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Christmas – a time of giving, taking and over-indulgence – particularly when it comes to food and drink. And what could be more seasonal than spoiling yourself to a decent wine and platter of cheese? But this yuletide, why not be patriotic too, and follow the example of Jessica Mann and the Randolph Hotel’s Maitre D’ Giuseppe Vurchio as they champion the best of English wines and cheeses.
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Pub: The Turf Tavern, 4 Bath Place Holywell, Oxford, OX1 3SU Contact: 01865 243 235 or through their website www.turftavern.co.uk Opening hours: Mon - Sat 11 – 11PM, Sunday 12 – 11:30PM Dog friendly: Yes. There’s no official puppy proclamation posted anywhere, but over the bank holiday weekend I walked around and was greeted by friendly staff, and lots of people wanting to scratch my ears.
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To celebrate the start of the third Oxford Film Festival, which this year showcases the films of the Coen Brothers, drinks editor Jessica Mann takes a look at appropriate tipples to accompany each film.
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Dear Jessica, Christmas and New Year’s Eve was a blur of friends, family and gluttony. I’m ready to start my resolutions, detox my diet and get back into shape. Can you recommend a lower alcohol wine that still tastes good?
10:24am Friday 28th November 2008
The Whine Column with Jessica Mann Dear Jessica: I have just finished my Christmas shopping. I know the country is in an economical crisis, and we should all be tightening our belts, but the Christmas spirit took over and I ended up spending an obscene amount of money. What wine should I give my husband when I show him the credit card bill?
3:33pm Friday 14th November 2008
DEAR JESSICA: I’ve fallen for a girl with a cause. In fact she doesn’t just have one cause, whether it’s Greenpeace or ferret rescue – she backs them all with equal amounts of enthusiasm. I am going to try to impress her by cooking dinner, all organic of course. I don’t want to offend her sense of ethics. What wine should I serve?
3:35pm Thursday 16th October 2008
DEAR JESSICA: The rising cost of student fees, and my summer earnings locked up in the Icelandic banking system has left me completely skint. I still want to enjoy good wine. Is there any wine that costs less than £3 a bottle and tastes good? Sarah G, Oxford Brookes University JESSICA UNCORKED: That depends on your definition of ‘tastes good.’ While some people like jumping out of airplanes, others prefer being pampered at a spa. Wine is similar. One person will like the youth and flamboyant flavour of a young Australian Shiraz, while another prefers the softer, more mature Bordeaux.
2:28pm Thursday 2nd October 2008
Dear Jessica, I have been married for almost 15 years and I no longer find my husband attractive. What wine can I drink or serve him to put the spark back in my marriage? Dominique Bliss, OXON Jessica Uncorked: The average Joe would have you believe that if he drinks enough his inhibitions will drop and put whatever your husband has been worrying about, (bank collapse or dramatic rise of cost of living), out of his head. He would liven up and act like that teenager you fell in love with.
4:52pm Monday 1st September 2008
2:29pm Thursday 7th August 2008
Question: Dear Jessica, I have to take an overseas flight for business. Do you have any suggestion of what wine I should drink (and the airline that serves it) to pass the endless hours and cope with the tedium?
2:07pm Thursday 3rd July 2008
DEAR JESSICA: I'm going to spend a long weekend with my parents. What wine do you suggest I bring to get me through endless hours of game shows, programmes about the good old days' and crossword puzzles?
4:18pm Thursday 12th June 2008
Q. Dear Jessica, my boss continues to abscond on lavish vacations, leaving me to complete his work. Hes taking off again next week to a lush French Resort. What wine should I drink to put me in the holiday mood while I do his drudgery? | Jenny P, Botley
6:07pm Thursday 29th May 2008
Q. I have builders in at the moment. They are very good and fortunately the only cracks I have seen have not been in the plasterwork. I'd love to invite them to stay for dinner when the construction is finished. What wine should I buy? Ann C, Jericho A. How lucky you are to find excellent workmen. Most people just offer tea and coffee; I think it's a great idea to invite them over for a meal.
10:49am Tuesday 20th May 2008
Q. Ive been invited to a Christian barbecue. I usually bring a bottle of wine as a gift for my host or hostess at parties. Given the religious overtones, is this appropriate? Also I really prefer to drink red wine, but with the great hot weather we have been having in Oxford, red seems a little heavy for an outdoors day event. Can you help? Natalie T., Headington.
2:54pm Thursday 1st May 2008
DEAR JESSICA: After months of asking, I have finally got the girl of my desires to agree to go out with me. Now I'm stuck. She likes wine, but I know nothing about it. Where in Oxford can I take her to get good wine, that won't empty my wallet and maybe get me a kiss at the end of the night? Chris H.
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