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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite its odd choice of presenters - Jono Coleman ('a podgy beachball with a mullet') and Wendy Namby ('whose sense of humour appears to be buried deeper than a chalk cellar in Champagne') - TIM ATKIN MW admires The Joy of Wine. The DVD and wine-tasting package, which can be yours for 49 plus 5 postage, is aimed at simplifying wine for consumers, and Atkin finds it 'a useful, comparatively jargon-free introduction to Bordeaux'.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

With more than a slight element of disbelief, VICTORIA MOORE reports that 'expensive Asian food has begun to lead people back to Riesling'. A good 'pin-sharp' example, says Moore, is 2004 Casillero del Diablo (5.99; Oddbins). And if Riesling is the grape of the moment, Spain is the country, producing wines 'made in a modern style but with enough interest and culture to grip Old World aficionados'. Try 2004 La Basca Uvas Tintas (4.99; Marks & Spencer).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE is 'on the case to see you through the festivities', with a guide to 12 wines for 'splashing out' and

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW fronts a four-page guide to festive eating and drinking with her guide to reds, whites, sweet wines and apritifs.

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JAMIE GOODE spoils himself with a fizz fix and recommends his 'top 10 tipples to sip with your canaps'. Two examples are Jacob's Creek Chardonnay/Pinot Noir Brut Cuve NV (7.99; Budgens, Somerfield) and Wyndham Bin 555 Sparkling Shiraz, Australia (7.99; Morrisons).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

Iceland's Reyka is 'a seriously good vodka with a seriously interesting background', says Richard Ehrlich. It's made from water that's so pure it doesn't need to be distilled, and Ehrlich is 'smitten'. He also recommends some Kiwi Sauvignon Blancs, including 2004 Nobilo Five Fathoms (5.49; Sainsbury's).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

The practice of reputable wineries producing exclusive labels for supermarkets is a good idea, 'in theory', says VICTORIA MOORE. But it can also 'be confusing for those who like wine enough to know a bit about it but not enough to hoover up details as if studying it for Mastermind', because the 'exclusive' wine can be so different from the producer's normal output. A pair of Barolos by Terre da Vino presented a case study. One 2001 Terre da Vino Barolo (14.99) was produced exclusively for Marks & Spencer and tasted 'markedly richer' than 2001 Terre da Vino Barolo La Mora (14.99; Majestic), which was 'nothing fancier than the wine as the winemaker made it' - and all the better for it.

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Wine is reduced to onlooker status as JANCIS ROBINSON MW spends a hard day at the office of Michel Roux Jr, trying six different food courses, each with a possible match of beer or wine - and beer is the winner: 'I can reveal that in only two out of the six cases did I prefer the wine to the beer. A result for brewers everywhere!' One of her favourite matches is Stilton and Brie with Brakspear Triple, which Robinson discovers is 'made using "the rare double drop fermentation system", which certainly tastes as good as it sounds, and I feel inspired to introduce it to the world of wine'.

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY refuses to be duped by 'dodgy waiters and restaurants on the fiddle', and she offers her top tips for getting one up on the 'unctuous sommelier' with advice on how to detect a faulty wine and, perhaps more importantly, how to send it back: 'Be prepared for any number of excuses. Don't take it personally, stick to your guns and avoid losing your temper.' MacQuitty's top wines of the week include 2002 Boundary Road Shiraz, Margaret River (down 1.50 to 4.49 until 13 November; Co-op).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE continues her search for 'inexpensive, everyday' reds, coming away empty handed from a small Tesco branch, but making up the numbers at Booths with the 'gorgeous, savoury' 2003 La Sauvageonne Les Ruffes Cteaux du Languedoc (4.99) and the 'smooth, rounded, strawberry' 2001 Ochoa Tempranillo (6.99). Moore also comments that Booths offers a 5% discount with purchases of six bottles or over.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW goes time travelling and lands up in Tutankhamun's tomb. The mystery begins: 'The hieroglyph on its side suggested the jar had contained wine for the afterlife. But what sort?' The presence of tartaric and syringic acid leads to the first discovery: 'The Egyptians drank red wine.' His quest continues with the speculation that 'it tasted a bit like Madeira'. Ultimately, he decides that 'wine is basically the same drink today as it was when they sealed Tutankhamun's tomb'. Give or take a few advancements over the past 7,000 years, no doubt. Atkin's 'Best Cellars' from the Mediterranean include 2004

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Wines today, like nappies and Mars bars, are regarded like any other "fast-moving consumer goods". Rapid turnover is what matters,' writes ANTHONY ROSE. 'So, as long as the customers' and supermarkets' interests coincide, why not have sell-by dates on everyday wines?' Pioneering the drive for freshness in the mass market is Orbital Wines' Nick Dymoke-Marr, who has 'put a sell-by date on the back label of his Stormhoek range from South Africa, adding screwcaps to boot'. Waitrose, which stocks the wines, agrees with the concept and says that many of its own-label bag-in-box wines have a best-before date, while Sainsbury's does the same for its Fino Sherry and boxes.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

'White is the new red,' says JOANNA SIMON. Red wines have been shunted into the background by the joint white and ros market, with Sauvignon Blanc and blended whites emerging as the chief beneficiaries. According to Simon, 'blends aren't an inferior species made from winery leftovers', and she recommends a few examples from South Africa to prove this point, including 2005 Charles Back Chenin Blanc/Viognier (7.99; Somerfield, Tesco).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME goes in search of soft velvety reds, and his selection takes in the 'dangerously drinkable' 2003 Cosumano Benuara Nero d'Avola/Syrah (8.49; Oddbins) and the 'wonderfully plummy' 2004 Chteau Pey La Tour Bordeaux (5.99; Tesco).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JAMIE GOODE has gone autumnal, and 'with seasonal squashes and pumpkins to pair off', he suggests weighty wine matches. Two examples are 2004 Asda Chilean Chardonnay, Central Valley (2.97; Asda) and 2003 La Piuma Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (4.99; Waitrose).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Spain's not just about Rioja, comments JOANNA SIMON, and she suggests a few gems - such as 2003 Castell del Remei, Gotim Bru (7.09-8.75;

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY abandons wine in favour of a day in the pub with the Beer Academy. A day-long foundation course teaches him all about the brewing process at the same time as reminding him that beer can be 'healthy and nourishing'. Ray quotes his tutor, enthusing, 'Beer is so good for you, it should be on the NHS as a prescribed medicine.' His top beers include Wychwood Whirlygig, Oxon (1.60; Asda).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

'The online tippler's review' is a growing trend, writes RICHARD EHRLICH. Waitrose has joined ranks with Oddbins in a move to include customer wine reviews on its website. Not everything is published - for example, a bottle of Menetou-Salon accompanied by the comment 'I enjoyed this wine with cigarettes' didn't make

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Portugal rules, according to TIM ATKIN MW. Chelsea Football Club's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho has given his country's wine the seal of approval after sharing a bottle of Barca Velha with Sir Alex Ferguson, and this 'plug for a Portuguese wine was welcome because it's so rare'. Atkin bemoans the fact that 'our high-street retailers have virtually given up on Portugal'. And even worse, 'Mateus Ros & still accounts for 40% of Portuguese wine sales in the UK a rather depressing story'. He's 'more convinced than ever that the country is producing some fantastic-value wines', and his top choices to prove this point include 2004 Quinta do Ameal Loureiro Vinho Verde (8.40; Corney & Barrow) and 2003 Quinta do Vallado Douro Reserva (17.99; Bibendum).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY is not happy with the British public, saying 'the average spend [on a bottle of wine] remains a depressingly low 4.09'. Supermarkets are still ruling the roost, and MacQuitty urges readers to spend a bit more. Her recommendations include

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