Sparkling Direct - Hampers - Gift Baskets - Baby Shower Gift Ideas
Sparkling Direct offers fine wine hampers along with luxury hampers filled with Champagne and gourmet food items presented in quality wicker hampers. There's also backpack hampers and cute gift hampers to celebrate new arrivals.
Sparkling Direct - Luxury wicker hampers and baby shower hampers...
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Ethical Superstore - Fairtrade / Green - Food - Cosmetics - Fashion - Gifts & More...
Ethical Superstore offers fair trade and green consumer products from the world’s leading green and ethical brands including Cafedirect, Traidcraft, Green & Blacks, Divine, Ecover and many more. You'll find cosmetics, foods, beverages, CDs, books, DVDs plus handmade lifestyle and fashion products and gifts.
Ethical Superstore - Fairtrade food, cosmetics, fashion and gift ideas...
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Home Brew Kit - Drinking Gift Ideas
Dr Beer Micro-Brewery Home Brewing Kit
Make fantastic beer at home.
The beer produced by the BrewZer beat several national brands in a taste test!
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Clearwater Hampers AKA Hamper.com - Gift Baskets - Gift Ideas
Clearwater Hampers, via their hamper.com website, offers hundreds of different food and wine hampers all year round. You can even create your own hampers and gift baskets to create a personalised gift for special occasions.
Clearwater Hampers - Food and drink hampers and gift baskets...
Virginia Hayward Hampers - Gift Boxes - Gift Ideas - B2B - Food & Drink - Dieting
Virginia Hayward offers traditional hampers and gift boxes packed with fine food and wine from around the world all year round. There's also sweetie and chocolate hampers or perhaps their diet hamper for anyone watching their weight!
Virginia Hayward - Choose from hundreds of hampers or create your own...
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M&S - Online Wine Warehouse - Discount Wine - Case Deals
Case deals on 6 and 12 bottles of white wine, white wine, rosé wine, Port, Champagne & sparkling wine. Regional wines including french, italian, spanish, australian and new zealand, south african, south american and californian wines. Optionally shop by price per bottle.
Marks & Spencer - Exclusive wine case deals online - &more reward points...
Marks & Spencer - Wine Department - Promotions and Special Offers
Marks & Spencer - Wine Deals of the Month here...
Personalised Champagne - Personalised Gift Ideas - Prezzybox
Personalised bottle of Champagne
Cuvee, Grande Reserve Brut Champagne personalised with your own special message. A perfect gift idea for any special occasion!
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Winedrive - Discount Wine - Discount Channel Ferry Crossings
If you've ever fancied a wine tasting trip around vineyards in France subscribe to Winedrive for access to over 100 vineyards and more than 1,300 pages of detailed travel, tourism and wine information.
Winedrive - Access to over 100 Vinyards - Discount Channel Ferry Crossings...
Subscribe to Winedrive today for HALF PRICE!
Enter cantbwine in the promotional code box on the sign-up page.
Winedrive - Half Price subscription for CantBarsed visitors...
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Party planning - Wedding Party Planning - No-nonsense advice from Winedrive
If you're planning a party or a wedding reception and cantbarsed to pay over-the-top prices for your wine, there's now a great alternative.
Buy straight from the vineyard and not only do you save a huge amount of money, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you're not pouring cash into the Chancellor's tax pot with every mouthful.
The downside is that you must go to France to buy it, but when winedrive.com checked vineyard prices against typical mail order costs in the UK, they found savings averaging from 44% up to a staggering 80%!
A car load could cover the cost of the cross channel fare and help pay for a short holiday into the bargain - and you can even get 20% off your ferry fare with winedrive.
So how much wine do you need? What wine should you buy?
A standard 750 ml bottle of wine will fill about 6 to 8 glasses, although it does depend on the size of the glass - avoid those huge glasses the television wine pundits use.
They do nothing to help taste or the appreciation of aromas. The standard glass used by professional wine buffs is tulip shaped and quite small. The 'Paris Goblet' is probably the best compromise for a party. It's a bit thick but is a good shape and size, and is cheap so a few breakages won't be a disaster.
The glass should be just one third to one half full, so the aromas can be concentrated at the top and add to the taste sensation.
What about sparkling wine?
Champagne is synonymous with weddings, parties and celebrations, but can cost an arm and leg. Unless yours is a very special occasion and you want to impress treasured friends and guests, you really don't need vintage Champagne. A good non-vintage will be equally appreciated. If you buy from a winedrive.com Champagne producer, you can find some excellent and highly rated Champagnes from around £8 a bottle.
Champagne glasses should be tall, slim 'flutes' which turn in slightly at the top. Never use the wide 'coupe' glasses. They let all the bubbles and aromas escape long before you can appreciate what you are drinking.
Serve the wine with care. Make sure the bottle is chilled first, then open by removing the wire cage, holding the cork in a cloth and gently rotating the bottle around it. The cork should leave the bottle with a 'sigh', not a 'pop' accompanied by jet of precious wine. Pour a little into each glass, then go round again to top up to about half way. This avoids foaming over the top.
You can make your sparkling wine go much further by serving it as 'Bucks Fizz'. Just halve the amount of wine in each glass and top off with the same amount or slightly more fresh orange juice.
Can't afford Champagne?
French vineyards outside the Champagne region produce excellent sparkling wines made by the same method but which are significantly cheaper. Most of your guests probably won't know the difference. Certainly, this is by far the best solution if you are serving Bucks Fizz. You can then hold the Champagne back for the more formal part of the day, such as the toasts.
People tend to drain their glasses before they realise a toast is about to happen. Then they have the embarrassment of going thorough the motions with an empty glass. Hold a few bottles back for this. They only need a mouthful each, so assuming they have standard size mouths, a bottle of bubbly should easily go round a dozen or more people. Rounding off an event with a fine Champagne also leaves a lasting impression with your guests and with any luck, there may be a bottle or two left over. Champagne is the only wine aged by the producer and sold ready to drink, so it won't keep for long. Unfortunately, this means you will have drink it!
Finally, visiting vineyards is a world away from going to the local French hypermarket of warehouse. True, you will find cheap wine, but a lot of it is bulk produced to order and aimed at the 'booze cruise' market, or is the same stuff you find in your own local supermarket. Go to the vineyard and you will be able to taste award winning wine, learn from the people who made it, make your personal choice and save a fortune.