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17 October 2019

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BEST DRINKS WRITER - Great British Food Awards 2019!

We're thrilled to announce, hot off the press, that Olly has been voted Best Drinks Writer 2019 in the Great British Food Awards. Huzzah!

The Great British Food Awards celebrate the best of the UK's food and drink producers and those who champion them. We're delighted that for the third time, readers have voted Olly as winner of the Best Drinks Writer category. Thanks so much to everyone who voted for him.

Check out the full list of winners here

Olly's celebrating by cropping up in 3 different places this Saturday:


Olly will be in the Saturday Kitchen studio on Saturday morning with host Glynn Purnell, chefs Donna Hay and Paul Ainsworth and guest, comedian Russell Howard. Catch them at 10am on BBC One!


Yes! Olly and Matt Tebbutt will be teasing their brain cells in a food and drink special edition of Pointless Celebrities competing against the legendary Ken Hom, chefs Ching-He Huang, Atul Kochhar, Andi Oliver and Michael O'Hare and Bake Off Winner Candice Brown.

Can they triumph to win cash for their chosen charities?! Tune in to find out.....Saturday 19th October, BBC1, 5.50pm and then on BBC iPlayer here.


The town of Lewes is overjoyed to be welcoming legendary Italian chef, Gennaro Contaldo to its fab festival of food and drink, Octoberfeast, now in its 10th year. Olly will be in conversation with Gennaro this Saturday 19th October, over an aperitivo or two.  With these two on stage together, anything could happen....expect giggles!

Tickets are £24 and available here along with more info. Included: focaccia and cicchetti from Caccia & Tails with Birra Moretti or Campari Soda. Gennaro will be signing copies of his new book Pasta Perfecto.

If you miss Olly this weekend make sure you catch...

THREE WINE MEN - on tour!

The Three Wine Men (along with special guests Susy Atkins and Tom Surgey) are heading to a town near you for some fabulous festive tastings. Come and mingle with the gang, producers and distillers in Cambridge (9th November), London (22nd and 23rd November) and Manchester (7th and 8th December), and taste your way through hundreds of excellent wines and gins. 

Delve deeper and join the masterclasses on offer at each event including Matching Wine & Cheese and A Wine Tour of Tuscany. Head over to the Three Wine Men website for more info and tickets. 


As the weather turns ever more mellow and fruitful - or mizzly and moody depending on how you look at it - Olly's turning to southern European reds for that warming rich depth that gets locked into the fruit by the hot summer sun. Here are his top picks: 

First up, a steal from Aldi. Sinargues 2018 (14.5%, £6.99) is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan and it’s a belter of a weeknight red. Expect the depth of a black olive wreathed in herby splendour and a crackle of spice to get you thirsty for the next sip. Stew on the hob? Get this in your glass.

Tesco have found a seriously classy Italian parcel which will wow you, especially if you’re a fan of classic wine styles like Bordeaux and Rioja. Step forward Brumale Nobile di Montepulciano 2015 (14%) which is £12 and worth keeping an eye on in case there’s a cheeky offer. I’d happily pay full price - it’s rich and powerful with firm structure that makes it perfect to pour with a giant slab of mature Cheddar or crumbly Parmesan. A beautiful blend of Tuscan red grapes, don’t let this one escape your grasp - or your glass.

And finally Morrisons The Best Rioja Gran Reserva 2012 (14%) also weighs in at £12 and is a reminder of what Sunday roasts are built for. I got thoroughly lost in the savoury depths of this wine’s aroma and marvelled at its long-lasting turbine of earthy splendour. Summon the best of your friends and do the right thing by pouring them a generous glass of this. I popped a bottle at home last night and it's worth remembering that it’s been cooped up in that bottle a long while so either open it early or decant to reveal its full splendour. And while any old jug will do, there are of course splendiferous decanters designed by my own fair hand available here. Treat yourself!

Olly HQ x

Twitter @jollyolly
Instagram @ollysmith

Fizz on sale now!

  Olly Smith