Cocktails in the City

 

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We recently spent the evening at Bird of Smithfield for an exclusive, invitation only, cocktail launch. Set out over 5 floors of an old Georgian townhouse, Bird of Smithfield caters for all. Whether it’s a leisurely breakfast or lunch you’re after or al fresco cocktails & dinner followed by rooftop drinking, then Bird of Smithfield is spot on.

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In the run-up to the launch, Chief Mixologist at Birds of Smithfield, Stan  Andruskevic, had been secretly concocting a brand new cocktail menu. Experimenting with smoke, burning herbs and preparing delicious candied fruits…along with introducing some new vodkas, gins & mezcals. What better way to celebrate the new menu than with a cocktail party for bloggers, social media fanatics, spirit brands and friends.. and we were lucky enough to be part of the crowd!

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Cocktails on the menu included Lost Treasure, Smooth Operator, Caged Heart & LDN. One of our favourites was Lost Treasure, made with Knob Creek BourbonAmaro Meletti, apple juice and homemade apple & lime tequila liqueur. Amazing!

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Open Monday to Saturday, Birds of Smithfield is definitely somewhere we’ll be visiting again soon. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you check it out for yourself!

Lastly, a big thank you to Bird of Smithfield for inviting us along, we can’t wait to see what’s more to come from you guys.

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It’s Competition Time!

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It’s cocktail competition time! Join us on Wednesday, 4th May at Jenny’s Bar in Liverpool for an afternoon watching some of the most skilled bartenders, from Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Halifax & Nottingham, shake it out in front of a panel of judges to be crowned champion of this year’s Collins Cocktail Competition.

The deadline for entries was the 20th April and since then we’ve narrowed it down to 12 lucky finalists who will be mixing up on the day. Our finalists include:

Ehren Khoo-Steel from the Brass Monkey, Nottingham
Jack Daniels from Elixir, Manchester
Thomas White from Maray, Liverpool
Will Meredith from the Black Cat Cocktail Bar, Manchester
Gethin Jones from Cottonopolis, Manchester
James Brown from Lost in Tokyo, Manchester
Lawrence Woodrow-Smith from Pintura Kitchen, Leeds
Alex Morton from Pintura Kitchen, Leeds
Tom Kinley from Jenny’s Bar, Liverpool
James Woolard from 53 Degrees North, Halifax
Chris Edwards from Filter + Fox, Liverpool
David Nagy from Tariff & Dale, Manchester

The competition will kick start at 2pm and the aim of the game, for each of our finalists, is to create their own interpretation of the timeless Tom Collins (a simple mix of gin, lemon and sugar syrup, shaken over ice). The only rule that applies is the use of 35ml of Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin.

What we’re looking for is an original interpretation of the classic that really showcases Bobby’s Gin in all in its glory. Cocktails will be judged on taste as well as presentation and originality. The winner will be announced on the day.

If you can’t join us on the day, keep up to date with all the action by following us on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook@AmathusDrinks.

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About Bobby’s Gin

Jacobus Alfons, or Bobby to his family and friends, was born in Indonesia but migrated to the Netherlands in 1950. Bobby loved Dutch Genever, but missed the taste of home, so started infusing it with Indonesian spices and herbs, unknowingly creating his own gin and laying down the foundation for Bobby’s Gin.

In 2012 Bobby’s grandson Sebastiaan discovered an old bottle of the gin in his mother’s house. Inspired by his grandfather’s story he travelled to Schiedam, the city where Gin originated and started work on creating a unique gin, blending the tradition of Schiedam Genever with the best Indonesian botanicals and spices. After almost two years of distilling, developing and refining, Bobby’s Gin Schiedam Dry Gin was born.

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Reawakening the spirit of Scotland’s rugged North Shore

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Just over 2 weeks ago we saw the arrival of our new agency whisky, Wolfburn. This was a very exciting time for us, not only to have this wonderful whisky added to our portfolio but also because it’s a brand new single malt whisky, fresh to the market. This doesn’t happen a lot in the whisky world, so you can imagine how ecstatic we were to be given the honour of distributing Wolfburn throughout the UK.

So here’s a bit of background for you:

In 2011 the founders of Wolfburn Single Malt Whisky travelled to Thurso in Caithness, in search of the old Wolfburn distillery. All that remained was the flow of water that once fed the mash tun and stills many years ago. The team were convinced that if the water was still there, then the whisky could be too. In May 2012, the purchase of the land was finalised. By January 2013 the new Wolfburn distillery was complete and on Burns Night, a cask of Wolfburn Whisky – the first for nearly 150 years – was laid down in Thurso.

 

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Using unpeated malt, master distiller Shane Fraser and his team have crafted the latest incarnation of Wolfburn Whisky from a blank canvas by pot still distillation, the old way; no automation, no rush and a lot of care. Aged in Spanish and American oak casks, Wolfburn Single Malt Whisky is wonderfully unique in flavour. It’s light and fragrant with aromas of fruit, malt and a hint of peat. It’s sweet and nutty on the pallet, leaving a pleasant flavour of smoke in the mouth.

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As well as the Single Malt bottle there is also the Inaugural release. Crafted from the very first casks from the new Wolfburn distillery, it’s truly something for collectors and connoisseurs. Limited in number to 875 bottles (100 for the UK market), each individually numbered and engraved, and presented in a hand-made oak box.

The whisky inside was selected by Shane Fraser specifically to become Wolfburn’s first. Using long fermentation, long slow distillation, and matured in hand-selected casks, it is genuinely something very very special.


 

Since its release on the 14th March, Wolfburn Whisky has already taken the market by storm and is fast becoming a whisky that everyone is talking about. From articles in Harpers Food & Drink Magazine to fantastic reviews from the likes of Dave Broom, a very well-known writer in the whisky world. Scoring it an 8/10 and branding it ‘one to watch’, Broom adds ‘I’ve been impressed with Wolfburn’s quality from the word go and this doesn’t disappoint.’

To read the full review, please visit bit.ly/wolfburn.

Wolfburn Dave Broom


If you require anymore information on any of the two products, please visit our website or pop in to your nearest Amathus store.

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Easy Spring Cocktail Ideas

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It’s Spring time, the sun is out (well kind of) and it’s definitely the start of better times to come. As we leave the dark and miserable winter weather behind us, we can start to emerge from our hibernation and begin spending more time outside.

When the sun’s out, there’s only one thing that springs to mind.. a BBQ! So if you haven’t whipped out the barbie already, I’m sure you’re checking your diary as we speak. With BBQ’s in mind, it’s time to turn your attentions away from the heavy reds and go for something that’s a bit lighter, fresher and crispier to drink. What else could be more fitting than a couple of cocktails?

So get your shakers at the ready, your cocktail making lessons start right here:


 

Elderflower Daiquiri

ELDERFLOWER DAIQUIRI
Spice up your life!

Ingredients

35ml of Ron Barceló Gran Anejo
20ml of Joseph Cartron Elderflower Liqueur
5ml of Joseph Cartron Orange Curacao Liqueur
2-3 drops of pimento extract (or Tabasco)
15 ml of fresh lime juice
1/2 a bar spoon of white sugar
Pulp of 1/2 a passion fruit

Simply shake all the ingredients together then filter into a cocktail glass with a strainer. Decorate with half a passion fruit sprinkled with pimento. It’s fresh and fruity with a definite kick!


 

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GREEN NIGHTS
Cocktail making made easy!

Ingredients

35ml of Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin
20ml of Joseph Cartron Elderflower Liqueur
15ml of fresh lemon juice
2 slices of cucumber
3 basil leaves
1/2 a bar spoon of white sugar

Again shake all the ingredients together.. but be careful with this one, we don’t want to crush the ingredients. Once shaken filter into a rock glass with ice and garnish with a basil leaf and a couple of slices of cucumber.

Served with or without food, this cocktail is a great all-rounder, helping with that transition from Winter to Spring to Summer.


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MADEMOISELLE
Oh yes please!

Ingredients 

30 ml of Château du Breuil Calvados VSOP
20 ml of  Joseph Cartron N°7 Liqueur
20 ml of fresh lemon juice
20 ml of Teisseire Gomme Syrup
1 egg white

First of all don’t be alarmed by the egg, you don’t need to be a bartender to use them in a cocktail. So with this one, the same as the ones above, pour all the ingredients into a shaker. Shake then filter twice before pouring into a chilled cocktail glass. This is where your artistic skills come in, garnish it with a fan of green apples.


 

COCKTAIL BY JOSEPH

   BY JOSEPH
One of your 5-a-day!

Ingredients

4 white Grapes
40ml of Joseph Cartron Eau-de-Vie de Poire Williams
20ml of  Joseph Cartron Crème de Pêche de Vigne
20ml of lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
2 coffee spoons of Madagascar Vanilla sugar

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous then this is the cocktail for you! Start by crushing the grapes in a shaker, add the rest of the ingredients, shake then pour into a large glass. Fill up the glass with crushed ice and garnish with a fresh vanilla pod and a skewer of white grapes.

For the best flavour, make sure you serve it immediately.


pe plum

PE PLUM
Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rhum Agricole!

Ingredients

40 ml of Rhum J.M XO
15 ml of Joseph Cartron Crème de Mirabelle
20 ml of fresh lime juice
10 ml of barley water

Rum lovers, if you haven’t already, you need to try this Pe Plum cocktail. It’s fresh, lively and will certainly get everyone’s taste buds tingling! Once more, it’s easy to make and tastes fantastic. Simply pour all the ingredients over some crushed ice and for that added effect serve it in a Tiki style glass, like the one above. To garnish, you’ll need a bunch of mint, a slice of lime and a sprinkle of almonds. Delish!


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Think Gin 2016

Think Gin Invite

After a hugely successful launch last year, Think Gin returned to The Hospital Club on the 1st March for another day jam packed full of debates, workshops, masterclasses and tastings, all dedicated to the wonderful world of gin!

This year, we decided not to miss out on any of the gin action, so we spent the day at Think Gin showcasing some of our fabulous agency gin brands; Ferdinand’s, Bobby’s and Rives. Keeping us company and helping us out was Sebastiaan from Bobby’s and Denis from Ferdinand’s.

To make the day even better, we were shortlisted as a finalist for the Best Gin Wholesaler award at the Think Gin 2016 Awards. Unfortunately we didn’t win but it still felt amazing to be nominated… A big thank you to everyone who voted for us!

Although we didn’t win an award we still got our time in the spotlight, presenting the award for Best Gin Bar (Independent) to Merchant House… Congratulations guys, a well-deserved win!


Here’s a sneaky peak of what else we got up to!

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Overall, a great day, great company and amazing gin… What more could you want?!

Roll on next year!

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It shouldn’t just be eggs you’re cracking open this Easter!

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Whether you’re planning an Easter brunch, late lunch, early dinner or just a night in front of the tele, eating copious amounts of chocolate, one thing’s for sure: you’ll need an alcoholic beverage or 2 to go with!

Now that Spring has sprung and Easter is in sight it’s time to get the ball rolling and start planning ahead. When I think of Easter I think of three things: lots of family time, Easter eggs and delicious Spring lamb. So with these in mind we’ve rounded up a list of wines to help you find the perfect Easter time tipple!

So here goes:

If you prefer your dark to your white or like keeping it traditional with a milk chocolate Easter egg, then fear not, we’ve chosen a wine that will go with all of your chocolaty treats!

2013 Woodstock Little Miss Collett Moscato

With white chocolate you need to go for something light, fizzy and refreshing like this Woodstock Little Miss Collette Moscato 2013. Its tropical fruit character and zingy, lemon sherbet finish balance out the rich, creamy taste of white chocolate.

Calem 10 Years Old

Tawny style Ports are incredible with milk chocolate, so wash yours down with a velvety smooth glass of Cálem 10yr Tawny. There’s no greater love, than the love shared between chocolate and Port.. a match made in heaven just waiting for you to try!

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The mixture of dark chocolate and Port in the mouth has to be experienced to be believed. Ruby style Ports like Cálem LBV 2009 are amazing with high cocoa dark chocolate, so when you’re choosing which Easter egg to go for, make sure you bare this in mind!

Trust me when I say… this is a deliciously satisfying Port, perfect for those chocolaty moments we all love!


New season lamb is an Easter treat that can be prepared and served with minimal hassle. So if you’re cooking up an Easter Sunday feast, why not give this a go?

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Lamb naturally has a strong liking for Bordeaux so you can’t go wrong with our Château Crabitey Rouge Graves 2011. Its alluring smoky tobacco and black fruit aromas are perfectly balanced with a sumptuous fruit intenseness guaranteed to get everyone’s taste buds tingling! Put a bottle of this on the table and it will be gone in a flash!

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People always think lamb needs a big, bold wine like a Bordeaux or a Rhone but actually more delicate Spring lamb goes beautifully with a fruit forward Pinot Noir like this Fess Parker Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2012. Give it a try, it’s a favourite of mine!


Now I know not all of you enjoy your meat, so I thought I’d add in an option to be enjoyed with fish!

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Albariño, one of Spain’s best kept secrets, is the perfect wine to pair with fish. The Galicia region, where the best Albariño is produced, is located along the north-west coastline of Spain and has a thriving seafood industry. Not surprising therefore that this crisp, dry, aromatic Albariño by Monte Pio makes the ideal companion for your Easter fish dishes.


With all these fantastic wines for you to try this Easter, this is one holiday you won’t want to miss.

Finally, we’d like to wish you a very very happy Easter, we hope it is egg-cellent!  (Sorry I couldn’t resist)

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Famous Bordeaux Château turns to Argentina

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So, last week we saw the arrival of our new agency winery from Argentina.. Please say hello to Cuvelier Los Andes.

The story began in 1804 when Henri Cuvelier set out to share his great passion for fine wine with his friends and family across North France. It wasn’t long before he opened H. Cuvelier and Fils, a wine merchant company, whose rapid success continued to develop throughout the 19th century.

At the beginning of the 20th century the Cuvelier family anticipated the inevitable rise in château bottled wine, so decided to purchase top quality estates in the Bordeaux area. This began with the purchase of Château Le Crock in 1903, Château Camensac in 1912 and finally the prestigious Château Léoville Poyferré in 1920 (the one they’re extremely well known for).

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In the 1990’s, Bertrand and Jean-Guy Cuvelier decided to spread their wings and turned their attention to Mendoza in Argentina, where they worked firstly with Michel Rolland on his Clos de La Siete project. By 1999, the Cuvelier family had begun to plant their own vineyards – Cuvelier Los Andes – and produced their first wine under this label in 2003.

To this day, Michel Rolland, wine consultant for many of the world’s leading wineries, continues to oversee the winemaking at Cuvelier Los Andes.

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So let’s take a look at what Cuvelier Los Andes wines we’re lucky enough to have added to our portfolio.

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First up we have the Cuvelier Los Andes Coleccion Blend 2011. Malbec leads this wonderfully balanced and juicy blend, rounded by Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. Aged for 12 months in French oak barrels this red delivers world class poise with a spicy flourish and aromas of blackberry, liquorice, bitter chocolate and a touch of violet. You do not need to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate this impeccable red!

cla_malbec_2013Next we have the Cuvelier Los Andes Coleccion Malbec 2013, a full bodied red with a lush texture, freshness, balance and just enough acidity. Its deep purple colour has stunning aromas of espresso, black cherry and raspberry. This is a definite must for all Malbec fans!

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Finally we have the Cuvelier Los Andes Grand Vin 2010, a full bodied, rich red with chocolate, hazelnut and fruit characters. Aged in French oak barrels for 18 months this Grand Vin is Malbec prevailing, softened and completed with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot.


If you would like any more information on any of the wines above, please visit our website or pop in to your nearest store.

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Twelve generations of Le Brun winemakers

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So what better way to welcome a new month than with the arrival of our new sparkling wines from Marlborough, New Zealand. Introducing to you.. No.1 Family Estate!

No. 1 Family Estate was founded in 1997 by Daniel Le Brun, his wife Adele and their children Virginie and Remy. Each of the wines are made using the same process perfected by Daniel’s Champagne-making family in France over the last 12 generations.

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The winery is set out with state of the art processing equipment imported from Champagne. They focus on producing limited edition wines, using top quality grapes, which are grown specifically for making Methode Traditionelle wines.

Daniel & Virginie

So let’s journey back to where it all began with their No.1 Cuvée Blanc de Blanc NV.

No1

Released in 1999, No.1 Cuvée was the first wine ever produced by the estate. Nowadays, it is one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded Methode Traditionelle wines, winning numerous gold medals and awards since its release.

No.1 Cuvée is 100% Chardonnay (blanc de blancs) with fresh, vibrant citrus and floral characters. The wine is held on lees for at least two years, allowing the perfect level of maturity. The palate is smooth and seamless with a wonderful balance of acidity, giving a wine of elegance and style!

Rose

A cut above most sparkling rose’s, No.1 Cuvée Rosé NV is fresh and lively with subtle hints of cherry and almond. This 100% Pinot Noir is very elegant with a delicate salmon-pink colour and a mass of tiny bubbles. This wine celebrates the superb climate of Marlborough and will continue to age and delight for another two to three years.

 

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No.1 Assemble NV is a fitting stablemate for their Cuvée No 1 (100% Chardonnay) and No 1 Rosé (100% Pinot Noir), as it assembles both the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay into a traditional blend.

A non-vintage brut, Assemblé is fresh and inviting with sophisticated and intense flavours of green apples, lime and melon. It’s extremely easy to drink and is a great accompaniment with fresh seafood… prawns and bubbles is a pairing I wouldn’t say no to!

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Each year, a limited amount of their No.1 Cuvée is set aside for long-term, ageing on lees and released after several years as a ‘Reserve’. The extended ageing on the lees has given it a more intense flavour with extra richness, complex biscuity notes and a well balanced delicate freshness.

The No.1 Reserve is limited to 1000 bottles, each of which have been individually hand numbered and labelled. We feel extremely lucky to have this added to our portfolio and available for you to purchase.


If you would like any more information on any of the wines above, please visit our website or pop in to your nearest store.

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Spread the #AmathusLove!

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This Valentine’s, we wanted to spread the love and offer one lucky person the chance to win a bottle of the delicious Nicolo & Paradis Cuvee Rosé NV. It was really simple to enter, all you had to do was complete the Valentine’s classic; Roses are red, Violets are blue.. The only rules that applied were; no copying the original or pinching it from a fellow poet!

After 3 days of entries (some were very amusing I have to admit) we had the difficult decision of deciding who would be the lucky winner. So… congratulations goes to Anyslie McKeith, who stole the show with:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

I didn’t get flowers,

just a trip to B & Q

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We’d just like to say a huge thank you to everyone else who took part, here are a few more of our favourites that didn’t quite make the cut:

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Discover what you should be drinking this Valentine’s Day!

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With Valentine’s Day hot on our heels it’s time to get the ball rolling and put those thinking caps on. I mean what do you buy a loved one? Which fancy restaurant do you take them to? So many decisions to make and only 4 days to go until the big day!

Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to Valentine gifts, chocolate and flowers are nice but the way to someone’s heart is definitely something delicious to drink. Whether you’re staying in or going out, you’ll need something special to open that is guaranteed to impress your date!

When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of one thing and one thing only.. fizz and lots of it. Whether it’s Champagne, Prosecco, English Sparkling or something a little different from Greece or Luxembourg – there’s no better way to get in the romantic mood than opening a bottle or 2 of bubbly!

So with fizz in mind (and also to help you out of course), we’ve put together a list of our top 5 favourites, which we’ll definitely be cracking open on the day!


 

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Every girl loves a bit of pink, so what better way to steal her heart than with a bottle of Nicolo & Paradis Cuvee Rose NV. It has delicate notes of cherry with aromas of strawberry and raspberry on the nose. Not only does the bottle look good but it tastes absolutely delicious! It’s a Valentine’s gift far better than any chocolates or flowers!

 

Blanc de Blanc

The Bluebell estate lovingly nurture their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape vines to produce sparkling wines that evoke fresh, natural reminiscent of the Sussex countryside.

Bluebell Blanc de Blancs 2011 is rich, bold and bursting with fruit character. It has aromas of apple, lemon and honey with flavours of orange blossom and peach – all balanced by fresh zesty acidity and a long impressive finish. If you want a sparkling wine with a big personality then this is definitely the one for you!

 

Val d'ocaThe Val d’Oca winery is located in the surrounding hills between Conegliano Asolo and Treviso in Italy. Established in 1952, the winery is fully committed to producing wines of the highest quality… and that they do!

Their Prosecco Valdobbiadene Millesimato 2014 is fantastic! It’s light and delicate with fresh aromas of wild flowers, apple, pear and honey. If you’re cooking up an Italian feast or swaying more towards ordering a curry in, then this prosecco is the ideal accompaniment for both.. and once more it won’t break the wallet!

AMALIA-BRUT

If you feel like pushing the boat out then why not try something a little different. What about this Tselepos Amalia Brut NV from Greece? It’s an elegant sparkling wine with a light, yellow-green colour and fine bubbles with intensity and length. Aromas of rose petal, brioche and honey are lifted by a refreshing welcomed acidity.. delicious!

A01040 Cuvée de l'Ecusson Brut Rosé Pinot Noir 75 cl

If you like the idea of trying something a bit different but a sparkling wine from Greece doesn’t quite tickle your fancy then what about a bottle of Bernard Massard Rose Cuvee Ecusson from Luxembourg?

This unique, vibrant and juicy rose offers delightful aromas of red apple, waxy peach and lemon zest. It’s medium bodied, with a creamy mouth-feel and friendly bubbles. Honey-crisp apple and melon flavours lead to a dry, palate-cleansing finish. This Cuvee is one of beauty, so it’s no surprise to us that it’s been recognised as one of the best wines in its category. This is a true indication of the amazing wines Luxembourg has to offer. If it was me, I’d definitely save this one until last. It’s a definite Valentine’s show stopper!


For those of you who want to run a mile at the mention of this day, don’t panic because each of the sparklers above can be enjoyed just as much with a couple of friends.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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