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raise a glass with Jane Clare.

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with Jane Clare HERE'S a tale of corks and screwcaps plus a woopsadaisy involving a shoe and a wall.

The other day I planned a visit to Daughter. "I'll bring wine," says I. "Yes please," says she; "but my corkscrew has gone AWOL. If we can't find it, we'll be using a shoe."

(More on that later).

Me: "I'll bring wine with a screwcap." Daughter: "Well, as long as it's not grim."

Aha, It's a fallacy that wine with a screwcap is cheerless and grim.

Cork is the traditional bottle closure and a cork's pores allows wines to age; but it can also mean that wine becomes "corked".

This doesn't mean there are tiny bits of cork in a glass after a testy argument with a corkscrew.

Corked wine has cork taint, which is a reaction to chemicals which have reached the wine via the cork.

Believe me you'll know the smell of bad wine damp socks; a wet doggie.

Morrisons |Signature Chilean Casablanca Chardonnay A screwcap stops those chemicals getting into the wine. So for short-term storage, some winemakers (especially in the New World) have embraced screwcaps, The wine is easier to open and it should be as fresh and fruity as the winemaker intended it to be. Screwcaps won't allow wines to develop long-term; some wine laws don't even allow the use of screwcaps. But don't assume screwcap wines will all be poor quality.

Back to my family visit.

Well, knock me down with a vine leaf, I forgot to buy a screwcap wine. So there we were, a bottle with a cork. We didn't have a corkscrew. We'd seen the viral video on how to open wine using a shoe and a wall and decided to test the method. It worked. The cork propelled to the other side of the room, leaving Daughter's Boyfriend (he was in charge of the mechanics) covered in wine. I haven't stopped chuckling since.

In my glass ... some go-grab Easter weekend wines from supermarket shelves. Apothic Red (RRP PS9.99, major retailers, from Gallo). Well, it's a Marmite wine. Love it or hate it, you'll talk about it.

It's a blend of four grapes; zinfandel, syrah, merlot and cabernet sauvignon and the quartet fires on all cylinders with flavours of vanilla, mocha, coffee and a red fruit cheesecake topping. It feels "manufactured" as if someone is trying too hard to make it tick lots of boxes.

Over to a couple of Hardys. William Hardy Shiraz (RRP PS9.99 Tesco, Asda) has peppery overtones on the nose, along with vanilla and plums, The fruit is subdued in the mouth, with the lasting sensation being acidity, rather than flavour. William Hardy Chardonnay (RRP PS9.99 Tesco, Asda) is a simple sit-down-and relax wine. There's oaky creaminess, with vanilla and peach and lemon both on the nose and to taste. On balance, there's more freshness than oak. Taste the Difference Cepa Alegro Rioja Reserva, 2008 (PS7, from PS9.75, Sainsbury until April 7) is an deal go-grab for your Easter Sunday lamb. Smokey plums and vanilla ooze from the glass and red fruits weave in and around your tastebuds.

At Morrisons, M Signature Chilean Chardonnnay 2013 (PS6.49) is creamy without being overpowering; has good acidity without being shrill; and has lemon, apple and waves of tropical fruits. An easy, welcoming white.

Finally, an unctuous award-winning treat, M Signature Pedro Ximinez (PS5.99, also Morrisons) is made from sun-dried grapes creating a rich, fruity, spicy, flavourpacked sherry which drizzled over vanilla ice cream is magnificent.

Contact me at jane@|


Morrisons |Signature Chilean Casablanca

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 4, 2015
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