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15 June 2020

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Hail Hot Bottlers!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Thank you for all your kind comments on Saturday Kitchen - a pleasure to bring you an extra array of gins to encourage you to celebrate World Gin Day! Tune in to discover the gins and my choice of wines to pair with Adam Byatt's dishes by clicking here.


Today brings a brand new episode of A Glass With....starring Eastenders legend, Red Cap star and New Tricks actor Tamzin Outhwaite!  It was an absolute pleasure to have a chinwag with Tamzin who I've always had such a laugh with when we've worked together in the past. We chat about her life on stage and on the box, her favourite cocktails and even her superpowers. Tune in to aglasswith.com to listen (or on your favourite podcast platform).


Now, I don't know about you, but my Lockdown locks are developing into a follicle thatch or what some might call a Hairy Hat.  In fact, heads all around the country are sprouting styles they never knew were possible.  So this got me reflecting on the best barnets of of my formative years. Behold my Top 10 hairstyles for the Isolation Diary.  Click here to find out who I awarded the gongs of glory to.


The latest episode of Locktails is out there on Mail + This week I make a boozy blended berry blast with lashings of rum and a touch of naughty ice cream.  I give you the Frosty Fruit!  Give it a go when the sun comes out and you will be transported to that Caribbean Island, albeit via your tastebuds.


And if you're looking for a non-alcoholic tipple, I was blown away by this brilliant summer special 0.5% beer from Big Drop. So little booze yet maximum flavour.  Colossal surging hops with mega refreshment and the kind of drink that makes you want to sing. How can beer taste this good with just 0.5% ABV? Ask the Big Drop boffins - in the meantime, crack a can and feel the Poolside pull.


I've also tasted a huge range of wines this week to find you the next installment of the best in VALUE VINO. Let these stunners float your boat and rock your wallet.

Voyage au Sud Vermentino, Pays d'Oc 2019 (12.5%) £5.99 Waitrose  Juicy, dazzling and peachy, this Vermentino is the best value white wine I’ve so far tasted in 2020. Great with a goat’s cheese salad, fab with shellfish or delicious to sip as a cool glass of glory. Stock up.

Tesco Coteaux d’Aix En Provence Rosé 2019 (13%) £7.20 Classic! Soft vivacious red fruit with a whip crack of raspberry zing on the finish. Arrestingly delicious and fantastic to sip with summery salads.

Summer Road Old Vine Grenache, Barossa Valley 2019 (14.5%) on offer £7.49 until 30th June Waitrose. Waitrose have been knocking it out of the park lately, I was super impressed with their range in my recent tasting and this red stood out as heaven in a glass. Honestly it made me want to drink wine all day long. Moreish with aromatic crunchy red fruit, this ace Aussie wears its 14.5% lightly without skimping on flavour. Think Rhône meets Beaujolais.  This is up there with my top summer picks for barbecue brilliance, but try it with pork in tomato sauce for a paradise pairing.

Marks and Spencers “Classics” Mineralstein Riesling No. 2 Pfalz 2019 (12%) £9.50 in store. Brand new from M&S’s superb Classics range benchmarking typical wine styles from around the world, this German gem is beyond brilliant. If you enjoy fruity wines with a pristine sheen, this has all the richness and purity of a peach dipped in gold. Incredible with Tom Yum or other spicy Thai flavours and simply delicious lively white wine to revel in.

Leftfield Rosé Hawkes Bay (13%) £8.99 (down from £11.99 until 30th June), Waitrose. Told you Waitrose were knocking out of the park! This is sheer jubilance - rich fruity rosé that leaps out of the glass, packed full of flavour and everything you could possibly need in a wine under a tenner to sort your weekend right out. Here’s to being Leftfield!

Don’t forget English Wine Week starts this Saturday 20th June. Giving you the best opportunity to step outside the box and try some of the really stunning wines that are being made right here on our doorsteps.  The English Wine trade goes from strength to strength and the quality is ever improving. Check out the Wine GB website for some great resources and info. I am a huge fan of English wines and I urge you to support them too. 

A widely available gem for you to raise a glass with is Aldi’s Exquisite Collection Lyme Block 2018 (12%) £9.99. Scented, zingy and served cool is like a liquid sunbeam on a Devonshire day! Or try M&S Balfour English White Chardonnay Ortega 2019 (12%) £13 in store. Dazzling! Packed with zesty lime zing and exotic edges this zippy white is as high impact as licking an exploding peach stone. Try it with ceviche!

I will be raising my glass of English to all of you come rain or shine.  Do keep in touch, it's lovely to hear from you on Instagram and Facebook. Have a lovely week.

Olly x

Instagram @ollysmith

Facebook @jollyolly

Twitter @jollyolly


  Olly Smith