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Wines in the press - May 20-23

Published:  23 May, 2011

The Guardian
Fiona Beckett says where she was staying in the Languedoc recently, you could buy rosé from the local cave for just £1.25 a litre, or 94p a bottle and it was exactly what she wanted at lunchtime, "light, crisp, refreshing and surprisingly well made".

We have murderously high levels of taxation in the UK, but still you can't get anything like this for a price, adds Beckett. The huge success of rosé in recent years seems to have persuaded producers that anything pink will sell. It also seems to have a cachet that enables producers to charge well over the odds. For example Laurent Perrier rosé Champagne, costs £45-£60 compared with £30-£35 for the standard non-vintage.

The upside of the rosé craze is that there is at least plenty of choice. Beckett gives the Loire as a pointer if you like a delicate rosé, and recomemnds Domaine Michel Girard Sancerre Rosé 2009 (£13.99, Virgin Wines). Rosé should be drunk young and cold, she adds.

The Telegraph

Victoria Moore has wanted to meet Italian producer, Silvio for years. His Vintage Tunina, a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia, Ribolla Gialla and Picolit, made in Friuli close to the Slovenian border, is an unusual wine, she says.

Moore has paid as much as £40 to buy it, and just over double in a restaurant. But she's not very keen on Jermann's other two top whites, Capo Martino, a blend of local grapes, and Dreams, a rather oaky Chardonnay. But the other one of Jermann's wines that is "utterly brilliant" is called Vinnae. "Drink as you watch the sunset, which is exactly what we did."

The Independent

Anthony Rose confess that until last year, he was in the take-it-or-leave-it camp regarding sherry. Then, Gonzalez Byass celebrated its 175th anniversary with a first-ever, limited production of its Tio Pepe En Rama.

He bought six bottles and says he couldn't get enough of its bone-dry, savoury-salted caramel tang. Now they have bottled a second lot at around £13. Others have followed suit with en rama launches of their own, Rose adds. Notably Equipe Navajos, which you'll find at independent wine merchants and in tapas bars such as Abel Lusa's recently launched London restaurant Capote y Toros.

If you can't get along to one of the new tapas bars springing up right now, Rose suggests buying some Manzanilla olives, salted almonds and a few wafer-thin slices of Iberico ham to enjoy with Tesco's Finest Fino and Manzanilla (£5.29), and Marks & Spencer's savoury Fino Pale Dry Sherry (£5.99).

The Financial Times

Last month, Jancis Robinson MW, says she was lucky enough to eat at arguably the two most famous restaurants in the world - Noma in Copenhagen and El Bulli on the Costa Brava. It set her thinking about the increasingly fashionable subject of food and wine matching.

The El Bulli sommelier confessed, Adrià's style of food is so eclectic, and his courses often so little more than a mouthful, that it would be practically impossible to field a new, suitable wine with each dish. Robinson says there's a great wine list at El Bulli and there has been a succession of great sommeliers there, but with menus like this the best option is either to choose something as flexible as sherry, or simply to choose a bottle that appeals to you and alternate sips from it with cleansing gulps of water.

The Mail on Sunday

Ever turned up at a dinner party with a bottle of white wine and seen your host's nose turn upwards because it's not a red? Asks Olly Smith. There are plenty of whites that positively ooze complexity, richness and class, and compared to their red counterparts, they're often superb value. Smith says he was recently bowled over at a Majestic fine-wine tasting by Emmerich Knoll Schütt Smaragd Grüner Veltliner 2009.

While its £30 price tag may sound steep, in the world of fine reds prices of £50 and upwards are common for the kind of complexity on offer here. In terms of flavour, there's no question that white wines can have just as much intensity, Smith says he tried South African Viognier at 15%, "with enough oomph to floor a rhino".

He adds you could try leading red-wine drinkers gently into whites by giving them rosé, but he reckon it'd be better to hit them with a white so radically different from any red that they've nothing to compare it to, such as a citrus-fuelled New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a snappy Aligoté from Burgundy or the crisp, dry whites of Italy.