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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Eating out in the modern era might be fun and varied, says ANTHONY ROSE, but are there too many options? To help deal with the wine side, one possibility is to go to a restaurant with a decent by-the-glass selection, which removes the problem of having to settle for a boring generic bottle'. But failing that, is there really one wine that suits all?
If it's Indian food on the table, Rose finds that a bland' ros such as 2006 Kumala Ros (5.49; Tesco) can work surprsingly well', but in general he concludes that it's horses for courses', when it comes to choosing the right bottle. For those who fancy splashing out, he recommends Bricout Champagne NV (12.49 from 24.99 until 10 October; Tesco).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

To avoid a case of pre-party panic', as well as saving a bob or two, JAMIE GOODE suggests buying a pre-selected mixed case of wine. Recommendations include the Marks & Spencer Dinner Party Mix (12 bottles for 85 - 7.08 per bottle).

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Time Out

Published:  23 July, 2008

SUSAN LOW tells readers to be more adventurous and visit their local independant wine merchant to check out new grape varieties.

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

'I came late to wine, after years of vodka and cocaine,' novelist and part-time wine columnist Jay McInerney tells JONATHAN RAY. Sitting in Greenwich Village, New York, McInerney says he used to despise California wines but now 'loves this stuff', referring to a glass of 2003 Brewer-Clifton Chardonnay. In his book, A Hedonist in the Cellar, a collection of his wine columns, he describes Blue Nun and Black Tower as 'the vinous equivalent of Dunkin' Donuts', and Pinotage as smelling 'like nail polish remover au poivre'. Ray's wines of the week are: 2004 Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Alsace Gewurztraminer (6.99); 2006 Stormhoek 'The Siren' Sauvignon Blanc (7.99; Define Food & Wine, Harrogate Fine Wines), 2005 Honeywood Tempranillo (5.99; Somerfield) and 2004 Climbing Merlot (8.99; Majestic).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Don't lose your bottle, says JOANNA SIMON, advising readers on how to spot the best and the bargains on a restaurant wine list. Over two pages she gives a good account of what to look out for. She recommends avoiding 'the big names' and says that 2005 was a good vintage almost everywhere. On mark-ups, Simon says Ransome's Dock in south London and Arbutus in London's Soho are two of the more enlightened restaurants when it comes to lower margins on more expensive wine.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Australia's Clare Valley produces some of the world's finest dry Rieslings' says Joanna Simon. One of her favourites is the mouthwatering' 2005 Knappstein Hand-picked Riesling (6.99-7.29; Majestic, Oddbins).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW states her case for the 2004 vintage in Bordeaux. She says: 'No matter how many times a right bank producer might reiterate how much better they felt 2001 was than 2000 for them, or how inexpensive the 2002s were, or the doubt expressed by so many producers about the effects of the 2003 heatwave summer - the market has decided that 2000, 2003 and 2005 are the vintages to buy.' She describes the best of the 2004s as 'delicious, even if they may not have the intensity of of the 2005s, and offer refreshment rather than opulence'. She also flags up the '04 Sauternes and Barsacs as 'impressive indeed'.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW returns to Brunello di Montalcino after a bad tasting experience in a badly heated tent four years previously. This time the experience is altogether more pleasant, with Turneresque sunrises and wines with prices 'north of 20'. He commends the 2001 vintage, but describes 2002 as 'awful'. Nevertheless, Atkin reckons the average Brunello is better than the other Sangiovese regions, Chianti and Montepulciano. He recommends: 2004 Rossi di Montalcino, Talenti (11.20; Bibendum); 2001 Brunello di Montalcino, Poggio alle Mura, Castello Banfi (22; Majestic); Brunello di Montalcino, Fattoria dei Barbi (26; Swig); and the 2001 Brunello di Montalcino, Costanti (34.95; Liberty).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

When it comes to claret, VICTORIA MOORE suggests eschewing St Emilion for the likes of Ctes de Castillon, which borders the more famous, similarly Merlot-based region. Her recommendations include: 2004 Seigneurs d'Aiguilhe, Ctes de Castillon (7.99; Waitrose); 2003 Domaine de Courteillac, Bordeaux Suprieur (8.95; Magnum Fine Wines); 2001 Chteau Greysac, Cru Bourgeois, Medoc (6.99 down from 9.99, when you buy two or more; Majestic); and 2003 Chteau Caronne Ste Gemme, Haut Medoc (10.50; Jeroboams).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE visits Tokaj in Hungary, home of one of the most famous wines in the world. He recommends: 2003 Disnk, late harvest, Tokaji Furmint (10; The Wine Society, Harrods); 1999 Royal Tokaji Asz 5 Puttonyos (8.99 for 25cl; Waitrose); 1999 Oremus Asz 5 Puttonyos (30 for 25cl; Flying Corkscrew, Philglass & Swiggot, Theatre of Wine): and 1993 Disznk Tokaji Asz 6 Puttonyos (35; Halifax Wine Co, Harrods).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Where once Chardonnay was a synonym for wet, white and wine, now Pinot Grigio has become the latest shorthand for another bland and vacuous style of dry white,' remarks ANTHONY ROSE. But this does't mean that it all deserves to be washed down the sink, he counters. To be fair, Pinot Grigio is so imitated because it is capable of such good things.' Examples picked out to back this up include 2005 Da Luca Pinot Grigio(4.99; Waitrose).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JAMIE GOODE does his best to match wines with the leftovers from the Sunday roast. His recommendations include: 2005 Cao Cosecha, Toro, Spain (4.49; Tesco) and 2005 Bellingham The Maverick, Chenin Blanc, South Africa (8.99; Majestic, Waitrose).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Who ate all the pies?' Well, MATTHEW JUKES admits to being 'a massive fan of the pie in all its forms' and chooses wines to match. This week's WoW is 2003 Le Grenache de Chteau Maris, Minervois La Livinre (11.99; Waitrose).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW attends a tasting of 1996 red Bordeaux to see how the top bottles are faring 10 years on. The right bank is dismissed straight away and she comments: It was decided to focus on the left bank, Mdoc and Graves, as the 1996 vintage was so much more successful there than in St-Emilion and Pomerol.' A number of examples from Margaux and the southern Mdoc suffer from under-ripeness', although Graves leaves Robinson very impressed'. The first growths and the best of St-Estphes and St-Juliens are worth hanging on to, she says, whereas the Pauillacs are ready to drink now. Robinson's overall favourites include all five first growths, as well as Pichon Baron, Domaine de Chevalier and Loville Poyferr.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE revisits Chianti and asks if it's ready to shed the image of the old straw-clad bottle for good. He remarks: This unlikely style icon of every trattoria table in the country was a fitting symbol of just how far Chianti's reputation has fallen in the sixties and seventies.' Improvements in vineyard and winemaking techniques have made a big difference, he discovers, which has all been in favour of Chianti Classico's main ingredient: Sangiovese. Planted in the right locations and properly handled, the Tuscan grape is now producing some superb quality wines.' Rose singles out a few examples to illustrate the point, including 2004 Taste the Difference Chianti Classico (7.59; Sainsbury's).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MACQUITTY was one of the nine judges present at the recent rerun of the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting comparing the top wines of France and California, and she didn't 'expect the Californians to come out on top'. She was to be proved wrong and commented: 'There was no denying the grace and refinement of the California wines. Other New World wine producers such as Australia and Chile are not in the same league.' The overall winner was Ridge's Monte Bello and the 1999 vintage can be found at Berry Bros and Rudd (102).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY visits the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms for an atmospheric tasting of Pol Roger, the great man's favourite fizz. Churchill liked to drink his Pol Roger by the pint and it is reckoned that in the last 10 years of his life more than 500 cases of the stuff passed through his cellars', reveals Ray. He is treated to both a recent vintage (1998) and a very old one (1914), in the company of Bill Gunn, managing director of Pol Roger. The former Champagne is described as crisp and vibrant, with wonderful creamy fruit' and although the older vintage is struggling to keep its bubbles, it is still remarkable'.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008


Chablis is the subject for VICTORIA MOORE this week, in her new-style Guardian column. It might be one of the wine world's most well-known names but that doesn't mean it's consistent, warns Moore. There are so many different Chablis tastes, it's hard to know which you might be getting,' she says. To give readers a head start, she recommends four examples of different styles, including the approachable' 2004 M&S Chablis (8.99; Marks & Spencer).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sherry's time has come,' declares JANE MacQUITTY, but it's no thanks to the latest release from Harvey's: On sale for a steep 7 or so in Tesco and Sainsbury's next month, it [Harvey's Orange Aperitif] smells of Terry's Chocolate Orange and tastes of orange cough sweets.' The overall category, however, is enjoying a resurgence, she reports: The average price that British drinkers are prepared to pay for a bottle of Sherry is up from a rock-bottom 4.64 in 2002 to 5.55 in 2006.' For a winter aperitif, she recommends Old Amontillado Sanlucar, Hidalgo (8.60; Tanners).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

With the current spell of tropical weather, VICTORIA MOORE concedes that 'talking about Port might appear to be an exercise in contrariness'. But not if it's chilled, she argues, and this is what they do with aged Tawny Port in the Douro. 'It's a delicious thing to pull out for the cheese course', she remarks and her top suggestions include M&S 20-Year-Old Tawny Port (21.99).

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