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Wines in the Press- May 20-23

Published:  25 May, 2010

The Guardian
A salad with fruit, rocket and ham covered in dressing is better eaten with a wine that instead of being bone-rattlingly dry, has a small amount of residual sugar, says Victoria Moore.

The first she tried was the "utterly delicious" Margrain Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (£11.99, or £9.59 by the mixed case, Oddbins) which has been stop-fermented to leave 7g a litre of residual sugar.

The Pujalet 2009 Vin de Pays du Gers (£4.99, Waitrose) Moore says is a remarkable white made from Colombard and Ugni Blanc, has 7g of residual sugar and flavours poached pears.

Upping it to 9.5g a litre of residual sugar is the Schieferterrassen Riesling Heymann-Löwenstein 2007 Mosel, (£17.99, or £14.39 by the mixed case, Oddbins) which Moore says is all about perfume - apple strudel and white blossom.

The Times

Co-operation may be fashionable in political circles, says Tim Atkin MW, but in the wine business it's increasingly regarded as distinctly old-fashioned and instead it's individualism that reigns.

He adds, and yet co-operatives still dominate the world of wine, particularly European wine.

Depressingly, bad co-operatives are still in the majority with the worst of them, in places such as Sicily, La Mancha and the Languedoc with the liquid they churn out being barely fit for distillation.

Atkin explains that if co-operatives were to disappear tomorrow, so would Europe's wine surplus.

Brussels intends to drain that lake over the next decade, so the co-operatives will have to shape up or it's do or die time.

Is there an alternative? He asks. "You bet there is: to make good vino." Amongst others he names Plaimont, Buxy, Union Champagne, Roquebrun, Tain-l'Hermitage and Turckheim in France for doing just that.

Daily Mail

Olly Smith says he's going to start this week with all things creamy.

A dish made with double cream - such as figgy pudding, he says calls for a glass of Sauternes.

It has an unctuous texture, glorious sweetness and will manage to cut through the texture of the cream, thanks to its brisk acidity.

An alternative is a Botrytis Semillon from Australia, from producers such as De Bortoli, says Smith.

He adds that he also love a glass of Monbazillac, even though it's sometimes thought of as the poor relation to Sauternes.

Regarding cheese Smith says if you're dealing with a soft cheese that hasn't got a rind, a white unoaked wine is your target - a crisp English white would do it.

But if you're a stickler for reds, head for a lighter style, such as Beaujolais.

Sunday Times

Every year I fly to the other side of the world for a holiday that consists largely of a continuous war against the immense network of wasps' nests in the brackeny hillside of the Marlborough Sounds, says Bob Tyrer.

But this year he was told about another invader, the giardia.

Apparently, Giardia intestinalis (aka Giardia lamblia) is a nasty waterborne parasite that apparently infects 20% of the world's population and like the wasps, it has penetrated the NZ paradise.

Tyrer says he set out to self-medicate copiously with wine. "But it's expensive to do so, even down there where it comes from. New Zealand doesn't do cheap, and I'd rather risk giardia than the bulk wine imported from Australia."

It reminded him how lucky we are in Britain to have good cheap wine which he says is almost on tap.

Tyrer recommends Cruz de Piedra Garnacha 2008 (£5.50-£6.45).