SAINSBURY'S annual Drinks Festival is up and running again from now until September 12, and this year everything in it will have a minimum 25 per cent discount, with some offers as much as 50 per cent off.
And there will be a further five per cent discount on every six bottles of wine purchased, plus a free wine carrier. More than 80 wines have been discounted and I'd suggest you make a beeline for some of the following, if previous slurpings are anything to go by: at 1.50 off are Jacob's Creek Riesling and Crozes Hermitage (4.49 new price). Jekel Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are both 5 off at 4.99; Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc drops 1.75 to 5.24; both Wolf Blass Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are 2 off at 5.99; Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Pinot Grigio is 1.88 off at 5.61 and the delish Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon, an organic Californian red, is 7.11 from 9.49.
On to champagnes and Lanson drops from 22.49 to 16.87, Nicolas Feuillatte is 5 off at 14.99, Canard Duchene is 11.49 from 22.49 - can't be bad - and there are plenty other sparklers at discount prices.
This week's offerings: Ernest & Julio Gallo Sierra Valley Californian White Zinfandel (4.99, Sainsbury's) packs a powerful cranberry punch on the nose, plus raspberries and a prickle of white pepper. A dry Californian rose, it's immensely fruity. Chill to within an inch of its life.
Once you get through reading the somewhat excessive name with Macon Domaine Cordier 2004 Terroir de Charnay Vin de Table Bourgogne (8.99, Majestic, but 7.99 when you buy any two Cordier wines), you'll enjoy it's rich, buttery, barley sugar flavours. It's an extremely weighty white Burgundy with a nose that speaks volumes for the art of oak maturation. Try salmon steaks on a bed of puy lentils, duck dishes, turkey or chicken. Loved it to bits.
Margaret River 2004 Cabernet Shiraz (7.99, M&S) is from an acclaimed wine region in Western Australia, here delivering coffee, drinking chocolate, plums and fig aromas, with spikes of spearmint. Extremely palatable stuff with red meats.
Partial to comfort food in the shape of lamb's liver, bacon and onions? Well, here's the perfect match - Reserve Perrin 2003 Cotes du Rhone (6.99, Majestic, but buy two and save 2). It smells vaguely of figs and alcohol-soaked raisins and in the mouth is smooth and rounded. Great combo, if you're into offal.
You'll discover plum, leather and dried figs aromas wafting from Berberana 2004 D'Avalos Tempranillo (4.99, Majestic, but buy two in case and it's 4.49). That's followed by bags of savoury fruit - a real corker at its discount price. Sunday roasts.
Santa Julia Syrah Rose (4.99, Somerfield) has a wondrous smoky nose like a well-made Chablis - even though it is a ros. Lots of flintiness in this dry, candy-floss and strawberry-flecked red.
Da Luca Primitivo-Merlot (4.99, Somerfield) is a gutsy, two-way blend of red grapes smelling of violets, plum and fig. There's a touch of chocolate in this big-hearted wine too. Spier 2005 Discovery Merlot (3.99, was 4.99, Somerfield, until August 29) is a soft-berried, plum and linctus-endowed red that'll see off pizza, burgers and barbie-fodder in a trice.
The nose is so attractive on Nero d'Avola Corte Ibla Single Estate 2003 (7.99, was 9.99, M&S, August 29-Oct 2) you don't even have to drink this red Sicilian to enjoy its leather, cassis, liquorice and spices tones. Serving it with peppered steaks, haunch of venison or beef casseroles will help soften its 14 per cent alcohol.
BARGAIN OF THE WEEK
A totally exciting drop of California's finest - that's Dancing Bull Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (5.99, was 7.99, Sainsbury's, until Sept 12). It has an instantaneous savoury grip, it's smoky too and it has a massive finish.
WINE OF THE WEEK
Twenty-four months maturing in new French and American oak barrels have transformed Marques de La Corncordia Reserva 2001 (9.99, Majestic). Extremely savoury Rioja and packed with aromas of plum and spice.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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