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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW shows her family side with a visit to the Symingtons of Oporto. The charms of the 'wild' and 'beautiful' Douro valley are not lost on Robinson, but she also recognises that 'it's not easy to stay afloat in the Port business. As Paul [Symington] points out, recent mergers and acquisitions in the global drinks business have seen most Port companies involved dropped like hot potatoes.' According to Robinson, the new generation of this premium Port company sees 'the future firmly based in unfortified dry wines labelled Douro rather than Port'.

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JAMIE GOODE would be lying if he said Sherry was hip, but he does think 'it is an unappreciated and wonderful drink, not to mention amazing value for money'. For those with a sweet tooth he suggests Lustau East India Solera Rich Oloroso Sherry (7.99/50cl; Waitrose); and for those with a drier palate, Asda Fino Sherry (3.74) or Tesco Finest Dry Oloroso Sherry (5.05).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH is adamant: 'The term "good, low-priced sweet wine" is almost as great a contradiction in terms as "President Bush's left-wing advisers". It just never happens.' And this, he explains, is largely because 'the grapes have to be individually selected followed by hand-sorting at the winery'. However, if you can't afford to spend 250+ for a bottle of Chteau d'Yquem, Ehrlich recommends 'three Waitrose sweeties', such as 2002 Chteau Jolys Cuve Jean, Juranon (9.99/50cl). Or for those who are feeling lucky, Ehrlich suggests trying out an offer from Lay & Wheeler: buy an unmixed case of wine for a chance to buy a bottle of 1990 Yquem for 25. 'Think of it as a win-win bet,' he says. 'If you don't win the Yquem, you've still got 12 good bottles. And if you do win well, I'm free for dinner on whatever night you plan to drink it.' Plenty to play for then.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

OANNA SIMON discovers that gin has come a long way since 'the dismal state of the gin market in the early 1990s'.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Although the idea of drinking Champagne and eating oysters has long held a 'glamorous potency' for VICTORIA MOORE, she couldn't help but notice that 'oysters don't really go with Champagne'. The classic French bubbly is 'simply too elegant and too refined to match against this primal force', thinks Moore. Instead, she recommends 2004 Tesco Finest Muscadet Sur Lie (4.99) or 2004 Beranger Picpoul de Pinet, Coteaux du Languedoc (4.29; Booths).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite its odd choice of presenters - Jono Coleman ('a podgy beachball with a mullet') and Wendy Namby ('whose sense of humour appears to be buried deeper than a chalk cellar in Champagne') - TIM ATKIN MW admires The Joy of Wine. The DVD and wine-tasting package, which can be yours for 49 plus 5 postage, is aimed at simplifying wine for consumers, and Atkin finds it 'a useful, comparatively jargon-free introduction to Bordeaux'.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

With more than a slight element of disbelief, VICTORIA MOORE reports that 'expensive Asian food has begun to lead people back to Riesling'. A good 'pin-sharp' example, says Moore, is 2004 Casillero del Diablo (5.99; Oddbins). And if Riesling is the grape of the moment, Spain is the country, producing wines 'made in a modern style but with enough interest and culture to grip Old World aficionados'. Try 2004 La Basca Uvas Tintas (4.99; Marks & Spencer).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE is 'on the case to see you through the festivities', with a guide to 12 wines for 'splashing out' and

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW fronts a four-page guide to festive eating and drinking with her guide to reds, whites, sweet wines and apritifs.

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JAMIE GOODE spoils himself with a fizz fix and recommends his 'top 10 tipples to sip with your canaps'. Two examples are Jacob's Creek Chardonnay/Pinot Noir Brut Cuve NV (7.99; Budgens, Somerfield) and Wyndham Bin 555 Sparkling Shiraz, Australia (7.99; Morrisons).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

Iceland's Reyka is 'a seriously good vodka with a seriously interesting background', says Richard Ehrlich. It's made from water that's so pure it doesn't need to be distilled, and Ehrlich is 'smitten'. He also recommends some Kiwi Sauvignon Blancs, including 2004 Nobilo Five Fathoms (5.49; Sainsbury's).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

The practice of reputable wineries producing exclusive labels for supermarkets is a good idea, 'in theory', says VICTORIA MOORE. But it can also 'be confusing for those who like wine enough to know a bit about it but not enough to hoover up details as if studying it for Mastermind', because the 'exclusive' wine can be so different from the producer's normal output. A pair of Barolos by Terre da Vino presented a case study. One 2001 Terre da Vino Barolo (14.99) was produced exclusively for Marks & Spencer and tasted 'markedly richer' than 2001 Terre da Vino Barolo La Mora (14.99; Majestic), which was 'nothing fancier than the wine as the winemaker made it' - and all the better for it.

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Wine is reduced to onlooker status as JANCIS ROBINSON MW spends a hard day at the office of Michel Roux Jr, trying six different food courses, each with a possible match of beer or wine - and beer is the winner: 'I can reveal that in only two out of the six cases did I prefer the wine to the beer. A result for brewers everywhere!' One of her favourite matches is Stilton and Brie with Brakspear Triple, which Robinson discovers is 'made using "the rare double drop fermentation system", which certainly tastes as good as it sounds, and I feel inspired to introduce it to the world of wine'.

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY refuses to be duped by 'dodgy waiters and restaurants on the fiddle', and she offers her top tips for getting one up on the 'unctuous sommelier' with advice on how to detect a faulty wine and, perhaps more importantly, how to send it back: 'Be prepared for any number of excuses. Don't take it personally, stick to your guns and avoid losing your temper.' MacQuitty's top wines of the week include 2002 Boundary Road Shiraz, Margaret River (down 1.50 to 4.49 until 13 November; Co-op).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE continues her search for 'inexpensive, everyday' reds, coming away empty handed from a small Tesco branch, but making up the numbers at Booths with the 'gorgeous, savoury' 2003 La Sauvageonne Les Ruffes Cteaux du Languedoc (4.99) and the 'smooth, rounded, strawberry' 2001 Ochoa Tempranillo (6.99). Moore also comments that Booths offers a 5% discount with purchases of six bottles or over.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW goes time travelling and lands up in Tutankhamun's tomb. The mystery begins: 'The hieroglyph on its side suggested the jar had contained wine for the afterlife. But what sort?' The presence of tartaric and syringic acid leads to the first discovery: 'The Egyptians drank red wine.' His quest continues with the speculation that 'it tasted a bit like Madeira'. Ultimately, he decides that 'wine is basically the same drink today as it was when they sealed Tutankhamun's tomb'. Give or take a few advancements over the past 7,000 years, no doubt. Atkin's 'Best Cellars' from the Mediterranean include 2004

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Wines today, like nappies and Mars bars, are regarded like any other "fast-moving consumer goods". Rapid turnover is what matters,' writes ANTHONY ROSE. 'So, as long as the customers' and supermarkets' interests coincide, why not have sell-by dates on everyday wines?' Pioneering the drive for freshness in the mass market is Orbital Wines' Nick Dymoke-Marr, who has 'put a sell-by date on the back label of his Stormhoek range from South Africa, adding screwcaps to boot'. Waitrose, which stocks the wines, agrees with the concept and says that many of its own-label bag-in-box wines have a best-before date, while Sainsbury's does the same for its Fino Sherry and boxes.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

'White is the new red,' says JOANNA SIMON. Red wines have been shunted into the background by the joint white and ros market, with Sauvignon Blanc and blended whites emerging as the chief beneficiaries. According to Simon, 'blends aren't an inferior species made from winery leftovers', and she recommends a few examples from South Africa to prove this point, including 2005 Charles Back Chenin Blanc/Viognier (7.99; Somerfield, Tesco).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME goes in search of soft velvety reds, and his selection takes in the 'dangerously drinkable' 2003 Cosumano Benuara Nero d'Avola/Syrah (8.49; Oddbins) and the 'wonderfully plummy' 2004 Chteau Pey La Tour Bordeaux (5.99; Tesco).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JAMIE GOODE has gone autumnal, and 'with seasonal squashes and pumpkins to pair off', he suggests weighty wine matches. Two examples are 2004 Asda Chilean Chardonnay, Central Valley (2.97; Asda) and 2003 La Piuma Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (4.99; Waitrose).

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