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Wine

Deadly intruder

Wine:  PHYLLOXERA VASTATRIX sounds as though she might have been a female equivalent of Attila the Hun. In her own way, however, she devastated a much larger slice of the world, across six continents. It is a small aphid, native to the east coast of the United States, which lives by eating vine-roots.

Regal offerings

Wine: OVER the past few years, the middle ground seems to have disappeared in the wine trade. At the one end, the power of the supermarkets has been consolidated; at the other, a number of fine independent wine stores have sprung up. Threshers, Unwins, and Augustus Barnett have all bitten the dust.

Save your money

Wine: The message that is coming back is that one should not invest too much money in 2013 vintage claret: the quality overall is varied, and on the whole the wines are lightweights.

Brazilian arrival

Wine: IN A number of ways, we have never had it so good as far as drinking wine is concerned. In the UK, the range of wines available is phenomenal.

Screw-top versus box

Wine: GIVEN the recent reports that suggested that wine had played too important a part in the social life of a certain Merseyside parish, I have a certain hesitancy in writing about which wines to choose for church functions.

Good with shrimp

Wine: ONE of the last bottles of wine that I opened in 2013 was a Spanish white wine from a region that I have never visited. It came from the Ribeiro district in north-west Spain, and was, for me, one of the outstanding wines of the year. 

Keep calm, carry on

Wine: It makes a great headline for a New Year column: "The world is about to run out of wine." It has a certain milleniarist ring to it.

Seasonal brews for intrepid drinkers

Seasonal brews for intrepid drinkers

Wine: THE carol invites us to deck the hall with boughs of holly - but there are other things we can do with it. In the Vosges Mountains, in Alsace, for example, they have a tradition of distilling holly berries

Don’t be a nigaud

Wine: THE French have a wonderful expression, attrape-nigaud - literally, "twit-trap", and, as I have pointed out in the past, this is what most supermarket BOGOF wine-offers are. Oz Clarke, on the TV programme Watchdog, pointed out the the cheapest wines do not represent a real bargain.

Promoting fair trade

Christopher Fielden finds that there are are now 47 wineries in the three countries accredited for Fairtrade wines

Flavour at risk

Wine: YEARS ago, my doctor sentenced me to a life-term without drink - a decision that was rescinded after a retrial 12 months later. One result of this sentence was that, for the first time, I tried some "de-alcoholised" wine. In no way was it a satisfactory replacement for the real thing, as far as I was concerned.

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