Wine tasting sheet

Tasting sheetIf these weekly columns have inspired you to organise your own wine tasting at home, then you'll need to get some kit together. Buy yourself some large wine glasses (cheap supermarket ones will do) for capturing any wine aromas released when the wine is swirled prior to sniffing and tasting. And to help you keep track of all the wines you taste why not use my free wine tasting sheet available from goddard wine tasting sheet.pdf

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Average wine

coins£5.43 is the average-spend on a bottle of supermarket wine. And with the recession predicted to carry on until goodness knows when that amount isn’t likely to increase any time soon - unless our Chancellor of the Exchequer decides to put up alcohol excise duty yet again. And he might - but until that time comes what exactly does an average-priced bottle of wine taste like?

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Sauternes for pancakes

pancakes with icecreamAs you squeeze the lemon juice over your pancakes tomorrow will you be contemplating an accompanying glass of wine or a nice cup of tea? Wine isn’t the natural partner of choice for the traditional Shrove Tuesday meal because lemon and the necessary lashings of sugar will almost stop the taste buds registering anything – unless the wine is even sweeter or more acidic than each of the pancake toppings. So what wine, if any, matches these criteria?

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Turn your loved one's knees to jelly

heart wine glassSchmoozing with booze this Valentine's Day is a sure-fire way of turning your loved one's knees to jelly. Start by whipping out a bottle of vintage Dom Perignon chilled to 38 degrees Fahrenheit from the fridge, open it (without taking your eye out with the flying cork) before pouring it into elegant champagne flutes.

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What to do with the Christmas sherry

Christmas baublesFive weeks on from Christmas I'm still left with several partially completed bottles of sherry. So just to help clear away a space on the front room mantelpiece I finished off the contents of the Amontillado and sloshed the sweet into a trifle. Their flavours still hit the spot but they didn't seem quite as fresh as they were when first opened.

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Online wine class with Twitter

Twitter logo on wine glass‘So what do you think the wine tastes of?’ is one of the one of the most frightening questions to be asked during an evening class in wine appreciation. Because not only is your ability to pronounce waffle being judged but also how well you’ve got the whole body language thing under control. Because bum shuffling and mumbling gets ‘nul points’ when you’re face-to-face with teacher. But what if all that could be avoided? It can if your wine class meets online through Twitter.

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Making a cup of tea from scratch

teapotGrowing a grapevine on the allotment or in a conservatory is not that unusual. I even know of a fully functioning coffee tree growing inside a house (each year the kitchen-bound tree produces about half a pound of coffee beans), but I know of no-one else with tea bushes growing in pots on their bathroom windowsill. They're still rather small but when they're fully grown (reaching about three feet high in larger pots) the Camellia sinensis plants should provide me with enough tea leaves to make about 250 cups of tea.

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Drink regularly says research

woman drinking wineRegular alcohol intake, of the moderate sort, improves the quality of life in middle-aged adults declares the latest research findings investigating the link between alcohol consumption and health.

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Be sensible with that diet

tape measureInevitably some of us will have put on weight over Christmas and, if like me, you not only cooked the food but ate it too then the waist-band button is probably straining a bit. One way of dealing with this post-Christmas excess is to be sensible and eat slightly less and exercise slightly more.

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Top Ten Reds Over £6 of 2014

Aussie vineyardTop Ten Reds over £6 of 2014 this week. Here are the reds ranging in price from £7.49 to £11.99 listed in ascending order of price. Co-op here I come!

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