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Wines in the press - September 4-6

Published:  08 September, 2009



Victoria Moore is disputing the latest research that says we have fallen out of love with Gallic wine now it has dropped to fourth place in the league tables of the wine we drink.


Moore's opinion is that much of the wine we drink is supplied by the top ten brands and says "comparing Blossom Hill to, say, a good £5 Côtes du Rhône is like comparing a turkey twizzler to my mum's shepherd's pie".


She asked market analysts AC Neilsen to tell her what would happen to the league table if they discounted sales of the leading 10 brands.


The result was that France came out on top, with Italy a close second Australia third, South Africa fourth, and the US a lagging fifth.


Moore says "this tells me that wine lovers are still entranced by French wine".



Jonathan Ray says he feels he is getting old because his godchildren have grown up "so blindingly fast".


He reminisces to when he was working at Berrys and was able to make use of the staff rates and lay down the odd case for them. "But as my godchildren have matured so have the wines," he says." Indeed, a couple of them are a wee bit too mature, not to say over the hill."


Former colleague of his - Tom Cave of Berrys says the best time to lay down wines for godchildren is when they are around ten-years-old: "The trouble is that godparental pressure means you have to take something tangible to the christening."


He says that Port ages better than Claret, but adds it doesn't keep its value so well. "My advice is to spend a minimum of £200 a case and to trade things as you go along."




Anthony Rose is scratching beneath the surface of Croatian wines and says it becomes clear that Croatia has a diverse indigenous wine culture whose dry whites and reds, as well as its sparkling and sweet wines, have the potential to add significantly to the wine styles we enjoy in the UK.


Rose explains that the Dalmatian coast is home to refreshingly crisp, full-flavoured dry whites made from Malvazija Istarska which he says have a special affinity with the local seafood.


And further down the Dalmatian coast, Plavac Mali is Croatia's main red grape variety that produces "richly flavoured wines with aromas and flavours of dark fruits like black cherry, plum and blackberry".


Croatia's other principal dry white grape variety is Gra?evina which Rose says, is grown in the hillside vineyards of Kutjevo where it produces high-quality dry aromatic whites full of juicy apple and citrus flavours.


Rose asks: "Is it too much to hope that before long we'll be able to enjoy Tesco Finest Gra?evina, Asda Extra Special Malvazija and Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Plavac Mali?"



Tim Atkin was surprised at two wine-related stories that appeared while he was on holiday and says if they'd been published on April 1, they would have made plausible April Fools.

He explains that both yarns originated in Italy and were partly about wine, money and sex.

The first covered the possible use of wine as collateral for bank loans. He comments that the idea even has the backing of the Italian agriculture minister and the chairman of the Banca Popolare di Vicenza.

But Atkin says it wont work. "For a simple reason: wineries that owe the banks lots of cash tend to be those that can't sell their wine at a decent price. And the reason for that? It's invariably crap."

He explains that the second tale "is even more bizarre".


Doctors at the University of Florence have published a "scientific study" about the link between female sexuality and red wine consumption. And have chosen to publish it in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The researchers interviewed 800 women between the ages of 18 and 50, asking them to fill in a questionnaire to determine their Female Sexual Function Index.


Atkin comments "who says romance is on its last legs in Italy, eh?

The Times


Jane MacQuitty is exploring wines to drink with curry.


She says "strange though it sounds, the spices used in most curries are very wine-friendly".


The best all purpose red she endorses is Beaujolais because of its tart acidity and minimal tannin and recommends Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Georges Duboeuf 2007, £5.99.


For a white to go with Thai green curry, MacQuitty suggests the "zesty, juicy, lime peel-scented," Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne NV, Sainsburys £3.79.


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