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Wines in the press- December 8-11

Published:  13 December, 2011

The Guardian
Fiona Beckett says at Christmas just as easy to find yourself jaded with festive drink choices as it is food ones.

The Guardian
Fiona Beckett says at Christmas just as easy to find yourself jaded with festive drink choices as it is food ones.

The supermarkets have clearly decided that there are certain wines we buy at Christmas, and those are the ones they promote, she adds. What Beckett wants is something mouthwateringly fresh with enough personality to pique her jaded tastebuds. She says a biodynamic wine she recently tasted would hit the spot perfectly. Domaine Bott-Geyl Pinot d'Alsace Métiss 2008 (£10.99 James Nicholson in Crossgar) is a just-off dry but fruity blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Auxerrois, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Beckett also likes the zingy lime, grapefruit and citrus flavours of Clare Valley Rieslings such as Jim Barry's The Lodge Hill Riesling 2010 (£9.99 larger Co-ops).

The Observer

David Williams recommends three of his best from France, Italy and Spain. Gewurztraminer when made by a clumsy winemaker, makes for something as drinkable as cheap perfume, he says. But when handled with care, the grape offers a mix of lychees, Turkish delight and Thai spices fired by bright acidity. Williams recommends Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France 2010 - £7.99. In his opinion more alluring than most red Bordeaux at this price is the Peñalolen Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile 2009 (£10.99, Majestic). The Bodega Chueca Txomin Etxaniz, Chacolí de Getaria/Getariako Txakolina, Spain 2010, (£13.99, Waitrose) is as easy to drink as its name is difficult to pronounce. The Basque white maritime origins are reflected in the glass through its salty, lemony tang and faint spritz, says Williams.

The Mail on Sunday

Summing up this year, Olly Smith has been impressed by southern French, Portuguese and Sicilian wines. While on the high street, he's seen the return of Wine Rack, and Oddbins. He thinks Majestic has been wondrous, and we've seen strength Tesco and Marks & Spencer own label wines, says Smith. But his tip goes to Sainsbury's Taste The Difference. He's been impressed by wine from Aldi and looks forward to tasting more of the Co-Op's wine in 2012. Asda has set competitive prices and Morrisons continues to offer a tremendous beer range. Waitrose's range and prices continue to impress and with 2012 looming, he's on a mission to hunt the best to sip - and the best prices.

The Independent

Pinot Noir is on Anthony Rose's mind, having pitted German Pinot Noir against the rest of the world, tasted fine red Burgundy pre-sale by at American auction house, Acker Merrall & Condit and took part in an 'emerging classics' tasting of Chilean Pinot Noir. The two most interesting results were the tastings from Germany and Chile, he says. The former because, in a pre-selection of top German Pinot by Tim Atkin MW and the Tate's Hamish Anderson. It was almost Deutschland über alles with seven Spätburgunders, as the grape is known in Germany, taking seven of the 10 top places, he says. Top was Rudolf Fürst's 2009 Bürgstadter Centgräfenberg Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs from Franconia. The second result was interesting, says Rose because in Chile Pinot Noir is still a work-in-progress than classic. In a disappointing tasting, most Chilean Pinots were just too clunky, and either over-alcoholic or over-oaked. Of all countries, Rose thinks New Zealand delivers most on value per sip ratio. He recommends Blind River Pinot Noir, Marlborough, 2010 (£18.99 buy 2 = £14.99, Majestic).

The Daily Telegraph

Christmas is not just the season of goodwill to all men - it is the season of Champagne cocktails, sherry, glittering glasses, the clink of ice, big parties, family gatherings and glamorous soirées, says Victoria Moore.
Her new book, How to Drink at Christmas, offers ideas and advice on what to quaff at evenings with friends, what'll go best with Christmas dinner and the perfect tipples with which to see in the New Year. She offers a selection of her favourite drinks and cocktail recipes at