Top Ten Reds Under £6 of 2016

swirling wineTop Ten Red Wines Under £6 of 2016 this week with recommended wines starting at £4.99 and going up to £6. As you'd expect the discount retailer Aldi is in there but Lidl is noticeably missing. This isn't because they don't sell great red wine at under £6 – they do – but their supply policy for their posh Wine Cellar range means it's only available for short periods and so if you can't get it, I haven't listed it.

Read more: Top Ten Reds Under £6 of 2016

Top Ten White Wines Under £6 of 2016

trophyTop Ten White Wines Under £6 of 2016 this week. And in the remaining weekly columns in the run up to Christmas they'll also be the Top Ten Reds Under £6, plus Top Ten Whites between £6 and £9, and then Top Ten Reds in the £6-£9 price bracket. Sparkling wines haven't been forgotten, neither has an essential list of ten wines that'll match all tastes and foods for Christmas Day. Plus my suggestions on ten non-alcoholic alternatives for the festive season. So there's lots to come.

Read more: Top Ten White Wines Under £6 of 2016

Party time: wear your wine

red wine dressOrganising a spooks and ghouls themed party is far too easy when all you've got to do is pop down to the Accessories aisle in your nearest supermarket for the tee-shirts and masks. So how about an alternative approach – wine-themed clothing instead? You could just casually adopt the red-wine stain look and splash the contents of your wine glass around, but a much more sophisticated approach is to make the clothing from the wine instead.

Read more: Party time: wear your wine

How to deal with a hangover

man with hand on headHeadaches are part of being human. Ranging from slight to ones that make you think your head has been covered in cling film and microwaved. But perhaps your head feels more like there's a rehearsal of Riverdance going on in it? And your tongue looks like a couple of square inches of Axminster? Then it's highly probable, isn't it?, that you're headache is a hangover.

Read more: How to deal with a hangover

Bernie Inns, Black Tower, Le Piat D'Or

Black Tower label1992 was all about being smoozed with shark steaks at Berni Inns, accompanied by the wine of choice: Black Tower wine. Heaven. But times weren't always as good for the German white wine served in a black bottle. When Black Tower was bought out by Grants of St. James's in 1987 they found a once premium brand going down, and down, thanks to the launch of 'own-label' wines where supermarkets bottled, and sold, other people's wines under their own supermarket logos. So what was this misunderstood wine to do?

Read more: Bernie Inns, Black Tower, Le Piat D'Or

Wine education - book now

school deskTerm has started for the children, and now it's the adults’ turn. Evening classes begin in September and it’s not all about beginner’s French. Wine tasting is still being offered by many local education authorities and if you’re lucky the course will be taught by a wine tutor who is knowledgeable and understands you’ll be nervous when you first arrive.

Read more: Wine education - book now

What wine for Chinese food?

Chinese bowl and chopsticksChopsticks leave me fumbling, but that doesn't stop me devouring Chinese food at least once a week. Unfortunately cooking my own stir fries has become a bit of problem since moving house: lack of mains gas means all my cooking must be done on an electric hob and my round bottomed wok just doesn't work well on that.

Read more: What wine for Chinese food?

ASADO: wine that looks like beer

ASADOIt looks like four bottles of beer neatly packaged in a cardboard carrying container, it opens like beer with the traditional crimped-on metal cap, and you finally pour the contents from long-necked 250ml brown glass bottles – into what? A wine glass. Because this four-pack is in fact Argentinean Malbec – on the shelves at Morrisons for £10. Ready to try it yet?

Read more: ASADO: wine that looks like beer

Paxman might want to join the over-50s wine drinkers

peopleFeel aggrieved, feel very aggrieved. Up until now, the over 50s wine drinker has been more or less ignored by the wine industry as you’ve been perceived as neither an exciting or valuable market segment. However demographic changes are forcing a wholesale change in attitudes.

Read more: Paxman might want to join the over-50s wine drinkers

What can surveys tell us?

red grapesSurveys issued as press releases must always be treated with caution. So when a new one arrived in my inbox I got straight back on to the Co-op, who wanted to impress on me that we are now a nation of wine buffs, and asked “So just how many people did you ask in this survey then?”. The answer was a bit of a surprise, 2000 (which is quite a lot when you realise that many so called surveys are based on a handful of people, who are often within sitting distance of the person who sent it). And it also turns out they're not just Co-op shoppers either, they were honest to goodness 'the general public'. So there's a good chance these survey results can actually tell us something useful about our nation's wine habits.

Read more: What can surveys tell us?