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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Free wine tasting sheet

tasting sheetIf the Co-op's fairtrade wine offer has inspired you to organise your own wine tasting at home, then you'll need to get some kit together. Get yourself some tulip-shaped supermarket wine glasses (about £3.99 for 4) – their elongated shaped bowls capture any wine aromas released when the wine is swirled prior to sniffing and tasting. To help you keep track of all the wines you taste why not use my free wine tasting sheet?

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Fairtrade wines at a fair price

Fairtrade symbolThe Co-op’s own-label fairtrade wines are on offer this week. Which is good news if you like your wines to be both ethically-sourced and taste quaffably fruity. Because these South African wines are superb examples of what wines made from well-known grape varieties should taste like.

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