Wine

Slight changes to the diet

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.

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Ten wines for Christmas

SantaJust a few days left to go and if you're still unsure what wines to get in then try my list of top ten great tasting wines to match with what ever you'll be eating on the 25th December. There's wines to match the traditional roast, plus wines for later in the day when all you want is a sandwich and possibly a spoonful of trifle. There's also a couple of champagnes for toasting the arrival of your guests or for just drinking with a slice of toast and a red wine that doubles as an alternative to after-dinner port. What ever you want it's here.

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Top Ten Wines Under £6 of 2015

pound coinsTop Ten Wines Under £6 of 2015 this week with recommended wines starting at £3.99 and going up to £6. As you'd expect the discount retailers are in there (both Aldi and Lidl) along with the more cash conscious supermarkets of Tesco, Asda and the Co-op. But Majestic has also found a place with a wine at £5.49 – so no longer is this retailer a destination of just the middle-wine bracket buyers, those in hunt of bargain should give them a try too.

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Nine whiskies for cake soaking

whiskey labelNine whiskies, both Scottish and British, 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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Top Ten Reds of 2015 Over £6

red wine in glassTop Ten Red Wines of 2015 priced over £6 this week with recommended wines starting at £5.99   (yes I know, I know but can we forgive them a penny and let them in?) and going up to £20. The Co-op and Majestic are putting up a good show (yet again – as they did in last week's Top Ten Whites of 2015 priced over £6) with other supermarkets and independents making up the rest of the Top Ten.

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Top Ten Shiraz of 2015

Da Luca redTop Ten Shiraz of 2015 this week with recommended wines starting at £4.80 and going up to £13.99. Again, as with last week's Top Ten Sauvignon Blancs, no one supermarket or High Street seller dominates – with excellent examples available from Asda, SPAR, Lidl, Majestic and others.

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Matching wine with chocolate cake

chocolate cakeChocolate cakes come in many guises – dark chocolate sponges, white chocolate chip muffins and high-cocoa content cake topped with melted Mars Bars. But come the final cake count there will be two important questions to answer: “Which cake to slice first?”, and “What wine will match all that chocolate?”.

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Majestic's own-label Definition range

Definition bottlesTwelve wines make up Majestic's new own-label Definition range – that's five whites (Chablis, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc), five reds (Claret, Côtes du Rhône, Pinot Noir, Rioja, Malbec), a rosé and a sparkling wine. Priced between £9.99 and £17.99 a bottle (with multi-buy offers bringing this down to £7.49 - £13.49) the range is designed to be “approachable to seasoned wine drinkers and intriguing to new wine lovers” - but are they tasty?

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Part II: Lidl Wine Cellar review

Lidl logoLast week I reviewed the more expensive wines (ranging from £14.99 down to £7.99) of Lidl's recent additions to its Wine Cellar range – and this week I promised a look at the £5.99 and £4.99 wines from this latest launch. All French and all pretty good as it turns out – but are they value for money?

Read more: Part II: Lidl Wine Cellar review

Part I: Lidl Wine Cellar review

Lidl logoLidl have added even more wines to their Wine Cellar range – 40 French wines ranging in price from £4.99 for a pale pink rosé, to £14.99 for a champagne and a red from a named Bordeaux chateau. Wines added earlier in the year to the same range hailed from all over the world and proved to be pretty good, and in one instance out right spectacular – but how will they taste this time?

Read more: Part I: Lidl Wine Cellar review