WINE OF THE WEEK 2nd Jan 2012

Fairtrade Wild Ferment Chenin Blanc South Africa 2011
Co-op 7.99

Drinker rating 89
There are still some quite ropey Fairtrade wines out there but this is a belter with tropical passionfruit and vanilla hints - not over oaky mind you. Top stuff and it means you're a nice person if you buy it.

WINE OF THE WEEK 9th Jan 2012
Sparkling Burgundy
Marks and Spencer 11.99
   Drinker rating 89
It's my birthday this week and I'll be spending the day at the World Darts Championship so naturally I will be consuming industrial quantities of very poor lager. However if I were celebrating the day at home I might choose M & S Sparkling Burgundy - lovely drop but not Champagne - just right for a 42nd birthday. Chin chin.

WINE OF THE WEEK 16th Jan 2012
De Bortoli Family Selection Cabernet Merlot
ASDA 6.98
   Drinker rating 88
It's that bolognese time of year for me. Rich, deep tomato sauce, warming and hearty. And to go with... This is a bargain, peppery and deep. Nice soft black fruit. A perfect match - or equally good on its own. Good stuff

WINE OF THE WEEK 23rd Jan 2012
Trincaria Rosso 2010 Sicilia, Italy
Waitrose 3.99 Drinker rating 88

Let's face it, the wages haven't cleared yet and we're all still a bit skint from Christmas, so here's an absolute bargain at 4 quid from Waitrose. Hint's of dried tea supported by lashings of black fruit. Some depth to this really drinkable winter wine. Lovely and at a brilliant price

WINE OF THE WEEK 30th Jan 2012
Mount Difficulty Pinot Gris
Majestic 14.99 each if you buy 2
Drinker rating 89

Woo-hoo, we've all been paid at last and so it's time for a treat. Get this pinot gris - it's the same grape as pinto grigio but this has body, fruit, elegance and finesse. Go on you deserve a treat.

The Best Australian Chardonnay
Morrisons 8
Drinker rating 87

On a cold and snowy day what we all really need is a little drop of liquid sunshine in a glass - this is just the ticket, hints of summery orange blossom, lime zest and red apple, balanced with a hint of oak. Well priced and time we all got back into chardonnay.

WINE OF THE WEEK  13th Feb 2012
Altos del Condor Malbec 2010
Marks and Spencer 7.49
Drinker rating 88

Soft sweet high notes and a velvety palate, delicate yet powerful - no not the late Witney Houston, but this little cracker from Chile. Fairly certain M&S are doing a 25% off when you buy 6 offer from 15th Feb so get in quick.

WINE OF THE WEEK  20th Feb 2012
Extra Special Prosecco
ASDA 9.97 Drinker rating 89

Soft red apple notes with good refreshing acidity, light and frivolous. As it's Shrove Tuesday this week I am really pleased to have found a wine that I think will go really well with a pancake. Just looked up the word Shrove on the web and apparently it's the past tense of Shrive - none the wiser - bottoms up.

WINE OF THE WEEK  27th Feb 2012
Vida Nova Tinto
Waitrose 8.99 Drinker rating 91

When tasting this wine and writing the review I had no idea that it's made in Cliff Richard's winery. Cliff or not it's really well made, full fruit dark berry flavour, I got a hint of tea and some smokiness on the nose. An interesting and complex wine - and a real snip at nine quid. Never mind the mistletoe - here's the wine.

WINE OF THE WEEK  5th Mar 2012
Mandrielle Sangiovese Banfi
Majestic 8.99 (5.99 each if you buy 2)Drinker rating 90

I'm not quite sure if this is a Super Tuscan - but it is super and it is a Tuscan. There is a lot of wine here for the money, bags of fruit and well measured oak along with ripe, fine tannins. Top drop for the money - and as you'd imagine it would go really well with Italian food.

WINE OF THE WEEK  12th Mar 2012
Laurent Miquel Heritage Vineyards Syrah
Tesco 8.99 (or thereabouts) Driner rating 90

It's Cheltenham week this week so no doubt it'll be Champagne when my big accer comes in (Al Ferof, Hurricane Fly, Quevega, Bob's Worth, Big Buck's and Brindisi Breeze), but until it does get jhold of this little beauty from Tesco. Complex medicinal and chocolate notes -very pleasing. Come on you gee-gees!

WINE OF THE WEEK  19th Mar 2012
Morrisons Cava Brut
Morrisons 7 (or thereabouts) Drinker rating 87

Sadly last week's annual foray in the the world of high stakes betting at the Cheltenham Festival didn't come off, so it's no early retirement for me and the Champagne will have to wait. Until next year I will have to make do with Cava and this is a cracker from Morrisons all apple and lemon zest, it's time to re-discover the Spanish fizz.

WINE OF THE WEEK  26th Mar 2012
Valdepomares Rioja Rosado
Marks and Spencer 6.49 Drinker Rating 84

The sun's come out and it's time for pink. This rose (sorry, I can't find the accent in this software) is light and fresh and fruity, a lovely drop for sipping in the garden and at a really good price.

WINE OF THE WEEK  2nd April 2012
ASDA Extra Special Falanghina
ASDA 6.98 Drinker Rating 87

NEXT BIG THING ALERT! - The ever so slightly rude sounding Falanghina is a white grape producing easy drinking whites, mainly from Italy, this one has hints melon and peach. It will be the new pinot grigio I promise and you'll all be drinking it next year, at first it was only ADSA doing it, but it's in most of the multiples now. 'Did you see her Falanghina?' -'I tried to but I hurt my neck.'

WINE OF THE WEEK  10th April 2012
Champagne Jacquart Brut Tradition
ASDA 24.47               Drinker Rating 87
I had the privilege of attending a fantastic Champagne tasting led by the wonderful Floriane Eznack of Champagne Jacquart where I got to taste the various vins clairs, the base wines that are used to construct Champagne. Brilliant wines and my pick is their Tradition Brut, fresh and fruity, brioche and apricot. Jacqart produce very approachable and modern Champagnes. So raise a glass to Cambridge, winners of The Boat Race (or to Trenton Oldfield depending on your politics)- I love the bit at the end of the race where the winners get to throw thier cox in the river.

WINE OF THE WEEK  16th April 2012
Vinabla Malbec Reserva - Mendoza
Majestic 7.99 each when buying two               Drinker Rating 87
To celebrate Malbec World Day (yes, I know) try this, a real bargain at the reduced price. It's really full on black fruit and hints of chocolate really hit the spot. A lot of wine for the money and great on World Speak Like a Pirate Day, International Chip Afternoon or European Year of the Fig - come on, you don't need a special day for good wine.

WINE OF THE WEEK  23rd April 2012
Champteloup Sauvignon Blanc Touraine
Waitrose 7.59               Drinker Rating 87
French and opulent with a big nose, but enough about poor old Sarko - he could do worse than drown his sorrows in this lovely sauvignon blanc from Touraine, this is really well balanced stuff, slightly burnt hints on the nose and a wonderful refreshing gooseberry palate.

WINE OF THE WEEK  30th April 2012
Tesco Finest San Antonio Organic Chardonnay
Tesco 7.49               Drinker Rating 86
With the announcement of the new England manager I imagine the only corks popping this week will be in the Hodgson household or the homes of any Tottenham fans. If you happen to be in the Redknapp household this week why not console yourself with this little beauty, lovely red apple on the nose, complex and value. Cheers Harry.

WINE OF THE WEEK  7th May 2012
Kiwi Cuvee Pinot Noir
ASDA 5.00               Drinker Rating 89
What we seem to have here is spring pretending to be winter. When will this rain stop? And talking of things which aren't as they seem at first glance get a load of this Kiwi Cuvee - no, not as you expect from NZ but this is actually a French wine (the price is the give away). Full on fruit salad nose, it's a quite straightforward wine, but great value pinot. Get some in to drive out the rain.

WINE OF THE WEEK  14th May 2012
Old Dry Oloroso
Marks and Spencer 7.49               Drinker Rating 93
t's four seasons in one day at the moment so what we're after is a wine that is both warming and refreshing and this Old Dry Oloroso is just the ticket. Beautiful, complex, elegant, balanced, very very good indeed. I don't often recommend a sherry, but this is fantastic stuff and an absolute bargain for the quality you're getting. I rated it at 93 and I rarely rate wines in the 90s this is world class and will easily see this gloomy weather off.

WINE OF THE WEEK  21st May 2012
Dry Furmint 2010, Royal Tokaji
Majestic 9.99 (8.49 each when buying 2)               Drinker Rating 88
I'm in a truly gloomy mood - the reason York City 2 Luton Town 1 and so another year in the bloody Blue Square Premier. It was at Wembley on Sunday when we lost that I got the first whiff of freshly cut grass and that put me in mind of this little Hungarian beauty, light, open, fresh and grassy. It might help to cheer me up. Come on you Hatters.

WINE OF THE WEEK  4th June 2012 
Chianti Colli di Rasenna DOCG 2010
Marks and Spencer 6.99               Drinker Rating 88
It's still raining, the news is still full of the bloody Jubilee and my hay fever's come back. Don't you just love life some times? In honesty I'm on a bit of a downer as I'm back to work (if you can call this work) after a fantastic break in New York. So to cheer myself up how about this little taste of sunshine in a bottle from M&S? Balanced fruit and tannin, good use of oak and really well priced. Cheers!

WINE OF THE WEEK  11th June 2012
Taste the Difference Verdicchio Classico dei Castelli di Jesi 2011
Sainsbury 6.99               Drinker Rating 88
Having just updated the Sainsbury seasonal list (see below) I re-discovered this little beauty from central Italy. It has lovely tropical fruit notes, melon and peach with good balancing acidity. It's a lot of wine for the money and will go really well with light summer dishes - if the summer ever comes.

WINE OF THE WEEK  18th June 2012
San Leo Rosato
Waitrose 8.54 (5.69 on offer until 26/06/12)               Drinker Rating 90
I promise that summer is coming, no I really mean it, it honestly is. So what I suggest is that you stock up now on the summer drinking bargains, the first of which is this fantastic pink fizz from Waitrose. It's light and fresh, not over fizzy, but a step up from merely petillant with vibrant raspberry notes. It's also on offer if you go to Absolute bargain, even in the rain.