Beginners’ wine tips

How to taste wine like a pro

How to taste wine like a pro

Hope you've enjoyed some good wines recently. Did you knock them back or did you spend a little time savouring what was in the glass? Until you know the proper technique for assessing a wine, it can seem a bit ridiculous to bother doing anything but drink it! Yet the...

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Try this aroma trick at home

Try this aroma trick at home

Hope you've enjoyed some delicious wine recently. Following on from my video on how to taste wine, I thought I'd go into a little more detail about why it helps to bring air into your mouth whilst you're tasting and to get the aromas of the wine up around your nasal...

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What exactly IS a full-bodied wine, anyway?

What exactly IS a full-bodied wine, anyway?

This is a question I get all the time. You may already know what 'full-bodied' means, or you may 'sort of' know what it means from having seen it a lot on wine back labels....or you may have no clue at all! In which case, let me enlighten you... In wine descriptions...

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This wine smells of my grandmother’s attic!

This wine smells of my grandmother’s attic!

One of the most frequent complaints I hear from those new to wine is 'but Anne, why do wine experts always list so many aromas when they smell a wine? How can a wine possibly smell of all those things when it's made from grapes?!? All I can smell is wine!' Can you...

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£16,000 for ONE bottle of wine?!

£16,000 for ONE bottle of wine?!

Today we're talking about why some wines are so expensive. This is another of those questions I get asked a lot. But how expensive are we talking? For example, a quick look at Wine Searcher reveals that the average per-bottle price of Château Le Pin, a famous...

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But isn’t all wine vegan?

But isn’t all wine vegan?

The above is a question I get asked a lot, especially now that we are seeing the term 'vegan' more and more on wine labels and on restaurant wine lists. Why, wine-lovers ask me, is it necessary to specify that a wine is vegan? Isn't it made from grapes? The full...

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How much SHOULD I spend on a bottle of wine?

How much SHOULD I spend on a bottle of wine?

Having established in a previous post that most of us are not in the market for spending money on Domaine de la Romanée-Conti's wines, I promised you that I'd share with you my own personal sweet spot for how much you need to spend to get a decent bottle - and just to...

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But it just smells of wine!

But it just smells of wine!

In another post, we talked about Jilly Goolden and the seemingly impossible task of emulating the experts' litany of descriptive words, when all we can smell is in fact 'wine'. We also looked at why, when wine is simply made from grapes, it smells of all these other...

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Read this and salivate!

Read this and salivate!

Ever heard a wine expert talk about the acidity in a wine? Acidity is present in all wines. If you can remember back to your school chemistry classes, you might have a memory (distant or otherwise!) of the concept of pH, a scale used to indicate how acidic or alkaline...

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Show me some skin

Show me some skin

Today we're talking about skin. Grape skin, to be precise. And more specifically, something IN the grape skin - tannin. It's another one of those wine terms you hear bandied around all the time. 'Oh, this Cabernet is so tannic', or 'gentle, silky tannins on this Pinot...

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A fine balance

A fine balance

Wine writers use the word 'balance' a lot. 'A beautifully balanced example of a Pinot Noir, with silky tannins and a fragrant finish'...or 'this Chardonnay, wearing its oak lightly, has the most exquisite balance'. The above may seem obvious to the person who...

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Why do I get given the wine to taste in a restaurant?

Why do I get given the wine to taste in a restaurant?

If you eat out regularly in restaurants, you’ll know that when you order a bottle of wine the waiter or sommelier asks ‘who would like to taste the wine?’ and then pours a small sample for checking before they serve the other guests. Why does this happen? Sadly it’s...

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What does ‘corked’ really mean?

What does ‘corked’ really mean?

Hope you’ve enjoyed some good bottles recently. Last time, I explored that strange ritual in restaurants where you, the guest, are asked to taste the wine - NOT to see if you like it, but so that you can check whether or not it’s faulty. I promised I’d talk more about...

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Vintage cars, vintage fashion…vintage wine?

Vintage cars, vintage fashion…vintage wine?

What does the term 'vintage' mean in wine? Does it mean the same as when you use it to describe cars or fashion? I tell you in under one minute in this brief but informative video.... https://youtu.be/8vws4L7XY54 The next question to ask, of course, is why the vintage...

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The second cheapest, please!

The second cheapest, please!

Admit it. Are you guilty of having ordered the second cheapest wine in a restaurant, because you didn't quite want to be seen going for the cheapest, but didn't really want to spend any more than that? If this is something you have done, fear not, you are NOT ALONE,...

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