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Wines in the Press- December 4-6

Published:  08 December, 2009


On presenting his annual wine awards, Tim Atkin MW says the good news is, "that not since 1990 has the world enjoyed such a consistently promising vintage as it did in 2009." He adds, "we may have to wait a while to drink the top red wines, but the 2009 whites are already starting to filter on to the market from the southern hemisphere."

But he questions if there will there be any buyers for these wines, however great? He says Champagne and Chianti are just two regions to have been hit by falling demand and informs us there will be a lot of bargains around next year.

Atkin advises people to trade up in 2010. "Remember that wine's sweet spot in the UK lies somewhere between £5.99 and £9.99. Below that, it's hard to find interesting bottles. But with £10 in your hand, you can still drink exciting wines," he says.

To view his winners for 2010 go to


The Telegraph

Jonathon Ray says this time last year he was in New Zealand, having managed to persuade his wife and sons into foregoing and English Xmas.

"Inevitably, we drank plenty of Kiwi Sauvignon and Pinot, and drank jolly well too." Although Ray admits he did miss his Christmas glasses of Claret and has vowed to make amends this year.

He gives his festive recommendations from New Zealand, Bordeaux and beyond and says, "every bottle is ideal for Christmas lunch, dinner or for sharing with friends."

Ray begins with Sainsbury's Prosecco Frizzante NV, Italy (£4.99, Sainsbury's) and Griffith Park Rosé NV, Australia (£6.98, Asda) which he says are "perfect bubbles-on-a-budget."


The Independent

 "After the impressive autumn Waitrose tasting," Anthony Rose decided to splash out on a few on offer bottles of the Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Champagne 2002 and Vincent Paris Cornas 2007.

But he explains when going online the Vincent Paris Cornas was "conspicuous by its absence", and after he made some enquiries was told it would appear on the last day of the offer.

Rose says as a consumer he shares the frustrations of readers who go looking for recommended offers only to find that the wine is sold out or otherwise unavailable. "With so many special offers around this Christmas, there will be some bargains worth having, but you do often have to get in there early - and even then you may find yourself frustrated," he says.


The SundayTelegraph

Susy Atkins thinks fortified wines are worth getting to grips with, as "port, sherry and madeira make fabulous presents, and are complex, delectable wines to sip in the winter months".

 She says that this year she is recommending two highly contrasting dry styles of sherry, Tio Pepe "to keep in the fridge and bring out chilled with salty snacks, seafood and cured ham" and amontillado "to serve at room temperature with clear soups like consommé and toasted nuts, or to sip while picking at a chunk of parmesan". 

Also she suggests not to miss matching sweet madeira with desserts, too.


The Financial Times

 It is much easier to find value under £5 than for whites, says Jancis Robinson MW on advising her top red festive recommendations. In her opinion the best tip for red wine value is to head for the 2007 Rhônes and she says to take advantage of red Bordeaux deals.

 Robinson thinks the Borsao, Gran Tesoro 2008, Campo de Borja over-delivers and is excellent value at (£3.99, Tesco)