Co-op launches own-label Fairtrade wines

fairtrade logoToday sees the launch of the Co-op's first own-label Fairtrade Reserve wines, a white from South Africa and a red from Argentina. Reserve status means the two new wines are priced at £5.99, £2 more per bottle than the Co-op's 12 other Fairtrade wines – but are they worth it?

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Free energy from a cup of tea

teacupGot a half-finished cup of tea sitting on your desk? Rather than letting it go cold, why not use its milk and sugared heat to power your desk lamp? It's all down to an ingenious device invented by the Scottish clergyman Robert Stirling in 1816. A cup-sized version of his Stirling engine is being sold by for £45.99.

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Win tickets to The Wine Show

The Wine Show logoWant to meet Oz Clarke, the star of Oz and James' Big Wine Adventure, or Tim Atkin, The Observer's wine correspondent? Or have the opportunity to sample 1000s of wines from around the world? Then win one of 10 pairs of tickets for The Wine Show 2007 and get along to the UK’s largest event exclusively devoted to wine.


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Black bottles, plastic pouches and low alcohol at Tesco

Arniston Bay pouchThe German winemakers Black Tower are using this week’s ‘biggest-ever wine category review by a supermarket’ to launch their new red Dornfelder Pinot Noir. This light red wine will increase the Black Tower range from the current two whites (Rivaner and Pinot Grigio) and a rosé made from Portugieser and Dornfelder grapes. Among the other 369 new wines on Tesco’s shelves is a white wine from South Africa’s Arniston Baysold in a resealable 1.5-litre plastic pouch.

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Superplonk is dead

Superplonk penWine writer Malcolm Gluck announced today that he's been forced to concede defeat in his attempts to get his wine-ratings website Superplonk up and running again. In a personal email to Superplonk subscribers, Malcolm explained its loss had been a huge personal blow but didn’t say why his website suddenly stopped working several months ago.

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Down tools

WineboxPut away your corkscrew, wine is available on tap. Look around the wine section of your average supermarket and you’ll see 800 different bottles and 30 wineboxes. Clearly more people buy wine in bottles but they are missing out on the great advantage of buying wine in 3-litre boxes - no corkscrew is required. To pour a glass of wine all you need do is push open a plastic tap.

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Jimmy's drink

Pimm's logoJames Pimm, owner of an oyster bar in Victorian London, designed his Original drink to wash down the oysters. This house blend, known as a ‘cup’, included ingredients common to many bars or pubs - gin, soda, lemon, sugar, quinine and spices.

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Drink Up With Paula Goddard

PGMy new weekly wine and drink column Drink Up... With Paula Goddard for Sky’s website is now live. You can already read my thoughts on rosé, red and elderflower wines; matching wines with barbequed food and salad; champagne and strawberries, golfers' wines, wineboxes and Pimm's. Each week I’ll be looking at a topical wine issue and recommending wines to try.

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Wine to a tee

Ernie Els logoThe Open’s trophy winners plaque is getting rather crowded. July 22 will see the 135th name engraved on the silver Claret Jug as the last hole is being played at Carnoustie, Scotland. After a gap of five years since his last win, I’m hoping that name is Ernie Els. Should the 37-year old South African come first he’ll be able to put the Claret Jug to the use it was intended - serving claret wine from it. Ernie’s own South African version of French claret, made at his 72-hectare Stellenbosch vineyards, would be a fitting choice.

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Steam and beer at Birdingbury Country Festival

White Shield lorryThis small Warwickshire village’s annual show attracted steam engines, classic cars, vintage military vehicles, tractors and lorries from as far as Sheffield. Many travelled shorter distances – John Wilson’s 1929 Leyland SQ2 Worthington White Shield delivery van came the 1.5 miles from Frankton to take part in the Commercial Vehicle display.

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