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Heather Dougherty
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Is Alto Adige a pointless wine region?
If I were to appear on Pointless and the category was
Italian wine regions, I’d be quietly confident that Alto Adige would be a
pointless answer. Italy is home to many renowned wine names – Chianti,
Brunello, Barolo, Soave, Valpolicella... But there are ple...

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Rioja - a known unknown?
So, we all know the name, but what does it actually mean?
Does Rioja refer to a style of wine? A grape variety? A region of origin? In
fact, Rioja is the last of these three: a wine producing region of northern
Spain. Like most of Spain, vines and winemakin...

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Wine and dine your Valentine
Dry January, thank goodness, is behind us and the first
official occasion of the year for making a bit of a splash, wine-wise, is upon
us. Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to make a grand romantic gesture to your
loved one – and if that gesture is a bottle...

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A wine by any other name...
Have you ever tried a wine made from the Aubaine grape? How
about Luisant? Or Clevner? You might think not, but I am prepared to bet that you
have. If I tell you that these are all aliases for the same grape, and that one
of its other synonyms is Chaudenay,...

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Winter wines on a budget
January is a tough time for the average wine lover. There
are few excuses to celebrate and, post-Christmas, there is an underlying
feeling that perhaps one should lay off the booze for a while, for the good of
the liver - and wallet. On the liver front, wit...

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Best Champagnes for New Year's Eve
If you want to toast the arrival of 2017 in style, but
haven’t yet chosen what to drink, then Champagne should be top of the list as
the instant shortcut to celebration and luxury. Here’s a selection of my
all-time favourites and new discoveries from this y...

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Wines for the Christmas table
Here’s a handy guide to wines to make your Christmas Day go
with a swing. Smoked salmon When you have your smoked salmon might determine your choice
of drinking accompaniment. Pouilly Fumé 2015,
Masson Blondelet - £15.99, Ocado If it’s as a starter to the C...

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Fizz for sparkling Christmas parties
Your guide to the best wines for the festive season begins
here. If you’re planning on a Christmas drinks party, then bubbles
have to be part of the picture. Here are some of my sure fire hits that won’t
have your guests looking for the nearest pot plant to...

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Applause for La Clape
The vast expanse of Languedoc-Roussillon and its swathes of
vineyards making a myriad of different wines can be daunting to get to grips
with. At its simplest, IGP Pays d’Oc is the catch all appellation
for wines made anywhere across the region, often with ...

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Time for a Carignan rehabilitation
Carignan is probably not a grape variety whose name readily trips
off the tongue. It’s not one of the highly regarded, “noble” varieties like
Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. Nor is it, like Pinot Grigio, so ubiquitous
that people ask for a glass of it by ...
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