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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Sausage Week wines

sausage and mashAre you sizzling? If not, why not? Because it’s British Sausage Week, a week devoted to the British Banger and invented by the meat industry to convince us that eating 191 tonnes of sausages each year just isn’t good enough. Okay so the sausages are grilled (don’t prick them it ruins the texture) and there’s an extremely large dollop of creamy mashed potato on the side – but what colour of wine will match this meal fit for a monarch?

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Co-op Premium Wines: wines with the wow factor

Co-op Premium Sauvignon Blanc“Wines with the wow factor” is how Paul Bastard, Co-op’s Wine Development Manager, describes their Premium Wine range, down in price to £6.49 a bottle starting this Wednesday for three weeks.

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Tesco and Waitrose wines by the case: deal or no deal?

wine bottlesSix bottles is the usual required minimum order for many wine buying websites, and with delivery an extra £5 or so, occasional wine buyers are still better served by popping into their local supermarket. But TescoWinebytheCase the every-day wine drinker a real bargain from among its limited-offer bottles sold by the half case.

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Creating a wine list

restaurant menuJudging a restaurant on their food will only ever give you half the story. A competent wine list is just as important as the menu as it not only matches the food but also the expectations of the diners. It should also describe the wines in enough detail so that the paying customer can make an informed choice. A notable wine list, though, must do this and more.

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Organising a Twitter wine tasting

Twitter wine rim‘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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