Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 10 March 2014

Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 10 March 2014

Vines just love Vivaldi, it seems. Italian scientists have discovered his music helps grow healthier vines. Relayed from an iPod to vines through 15 speakers, Vivaldi’s music was found to have a positive effect on shoot growth.

Other classical composers also help the grapes grow: Sangiovese grapes growing near speakers playing Mozart, Haydn and Mahler had a greater number of leaves per vine than those growing in a silent area of the Tuscan vineyard Il Paradiso di Frassina.

Vineyard owner Carlo Cignozzi, a music lover who once serenaded grape pickers on his accordion, first noticed his vines seemed to mature faster under the influence of music in 2001. Scientists from the University of Florence turned this observation into a scientific experiment by setting up speakers in front of young plants in wooden tubs and older plants in an isolated area of the estate.

Shoots and tendrils were tested once a week for levels of plant growth. The results aren’t conclusive yet, but the silent control pot-grown vines showed delayed development. Home grape growers take note.

If you want to get a taste of the theory then open a bottle of my recommended wines and turn up the volume.

PG Wine Reviews

El Rastro Spanish Red

£3.99 Morrisons

Get past the name and you’ll find a very acceptable gently fruity pizza plonk. Raspberry and vanilla.


Co-op Fairtrade South African Chardonnay 2013

£4.79 Co-op (down from £5.99 until March 11)

Green and creamy flavours: light coconut, peach and celery.


Morrisons Vin de France Pinot Noir

£4.99 Morrisons

Bargain of the Week. Enjoyably fruity and not thin and weedy like many other French Pinots at this price.


Spar Australian Chardonnay Semillon

£5.49 Spar

Apple pie flavours.


Co-op Fairtrade Argentinean Pinot Grigio 2013

£5.59 Co-op (down from £6.99 until March 11)

A really nice example of this grape variety with its floral and peachy flavours. Nice enough to drink as it is or dilute into a spritzer.


Co-op Fairtrade Argentinean Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

£5.99 Co-op (down from £7.49 until March 11)

Smooth blackberry, damson and milk choc flavours. Mmmm. Good on its own or with food.

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© Paula Goddard 2014