Navigating the world of wine awards

I know from experience as you peruse the aisles in the local supermarket or wine merchant shelf, the eye invariably goes to a few things when you hunt for your next bottle of wine: the price, the label (who doesn't love a critter label?!) and last-but-not-least those shiny ‘award’ badges that sometimes adorn the front of the wine bottle. Although seeing that a wine has “won” an award can give you a feeling of security – that the wine…

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Wines for the festive starter

It is always a matter of conjecture when planning the wines for your Christmas festivities – I am always tasked with the job by my dad and have to take into account some of the family aren’t big sparkling drinkers, another doesn’t like white wine so trying to get something that suits everyone is often an impossible task.So use the below loosely - as suggestions if nothing else - as to which of your bottles to open and when:Seafood…

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The best lower alcohol wines to enjoy this Christmas

Having had the ‘pleasure’ and I use the term very loosely, of tasting a wide range of low and no alcohol wines when I was doing my wine exams, I can, hand on heart say ‘alcohol free’(<0.05% ABV) and ‘low’ alcohol wines (1.2% ABV and under) are not (in my opinion at least) very good!  The problem is, take out the alcohol and you leave something of a gaping hole in the wine - it is unbalanced, lacks body…

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To Decant or not Decant…

"To Decant" definition: To slowly transfer the contents of a bottle into a different container (with the aim of not disturbing any sediment that may exist in the said bottle).Why Decant?Most of us probably don’t even consider getting the decanter out unless we have a particularly expensive or older bottle being opened.  But there are some good reasons why it is a good idea particularly for older red wine, Vintage/unfiltered LBV Ports and even for good young red, white…

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How long to keep an open bottle of Sherry

Ok, I appreciate that Sherry may not be the most fashionable of wines and probably conjures rather unwanted images of old great aunts, sipping on a glass of Harvey’s Bristol cream from a dusty old bottle that has been grabbed from the very depths of the cupboard!In all seriousness, there is a lot to enjoy about Sherry, and not just for perking up the Christmas trifle.  It’s hugely versatile – there are so many different styles from the bone…

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