Wine Planet

For me, nothing can beat the delight of sampling an exquisite wine (although more often than not, the succulent blend escapes me when I have to purchase a bottle of plonk myself). And invariably I return to tried and true favourites. If you are keen to start stocking up your cellar, or would like to have a couple of bottles of white on hand for summer dining, then turn your mouse to the ever expanding Wine Planet.

Anyone who has tired of making snap decisions on the way to dinner will appreciate this site's extensive range of wines (over 7000 local and imported) and all are available for perusal at your convenience - as opposed to rummaging at the local liquor outlet.

Despite its name the site is expanding in early 2000 to include nearly 500 spirits and liqueurs, and gourmet food products, such as fresh roasted coffee and olive oils. Books and magazines covering food, spirits, wine and related topics, as well as a gift centre offering hampers, gift certificates and gift suggestions, are additions to the site.

And there is also plenty of info to hand so the ingredients are put to good use. Maggie Beer (her most recent book is the bestselling Tuscan Cookbook) will be contributing to the Wine Planet Kitchen with a monthly column, recipes, and food commentary. The site is also set to launch WineTV, a weekly streaming video and wine tasting by editor Max Allen. Monthly programs highlight various winemakers and regions.

Users can also personalise the site with the My Planet service, storing their online order history, tracking existing orders, and profiling their own tastes. - Amanda Conroy

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