Star Quality

I spent much of last week tasting wine in a professional capacity and therefore, sadly, having to spit it out. But there was one particular event that didn’t require any spitting. In fact, I pretty much gawped open-mouthed throughout (thank god I wasn’t tasting wine; could’ve been messy). As you know – because I’ve gone on and on about it – I was a judge for this year’s Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards so got to go to the Awards ceremony. Claudia Winkleman hosted, Prince Charles made a surprise appearance, Mary Berry and Nadiya from Bake Off won awards as did my food writing crush Diana Henry. Also spotted: Chris Evans (so tall!), Dame Judi Dench (so small!) and countless famous chefs and critics. The other stars were, of course, the canapés (mini scotch eggs!) and the champagne. No spitting required, thankfully.

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Current white in the fridge: Tesco Verdicchio di Matelica

Price: £6.25 - Buy From Tesco

Lovely Italian white from better-than-average vineyards in the Matelica region, slightly inland in the Marche (halfway down Italy’s boot, roughly). The grape is Verdicchio and it’s brilliantly light, fresh and fruity with green fruits – apple, pear – and a touch of the florals too. If you’re looking for a midweek fridge-door banker, it’s right here.

Current red in the rack: Biferno

Price: £8.00 - Buy From Co-op

Every now and again a wine comes along that’s such amazing value, the temptation is not to tell anyone about it in case the shelves are cleared before you’ve had a chance to stock up. But I’m hopeless at keeping secrets so here it is, the juiciest blueberry and blackcurrant-filled Italian red around at this price. Made (mostly) from the Montepulciano grape, it looks and tastes twice the price.

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