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Buy 6, Save 10% at Selfridges
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 12/06/2022 We have recently reviewed the excellent wine selection offered by Selfridges, on their easy-to-use website, but the store is always worth a special trip to visit. These are not the usual selections one might find in most supermarket or grocery stores; this is an interesting and carefully selected range. It is difficult to find something that one wouldn't wish to try. Lots of smaller growers and all pretty up-scale stuff! These are not the least…
Why the Asda Extra Special Range lives up to it's name!
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 27/06/2022 The ASDA wine and spirit range has changed notably over the last year or two, but has always been one of the most sound of the supermarkets. There has been a move by the buying team to find good value well made wines under the "Extra Special" range, which are the most well known in the UK market and the biggest sellers. Previously they had equally good wines, which they had discovered from little known areas and little known grape varieties…
A tour through the Heel of Italy with Wine52
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 20/06/2022 Puglia, the region which forms the "heel" of the "boot"of Italy, is right down in the South on the east coast and the Adriatic Sea, coast opposite Albania and the Greek Island of Corfu. It is a beautiful, unspoilt and historic area, with wines being made there by the Greeks and Romans for thousands of years. Cooled by the coastal breezes, there are also some historic grape varieties, found by winemakers and drinkers over the centuries to make the…
Wine52 Explores Castilla-La Mancha
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 23/05/2022 I have tasted three of the wines from the latest Wine 52 case, from the land of Cevantes's novel Don Quixote, Castilla-La Mancha. A large area of central Spain with the beautiful town of Toledo as its capital. There are some interesting local grape varietals grown there, of 400 different varietals, few of us have heard of. Airen, Verdejo, Godello and Albarino, being the most popular whites, and Tempranillo, Garnacha, Carignan and Bobal some of…
Is this one of the World's best value White Wines?
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 06/05/2022 One of the most wonderful things about Italian wines is the variety, from north to south, coasts to hills, volcanoes to limestone outcrops to river clays, and some 3-400 different authorised grape varietals! I have been involved with Italian wines for over forty years, first as a shipper of Chianti, Soave, and Valpolicella in the 1970's and 80's, then more recent associations with Prosecco and super Tuscans. And what is great about the wine…
How can Wine Drinkers help the Environment?
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 26/04/2022 I wrote recently about the impact the glass bottle has on the environment;- a 400 gram glass bottle creating a 425 grams of C02 footprint, with very heavy bottles up to 900 grams, far more. There are 30 billion bottles produced around the world every year! I saw today that in Finland this issue is taken far more seriously, with over half wine being sold in alternative packaging to glass. The bag in box is the most used but also pouches, PET…
Why we must consider alternatives to Glass
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 12/04/2022 In March, I wrote a piece about how incredibly detrimental the glass bottle for wine is for the environment. I recently saw some consumer research which shows that most consumers think that the glass bottle is relatively environmentally friendly! There are some 60 billion glass bottles made every year. Yes, glass bottles are attractive and a long-standing part of wine culture, but every bottle made uses 4000 watts of energy and generates 420 grams…
Celebrating Easter 2022
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 07/04/2022 The great traditions of the Easter holiday and celebrations are hot cross buns, Easter eggs and roast lamb. Just writing about it already makes me feel hungry, and thinking about what should we drink this coming holiday? I know I will be helping organise and supervise the kids Easter egg hunt around the garden or if the weather is poor, in the house. Thinking up different clues each year is becoming a bit of a challenge! Fortnum and Mason's have an…
’All Mums deserve Bolly!’ The perfect Mother’s Day gifts according to Chris Burr
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 22/03/2022 This Sunday 27th March is Mother's day, the weather is getting warmer, and let's hope the sun shines. All Mothers deserve to be spoilt, so what better way than to share a bottle of pink fizz with them on the day? All retailers now have a great selection, from good pink Prosecco and other sparklers around £10 a bottle to top Champagne at £60 plus. I have picked a few of my favourites:- La Gioiosa et Amorosa Rosea Spumante NV from the Veneto…
There's a new kid on the block - welcome to the wine world Wine52
Chris Burr reviews new Wine Club on the block Wine52. To enjoy your first case for FREE, find our exclusive voucher here. By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 14/03/2022 The latest Wine Club comes from the hugely successful Beer52 Club, and is appropriately called Wine52. I was a brewer, as well as having spent years in the wine business, and was fascinated with the growth in micro-breweries. I am a member of Beer52, and have found the diversity and selection excellent and a chance to discover…
The Luck of the Irish! Celebrate and Save on the perfect St Paddy's Day Drinks
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 03/03/2022 Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, established his first Christian Church in a small barn at the mouth of the Slaney River, near Wexford. St Patricks Day is celebrated all around the World on 17th March, which marks his death, in the year 461. Ireland has always been famous for its dark malty Stout ales, the most famous being Guinness, a beer exported and drunk all around the World, and probably the most famous ale. Draft Guinness, apart…
Are Glass Wine Bottles a thing of the past?
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 25/02/2022 In the first of a series of articles about how the wine industry can reduce its carbon footprint, Christopher Burr explores current research and thinking. The UK Government has pledged to cut carbon emissions 78% by 2035, and become carbon neutral by 2050, so how can the wine industry play its part? The wine Industry, as much as anyone, is mindful and concerned about the environment. Global warming is affecting many growing areas, and there is a…
It's time to Taste the Difference!
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 16/02/2022 Over the last few months, the Taste the Difference range of wines in Sainsbury's has been extended with some smaller parcels of interesting wines which will change every six months. The aim is to find excellent and interesting parcels, generally not available in the much larger quantities required for regular stocking, and to try to encourage their customers to be more experimental. There are some excellent value Taste the Difference wines, and the…
Valentine 2022 'Must Drinks'!
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 04/02/2022 Valentine's Day has been celebrated, first as a pagan festival, then by the ancient Romans then associated with various Christian Saints called Valentine, as a festival of romance and love. Around the World flowers, chocolates and gifts are given, but for a romantic evening what is it best to drink? The fashion for pink wine has to be a good place to start. A nicely romantic aperitif might be a bottle of pink fizz, and there are lots of great…
Why we all love Bolly
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 20/01/2022 I was fortunate enough to work for Champagne Bollinger, or rather the UK agent they own, Mentzendorff, in the 1990's. Of course, working for a wine like that you get a great insight into what makes it tick, why it is one of the best loved Champagne brands, and why it attracts such a glamourous and interesting following. I suppose the first thing is the people who own and run it. Essentially family owned and run for many generations since it…
Scotch Whisky to keep out the cold on Burns Night
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 17/01/2022 Robert (or Rabbie) Burns the great Scottish poet, lyricist and author was born on 25th January 1759 and author of such well-known lyrics as "Auld Lang Syne", and "My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose," and poems like "Tam o'Shanter", "A man's a man for a' that," and of course the "Address to a Haggis". Whist Burns was clearly brilliant, he is not without controversy as he was clearly a heavy drinker, and also fathered many illegitimate…
Make New Years Eve 2021 really sparkle!
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 29/12/2021 New Year's Eve is party time. So, what celebratory and fun drinks to serve to take everyone away from gloomy news stories, and get them in an optimistic "can do" mood for 2022? Champagne and sparkling wine is an obvious choice, and I have written lots about my favourite and best value fizzes before Christmas, but for 2022 why not try some of the wonderful sparkling wines we are now making in England and Wales? One of my favourites is made by Henry…
The Perfect partner for your Christmas Pud
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 20/12/2021 Christmas Pudding is a very rich sweet desert, and a delicious part of the Christmas celebrations. But it is not the easiest dish to match with wine, particularly after adding liberal doses of Brandy Butter or Brandy Sauce. One is tempted to choose a wine equally rich and sweet, and I have some suggestions. But for my personal taste I find such combinations far too sweet and cloying. I like the counterpoint of a crisp bright Champagne to end the…
The Star of the Show: Wines to throw the Spotlight on your Christmas Turkey this year
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 14/12/2021 There is no real consensus as to what wine goes best with roast turkey, Some people advocate white wine with white meat, and it can work well if the white wine is robust enough. I would suggest a white Rhone which are great value, or a big gutsy white Australian or Californian Chardonnay. But for me, the roasting of the bird, with all that crispy skin, maybe covered with bacon, meaty giblet gravy, roasted potatoes and parsnips, calls for a bright…
What to drink this Christmas 2021
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr 07/12/2021 I am told that with the logistics problems we have all read about, combined with people loving to get out and party, and lots of delayed weddings taking place, and much more optimism in the air, that some of the top Champagne brands are really concerned that they will run out in mid-December! Just to be safe, I have already ensured I have adequate stocks of my favourite fizz to carry us through the Christmas holiday. But what else should we be…
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