Wine

Create your own wine list

text on pageJudging a restaurant on their food will only ever give you half the story. A competent wine list is just as important as the menu as it not only matches the food but also the expectations of the diners. It should also describe the wines in enough detail so that the paying customer can make an informed choice. A notable wine list, though, must do this and more.

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Wineboxes and pouches

Lindemans wineboxIf you really like a certain wine, rather than buying it in single cork-stoppered bottles why not get in larger two, three or four bottle-sized amounts available in boxes and pouches?

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Hedgerow wines

blackberriesPurple-stained cooking water is a sure sign of an accidentally nicked beetroot skin. But don't discard this nutrient-filled liquor, allow it to cool then add some sugar and yeast and the result in a couple of weeks time will be a beetroot 'country' wine.

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Term time for wine

school desksTerm is starting for the children, and in a few weeks time it’ll be the adults’ turn. Evening classes begin in September and it’s not all about beginner’s French. Wine tasting is still being offered by many local education authorities and if you’re lucky the course will be taught by a wine tutor who is knowledgeable and understands you’ll be nervous when you first arrive.

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Taste that blackberry

blackberriesIf you ask someone if they’ve got the latest blackberry they’re more likely to spout on about communication technology rather than the new thornless hybrid suitable for freezing, jams and winemaking. But fruit-lovers needn’t fear, the common or garden bramble is still common and it can still be found in many gardens (intentionally or not). And if the thought of its tart and tannic flavours make you salivate then why not try a blackberry-tasting Merlot of Shiraz as well.

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Barbecue time

Barbecue manBarbecues and delicate wines don't go together. To compete with the rich smells and flavours of barbecued food you need a wine that tastes of berry fruit. So what's needed are robustly-flavoured reds and fruitily-flavoured whites.

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Lower alcohol, fewer calories

Barefoot wines summerInevitably some of us will have put on weight over the cooler months and, if like me, you not only cooked the food but ate it too then the waist-band button is probably straining a bit. But should the feeble warmth of spring finally give way to summer then legs and mid-riffs will be bared and that excess will have to go. So that means reducing the daily intake of calories.

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Pretty in pink

rose wineChilled rosés are light, but still flavourful, and are ideal for sipping on a hot day. That's why more rosé wines are sold during the summer than at any other time of the year. But how are rosé wines made?

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#AldiWineClub - how's it going?

Aldi labelsMore free wine is on offer from Aldi with their social media wine review campaign when the present crop of ten #AldiWineClub competition winners are ‘refreshed’ in October. Watch the Aldi website and my MatureTimes.co.uk column for a reminder but in the mean time what review tips can we learn from the present winners as they post their tasting notes on the social media network Twitter?

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I'm 6!

PG column picBirthdays are funny things. They arrive without you really noticing and suddenly you are six years older. Which is what has just happened to this column – Paula’s Wines of the Week is now six. It was July 21st 2008 when the first bargain wines were recommended and since then I’ve been sorting out the bargains from the you've-got-to-be-kidding bottles for you. So it’s time for birthday cake and plenty of tasty wines to help wash it down.

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