Beat the squeeze – Our top tips for drinking well on a budget
There is no get away from the fact that everything is increasing in price and we are having to think about how and where we spend money. With the help of our lovely customers we have come up with tips for still drinking great wine whilst spending less overall. Basically, it involves drinking less, spending less and/or wasting less. Simple!
Top tips for drinking less
1.Cut back on drinking days – Some of you, including Shane and Trish, have great will power and can chose to stop drinking on certain days of the week, or even for weeks at a time.
Some of us want to drink regularly but want to reduce the quantity.
2. Change glass size – Personally, I like to have 3 glasses of wine in an evening. Bizarrely, I’ve discovered that psychologically, 3 small glasses is just as good as 3 large glasses, so I simply swap to a much smaller glass and a bottle lasts 2-3 days. This only works if I put the bottle in a different room though!
3. Jude’s tip is to buy slightly more expensive wine. This puts it into ‘I can’t open that on a Tuesday, I’ll save it for the weekend ‘ category.
4. Don’t keep unopened bottles in the fridge – far too tempting. The act of having to chill a wine can be enough to put you off completely, or at least reduce the drinking window.
5. Esther’s top tip is to buy half bottles – enough for a couple of decent sized glasses, but still cheaper than a full bottle. We now have a great selection of quality wines in half bottles.
6. Break the ‘6’Oclock habit’. Instead of opening a bottle of wine, take the dog out for a walk, or do something else distracting that you enjoy (you can let your imaginations run riot here….)
Tips for Spending Less
Spending less doesn’t necessarily mean buying lower quality, or even less wine.
Swap regions – Many famous wine regions charge a premium just because of the name. So, if you enjoy Châteauneuf du Pape, try a wine from a neighbouring region instead. Vacqueras, Gigondas and Cotes du Rhone made from the same grapes, same climate, same producer yet can cost half the price. Most famous regions have neighbours that produce excellent quality wines. Come in and ask us to show you which they are.
Swap countries – this will definitely be a stretch for some of you die hard Francophiles out there, but Italy, Spain and the New World Countries in particular have some amazing wines at very reasonable prices. Lower land and production costs, along with more reliable weather are just some of the factors that result in lower prices.
Swap grape varieties –There are some lovely well-made wines which are now coming through made from local and indigenous grapes from lesser known regions around the world – many of them under £12.
To encourage you to be more adventurous with trying some of these wine we have put together a couple of Summer Six bundles – reds and whites at just £60 for 6 (see below).
Tips for Wasting less
How often do you get left with one glass worth at the bottom of the bottle – just so you didn’t drink the whole bottle? I would usually start off the next night with this one, but that’s a slippery slope into opening another bottle.
Use a wine preserver – Corovin systems and even simple vacuum pumps are great for making wines last longer once they are open. No more excuses for drinking the whole bottle!
Freeze any leftovers – pour wine that you aren’t going to have in the next couple of day in an ice-cube tray. This can then be used for sauces and cooking with – instead of wasting the fresh stuff!
Esther’s top tip – plan meals around the wines that you will be drinking so that you can have the same wine/s over 2 nights and still match with the food. (That one is for the very planful amongst you)
Come in and talk to us about making your budget stretch further. Just make sure you don’t ask Shane.
This weekend’s sporting events and what to drink with them
One of my favourite pastimes is matching films to drinks (try it before you knock it)
As a bit of fun I have extended it to Sporting event in honour of the incredible International Sporting Events that are on this weekend. Not being a huge fan of some of the upcoming sports, this was a bit of a challenge so I had to enlist the opinions of many of this week’s customers – with some interesting results …
Cricket – England v India at Edgbaston, First Test – This one I can do, as an avid cricket fan. It’s a long day, so Pimms, Sparkling wine English Digby Sparkling rosé and Lyme Bay Classic Cuvee. Finished off with a big robust Trastullo Primitivo
Wimbledon – Stressful matches with the few remaining British players – Emotion white Colombelle from the South of France (very gluggable)
Mixed doubles – easy drinking rosé such as the soft and fruity Cantele rosato
British Grand Prix – a big red, such as the Australian Jester Shiraz, or Italian Amarone. If our favourite driver / team wins maybe a bottle of Italian sparking wine such as Divici Prosecco. Apparently the drivers no longer celebrate with champagne on the podium. Since 2021 Ferrari (nothing to do with the car) have provided traditional method Italian sparkling wine to spray into the faces of their rivals. Everyone is economising!
Interestingly, I have discovered from talking to a couple of local racing fans that they don’t actually drink alcohol whist watching the race as they need to concentrate. They also like to watch it without the distraction of other people, then get together to discuss it afterwards.
Tour de France – Cycling. Something very hydrating and low alcohol. Smashed Lager, Pale Ale or Cider – 0% alcohol. (See New Ins below)
Fishing – Not an international spectator sport, but many of our customers this week are keen fishermen/women and have gone fly fishing. Judging by the amount of alcohol they take on their trips, it is a very sociable affair that involves a lot of drinking. Scottish whisky, such as the Speyburn Braden Orach (Gaelic for ‘Golden Salmon’ found on the river Spey ) was the drink of choice of one customer surveyed who was off up to Tyneside to fish this weekend. He was following that up with a magnum of Gardera Bordeaux (It’s okay -its only £26.95)
I shall be interested to hear how many got away….
England is hosting the Football Women’s European Cup starting on 6th July, and we will be getting behind the English and Northern Ireland teams throughout the tournament. I think this one will require something quite strong and distracting – possibly Gin or neat Bourbon. Next week we will be having the return of the International football team drinking game by popular demand.