Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY picks 2004 Brown Brothers Dry Muscat (3.99); Tesco Finest Manzanilla Sherry (5.06); and 2004 Campaneo Old Vines Garnacha (5.99; Sainsbury's).

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME chooses an Italian selection: 2004 Poliziano Rosso di Montepulciano (8.99; Sainsbury's); 2003 Waitrose Chianti (3.99); and 1999 Asda Extra Special Barolo (10.98).

Read more...

The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES's Wine of the Week is 2004 Pinot Grigio Ramato, Visintini (8.50, or 7.50 each when 12 are bought; Lea & Sandeman): 'You are guaranteed to fall head over heels for this wine. It is luscious and silky, with grapefruit, melon and pear fruit, and a prickle of lively acidity.'

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON's favourite summer drinks include NV Krug Ros (185; Harvey Nichols); Blason de Bourgogne Crmant (8.99; Tesco); and 2003 Cuve des Oliviers Massamier Ros (4.95; Berry Bros & Rudd).

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE says that white wine is 'often served too cold', while reds are 'just as often served too warm, in the mistaken belief that room temperature is the temperature of a modern, centrally heated flat rather than a shivery 17th-century English country house'. For a standard Cabernet or Shiraz, 1518˚C is best, but for lighter reds, such as Beaujolais, Loire or Valpolicella, 1012˚C is ideal. Whites should be served between 814˚C, and 'the cheaper and sweeter the white, the cooler' the better.

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY profiles some lesser-known grape varieties, such as Carmenre, Tannat and Sauvignon Gris. He says no one could be bothered to replant Carmenre in Bordeaux post-phylloxera, 'because of its perceived lack of structure and finesse', despite top-class Chilean Carmenre being 'plummy, soft and supple, and excellent with roast meats'. Tannat, which originates from south-west France, 'makes powerful, punchy wines that take an age to mature', but in Uruguay, where it is the country's most widely planted variety, they are 'softer and fruitier, but still pack a punch'. And the rediscovery of Sauvignon Gris, according to Bill Gunn MW, 'is as exciting as the re-emergence from the jungle of one of the Victorian cultivars in the Lost Gardens of Heligan'.

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE sympathises with Coleen McLoughlin (Wayne Rooney's free-spending other half, in case you were wondering), when the lass declared recently: 'When we go to posh restaurants, I always want to ask, You got any Blossom Hill?' Moore's sympathy appears to run dry, however, when she tastes Blossom Hill (BH) for herself: 'I started experimenting with some blind tastings, throwing in BH with other brands and similar wines at the same price. To my surprise, I identified the BH every time even if I hadn't tried that particular varietal before simply by selecting the dullest, most insipid and, often, sweetest in the line-up. The Sauvignon Blanc was particularly inert.'

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY urges his readers to seek out Australian wines that 'exhibit a true sense of place'. He says that this can be tough, given the 'dominance of Brand Australia, where grapes are sourced from all around the country by enormous conglomerates, resulting in wines with no regional characteristics at all'. He profiles a number of Victoria-based producers, including Brown Brothers, Campbells, and De Bortoli

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Harpers would like to say a fond farewell to JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON. It's tricky to see how his shoes can be filled, but Jamie Goode will undoubtedly give it his best shot. Fitting, then, that Bracey-Gibbon signs off with a vintage piece of food matching: steaks. Firstly, he recommends 2003 Waitrose Chianti (3.99), 'a decent, well-made Chianti in the classic style'; he also opts for 2004 The Maverick Chenin Blanc (7.99; Majestic), 'a terrific wine with all the perfumed subtlety of the Chenin grape plus great tropical fruit'; and 2004 Bouza Merlot (6.49; Great Western Wines) is a 'Pomerol-style classic red, ideal for red meats, but will go down on its own with worrying ease'.

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MACQUITTY admits that wine and barbecued food is a 'difficult marriage', and says that 'good, all-purpose warm-weather wines' work best, such as 2004 Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Pinot Ros (8.49 each when two are bought; Majestic); 2004 Casillero del Diablo Shiraz Ros (4.675.99; widely available).

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

'The best thing about choosing wine for a wedding,' says VICTORIA MOORE, 'is the mammoth and inevitably drunken tasting session that precedes placing any order. I think not spitting on such occasions is justified.' As an alternative to Champagne, she suggests a trio from Oddbins: Jansz NV (10.99), Chandon's Green Point (12.99) or Ferrari Prosecco (14.99).

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW visits Madeira, a popular Saga holiday destination, to admire the resident oldies. 'Most of the finest old wines I've drunk in my life have been Madeiras,' he reveals. Madeira is 'virtually indestructible' because it's fortified, high in natural acidity and deliberately oxidised.

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Renowned stripper (and part-time wine writer) TIM ATKIN MW profiles Carmenre ('not a great grape, whatever the Chileans claim'). He says that in Bordeaux, the grape is virtually non-existent, despite it being 'partly responsible for some of the region's greatest wines', and it is still unknown how the Chileans were sold so much of it by the French. After tasting more than 100 Chilean Carmenres, Atkin concludes that 'ultra-concentrated, heavily oaked Carmenre is not necessarily a good thing. The variety is best consumed when it's young, dark, and full of primary flavours.' His recommendations include 2003 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo (4.99; Tesco, Majestic); 2003 VOE Adobe (5.75; Vintage Roots); 2003 Errzuriz (4.49; Asda); and 2003 Tabal Reserva (8.99; Buckingham Vintners).

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON thinks that Majestic's offering 'has taken a quantum leap' and recommends three of its wines: 2001 Sonoma Creek Chardonnay (3.99 each when two bottles are bought); 2004 Mas Las Cabes Muscat Sec (5.99 each for two); and 2002 Bourgogne Cte Chalonnaise Les Gorgres, Michel Sarrazin (8.99 each for two).

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

In the latest of his interviews with wine-loving celebs, JONATHAN RAY asks actress Jennifer Ehle how she copes with swigging glass after glass of caramel-coloured soda water (under the guise of Champagne) in the role of Tracy Lord in the Old Vic theatre's production of The Philadelphia Story. 'Because I'm required to drink it pretty rapidly,' she replies, 'the worst thing is trying so hard not to burp. Not very ladylike, I know, but I usually manage to wait until it's someone else's line.' Off-stage, Ehle has developed a taste for Prosecco ('I just like the way it makes me feel'), in particular Ca' Rosa Prosecco di Valdobbiadene (7.79; Oddbins). She also had a taste for cocktails, but admits that motherhood has taken its toll: 'When I last looked, the cocktail shakers were in my son's toy box being used as drums and rocket boosters.'

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Vodka may have taken its place as the 'darling of the cocktail circuit' during the nineties, but IAN WISNIEWSKI reckons that it's high time for a gin revival: 'Served cold and bold, the gin and tonic is being rediscovered. Many people are introduced to gin through this archetypal combination, so it is vital to apply zero-tolerance to any G&T abuse (served in a wine glass with warm tonic, no ice, maybe limp lemon, maybe not). Moreover, it's often assumed that, mixed with tonic, a gin's character doesn't show through, which implies that the brand doesn't matter. It does.'

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW was rather perturbed that upon her arrival at the generic German wine tasting, every other person there was keen to introduce her to 'the director of the International Sugar Organization'. On the 2004 harvest, she notes that by the end of September, 'acidity levels in Germany's great Riesling grapes were still worryingly high. But fortunately, as so often in Germany, good weather in October finally brought ripeness. Just about everything in 2004 was the opposite of sweltering, dry 2003, and again, just as in Bordeaux, the most common word on every wine producer's lips about the 2004s is classic.

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

When it comes to matching wine and salad, look no further than JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON. After an unfortunate experiment with a Thai salad and red wine, he's sticking with 'fresh, fruity whites'. For a 'peppery, chillied fusion salad', he recommends 2004 Layda Sauvignon Blanc (7.49; Oddbins), which displays 'honeyed, mint flavours on top of the usual fresh, gooseberry, grassy notes'. He also picks 2002 Trierer Deutschherrenberg Riesling (5.99; Majestic) and Denbies Chalk Ridge (5.49; Sainsbury's).

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Concluding his summer drinking round-up, JONATHAN RAY picks a host of wines suitable for the great British summer. For picnics, he suggests the 'light and frothy' 2004 Brown Brothers Moscato (5.99; Tesco); for barbecues, he opts for 2003 The Boulders Viognier (4.99; Co-op), which 'has no shortage of spicy, aromatic flavour'; while for weekday suppers he plumps for the 'charming, light and elegant' NV Prosecco (6.99; Marks & Spencer).

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

With 'wedding month' and the peak of the British social season approaching, JANCIS ROBINSON MW urges British hosts to save themselves a fortune 'by taking the trouble to buy their Champagne in France'. Those seeking 'seriously interesting Champagne, as opposed to an effortless bargain', should go to the Champagne region itself and buy direct, she advises. 'The single best-value cuve I found on my travels last November was NV Cuve Pierre Moncuit-Delos Grand Cru. & This blend, based on the 2000 vintage and then just e15 a bottle, was the one I raved about in my recent survey of non-vintage Champagnes,' she says. Robinson advises that those intending to visit Champagne should consult Philippe Boucheron's new travel book, Destination Champagne, which is 'full of practical details on where to stay, eat, buy Champagne and what to do once it is bought'.

Read more...