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cheeseIt seems we Brits take the contents of the kitchen cupboard with us when we go on holiday. A survey of over 1,000 British holidaymakers found that an extra suitcase was required to pack a jar of Marmite (which could be the traditional glass or new up-side down Squeeze Me jar), cheese, peanut butter, lemons and garlic crushers. Surprisingly, no one reported taking garlic bulbs with them.

Over a third of us also take our own tea and coffee and a quarter packs a corkscrew. I’m one of the three-quarters who doesn’t pack a corkscrew. Instead I take the all-in-one-solution, a 3-litre box of wine. No corkscrew is required; wine is available at the push of a tap. Bliss.

Hardys winebox

Superplonk penWine writer Malcolm Gluck announced today that he's been forced to concede defeat in his attempts to get his wine-ratings website Superplonk up and running again. In a personal email to Superplonk subscribers, Malcolm explained its loss had been a huge personal blow but didn’t say why his website suddenly stopped working several months ago.

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musicItalian scientists have discovered music helps grow healthier plants. The classical music of Mozart, Haydn, Vivaldi and Mahler relayed from an iPod to vines through 15 speakers was found to have a positive effect on shoot growth. Sangiovese grapes growing near the speakers had a greater number of leaves per vine than those growing in a silent area of the Tuscan vineyard Il Paradiso di Frassina.

WineboxPut away your corkscrew, wine is available on tap. Look around the wine section of your average supermarket and you’ll see 800 different bottles and 30 wineboxes. Clearly more people buy wine in bottles but they are missing out on the great advantage of buying wine in 3-litre boxes - no corkscrew is required. To pour a glass of wine all you need do is push open a plastic tap.