Father's Day rosé

bottles of wineChoosing a gift for next Sunday's Father's Day is never that easy for sons and daughters, of whatever age. I'm sure you'll not complain when you receive the usual power tool or tankard, but it would be nice to get something rather more personalised wouldn't it? So why not help your children along by dropping subtle, or not, hints that a bottle or two of your favourite wine would be much appreciated.

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It's a rum deal

How To Fossilise Your Hamster bookI admit I was ignorant of how to go about fossilising a (deceased) pet hamster until I purchased the paperback of the same name. How To Fossilise Your Hamster: And Other Amazing Experiments For The Armchair Scientist (£6.39 on Amazon for the paperback, £4.12 for Kindle version) is a must for anyone who longed to receive a Chemistry Set for Christmas but never did. So if you've got half a bottle of rum, a can of coca cola with the fizz intact and some ice cubes you too can experiment with the contents of the drinks cabinet.

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Proper beer is homebrew

Beer tankardA look at beer this week. Why? Because Guinness just doesn’t taste like it used to and so the only way to get hold of a pint of the original is to brew it yourself. Home brewing allows you to recreate bygone beer tastes that aren’t available anymore.

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Chardonnay and chips

fish and chipsMatching South African Journey’s End Chardonnay with a plate of battered haddock, hash browns, onion rings and some token peas proved a good choice – an evening filled with guzzling and munching followed.

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Blue Nun - what's she been up to?

Blue Nun logoThe sweet German white wine drunk by over 3 million people in the 1970s has reinvented itself. Blue Nun Original is still available – though it’s drier than it used to be - but new red and white wines have been added to expand the range.

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French wine and food

French flagRecipes from our nearest continental neighbours have been pushed aside in favour of Italian, Chinese and Indian foods. So it’s time for a revival of French foods as they can always be relied upon to be tasty – a large glug of wine added to each recipe sees to that.

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Aldi Exquisite Collection review

Aldi Exquisite wine labelThe seven wines of Aldi’s premium Exquisite Collection knock spots of Tesco’s Finest range and come pretty close to ousting the Co-op’s Premium wine range off the top spot for fantastic flavours for fantastic value. So what’s stopping these wines of ‘distinctive styles’ being number one in the supermarket posh wine stakes?

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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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