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Wines in the press August 21 - 23

Published:  25 August, 2009

The Guardian

Victoria Moore has two different bottles of wine; one which has been bought by someone as a treat, and a more, "plainly spoken, easy-going bottle".

The Guardian

Victoria Moore has two different bottles of wine; one which has been bought by someone as a treat, and a more, "plainly spoken, easy-going bottle".

She asks, "would it be rude to request a refill of the cheap country stuff?"

Moore says, it confirms her principle that if a wine, "no matter how humble, does well at what it aims for, there will always be occasions at which its sheer appropriateness will eclipse the swagger of any Bordeaux cru or recherché Burgundy."

"It's all about time and place and finding a wine that excels at its level," she says.

Moore recommends Marsanne Vin de Pays d'Oc 2008 (£3.28, Asda).

The Observer

Tim Atkin talks about the film Sideways and says how much it's done for Californian wine and Pinot Noir in particular.

So much so the, "Santa Barbara wine country, will enjoy the spin-offs for years to come."

But he adds, the Sideways effect has been greater in the US than the UK.

He explains that California may be the second biggest exporter to the UK, but we don't we see a more interesting range of Californian wines on our shelves because, "of price and the timidity of wine buyers who are unwilling to take a punt on anything that costs more than £6.99."

Atkin says, Majestic, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose have reasonable West Coast selections, but if you want a taste of the best Californian wines, you'll have to go to a specialist, such as Vineyard Cellars (01488 6813130).

The Independent

"I recently fossicked out a bottle of the obscure Heidt et Fils Carte Blanche Champagne, lurking in an ill-lit corner of the cellar," says Anthony Rose.

He admits, he has no recollection of how long it had been there, but estimates 15-20 years.

While he doesn't recommend keeping it that long, he says, "even a humble non-vintage Champagne evolves and improves with two to three years or more in the bottle."

Rose tells us the French laugh at the British "necrophiliac," habit of enjoying aged wines.

"Given half a chance, they will open their bottles as soon as they emerge blinking from their subterranean cellars. Even the Americans find it hard to resist applying a corkscrew to any wine barely out of short pants," he says.

The Times

Jane MacQuitty asks. Why do some wines taste differently on different days? "For years professional tasters, including myself, have agreed that some days seem better for assessing wine than others."

She says, "followers of the biodynamic wine calendar, have a wacky but, entirely reasonable explanation."

They divide the year into fruit and flower days, plus leaf and root days, she explains.

MacQuitty says, Marks & Spencer showed the same wines on two separate days this month and asked her to spot the difference.

She concludes that, "despite drilling down through my tasting notes I could not agree that the fruit day wines were fruitier and more lifted, or that the wines on root days were duller, with more marked phenolics and aggressive tannins".

The Telegraph

"Summer dessert wines should be quite different creatures to those served in winter," says Susy Atkins.

She admits, she loves rich, mahogany-brown, sticky wines, "but they suit Christmas pud, or treacle tart, not the lighter, fresher desserts of this season".

"Let your August sweet wine be pale, light, crisp and young," she says.

Atkins also advises to make sure they are well chilled.

Her recommendations are;
Bimbadgen Estate Botrytis Semillon 2006, New South Wales, Australia (Majestic, £7.99).
Feiler-Artinger Beerenauslese 2007, Burgenland, Austria (Waitrose, £10.99 ) and Sainsbury's Asti non-vintage, Italy (£4.36