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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Whatever the tasting, you are guaranteed to get at least one person who will register their dislike for oaky whites, says Joanna Simon. The problem is not the oak per se, she adds, but the way it is harnessed. "It's not the oak they dislike, but heavy-handed use of it, often in the form of cheap oak chipsinstead of expensive new oak barrels containing wine". Simon sympathises whether you dislike oak or not and says the "one grape you can rely on if you want to avoid oaky wine is Riesling". In this vein, she recommends the 2007 Riesling Spy Valley (9.99, Bibendum).