Wine

Chardonnay offers

Chablis bottlesButtery, creamy, lemony, rich, sharp and biscuity are just a few of the flavours found in wines made with the Chardonnay grape. This multi-faceted grape variety can be found growing in hundreds of countries around the world, and there are just as many flavours to be found in the resulting wines. But you won’t have to buy an around the world ticket to taste them, all that is required is a quick trip to the supermarket where luckily you’ll find many on special offer.

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Should champagne's marketing men disappear

opened champagneUnless champagne's marketing men disappear, their sparkling wine will always be the first choice for celebrations. But many countries get their white wines to sparkle using the same techniques as those of champagne. But they can't say so on the label.

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Top Ten Roses of 2011

trophyTop Ten Rosé Wines of 2011 this week, and any one of them chilled makes an ideal partner to lighter Christmas meats such as turkey and cold ham. But darker coloured rosés, the result of soaking grape skins in the must for 3 days rather than 3 hours, could easily be mistaken for light reds and can cope with more robustly-flavoured meals like roast beef and mushroom stroganoff. So if you’re looking for a versatile wine that will please everyone then try a rosé from the top ten.

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Top Eight After Dinner Reds of 2011

trophyTop Eight After Dinner Red Wines of 2011 this week. That’s more than the promised five as a late surge in great tasting and great value wines was found to match the cheese and nuts course. All eight are deeply fruity and contain more alcohol than is usual in red wine - which describes exactly what Ruby and Tawny ports are about. But ports aren’t the only choice for after dinner reds.

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Maynard's Ports at Aldi

Maynard's Aged TawnyIf you want a similar flavour and experience to Croft's 1991 Vintage Port but at a sixth of the price then look no further than Maynard's ports on special offer this Christmas at Aldi. Maynard's Late Bottled Vintage 2007 is selling at £8.99 and the 10 years old Aged Tawny is a pound more at £9.99, but only while stocks last. And they won't last long because both ports have my vote as Bargains of the Week.

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Happy Anniversary with Croft 1991 Vintage Port

Croft 1991 Port labelIt’s Mature Times’ twentieth anniversary. And what better way to celebrate than by opening a bottle of port of the same vintage – Croft 1991 Vintage to be exact. Let’s see if it has matured as nicely.

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Top Ten Reds of 2011

trophyTop Ten Red Wines of 2011 this time including three at under a fiver, which should help things along this Christmas in these frugal times, and aromas that climb out of the glass and whack you one. And should you be able to splash out a bit more there are also more great value wines at around £8 and more at £12 and £13. So here they are in ascending price:

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Top Ten Whites of 2011

trophyTop Ten White Wines of 2011 this week. There will also be a Paula’s Top Ten Red Wine choices of 2011 and Top Ten Rosés but only the Top Five After Dinner Reds of 2011.

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Pimm's is the Christmas cake soaking choice

PimmsPimm’s, fortified wines and Belgian wheatbeer are sampled this week as I get started baking the Christmas fruity puds and cakes. Recipes for booze-soaked Christmas fruit cake always say you should let the cake 'mature' for at least a week before you ice it. But the cake will still taste wonderful if you start munching when it’s only been out of the oven for an hour and just (about) cooled down.

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A taste of remembrance

Battlefield Wines labelZesty gooseberry for the white and digestive biscuit topped with strawberry jam flavours for the red would normally be good enough but combine that with an act of remembrance and the result is the satisfying Battlefield Wines range. Because when you buy these wines not only are you getting interesting South African wines but donating all post-tax sale profits to the Royal British Legion.

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