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Wines in the press January 29-31

Published:  02 February, 2010

The Guardian

Victoria Moore is advising on "what not to drink". She says, the wines that follow would have her reaching for the water, no matter how hard a day she's had.

Picking the worst from the top supermarkets, she calls Sainsbury's Argentinian Pinot Noir 2009, (£4.99) "turgid" and Sainsbury's Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2009, (£3.22) "horrendous".

On to Tesco, Moore says, bad claret reminds her of a cardboard box that's spent the past year in the porch with dirty shoes sat on it. She names as an example; Tesco Vintage Claret 2007 (£5.99).

On the up side, she specifies that nothing tried at Waitrose is quite as horrifying, but adds, only "patriotism" would make her part with £10.99 for Bookers Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006.

She reveals Asda's "real teeth-gritters" as Nederburg Winemasters Reserve ­Sauvignon Blanc 2009, South Africa (£6.48) and M de Murviedro Rosé 2008 (£5.48).

The Observer

On visiting the vineyards of the De Morgenzon farm in Stellenbosch, Tim Atkin, MW, says you will hear pieces by Bach, Corelli and Albinoni which are piped through outdoor speakers.

Vineyard owner, Hylton Appelbaum, claims his vines respond to a very particular style of classical music. But rock, pop, rap, techno and jazz don't have the same effect. What they enjoy is something harmonious and melodious; such as baroque music.

Atkin asks: "How does he know the vines are responding to the music?" The answer is they apparently grow more vigorously and look more healthy.

Appelbaum's claims to have scientific backing, adds Atkin. In 2007, researchers at South Korea's National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology found classical music triggered a response in two specific genes (rbcS and Ald) in rice plants.

In the same year, Trakya University in Turkey found "relaxing, calming and mentally invigorating music" had a positive effect on root growth in onions during germination.

The Telegraph

Susy Atkins asks: "Should you go for red or white wine with pork belly?" In her opinion you could do either, as long as your white is in the fulsome, fruity style, but she adds, she's inclined to opt for red in two out of three cases here.


Atkins thinks pork rillettes, served on their own, are a doddle to match with red and recommends peppery Rhône reds, red Bordeaux or an inexpensive New World Cabernet-Shiraz.


Pickled figs complicate matters, she says, because they introduce "that notorious wine-killer, vinegar". She recommends sticking to a red with relatively high acidity, either a simple, youthful Tuscan or Loire.


Verring away from reds Atkins chooses Burgundy for dishes crisp pork belly with a salad of potato and quail's eggs, a dish, she says, that works better with the crispness of white.

The Times

Bob Tyrer says, it's only now being realised quite what a vintage 2008 Burgundy was. Now that the wines have been tasted "they're being treated as a miracle."


He says he was having a knee operation on the day of the tasting, so didn't get to sample them.


Chris Davey is the Burgundy specialist at the importers OW Loeb, says Tyrer and urges people to read his, "joyful introduction to its 2008 Burgundy offer at, which overflows with enthusiasm and intimate knowledge".


Some of Tyrers other recommendations are; Joseph Drouhin Rully 2006 (£12.99, Waitrose), Domaine Ballorin Côtes de Nuits Villages 2007 (£14.95, Roberson) and  Beaune 1er Cru Jadot 2002 (£19.95, Cambridge Wine Merchants).