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Wines in the Press - December 18-21

Published:  22 December, 2009

The Guardian

Victoria Moore is faced with a row of red Burgundies and a similarly priced line of New Zealand Pinot Noirs.

She says, "if it's true that £10-£25 red Burgundies are horribly likely to disappoint, their New Zealand counterparts increasingly seem to delight". She adds, instead of being patronizingly compared to the likes of Volnay, Beaune or Nuit St George, the region is now admired for its own qualities and quirks.

The most sublime are not in huge supply, says Moore, "but if you are patient and dedicated, they'd make a great Christmas presents. Ideally to yourself ".

Her choices are Hans Pinot Noir 2005 Marlborough (£23, Bottle Apostle) and Clayvin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Marlborough (£26.99,


The Observer

The Atkin family Christmas will have a Spanish flavour this year, for two reasons, says Tim Atkin MW.

Firstly; he's just bought a copy of José Pizarro's wonderful Seasonal Spanish Food (£19.99, Kyle Cathie) and can't wait to cook some of the recipes.

He says the second reason involves a lost bottle of Vega Sicilia Unico 1995, which he informs his stepmother mistakenly used in what turned out to be "a very expensive stew".

His solution has been to purchase Vega's second wine, a Valbuena 2003 (£73.40, Berry Brothers & Rudd). Atkin says, it is quite forward for a Valbuena, but it's still delicious, and is, "broad, smoky and herbal, with ripe flavours of plums and blackberries and very subtle oak".

The Sunday Times

Jane MacQuitty recommends wine stockists to make a festive call to for last minute buys.

She says Berry Bros & Rudd in St James's Street, Central London is good to pick up rare treats such as, Champagne Baron's, Pinot Noir-dominant Brut Réserve (£27.95).

At Marks & Spencer, she reveals there are all sorts of prettily wrapped goodies to take home and her favourite is its, "luscious, raisiny, tealeaf- scented", Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina 1990 (£15 half bottle).

MacQuitty recommends readers head to Waitrose to buy, "the seductive, fat, black pepper-spiced," Saint Joseph, Cave de Saint-Désirat 2007 (down to £8.99).


The Telegraph

Susy Atkins is looking at pudding wines. She says some prefer to tackle the classic Christmas pudding head on, with a very rich, amber-coloured dessert wine. "If so, look no further than the fabulous elixir of raisins and chocolate that is," Campbells Rutherglen Muscat, Victoria, Australia (Oddbins, £7.99).

Although she adds that others will have had enough heavy wines. Instead, Atkins recommends a crisp, delicate sweet wine to cut through the sticky dessert such as, Marks & Spencer Asti NV, Alberto Canino, Piedmont, Italy (£6.99).


But if you think the whole Christmas pudding thing is too much, says Atkins, then go for a lighter dessert, perhaps a sorbet, or a fruit parfait. In which case she recommends the Concha Y Toro Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2006, Maule, Chile (Majestic, £5.99 for 37.5cl)