Negotiating the restaurant wine list

We’ve all done it, gone to a restaurant and treated the wine menu rather like a hot potato, passing it round and round the table – “you want to pick the wine”, “no, please you pick it”, or “I’m easy I’ll go with whatever you think”. Why do we do this? Is it because we’re never sure what pairs well with the food or is being faced with a wine list with nothing particularly recognizable you fall back on trying…

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In Focus – Sauvignon Blanc

Possibly no grape divides opinion as much as Sauvignon Blanc – loved by consumers if not universally by the critics. Just what is it that makes this grape so divisive? Yes, it can be pungent: “Cats Pee on a Gooseberry bush” is just one descriptor often used! Yes, a generalisation is it’s a grape that doesn’t particularly take well to oak so automatically appears to lack the kudos other varieties can command, and yes, in many cases the wines…

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Wine Review – Domäne Wachau Classic Riesling Federspiel 2016

From the same producer as my recent LIDL find, I've included this wine despite it not readily being available on the UK High Street as I wanted to show there is far more to Austria than their signature variety Grüner Veltliner. This elegant Riesling is a great example of the range of wine the country can offer. There is a lovely balance to this Riesling: limpid lemon in appearance, the nose betrays attractive aromas of peach, lime, crab apple…

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In a Nutshell – Austrian wine top tips

The use of the Austrian flag on the capsule of the wine bottle is a sign of the wine’s provenance and quality. If you come across Austrian wines which don’t have this seal, the wine will not have gone through such stringent testing and thus quality may be more variable!

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Wine Review – Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner Wachau Terraces 2016

Don’t be put off by the thought of drinking Austrian wine, whilst very much under-represented in the UK market this is a region where you can really get value for money as a recent trip to my local LIDL proves... Very much the signature variety of Austria, the key characteristics of the grape are very much in evidence here: on the nose there are obvious vegetal aromas (think celery), white pepper notes alongside fresh citrus and green apple with…

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