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Wines in the press - October 23 - 25

Published:  27 October, 2009

The Guardian


Victoria Moore was approached by a friend who asked is it "wrong to feel that it's wrong to drink rosé in winter?"


Moore says she thinks rosé wine tastes good all year round, "I'm not the only one who thinks so - sales continue to surge." She adds at the last count rosé equated to 11% of all wine bought in supermarkets and off-licences.


Although Moore does admit to choosing a "darker and more jewel-like rosé," such as from Languedoc or Argentina, the colder it gets".


She says she confessed this to a technician at the Centre de Recherche et d'Experimentation sur le Vin Rosé in  the south of France and was told climate seems to affect people's choice of rosé so much that French winemakers "deliberately make different colours to send not just to different countries but to different parts of France". 


The Observer


"At a time when we're supposed to be reducing our carbon footprints, an increasing number of producers are packaging their wines in disgracefully heavy bottles," says Tim Atkin MW. He says it's "mainly, but not exclusively, a Latin thing." With Spain, Italy and Argentina being the major culprits.


In an attempt to arrest this, Atkin says he's taken the decision not to recommend anything that comes in a heavyweight bottle with the exception of Champagne and sparkling wine.


He says, "if you're looking to make your own small impact on the world you can buy from carbon-neutral wineries such as Grove Mill in New Zealand or Cullen in Australia; switch to wines packaged in bag-in-box, plastic, Tetra Pak or lightweight glass."


The Times


Jane MacQuitty says "with fine-wine merchants struggling to keep afloat, thank heavens for The Wine Society". She says they may not be the "cool drinker's idea of a good wine merchant, but there's no denying its ability and worth".


MacQuitty mentions its 90,000 members and the wines bought early, or en primeur, in every good vintage.


She says, "a portion of the wines is released immediately, so members can lay them down, while others are kept in the society's temperature-controlled cellars and released only when ready to drink." MacQuitty adds that members can also store fully insured wines in the society's cellars for £7.92 a year (other merchants charge £15 or more).


She says "you will find the society's prices to be keen without being rock bottom" .,


The Telegraph


Susy Atkin says at the moment she seems to be drawn to apple drinks of all sorts; "from apple juice for breakfast to 'proper' cider at a pub lunch, to apple-juicy white wines with light suppers, and even calvados (dinner parties only)".


Atkins puts it down to a "seasonal fling" bought on by the autumnal weather.


She says, certain grape varieties taste distinctly appley in particular Chenin Blanc. Atkins says "South African Chenin mingles lime, guava and tangy green apple in a joyous, fruity burst". She also thinks Riesling, especially the German style, "has a delicate apple and white-blossom appeal. Atkins adds "even Cava has a certain appley zip at its sparkling, er, core".


Financial Times

After a recent trip to Russia Jancis Robinson MW says "Russian wine production is remarkably like wine production everywhere else and what I saw was almost disappointingly familiar." Robinson says most of the transformation has been in the infrastructure, with new winery equipment and new wineries being installed after Mikhail Gorbachev's anti-alcohol campaign left vast tracts of eastern European vineyards "surplus to requirements". She explains that in the former Soviet Union, grapes were grown from Moldova to Tajikistan and transformed into wine with maximum efficiency but minimum attention to quality. Now she says apparently it's state policy to restore the total area of Russian vineyard to its pre-Gorbachev 1984 level of more than 400,000 hectares. Currently the total is only 65,000 hectares. But, she says without wine laws, the Russian wine scene is likely to continue to be undisciplined.