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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Free wine for tweeting

Aldi Wine ClubFree wine in return for writing 140 characters – that’s what the discount supermarket Aldi are offering to ten wine enthusiasts. Their new Aldi Wine Club initiative is offering two free bottles of wine a month in return for a short and snappy wine review appearing on the social media network Twitter.

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Who's right?

tongueHowever tempting the wine label’s proclamation of ‘aromas of wild summer berries’ and ‘flavours of red fruits...with a refreshing finish’ my own senses found a smell reminiscent of rubbery elderberry and a smoky tart taste with a hint of chocolate – in fact the overwhelming impression of the £3.99 Sicilian Rosso was that it had been poured from the end of a very oxidised barrel. So who was right – me or the label?

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Win wine and influence people

trophyWhen was the last time you didn't have to pay for your wine? Some ago I'll bet. Wine lovers often get given bottles of wine as presents but as these are usually something top-notch and expensive it doesn’t make financial sense to replace them using your own money. But there is a way of boosting the wine rack contents for free - entering competitions with wine prizes.

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Rum deal

rumMix yourself a Rum and Coke cocktail using a dash of dark rum and a classic cola then watch a harmless frothy scum form around the added ice cubes. Then mix another Rum and Coke but using pale rum (Barcardi is suitable but a supermarket own-label will be just as good at two-thirds the price). No dirty looking froth forms this time, but why is that?

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Spanish sparkling

cava labelCava - why wouldn't you want to drink lots of this Spanish sparkling wine that tastes better than many champagnes? It costs a lot less (supermarket own-label cavas can be got for as little as £5) and the enjoyable flavours can be relied upon year after year.

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Save us Saint George!

Harlequin ladybirdIt would be really handy if not just celebrating the life, and death, of Saint George this week, we could actually still have him and his sword in full working order. He defeated one piece of unwelcome wildlife for us 1800 years ago and now Britain's wine and gardening enthusiasts need his help again to defeat a nasty Asian invader - harlequin ladybirds are spreading across England.

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Slurp for chocolate

Easter eggEaster means eggs. Chocolate eggs. And there are lots out there in the shops at the moment. Dark chocolate eggs, milk chocolate eggs, eggs filled with Smarties and even chocolate eggs filled with liqueur chocolates. But come the final egg count this Sunday there will be two important questions to answer: “Which one to unwrap first?”, and “What wine will match all that chocolate?”.

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