Wine, judge and jury....

Biting off the hand that feeds has been a concern of journalists and editors of traditional media since advertising began. Certainly a lack of wine advertising in newspapers is widely acknowledged for the demise of regular wine columns, but when there are overheads to consider and salaries or freelancers to pay there’s no wonder impartiality gets called into question.

Five of the best coffee shops in Manchester

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Whether it’s been a hard day shopping, you over did it last night or you’re a caffeine junky that can’t go five steps without their next fix – don’t worry, in Manchester you’re never going to go short of the good stuff.

Saint Clair - Pioneer Block 43 Degrees (Block 3) Sauvignon Blanc 2011

I'm not going to lie to you, but it was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that first got me interested in wine many many years ago. I know it's trendy to pretend it was a massively iconic Bordeaux but that just wouldn't be truthful. The problem is, Kiwi Sauvignon really got it right in this country. For a while.

The Living Room, Bristol - lavish, luxurious and loud

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On the lookout for a sophisticated, but relaxing and homely place to eat, Bristol’s Living Room seems the place to start. The décor is classy and chic with heavy wooden tables, contemporary artwork, wall to wall wine cabinets and lavish chandeliers hanging above you.

Jim Barry McRae Wood Shiraz 2005

Australia does a good line in iconic Shiraz, one of the main reasons why I first fell in love with their wines in fact. It's nice as a wine lover to sample the very best that a country has to offer now and then if anything just to give yourself a benchmark with which to compare other wines to. The beauty of Australian wines is that, but for some uber icons such as Penfolds Grange, their iconic offerings of Shiraz tend to be very affordable indeed.