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

2019 Past Drinks of The Week

DRINK OF THE WEEK
11th November 2019
La Moneda Premium Collection Merlot
ASDA £5.00
Drinker Rating 89

In the darker months sometimes you just need an easy drinking red that does the job on a Wednesday night. Simple, straightforward, gluggable wine.

This is just the ticket at only a fiver, it's quite primary, don't expect any hidden depths here, but none the worse for it.

Great priced easy drinking red for the middle of the month.


Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
4th November 2019
Voyage au Sud Vermentino
Waitrose £5.99
Drinker Rating 89

It's getting on for party time, it seems like it's one big party from Haloween to Hogmanay nowadays, and what we need is an affordable, reliable and interesting drop to serve to the masses.

This vermentino is a real crowd pleaser, pretty peach, cool citrus and hip herbal notes combine with fresh acidity to make a proper party wine. At under six quid you get great value too.


Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
28th October 2019
Daniel's Drift Cabernet Shiraz
Marks and Spencer £5.50
Drinker Rating 89


The clocks have gone back and there's a distinct chill in the air, the season is redolent of the relationship I currently have with the builder I've just sacked - he was supposed to have built me a garage by now and has buggered off leaving me with a big hole in my back yard and eighteen grand the lighter.

I need a decent spicy, comforting wine to cheer me up, and with the finances being a bit hamstrung it needs to be affordable.

Step forward M&S and their Daniel's Drift Cab Shiraz, all ripe black fruit, intense and a touch smoky, there's some warming spice, cedar and black pepper.

Should see me through at this price until the bastard pays me back.


Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
21st October 2019
Vignobles Roussellet Sauvignon Blanc
Aldi £4.69
Drinker Rating 89

Continuing my doomsday series on wines Under a Fiver the full list you can access by clicking here.

Sauvignon blanc is the go to wine for many folk and with its new world tropical freshness why not? These are wines that actually taste of something.

This wine is a bit of a surprise as it's made in France but has bags of new world character, lime, mango, grapefruit, there's lots to like here. A lot of wine for the money. Fresh and easy drinking.

About as good as it gets for the price.


Cheers!




DRINK OF THE WEEK
30th September 2019
Nederberg 1791 Cabernet Sauvignon
Sainsbury'ss £4.95
Drinker Rating 89

Continuing my doomsday series on wines Under a Fiver the full list you can access by clicking here.

When you buy a cheaper bottle of wine you don't want it to look cheap, supermatket own labels tend to look ok but the branding can be a little off-putting.

This is a super South African cab, it looks the business and has all the intense fruit and smoky cedar you'd want from a gluggable red. Perfect for any dinner table. The Nederberg Merlot's not bad either at the same price).

About as good as it gets for the price.


Cheers!




DRINK OF THE WEEK
23rd September 2019
Raoul Clerget Beaujolais
Morrisons £5.00
Drinker Rating 88

Continuing my doomsday series on wines Under a Fiver the full list you can access by clicking here.

Beaujolais, possibly the lightest of all the reds made with the cherry scented gamay grape is much underrated - mainly due to the terrible old swill that was (and still is) Beaujolais Nouveau.

Proper Beaujolais is given the chance to develp a little longer than a month before bottling and it truns into lovley light red wines that would do well chilled. This is a lovely autumnal wine, primary fruit with a lovely touch of black pepper.

About as good as it gets for the price.


Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
16th September 2019
Tesco Chilean Merlot
Tesco £4.35
Drinker Rating 88

Continuing my doomsday series on wines Under a Fiver the full list you can access by clicking here.

Here's a perfectly serviceable merlot, primary fruit, velvet smooth and easy drinking. A classic Wednesday night wine at well under a fiver.

About as good as it gets for the price.


Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
2nd September 2019
Bellamente Pinot Grigio Blush
Morrisons £5.00
Drinker Rating 89

Continuing my doomsday series on wines Under a Fiver the full list you can access by clicking here.

Here's a cracking easy-going rosť, jsut the right amount of red berry character, it's light and dry to accompany the last of the summer sun.

Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
26th August 2019
Tesco Australian Chardonnay
Tesco £4.25
Drinker Rating 89

Well, there are only three paydays to Brexit so it's time to stockpile essentials to see us through until rationing comes in. To celebrate this amazing act of self harm I've complied a list of drinkable wines up to five pounds which you can find by clicking here.

The first wine in this bracket that I'm recommending is Tesco's Australian Chardonnay, perfectly simple, nice big dollop of oak, buy lost and chill well.

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
19th August 2019
Abellio Albarino Rias Baixas
Lidl £5.99
Drinker Rating 90

Rias Baixas is sometimes overlooked, it lacks the glamour of many of Spain, or indeed Europes better know wine making regions. Stuck out into the atlantic on Spain's western coast north of Vigo it benefits from long hot summers and the moderating influence of the ocean. Consequently the wines show real poise and depth.

This lovely white made with albarino grapes is blessed with a wonderful lime zest and orange blossom nose, it's pretty simple but very attractive and really well priced.

Perfect to tide us over until pay day.

Cheers!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
12th August 2019
Morrisons Western Australia Chardonnay
Morrisons £8.50
Drinker Rating 90

So this week, with less of a spring in our step than a month ago, we're edging towards another Ashes Test. So here's an Aussie white with elements of their cricket team.

It's very solid and does a decent job, it has flashes of elegance, imagination and inspiration. It also has depth and structure. I'm being as kind the the Australian 1st XI as I can.

My notes include 'citrus, grapefruit, mango and nicely judged oak'. It's a smashing drop and let's how we see a few more smashing drops from the Aussies at Lord's this week.


Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
22nd July 2019
Les Richioses Colombard/Sauvignon
Morrisons £5.00
Drinker Rating 91

It's going to be a hot one and this means were fully into spritzer season. The old white wine and soda (yes, soda, not lemonade) seems to have fallen out of fashion in the last few years. But what better way to enjoy light, dry white than with a refreshing  burst of fizzy water?

Buy decent cheap white and serve over ice with 50-50 soda water. There are some really fantastic whites out there for this job and this is a great example with enough herbaceous sauvignon character to stand up to dilution.


Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
15th July 2019
Extra Special New Zealand Pinot Noir
ASDA £9.00 (offer price)
Drinker Rating 91

Well that was a weekend and a half. So totally exhausted by the end of the cricket that I'll need a good drink and a lie down.

Probably the most sympathetic idea is to have a bottle of New Zealand wine in commiseration for their very unlucky defeat to England. This is a really delicate fruit driven pinot from NZ, easy drinking with approachable tannins, on offer too!

It certainly bowled me over!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
8th July 2019
Masseria Pietrosa Verdeca
Morrisons £6.50 (offer price)
Drinker Rating 90

There are too many grape varieties in Italy to keep track of but every now and then one comes along that really grabs you. Verdeca is the one for me right now, it's grown largely in the south of Italy and it ripens late even in the intense heat of Puglia. This late ripening means complexity, body and acidity.

This wine from Morrisons (currenlty on offer at £6.50) retains a lovely floral note a hint of minerality and quite a creamy finish. A very adaptable wine and very much one to enjoy in the sunshine.


Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
1st July 2019
Le Dame en Rosť
Marks And Spencer £6.00
Drinker Rating 90

It's rosť season and to my astonishment I found this delicious  little number at a recent M&S tasting - astonishing because of the price. I have said time immemorial that you should not be paying too much for pink wine as it's really only got one job and that's to keep you amused while the sun is out.

This really fits the bill, it's got enough fresh cranberry crunch and zippy acidity and it looks wonderful. Absoluter bargain from Marks'. Full marks indeed.


Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
24th June 2019
Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum
Waitrose £26.50
Drinker Rating 89

So this is fun, my tasting note for this, the world's best selling high proof rum was one word, 'uncompromising'. It's a whopping 63% abv but does give a gentle hint of spice, pepper and vanilla.

It's obviously best used for mixed drinks and cocktails and as we're entering Mojito season it'll do very well with the lime and mint. The classic drink it's used in is Wray and Ting, Ting being a fizzy grapefruit crush (Sainsbury's 45p a can).

Feel the summer coming on!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
17th June 2019
Tesco Australian Chardonnay
Tesco £4.25
Drinker Rating 89

It's that time of the month. We're all a bit gloomy as it's still a week to go until payday. So what we need is a really well priced serviceable wine to see us through.

So there is some quality in the wines priced under five punds, in a week or so I'll do a write up of all the Supermarket wines in this category and for now get this £4.25 chardonnay.

It's a simple enough wine but with enough chardonnay character (green apple and melon) to keep you interested. Buy lots and chill it well.


Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
3rd June 2019
Taste the Difference Verdicchio Classico
Sainsbury's £6.00 on offer from £7
Drinker Rating 89

It's all sun and barbecues from now on in. Just you wait, it'll be the sunniest Wimbledon ever. So now we've conspired to bugger up the planet's climate we'll need a decent affordable drop to go with all this weather.

Verdiccio is a lovely grape and this wine shows it in all its tropical fruit glory, oodles of massive melon, clementine, pear and mango. There's a zippy backbone of acidity and a pleasting mineral finish. Bags of wine for only six squid.


Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
27th May 2019
When in Rome Passerina (2.25 Litre box)
Waitrose £22.99
Drinker Rating 90

It's going to be a warm one this weekend so best get well stocked up. This is a perfect summer wine, would be great with a barbie. It has a wonderful fruity backbone, from apple toward tropical in character and is dry and refreshing.

This is a bit of an expensive one for Drink of the Week but please note it's 2.25 litres, that's the equivalent of 3 bottles and please don't be put off by bag-in-box they are a great way to keep wines in shape over a weekend (or even longer).


Cheers!




DRINK OF THE WEEK
20th May 2019
Porta 6 Rosť
Majsetic £6.74 (Mix 6 price)
Drinker Rating 92

I'm still on my crusade against expensive rosť, paying much more than £8 for a bottle is a fool's errand.

Think about what you want from pink wine, fresh, dry, easy-going, dare I say uncomplicated light and elegant wine? Simple easy drinking sunny stuff with just enough character to be interesting.

Well here's Majestic's offer, it's from Portugal and is everything you want and with 25% off rosť right now (when you buy 6) this is a real bargain. I'd get 6 bottles for the fridge this bank holiday at only £40.44.


Cheers!


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.