Tasty wines

wine glassesIf this week's MatureTimes column has inspired you to hold your own wine tasting then downwload my free wine tasting sheet and get started with these aroma-friendly and slurpable reds and white.

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Taste differences: who was right, me or the label?

That's me!However 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 Tesco’s Sicilian Rosso (£3.99) 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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Cava - it's rather nice

cava bottle topCava - 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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Wine tasting with a hashtag

tongue‘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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Cold spring reds

snowmanBrrr. it's a bit chilly. So let's drink some red wine. Oh look, here are six.

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Green it was

shamrockIt's good to be green, unless that involves consuming large quantities of E142 that is. This readily available green food colouring, known invitingly as Green S, puts the colour back into canned peas and also dyes the gallons of beer and lemonade drunk in honour of Saint Patrick during his day of festivities on March 17th. But being Irish for the day needn't involve pushing a chemical banned in Scandinavia through your system - why not pour out some naturally green refreshment instead?

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Co-op: brilliant off-licence with a convenience store stuck on

Co-op storeUSP, or Unique Selling Point, is what every marketing department of every High Street retailer wants us to think of when their brand name comes to mind. With the Co-op it’s that there’s one of their food stores in every one of the UK’s postal areas. Yeess, but with many of these stuck in out of the way shopping arcades and often too small to do the entire weekly shop in you may wonder what reason there is for seeking them out. Because their wine range is so fab. Think of them more of a brilliant off-licence with a convenience store stuck on the side.

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What's good this week

wine bottlesPG Wine Tips for this week includes a £3.99 Italian red, a Rioja on offer at Sainsbury's and a Carmenere that tastes like cake - very good cake.

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No cellar, no problem

wine storageThe ideal storage conditions for wine are a dark, damp, cool wine cellar. But as few of us have one of these, where’s the best place to store wine?

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Wineboxes: ugly but full of delight

winebox tapIf you really like a certain wine, rather than buying it in single cork-stoppered bottles why not get in larger three or four bottle-sized amounts available in boxes? You’ll find many supermarkets sell the same wine in bottles and wineboxes, but check out the equivalent price per bottle and you’ll find the winebox wine works out cheaper.

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