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      To herald the start of English Wine Week, our wine expert Gwen McCann, from The House Wine gives us a tour around some of England’s finest… A brief history It is perhaps surprising to learn that England has a long history of growing grapes and making wine. The Romans certainly planted vineyards in the lands adjoining their grander villas and though its hard to say for certain that they made wines with their grapes it seems very likely as wine drinking was so much a part of their culture. With the end of the...

The historic oak forest at Tronçais where some of the most highly sort after oak in the world is harvested. Gwen McCann from The House Wine is back this month with a fabulous piece on the relationship between Oak and wine. What do the 50 most expensive wines in the world have in common? Answer, they have all been aged in oak to a greater or lesser extent. We can...

We are delighted to welcome back Gwen McCann from The House Wine. Over the coming weeks we are going to be treated to some unique and original wine blogs focussing on different aspects of wine. Today Gwen examines the flavour and taste of wine. Once you start to examine flavour in wine it immediately gets complicated and we don’t want to get bogged down in semantics and subtleties before we start. For the purposes of this blog I am going to take flavour to mean a combination of taste and aroma. Taste being the five sensations that...

If you like celebrating the last day of the year then we’ve put together the ultimate in cocktails and nibbles. Hogmanay is the Scottish word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner. The origins of the word Hogmanay remain rather hazy. There are several ideas ranging from French, Norse and old Celtic. The word hogmanay or hagmonay first appeared in 1604 with in the Elgin records. It next appeared in 1692 as an entry in within the Scottish Presbyterian records. The...

We are absolutely delighted to be teaming up with The House Wine for our Christmas competition this year. Between now and Dec 20th you will have the opportunity to enter to win a magnificent case of wine, especially chosen for our readers. We have tried most of them and the are absolutely exquisite. Here’s a little more about The House Wine. The House Wine was born because we know what a confusing, and often disappointing, world wine can be. There are tens of thousands of wines to choose from so where do you start? That is why so...

Prosecco is a picturesque region of steep vineyards and ancient towns Welcome to our bi-monthly visit to The House Wine and Gwen McCann, Oenologogist  and owner of  ‘The House Wine’ takes us on a journey to Italy and gives us an insight into everything prosecco. We’ve even got a special offer on this iconic Italian fizz for our readers at the end of the blog.. Times have been hard in the wine trade over recent years and many categories of wine have struggled, but two big success stories have been rose wines and sparkling wines,...

Biodynamic vineyards will usually be home to lots of other plants, here mustard is grown as a nitrogen-rich companion plant.  Last time we looked at organics, this time it’s biodynamics, which could be described as organic-plus or super-charged organics. Organic goods are now commonplace but you won’t often find produce labelled as ‘biodynamic’ on a supermarket shelf in the UK. Biodynamics is an intriguing blend of mysticisim, reliance on a celestial calendar, strange preparations and traditional farming methods and wine seems...

We are absolutely delighted to welcome back Gwen McCann from The House Wine  Gwen began her love affair with wine by editing many of the world’s best-known wine writers. She has gone on to study wine through WSET qualifications and a BSc in Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton College, there she learnt to do everything from driving a tractor to wine microbiology. She now runs ‘The House Wine’ a company that is dedicated to discovering wines made with love and passion. Continuing our journey today we are looking at organic wine. Most...

We are absolutely delighted to welcome back Gwen McCann from The House Wine  Gwen began her love affair with wine by editing many of the world’s best-known wine writers. She has gone on to study wine through WSET qualifications and a BSc in Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton College, there she learnt to do everything from driving a tractor to wine microbiology. She now runs ‘The House Wine’ a company that is dedicated to discovering wines made with love and passion. Today we start our journey with Gwen learning about the different...