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Wines in the press - December 11-14

Published:  15 December, 2009

The Guardian

"It's time to get the drinks cupboard ready for Christmas," says Victoria Moore. In her opinion the best pink Champagne is Marguet Rosé Grand Cru 2003 (£23, The Wine Society).

The best house white she suggests is the Saladini Pilastri Falerio 2008 (£6.99, or £5.59 as part of a mixed case, Oddbins) which has the "Sauvignon Blanc zing factor without shouting at you".

For a red she recommends "the excellent 2007 Rhône vintage" and Vignerons Ardechois Le Grand Deves 2007 Côteaux du Tricastin (£6.95,

Finally, best value port she says is Tesco Finest 1994 Vintage Port (£15.99).



Professor Gérard Liger-Belair of the University of Reims proved earlier this year that sparkling wines are uniquely complex and a glass of fizz can contain as much as 30 times more aroma and flavour than the wine itself, reports Tim Atkin MW.

But he warns to be extremely wary of cheap deals, unless they are on brands or supermarket own-labels that you know and trust.

He says, "better still, use my selection of the best 24 Champagnes and sparkling wines, covering everything from a sub-£5 Cava to a £50 vintage Bollinger. There's a fizz for every mood, pocket and occasion here".


Sunday Telegraph

Susy Atkins says let's get something straight about the authenticity of food and wine matching tips in this column. Do I actually try each dish with a wide array of wines? "Every time? Yes, yes and yes again".

She professes that recipes are not always made to perfection in her kitchen and admits to being no great cook, but says an approximation of the dish is put together, and many bottles are opened in the quest to find the best for the job.

For the classic Christmas roast turkey she thinks a wine needs to be pretty ripe and full-flavoured like a Chablis or other white Burgundy, a premium red Zinfandel from California, or Australian Shiraz such as Waitrose Barossa Shiraz 2007 Reserve, South Australia (£8.99).

 The Times

Instead of looking at festive wines this week, Jane MaQuitty is recommending gift ideas such as a Port & Stilton duo which consists of a "beautiful, plummy", 2003 Late Bottled Vintage Port from Churchill Graham plus a truckle of the finest Cropwell Bishop Stilton (£25 Tanners).

She says Waitrose's imaginative Christmas collection has a dessert wine and Christmas puddings set that includes two mini puds, plus 50cl of Arnaud de Villeneuve's, "delicious, tangy, orange-scented", l982 Rivesaltes Ambré Hors d'Age (£30).

She adds, "if anyone gave me a bottle of Dom Pérignon's nutty, lime-blossom and honey-scented 2000 Champagne, I would love them for ever". (£105, Waitrose).



The Independent

Anthony Rose asks how Aussie wines have gone "from heroes to zeros in the twinkling of an eye?"

He says, it's hard to put your finger on any one particular reason, but it was almost inevitable that brand Australia couldn't continue its remarkable growth.

Most of what finds its way on to retailers' shelves in the UK tends to be at the cheaper, duller, branded end of the spectrum, explains Rose, which he adds, is aggravated by supermarket promotions. But he points out that, "at least Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Majestic and Oddbins are attempting to buck the trend".

He gives an example of the "refreshingly dry, lime-zesty", Paulett's Polish Hill River Riesling 2008 (£9.99, Majestic).