Monday, July 31, 2017



This is a delicious, delightful fruit bomb backed up with tannins and a firm acid spine. It even has flash packaging that can be deceptive. Not here. The wine is probably even better. Very highly recommended as I've grabbed a few.

5/5 rating from me  
£4.99 from Lidl  

This is probably the best budget white EVER!

In the 40 [yes I started young] odd years I've been raving about wine I can't recall a better budget white than this. 
It's from the south west of France not too far from Portugal's Vinho Verde. It's probably a Lidl controlled brand and it's probably mostly colombard.  And if it was VV it would be as good as I've tasted. It has a crisp dry lifted vibrancy that absolutely dazzles - you'd think it was bottled yesterday. A truly outstanding wine that I would recommend to anyone.
NB This is one that Lidl regularly feature as one of their £2.99 weekend promotions. Which means it's usually sold out very quickly on a Saturday morning

5/5 rating from me
£2.99 from Lidl on promotion
£4.29 the rest of the time

A really difficult wine to score

With a minimalist front label that had the three magic words of clare, valley and riesling we were drawn to the back label for more information. Made by Pikes!! Oh happy day. You don't see many OZ rieslings in the UK and this has been one of my favourites for many years. 

Sadly it was a disappointment and the back label description was way off. It was one of those glycerol laden rieslings that have never enjoyed much of a market that I could find. Of its style it's a perfect example. It may be flavoursome but it's certainly not crisp and fresh. And where the back label author got the idea of "an uplifting hint of sweetness" is beyond me.

2.5/5 rating from me  
£13  from Marks and Spencer

The Beer of the Year ... So far

How could I resist a beer with a name like this. It's been brewed using five different hops and combined outstandingly with some serious malt. A beautifully balanced beer that is nudging perfection.

5/5 rating from me
500ml bottle

4.6% a/v
£1.49 from Home Bargains 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sainsbury's Winemaker's Selection Alvorada Vinho Verde

This is a perfectly pleasant little drink and scores a bit higher with the price. It's dry, won't offend but just lacks the crucial zing. No spritzig either.
Alcohol is a lunchtime appropriate 9% and I can't find a vintage anywhere.
The Vinho Verde hunt continues!

3.5/5 rating from me 
£3.75 from Sainsbury's while the 25% off sale is on [regular £5]  

Do you want the good news or the bad?

Well here's both. The bad news is that the superb 2011 vintage of this is just about sold out. The good news is there is still some stock of it along with the 2013 which is sharing the shelves in some stores. The even better news is that the 2013 is a cracker. Still a little quirky but far more depth of colour and fruit with encroaching dustiness in the background. It gets even better with the price down from the regular bargain £4.85

5/5 rating from me at a ridiculous £3.64 from Sainsbury's while the 25% off sale is on  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Brancott Estate 2016 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

JUST £5.06 from Sainsbury's for a short time only.
Yes, Sainsbury's have this on promo for £6.75 at the moment. They also have a 25% off sale running which brings the price down to a crazy £5.06 

Back in the day this used to be called Montana. While the name and the style has changed* the price is about the same as it was 20 years ago. It's one of those high profile, well made wines [think Oyster Bay, Ned, Villa Maria, Matua] that you should always look out for when it's  being specialled. The promo price for these brands used to be around £6. Nowadays, with the fall in the value of the pound, £7 looks like a good deal which I saw at Tesco a couple of weeks ago. This price really is crazy

4.5/5 rating from me 
* the 2016 is a bit of a blast from the past with far more herbaceous character than I've seen for awhile. There's still tropical fruit but expect a bit of grass as well.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

I'm looking for much more from this grape

Sainsbury's "Taste the Difference" Salento 2015 Primitivo

I'm looking for a lot more complexity and grunt from Primitivo than I found here. The outstanding Gypsy Jack from Langhorne Creek raised the bar way too high for any competitors I've tasted so far. While this is a perfectly pleasant red that won't offend please don't use this as a benchmark.

3/5 rating from me 
£6 from Sainsbury's

Colinas de Uruguay 2016 Albarino

I love Uruguayan red wines and believe that they provide some of the best value in the world. So it was with some anticipation I twisted the screwcap off the first Uruguayan white I can recall coming across. It's a beauty, full of a heady mix of fascinating fruit flavours and lovely texture. For me this defines this grape variety so do yourself a favour and grab a bottle. It might just be the most exciting dry white you've tasted in a long time.

5/5 rating from me
£7 from Sainsbury's

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Hurry for this 3 for £12 offer from Tesco

Tesco have a really interesting wine range. 
This is one of their many own labels which I wouldn't worry too much about at its regular £6 asking price. But they currently have a 3 for £12 offer [ending 15/5] which elevates it to a must buy if you're looking for an every day Marlborough sauvignon blanc 
5/5 rating from me at this price