Aperol Spritz - the perfect summer cocktail

Popular in Italy as an aperitif, Aperol Spritz is a perfect cocktail for the summer months. You can find Aperol in most UK supermarkets; it is made by Campari and is a similar blend o f herbs, aromatic plants and fruit but it is orange-flavoured,  much less bitter and a perfect complement to  Prosecco .
The   recommended recipe is:

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Barbecues - bane or breeze?

Practical help for a laid back barbecue


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Barbecues can be a lot of work and sometimes a bit tiresome with the same old, sometimes charred, offerings but they needn't be - find some time-saving recipes that allow you to chat with your guests and serve wines that won't be overwhelmed by the smoky food .

To help you chill out at your barbecue this summer

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Australian Wine: where to start?

Advice on getting the best out of Australian wine

Boom to Bust 
In one of the exams I took in 2010 for my WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits I had to write about "the crisis" in the Australian wine industry in the late 2000s. After what was considered a boom time from the mid 1980s to the mid 2000s when Australia rose from not

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Food and Wine Matching - some guidelines

Dispel the myths and read these top tips on food and wine pairing



Food and wine matching can be a minefield. There is nothing wrong with ignoring the "rules" and just sticking to your preferred wines but sometimes wines can seem flat and lose their fruit flavours when served with certain foods and some meals can be enhanced by serving complementary wines. So it is

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Ban the US fruit bomb?

Why the fashion for fruit bombs?
There has been a fashion, much followed in the USA, for “fruit bombs” , BIG, over-ripe wines as high in alcohol as some fortified wines which have distilled spirits added to them. This has been driven to some extent by wine critics who have had a tendency to award the highest scores to the richest, jammiest wines. Many winemakers

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Malbec Miscellanea

17th April is  Malbec World Day ; an excuse to crack open a bottle of Malbec   and ponder the following facts about this grape.

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The Fronsac & Canon-Fronsac appellations

Fronsac & Canon-Fronsac, Right Bank Bordeaux wines

Right Bank Bordeaux refers to wines from the vineyards on the North bank of the Gironde and Dordogne rivers. The wines are characterised by the dominance of Merlot in the blend of grapes used.


Left Bank Bordeaux wines, generally from much larger estates in the Médoc region with appellations such as Margaux, St Julien and Pauillac and in

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What makes a wine a good wine?

As the old and unattributed adage goes, life is too short to drink bad wine - but what makes a wine good or bad?
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It is not simply a matter of taste. Personal preference in wine is very important but it is also very subjective. To assess whether a wine is good or not requires a more objective view and there are three main criteria

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Wine Competitions & Awards - are they all hype?



Would you buy a wine solely because it has won a medal at a wine competition? Should you?



Gold Medal wines from Wines With Attitude.jpg I have to confess my position upfront - since 2014 I have been acting as a Judge at the International Wine & Spirit Competition (the IWSC), qualifying to do so because of my studying for (and passing in 2011) the Diploma in Wines and Spirits see my

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