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Wines in the press, June 15 -18

Published:  18 June, 2012

The Guardian

Fiona Beckett says if you're optimistic enough to think the world has moved on in terms of sexual stereotyping, think again.

She received Father's Day press releases littered with descriptions such as "mature", "connoisseur" and "sophisticated sippers" which portrayed fathers as "septuagenarian buffers who like nothing better than a dram or two under an old master of a stag at bay", she says. It hardly squares with most of the dads Beckett knows, who would be just as happy to have a classy cocktail as a scotch. Instead of whisky, she says, how about the small-batch vodka Icelandic Reyka (£25, Waitrose), or a Gonzalez Byass's fine, nutty Leonor Palo Cortado, "a total steal" (£10.90, Tanners). Adnams also has an interesting beer-flavoured eau de vie, Spirit Of Broadside (£32.99), she adds.

The Daily Telegraph

All the best bracing, dry wines for white fish fall down when it comes to salmon, says Susy Atkins. Crisp, lean and lemony whites may be wonderful with sole, cod or bream, but they don't have enough ripe weight for salmon's meaty, rich texture. Sometimes a hint of sweetness in a wine such as a medium-dry Loire Vouvray makes a lovely choice with raw salmon. But if you prefer dry whites, then Chardonnay really is the way to go, she says. Whether it's a bright, tropical New World number, or a more gentle southern white Burgundy, Chardonnay that always delivers plenty of rich fruit and creamy roundness. Atkins recommends La Couronne des Plantagenets Vouvray Demi-Sec 2010, Loire, France (Sainsbury's, £6.49) which she pairs with sweet-cured salmon tartares and ceviches. Or Louis Jadot Mâcon-Aze 2011, Burgundy, France (Waitrose, £10.49) that has complex but subtle layers of creamy oranges, buttered toast and hazelnuts.

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW is talking about the "communication revolution". For instance she says tweeting is becoming an increasingly significant phenomenon during the primeurs tastings of the latest vintage in Bordeaux each spring. Château owners are now find their wines being rated in the unforgiving public glare even before the main primeurs week. None is more powerful at providing proprietors with the confidence to overcharge than @RobertMParkerJr whose tweets from Bordeaux are analysed as forensically as any pronouncement from the Sage of Omaha, she adds. Much to the horror of some of Robinson's more literary friends, she has found that she enjoys tweeting. "I have found it both fun and valuable. I can make short recommendations, share some of life's quirks and idiocies, stir up support for campaigns and good works and, most importantly, garner advice," she adds.

The Independent

Stand up the man who complained on the Radio 4 Food Programme about "the sheer profusion of wines available from so many different countries and grape varieties and different takes on winemaking". What's wrong with lots of choice? Asks Anthony Rose. At this year's London International Wine Fair, he points out we were treated to wines from Turkey, India, Georgia, Russia, Israel, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Canada, Mexico, Lithuania and Brazil. He adds the LIWF was preceded by two natural wine fairs, the RAW Wine Fair and the Real Wine Fair (RWF), both fairs, he says had an "exhilarating" atmosphere. Natural wine polarises opinion not just because of a vagueness of definition but because the-less-done-to-wine-the-better approach can on occasion lead to vinegary wines, he says. But the hit rate at both fairs was higher than many a mainstream wine tasting. Rose enjoyed Millton Vineyards Te Arai Chenin Blanc, 2009 Gisborne, (£13-£14, Harrods) and the Teroldego, Foradori, Vigneti delle Dolomiti, 2009 (£18.99, Theatre of Wine ).

The Mail on Sunday

Where wine is concerned, can cheap ever really mean cheerful? Asks Olly Smith. He's been on a mission lately, tasting and evaluating the cheaper wines on the UK's shelves - and it's given him hope that good value and good quality need not be mutually exclusive.
Before the recession, you could get a decent bottle for around £5, but with unfavourable exchange rates and tax hikes, we all got thumped in the pocket. Yet prices seemed to rise, but quality didn't. Recently though, Smith has been seeing lesser-known grape varieties and "cunning blends" from a few quirky corners of Europe at attractive prices. He thinks Asda Côtes du Rhone 2011 (£3.67) is a simple tangy red, good for a barbecue as it needs to be paired with food. Smith would love to see supermarkets serving wine from self-service filling stations, allowing us to re-use our wine bottles or plastic containers. "If we only paid for the volume of wine we bought, we could be greener and save and sip for Britain," he says. Until self- service catches on, buy bold, select off the beaten track and you'll soon find that these days you really don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy good wine, he says.