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

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

The multifaceted joys of Riesling are examined by VICTORIA MOORE, who says she was a little perturbed when a friend tried one and asked her: 'Is it meant to smell slightly like a stairwell or public toilet?' Moore admits that Riesling is a 'startling grape to encounter for the first time'. Her recommendations include 2003 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Kabinett (5.99; Majestic); and 2000 Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Hochgewachs Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium (5.49; Majestic).

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MACQUITTY despises the 'ugly pink charge' of Mateus Ros and ros d'Anjou, and considers it 'apt' that the former was Saddam Hussein's favourite wine. Instead of these offerings, she recommends heading to the south of France: 'One of the advantages of cracking open a dry, tasty and pretty jewel-pink ros is that this is one of the few wine styles that is guaranteed to put you in a summery mood, even if it's pouring with rain outside. The good news is the arrival of the fresher, crisper 2004 European ross, with heaps more fruit and finesse than the sunburnt and sometimes flabby 2003 pinks.' She opts for 2004 Chteau Guiot Ros (5.29; Majestic) and 2004 Domaine de Pellehaut Vin de Pays des Ctes de Gascogne (4.49-4.99; Booths, Waitrose).

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

To celebrate the launch of its 1966 vintage, Dom Prignon invited members of England's World Cup-winning team to a slap-up meal in London - and JONATHAN RAY went along, too. He asked fullback Ray Wilson if any Champagne was drunk after the final, and Wilson replied: 'I can't remember what we were drinking. But there must have been plenty of something, because I didn't sober up for about a week.' Fellow fullback George Cohen is related by marriage to Alsace producer Andr Ostermann, and he tells Ray that he's moved on from his 'Piesporter Michelsberg and jellied-eel days'.

Read more...

The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

According to RICHARD EHRLICH, 1.6 billion units of wine packaged in Tetra Pak have been sold around the world. And while Ehrlich admits that it's 'easy to sniff and sneer', he says that the medium has a number of benefits: 'Tetra Pak offers the possibility of packaging wine in a range of convenient sizes'; 'it is perfect if you value ease of storage over elegance of presentation'; 'it's a pleasure to open if you don't require the popping of a cork or even the turning of a screwcap'; and 'it makes it easy to store leftovers without exposure to oxygen'.

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE was on the same trip, but admits that tasting unfinished wines makes predicting their future only a little more reliable than a village fte palmist'. But he does believe that the vintage has tended to favour chteaux with the best locations and resources', adding that prices need to be cut to 2002 levels or below.

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Completing her round-up of 2004 Bordeaux tasting, JANCIS ROBINSON MW recommends her pick of dry and sweet white wines. She says that 2004's 'prolonged growing season, unplagued by tropical temperatures, together with increasing skill in white winemaking, has resulted in some delicious dry white Bordeaux which combine wonderful freshness with real intensity of flavour'. On the sweet side, she says that the vintage lacks consistency, and the weight of the past couple of years. However, most wines display 'very refreshing acidity', and a 'good level' of botrytis.

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE recommends a Lambrusco - 2003 Ermete Medici Concerto Lambrusco Reggiano (7-10; Booths, Les Caves de Pyrene, Harrods, House of Fraser, Valvona & Crolla) to be precise - and gives readers a fascinating insight into her psyche at the same time: 'I'd like to open the bottle on the first properly warm Saturday in spring. On such days, my cousin and I used to scramble through her kitchen window on to her tiny balcony, sip a cool beer, and gossip and watch everyone walking up and down the street and wonder again whether the two men in the flat opposite, very clearly naked from at least the hip up, ever wore clothes when at home.'

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY seems to be making up for lost time. Despite giving up booze every January, he ended up in a 'bit of a haze' during a recent stay in Venice to sample Prosecco, and this week, throws his heart and soul into a cocktail class in Brighton: 'With regular sampling, I get confused as to which cocktail is being made. I am not alone.' Ray passes his multiple-choice exam at the end of the class, although he admits that it 'is not exactly conducted under exam conditions... one student raising his hand, not to ask how much time we have left, but to order another strawberry and balsamic Mojito'.

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY's weekly selection includes 2004 Hardy's Stamp Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc (down 1.64 to 3.82 until 10 May; Tesco); 2004 Chilean Chardonnay (2.99; Asda); and Lanson Black Label Brut Champagne (down 4.20 to 16.79 until 8 May; Waitrose).

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME's pick of wines to suit beef dishes includes 1998 Navajas Reserva Rioja (7.99; Morrisons); 2002 Marqus de Casa Concha Merlot (7.99; Sainsbury's); and 2003 Leaping Horse Shiraz (4.99; Waitrose).

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON explores the 'minefield' that is choosing a wine to take to a dinner party: 'If you play safe with something achingly familiar, such as Chablis or Chardonnay, you'll look unimaginative. If you go for something more esoteric, you risk your host not knowing what to serve it with: anyone for Monbazillac with herrings?'

Read more...

InBev seals A-B merger for $52bn

Published:  23 July, 2008

Stella brewer InBev has drawn to a close its acquisition of Budweiser manufacturer Anheuser-Busch with a $52 billion offer being accepted early this morning (July 14).

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

The most valuable bottle of wine in history, says JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON, was a 1787 Chteau Lafite, which sold at auction in 1985 for 105,000. He also informs us that a 'butter-fingered New York waiter' dropped a bottle of 1787 Chteau Margaux in 1989. Thankfully, insurers paid the 141,000 bill. If you think you have a bottle in your cellar that could be worth a small fortune, Bracey-Gibbon has the following advice: 'The bottle must have a label; the label should not be faded (indicates exposure to sunlight); the level in the bottle must not have dropped significantly; the label should show no signs of "weeping" (where wine has dribbled out due to poor storage); and the cork should not be dry (push downwards on the cork - if it drops, drink it now).'

Read more...

The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES' recommendations include 2003 Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Shiraz (down 2 to 8.99 until 7 May; Waitrose): 'This wine gets a liberal dunking in very smart new oak barrels, giving it luxury and breeding.' Next up is 2003 Cruz de Piedra Garnacha (4.95-5.50; Great Western Wine, Mason & Mason Wines, Michael Jobling Wines): 'This wine is a stunner, and the value for money afforded by its price tag is tremendous. Made from old Grenache bush vines, it is dark, meaty, spicy and herbal.' Jukes' Wine of the Week is 2004 Domaine Bgude Chardonnay (69.33/case; Goedhuis & Co): 'This is a wondrous wine, which typifies Chardonnay's grace and style. You would have to trade up to a Chablis, at a tenner, to compete with this delightful, crystal-clear, refreshing, apple- and pear-scented beauty.'

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE was on the same trip, but admits that tasting unfinished wines makes predicting their future only a little more reliable than a village fte palmist'. But he does believe that the vintage has tended to favour chteaux with the best locations and resources', adding that prices need to be cut to 2002 levels or below.

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE recommends a Lambrusco - 2003 Ermete Medici Concerto Lambrusco Reggiano (7-10; Booths, Les Caves de Pyrene, Harrods, House of Fraser, Valvona & Crolla) to be precise - and gives readers a fascinating insight into her psyche at the same time: I'd like to open the bottle on the first properly warm Saturday in spring. On such days, my cousin and I used to scramble through her kitchen window on to her tiny balcony, sip a cool beer, and gossip and watch everyone walking up and down the street and wonder again whether the two men in the flat opposite, very clearly naked from at least the hip up, ever wore clothes when at home.'

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Vodka may have taken its place as the darling of the cocktail circuit' during the nineties, but IAN WISNIEWSKI reckons that it's high time for a gin revival: Served cold and bold, the gin and tonic is being rediscovered. Many people are introduced to gin through this archetypal combination, so it is vital to apply zero-tolerance to any G&T abuse (served in a wine glass with warm tonic, no ice, maybe limp lemon, maybe not). Moreover, it's often assumed that, mixed with tonic, a gin's character doesn't show through, which implies that the brand doesn't matter. It does.'

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY seems to be making up for lost time. Despite giving up booze every January, he ended up in a bit of a haze' during a recent stay in Venice to sample Prosecco, and this week, throws his heart and soul into a cocktail class in Brighton: With regular sampling, I get confused as to which cocktail is being made. I am not alone.' Ray passes his multiple-choice exam at the end of the class, although he admits that it is not exactly conducted under exam conditions... one student raising his hand, not to ask how much time we have left, but to order another strawberry and balsamic Mojito'.

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY organises an impromptu tasting of Blue Nun and Black Tower for David Roberts MW. Rays find the Blue Nun just this side of harmless', but Roberts is downcast': I just think it's sad. Germany produces some of the finest white wines in the world, but you wouldn't think so given this evidence.' Ray then meets Ernst Loosen, who took over his family's Mosel estates in the late 1980s. Everyone thought I was mad,' he tells Ray, trying to sell Riesling when all that people wanted to drink was New World Chardonnay. It was so frustrating and nobody wanted to know. But 20 years' hard work has paid off, and I truly believe there has been a renaissance and that Riesling, especially German Riesling, is fashionable once again.'

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON admits that a supermarket buyer once approached her and begged her to promote Riesling in her wine columns. I'm not here to help supermarkets or anyone else sell their wines, but I would like to see people drink more Riesling. In blind tastings, Riesling always comes out well, but when people know what they are drinking, it is blighted by its own image: Riesling is still viewed as unsophisticated, sweet, insipid.' She recommends 2003 Great Southern Riesling (4.19 until 10 May; Tesco); 2003 Jacob's Creek Reserve Riesling (7.97; selected Asda from 7 May); and 2003 Urziger Wrzgarten Riesling Alte Reben Trocken , Rebenhof (14.99; The Winery, Liberty Wines).

Read more...