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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

With 10 days to go to the commercialised event they call Valentine's Day, JAMIE GOODE gives his recommendations for drinking on 14 February. He says that ros has shed its naff image of late' and picks out four sparkling ross and a still pink, including Taittinger's Prestige Ros NV (32.99; Tesco, Oddbins) and Lindauer Special Select Brut NV, New Zealand (9.99; Oddbins, Waitrose).
He also selects accessories to accompany the wines, including a pair of glasses adorned with a tasteful gold heart'. The accompanying photo of the glasses is enough to put off anyone with an ounce of taste.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON echoes Tim Atkin's views on the better retailers involved in Wine Relief and encourages readers to trade up, as the more expensive the wine, the bigger the 10% donation will be.
The pair both recommend the 2005 Gobelsburger Grner Veltliner, Austria (6.49; Waitrose) and the 2004 Friuli Merlot Bidoli (7.49; M&S).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY insists that people shouldn't panic about whether they have enough wine for Christmas as most merchants accept orders for guaranteed pre-Christmas deliveries as late as 15 December. For your nearest and dearest, a magnum of Champagne looks especially generous, so plump for 1.5 litres of Pol Roger's delectable non-vintage white foil Reserve (55.95, Lay & Wheeler).'

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

Great British beers have attracted the attention of MATTHEW JUKES. There is nothing more satisfying than the combination of a pint of local brew and good pub grub, he asserts. And to make his case, he matches beers to a variety of pub dishes provided by the Anchor Inn in Suffolk. Longhorn beef steak with peppercorn sauce is well matched by Brakspear Triple (1.99 for 500ml; Asda, Sainsbury, Waitrose), a dark rummy beer of amazing complexity', while beetroot soup goes well with O'Halon's Wheat Beer (5 for four bottles; Threshers).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE attempts to overcome her early fear of Vouvray. She tells readers that when she recently opened a bottle with friends, they looked at it with narrowed eyes and asked for assurance that it would be dry. It was. She also expected them to be put off by the news it was made from Chenin Blanc - a difficult grape to get to know, but not to love'. Like Vouvray, she says, you never know how it is going to turn out. It has complex reserves of flavour, which it fills out in a sometimes strange honeyed, vegetal way. A common tasting note is lanolin, the fat found in sheep's wool.'

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Another expert looking for winter warmth, JAMIE GOODE turns his attention to malt whisky. Hailing it as Scotland's greatest contribution to the world of drink, he gives a run-through of his five favourites. Heading the list is Sainsbury's Cognac-finish 15-year-old Speyside Single Malt (19.99), which has spent time in Cognac casks to give it a warm, nutty, oaky character and makes it sweet and rounded in the mouth. Number five on his list is Aberlour 10-year-old Highland Single Malt (22.99; Oddbins, Waitrose) - a superb whisky', smooth and rich with complex aromas of spice and vanilla and a fine balance.

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

PETER GROGAN pays a visit to Stevenage, home of The Wine Society, a wine merchant he describes as old-fashioned yet forward-looking'. The Society's chief executive, Oliver Johnson, tells him: No one here earns a bonus, including me, so everyone's focused on quality rather than margin.'

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

Booze cruise virgin DAVID THOMAS travels with Oz Clarke and Top Gear presenter James May to Calais. They visit La Maison du Fromage et des Vins (Oz recommends a 4.93 2004 Bourgueil), Majestic's Wine and Beer World and the Calais Vins warehouse. Oz says: The best bang for your buck comes from Chilean and Spanish wines.' Looking at 12 Bordeaux wines, he is reported as saying: You'd get more pleasure from six bottles of Chilean than one bottle of Bordeaux.'

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Understandably, ANTHONY ROSE, too, has much to say about the 2005 Burgundies. Clearly, the wine merchants and their customers can't get enough of them. Great Burgundies will never be cheap, he says, but in the light of the extravagant leap in prices of 2005 Bordeaux, it becomes increasingly hard to argue that Burgundy is as elitist as it was in the past. Mouthwatering village Burgundies from Gevrey-Chambertin, Vosne-Romane and Nuits-St-Georges can be picked up for 200-300 a case.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

It may be too late to buy the great 2005 Bordeaux wines en primeur, says JOANNA SIMON, but the top Burgundies from 2005 are now being offered. She is in no doubt that it is a great year for red, and in many cases, for white Burgundy too.

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

There is no getting away from the 2005 Burgundy. JANE MacQUITTY says that for once, the Burgundian wine merchants' hype could be justified. Indeed, such was the hype that even David Blunkett and his guide dog turned up for the former Home Secretary's wine-buying syndicate. She considers the 2005 vintage to be a great red Burgundy vintage from top to bottom, though overall the whites are not in the same league, with dilution and a lack of spine-tingling acidity and minerality'. Every dog has its day, she observes, and I'll bet David Blunkett's salivated over the tasting as much as I did.'

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Another wine writer enthusing about the 2005 Burgundy is TIM ATKIN MW. He regards London's Burgundy week as an opportunity to brush glasses with some of the most famous winemakers in the world and sip reds that many of us will never be able to afford. And there is so much hype about the 2005s that many wines have already sold out.
Is 2005 the greatest Burgundy vintage ever? For Atkin, the answer is yes and no. He warns that some of the reds have uncomfortably high levels of acidity with insufficient fruit sweetness to balance them. But he concedes that there are some wonderful wines on offer.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON isn't comfortable with the statement: Bordeaux is the largest fine wine-making region in the world.' She believes it is misleading as most of its bottles - red and white - are anything but fine wine'. Nevertheless, she recommends: 2001 Chteau Greysac (6.99 when you buy two; Majestic); 2004 Chteau Robin, Lussac St Emilion (6.99; Morrisons); and 2002 Pauillac de Chteau Latour (24.95; Lay & Wheeler).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

SUSY ATKINS knows what her readers want at this time of year - plausible reasons to get outside some decent hooch. If you are in the grip of a horrible cold, a classic hot toddy does work wonders, she says. Its steam unblocks your nose, the sweetness provides an energy boost and the whiskey and spice have miraculous warming qualities.' And as the wife of an Irishman she loyally argues that the best hot toddies are made with Irish whiskey. However, she argues that the variation of using the Irish moonshine poitin (potcheen) instead of whiskey is controversial. The legal stuff is a clear, simple spirit, a lot like vodka, and though acceptable in a hot toddy lacks the colour and flavour of cask-aged whiskey.
She recommends Bushmills 10-Year-Old Irish Whiskey (24.99; Oddbins) and Powers Gold Label Whiskey (15.99; drinkfinder.co.uk).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Like Victoria Moore, JOANNA SIMON has been reading The Wine Diet by Roger Corder and latches on to the message that moderate wine drinkers are less likely to be overweight than non-drinkers.
She draws her readers attention to the chewy, plummy, toasty' Ctes de Saint-Mont, Chteau de Sabazan (13.95), and 2001 Madiran, Plnitude (12.99 to 14.95).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Chile made its name with Cabernet Sauvignon and the red Bordeaux blends. But TIM ATKIN says that it will also be famous for cool-climate Syrah, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. He observes that in the 1990s, most of the country's wines were inferior copies of French originals. Now Chile has become one of the world's most exciting wine-producing regions with a mind-boggling number of vinyards.

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Forgetting to celebrate Burns Night would be a big mistake, says JANE MacQUITTY. Wishy-washy white spirits might be well and good but grown-up spirits drinkers graduate to the full-on flavours of whisky. Decent blends consist of two-thirds or more of a decent characterful malt and Bailie Nicol Jarvie (13.46 Tesco, 13.49 Waitrose) is a wondrous eight-year-old blend with an arresting gingery spice.

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW recently tasted 19 luxury Champagne cuves. 'Champagne is the one wine in which image and reputation can influence the palate most powerfully,' she says. That's why 'assessing the wines on the basis of taste alone can be so revealing'. The most impressive were 'the extremely energising and intriguing' Taittinger Prlude Grand Cru and the 'underpriced and under-appreciated' Charles Heidsieck, Blanc des Millnnaires 1995 Blanc de Blancs - 'a beautifully mature wine'. Majestic is selling the Taittinger Prlude for 24.99 a bottle if you buy three or 34.99 at larger Tesco stores for a single bottle. The Heidsieck is much harder to find in the UK; www.vintagewinegifts.co.uk is selling it for 89.99, with a corkscrew, wine pourer, drip stopper and wine stopper thrown in. Meanwhile, Laurent-Perrier Grand Sicle and 2000 Taittinger also showed well in the tasting, and Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 1996 'should be wonderful in a year or three'. Krug Ros is worth a mention for being 'much more beguiling than any current bottling of Krug Grande Cuve to have come my way in the last year.

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Turning the spotlight on the Irish, JAMIE GOODE picks some value-for-money buys to complement classic dishes like Irish stew and beef in Guinness. He highlights an Australian fizz that he reckons his readers will either love or hate. The 2002 Green Point ZD Vintage Brut (13.99; Waitrose) is described as special for two reasons: first, it is sealed with a crown cap; and second the usual dosage' - the addition of sweet wine - has been omitted. A bone-dry finish and great with food is Goode's verdict. Among the others, he reckons 2005 Vielle Fontaine Vin de Pays de Comt Tolosan (2.99; Tesco) is a good cheap wine: fresh, fruity and with a savoury bite.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

In the wake of the publication of The Wine Diet by Professor Roger Corder (9.99, Sphere), VICTORIA MOORE responds to readers asking about the wines he recommends.
Corder has identified a compound - procyanidin - that is abundant in some red wines and which he maintains is good for the heart. While Moore takes the view that the book's title is a little too good to be true, she gamely tried a handful of the wines Corder recommends.
She says that generally the wines are unyielding heavy characters, though she was most taken by the relatively accessible' 2003 Chteau de Sabazan, Ctes de Saint-Mont (12.99; Nicolas, Grape Ideas, Bedales) and 2001 Madiran Plnitude (about 14.99; Bedales, Adnams).
Having done her duty by her readers, the gloves come off: I can't help feeling it might be easier to take procyanidins from food, and drink wine for pleasure and at whim,' she says.

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