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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Read all about VinUno... in English

VinUnoYesterday your second language needed to be Danish, today English alone will suffice as Danish designer Lars Erdmann relaunches his website. promotes his stainless steel and laquered wood box, designed to conceal 3-litre wineboxes.

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Mumm's the word

champagneSpeculation on a change of champagne sponsor after yesterday's French Grand Prix were premature according to Olivia Arnold, Marketing Assistant for Mumm champagne. The 'odd looking bottles of champagne' I spotted being handed to Kimi Räikkönen, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton were a result of French Law.

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Spray it again

Dan GurneyLast weeks Le Mans heralded a motorsport tradition turning forty. Standing on the victory podium in 1967, Dan Gurney decided to spray his winner's bottle of champagne rather than drink it. This was something nobody had done before and it quickly became popular with other winners. But before spraying can begin the bottle must be opened. Archive pictures show driving for twenty-four hours did nothing for Dan's champagne opening abilities.

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