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What to drink this month: new wines and Campari’s ready-to-enjoy negroni

Bottles to stock up at home for a night in.

Campari Negroni RTE

One of the most storied drinks in the classic cocktail canon is finally getting a ready-to-enjoy version. From Campari – whose namesake aperitif is arguably the indispensable, key component to a negroni – comes a balanced, well-integrated tipple (it’s the “official” recipe after all) that’s bottled at 26% ABV. It’s got all the expected characteristics of a classic equal parts gin-Campari-vermouth mix: a sweet opening, botanical complexity, and a smooth bitter finish. We’d go out on a limb and say that this has potential for some of that Gladwellian amplitude – drink well-chilled over ice and one immediately thinks “negroni”, instead of any of its constituent components.

The Campari Negroni RTE (500ml) is available on Red Mart and selected Cold Storage outlets

First Drop Wines

If there’s anything that New World wines are exceedingly good at, it’s proving that “fun” doesn’t always have to be “serious”. South Australian winery First Drop continues in the proud tradition of quaffable quality, producing boundary-pushing wines out of Barossa and Mclaren Vale. New on the Singaporean market, highlights from the First Drop portfolio include the Cold Sweat, a single vineyard (Caneford) Syrah from Eden Valley that finely balances savoury, cool-climate characteristics with dark fruits and silky tannins. For something highly drinkable now, the aptly-named Mother’s Milk Barossa Shiraz – a soft, plush, fruit forward bottle that nourishes a wine thirst just like, well, mother’s milk. First Drop also has some of the most out-there packaging we’ve witnessed – its 2% Barossa Shiraz (2% refers to the wine’s composition of moscatel) bottles comes wrapped in a wire mesh; and the Cranford Cold Sweat label is an unmarked metal cage. 

First Drop Wines is distributed by Malt & Wine Asia

M&S CLASSICS Wine

M&S Classics Range

For a departmental store chain, Marks & Spencer has always taken its wine seriously – the company even has its own resident winemakers. The Classics range is one of the largest wine projects undertaken in recent years, featuring 34 wines, each representing a well-known winemaking region. Working with winemakers and wineries around the world, in-house winemakers Belinda Kleinig and Sue Daniels present wines that punch above their price point, in styles typical of their region. While there are immediately recognisable labels like Bourgogne pinot noir and Rioja, they’ve represented some highly underrated regions and grapes that haven’t been getting as much international attention, like crisp, aromatic Gavi from Italy. The range also offers a great chance to taste the difference between wine made in two different regions – like Chardonnay from Barossa and Burgundy.