Celebrity wines are booming business, but how palatable are they? It depends, says American sommelier André Mack in Bon Appétit. Jay-Z’s champagne is lovely to drink, but is overpriced at £300 a pop. Madonna’s chardonnay is more affordable (£17), but smells like a “can of peas”.
Thankfully, some celebs are doing it right. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s £18.50 rosé from their château in France looks and tastes great. And singer John Legend’s sparkling Brut Blanc de Blancs is just like him: “sophisticated, mature, plays the piano, sultry”. But it’s basketball player Dwayne Wade who comes out on top. His £15 chenin blanc from the Napa Valley is “what all the cool kids are drinking these days”. It smells like jelly beans and tastes like chamomile. But that’s a good thing, Mack assures us. “This wine is balling.”
Boost your workout with a short sharp choc
Cocoa powder can improve exercise performance, says Abigail Buchanan in the Telegraph. It contains plant nutrients called flavanols, which boost blood flow and oxygen uptake, according to a team of scientists in Liverpool. You could opt for a bar of dark chocolate, but to avoid the sugar and fat, experts recommend a “pre-workout smoothie that contains a tablespoon and a half of cocoa powder”. Try nutritionist Jenna Hope’s recipe.
1 ripe banana
300ml milk or almond milk
1 tbsp oats
11/2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp peanut butter
1 tsp honey
Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Ingredient of the week: pears
British pears are in season from September to January. Try cooking them to bring out their “natural sweetness”, says Ocado Life. Quarter and roast in the oven until caramelised, toss with watercress, blue cheese and walnuts, then top with a mustard dressing. Or peel and simmer gently with sugar and a squeeze of lemon to make a thick purée that goes with cheese. They’re also delicious with blackberries in a crumble.