Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 24 March 2014

Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 24 March 2014

If you find you don’t always drink the last drop out of each bottle and you’re pretty nimble with a needle and thread then you might fancy having a go at making a dress out of wine. What you’ll need is the equivalent of twelve full bottles of cheap Australian red wine and patience. Two weeks and a vat of red wine vinegar later, you’ll have enough Mother of Vinegar ‘material’ to make a mini-dress.

Researchers at the University of Western Australia discovered the skin-like layer produced when wine goes ‘off’ and turns to vinegar, could be used as a dressmaking material.

The resulting cellulose product at just five microns thick is very delicate and said to be more like tissue paper than cotton.

If you succeed in making your own little red number you’ll be sure to turn heads. On the down side, wearing it apparently feels like being covered in wet sludge and you smell like last night’s bag of chips.

If you’re feeling daring try growing your dressmaking material using white wine vinegar – as this is virtually colourless your final dress will be translucent.

Dressmake with, or drink, the following wines – the choice is yours.

PG Wine Reviews

Hilltop Hungarian Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

£4 Asda (down from £6 until May 6)

Hungarian wines were all the rage about fifteen years ago but then they disappeared from our supermarket shelves as the quality went down. Well they’ve made a reappearance, and quite rightly too as their taste is fruity and attractive. The price is a real bargain at the moment as they try to build up market share again. This Cabernet Sauvignon tastes of Black Forest gateaux with a sprinkling of violet drops.

Co-op Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2.25-litre box (equivalent to 3 bottles)

£4.66 (equivalent price) at £13.99 for 2.25-litres Co-op

Another nicely balanced wine from the Co-op stable: easy-drinking lemon, gooseberry and apple flavours. No tart overwhelming gooseberryness here.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2011

£12 Spar (down from £16.29 until April 20)

Creamy cherry and dark toffee flavours with a lifting almond ending.

Serre Alte Italian Barolo Riserva 2004

£20.99 Sainsbury’s (down from £22.99 until March 25)

Lighter than would expect from a wine with such pedigree: tastes of violet sweets with a hint of cherry and choc.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Champagne Brut 2005

£19.49 (down from £25.99 until March 25) Sainsbury’s

Very lemony initially with a cinnamon tasting middle and finishing with a light coconut creaminess. Still very dry tasting though.

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© Paula Goddard 2014