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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Ordinarily you might think a pint of beer would be a more suitable accompaniment to a pie but Jamie Goode feels that with the "upmarket ingredients" they are often cooked from nowadays, wine is the perfect choice. He recommends the 2007 Malbec Mendoza (Tesco, 2.99) for its "smoky" qualities while the 2004 Ripasso di Valpolicella (Waitrose, 8.99) is "satisfyingly complex" and a good match for steak and kidney pie.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Fitting wine choices around vegetarians is a challenging but important aspect of catering nowadays, according to Victoria Moore. This is exacerbated in winter when "it's not easy to add a wine into the mix without it getting in the way". Pasta and risotto are good options but often seen as a "cop-out" so instead opt for butternut squash with Ros or couscous with Tempranillo. Other potentials include the 2006 Origin Organics Vin de Pays d'Oc (6.99, Wine Rack) to go with mushrooms or the 2006 Chteau du Cray Bourgogne Aligot (6.49, Majestic) for its partnership with macaroni cheese.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Tim Atkin MW seems to have more than just the initials after his name coordinated with Jancis Robinson MW - as his weekly column is also devoted to the delights of South African whites. "I feel South Africa's white wines are still vastly superior to its reds," he writes, adding that Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Chenin Blanc are the stand-out varieties. He picks out the "intense" 2007 Sauvignon Blanc Springfield Special Cuve (Sainsbury's, 8.99) and the 2006 Late Harvest Riesling, Elgin (Jeroboams, 11 per half bottle).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Many UK consumers make a beeline for supermarket reds when they think South African but it is in the white wine aisles where this country is really accelerating, says Jancis Robinson MW. It is "one of the very few non-European wine producing countries with an outstanding track record for white wine production," she argues. Chenin Blanc is the country's most planted variety and not without good reason, Robinson feels, adding that while "South Africa's best reds are admirable" the "lesser ones can taste strangely earthy". On a recent tasting trip, the MW awarded eight South African wines more than 17 out of 20 points representing a "very good mark" on her sliding scale. Robinson's white recommendations with approximate retail prices include; the 2006 FMC Chenin Blanc, Ken Foster, Stellenbosch (17); the 2006 Chardonnay Reserve, Vergelegen, Stellenbosch (13); the 2006 Chardonnay, Oak Valley, Elgin (15) and the 2006 Vergelegen White, Stellenbosch (22).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Yes, Jonathan Ray is also on the chocolate matching search. While a Recioto della Valpolicella works a treat, beer seems a better option. Try Brakspear Triple or Worthington White Shield with everyday chocolate like Cadbury's Fruit & Nut or even Ferrero Rocher. Pick of the beers is Belgium's Bacchus Raspberry Beer (2.34 per 37.5cl bottle, Sainsbury's).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

In the second part of her Valentine's special, SUSY ATKINS leaves pink bubbly behind for the second most seductive drink' - luscious, golden dessert wine.
Her recommendations include the 2003 Concha y Toro Private Reserve Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc (6.99 for 37.5cl; Majestic); 2003/4 Chteau Liot, Sauternes (9.99 for 37.cl; Waitrose) and Hidalgo's Pedro Ximnez Viejo Napoleon (9.99 for 75cl; Majestic).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sommeliers might have become less "snooty", says Susy Atkins but that doesn't mean it's any easier to order a bottle of wine in a restaurant. She recommends heading for the mid-section of the list which, in her opinion, offers the best value and starting with a glass of fino or manzanilla while you are trying to make your mind up. In her "Try These" section Marks & Spencer's 2005 Valpolicella Ripasso (7.49) is worthy of mention for its versatility with rich pasta dishes, steak, duck and mature cheeses.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Hats off to Rioja for doing so darned well, but what a shame for other Spanish regions that don't get a look in. Joanna Simon concedes that Ribera del Duero and Priorat are well established, and Rias Baixas has become fashionable but it's worth trying Campo de Borja, Jumilla and Yecla amongst other, she says. Recommendations for this week include the 2006 Piedra Azul, Toro (7.95, BBR).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Victoria Moore is dismayed that German Riesling can still be a lottery. The German wine grades don't give you much help on the sweetness level of the wine so you don't know what you're going to get until you've actually opened the bottle. Having paired a number of German wines up with food to find a bottle to match with dinner, she was even more disappointed: "in some cases it was like trying to dress a wrestler in Alberta Ferretti - we have to give up altogether on some very good wines because none of the food we were tasting did them any favours at all." Oh dear indeed. However she does manage to find a few that tickle her fancy including the 2006 Prinz Riesling Trocken, Rheingau (9.99, The Winery) and top scoring, roll-off-your tongue 2005 St Urbans-Hof Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Sptlese Feinherb from the Mosel (17.20, The Winebarn).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Fierce drought in South Australia has left the wine industry in a state of flux, says Jancis Robinson this week. Although there has been a slight rally in the levels of the 2007 harvest "it is still likely to be much smaller than the 21st-century average". Robinson feels her long-standing belief that consumers must familiarise themselves with "the interesting nooks and crannies on Australia's wine map," is now a reality. So with cheap Australian wine a "thing of the past" she precedes to recommend the 2004 and 2005 Crawford River Rieslings and Lusatia Park Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (17.95 at Noel Young, also from Oddbins Fine Wine).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Following the recent Climate Change and Wine Conference in Barcelona, Tim Atkin MW discusses the consequences of global warming on the world's vineyards. He warns that in fifty years time the likes of red Bordeaux, Mosel Riesling and Barossa Shiraz could be "unrecognisable". Viticulture in hotter regions such as southern Italy may no longer be viable by 2050. If this is the case, get drinking the 1006 T Toro Covitoro (6.99, Wine Rack) before it's too late. Ok, so there are ways of mitigating the effects of climate change such as planting at altitude or picking earlier, but he does not seem convinced this will be enough to save some areas. However, it's not all bad news for cooler countries that have never even had a vine growing culture. He claims Denmark and Sweden could have a future making drinkable wines. Typically cool wine growing regions may no longer be able to make the steely wines they can so enjoy Marks and Spencer's 2005 Leitz Rdesheimer Berg Roseneel Sptlese Old Vines Riesling (17, M&S) now.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Malborough Sauvignon Blanc is the most profitable wine in the world, reveals Tim Atkin MW. He adds "it rarely sells for less than 6 and often costs considerably more". What is most surprising about this, he says, is that "if you'd visited the region in the early seventies, you'd have seen enough sheep to set up a knitwear empire". The average bottle price given the high demand is 6.26, which is "the envy of every other wine-producing country". So down to business then and Atkin suggests the "fabulous" 2007 Malborough Blind River Sauvignon Blanc (Oddbins, 10.99) and the "richer, more perfumed" 2007 Fern Bay Sauvignon Blanc (Tesco, 4.99).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Joanna Simon's Sauce column broaches the topic of Chilean wine. Despite sales of the country's wine products booming, it was not the hot favourites that impressed at last month's Wines of Chile Awards in Santiago. Simon said the event where she judged "left producers reeling - not because the results were poor, but because they were not what was expected". No trophies or gold medals were given to Chardonnay, Simon continued, with the 2007 Alta Tierra winning out as the top Sauvignon regardless of its production in the Elqui Valley - "an area that didn't even grow grapes for wine until 2000". Her top picks include the 2007 Viognier, Anakena (8.49, Thresher) for its "seductive perfumes" and a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Luis Felipe Edwards (5.99 Tesco).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

French wine sales are rocketing at present, says Anthony Rose, with exports hitting around 7 billion. Champagne is leading the charge on this front which, he feels, is little wonder when you have the likes of Premier Cru from Mdot's Philippe Guidot and Thierry Lombard (Selfridges, 22.99). Burgundy is on the up with sales increasing 20% as is the Vin de Pays category. He picks out the 2006 Domaine Saint Ros Cabernet Syrah (Majestic, 9.99) from the little-known Ctes de Thongue for its "aromatic, smooth and richly blackcurranty" qualities.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Your choice of glassware can enhance your wine selection immeasurably, Victoria Moore explains. And while being pernickety on this point will often mean you attract odd looks it is an important distinction to make, she continues. "Wine tastes better out of glasses that taper slightly at the rim" as "the tapering traps more of the aromas," Moore explains. And what has she being cracking open from the cellar this week? The 2005 Domaine du Colombier Chinon (Sainsbury's, 5.49) is commendable for its "gentle fragrance of red berries" while the 2006 Gavi Cristina Ascheri (Sainsbury's, 9.99) needs "a half-decent glass to reap the full benefit of this streamlined lemon- and grapefruit pith-scented Piedmont white".

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Gewrztraminer, "one of the most highly perfumed wines around", is Susy Atkins' talking point this week. Suited particularly to Asian cuisine the best bottles tend to emerge from Alsace in eastern France, she says, with New Zealand and Chile also producing some good examples. Atkins selects 2006 Vin D'Alsace Gewrztraminer (M&S, 6.99) for its "clean, dry, citrus finish" and New Zealand's 2007 Villa Maria Private Bin Gewrztraminer (Waitrose, 8.49).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Joanna Simon debates the merits of Beaujolais despite her belief that many leave it to one side at this time of year. Suited to "fish, fowl or meat", she mentions it is "the bottles that don't mention the B-word that are the best the region produces". And while we may be familiar with Fleurie, Brouilly and Morgon, it is instead worth investigating the likes of Chnas, Julinas and Chiroubles. She picks out the 2006 Julinas, Domaine du Clos du Fief, (9.99, Wheeler Cellars) and 2005 Chnas, Bernard Sant, (8.50, Stone, Vine & Sun) as good options.

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

When friends pop round for dinner, you'll need to crack open at least a bottle or two, says Jamie Goode. The "expensive" 2005 Maycas del Limari Syrah (Majestic, 10.99) which is a "slightly spicey" Chilean with "ripe fruit flavours" is among his suggestions while the 2003 Muscat & Flora by Brown Brothers (Asda, 5.98) scores highly for being "fruity and perfumed, but not too cloying".

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

"Slovenia is possibly the most unusual wine culture in the world, certainly in Europe," states Jancis Robinson. It mixes the "distinctively delicious" with "some of the worst" wines to have passed her hallowed lips, she continues, with white wines filling the former category and poor Cabernet and Merlot impersonations the latter. Primorska, Brda, Posajve and Podravje are all on Robinson's list of Slovenian wine regions to look out for. Specific bottles to hunt down include the 2006 Zarja Vipava Mansus and 2003 Vizija Vipava from Batic and the 2003 Klinec Verduc Riserva Brda.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Anthony Rose touches on the Climate Change debate this week, revealing one of his favourite tricks at tastings is to ask a member of the audience which of two wine bottles is heavier at which point he "pours" their choice over their head. The point of the exercise is to prove the offending item "is the horrendous dark green 1.2kg affair that weighs more when empty than a light bottle that is full of wine". Honing in on some of the alternatives, he says bag-in-box is ruled out of recycling through its use of aluminium, while Tetra Pak is better known as a cheap sake container in Japan. One option that has been adapted by Wolf Blass is the recyclable plastic bottle (PET). And if you're veering in this direction Rose recommends its " crisp and pineappley" 2006 Green Label Chardonnay and the 2006 Green Label Cabernet Shiraz for its juicy blackcurrant notes (Both available from Asda, 7.49)

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