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Wines in the Press - November 26-28

Published:  30 November, 2010

The Guardian
You may have placed a Christmas order with the butcher, buy your veg from the farmers' market and stilton from the deli, but will you walk through the door of your local wine merchant, or even buy your wine from them online on the lead up to Christmas?

Asks Fiona Beckett. She says, Ten Green Bottles is a funky Brighton shop and wine bar that specialises in hard-to-find bottles such as biodynamic Saumur producer Domaine de la Paleine's Scherzo 2008 (£10.99). Then there's The Real Wine Co, Beckett loves its Pietraluna Negroamaro 2009, from Salento, southern Italy (£6.99). "There are quite honestly loads of good people selling wine out there, so do give them some of your business," she adds.

The Telegraph
We British wine-lovers are a fickle bunch, says Susy Atkins. The grape Viognier can divide room at wine tastings. Many adore its rich and peachy apricot tones, its opulent whiff of honeysuckle and rounded, weighty texture; others find it over-perfumed, and flabby. Atkins says she likes it, but only with food, especially with mildly spiced Indian chicken dishes, with a rich creamy sauce. Her advice is to trade up: £7 to £10 should buy you a decent version with depth, intensity and a seductive, natural aroma and might just convert your fickle friends. She recomemnds Alain Grignon 2009, Vin de Pays d'Oc, France (Majestic, £6.99).

The Independent
Marmite; some love it, while others find it loathsome, says Anthony Rose. There are some wines that also divide opinion down the middle, such as sherry that is actually made with inbuilt "flaws", so you wonder how it can end up remotely drinkable. Rose recommends the "sea salt-tangy" La Gitana from Hidalgo, £6.29 at Tesco. He says it's attacked by oxygen in the barrel with only a thin film of yeast to protect it, resulting in yeast-derived flavours which, to the novice palate, can taste all wrong. He says traditional white Riojas like Viña Tondonia and Murrieta, Lebanon's Château Musar and some of the new-wave "natural" wines, have some of the "jolie laide" about them, too.

The Mail
Your Christmas wine collection need not be pricey but it must be varied and the great news is that with a bit of advance planning you can easily have it all, says Olly Smith. Bubbles are a must at Christmas - cheap bubbles to pop spontaneously, mid-range kit for sloshing out before a meal and a high-end bottle to remind you why you've been working so hard all year. Crisp whites are an absolute staple for the casual Christmas party and it's time to stock up on some bargain reds to ladle out at the inevitable gatherings. This year, in the spirit of adventure, Smith is matching Rioja with his turkey and recommends the Rioja Gran Reserva 1995, Campillo (£25,

Financial Times
Jancis Robinson MW, has a four-part series on the best Christmas drinking begins with Champagne, to be followed in coming weeks by reds and whites, and strong and sweet wines. 
She recommends Miguel Torres Pinot Brut Methode Traditionnelle NV Chile. It's a gently fizzy southern hemisphere copy of a Blanc de Noirs Champagne. "Not much evidence of age but well made with a light touch," she says. (Paul Adams Fine Wine, £10.50)