Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

According to JANCIS ROBINSON MW, Italy is struggling, with falling sales in each of its main export markets, and with life particularly tough in the 'traditional centres of red-wine quality, Tuscany and Piedmont'. The problem is not the wines themselves so much as communication about them - 'Italians are not good at explaining things to outsiders. It seems to be viewed as a weakness rather than a sales aid to embellish a bottle with a back label' explaining what the 'eight proper names' on the front label refer to. Still, 'nowhere is more thrilling and enjoyable to visit', and there are plenty of 'distinctive and fairly priced' wines about, such as 2004 Casal dei Cavalieri, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Umani Ronchi (8.99; Waitrose) and 2003 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colle Morino (83.40 per dozen; John Armit).

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Also putting his caution for Greek gifts to one side is ANTHONY ROSE. 'For a land steeped in classical lore and viticultural history, it's remarkable how undistinguished [Greece's] wines have been in modern times,' Rose says. Greek wine has been reinventing itself, however, and the likes of 2003 Hatzidakis Santorini (9.99; Adnams) a 'Chablis-like, minerally dry white by arguably Greece's best winemaker'; Samos Nectar (9.70; Adnams; www.fortnumandmason.com; Tanners); and 2004 Santorini Boutari (5.99; Oddbins) help to keep 'the pine resin strictly bathroom'.

Read more...

The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

Syrah, or Shiraz, 'one of the mightiest red grapes on the face of the earth', gets the MATTHEW JUKES treatment this week. Among his picks is 2003 Ctes-du-Rhne Villages, Domaine de la Jrome, Sylvette Brchet (8.95; Jeroboams & Laytons) - 'the most impressive red Rhne I have tasted this year' - while his wine of the week, 2003 Chteau Cazal Viel, Cuve des Fes, St-Chinian (6.99; Waitrose), is 'a rampantly impressive Syrah/

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY is annoyed, some might say intemperately so, that the government's guidelines for safe drinking allow just 14 units per week for a woman and 21 for a man. MacQuitty prefers the advice proffered by her colleague on The Times, Dr Thomas Stuttaford in his leaflet The Wise Drinker's Guide, available through Waitrose, which sets the upper limit at 21 units for women and 28 for men. And she reckons it's 'high time' her health insurers listened to research showing that 'moderate drinkers live longer'. As for what to spend those precious extra units on, MacQuitty's wines of the week include a pair of 2003 vins de pays d'Oc: Virginie Syrah and Virginie Roussanne (both 4.99; Oddbins).

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

'For too long, half-bottles have been seen as the preserve of either the lonely or the cautious drinker,' says JONATHAN RAY. 'In fact, they are a godsend to wine lovers, often enabling us to enjoy our wine in greater variety and quality (and even quantity) than is possible with fully fledged 75cls.' Ray laments the relative difficulty of finding halves, certainly in the multiples, which prefer screwcapped 25cl bottles and tend to reserve 37.5cl bottles for dessert wines. 'But it is in restaurants that halves really come into their own.' Both Ray and James Palmer of Roussillon restaurant in Pimlico 'can't understand' why they're not more popular with restaurateurs, 'not least because the margins are good and a couple dining together might have three different halves rather than one bottle'.

Read more...

The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES picks out his favourite sparklers, including NV Prosecco La Marca (5.99; Waitrose) and NV Sparkling Pinot Grigio (6.99; Marks & Spencer). His Wine of the Week is NV Wolf Blass Red Label Sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir (7.99; Sainsbury's).

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME is rooting for Riesling and his drinks of the week include 2003 Bassermann-Jordan Pfalz (6.99; Waitrose) and 2003 Tesco Finest Great Southern (7.99; Tesco).

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JAMIE GOODE is starting early these days and recommends a couple of bottles for 'those lavish, loungy brunches': 2005 Woolpunda Cabernet Ros, South Australia (4.79; Morrisons), 2001 Carmen Nativo Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo (7.99; Waitrose, Booths).

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Investing in wine is 'akin to having a punt on the horses', says JANE MacQUITTY. 'Do lots of research before you buy' is her main point, and check www.wine-searcher.com on a regular basis if you want to keep up with the game. MacQuitty's top wines this week include 2003 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon (5.99; Co-Op) and 2004 Climbing Merlot, Orange, Australia (8.99, or buy two for 6.49 each; Majestic).

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

There's no need to abandon white wine just because summer's nearly over, says VICTORIA MOORE. 'Plenty of whites are just as tempting in chilly weather as they are when it is blazing hot,' she adds, listing a couple of full-bodied examples: 2004 Laurent Miquel Vrit Viognier Vin de Pays d'Oc (11.99; Waitrose) and 2003 Pancole Vernaccia di San Gimignano (7.50; Lea & Sandeman).

Read more...

The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

Did you know that the smell of hamburgers and freshly baked bread can trigger road rage attacks? Neither did I, but a study at West Virginia's Wheeling Jesuit University has shown that such aromas make 'drivers become hungry and therefore irritable, and thus likely to drive too fast', reports RICHARD EHRLICH. The research also found that four odours induce a sense of calm: coffee, lemon, cinnamon and peppermint. Cue a couple of summer drink recommendations. Ehrlich has a soft spot for the New Orleans classic, Caf Brlot, a mix of strong black coffee, brandy, sugar, citrus peel, cloves and vanilla. His second tip is iced tea, 'another drink at which Americans excel'. His recipe comprises strong tea and fizzy water, in a ratio of 3:1, over ice, with a touch of lemon or lime juice and a sprig of mint. Enough to placate the most inflamed motorist, surely.

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW discovers a whole new category of wine known as Vinos Atlnticos 'all of them bracing wines with very different local personalities but all given tension by the cooling influence of the Atlantic'. She goes on to give some background on the four main members of the Atlantic club: Vinho Verde ('to me smells like laurel leaves'), Ras Baixas (manage[s] to pack an impressive amount of pure & fruit into the bottle'), Txakoli ('as an apritif it is in a class of its own') and Iroulguy ('if Txakoli is the white wine of Spanish Basque country, Iroulguy is its French counterpart').

Read more...

The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH, on the other hand, is not nearly so sure about Matt Skinner's Thirsty Work. 'What worries me about the book is that it tries to do something that perhaps can't be done: to give wine the bash it up and bung it in the pot treatment that Jamie Oliver used so successfully for cooking.' And not content with taking a swing at Skinner, Ehrlich continues, 'some problems could have been remedied by more attentive editing such as eliminating the dozens of exclamation marks that litter the pages'. However, Suzy Atkins's Cocktails and Perfect Party Drinks (4.99; Quadrille) gets the thumbs-up, and The Wines of the Napa Valley by Larry Walker (20; Mitchell Beazley) is 'a real treat'. For

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

The only way to really understand wine is to carry on tasting, says JONATHAN RAY. 'Tastings might range from hushed and highbrow ticket-only black-tie events hosted by a Master of Wine, to a few chums around the kitchen table comparing notes over a Chardonnay or two, and they are an essential part of any wine lover's journey.' In an attempt to avoid an organised tasting session turning into a drunken debacle, Ray recommends keeping the number of wines to a minimum (four of each colour) and following a set procedure white before red and unoaked before oaked, for example.

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW's selection includes 2000 Samos Nectar (9.7010.59; Tanners, SH Jones) and De Bortoli Show Liqueur Muscat (10.99; selected Oddbins).

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Rich, aromatic and white is the order of the day from GILES KIME and he suggests trying a 2004 Villa Maria Private Bin Gewurztraminer (8.05; Waitrose) or a Brown Brothers Pinot Gris (6.99; Waitrose). n

Read more...

The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH advocates the homemade smoothie but if you prefer to buy, he recommends three from James White, including Apple and Cinnamon Juice (www.jameswhite.co.uk).

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JAMIE GOODE is seduced by ros and picks out a few favourites, including 2004 Castel Syrah Ros, Vin de Pays d'Oc (4.99; Oddbins) and Marks & Spencer Cava Rosado (5.99; Marks & Spencer).

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Aligot is what to order if you like your wine to resemble 'a slap in the face', according to VICTORIA MOORE. The lesser white grape of Burgundy can have 'the freshness of crisp apples', she says. Bourgogne Aligot Guy Chaumont (7.99, Adnams) is recommended.

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

'The Aube is the hidden gem of Champagne,' says ANTHONY ROSE. He acknowledges the difficulties of being a late arrival in this famous appellation (the Aube wasn't made an official part of Champagne until 1927), saying: 'Nearly a century on, a sniffy, de-haut-en-bas attitude from Champagne's heartland of Reims and Epernay prevails.' But he happily defends the Aube and points out the inconsistency of the doubters, saying: 'Some three quarters of all the Aube's grapes end up an hour's drive north in brands as renowned as Mot, Lanson, Veuve Clicquot, Laurent Perrier and Billecart-Salmon.' His recommendations include Andr et Michel Drappier Brut Nature (19.99; Anthony Byrne Fine Wines) and Fleary Brut (21.99; Waitrose).

Read more...