Wine

Top Ten Wines for Christmas Day

Roast turkeyIf you want wines to please everybody, that will also match just about any Christmas Day food or snack then you'll need to get in at least three bottles of wine – a light red, a fruity white and a flavourful red that can double as an after-dinner port.

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Top Ten Reds 2016 Priced £6-£9

heart shaped wine glassTop Ten Red Wines of 2016 priced between £6 and going up to £9 this week. Majestic are putting up a good show (yet again – as they did in the Top Ten Whites of 2016 priced between £6 and £9, and also Top Ten Reds Under £6) with the Co-op making its return for another year, plus the new-comer to the Top Ten lists – Virgin Wines.

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Top Ten Non-Alcoholic Alternatives to Wine

Bramah teapotThe key to choosing a non-alcoholic alternative to wine is to find one that doesn't taste too sweet. Because an overly sweet drink can not only overwhelm the taste buds and hide the taste  of the food you are matching it to, but it's also really filling – it may taste great on its own but drink it with a full plate of roast turkey, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, peas, gravy and bread sauce and the sweetness will fill you up faster than the lovingly prepared plate of food. But there are non-alcoholic choices that taste good, match food as well as wine and also won't empty the bank account.

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Top Ten Whites 2016 priced £6-£9

Majestic logoTop Ten White Wines of 2016 priced between £6 and £9 this week. Majestic and Sainsbury's are putting up a good show with other supermarkets making up the rest of the Top Ten. So what can you expect from a white wine in the above average price per bottle bracket?

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Top Ten Reds Under £6 of 2016

swirling wineTop Ten Red Wines Under £6 of 2016 this week with recommended wines starting at £4.99 and going up to £6. As you'd expect the discount retailer Aldi is in there but Lidl is noticeably missing. This isn't because they don't sell great red wine at under £6 – they do – but their supply policy for their posh Wine Cellar range means it's only available for short periods and so if you can't get it, I haven't listed it.

Read more: Top Ten Reds Under £6 of 2016

Top Ten White Wines Under £6 of 2016

trophyTop Ten White Wines Under £6 of 2016 this week. And in the remaining weekly columns in the run up to Christmas they'll also be the Top Ten Reds Under £6, plus Top Ten Whites between £6 and £9, and then Top Ten Reds in the £6-£9 price bracket. Sparkling wines haven't been forgotten, neither has an essential list of ten wines that'll match all tastes and foods for Christmas Day. Plus my suggestions on ten non-alcoholic alternatives for the festive season. So there's lots to come.

Read more: Top Ten White Wines Under £6 of 2016

Party time: wear your wine

red wine dressOrganising a spooks and ghouls themed party is far too easy when all you've got to do is pop down to the Accessories aisle in your nearest supermarket for the tee-shirts and masks. So how about an alternative approach – wine-themed clothing instead? You could just casually adopt the red-wine stain look and splash the contents of your wine glass around, but a much more sophisticated approach is to make the clothing from the wine instead.

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How to deal with a hangover

man with hand on headHeadaches are part of being human. Ranging from slight to ones that make you think your head has been covered in cling film and microwaved. But perhaps your head feels more like there's a rehearsal of Riverdance going on in it? And your tongue looks like a couple of square inches of Axminster? Then it's highly probable, isn't it?, that you're headache is a hangover.

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Bernie Inns, Black Tower, Le Piat D'Or

Black Tower label1992 was all about being smoozed with shark steaks at Berni Inns, accompanied by the wine of choice: Black Tower wine. Heaven. But times weren't always as good for the German white wine served in a black bottle. When Black Tower was bought out by Grants of St. James's in 1987 they found a once premium brand going down, and down, thanks to the launch of 'own-label' wines where supermarkets bottled, and sold, other people's wines under their own supermarket logos. So what was this misunderstood wine to do?

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Wine education - book now

school deskTerm has started for the children, and now it's 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.

Read more: Wine education - book now