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 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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Aldi's Venturer Wine series reviewed

Aldi labelsPerfectly decent everyday wines made from less than everyday grape varieties sums up what Aldi’s new Venturer range of six wines is all about. Priced at either £4.79 or £4.99, the wines designed to take the tastebuds of their wine-buying customers on the ‘ultimate journey’ are also there to help those customers who don’t want to splash out an extra pound on their other new(ish) wine range, the premium Exquisite Collection.

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Italian wine

Italian flagItaly is the world's largest producer of wine, producing 60 million bottles of it every year. And as about 4 million of these are exported to the UK then the chances of coming across an Italian wine in a restaurant, supermarket or garage forecourt shop are extremely high. So it makes sense to understand what you’re getting before deciding to buy one of the multi-million number of bottles available. And the easiest way to do that is to read the wine label.

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Wine, tea and chocolate

cup of teaWine, dark chocolate and tea improve thinking and memory skills in men and women aged over 70. A study conducted by researchers from the universities of Oxford and Oslo found that a combination of wine, dark chocolate, and tea, consumed in moderate amounts, enhanced cognitive performance in the elderly. All three food stuffs contain relatively high levels of flavonoids.

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