My Round: Putting grapes to good use

Here's your chance to win some fine wine - and make the world a better place. But you may end up with a red nose

There's bad news, good news, and best news. The bad news: I'm asking you to dig into your pocket. The good: it's in a very worthy cause. The best: you're getting the opportunity to win a really fine and interesting case of wine, courtesy of Berry Bros & Rudd (0870 900 4300,
www.bbr.com). All in all, I'd say the positives outweigh the negatives here. The cause is Wine Relief, aka Comic Relief, aka Red Nose Day, coming up on 11 March, and there isn't much you have to do to give yourself a crack at my cracking case.

There's bad news, good news, and best news. The bad news: I'm asking you to dig into your pocket. The good: it's in a very worthy cause. The best: you're getting the opportunity to win a really fine and interesting case of wine, courtesy of Berry Bros & Rudd (0870 900 4300, www.bbr.com). All in all, I'd say the positives outweigh the negatives here. The cause is Wine Relief, aka Comic Relief, aka Red Nose Day, coming up on 11 March, and there isn't much you have to do to give yourself a crack at my cracking case.

You probably don't need much explanation of Comic Relief, which has raised huge sums of money for good causes. Of the UK organisations benefiting from the dosh, my personal favourite is the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, an organisation I have particular reason to value as a citizen of the US. Wine Relief is the wine industry's contribution to the effort, thus far raising around £1.2m, and it takes several forms. The principal form is a 10 per cent deal on selected wines at some of the nation's major retailers: not a 10 per cent discount, but a tenth of the sale price going to Wine Relief straight from your purchase. The wines in question are flagged at all participating locations.

When the last Wine Relief effort was held, in 2003, I was less than enthralled by the quality of some of the wines. This year there are some dullards aiding the cause, but there are also some that I personally wouldn't want to drink, which have been hurled into action by producers who take this fund-raising event seriously - and I applaud them even if I'm not crazy about their wines. And in among the hum-drum are some totally covetable bottles. Some of the best are to be found at Booths, M&S, Oddbins and Sainsbury's. The best of the bunch for sheer value is the Tenute del Sole Negroamaro 2001 at Booths (£3.99). I would also push you in the direction of Surrey-based Arthur Rackham, if you live in the area. A few nationally available wines are highlighted to the right.

My offering is somewhat different. The Berry Bros case, put together at my suggestion, is more than just a selection of 12 nice wines. It's also an opportunity to compare and contrast similar types of wine from Old and New World countries. There is an Australian Shiraz (Balthazar 2001, Barossa Valley) to compare with a 1998 Côtes-du-Rhône from the house of Chave. A fine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend from Clos de la Chance to compare with Château d'Agassac 2000, Haut-Médoc. And another Australian, Arthur's Creek Chardonnay 2000, Yarra Valley, to set up against a classy Bourgogne Blanc 2001 from Domaine Denis Mortet.

This case gives you the chance to see how grapes behave in different places. You'll just be doing it in your own home, perhaps with a few friends. Maybe you can all band together to increase your chances of winning?

The retail value of the wines lies somewhere in the region of £165. They could all be yours if you are willing to send an envelope containing a piece of paper with your name, address and phone number to Comic Relief, Wine Relief/ Independent on Sunday competition, 5th Floor, 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 9TS. That's all you need to do. But of course, you should also - although you're not obliged - include a cheque made payable to Red Nose Day 2005. I would suggest a contribution of £5.

Deadline for entries is 18 March, a week after Red Nose Day itself. And even if you don't want to have your chance at this thought-provoking case, I urge you to buy a bottle with the Wine Relief collar. The grape was never put to better use.

Top Corks: Three for Wine Relief

Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc 2004, Stellenbosch (£6.99, Waitrose) Recommended on these pages before. Zing, zap and zoom from one of South Africa's great masters of this grape variety.

Sainsbury's Classic Selection Western Australian Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2003 (£6.99) Better than a Bordeaux at the same price.

Montes Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (£5.99, Majestic) Classic varietal purity from the Casablanca valley of Chile. Think about what you'd get from New Zealand for this price, and try this.

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
    Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

    Finally, a diet that works

    Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
    Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

    Say it with... lyrics

    The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
    Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

    The joys of 'thinkering'

    Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
    Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

    Monique Roffey interview

    The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
    DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
    Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

    How we met

    Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

    Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

    Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
    Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

    Who does your club need in the transfer window?

    Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
    The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015