Wine

Popping round the shops

SPAR MalbecThere's no wine in the house and with only ten minutes to go before the food is ready what can you do? Buying the meal-matching wine from the local village shop or corner convenience store is the best strategy when time is limited.

Read more: Popping round the shops

Sweet-sour wines for Chinese New Year

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 Saturday’s celebration of the Chinese New Year, but really any wine you like will match, but a bit of sweetness helps.

Read more: Sweet-sour wines for Chinese New Year

Eat, drink and be merry

wine glasses on tableAre healthy shoppers also savvy shoppers? American research group NMI thinks so. Their consumer survey shows that if we’re careful with our bodies we’re also careful with our budgets. Categorising shoppers into five distinct types, the healthiest ‘Well Being’ shoppers make few impulse buys, while the ‘Eat, Drink and Be Merrys’ are more concerned with pizza than exercise. But surprisingly this unhealthy group of shoppers doesn’t spend any more on alcohol than the rest of us.

Read more: Eat, drink and be merry

Win wine prizes

MoneyWhen was the last time you didn't have to pay for your wine? Not more than a month a go I'll bet. Wine lovers often get bottles of wine as Christmas presents and I was no exception. My gift bottle tasted delicious but I won't be replacing it using my own money as it is just too expensive. In the post-Christmas economy drive I need to find another way of boosting the wine rack contents for free. And I've found the answer – entering competitions.

Read more: Win wine prizes

New Year, New You - the sensible version

tape measureInevitably some of us will have put on weight over Christmas and, if like me, you not only cooked the food but ate it too then the waist-band button is probably straining a bit. One way of dealing with this post-Christmas excess is to be sensible and eat slightly less and exercise slightly more.

Read more: New Year, New You - the sensible version

Top Ten sparkling wines for Christmas & New Year

champagne frothTop Ten sparkling wines to see you through Christmas and New Year this week. And we've got quite a choice ranging in price from £6.50 to £160. Spanish cava has been making a come back against the popularity of Italian prosecco – champagne is ever popular and it turns out if you make it using the same techniques in Argentina it tastes equally as good at half the price.

Read more: Top Ten sparkling wines for Christmas & New Year

Top Ten Wines for Christmas Day

Roast turkeyIf you want wines to please everybody, that will also match just about any Christmas Day food or snack then you'll need to get in at least three bottles of wine – a light red, a fruity white and a flavourful red that can double as an after-dinner port.

Read more: Top Ten Wines for Christmas Day

Top Ten Reds 2016 Priced £6-£9

heart shaped wine glassTop Ten Red Wines of 2016 priced between £6 and going up to £9 this week. Majestic are putting up a good show (yet again – as they did in the Top Ten Whites of 2016 priced between £6 and £9, and also Top Ten Reds Under £6) with the Co-op making its return for another year, plus the new-comer to the Top Ten lists – Virgin Wines.

Read more: Top Ten Reds 2016 Priced £6-£9

Top Ten Non-Alcoholic Alternatives to Wine

Bramah teapotThe key to choosing a non-alcoholic alternative to wine is to find one that doesn't taste too sweet. Because an overly sweet drink can not only overwhelm the taste buds and hide the taste  of the food you are matching it to, but it's also really filling – it may taste great on its own but drink it with a full plate of roast turkey, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, peas, gravy and bread sauce and the sweetness will fill you up faster than the lovingly prepared plate of food. But there are non-alcoholic choices that taste good, match food as well as wine and also won't empty the bank account.

Read more: Top Ten Non-Alcoholic Alternatives to Wine

Top Ten Whites 2016 priced £6-£9

Majestic logoTop Ten White Wines of 2016 priced between £6 and £9 this week. Majestic and Sainsbury's are putting up a good show with other supermarkets making up the rest of the Top Ten. So what can you expect from a white wine in the above average price per bottle bracket?

Read more: Top Ten Whites 2016 priced £6-£9