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Wines in the press - February 28-30

Published:  01 February, 2011

The Guardian
The Chinese may be buying up the world's best Bordeaux, but is hard to think of a wine that's less suited to Chinese food, says Fiona Beckett.

It would seem aromatic whites, such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer seem a much more convincing pairing. Although, neither takes into account that Chinese food encompasses so many different cuisines, from delicate Cantonese to spicy Sichuan, sometimes within the course of the same meal, she adds. "It's supposed to be a rollercoaster ride of flavours," cookery writer Fuchsia Dunlop told Beckett, when they experimented with various bottles at the Sichuanese restaurant Barshu in London. Beckett and Dunlop found that the wines that dealt best with hot and sweet dishes were an Alsace Gewürztraminer and a strong, fruity Australian rosé (Charles Melton's Rosé of Virginia), and a Chilean Pinot Noir fared well with black bean sauce.

But what if you're planning a Chinese New Year feast without access to a Chinese-sized wine budget? She asks. If you want to drink one wine right the way through, she says go for a rosé such as the Merlot-based Château de Sours Bordeaux Rosé 2009 (£9.99, Majestic).

The Sunday Telegraph

Sometimes you look at a dish such as seared tuna with chilli, coriander and lime and it screams out for the most full-on, fruity, extrovert wine in the world, for instance an ice-cold, perfumed California pink! says Susy Atkins. Sweet, marinaded, char-grilled chicken? Atkins recommends you crank it up with a ripe, tropical Aussie Chardonnay! You can also calm it down with a glass of light, elegant Italian white that is streamlined, classy and cool to go with Diana Henry's cauliflower-based winter salad. She recommends: La Luciana Gavi 2009, Araldica, Italy (Co-op, £5.99).

The Telegraph

Much of Victoria Moore's time is spent standing beside a spittoon or a kitchen sink, swirling and spitting wines. Her criteria is straightforward - would she spend her own money on this wine? The hit rate isn't high, she adds. Moore says about one in eight tastes good enough and is priced keenly enough to merit a recommendation.

This week, she thought she would reveal some of the wines not to drink this year, followed by an alternative suggestion.

1. Avoid - Gerard Bertrand Domaine de L'Aigle Pinot Noir 2009 Pays d'Oc, France (14.5%, Majestic, £7.99). Moore describes it as " merely disappointing." Instead, she recommends Palataia Pinot Noir 2009 (M&S, £8.49).

2. Avoid Asda Extra Special Minervois 2008 France ( Asda, £6.98). She says, it's one that when you put it in your mouth you immediately have to race for the spittoon. Instead she suggests Les Douze Mont Tauch Fitou 2008 France (Majestic, £6.49).

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW, advises that in wine auctions it is usually advisable to be wary of cases containing 10 or 11 bottles instead of the full dozen. It means the previous owner has probably tried a bottle or two and been disappointed. She adds over the past decade it has been "positively crazy" to bid on such a lot if it happens to be white Burgundy, as white Burgundy has been the single most common complaint on her website's forum.

According to Los Angeles lawyer, Don Cornwell, between 9-23% oxidises, turns brown and loses its fruit, before it is 10 years old. It's a problem that only came to light in 2003 with the first widespread disappointments among bottles of the 1995s. It has resulted in great swathes of wine-related cyberspace being devoted to specific theories, says Robinson.

Her advice is that most 2009s should probably be drunk long before the threat of premature oxidation is realized. Burgundy merchants are generally advising their customers to drink modern white Burgundy earlier than used to be the norm, she says.