TIPPLE TIPS

From the super commercial to the most boutique wines, from all-time classics to out of the beaten track and from £4 to £40 and above, here is a selection of the BEST VALUE TIPPLES I have been lucky enough to taste recently. 

Give these Tipples a try, appreciate them slowly and tenderly and share them on!

Waitrose or Direct - Wye Valley Dorothy Goodbody Golden Ale - From £1.99

After sports (or just a hard day's work), there is nothing more refreshing than a great ale like this one.

Made from Goldings and Fuggles hop varieties, this 4.2% abv ale is crisp with a light bitterness and a slightly sweeter edge. The light body and soft citrus flavours makes it a winner every time on its own or with salad, chicken or pasta.

Look out for it in pubs, especially if you pass by Hereford or get it from Waitrose (£1.99 if in stock!) or direct from the Wye Valley Brewery at around £2/btl (excl. P&P).

 

 

Tesco Italian Red - £4

Incredible value on this Italian Tesco own label!

This Montepulciano-based wine is medium bodied with a good concentration of red and black fruits (mostly cherries), some complexity and a decent finish.

Makes a perfect mid-week red to go with pasta (meatballs spaghettis or lasagne) or pizza.

A great example that you don't need to buy on offer to get good value at £4!

Laithwaite's Hacienda de Lluna Moscatel Rosado - £4.99 / £3.99

Claim the Summer back with this slightly fizzy and sweet Moscatel rosé!

It is bright-coloured with uplifting aromas of summer red fruits on the nose.

The palate is soft, medium sweet and full of simple but fresh red fruits again.

It's perfect chilled on its own on a Sunday afternoon, as an apéritif or to accompany light fruit salads.

Often at £3.99, it is a real bargain for any chilled, fun-loving wine drinker!

Oh, and it's only 5% alcohol!

 

Asda La Cheteau Sauvignon Blanc - From £5

Great appley, grassy & zippy number for a Fiver!

So here is a little test for you. Prepare a drop of salt in the palm of your hand. Open the wine and have a sip of it. Let this lean wave of green fruits (granny smith apple, gooseberry) and freshly cut grass throroughly refresh your palate, finishing a mouthwatering but borderline sour citrus zip. Then, lick up that drop of salt and try the wine again. The wine should feel much rounder with similar but softer fruit flavours.

If you liked it better on the second try, enjoy this wine with anything salty e.g. salt & vinegar crisps, goat cheese, salt-baked fish, shellfish or like I had it with some lightly smoked cod dip.

Otherwise, you probably prefer high acidity (i.e. mouthwatering) wines and you can enjoy on its own.

Whichever way, I hope you will agree that this French number is a cracking find at only £5/btl.

 

NB: I found this wine in an Asda in Dunbar at £4.17 RRP last February but is now showing online at £7.25 (2 for £10). I rate the wine as good value at £7 and great value at £4-5. What do YOU think?

Tesco Finest- Soave Classico Superiore - £6.25

Outstanding Soave Classico for just over a fiver!

If you have never been to Soave, get yourself a flight to Verona and explore this small beautiful medieval town surrounded by vinyeards either in the mostly volcanic hils (the Classico area - usually the more interesting wines) or on the flat plains (mostly big coop wines).

This Soave Classico has got a deeper colour than most Soave at this price. The nose is aromatic and oozes of creamy almonds, red apples and white peach. On the palate, It's round & creamy with concentrated and well defined flavours. It also has enough acidity to keep you coming back for more. Have it chilled to 10C; on its own or with a thyme & lemon chicken. 

 

Majestic/Waitrose - The Ned Sauvignon Blanc - From £6.99

A quintessential New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: very aromatic on the nose (grassy, gooseberry and tropical notes), it is light and reasonably elegant with a refreshing acidity and packed with flavours.

The 2014 is the third vintage I try and it has consistently been above the rest of the pack at this price

From around £7 on offer, this is unavoidable for any lover of this style and will complement a Thai salad, a prawn curry or a Graham Norton Show.

 

Jeroboams/Cheerswinemerchants - Les Tannes en Occitanie Marsanne 2014 - From £7.50

Sun-kissed white peaches & apricots aplenty on this rich Marsanne-based white. Taste the Midi!
The first striking element of this wine is its colour: a deep golden colour, far away from almost clear Pinot Grigios and alike. And the wine is very different too! 

Ripe white peaches & apricots ooze out from the glass with a sprinkle of almonds and cream on top. The wine is as intensely fruity on the palate as on the nose with a very creamy texture without being too rich or oily.

You can find it at £7.50 in Jeroboams Notting Hill but also online at cheerswinemerchants.co.uk.

Have it chilled on its own or on a chicken salad, close your eyes and feel the sunshine. Bienvenue dans le Sud!

 

Costco - Gisselbrecht Gewürztraminer - £9.17

Fancy a wine to go with your Thai takeaway?

 

'Alsace is one of the great, under-appreciated treasures of the wine world.' That's not me being patriotic but wine guru Jancis Robinson speaking the Truth.

Most people who haven't tried Gewürztraminer fall in love with it straight away: a very aromatic nose with floral notes (rose petals), exotic fruits (lychees, mango, passion fruit), spices (cloves) oozing out of the glass and an oily, mouth-filling palate

Only catch: Alsace does not do cheap so it can be quite hard to find a good 'Gewürz' under £10 in the UK. Out of places, I found this wine -that I have bought at the vineyard regularly as a local- in Costco. It's got all you want from a Gewürztraminer and you'd pay €7.50/bottle at the vineyard for this bottle so it's a great price.

 

The wine makes an amazing match with a spicy (potentially in both senses of the term) green Thai curry, Asian food or Foie Gras for the (rare) amateurs here. Enjoy!

Aldi - Champagne Veuve Monsigny - £10.99

A great value Champagne just over a £10!

This Champagne from Philizot & Fils has got all the flavours you'd expect from Champagne: crisp apple and some biscuity, briochey character.

Is it the best NV Champagne around? No, you can't beat some of the Grandes Marques. But, this is only a fraction of the price and is a very smart buy.

I would proudly bring this Champagne to a mate's birthday or to the in-laws for a special occasion.

Please reload