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Wines in the Press - April 29 - May 2

Published:  04 May, 2010

The Guardian

Victoria Moore recently had emails from four couples planning a summer wedding and wanting a red and a white for around a fiver a bottle.

Victoria Moore recently had emails from four couples planning a summer wedding and wanting a red and a white for around a fiver a bottle. For a white, Moore recommends the Torres Viña Sol 2009 (£5.00, on offer at Sainsbury's). She describes it as having a clean-edged freshness and gentle tinge of green apple. "It's not a thrilling white, but it is safe, and a very easy party wine." Her first first wedding choice for a red would be Cruz de Piedra Garnacha 2008 (£5.50, The Wine Society). It's an old vine Garnacha with "reach and ripeness; a real wine."


What makes a good sommelier? Asks Tim Atkin MW. He says an easy manner is arguably the most important thing as people can be surprisingly nervous when they eat in restaurants. To Atkin a decent sommelier is a professional salesman, but never a "huckster".
And what about a bad sommelier? Gerard Basset who recently won the World's Best Sommelier competition says it's, "someone who thinks he is more important than the customer. You can have all the knowledge and technical skills in the world, but if you get that wrong, you are useless."


"I haven't yet found a drink I don't like", said David Cameron when visiting Fuller's Brewery on the campaign trail last month. Anthony Rose says he had to bite his lip, though, when talking about his anti-binge-drinking plans. Rose says, whether or not we'll see fairer taxes on wine under the Lib Dems is a moot point. But he thinks the price is good enough on the Pauillac Cru Classé Château Haut-Bages-Libéral 2003 (£15.42 Lay & Wheeler), not to have to worry. But if you're closer to pink than red, then Rose recommends Lavenue Rosé NV Champagne, with its advantage of a "prudent accounting reduction" from (£29.99 to £14.99, Marks & Spencer).

Financial Times

Jancis Robinson says all over the world - there is a grape glut, causing a fall in the prices paid by wine producers for grapes, most notably in New World countries; Australia, New Zealand, California and Chile. She adds, "amazingly, to me anyway, this is also in prospect for English vineyards." Admittedly the scale of the English wine production is relatively miniature, Robinson explains. But it represents such a marked increase that there are real fears of an over-supply. Robinson says more than 3m bottles of English wine were produced last year, when the total area planted increased by 20%, and there is a further 25% planted but still to come on stream. Also further new plantings are expected this year. Robinson says, English viticulture is now a much more commercial proposition that its reputation is sending the Champenois scouting for vineyards across southern England. But, she adds "English wines are rarely inexpensive. Small-scale production and often small crops are not helpful. Nor is the current glut of Champagne and the number of special deals on what many wine drinkers still regard as 'real' fizz."

The Mail

"Shiraz and Syrah are the Ant and Dec of the wine world," says Olly Smith. They may be made from the same grape, but they are individually unique. Syrah tends to be from cooler climates and is lower in alcohol, whereas Shiraz tends to be more fruity with higher alcohol levels. Smith says he loves both, and recommends selecting according to your mood and food. He thinks Syrah works with duck, but with Shiraz you need a richer, beefier dish. An good example of a Rhône Syrah is; Domaine Des Hauts Chassis Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Les Galets 2007 (£16.30, The Shiraz Smith recommends is the Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2007, (£16.14,