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

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME's pick of wines to suit beef dishes includes 1998 Navajas Reserva Rioja (7.99; Morrisons); 2002 Marqus de Casa Concha Merlot (7.99; Sainsbury's); and 2003 Leaping Horse Shiraz (4.99; Waitrose).

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON explores the 'minefield' that is choosing a wine to take to a dinner party: 'If you play safe with something achingly familiar, such as Chablis or Chardonnay, you'll look unimaginative. If you go for something more esoteric, you risk your host not knowing what to serve it with: anyone for Monbazillac with herrings?'

Read more...

InBev seals A-B merger for $52bn

Published:  23 July, 2008

Stella brewer InBev has drawn to a close its acquisition of Budweiser manufacturer Anheuser-Busch with a $52 billion offer being accepted early this morning (July 14).

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

The most valuable bottle of wine in history, says JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON, was a 1787 Chteau Lafite, which sold at auction in 1985 for 105,000. He also informs us that a 'butter-fingered New York waiter' dropped a bottle of 1787 Chteau Margaux in 1989. Thankfully, insurers paid the 141,000 bill. If you think you have a bottle in your cellar that could be worth a small fortune, Bracey-Gibbon has the following advice: 'The bottle must have a label; the label should not be faded (indicates exposure to sunlight); the level in the bottle must not have dropped significantly; the label should show no signs of "weeping" (where wine has dribbled out due to poor storage); and the cork should not be dry (push downwards on the cork - if it drops, drink it now).'

Read more...

The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES' recommendations include 2003 Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Shiraz (down 2 to 8.99 until 7 May; Waitrose): 'This wine gets a liberal dunking in very smart new oak barrels, giving it luxury and breeding.' Next up is 2003 Cruz de Piedra Garnacha (4.95-5.50; Great Western Wine, Mason & Mason Wines, Michael Jobling Wines): 'This wine is a stunner, and the value for money afforded by its price tag is tremendous. Made from old Grenache bush vines, it is dark, meaty, spicy and herbal.' Jukes' Wine of the Week is 2004 Domaine Bgude Chardonnay (69.33/case; Goedhuis & Co): 'This is a wondrous wine, which typifies Chardonnay's grace and style. You would have to trade up to a Chablis, at a tenner, to compete with this delightful, crystal-clear, refreshing, apple- and pear-scented beauty.'

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE was on the same trip, but admits that tasting unfinished wines makes predicting their future only a little more reliable than a village fte palmist'. But he does believe that the vintage has tended to favour chteaux with the best locations and resources', adding that prices need to be cut to 2002 levels or below.

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE recommends a Lambrusco - 2003 Ermete Medici Concerto Lambrusco Reggiano (7-10; Booths, Les Caves de Pyrene, Harrods, House of Fraser, Valvona & Crolla) to be precise - and gives readers a fascinating insight into her psyche at the same time: I'd like to open the bottle on the first properly warm Saturday in spring. On such days, my cousin and I used to scramble through her kitchen window on to her tiny balcony, sip a cool beer, and gossip and watch everyone walking up and down the street and wonder again whether the two men in the flat opposite, very clearly naked from at least the hip up, ever wore clothes when at home.'

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...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY seems to be making up for lost time. Despite giving up booze every January, he ended up in a bit of a haze' during a recent stay in Venice to sample Prosecco, and this week, throws his heart and soul into a cocktail class in Brighton: With regular sampling, I get confused as to which cocktail is being made. I am not alone.' Ray passes his multiple-choice exam at the end of the class, although he admits that it is not exactly conducted under exam conditions... one student raising his hand, not to ask how much time we have left, but to order another strawberry and balsamic Mojito'.

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY organises an impromptu tasting of Blue Nun and Black Tower for David Roberts MW. Rays find the Blue Nun just this side of harmless', but Roberts is downcast': I just think it's sad. Germany produces some of the finest white wines in the world, but you wouldn't think so given this evidence.' Ray then meets Ernst Loosen, who took over his family's Mosel estates in the late 1980s. Everyone thought I was mad,' he tells Ray, trying to sell Riesling when all that people wanted to drink was New World Chardonnay. It was so frustrating and nobody wanted to know. But 20 years' hard work has paid off, and I truly believe there has been a renaissance and that Riesling, especially German Riesling, is fashionable once again.'

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON admits that a supermarket buyer once approached her and begged her to promote Riesling in her wine columns. I'm not here to help supermarkets or anyone else sell their wines, but I would like to see people drink more Riesling. In blind tastings, Riesling always comes out well, but when people know what they are drinking, it is blighted by its own image: Riesling is still viewed as unsophisticated, sweet, insipid.' She recommends 2003 Great Southern Riesling (4.19 until 10 May; Tesco); 2003 Jacob's Creek Reserve Riesling (7.97; selected Asda from 7 May); and 2003 Urziger Wrzgarten Riesling Alte Reben Trocken , Rebenhof (14.99; The Winery, Liberty Wines).

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

California sales may be going from strength to strength in the UK, but JANE MacQUITTY isn't impressed: Gallo's evil Sierra Valley range and Blossom Hill's foul, sickly-sweet, non-vintage duo are depressing enough, but flying off the shelves even faster are the sweeter pink or blush styles sold as white Zinfandel, with residual sugar levels easily as high as the once-popular Germans. White Zinfandel, Lord help us, is the new Liebfraumilch or Piesporter Michelsberg.' She doesn't rate the 16 Benchmark Wines, but does have time for Ravenswood's 2002 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel (6.99; Waitrose); 2002 Fetzer Valley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon (6.99; Co-op, Sainsbury's); and 2002 Avantegarde Pinot Noir (13.99; Asda).

Read more...

The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES' favourite fizzes include 1996 Alfred Gratien (35; The Wine Society); NV Larmandier-Bernier, Terre de Vertus, Premier Cru, Non-Dos (21.50; Vine Trail); and his Wine of the Week is NV A. Margaine Brut (17; The Flying Corkscrew).

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW got more than he bargained for when visiting the Hunter Valley a few years ago. When his glass of Shiraz was full of sediment, the man at the counter told him: Jeez, I'm sorry mate. That wine's been throwing a deposit recently. I usually run it through my wife's pantihose before we serve it.' Atkin says most red wines benefit from decanting, particularly those made with reductive' varieties like Syrah and Grenache, and that it is akin to opening a window in a stuffy room'.

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

The cost of producing wine in Argentina is seven to 10 times cheaper than in France, according to ANTHONY ROSE. But why is the country playing second fiddle to its Andean rival Chile? At the time when Chile made its presence felt in the UK, Argentina was still making oceans of plonk, and old-fashioned oxidised plonk at that. With a fragmented industry of 1,200 wine companies compared with Chile's 200, Argentina lacks economies of scale, and it's only since the mid-1990s that it has come out of its shell.'

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

After berating her mother for serving her a G&T with a manky slice of lemon, VICTORIA MOORE recommends 1999 Pewsey Vale The Contours Museum Reserve Riesling (10.99; Oddbins Fine Wine, Roberson's, Philglas & Swiggot, Premier Vintners); 2003 Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc (6.99; Sainsbury's, Waitrose); and 2003 Les Bastions Ros, Ctes de Saint-Mont, Gascony (4.99; Adnams).

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

To accompany Chinese food, GILES KIME selects 2004 Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Gris (6.99; Waitrose); 2004 Cono Sur Pinot Noir (4.99; Majestic); and 2003 Via Floriana Chardonnay (3.99, Sainsbury's).

Read more...

Berry Bros & Rudd appoints new ad agency

Published:  23 July, 2008

Wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros & Rudd (BB&R) has appointed advertising agency Tullo Marshall Warren (TMW) to handle a range of services including brand development for the company.

Read more...

Retail sales dip in June after May blip

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK retail sales fell by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis during June 2008, when compared with the same month last year, latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show.

Read more...

M&S dumps own-brand policy to halt sales slide

Published:  23 July, 2008

In a dramatic bid to boost ailing food-and-drink sales, Marks & Spencer has begun to trial the selling of top food-and-drink brands in 19 of its stores in the north east of England.

Read more...