Here are the best wine deals and the latest wine news with Christine Austin

Christine Austin on the best deals on supermarket shelves and the latest news from around the wine community in Yorkshire.

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Irresistible Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay 2022, 13%, Co-op, down from £10.50 to £10 until June 4: Just a small reduction, but even at full price this wine is great value. Ripe apple and pear fruit with toasty oat complexity.

La Vieille Ferme Rosé 2022, France, 13%, Sainsbury, down from £8.25 to £7 until June 4: From the Perrin family who make exceptional wines, even at this price. Soft, strawberry fruit and very refreshing.

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Simpsons Pinot Noir Rosé 2022, Kent, England, 12.5%, Booths, down from £15.71 to £11.81 until June 4: A Provencal-style rosé made in the heart of the Kent countryside. Whisper pale pink with red berry fruit, edged with lime and grapefruit zest.​

Christine Austin's top wines of the weekChristine Austin's top wines of the week
Christine Austin's top wines of the week

Viñalba Patagonia Reserve Malbec 2021, Argentina, 14.5%, Tesco, down from £15 to £13 until May 20 Clubcard holders only: Lots of chunky damson and raspberry fruit with soft, supple tannins. Put another steak on the barbie.​

An Evening in the Vineyard

Yorkshire Heart Vineyard in Nun Monkton is open on several Friday evenings throughout the summer when you can enjoy canapes and a glass of sparkling wine, a wander through the wines and winery, followed by a three-course dinner with wine or beer. Tickets cost £47.50 per person. Check the website

Three Cheeses

For lovers of cheese there will be three wine and cheese events all on June 6. Martinez Wines will hold their regular non-hosted wine and cheese events at Bingley and Ilkley shops starting at 7.30 when you can browse your way through five cheeses and five wines (£30 a ticket) while on the same night Bon Coeur in Melsonby will hold a tutored tasting of wine and cheese starting at 6.30pm (£45 a ticket).

Pots and Amphorae

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If you have driven around Portugal or Cyprus or anywhere that has been making wine for centuries, you will see large garden ornaments, in the form of clay pots often half submerged in earth, usually with red geraniums growing out of them. They generally go by the name ‘amphorae’ and were used as vessels in winemaking, but the name is totally wrong, and the book, Talha Tales, by Dr. Paul James White (Amazon £20) explains why.

Shortlisted for two major wine-writing awards, Talha Tales is an outstanding book that has taken the author years to research. The first major piece of information is that amphorae were used only for transporting wine. The large, round clay pots used for fermentation and storing wine are called tinajas in Spain, qvevri in Georgia, and talha in Portugal. White has spent time investigating these pots, their construction, the way they shape the wine fermented in them, and how, rather than being the oldest wine vessel in the world, they are now becoming the most desirable up-to-date, fashionable piece of wine equipment.

In the last decade the Alentejo region has seen production of wine in talha vessels go from a tiny 700 litres to almost 200,000 litres, and it is young winemakers who are using these pots. They allow a similar amount of oxygen transfer as a barrel without adding vanilla and oaky notes to the wine. And they last. Some Portuguese winemakers are using pots that are centuries old.

Amphorae (yes, everyone uses the wrong name) are appearing in cellars of many up-market producers. This book investigates how producers are increasingly moving towards heritage grapes and heritage winemaking to give wines a sense of place and individuality.

If you are studying for any kind of wine exam., or you like to explore wineries on holiday trips, this book is essential reading.

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