Posts Tagged ‘wine’
What is the world coming to? The French, who for years have complimented their politically awkward, laissez faire shrugging and shagging reputation with a nice glass of red, are apparently cutting back on the wine.
According to the International Journal of Entrepreneurship, who studied French drinking habits, only 17% of adults drink wine on a daily basis, down from over 50% in 1980. And 38% of crazy fools prefer not to drink wine at all, replacing the bottle of Beaujolais with water or Sprite.
The reports’ authors say it’s a cultural thing – young people have no historical connection with wine, and those in the middle aged bracket see wine drinking as an occasional indulgence, rather than an everyday activity.
They’re also blaming the steady erosion of the family evening meal (or repas, if you were concentrating in GCSE French).
Wine connoisseur Denis Saverot is not happy with the findings. ‘Wine is the subtlest, most civilised, most noble of anti-depressants,’ he shouted, possibly throwing an empty bottle over his shoulder. ‘But look at our villages. The village bar has gone, replaced by a pharmacy.’
Oh well. More for us, then.
Bitterwallet is the site that just keeps giving. As everyone implodes into a last-minute buying frenzy, why not take a moment to check out our last minute tips. They might not be any use to you, but it’s the thought that counts, and we’re always thinking of you.
You might think it’s too late to get cashback on your Christmas shopping purchases, and you might be right, but not if you use a check-in app like Quidco’s, or you have registered your debit card for in-store purchases to qualify too. Hey, you won’t actually get the cash in time, but why not save up your cashback all year so you’re well up by next December.
Everyone drinks at Christmas. Even nuns. Especially the blue ones. If you have a load of alcohol-swilling relatives descending on you over yuletide, finding the cheapest place to get your seasonal booze can be crucial to your pocket.
If wine is their thing, Quaffer’s Offers sounds a bit poncey, but does compare which wine offers supermarkets have on, allowing you to select only the cheapest plonk for your nearest and dearest.
Alternatively, buy in bulk, and if you are eligible for a cash and carry store like Costco, you might be able to make back the annual membership fee just on booze. Just because you buy it at Christmas doesn’t mean you have to drink it all at Christmas…
You may have missed last posting dates by now, but if you are in receipt of certain benefits you can still (just) get cheaper stamps than the rest of us this Christmas in a scheme run by Royal Mail. Customers on pension credit, employment and support allowance or incapacity benefit will be able to purchase a total of 36 first and second-class stamps at 2011 prices.
The scheme runs until Christmas Eve and will enable customers to purchase a total of up to 36 first and/or second-class stamps at last year’s prices – 46p for first class and 36p for second class. The stamps can be purchased in any mixture of first and second class and can only be purchased in a single transaction, showing proof of benefits.
Obviously stamps don’t expire, so even if you don’t need any now, save them for next Christmas.
If you aren’t lucky enough to get benefits, Superdrug are also offering 5% off first class stamps until December 24.
Wine (hashish for Tories) is about to get more expensive, which is terrible news for people who prefer boozing to talking about their stifling, miserable, lonely lives. A bottle of plonk could be a whole quid dearer in the new year, thanks to a poor harvest of grapes this summer.
This means, those of you who went for the second cheapest wine, could be begrudgingly spending something in the region of the wines you once refuted for being slightly too pricey.
Those hardest hit were the Argentinians, as well as the French and the Italians. It seems the lousy weather was too wet for decent wine grapes, to the point where the International Organisation of Vine and Wine noted that global production was at its lowest in over 30 years!
This will lead us to an average price of £6 per bottle.
“I would expect to see significant price inflation at entry price points,’ said Majestic Wine boss Steve Lewis. “The price of a bottle of pinot grigio could go up by between 50p and £1 come February/March.”
Fill your boots this Christmas and New Year because, in 2013, we’ll all be downing cans of Ace and trying to get pissed on Wine Gums.
It’s not often that we give you a double dose of Commercial Break fun in the same day, but this one trickled on to our Twitter timeline a little bit earlier and made us do big smiles right across our stupid boozy faces.
From New Zealand, and as an attempt to flog some kind of brew called DB Export, it’s a reminder that men DON’T have to have wine. They’ve never had to have wine – it was just something that happened without any of us noticing. Beer is still here and everything is going to be alright. Yes, everything is going to be alright. Beer. Mmmmm….
Now your life could finally be complete – with the launch of a range of AC/DC wines! Take your pick from Highway To Hell cabernet sauvignon, Hell’s Bells sauvignon blanc and You Shook Me All Night Long muscat. Oh yes, it’s for real and everything.
The wines will only be on sale in Australia at first, in branches of Woolworths (no, us neither), whose spokesman Steve Donohue said: “We wanted to make sure that AC/DC’s home fan base could have easy access to their rock icons’ wines. This is a worldwide phenomenon and a first in the marketplace.”
Apart from the wines that have previously been made by Kiss, The Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden, Whitesnake and Madonna that is. Opportunistic dickheads the lot of them.
I’m reminiscing again. Back when I was 17 and painting Birmingham red, my friends and I used to go to the local off licence and buy whichever bottle or white wine was £1.99 or less. Now, while we were far from connoisseurs, it was decent enough* and we went on our wobbly and half-dressed way into town happy.
Nowadays, the average price of a bottle of wine in the UK is £4.55, but Guy Woodward, editor of Decanter** magazine recently warned that you don’t get good wine for that price, and was accused of being a wine snob. By ASDA.
ASDA’s argument was that Woodward’s own magazine awarded a prestigious Gold Medal to ASDA’s own brand Rioja, which comes in at a very respectable £4.20. While conceding the exception to the rule, Woodward does make a more serious point about the quality of wine.
You see, out of the £4.55 average bottle of wine, £1.81 is spent on alcohol duty and 76p in VAT, which leaves less than £2 for the wine itself. Bearing in mind that the supermarkets are (naturally) going to make a turn on this, and taking out transport, bottling and delivery costs, how much of that £2 do you think actually goes on the actual wine? And you are surprised if it tastes like used vinegar?
And the taxman’s huge cut is why Tesco’s have decided it is no longer viable for them to offer 3 bottles for £10 deals, as each bottle would have less than 97p to cover costs and make a profit. ASDA, on the other hand, who boast a wine master (posh bloke, drinks wine all day) among their team, do still offer the £10 deal, although a cynic would guess it is the wine producer, rather than the retail giant who is losing out.
So Woodward’s advice is to spend an extra £2 on a bottle, as most of this will go straight on the content, and therefore the taste.
So what do you think? Do you care enough about the taste to cough up an extra £2 or would that make you a wine snob? As all we are allowed to drink in the Bitterwallet office is Tennents Extra, we are probably not the best people to ask…
*as in, not as bad as the paintstripper or coloured paintstripper known as Thunderbird or 20/20 respectively. Good times.
** glass thing you are supposed to pour red wine into before drinking. Most people I know use themselves as a decanter.
Here’s this week’s ‘Greatest eBay Listing Ever’ – an antique Victorian upholstered settee, suitable for a child or a doll.
What makes it stand out above all other listings is the story that is told in the pictures that accompany it – the listing itself is subtitled ‘The Tale Of Ted’s Squandered Years In Toyland’.
Here’s he first four pictures – you’ll have to visit the listing (and maybe place a bid) if you want to see the rest…
When you’re choosing a bottle of vino, do you carefully analyse its origins, utilising knowledge gained from years of wine study, or do you choose a bottle with either a nice label or the biggest price discount?
You might as well do the latter if the results of a new blind taste test are anything to go by – it suggests that most drinkers can’t tell the difference between a sub-fiver bottle of plonk and the finest wines available to humanity.
578 citizens took part in the test, during the Edinburgh Science Festival, and were offered a variety of reds and whites, with wildly varying price tags on them. They were then asked to name the cheap ones and the expensive ones. They didn’t do very well.
They managed a 50% correctness rate, which would be the result if they’d just guessed, according to the laws of chance (and who are we to argue with the laws of chance?)
Psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, who was the boss of the whole affair, said: “These are remarkable results. People were unable to tell expensive from inexpensive wines, and so in these times of financial hardship the message is clear – the inexpensive wines we tested tasted the same as their expensive counterparts.”
As a sort of celebration, we’re going to take this evidence a step further and lose ourselves in a haze of cheap cooking sherry this weekend.
If you’re some kind of alcoholic, this news won’t mean squat to you because you’ll pretty much drink anything.
However, if you’re middle class, and therefore, one of those people with a problem with alcohol that seems more refined in some way, you might want to know about a load of fake Jacob’s Creek bottles hitting the market.
Basically, if you slowly sozzle yourself every night with cheapish plonk, it’ll be worth checking it isn’t a fake.
Apparently, these knock-off versions have a pretty glaring spelling mistake on the label, saying ‘Austrlia’ on them.
Trading standards have warned us plebs that these bottles are being sold in off-licences all over the country. Seized thus far are bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Merlot 2009, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Chardonnay 2009 and Semillon Chardonnay 2009.
Another clue is that the wine itself tastes vile, which has seen some customers complaining to Jacob’s Creek, thinking they’ve bought the real thing.
Jacob’s Creek man Ricard Simon Thomas says: “Tests indicate the content is not harmful but anyone with doubts concerning the authenticity should not consume it.”
As the face of retailing continues to morph and evolve kind of like the face of, say, Mickey Rourke, the off licence could be the latest boil to be lanced and removed. That’s our slightly muddled way of telling you that Oddbins are in a bit of bother.
Continued losses have meant that the UK’s last independent off-licence chain is seeking investment as it aims to stay alive. Store closures are also being whispered of as Oddbins tries to avoid repeating the fate of First Quench (owners of Threshers, Wine Rack and The Local) which went bust in 2009.
In the past ten years, the Oddbins store numbers have fallen from 250 to just 128 and some kind of company restructuring is expected to be announced early next week. The main reason for the slump is aggressive discounting by supermarkets, who now take 70% of the UK booze cash carve-up, leaving the indies and corner shops to struggle on.
Oddbins reported losses of £8.3 million in 2008, but they were reduced to just £4.6 million a year later. But a loss is a loss and it’s hard to see how the chain can recover and make a significant profit again. Would they be even be missed or will the humble off licence become a part of retail folklore like pick and mix and naked butchers? Tell us please, you weekend heartthrobs you…
In recent weeks, we’ve brought you all the ingredients that you’ll need if you’re looking to rustle up a delicious plate of rat-infested beans served on a couple of slices of mouse-tinged toast. Now you can wash it all down with a nice glass of frog-flavoured wine from Asda.
That’s what Isolde Beesley from Leicstershire says she opened and slurped from on Boxing Day last year, and she has now hired lawyers to pursue a claim for compensation after allegedly suffering from stomach pains ever since.
Asda say that it is ‘virtually impossible’ for a frog to enter their wine during the bottling process but nevertheless are taking the claim ‘very seriously’ and removed the wine, Moscatel de Valencia following the claim. Meanwhile, Ms Beesley’s solicitor, Michael Connor of TPS Solicitors, showed that he is no fool by saying: “Clearly, selling a bottle of wine apparently contaminated with a dead frog makes the wine unfit for consumption.”
We’ve done some maths and if current trends continue, we predict that ALL food with be infested with some kind of dead animal by the year 3851. That’s grim news for members of our as-yet-unborn families.
*Yeah, we know it’s Spanish but the headline was just dying to be written. Sorry foreigners.
In 2010, football clubs are about more than kicking a spherical object around the park and keeping the sexual transgressions of their highly-paid employees out of the papers. Oh yes, they’re all brands these days, and the more you can exploit a brand, the better it is for the club’s coffers.
Until it makes you look like a bunch of greedy tits that is. Which is where the new Liverpool FC off licence comes in. It proudly describes itself as ‘The only official Liverpool FC online off licence’ which is going to be a massive kick in the teeth for unofficial sites like Rush’s Rums, Kenny’s Cans and Paisley’s Plonk that we’ve just there made up.
In keeping with Liverpool’s working class tradition, the site sells… erm, nothing but champagne and fine wines, with three bottles of wine retailing for a wholly unreasonable £28.00 plus £9.00 delivery.
It’s an impressive commercial move, and is consistent with the incident last year when the club responded to a fan’s complaint about the dire state of affairs on the pitch by auto-replying with a generic email offering them a 15.9%APR Liverpool credit card.
They’re not the only club to flog booze though – languishing at the back of the Bitterwallet fridge for reasons we’re not quite sure about is an unopened 11 year-old bottle of Sunderland’s Premier lager. If it wasn’t for all the floaty stuff in the bottom of the bottle, we’d be tempted to crack it open.
Take a good look at this picture – could this be the future of EVERYTHING? According to the Dr. Vino wine blog, French supermarkets are installing these monster-sized machines, filled with 500 or 1,000-litres of beautiful, beautiful wine. Britain’s quite near to France – how long before the supermarket bosses sail a few thousand of them across the Channel so that we can all join in the fun?
The idea is simple – bring along your own empty wine bottle, empty vegetable oil, bucket or whatever your receptacle of choice is, and using the petrol pump-style nozzles, you fill it up with the cheaper-than-normal vino (about €1.45 per litre it says here). Once you’re done, the machine prints out a receipt and you pay the lady or gentleman at the till. Assuming you haven’t adopted a horizontal position and are just slurping away on the nozzle as the booze pours out of the sides of your gob.
The machines have taken up residence in eight French supermarkets and are believed be heading to the United States of A in the not-too-distant. Surely they can bring it here too? And put the machines on every street corner? Please?
If you don’t believe us, take it up with the bargains ombudsman. He’ll be lurking over at HotUKDeals, being dazzled by the majesty of it all.
If you’ve never seen Martin Scorsese’s Casino then you’re missing out. Focussing on the mob’s control of the Las Vegas gambling industry, try and imagine a twelve inch extended remix of the mighty Goodfellas and you won’t be too far off.
Now you can get a 2-disc DVD of the film and a whole host of extras for the laughably wee price of only £1.79. About the same as you’d pay for a bottle of fizzy pop in a train station. You can’t lose – unless you’ve got an aversion to strong language, as the fuck-word is used approximately 400 times in the film’s three-hour length.
From swearing and violence to cuddly toys then. We have a code word for you and that code word is ‘TEDDY.’ Use it wisely and you’ll be able to get yourself a delightful ten-inch-tall teddy with bean bag paws. Plus, its eyes are safe and it doesn’t burn easily.
Oh yes – it’ll also be wearing a t-shirt featuring the photograph of your choosing. Makes a great gift for… everyone basically. Except those people with an aversion to teddy bears. They can have Casino instead. Best of all, it could be yours for only £1.99.
Using some clever jiggery-pokery, you can bag yourself a six-bottle haul of good quality Cava for only £18.78 – that’s just £3.16 a bottle. Alternatively, you could nab six bottles of Las Falleras (red/white/rose) or Vina Ulmo Sauvignon Blanc for £14.02 (£2.34 a bottle.) Drink responsibly though crimefighters – we don’t need any riots out there.
(deals found by HUKD members panddda, Searcher2 and amibees)