THE DRINKER
EAT - DRINK - BE MERRY






2016 Winter Drinks Roundup

So we all buy wines from different outlets and there’s both a lot of value and a lot of dross out there. Luckily I’m on hand to guide you through all the best stuff that’s on the shelves right now. I’ll go through each of the major wine retailers listing their superstars this season. Please note that not all wines are available in every store but most of the retailers claim they can all be purchased on-line. For my full listfrom each retailer click on their logo on the right of this page.

All prices pretty much accurate at time of writing but are subject to change.


Marks and Spencer
Stepp Pinot Noir £15.00 - this is a fab littler German number, soft violet and redcurrant, complex and smoky.
La Fortezza Merlot £7.50 - soft, silky Italian merlot, forward bramble fruit.
Recanati Carignan/Petitie Syrah £10.00 - elegant, concentrated Israeli, beautiful nose, tar and pepper
Napa Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon £20.00 - powerful stuff, full on black fruit, layered palate
Chilean White Chardonnay/Viognier £5.50 - well priced, straightforward wine, wonderful fresh topical fruit salad palate
Kings Ridge Pinot Gris £13.00 - Lovely wine from the USA, melon, peach and pear, beautiful wine
Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Les Baudines 2013 £55.00 -oh my, floral nose, deep, rewarding fruit palate, long finish - near on perfect wine
Mount Bluff NV £10.50 - Big nosed yeasty Kiwi fizz, creamy red apple palate
Mars and Spencer Yorkshire Bitter £2.40 - Really well made beer balanced hop and malt



Morrisons
Morrisons Signature Rioja Reserva £6.00 - Total bargain, big and oaky, soft tannin, good black fruit
Villa Antorini Rosso 2011 £14.99 - deep and complex earthy nose, development, warm and inviting
La Bodega de los Altos Andes Malbec £5.50 - Oak, spice, black pepper, big fruit, beauty
Morrisons Pinot Noir £4.25 - Best value red in the UK this season, balanced fruit and tannin 
Morrisons Signature Torrontes £7.00 - Very well made open fresh citrus, lemon peel and lime zest, bargain
Morrsions Signature Chablis £10.00 - Lovely subtle hit of minerality, chalk and green apple
Morrisons Signature Chenin Blanc £7.00 - straightforward fruity creamy palate, fresh acidity
Morrisons Signature Vintage Cava Brut £6.50 - Erm, £6.50? Really good Cava, really good price!


Aldi
Meadowhawk Zinfandel £7.99 - Inky, deep and complex, powerful winter warmer
The Lot Series Priorat £9.99 - Intense fruit concentration, minerality, oak, balance
Exquisite Collection Pinot Noir £6.99 - Savoury and ripe, good fruit, some earthiness
Exquisite Collection Fleurie £6.49 - Spicy blueberry nose, try it chilled, light and easy
Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling £6.99 - Floral and aromatic, white blossom, very well made
Exquisite Collection Limoux Chardonnay £6.99 - Green apple and lime zest, tough of creamy oak
Ashwood Freeman’s Bay Pinot Gris £6.49 - Tropical fruit, lychee and melon, lovely complex gris
Phillipe Michel Cremant de Jura £7.49 - East drinking fizz, well priced, apple and grass, lovely
Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut £10.99 - Fresh bread nose, red apple palate, fresh and rich
La Goudale Abbaye Beer £2.49 - Classy looking bottle, easy drinking strong beer



Tesco
Lava Agilanico £8.00 - Full on concentration, rich and deep, very easy to drink
Finest New Zealand Pinot Noir £8.00 - Floral and spicy nose, fruit driven wine, redcurrant and plum
Tim Adams Clare Valley Shiraz £10.00 - Eucalyptus nose, proper Aussie shiraz
Finest Vina del Cura Rioja Reserva £8.00 - Spice and oak, medicine cabinet complexity
Finest Saint Mont £6.00 - Light green apple nose, fresh and zippy, great value
Tesco Fiano £5.00 - Floral aromatic wine, blossom, citrus palate, tropical
Tinglup Riesling £8.00 - Lime zest, perfumed, refreshing dry, all it should be, first rate
Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuisse £16.00 - Classy burgundy, apple and lime, good use of oak
Finest Blanquette de Limoux £9.00 - Lovely apple and grass nose, creamy, hint of sweetness
Finest Late Bottled Vintage Port £10.00 - Ripe and intense black fruit, deep and complex
Tesco Coffee Liqueur £8.00 - Fancy an espresso Martini? Then get this beauty, much cheaper than the big branded alternatives and much better too!


Majestic
Bellingham Pinopasso Pinotage £8.99 - Deep and complex, great value, intense, mouthwatering
Sarget de Gruaud Larose 1999 St Julien £27 - Classy Bordeaux, game, smoke, tar, black fruit - deep!
Surani Costarossa Primitivo di Manduria £7.99 - Vanilla, coconut, powerful black fruit, intense
Panamericana Merlot £5.99 - Wood smoke and blood, soft easy tannin, bramble and spice
Puligny Montrachet Les Charmes £31.50 - If you only buy one bottle of wine this year…
Paul Mas Estate Marsanne La Forge Vineyard £8.99 - greengage, lime, forward fruit, delish’
Santa Ema Sauvignon Gris £6.99 - Chilean class and value, good fruit, spice and acidity
Terra Pegoes Vinho Branco £6.99 - Light floral nose, honeysuckle, fresh and easy house white
Cuvee Richard Rosé Pays d’Herault £5.99 - Refreshing easy drinking pink, light red fruit, sound


Sainsbury’s
Chateau Montus Madiran 2011 £23.00 - Inky, deep, concentrated black fruit, full on food wine
Taste the Diff Pic St Loup £7.00 - Oak, tobacco smoke, light fruit, interesting wine
Taste the Diff Chilean Pinot Noir £8.00 - Light new leather nose, soft redcurrant palate, good
Warwick First Lady Cabernet Sauvignon £8.00 - Spice nad pencil lead, black fruit, soft easy tannins
Communa No.3 Pinot Grigio £7.00 - Decent characterful PG. touch tropical, ripe fruit
Taste the Diff German Pinot Blanc £7.00 - Melon and fruit salad nose, generous fruit, dry and fresh
Taste the Diff Limoux Chardonnay £8.00 - Soft easy drinker, good oak, green apple, zippy
McGuigan Founders Adelaide Hills Chardonnay £11.00 - Classy, stone fruit and oak in balance
Sainsbury’s Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs Champagnes £20 - both exceptional value for fantastic Champagne


Asda
Orbitali Primitivo £5.00 - Mouth-watering full on concentrated black fruit and BIG oak
Wine Atlas Carmenere £4.97 - Spice rack and black pepper, black fruit compote, intense
Marea Syrah £11.97 - Classy looking, big intense drop, savoury leather and blackcurrant
Wishbone Pinot Noir £8.48 - Reb berry and spice, sweet cedar, cigar box, lots of wine for the money
Extra Special Chardonnay £5.00 - Fresh crisp green apple and lime zest, hint of grass and mineral
La Moneda Viognier £5.75 - Green pine forest nose, aromatic green fruit, lemon peel, fresh
Rully Domaine Marguerite Dupasquier £10.50 - Greengage and oak on nose, zippy and dry, good body
Picpoul de Pinet £5.37 - Lovely peach nose, light tropical fruit palate, well made, easy drinking



Lidl
Vacqueyras, Rhone £7.99 - Big fruit compote nose, intense and concentrated, earth and blackberry
Pomerol, Clos Sainte Anne £14.99 - Soft cedar and cherry, spice palate, pepper and cardamom
Bolgheri, Medici Riccardi £14.99 - Black cherry nose, full body, a very foody wine, integrated tannins
Amarone della Valpolicella, Corte Allodola £12.49 - Very classy wine, intense black fruit, oak, smoke
Reserva Privado Cabernet Sauvignon £5.49 - Big oak and plum nose, vanilla and forward fruit, value
Alsace Gewrtztraminer, JP Muller £11.99 - elegant floral nose, balanced, just enough sweetness
Alsace Riesling Ernest Wein £6.49 - Floral, white blossom nose, bags of fruit, water melon
Macon Villages
£7.99 - Open fruity green apple nose, fresh acidity, extremely well priced
Falanghina, Beneventano, Sassi del Mare £7.99 - Lovely white flowers, fresh and light, super wine
Ben Bracken 22 yo Islay Single Malt £44.99 - Not cheap but worth every penny, not overly peaty, medicinal, complex and deep



Waitrose
Il Venti Rosso £4.49 - Forward black fruit, pretty straightforward, big wine, great value
Storm Tree Shiraz £5.49 - Plum, damson and blackcurrant nose, spice and black pepper, great
Ara Single Vineyard Pinot Noir £11.99 - Red cherry and cinnamon, earthy and deep, spiced oak finish
Blason du Rhone Chateauneuf du Pape £20.99 - Generous fruit and cedar, powerful yet subtle
Fire Flower Chenin Blanc/P Grigio £8.49 - Stone fruit, hint tropical, lovely fresh and balanced
Corbello Cataratto/Inzolia £7.99 - Light 11.5%, forward fruit and white blossom, delicate, delish
Catena Chardonnay £12.99 - Light green apple nose, hit of vanilla oak, integrated, lively
Le Clocher d’Amelie 2014 Sancerre £17.49 - Hit of perfume on nose, floral, some minerality, fab

Piollot Cuvee ‘come des Tallants’ Zero Dosage £23.99 - Wonderful fizz, fresh bread and yeast, complex palate, classy
Waitrose Duchy Original Old Ruby Ale £2.09 - Beer as it should be, balanced hop and malt, a classic style delivered perfectly