The best drinks to enjoy this spring

Here at 7* Life we’re in celebratory mood: the weather’s sublime this week, it’s a four-day Bank Holiday, there’s A LOT of chocolate to consume over the coming days, and lockdown measures are finally beginning to relax. So raise a glass with us to spring with one or two of these fine beverages.

Viña Leyda

Who said you should only drink white wine in warm weather? Lighter styles of reds can be enjoyed just as much at this time of year, none more so than Viña Leyda – Chile’s leader in the production of cool coastal climate grape varieties. They’ve just released the new 2019 Reserva Syrah, which is expressive and fresh with great aromatic intensity, revealing its cool-climate character. The use of a respectful and elegant oak enhances the spectrum of fruit, making it an appealing match for the delicate flavours of grilled lamb or steak served with new potatoes and a crisp mixed salad.

Produced by the pioneering winery of the Leyda Valley, an exclusive wine region, Viña Leyda is the most awarded coastal winery of Chile. Chief Winemaker for Viña Leyda Viviana Navarrete is an expert in cool coastal varieties and Tim Atkin’s 2020 Winemaker of the Year. Her mission is to make the best cold climate wines of Chile and her winemaking philosophy is to reflect the quality and the unique conditions of the terroir and of the vine parcel in every bottle of wine. Viviana focuses on cold climate grape varieties that grow well in Leyda Valley, giving rise to expressive and elegant wines with fruity tastes and complexity.

The convenient screw cap makes the new Viña Leyda Reserva Syrah the perfect edition to your picnic basket to take along to socially-distanced gatherings with friends and family this Easter weekend. Viña Leyda Reserva Syrah 2019 is now available at the Co-op priced £10 per bottle, down to £8.00 per bottle from 15th March until 6th April 2021.

People’s Captain

Introducing beer that’s a game-changer. People’s Captain is a craft beer selection founded by English league rugby player, Greg Bateman, who’s currently playing for the Newport Gwent Dragons.

In 2019, Greg addressed his personal battle with depression on social media and candidly opened up about his mental health struggles. His openness surrounding what is a fairly taboo subject in rugby opened the door for others to engage in conversation and seek help for mental health issues. The idea for People’s Captain was first ignited when Greg spoke about his turmoil to a friend over a drink.

Teaming up with two close friends to launch the craft beer, Greg also enlisted street artist Nathan Bowen to design the artwork for the cans. Available for nationwide delivery, the core-range features five full-flavoured, sessional beers:

  • Legend (4.2% ABV Session APA) The signature core hero. This is an American pale ale you won’t forget. With a body to die for, the super citrus kick keeps it refreshing enough to keep going back for more.
  • Islander (5.5%, NEPA) Inspired by stories of the pacific islands with genuine tropical flavours, a classic New England American Pale. Islander is unfiltered to leave all the goodness in which also gives it the classic hazy body that craft drinkers love.
  • Short & Stout (5.0%, Milk Stout) A Milk Stout with a twist. Using less darkly roasted malt and using the natural sweetness of caramel and lactose to give a beautiful sweet stout. Back hopped with mosaic will leave you with a malty biscuit based and blueberry on the nose.
  • Stereotype (4.5%, Lager) Greg wanted to brew an ‘English’ style lager, unlike a Pilsner which requires far more pressure to allow the Hellertau hops to do their work. The result provides a very crisp, refreshing, earthy flavour with subtle nectar fruits on the nose.
  • ’Tis the Saison (5.0%, Saison) This is a traditional French Saison using Belle Saison wild yeast. This gives a very dry, crisp and more spicy/herbaceous than floral. The perfect seasonal changing brew.

Black Tower

Black Tower’s limited-edition bottles provide the perfect addition to any garden party or BBQ this Bank Holiday weekend. Featuring a beautiful floral design, Black Tower’s summer sleeve bottles are guaranteed to brighten up your day and impress friends and family.

The range includes the Fruity White Summer Sleeve, the Rosé Summer Sleeve and B by Black Tower 5.5% Range. The fruity white has an elegant sweetness with notes of vibrant orange, passionfruit, peach and pineapple with honey running right through.

The rosé is perfect for enjoying on a sunny afternoon in the garden. It’s fresh and crisp, with delicate hints of summer fruits including strawberry, raspberry and aromatic red berries. Goes really well with seafood, a Thai noodle salad or a refreshing pudding.

The B by Black Tower 5.5% Range is ideal for those looking for a lighter way to enjoy their wine. This one’s a lower calorie, lower alcohol glass of wine without compromising on taste. At only 55 calories per 125ml glass, the B range contains over 30% less calories than
standard 9.5% vol. wines.

Black Tower Fruity White, Rosé, Smooth Red are available at the following retailers: Tesco, ASDA, Morrisons & Sainsbury’s, while the B by Black Tower range is available at the following retailers: ASDA and Morrisons.

Schofield x When in Rome

Sustainable wine company When in Rome Wine and wine enthusiast TV presenter Phillip Schofield are proudly launching the world’s first celebrity-endorsed wine in Garçon Wines flat bottles. These sustainable bottles, made from 100% recycled PET plastic, will be offered for exclusive online distribution at and Amazon.

Wine critic and sustainability champion Phillip Schofield’s hugely popular Italian organic Nero di Troia wine is usually offered in a 2.25 litre bag-in-box. Nero di Troia, referred to as Puglia’s secret wine gem by wine expert and Master of Wine Rose Murray Brown, is believed to have arrived in southern Italy with Greek colonists in ancient times. Now, When in Rome and Schofield will be offering his first 75cl bottle of this wonderful wine to UK consumers, priced at £9.99, by collaborating with multi award-winning sustainable wine packaging company Garçon Wines to utilise their innovative bottle format.

When in Rome and Phillip Schofield have been working together since the start of 2020, with a shared vision to bring premium quality wine to consumers in sustainable alternative formats that provide greener, better value, and more convenient options to single-use glass bottles. This is vitally important as numerous studies show glass bottles to be the single largest contributor to the carbon footprint of wine. Adding a 100% recycled PET, flat bottle option to their hugely popular bag-in-box product range provides wine lovers even more accessible ways to enjoy wine sustainably. The innovative improvement in shape and use of lightweight, recycled material mean Garçon Wines’ flat bottle is ideal for e-commerce and more eco-friendly, with a reduced carbon


Forget what you thought you knew about boxed wine, Laylo co-founders Laura Riches and Laura Rosenberger are on a mission to reimagine the format. They source small, limited-availability parcels of premium wine, then wrap them up in boxes that consumers feel proud to have on their countertop.

Their first wine, the (now sold out) Lot #1: Tempranillo, quickly earned a cult following of wine critics and wine lovers, who enjoyed the flexibility of being able to savour ‘just one glass’ of high quality red, without needing to commit to a bottle.

Laylo’s latest release is a Sauvignon Blanc made by fourth-generation Loire winemaker Pierre-Jean Sauvion. Using grapes hand-selected from around the region, he’s created a joyful wine with all the structure of a classy French Sauvignon combined with an abundance of tropical fruits, green apples and white peach, which almost burst out of the glass.

Riches and Rosenberger asked Laylo customers to vote on the design – and the quintessentially French ‘Toile de Jouy’ was chosen because it best represents the joyful social scenes we’re all looking forward to when lockdown restrictions are lifted. The stories of the wine and the winemaker are hidden within the pattern’s rustic scenes, including a passing jumbo jet, a definitely-out-of-place boomerang and a box of Laylo at an eighteenth century picnic.


204 year old Lowland distillery, Bladnoch, has announced the global release of the Bladnoch Vinaya Single Malt Scotch Whisky. ‘Vinaya’, a Sanskrit word meaning respect and gratitude, pays homage to the original founders of the distillery who paved the way, as Bladnoch looks forward to a prosperous new era of production and innovation.

The expression also boasts a unique pair of cask types, ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry, a combination never before released by the historic distillery. Notes of fresh apple, sweet floral grass and hints of chocolate make the release a stunning representation of Lowland style Single Malt. As with all Bladnoch releases, Vinaya is non-chill filtered and natural colour with water sourced from the River Bladnoch, which flows alongside the historic distillery.

Master Distiller, Dr Nick Savage remarked on the launch of the character-led release, “As the name suggests, Vinaya was inspired by teachings throughout the distillery’s heritage. From our original founders to our new era, we wanted to showcase the Lowland style of Bladnoch Distillery. By using 1st fill ex-Bourbon barrels, we’re able to highlight the floral notes from the distillery character along with refreshing, citrus sweetness. The 1st fill ex-Sherry casks then add a subtle rich body to the whisky and mouthfeel to the experience, finishing with notes of chocolate. These individual aspects combine to showcase the classic aspects of our distillery.”

Chimney Fire Coffee x Clever Bean Chocolate

Fancy a non-alcoholic drink that’s a little more… Eastery? How about a Peruvian Easter treat then. Chimney Fire Coffee has teamed up with Clever Bean Chocolate in Surrey to create this irresistible hot drink, especially if you’re partial to a mocha or a salted caramel!

The Chimney Fire Coffee crew are a small team of six based in Surrey, all of whom are passionate about coffee and the planet. They work directly with coffee farmers, cooperatives and exporters around the world, which provides a better source of income for farmers, ensures a sustainable business model and makes sure the farm is economically and environmentally sustainable.

They also work closely with local independent businesses, such as Clever Bean Chocolate. These guys began life as a small start-up in 2018 with the aim of delighting fellow chocolate lovers with the intense flavour and high cocoa content that their bars provide. Their chocolate is handmade in small batches in Godalming, Surrey from cocoa bean to bar, ensuring each bar is of the highest quality.

The duo have created a very indulgent seasonal Peru Easter pack, all of which has been hand-crafted in Surrey. The pack (£14.50 online) comes with:

  • 1 x 250g Chimney Fire Coffee Peru Classic Espresso
  • 1 x 80g Clever Bean Chocolate 55% Peru Milk OR Vegan
  • Packed in a Chimney Fire tote bag with free UK delivery.

The offering will remain available post-Easter as a general gift.


English wine is on the rise and making a very reputable name for itself around the world. This makes Artelium a perfect place to start. This new boutique Sussex wine estate offers a forward-thinking vision for creative collaboration, championing an ever-evolving collective of makers, growers, artists and sculptors.

Artelium is a 45-acre wine estate in a breathtakingly beautiful Sussex location. From the vineyard, edged with bluebell woods and planted with wildflowers to allow biodiversity between the vines, guests can enjoy the South Downs vista. The beautiful corn windmills, known locally as ‘Jack and Jill’, can be seen in the distance.

Husband and wife team, Julie Bretland and Mark Collins founded Artelium as a way to bring together three of their greatest passions: wine, art and nature. Their unique vision for Artelium is a creative collaboration, partnering with celebrated winemakers, artists and producers, to ensure exceptional wines and true creative expression.

Artelium’s 2014 Cuvée (RRP: £32.00) is a careful curation of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier; hand-picked from a single vineyard and created by celebrated winemaker Dermot Sugrue. Crisp and graceful, this traditional method wine has been aged for over 60 months on the lees, bringing depth and maturity. 

Artelium’s 2015 Rose (RRP: £35.00) is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier; hand-picked from a single vineyard and skilfully made by celebrated winemaker-in-residence Dermot Sugrue. This traditional method wine has an intense English strawberry colour, is bold yet nuanced with a rich depth of red fruit flavours.