A Raily Great Bar

If you are looking for a wine bar in London with a bit of buzz and character then check out 40 Maltby Street. Read more…

Cooking with wine

We will take a wild guess here and just assume that you all like wine. You probably know as well that is is often a good idea to cook with wine. But did you know there is more to cooking with wine than just chugging the end of yesterday’s bottle into your pot (ok so sometimes that might work just fine, but not always!)?

We often chose the cheapest and simplest wine for cooking, as if cooking with nice wine was sacrilegious. But think about it: if the wine is dodgy and tastes bad, there’s a good risk it’ll transmit its faults to the dish you’ve been putting so much care in! On the other hand, you’ll never regret having used nice wine to prepare your dish.

What wines to chose?

It all depends of the type of dish you are making of course. But there are a few rules:

  • Acidity: you need wines with a good dose of acidity – they will be better for deglazing, and will make braised meat more tender.
  • No sugar: It’s best to have dry wine, as water will evaporate with cooking and you may end up with a sauce that is sweeter than you hoped. Obviously there are cases where you might want that.
  • No tannins: Strong reds (Bordeaux, cabernets, Syrahs etc) often contain tanins, which can be quite bitter and offset the balance in a sauce.


When preparing fish and seafood, you can poach fish in wine, or deglaze a pan after searing filets, scallops or prawns. Use sauvignon blanc or chardonnay, and add butter or cream to a slightly cooked wine to make a sauce base.

For chicken, you can use white or red as there are so many different ways to prepare it. As for pork or braised veal, you will want to cook them slowly in the wine, at low temperature, so they absorb all the flavours. Use sauvignon, Italian whites, or even Chenin blanc. Finally if you are cooking braised red meats, use red Bourgogne, Beaujolais, warm Italian reds or Languedoc wine.

Let’s have a look at preparing a traditional Italian chicken dish with some red wine. Some prefer “pollo alla cacciatora” with white wine, but here let’s use a Valpolicella Classico, from the Verona region in Italy. It’s a classic but lively dry red wine, with present acidity but a subtle fruitiness. Pollo alla cacciatora, or the Italian Hunter’s chicken, originates from Tuscany.


Here we will use a simple and delicious recipe, skipping the pancetta. To make things even easier and for a fail-proof recipe, we will use Dolmio Bolognese sauce rather than making sauce from scratch. It’ll taste just as authentic because Dolmio is mostly tomatoes, with tasty herbs and onions, all prepared based on traditional Italian recipes.

For 4 people you will need:

– a small chicken or 4 legs

– 2 carrots

– 2 celery branches

– a glass of red wine

– a jar of Dolmio Bolognese Sauce

– Rosemary, laurel, salt and pepper

– Extra virgin olive oil

First, cut the chicken into pieces and fry it for about 10min in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, turning them frequently. Then gently fry the chopped carrots and celery with the herbs and seasonings for 5 or 6 minutes. Add the red wine and leave to evaporate. Add your Dolmio sauce, mix well, and leave to simmer for about 40 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, sprinkle some fresh parsley on top and serve hot. You can serve this dish with some oven roasted potatoes.


So there you have it, a simple Italian meal cooked with red wine and creamy Dolmio tomato sauce. There’s only one rule to remember : Keep enough wine to have a glass or two as you cook !

Buon appetito !

Christmas Time, Mistletoe and Wine

It’s stressful enough planning and preparing your families Christmas dinner – there’s the fussy eaters, the insulting mother-in law and then four kids under eight years old to keep happy. The weeks leading up to the main event can be the most chaotic of the year. But you enjoy entertaining and don’t want to disappoint, so take off some of the pressure with our suggested wine list for this year’s festive season. From voluptuous reds to classy sparkling champagnes Read more…

Red Wine: Your Tooth’s Worst Friend

So I’m always bestowing the benefits of a glass of red wine a day to anyone within ear shot. As the BBC have said, a glass is chock full of antioxidants that can help make things move through your body a little bit better. And there’s the supposed research too that 1 glass is just as good as an hour at the gym (if you do’#t believe me then read this) but there is one area where wine just doesn’t do any good: your lovely teeth.  Read more…

Top5 Cheeky Tipple Spots On A Sunny LDN Day

So the sun is shining and it’s gearing up to be the hottest day of the day, but you’re probably stuck in work right? There’s going to be a good number of people around the capital today strategising on where to nip out for a cheeky little tipple at lunch to make the most of the sun. Your WhatsApp group could be going in to meltdown trying to figure out what park to meet up in after work depending on which tube station is closest for you all. Your other half could be rushing about the Tesco express grabbing a baguette, ham and cheese in a cluster not knowing what they need for a picnic.

Truth be told; it’s incredibly easy to find a cheeky little spot to enjoy a tipple or two today here in sunny London. So where should you go and what should you be drinking on a school night that looks as good as this? I have you covered on the blog today. Read more…

Greek Wine

While everyone always thinks of the heavyweight winemakers of the Med to be France, Italy and Spain, let’s not forget Greece, which is just as sun soaked and has some fabulous vineyards too that produce lovely wine. Read more…

Making Spring Cider – 5 Top Tips

As we get close to Easter and the sun starts shining through the windows in the morning again, we’re inching close and closer to our favourite time of year: picnic season. There’s nothing more exciting than a lazy weekend afternoon in the park with a full spread on, a delicious tipple and friends for company. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a drastic increase in the popularity of fruity ciders as the de-facto drink of choice for the park, replacing such staples as rose and a jug of Pimms. There is also a booming micro-industry of people beginning to brew their own cider at home. Due to it’s relatively easier nature when compared to brewing beer at home, and the fact that you have a much more diverse flavour profile to play with, home made cider is going to be the “it drink” this summer. So if you are brewing some at home, what tips and handy advice do we have for the adventurous cider maker? Here are 5 you need to know! Read more…

Having A Tipple in the Diplomatic Area

It can get incredibly hot out in the desert. When you find an oasis like Bahrain in the Persian Gulf, you’ll not struggle to find a good drink to get the taste buds flowing. and quench your thirst. So where is the best bar in Bahrain to enjoy a tipple? We have you covered. Read more…

Me & Mr.Jones

Known for a slew of trendy hotspots in the lower west side of Manhattan, SoHo is the go to place for those who want a good night out in the Big Apple, but don’t want to find themselves stuck in another soulless high-end restaurant. Creating a space that is visually relaxing and perfect for any kind of group to meet up can be hard, but one bar/restaurant has managed to do just that. Welcome to Mr.Jones in Trump SoHo. Read more…

Drinks Spots and Businesses Around Harley St

Here is a great little list of the best bars and wine spots around Harley St, Mayfair Read more…