Strawberry and white port trifle

Serves 4

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Wine: Sweet sensations

Is wine and chocolate too much of a good thing? A friend who attended a chocolate and wine tasting recently found each match, to her dismay, worse than the preceding one. The problem is that chocolate, especially milk chocolate, which is both sweet and fatty, tends to strip wine of its natural fruit flavours, making it taste thin, lean and sour. Even a classic sweet wine like Sauternes can suffer under the assault of chocolate's lingering, mouth-coating sweetness. Can two such polar opposites ever attract? The answer is that they can, but only the most dedicated of chocaholics would put red wines and chocolate together.

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Naples, Italy

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Wine: Girl power

Those for whom every day is Valentine's Day may be interested in a new range of wines aimed at women developed by a French wine merchant. WineSight has selected about 30 French wines under the label Sublimelle, "parce que la femme est Sublimelle". It boasts "no need for images of lingerie", so the fact that a French lingerie label of the same name adorns such fine brands as Forplay (sic) and Leg Avenue, is presumably a coincidence. Selected by a man, Frédéric Auriol, the range (available at www.chateauselect. co.uk) offers wines for a variety of occasions, "whether it is a girls' night out, an individual tasting, a romantic dinner, after love-making, or a business success".

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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