Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 17 March 2014

Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 17 March 2014

If the continuing sunshine has persuaded you to have a go at planting your own grape vine then you’ll pleased to hear an Australian study has found a way for you to not only beat this summer’s inevitable hosepipe ban (it’s bound to happen despite all those winter floods) and save money on your water bills too: filtered waste-water saved in a water butt is healthier for vines than mains water straight from the garden tap.

It seems soil irrigated with wastewater that has been filtered, treated and disinfected has fewer harmful pathogens and higher microbial activity than soil watered with mains water.

Reclaimed waste water, or greywater as it is more commonly known in the UK, is water that’s first been used for washing. Washing leaves behind soap residue which tends to make the water alkaline (having a pH above neutral tap water’s 7), which is good news for soil.

Alkaline water not only helps soil to set free elements needed for healthy plant and vine growth but it also discourages pests (slugs, leatherjackets and wireworms all hate alkaline conditions) and soil diseases (particularly club root, the bane of brassicas).

And if, like me, your house and garden is sited slap bang on top of sticky seam of orange clay then you’ll be pleased to learn soap suds also help break up this up into smaller more manageable lumps.

So as well as your grapevines, your carnations, wallflowers, delphiniums, cabbages and Brussel sprouts will all enjoy greywater.

After all that lugging about of watering cans some refreshment will be necessary. Can I interest you in the following wines?

PG Wine Reviews

Co-op Chilean Merlot 2.25-litre winebox (3 bottles)

£13.99 (equivalent to £4.66/bottle) Co-op

Easy drinking food-friendly red: blackcurrant, black grape and a hint of black pepper.

Morrisons Chilean Chardonnay

£5.99 Morrisons

A very nice white with balanced flavours of apple and pineapple.

Pasico Spanish Monastrell Shiraz 2012

£5.99 Sainsbury’s (offer price until March 25)

Smells of star anise but tastes of dark cherry.

Sainsbury’s Winemakers’ Selection French Sauvignon Colombard 2012

£5.99 Sainsbury’s (offer price until March 25)

Expect gooseberry and lemon flavours from this white Côtes de Gascogne.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Italian Greco di Tufo 2012

£8.99 Sainsbury’s

A fruit bowl of flavours: apple, apricot, lemon and pineapple.

Tweet me a wine question @huxelrebe

© Paula Goddard 2014