This week, making grape jelly and planting onions, shallots and garlic.
GOT ANY GRAPES?
The grapevine on Plot 35a is one of the things I like the most about my allotment. It is the jewel in the crown: a gigantic vine that every summer produces hundreds of bunches of grapes. In some ways, it is so simple [...]
After the stunning kitchen garden at my Aunty Liz and Uncle Tom’s Baltic-side bolthole in Finland last week, back to a bump in Blighty and the overgrown paths at Plot 35a. Actually, I only left the plot for a week, not two as I usually do for a summer holiday, and popped up there before [...]
A silly label, I know. I don’t really have a Chateau with a vineyard, but I do have a grapevine and it is one of my life’s ambitions to make my own wine. When I was first offered an allotment in April last year, there were three choices of plot. Only one was completely overgrown [...]
We don’t only do cocktails, we’re also partial to the occasional glass of wine. But like many people, we get daunted by the choice out there, so we asked Beth Willard, Wine Buyer at Laithwaite’s for her top tips when it comes to buying wine that won’t break the bank.
Have you pushed your trolley down the drinks aisle in the supermarket recently? Or even more bewildering than that, have you tried squaring up to the enormity of products available at the specialist drinks shops? If so, you don’t need us to tell you it’s like a minefield out there. So many enticing bottles, so [...]
How do you feel when the waiter hands you a wine list in a restaurant? A rush of joy? Or like most people, like you’ve been handed your friend’s troublesome baby to look after for the duration of the meal? For most it can feel like a responsibility they don’t want or need.
The news this week that we can expect a world wine drought on the back of 2012’s inclement weather would have obviously brought an initial feeling of dismay to many who like a glass or two of good plonk.
It seems like half of the breweries in Britain have produced a new beer for the occasion – or, at the very least, re-badged an old one in order to capture some of the Jubilee frenzy. Nor can those in charge claim to have been taken by surprise by the volume of celebratory brews: it’s an old tradition. British brewers have been marking big Royal occasions with special beers for many generations.
Stereotypes die hard. ‘The Very Hungry Frenchman’, the BBC’s current television series following chef Raymond Blanc as he scoffs his way around his native land, demonstrates just how committed the British are to thinking of France in a certain way: good food, joie de vivre, Citroen 2CVs. This is the land where everyone appreciates a [...]
There are few concepts quite as French as that of terroir. This idea – which, to put it as simply as humanly possible, suggests wine has a unique character dictated by the spot in which the grapes were grown – is both fanciful and beguiling, and thus deadly when it enters the head of the [...]
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