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20 April 2020

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Hail Hot Bottlers,

The vines are budding in my garden marking the start of this year’s homemade wine! These little shoots always inspire me with their delicate determination - you can see in the balance of pinky green the promise of great things ahead. Vines really are such gems when it comes to achieving spectacular growth. Too early to say what the Pinot Meunier grapes from these little beauties will be like, but for sure these vines will give the very best they can from the conditions they are given. With that, I’m delighted to share my weekly dose of Value Vino with you!


In a new corner of my website I’m bringing you a daily dose of great value vino that you can order online and in most cases find on the shelves. With many of us experiencing uncertainty and pressure on household bills, I’m dedicated to finding you the loveliest lockdown bottles on the UK shelves for under ten quid.  A brand new wine will be published each day at ollysmith.com

And as a Hot Bottler, you’ll get all five of my weekly Value Vino picks delivered direct to your inbox - with the usual extra entertainment of course. Here are my first five to get you started:

1.  Lidl Saint-Chinian Les Moulines Réserve 2018 (13.5%) £7.99 – look for £5.99 on offer. Dynamic French red with spicy black fruit depth and top notch flavour. 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache, spot on for a store cupboard casserole.

2.  Peter Mertes Ära Grüner Veltliner 2018 (12%) £8 Tesco. Proper zingy white with gorgeous peachy purity. Upbeat Austrian excellence that’s fab with a fishfinger sandwich.  

3.  Sainsbury’s Porta Seis Lisboa Red 2018 (13.5%) £7.50 An unbeatable ambassador for fruity juicy Portguese red blends. Bang on with sausages. 

4.  Waitrose & Partners Cava Brut (11.5%) £6.99. Fine fizz for under a tenner? Yes please – this is crunchy as a frosted apple and dazzlingly delish. Best bet for online drinks with friends and family. Party time!

5.  Aldi Specially Selected Pays D’Hérault Rosé 2019 (12%) £6.49. Find a ray of sunshine to sip this in – pretty close to Provence quality without the price tag. Gorgeous wine to unwind with.

You can still find all my other recommendations via my weekly Mail on Sunday column or by watching Olly’s Trolley on the Mail+ website.


There are two new bonus episodes of my podcast A Glass With… just out, featuring 'best of' clips from guests including Clare Balding, Nathan Outlaw and the fabulous Sting & Trudie Styler. You can listen to them and all the episodes in full via the website here.

I've really been enjoying filming my daily Isolation Diary for Mail+ and you can watch every video for free on its dedicated page by clicking here. Whether it’s bumblebees, the stars, wine or just the wonder of the world there’s an episode for everyone.


I’ll be back on Saturday Kitchen this weekend with Matt, broadcasting live from my orange banquette with Theo Randall in the studio and special guest Mel Giedroyc on video link. Tune in from 10am live on BBC One.

If you’re in need of cocktail inspiration during lockdown, my book FIZZ is just the tonic to use up those store cupboard bottles and concoct some liquid sunshine to banish the gloom. Order your signed copies here.

One final thought. If you know of a friend or loved one who needs cheering up during lockdown, I’d be delighted to record a short video message, just email their name and a brief outline of anything important such as an anniversary, birthday or just plain old cheers and send it to raiseaglass@ollysmith.com and I’ll sort you out with a personal message. We’ll get through this together - glass in hand!

Here’s to you and yours and stay safe out there,

Olly x



  Olly Smith