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Wines in the press, May 31- June 4

Published:  06 June, 2012

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW is talking about the recent Raw and The Real Wine Fair which were held in London and devoted to natural, organic and biodynamic wines.

Raw, in its debut year, saw more than 3,000 visitors, while The Real Wine Fair, saw 2,000 over three days. Robinson says it is clear that interest in the natural wine phenomenon is greater than this time last year. Robinson did find a proportion that were just too "natural" for her palate. She says: "The less attractive characteristics include a similarity to bone-dry cider made from cooking apples, a lack of persistence whereby the impact of the wine in the mouth seems to fall off a cliff, and a worryingly high incidence of a smell that reminds me of caged domestic pets - hamsters?" On the other hand she concedes there were some "stunning wines", that all have an absence of the "anodyne industrial construct" that can occupy supermarket wine departments.

The Guardian

Fiona Beckett recommends her choice of commemorative beer for the Jubilee. For her Marks & Spencer comes up trumps with two offerings: Sandringham Diamond Ale (568ml, £2.59) which she says is a hugely drinkable fresh, hoppy bitter made by Elgoods of Cambridge from barley grown on the Sandringham estate. Plus the "delicious" Greenwich Red Ale (750ml, £4.99), made by the Meantime Brewery, that, while not obviously Jubilee-linked, seems perfect for the occasion as it is perfect for bank holiday barbecues, especially with grilled salmon.

The Observer

David Williams picks some "sunkissed" wines of the week. Williams says it is getting increasingly harder to find wines under £5, that don't make you wince after the first sniff. One such wine is the Tesco Simply Malbec (£4.99, Tesco) which he says is a "surprisingly voluptuous" southern French red. Other recommendations include: Pamukkale Anfora Trio, Aegean Region, Turkey 2010 (£7.49, Marks & Spencer). Whilst M&S clothes might err on the bland side, he adds its wine can be surprisingly adventurous. In Wiliams' opinion the unoaked Turkish red that mixes the native Kalecik Karasi with Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz resembles an exuberant dark black cherry compote and reminded him of the northern Italian staple, Dolcetto. Hatzidakis Assyrtiko, Santorini, Greece 2011 (£10.99, Waitrose) is his third choice. It has zip and intensity, alongside pithy lemon-and-lime and cooling mineral notes, he says.

The Sunday Telegraph

Pairing of strawberries with the right wine can be so blissful that it's worth making the effort to get it just right, says Susy Atkins. Firstly; any wine without a decent dollop of residual sugar tastes sour and nasty next to the sweet fruit. On the other hand if you go too far down the rich dessert wine route you threaten to overwhelm the delicacy of the berry. Think Germany's dessert Rieslings; a demi-sec Champagne, a frothy, honeyed Italian Moscati D'asti, a Sauternes or sweet Muscat. Atkins recommends a Château les Sablines Monbazillac 2009, Bordeaux, France (Waitrose £8.50, 50cl). The Monbazillac appellation offers a simple but well-priced alternative to Sauternes, she adds.

The Mail on Sunday

Olly Smith's tastes have changed in recent years and it seems he's not alone in drinking wines that aren't so huge in alcohol. There's a sense of lower-alcohol wines being more civilised and less of a shock to the system. When you taste a wine, as long as the overall impression feels harmonious. But can big ever be beautiful? He asks. Amarone is a style of Italian wine that is popular because of its iconic hugeness (a heavy-duty 15% is not uncommon). Smith loves it with hearty meats such as venison, beef or boar when autumn sets in. Smith is all for exercising restraint, but he can't help wondering if in these times of austerity whether right a glass of an enormous red could help jolly us all along.