THE DRINKER
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PAST DRINKS OF THE WEEK

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2024 Past Drinks of The Week

DRINK OF THE WEEK
15th April 2024
Pierre Jaurant Viognier
Aldi 5.49
Drinker Rating 90

Viognier seems to be getting more and more popular and this has to be a good thing. Probably best known for it's role in fuller bodied wines this versatile white grape is capable of producing a really interesting array of wine styles. It's low yielding and takes some care to grow well, but when it is it produces wines with amazing aromatics and depth. In short viognier is the new chardonnay!

This one from Aldi is perfectly crafted and had bundles of fruit on the nose, peach, apricot and banana balanced by a fresh racy acidity on the palate.

Great quality at a fabulous price.

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
8th April 2024
Extra Special Sicilian Reserve Red
ASDA 7.75
Drinker Rating 90

Siciliy continues to astonish me with the quality and value of the wines it's producing. Not so very long ago the wines from this special little island were fearsome old brutes but there's a modernity to them these days. Expertise in the winery is matched by a focus on some key grape varieties attuned to the volcanic soil.

This rich and intense reserve (aged at least a year in bottle before release) is intense morello cherry, woodsmoke, vanilla and thyme. It's really well integrated, easy tannins and high alcohol work well in matching the full on fruit.

At only 7.75 it's a superb house red and who knows you might even get a BBQ in soon and this will work a treat!

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
1st April 2024 - no joke!
Extra Special Old Vine Garnacha
ASDA 7.00
Drinker Rating 90

Sometimes on wine labels you get a load of old cobblers that means absolutely nothing, words such as 'reserve' and 'select' are very common and have absolutley no real meaning at all but lull you into thinking the wine is something exclusive.

Well with this wine the phrase 'old vine' really does mean something. The vines for this wine are decades old and consequently the roots go very deep - really imporant here as the climate can be extremely hot and this enables the vines to acces enough water to survive. But not only for the survival of the plant is this term important, it also means that the roots come into contact with all sorts of interesting soils as they descend and this means complex wines.

This is rich and intense 14.5%, a really generous wine, fruity and smoky and excellent value for money.

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
25th March 2024
Irresistible Viognier Pays D'Oc
Co-op 9.00
Drinker Rating 90

Sadly due to time I don't have the chance to review as many wines from the Co-op as I should and this is doubly annoying as whenever I get to taste them they are invariable of a really high quality. The reasoning behind this is that the Coop is a convenience store so the smaller wine shelf means that every wine that gets onto their list has to be spot on. There is also a downside and that's the fact that their wines tend to be a pound or two pricier than many of the supermarkets.

Nonetheless this French viognier is an absolute belter, juts the right side of refreshing and with enough lemon and mineral character to keep your interest.

Get don the Co-op and get your divvy!

Cheers!




DRINK OF THE WEEK
18th March 2024
Taste the Difference Conegliano Prosecco
Sainsbury's On offer 8.00
Drinker Rating 90

There's still no end to the popularity of Prosecco - and why not? Lighter and more approachable than Cava and cheaper than Champagne what's not to like?

Well there are some very average Proseccos out there and the trick is to find the good ones, one excellent piece of advice is to look for one of the Prosecco sub zones. Look for names like Valdobiadene or in this case Conegliano - takes a few goes to get the pronunciation right but worth it to sound like a pro.

These areas have tighter controls on the methods and amount  of production and this ensures higher quality. This one has all the peach and stone fruit you need and is an exceptional example of a refined and poised bottle of fizz.

Cheers!



No DRINK OF THE WEEK 11th March 2024 Cheltenham week you berk!

DRINK OF THE WEEK
4th March 2024
Loved and Found Treixadura
Waitrose 8.99
Drinker Rating 91

There are a lot of these 'new and interesting' wine ranges about right now, M&S have Found, Asda have Wine Atlas and Waitrose have the lumpily named Loved and Found. They're all pretty good and do a really good job of exposing the curious wine drinker to grapes or regions that we might not have come across before.

One of the big issues is that they are so unfamiliar that we don;t know how to pronounce them - check out my TikTok vid, I make a right meal of this one!

It's from nothern Spain and is wonderfully nutty with unripe peach notes, a really interesting drop. Check it out.

Cheers!


DRINK OF THE WEEK
26th February 2024
Chosen by Majestic Chardonnay
Majestic 8.99
Drinker Rating 90

The wine buyers at Mejstic do a magnificent job and it's always difficult when new ranges get developed and the old gets filtered out - it can be really frustrating for us us consumers as we can sometimes lose wines that we've come to love. But finer minds than I develop these ranges and range changes.

And so the the new-ish Chosen By range from Majestic. I'm not quite sure where it sits with the existing exellent Majestic Definition range but the wines are wonderful noneltheless.

This Chardonnay comes from the South of France and is a precise expression of the grape - there is no oak here so it's all wonderful apple and almond in character. Classy!


Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
19th February 2024
Taste the Difference Bio Bio Viognier
Sainsbury's 9.50
Drinker Rating 90

You might have noticed a pattern in my recommendations - I really love cool climate wines, give me a Chablis or a Tasmanian Pinot Noir and I'm your man. Why is this? Well when grapes grow in cooler climate it takes a little longer for them to ripen and therefore they produces slightly more complex wines.

So here's one from the Bio Bio valley in Chile, it's in the south of the southern hemisphere and gets cool clear evenings, refreshing pacific breezes and produces wonderfully tropical and mineral wines like this one - a little more expensive but certainly worth every penny.


Cheers!




DRINK OF THE WEEK
12th February 2024
Italiano Vino Rosso
Tesco 4.50
Drinker Rating 89

There is still some good value decent wine out there if you know where to look - luckily you have Big Pete from The Drinker in your corner and I've found this amazing drop.

It's not amazing as in life changing amazing but it certainly fits the bill if you're after a solid red crowd pleaser for under five pounds. There are VERY FEW wines I'd entertain at that price but this really does the job.

Quite light for an Italian red, it's fruit driven and easy drinking and certainly well worth the money. Don't be a wine snob, trust Big Pete and get yourself off down to Tesco.


Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
5th February 2024
Loved and Found Touriga Nacional
Waitrose 8.99
Drinker Rating 91

You know there is  a definite link between the wine styles folk drink and the weather. Obviously pinks and whites in summer and deeper darker reds in Winter (save the Beajolais and Pinot Noir for spring and autumn).

So this week it's a real hearty winter wine, that doesn't mean it has to be rough and rustic, this is big and powerful but with poise too.

Touriga Nacional is most used as a grape in the making of Port so think of those intense fruity fortifieds but dialled down just a touch with some herbal tobacco and tar notes too.

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
29th January 2024
Specially Selected Gamay
Aldi 8.69
Drinker Rating 89

I always say that Gamay is the red grape variety for people who think they don't like red wines. The main grape used in Beaujolais it has lighter body and tannin, it's often fresh, easy and fruit driven, producing red wines that work really well chilled.

But it's not only Beaujolais where it works - this example comes from Tolosan in the south of France, near the border with Spain. As such it gets a little more sunshine don there and the grapes ripen a bit more fully, so this Gamay has a little more depth, body and alcohol - but still very drinkable nonetheless.

Do give Gamay a go - it's not all about the Beajolais you know!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
22nd January 2024
This is Light and Fresh
Marks and Spencer 5.50
Drinker Rating 89

Anyone know about Appasimento wines? Usually Northern Italian in origin and produced using dried or partially dried grapes, this really intensifies the sugars and flavour compunds, producing higher alcohol, full. Opulent, generous wines.

This is a proper winter warmer, it's rich and spicy, black and red fruit compote with black pepper and cinnamon, a real full bodied mouthful and I'd say an absolute bargain at 9.50. First class.

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
15th January 2024
This is Light and Fresh
Marks and Spencer 5.50
Drinker Rating 89

We all have a ranking system in our heads for supermarkets right? A little league table that changes over time, but whatever the weather Marks and Spencer are always going to be in the top three right? Certainly our perception of the quality of their goods will always be up there and then we have to factor in the price as M&S will also always be in the top htree for price too.

Well this doesn't mean they can't do affordable wines and this funny little 'this is...' range is case in point.

This wine is their Pinot Grigio which at 5.50 is remarkably good value showing good lime zest and grass notes, it's exactly what an entry level PG should be.

Cheers!



DRINK OF THE WEEK
8th January 2024
Baron St Jean
Aldi 3.45
Drinker Rating 89

Here's another January budget saver of a wine - it's only 3.45 but please don't think it's rotten - it isn't. It's fairly basic, entry level stuff but is clean, bright and fresh with a good degree of grassy and apple freshness.

Sometimes you have to leave your prejudice at the door, so please give this wine a go - what have you got to lose - well, 3.45 - but that's a risk I'd be happy to take!

Cheers!