St. Patrick's Day wines: it's easy being green

shamrock on glassIt's easy being green. So why not help the Irish along on Saint Patrick's Day next Saturday and pour out some naturally green grape refreshment.

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She's worth it: ten quid wines for Mother's Day

grandmaChoosing a gift for next Sunday's Mother'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 bunch of flowers or box of chocs, 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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Mad March wine offers

wine bottlesBehind the unimaginative supermarket headlines of ‘Mad March Offers’ are some rather good ones involving wine. Asda leads the way with the lowest priced offer wine at £2.48 followed by the Co-op with their own-label Australian wine at £4.25. The big brands are also having a clear out with several supermarkets selling Wolf Blass at a discount, while savings on the posher brands of Villa Maria and Errazuriz can be found at Tesco.

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Bargain of the Year: Castillo de Calatrava

Castillo de Calatrva labelMorrisons Castillo de Calatrava Spanish Tempranillo Crianza is the Bargain of the Year (so far). Paying just £4 for this complex, fruity red is such a stonking deal (within their 3 for £12 offer which starts today) that buying just one bottle is a missed opportunity – my advice is buy as many as your purse will allow.

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Sauternes or tea with pancakes?

Sauternes labelAs you squeeze the lemon juice over your pancakes tomorrow will you be contemplating an accompanying glass of wine or a nice cup of tea? Because wine isn’t the natural partner of choice for the traditional Shrove Tuesday meal. Adding lashings of sugar as well will almost stop the taste buds registering anything else – unless it’s even sweeter or more acidic than each of the pancake toppings. So what wine, if any, matches these criteria?

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Chocolate tasting wine for your Valentine

chocolate squaresThis Valentine’s Day rather than the usual box of chocs and bottle of wine, why not present your loved one with a bottle of wine that tastes of chocolate? To find those cocoa nuances you’ll need a full-bodied red from the warmer parts of Europe, South America or California.

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Inspired Wine: wineboxes reviewed

FishEye wineboxIf you really like a certain wine, rather than buying it in single cork-stoppered bottles why not get larger four bottle-sized amounts available in boxes? But if stepping along to the supermarket seems like too much of a chilly effort then try the online winebox retailer because they’re offering free delivery during February.

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Half-sized bottles at

half bottles of champagneHalf bottles of wine at half the cost? Not necessarily so, unfortunately. Because so few vineyards put their wines in 375ml bottles the price of this handy single-sized portion never gets lowered by mass production and so remains at about two-thirds the price of its 750ml equivalent. But half bottles aren’t all bad – they do allow you to assess the maturing potential of many wines without the risk and all the cost.

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Sweet and sour wines for sweet and sour meals

Chinese takeaway signReceived wisdom says the naturally sweet-sour flavours of German white wines work best with Chinese food. Which helps with the food-wine matching for this evening’s celebration of the Chinese New Year, but really any wine you like will match, but a bit of sweetness helps.

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Reds: it's the polyphenols you know

Lindemans red wineDrinking a couple of glasses of red wine every day isn’t just enjoyable, it’s also good for you. Red wine is rich in chemicals called polyphenols. Research has shown that these compounds expand your blood vessels, making it easier for blood to flow. They also fight hardening of your arteries, the major contributor to heart disease.

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