What does an average bottle of wine taste like?

coins£4.87 is the average-spend on a bottle of supermarket wine. And with the recession predicted to carry on until goodness knows when that amount isn’t likely to increase any time soon – unless our Chancellor of the Exchequer decides to put up alcohol excise duty yet again. And he might – but until that time comes what exactly does an average-priced bottle of wine taste like?

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Vinaigrette makes a tricky wine match

saladMatching wine to a baby leaf and herb salad, whose only coating is sea salt and black pepper, is easy - almost any white or light red wine will go. Finding a wine for a salad dressed in oil and vinegar is a little more difficult.

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Don't be too cool with your rosés

Rose in glassesRosés drunk straight from the fridge provide a refreshing drink, but you may not be tasting them at their best. Two rosés that taste best slightly cool rather than chillingly cold came to light while investigating this column – Chateau Bel Air Perponcher rosé from The Wine Society and Co-op Wombarra Shiraz rosé.

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Barefoot wines reviewed

Barefoot winesRetailing between £6 and £7, Barefoot’s range of seven wines made to be “enjoyed by everyone from first-time wine-consumers to hard-core aficionados” are well-made but over-priced. Unfortunately the better value of $6.99, or £4.45, a bottle can only be obtained by all of this Californian brand’s American customers. But if you’re prepared to wait or day two then Tesco’s offer kicks in bringing the price down to a much more reasonable, and realistic, £5 a bottle.

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If it stops raining

sunHere comes the sun. Well in-between the rain. The Met Office outlook for next week suggests ‘a good deal of fine dry weather’ with a ‘changeable’ end of August Bank Holiday. So if you want a picnic then do it sooner rather than later and get those picnic baskets and chilled bottles of wine on standby.

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London 2012 Olympic wines

winning at sportWith descriptions more usually seen on wines costing £4.50 for a full bottle then it seems perfectly reasonable to wonder why just a quarter of a bottle costs a whacking £4.50. One supplier in a restricted venue is the answer - so if you want to quench your thirst with 187ml worth of wine at an Olympic site then don’t expect much change out of a fiver.

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Blazing wines

barbecue manBarbecues and delicate wines don't go together. To compete with the rich smells and flavours of barbecued food you need a wine that tastes of berry fruit. So what's needed are robustly-flavoured reds and fruitily-flavoured whites.

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£2.99 wine: its death is greatly exaggerated

wine aisleThe £2.99 bottle of wine is still with us, just. And why are these low-priced bargains so rare? Because with excise duty now set at £1.90 a bottle, and VAT at 20%, supermarkets make just 5 to 10 pence profit on each one sold. So when each inch of shelf space has to maximise profits it’s easy to see why the £2.99-er is almost extinct. But Aldi and Tesco are keeping this price range alive – for the time being.

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Raining champagne for Father's Day

Dan GurneyIf you’re celebrating Father’s Day by going to Le Mans to watch the 24-hour motor race this weekend it’ll probably rain, rain champagne that is. Traditionally the winner’s bottle is sprayed into the crowd and we can thank the American racing driver, Dan Gurney, for starting it all in 1967.

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Classical wines

treble clefVines just love Vivaldi, it seems. Italian scientists have discovered his music helps grow healthier vines. Relayed from an iPod to vines through 15 speakers, Vivaldi's music was found to have a positive effect on shoot growth.

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