THE DRINKER
EAT - DRINK - BE MERRY




PAST DRINKS OF THE WEEK

2018

2017

2016

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

2019 Past Drinks of The Week

DRINK OF THE WEEK
13th May 2019
Irresistible VSOP Cognac
Co-op £20.00
Drinker Rating 92

Sometimes I come across a drink that's simply too good and priced so well that I have to shout about it.

I appreciate that Cognac is not for everyone however it is a store cupboard necessity and as such you should always have a bottle in.

This is an absolute cracker, a perfect warming spirit packed with flavours of caramel, vanilla and walnut. It would be brilliant in cocktails such as a Sidecar or Brandy Alexander and I dare you to rehydrate dred fruit with it for a fruitcake.

And at £20 what's not to like?

Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
6th May 2019
Henney's Classic Dry Cider
Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Aldi at around £2.00 per bottle
Drinker Rating 90

You can tell it's springtime because the cider adverts start on TV. I feel that even more than beer cider is the classic British drink. Classic cider apples from ancient stock, picked, milled and pressed, fermented and then matured to give a wonderful taste of the country.

This is a really well made cider, balanced acidity and a touch of sweetness (although it calls itself dry) and a lovely gentle tannic undercurrent support a real apple flavour.

Great stuff, really well priced.

Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
29th April 2019
Denbies Chalk Valley English Sparkling Wine
Morrisons £16.00
Drinker Rating 90

Just been p[aid? Looking to treat yourself? Well how about a bit of a celebration with this perfect English sparkler.

So what makes it perfect? It has just the right amount of summer hedgerow, floral and nettle green along with a decent touch of freshly baked bread on the nose. It's classicly made with the Traditional Method that's used to make Champagne - oh, yes, and the final thing that makes it perfect - the price.

This is world class stuff at only £16 a bottle. Well worth a treat.

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
22nd April 2019
Finest Marlborough Pinot Noir
Tesco £9.00
Drinker Rating 90

This is a perfect springtime or Easter wine. The combination of light red berry fruit and savoury spice seems to sum up the season, bright and fresh.

New Zealand produces some excellent pinot noir, the cooler climate means the grapes ripen more slowly this adds complexity and softness to the wine. In this example there's a really nice use of oak, not overbearing but enhancing the spicy black pepper and floral notes.

Super stuff for a happy Easter.

Note Tesco have 25% off when you buy 6 bottles until 23/04/19


Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
8th April 2019
Wm. Morrison Gavi
Morrisons £7.50
Drinker Rating 90

The sunshine is coming I romise, just after this prolonged colder spell, maybe later into this month or early next. Possibly.

When it does come you'll need a lively, crisp white wine to enjoy and where better than Gavi? This simple Italian white is packed with fresh green apple and pear aromas and has a lengthy finish - possibly long enough for the sun to come out agian!

Absolute bargain, this is a lovely entry level Gavi that will leave you very pleased at the quality to price ratio.

Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
1st April 2019
Terres de Brumes Cap d'Agde Rosť
Aldi £4.99
Drinker Rating 90

It's got to be approaching rosť
time by now hasn't it? The clocks have changes so we're now in British Summer time and this will be my house rosť for the season.

This is a lovely dry and pale pink with enough peach and apricot notes to bring it to the right side of interesting. And look it's under a fiver! (and no, this is not an April Fool).

Amazing value, lovely summer rosť, all we need now is the sunshine.

Cheers!




DRINK OF THE WEEK
25th March 2019
Cune Barrel Fermented Rioja Blanco
Waitrose £8.79 (on offer until 09/04)
Drinker Rating 90

White Rioja can be a bit underwhelming. Everyone does one but they seldom satisfy. I think this one, by wonderful winemakers Cune benefits from barrel fermentation.

Usually wines are fermented in stainless steel or concrete vats, barrel fermenting gives a wonderfully soft and approachable texture adding extra depth and smoky complexity to the wine.

A perfect springtime blanco.




DRINK OF THE WEEK
18th March 2019
Taste the Difference Languedoc White
Sainsbury's £7.50
Drinker Rating 90

So it's very nearly payday and we need an affordable but delicious drop to see us through until we all put our orders in with Berry Bros and Rudd.

Here's a real beaut', it's got a slightly floral nose and bursts with peach and lime freshness on the palate. The wines of Languedoc often provide great value for money (both reds and whites) and this is a real classic from the region.

Proper value for money here!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
11th March 2019
Vecchia Modena Pignoletto
Aldi £7.99
Drinker Rating 91

My Drink of the Week this week is a fizz - but a classy AND affordable drop. The reasoning for this is that it's Cheltenham week and I don't know if I'll be up or down but I'll certainly need a drop to celebrate the best week of the year.

So here we go Pignoletto, it'll be the next big thing taking over from Prosecco as the light Italian sparkler of choice.

This is light and refreshing but with just enough tropical fruit character to keep you interested. It has the tiniest touch of sweetness on the palate but don't let that put you off, it works so well with the high acidity providing perfect poise.

Now to pick some winners!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
4th March 2019
Exquisite Fino Sherry
Aldi £5.00
Drinker Rating 91

Is it cold outside? Is it getting warmer? Ooh, is that a rain-cloud? Is it snow? What's going on with this late winter early spring weather, we want some certainty!

If the weather's all over the place we need an adaptable tipple to drink along. Fino sherry is dry and austere, nuttly and refreshing, all things to everyone. It's pretty much always good value and this one from Aldi is a corker.

If you're not familiar with Fino you probably won't like it at first taste, this is one that grows on you. Open a bottle on Monday and have a glass while you're cooking your dinner, then another on Tuesday, then Wednesday and so on. By Saturday you'll be hooked.

And then you'll want a Manzanilla!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
25th February 2019
Surani Costarossa Primitivo
Majestic £7.99 (mix six price - one week only)
Drinker Rating 91

I am a big lover of Primitivo - related to Zinfandel it grows best in the intense southern Italian sunshine. There they let the grape get a little over-ripe which thickens the skins and deepens the flavour.

This is a great example, it's deep and intense, all fig and prune in flavour, full bodied and spicy. It stands well as a winter red, great with roasts and stews but also works well with a smoky barbecue.

Best of all it's on offer this week only at £7.99, a real bargain, you get lots of wine for your money.

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
18th February 2019
Burra Brook Chardonnay
Marks and Spencer £7.00
Drinker Rating 90

We have to talk about Chardonnay. Also we have to talk about oak. There are those of you who still baulk at the idea of oak and chardonnay and you really shouldn't. It's about time you gave them both another try and this Aussie white from M&S might just be your gateway.

Yes, there was too much sub-standard and over oaked chardonnay on the market some time ago. It got incredibly popular and then we all got bored with it.

It's back, but subtlety is the order of the day today. This is a belter, The fruit shines through, lime and pinapple to the fore and this is supported, not dominated by a gently use of oak - bringing just a touch of vanilla.

Go on, give it another look.


DRINK OF THE WEEK
11th February 2019
Gavi di Gavi
Aldi £6.99
Drinker Rating 90

Valentines Day, as far as I can see, is just a stalkers charter. Licence to send creepy notes to that person who clearly doesn't want your attention. In fact Valentines should be banned completely for those people in a relationship, it's not for them, it's for kids and weirdo singletons.

There, that's that out of the way. You'll know by now that I never recommend anything pink or fizzy over Feb 14 - this wine is a bit more grown up.

Gavi can be plain and neutral, this one from Aldi is bright and classy, fresh lime and lovely minerality and a bargain at seven quid.

Happy Valentines.



DRINK OF THE WEEK
4th February 2019
Extra Special Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc
Asda £6.00
Drinker Rating 90

I'vce been banging on for years about how disillusioned I am with Bordeaux. I'm talking now about the reds of what is supposed to be THE classic French wine region. There's so much very average, awful even Bordeaux red. Practically nothing affordable at all that isn't over tannic, un-ripe, un balanced bitter stuff. Sure you can get good gear at north of twenty quid but who's paying that?

But look at the whites, rose and sweeties from Bordeaux and it's a different matter. Some absolute crackers at really decent prices.

So as you sit down to cheer England on next Sunday against the French in the Six Nations, crack open this smasher from Asda.

Cheers


DRINK OF THE WEEK
28th January 2019
Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon
Waitrose £8.59
Drinker Rating 90

The winter is still here, it's bitter out and going to get colder before it gets better. I like to think of wine as sunshine in a glass. Grapes need on average 120 hours of sunshine to ripen, so when you have a glass on a winter's day you're getting refined sun-light.

This Californian cabernet is a real crowd pleaser. Fruit driven , warming blackberry compote but with a lovely spicy finish, cinnamon and cloves and a hint of Turkish coffee.

It's a belter and just right for the cold, dark days of winter.

Cheers.



DRINK OF THE WEEK
21st January 2019
Finest Rioja Reserva
Tesco £8.50
Drinker Rating 90

Blue Monday my arse! Let's knock that one on the head right there and start the week off with a pretty little Rioja.

There's a lot of quite poor Rioja out there so snuffling one out is never easy. Tesco have done it with this cracker-jack of a wine.

It has enough bright black fruit to balance a big dollop of oak, it's spicy and tannic on the finish which is no bad thing - Rioja should have structure like this.

I'd never say banish the blues with a glass of wine - rather let's celebrate the moodier seasons with a little warming tincture.

Cheers.



DRINK OF THE WEEK
14th January 2019
Taste the Difference Austrian Riesling
Sainsbury's £8.50
Drinker Rating 89

Time for something classy and affordable. For many years Austrian wine has been beyond the pocket of most British wine consumers but there's more and more of the stuff on the market as the years go by.

This is one of the great grapes of Austria, it's dry but aromatic and floral, giving a nose of pear, apple and apricot. It's fresh and zippy but does have a fuller body.

Interesting and perfect at the price.

Cheers.


DRINK OF THE WEEK
7th January 2019
Morrisons Beaujolais
Morrisons £5.00
Drinker Rating 90

I'm not playing the Dryanuary game, by all means watch what you drink and keep healthy but this is a programme for failure.

If you must, drink less but drink better is the call and as you'd expect from The Drinker that doesn't mean having to shell out a fortune. In 2019 I shall continue to recommend fantastic drinks at reasonable prices.

To start us off I have this fantastic Beaujolais from Morrisons, wonderful vibrant red berry fruit and a hint of light wood smoke. Easy going and fantastic value.