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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bridge the gap between winter and spring with sweet wine, suggests Jane MacQuitty, who doesn't believe it's yet warm enough to drink pink wines or spring whites such as Sauvignon or Riesling, nor cold enough to continue glugging big whites such as oaked Chardonnays. "Step forward sweet wines, whose high alcohol level and sugar content make wonderfully comforting aperitif and first course bottles," she says. Sweet wines also make the perfect partner for the strong salty flavours of powerful blue cheeses such as Roquefort or Stilton. Chill the bottle for a couple of hours to mask some of the sweetness, and even the most confirmed sweet wine hater will be won over, she asserts.

She recommends Sainsbury's "gorgeous, golden honeyed" 2005 Taste the Difference Sauternes (8.49 a half bottle), the 2003 Chteau Filhot with its "crystallized pineapple palate", (9.99 a half bottle, Majestic Wines) and Tesco's 2004 Finest Sauternes (12.20 a half bottle).