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Happy New Year

I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year and that 2020 will be a good year for you.

Things on the website have changed a bit although the underlying aims are, of course, unaltered.

In line with most modern websites, each post has now been made shorter and punchier.

Also, rather than consolidate everything into a single (lengthy) “article”, most topics will now have their own post – meaning more concise (but more regular) emails and updates.

Canny Drinker Alerts

January is usually a difficult time for budgets so here are five and a half everyday wines that are tasty, straightforward but inexpensive options to suit all pockets.

The last one is a little bit dearer (hence the “five and a half”) but included because it is excellent wine – and terrific value at its promotion price.

Red Wines

2019 Mountain Vineyards Shiraz (£5 at Tesco):

If you are looking for something knee-deep in substance and texture, this South African red may not be the guy for you.

Nevertheless, it has delightfully attractive but light herbal cherry and bramble fruit nicely supported by good acidity and hints of spice yet only limited tannin.

2018 Mellow and Fruity Spanish Red (£4.99 at Waitrose):

Waitrose may not be the obvious place for inexpensive wine but this terrific value garnacha based red has long been a favourite of mine.

It delivers soft, juicy cherry and raspberry fruit supported by good acidity and light tannin but with a liquorice based savoury undercurrent and hints of allspice. 

2013 Baturrica Tarragona Gran Reserva (£4.99 at Lidl):

Also Spanish (but from Catalonia this time), this keenly priced, textured merlot/cabernet blend has a nice bit of aging.

That maturation adds complexity to the wine’s cherry and bramble fruit, good acidity, suggestions of chocolate, pepper and aniseed but still quite firm tannin.

White Wines

2018 Morrisons Soave (£4.35 at Morrisons):

Today’s post (and this part of our website) is all about low cost everyday wine and this uncomplicated white from Northern Italy fits the bill perfectly.

Unusually at this price point, there is a neat combination of flavours including mellow apple and lemon fruit, vaguely nutty texture but some fresh grapefruit acidity to keep things lively. 

2018 Cimarosa Pedro Jimenez (£4.99 at Lidl):

Not to be confused with the similarly named (but only distantly related – if at all) sherry grape, this Pedro Jimenez (sometimes spelled with a G rather than a J) is from northern Chile.

Rather than the opulence of the sweet wine PX can produce in Spain, this guy has green apple and pear fruit, gentle citrus acidity, pithy texture and a surprisingly long finish that embodies unusual saline depth.

2018 Les Dauphins Cȏtes du Rhȏne Blanc (£6.50 – instead of £8 until 20 January – at Tesco):

If there are a few pennies left, head for this fragrant yet nutty blend of grenache blanc (70%) and viognier.

It has textured quince, peach and ripe melon fruit supported by evolving zesty acidity and a savoury herb finish.

Next week: Switching to a more detailed look at a subject, next Wednesday’s post will suggest what to drink for Burns Night (25 January) and why.

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Eddie Walker

Good Morning to you Brian and a happy New Year!
The Waitrose red above I’ve had before and enjoyed and the two Lidl bottles are ones I regularly return to. But never at full price! Both have recently featured as Weekend discounted items, now Wine Of The Week, and I’d expect them to come up again with as much as £1.50 off the usual shelf price. That makes a decent entry-level bottle even more worthwhile at between £3 and £4. What’s not to like eh?
Thanks again for your enjoyable blog.

Doug Mills

Like you, Eddie, I buy these two Lidl when on offer! The Waitrose Red was really good value, too! I enjoy reading Midweekwines blog.

Brian Elliott

Thanks Doug – glad we are hitting the spot for you. A couple more great value wines (in my view of course) will be on the website on Monday ….. Brian

Brian Elliott

Thanks Eddie …. I had not spotted those as Lidl Wines of the Week but will certainly try to get advance details where I can.

Chris Batchelor

Hi Brian
Thanks, as usual some interesting recommendations with a couple I’m already familiar with, but it’s good to be reminded of.
Is the omission of alcohol level a permanent change? I find that information very helpful, as my more sensible partner prefers wines with a lower figure

Brian Elliott

Many thanks for your kind words Chris. To keep your other half happy, I have re-instated wine abv’s where it is easily available.

John Laskey

Thanks Brian for this excellent service. Obviously due to the filter on your website I won’t be able to drink these wines with spam!

Brian Elliott

Ah! Spam fritters – surely you are too young to remember them!

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