Wine

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.

Read more: Free wine for tweeting

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?

Read more: Who's right?

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.

Read more: Win wine and influence people

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?

Read more: Rum deal

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.

Read more: Spanish sparkling

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.

Read more: Save us Saint George!

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?”.

Read more: Slurp for chocolate

Screwcaps versus corks

screwcapScrewcaps make getting into a bottle of wine so easy that you wonder why some producers still stopper their products with small pieces of oak tree bark whose primary goal seems to be getting in the way of enjoying wine.

Read more: Screwcaps versus corks

Horses for courses

race horseBy 5pm this Saturday we'll know which of the entered one hundred and fifteen racehorses has won their owner just over half a million pound prize money of the Aintree Grand National. If you're looking to place a last minute bet don't look to me for any racing certainties. My first and only loose-change bet on horses net me the princely sum of minus two pounds. But should your stake prove to be a winner, how do you celebrate? Well it's got to start with the opening of a bottle of bubbly.

Read more: Horses for courses

Little red dress

red wine dressIf you find you don't always drink the last drop out of each bottle and you're pretty nimble with a needle and thread then you might fancy having a go at making a dress out of wine. What you’ll need is the equivalent of twelve full bottles of cheap Australian red wine and patience. Two weeks and a vat of red wine vinegar later, you’ll have enough Mother of Vinegar ‘material’ to make a mini-dress.

Read more: Little red dress