rating 90


Is it me or has Chianti rather gone out of fashion in the last few years? I don't know why, I blame Hannibal Lector.

There is always a time and a place for Chianti, this one would be perfect with a bolognese and in fact would do rather well on its own due to a good black fruit approachability.

Lovely wine, classic stuff and look at the price!

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
12th February 2018
The Best Gavi
Morrisons £7.00
Drinker Rating 90



I make no apology that my wines of the moment are from Italy, particularly Northern Italy and in particular Piedmont. I say 'wines of the moment' they are in fact an obsession and have been for years.

So Gavi, white wine made from the Cortese grape in Piedmont and it's recommended that they are drunk young. This is by no means a gauge of their quality, they are more expressive when young and the best are lightly aromatic, floral, peachy and, well, pretty.

This Gavi from Morrisons is an amazing price and is light, easy and very very pretty.

A lovely midweek drinker and not a mention of Valentine's.

Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
5th February 2018
La Fortezza Merlot
Marks and Spencer £7.50
Drinker Rating 90

Sicily is really the place to be for innovative, solid quality and affordable wines. The sun soaked island has rally kicked on in recent years not only with its local grape varieties, Nero D'Avola and Cataratto but also with some of the more recognisable international varieties.

So here's a fruity, juicy merlot, all plum and damson but with a wonderful herbal edge, think thyme and black pepper. This is spot on at the price, well balanced, extremely food friendly and approachable.

Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
29th January 2018
Kakapo Reisling/Sauvignon/Chardonnay
ASDA £6.98
Drinker Rating 91



So we've all been paid now right? So time for a really expensive bottle and we all seem happy to pay a few quid more for wines from New Zealand. Well as this is The Drinker you'll see you won't need a mortgage to buy this Kiwi stunner.

At under seven quid this wine is remarkable value. It's a complex blend of three grape varieties you don't often see together, but in this case they work really well delivering green lime and tropical notes along with body and fresh acidity. And what's-more there's a lovely label a vibrant green cute Kakapo, a flightless bird on the verge of extinction only a few years ago now thriving.

Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK  -
22nd January 2018
Queen Margot 8yo Blended Scotch Whisky
Lidl £12.99
Drinker Rating 90

With Burns Night this week it has to be a Scotch. When I sampled this at a tasting before Christmas my notes read "as good a blended whisky as is on the market right now". Believe me this is a right little belter, and just look at the price.

This is a perfect drop, lovely notes of honey, orange peel and vanilla and perfectly priced to enjoy on its own or with a mixer while toasting your haggis.

Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK  -
15th January 2018
Vignobles Roussellet Sauvignon Blanc
Aldi £4.49
Drinker Rating 88
Another brilliant cheapie this week. The rise and rise of Sauvignon Blanc continues as drinkers exploring wine find a white grape that actually tastes of something!
This wine is not like the big New Zealand Sauvignons, it's a bit more restrained but still has a good measure of lime, gooseberry and tropical fruit. But the first impression of this wine on the nose and in the mouth is fresh cut grass, a perfect reminder of the summer while we languish under grey skies.
Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK  -

8th January 2018
Tesco Chilean Merlot
Tesco £4.25
Drinker Rating 89

As it's early Jan and seemingly miles from payday here's another great value wine for this time of year.
Coming in at only £4.25 this typifies the great value wines you generally get from Chile. It's generous with black fruit, think plum and blackberry, with nicely judged vanilla oak support and as it's a merlot is velvet smooth in the mouth. At 12% it won't knock your head off and at a miraculous £4.25 is a real winter treat.
If you're feeling adventurous look at the other Chilean merlots, pinot noirs and sauvignons (particularly wines by Cono Sur) for amazing value for money.
Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK  -

1st January 2018
Pinot Grigio Neszmely (Hungary)
Lidl £3.89
Drinker Rating 91


Well a happy new year to one and all. I hope none of us are silly enough to be trying a detox or Dryanuary? If you're in possession of a functioning liver and at least one kidney you can trust the old body to do all that for you. What you will be in need of after the gorging season has past is a few more affordable options for some well earned winter cheer.

So cost in mind get this little charmer at only£3.89 from the good folk at Lidl. It's a pinot grigio that actually tastes of something. The Hungarians are doing a lot of this interesting entry level wine right now and Lidl specialise in wined from that part of the world.

This pocket pleaser is all white blossom and peach with a dry, fresh finish. They've certainly saved on the label, all it says is 'Pinot Grigio, dry and crisp with fruity notes'.

Does the job in January.

Cheers!