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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

For good or bad, 'Italian red wines have gradually become riper, softer, fruitier and more New World in style', says JOANNA SIMON. For an example from Chianti, try 2003 Badia a Coltibuono (9.99; Tesco). Simon's wine of the moment, however, is 2003 Tortoise Hill Red, South Africa: 'an unusual but delicious blend' of Zinfandel, Shiraz, Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Moving on to spirits, her top choice is Reyka Vodka (15.99-19.99; Harvey Nichols, Peckham's).