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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

'The Roussillon is currently the most exciting wine region in France', according to TIM ATKIN MW. Grard Gauby is credited with proving the potential of the appellation, and Atkin comments: 'His wines aren't cheap, but they deserve to be compared with the best of Bordeaux and Burgundy.' Recommendations include 2004 Domain du Clos des Fes, Les Sorcires (9.69; Oddbins Fine Wine) and 2002 Domaine Gauby Vieilles Vignes Blanc,

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Reconstructed lad TIM ATKIN MW used to indulge in the 'Vindaloo Challenge' while at university: 'Six of us went to an Indian restaurant and ordered the hottest curry on the menu. We then placed an ice bucket full of cold beer on the table and started eating. The first person to reach for a sip of lager paid for the meal.' Joking aside, Atkin points out that very few of the 8,000 curry restaurants in the UK 'have decent wine lists', and that a common listing is Piat d'Or, 'which tells you all you need to know'. After chatting to a number of sommeliers, he admits that the next time he braves a Vindaloo Challenge, 'there'll be a bottle of German Riesling Kabinett in the ice bucket'.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's 20 years since TIM ATKIN MW started writing about wine. Asking himself whether he is still excited about wine, he replies that 80% are unremarkable (or worse), 20% are worth writing about and, of that, maybe 5% 'make me want to dance on the spot'. Three of the latter are 2000 Tesco Finest Barolo (12.99), 2003 Domaine Tournon Mount Benson Shiraz (14.99; stockists from Mentzendorff) and 2004 Verdicchio Marotti Campi, Marche (7.19; Oddbins).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's fashion week for JANCIS ROBINSON MW as she takes

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY is also loving Argentina and asks why 'British drinkers still treat its wines with suspicion'. Malbec is Argentina's 'strongest suit', and this becomes all the more apparent to her after the recent Wines of Argentina tasting - 'Gone are the rustic Malbecs of a decade ago, and in their place are gorgeous, chunky, rich reds.' Her top-end choice is 2003 Lurton Brothers Chacayes (34.95; Robersons), moving down the price range to 2005 Catena Argento Malbec (4.99; Sainsbury's).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Terms such as 'riserva', 'reserva' and 'old vines' are questioned by ANTHONY ROSE. How private is Robert Mondavi's Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon?, he asks. The overuse of such terms merely weakens them. Wines that deliver include 2005 Tesco Finest Reserva Especial Casablanca Valley Tapiwey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (7.99), 2001 Fontodi Chianti Classico Riserva (around 28.95; Bennetts Fine Wines, Noel Young Wines, Reid Wines) and 2002 Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel (23.50; Bacchus Wine). Rose's 'under a fiver' wine is 2004 Anjou Chenin Blanc, Bougrier (4.99; Oddbins); 'under a tenner' is 2004 Terra Felix Mourvdre (6.99; Hoults, Knightwick Wines) and 'splash out' is 2003 Danie de Wet Misty River Chardonnay (12.99; Tesco).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME ventures off the beaten track with a few unusual whites, including 2004 Gobelsburger Grner Veltliner (5.99; Waitrose) and 2003 D'Arenberg The Money Spider, Roussanne (8.99; Oddbins).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

The latest drinks craze sweeping Japan, according to RICHARD EHRLICH, is fruit vinegar. The Oaks Heart vinegar shop in Tokyo sells more than 40 varieties, including mango, pear, and strawberry. What's more, they're all supposed to aid the circulation and digestion, combat fatigue and stimulate the appetite. In the States, Ehrlich reports that Coca Cola has launched a range of Minute Maid orange juices in a bid to combat the dominance of Pepsi Cola's Tropicana brand. He recommends three non-alcoholic favourites of his own: AriZona Pomegranate Green Tea (2; Holland & Barrett, www.arizonabev.co.uk); Fentimans Ginger Beer (1/275ml; widely available); and Mawsons Sarsaparilla (4.99/375ml; www.mawsonstraditionaldrinks.com).'

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

More Rioja ruminations from JOANNA SIMON, and it's a positive result: 'The country that was saddled with the image of plonk-producer-in-chief for so long is now bucking the floundering Old World trend.' She recommends 2003 Marqus de Concordia Signa Tempranillo (5.99; Tesco).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Italian wines are foodie numbers,' says MATTHEW JUKES as he introduces his guide to the complex wines of this Old World stalwart. 'The main attribute that Italian wines possess is a crunchy, refreshing lick of acidity on the finish. It is this magical ingredient that makes them so refreshing and also so adept at slicing through cheese or meat dishes.' This week's food focus (relating to the accompanying three-week series of excerpts from Jamie Oliver's new book of Italian recipes) is salads and pasta dishes, and Jukes's choice of wines to match include 2004 Tesco Finest Pinot Grigio, Isonzo del Friuli (5.99; Tesco) and 2004 Rosso di Montepulciano, Poliziano, Tuscany (8.99; Booths supermarkets, Sainsbury's).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE has also taken a trip to the Rioja tasting, and he's quick to comment on the new and improved treatment of oak: 'Wines aren't left to loiter in oak barrels to become dried out and toothless.' One of his favourites is 2001 Finca Allende Tinto (around 17; Harvey Nichols, Booths supermarkets).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Chianti is a wine with which you can hold an intelligent debate,' says VICTORIA MOORE; the downside is 'that picking one has become a lottery'. Moore suggests a few of her own favourites, including 2003 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico (14.45; Liberty Wines - available from December.)

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY's love affair with Guinness goes back a long time. When Ray was suffering from glandular fever aged 19, his mother dashed to the chemist, while his father simply called Oddbins for 24 cans of the black stuff to be delivered to his son's bedside. During a trip to Guinness's St James's Gate brewery in Dublin, Ray learns that there are, in fact, 20 different types of Guinness, including Guinness Extra Smooth (only available in Ghana), and Guinness Extra Special (only in Belgium). And brewmaster Fergal Murray finally dispels the rumour that Irish Guinness is better than its UK counterpart: 'It's a complete myth. They taste exactly the same, although for some historical reason, the Irish version is 4.2%, while the English one is 4.1%.'

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH has always been a keen clubber, saying, 'There are few better ways to learn about wine than by talking it through with others.' And while this used to involve a night in with a few like-minded friends, there is now a new wine club - called Virtual Wine - that is geared towards the e-generation. Ehrlich reports: 'You buy a case, two bottles of six different wines, and then go online at a specified time to discuss them with fellow users and a group from the company itself.' It may be 'new and untested', but Ehrlich reckons it's also 'an intriguing idea that deserves a look'. His top corks include 2001 Gulfi Nerojbleo, Sicily (10.69; Oddbins).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY has also been giving some time to Rioja in Retail, and she bemoans 'the Spanish obsession with excessive ageing in ropey old oak barrels'. However, there are a good many youngsters making up for old wood, and MacQuitty reports, 'Most merchants credit crianzas for the record 23 million litres of Rioja we drank last year.' She recommends trying 2002 Vega del Rioja Crianza from Bodegas Navajas (5.99; Morrisons).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Argentina is the focus for JONATHAN RAY this week. With back-to-back trade tastings for Chile and Argentina at Lord's cricket ground, Ray is feeling 'a sense of South American

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

The first series of Richard and Judy's wine club drew in about 70,000 members, and LYNN BARBER joins the famous couple to discuss the launch of the second series. 'What makes the programme great is the experts - ice queen Susy Atkins, exuberant Joe Wadsack and dishy Jean-Marc Sauboua aka "sex on legs",' says Barber. And it would seem their presence on the show is very much needed, since Judy admits, 'I'm not desperately fond of wine.' Barber sympathises with the judges, commenting, 'It must be a bit disheartening for them when Richard declares that the difference between a 10 wine and a 80 wine is 'psychosomatic', or when Judy says stoutly that she 'just can't stand the taste', but Barber also acknowledges that the couple's 'formidable power to engage and educate their audience' will be enough to keep the show on the road.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Three wines to drink 'young and fresh' from JOANNA SIMON: 2004 La Basca Uvas Blancas (4.99; Marks & Spencer); 2004 Evans & Tate Classic Semillon/Sauvignon (5.99; Asda); and 2004 Saumur Les Nivires (4.99; Waitrose).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

A clutch of southern French reds enchanted GILES KIME. Among them were 2004 Chteau Guiot Costires de Nmes (4.79; Majestic), 2001 Grard Bertrand Pinot Noir (6.52; Asda) and, making its second appearance in the press this week, 2003

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Why wait until 6pm to reach for the corkscrew?' asks JAMIE GOODE. Why indeed, when there are wines such as 2004

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