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At Your Service blog

Published:  30 May, 2012

Bargain-basement branding and boredom blog by Christopher Piper, chairman of Christopher Piper Wines in Ottery St Mary, Devon.

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Michael Stoddart explores the 'economic deception' behind supermarket wines

Published:  21 May, 2012

Vino Ignobile?

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Chianti classico could have own 'icon' wine

Published:  18 May, 2012

Chianti classico's governing body is considering proposals to introduce an "icon" top-level wine above riserva.

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Leading Italian producer calls for greater professional standards

Published:  20 April, 2012

A leading Italian wine producer says there is too much confusion with labelling, and called for greater professional standards to be introduced, given the industry's rapid expansion.

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Argentina grows UK exports

Published:  10 February, 2012


The popularity of Argentinian wines continues to forge ahead, with UK exports for 2011 up 8.4% by value, according to the latest figures from Wines of Argentina.

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Torrontés trumps consumer's favourite white wines, says study

Published:  13 October, 2011

Torrontés, the white grape variety unique to Argentina, has trumped consumer's favourite white wines in a study by Wine Intelligence.

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Wines in the Press April 19-20

Published:  21 April, 2009

What our national wine critics had to say for the weekend of April 19-20

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Wines in the Press, March 7-9

Published:  10 March, 2009

What the national wine critics had to say this weekend, March 7-8

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Wines in the Press, February 28-29

Published:  03 March, 2009

This week's reviews of the national wine writers

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Wines in the Press, February 28-29

Published:  03 March, 2009

This week's reviews of the national wine writers

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Wines in the Press: Cocktail shaking and blog making

Published:  26 August, 2008

Jane MacQuitty has been getting busy with her cocktail shaker, Victoria Moore has been indulging in a spot of wine blogging, and Jonathan Ray has been on a trip to one of Chile's most exciting prospects, the Limarí region. Meanwhile, for those of us still holding out for some late summer sun, Joanna Simon has dug out some perfect picnic picks, whilst Tim Atkin raves about Riesling.

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Which wines pair well with Italian pasta dishes, asks Susy Atkins this week. Valpolicella, Dolcetto and Barbera are all a "clever choice" for the classic combination of tomato sauce and chorizo, she feels. A chilled Pinot Grigio or Pinot Blanco goes well with creamy fettucine, Atkins adds, but it needn't be expensive, as "no one spends a fortune on a wine to go with an easy pasta supper". Among her wines of the week is the 2007 Gavi, Italy (6.99, Sainsbury's), which is "excellent" with a rich tomato sauce.

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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 Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Like his contemporary at The Observer, Anthony Rose has also picked up on Anpaa's recent legal case - describing France's alcohol policy as a result of the draconian 1991 Evin Law. He continues: "It does seem odd that myopia and sanctimony should coexist in a nation synonymous with the production and consumption of many of the great wines of the world." Not to be discouraged though he selects the 2006 Porta Chardonnay (5.99, Threshers), the 2006 Gavi Cristina Ascheri (9.99, Sainsbury's) and the 2004 Domaine des Bosquets, Gigondas (14.95, Jeroboams).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

Another with a nose for Wine Relief is MATTHEW JUKES. He is sufficiently committed to the event to be devoting two weeks to recommendations from the Wine Relief List. In theory, you can enjoy great wine, have a laugh on Red Nose Day and also do your bit for charity with ease if you follow these wines.'
This week his eight recommendations - all white - include: 2006 Stormhoek Sauvignon Blanc (4.49; Sainsbury's); 2006 Pirque Estate Sauvignon Blanc (6.99; Marks & Spencer); 2005 Brown Brothers Dry Muscat (5.29; Somerfield); and 2005 Tesco Gavi (5.99).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Glassware is the topic up for discussion by ANTHONY ROSE this week, because some of the ghastly vessels that pass as wine glasses often fail to do justice to the liquid in the bottle'. For something better than everyday drinking, Rose points readers towards the usual suspects: Schott-Ziesel and Riedel. He also comes up with a couple of alternatives, including Mikasa's Open Up glass (from 20 for four glasses; mikasa-uk.com), made from a new material called Kwarx manufactured by Arc International, which is so durable that he manages to break it only by hurling it at the floor from a great height'. His wine suggestion for under a fiver is 2005 Tesco Finest Gavi (4.49 until 10 October).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

For those with time-consuming commitments such as children, there is often little option except to buy almost everything from supermarkets, and VICTORIA MOORE discovers that Tesco's current wine sale is the perfect place to head for. Bargains include the cool and bracing' 2005 Tim Adams Clare Valley Riesling (5.99 from 7.99) and 2005 Tesco Finest Gavi (4.49 from 5.99), which Moore describes as one of the best-value and most versatile wines that Tesco sells'.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE takes on two of the wine world's heavyweights this week, saying: 'Hugh Johnson and Robert Parker may be the twin colossi of wine writing, but as a weighty biography of one [The Emperor of Wine, by Elin McCoy] and the other's characteristically fine new book [Wine: A Life Uncorked, by Hugh Johnson] make clear, they're poles apart.' Rose is a fan of Johnson's prose, which he describes as 'a window on mouthwatering feasts and intriguing personalities'. Parker is more about numbers, however, and Rose suggests, 'Could it be that the 100-point system for rating wines was in fact Parker's way of compensating for his own lack of vocabulary in the face of Johnsonian eloquence?' For good wine under a tenner, Rose suggests 2004 La Toledana Gavi, Villa Lanata (7.99; Majestic).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Easy-drinking whites are the order of the day, says GILES KIME. He opts for 2004 Sainsbury's Classic Selection Muscadet (4.99): 'Even those with a deep-seated prejudice against Muscadet would find it hard to deny the lightly honeyed charms of this thirst-quenching white.' Next up is 2004 Lizards of Oz Reserve Viognier (5.97; Asda), 'a crisp white from the Clare Valley with an apricot-like freshness'. Finally, he picks 2003 Gavi Madonnina Araldica (6.99; Waitrose), a 'delightful wine that is vibrant and citrussy without being overpowering'.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Being a 'thoroughly nasty piece of work at heart', VICTORIA MOORE is cynical about branded supermarket wines. However, she is a big fan of 2004 Tesco Finest Gavi (5.99), 'a delightful wine' that 'feels like a river pebble that has been smoothed and rounded by the flow of water'. Another supermarket number that comes up trumps is 2003 Sainsbury's Classic Selection Alsace Gewurztraminer Cave de Turckheim (6.99), which displays lychees 'so clearly you can almost feel your tongue slipping over their eyeball-like white flesh'.

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