The top 10 wines in the UK press
Olly Smith recommends a Mother’s Day food and wine pairing, which he dubs “the eighth wonder of the world” while David Williams reveals his favourite wines for spring.
As well as the “eighth wonder” pairing, Smith runs through other possibilities for Mother’s Day, including one with Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos 2001. Smith wrote in the Mail on Sunday: “This rich, sweet and spicy giant of a wine is exuberant and proudly extravagant. Snap a few cubes of dark chocolate and give mum a treat after lunch.”
As a food and wine pairing rule Smith adds: “Salty flavours in food work well with a bit of acidity and freshness in wine. Smoked salmon and Champagne is a classic example. But salt in food makes tannin taste edgy and bitter so avoid big chunky reds with salty flavour.”
Writing in The Observer, David Williams picks “two French classics and an interesting Chenin Blanc from New Zealand to welcome in the new season.”
Click through the following pages to find out more about these and other wines recommended in the UK press over the last week.
2009 Tinto da Anfora, Alentejo
Matthew Jukes, writing in the Daily Mail recommends this as “one of the most professional red table wines in Portugal”.
He added: “With lovely hedgerow fruit and a touch of spice on the finish this is a medium-weight, suave, Iberian charmer. Take a break from Cabernet and Merlot and dive in here.
2010 St Hallett, Alsare Vineyard Shiraz, Barossa Valley
Jukes also recommends this Australian Shiraz, but warns that “only fans of massive reds wines need to track this stunner down.”
In describing the wine he wrote: “The palate is so inky, dense rich and luscious it is amazing. With a magnificent sheen and devastating aftertaste this is a cosmic wine which will not fail to shock you with its majesty.”
Zilzie Viognier 2010
Susy Atkins picks out several Australian wines, which are less common in the UK. She wrote in the Sunday Telegraph: “We all know Aussie wine is colossally popular in Britain – it’s number one here with almost 20% of the market – but few realise just how versatile its many far-flung regions can be, or the diversity of grape varieties that are grown there.”
With regard to this wine Atkins wrote: “Affordable, generously fruity white proving there’s life beyond Aussie Chardonnay. Peachy, succulent and unoaked, with juicy tangerine, it’s one for simple roast chicken.”
2011 Lirac Domaine de Garrigues
Brian Elliott in The Scotsman recommends this wine, writing: “This is an excellent, quite complex blend (with more Syrah than Grenache and no oak). The result is a soft, warm wine with touches of plum and raspberry fruit and a figgy finish that also combines with sweetish spices.”
Tesco Finest Dessert Semillon 2008
This is one of the wines that Olly Smith loves so much. He wrote: “For a crazy contrast of the sweet with salty, Roquefort paired with Sauternes from France or a fab value Australian sticky should be officially dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World. The flavours contrast and offset each other perfectly. Thrilling.”
Of this wine Smith added: “Luscious sweet vino like a magnificent mango. Stick a bottle in the fridge and serve it a blue cheese for a mesmerising contrast of flavours.”
Château de Montgueret Saumur Blanc 2011
In The Observer, this is one of the French classics that David Williams picked out in to drink at the start of spring.
He wrote: “Chenin Blanc from the Loire is a versatile variety that makes everything from the crisp and light to the lusciously sweet, but always with a slash of acidity, giving it a certain Marmite quality. This lively little number is at the dry, tart apple (rather than apple tart) end of the spectrum – a piercingly fresh white with which to will spring into being.”
Millton Vineyards Te Arai Chenin Blanc
Williams also recommends this Kiwi white wine, writing: “Given how well the country’s done with Sauvignon Blanc, you’d expect Chenin Blanc to be good in New Zealand, but in truth there isn’t a great deal of it around, leaving South Africa to take up the challenge instead. The Milltons are an exception, and this biodynamically produced stunner has the verve and honeyed depth of the best of the Loire.”
Palmer Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne 2007
Each week Jane MacQuitty makes a series of recommendations in The Times and this Champagne is this week’s “keeper”.
She wrote: “Made mostly from Chardonnay grown in the Sézanne district, I was stunned by the superb quality of this brilliant bubbly. Its stylish, white-flowers bouquet and tart, tangy, lemon-zest palate makes the perfect early spring aperitif. Or tuck it away until 2017 for some beautiful brioche flavours to emerge.”
Domaine des Coteaux des Travers Reserve Rasteau 2009
In The Independent Terry Kirby recommends this wine from Rasteau as one to enjoy with your Sunday lunch. He said Rasteau is “one of the two best of the 20 Southern Rhône villages, (Cairanne is the other name to seek out)”.
He describes the wine as “Rhône wine-making at its best: full-bodied, earthy, with gorgeous black fruits to the fore. Drink with rare beef, roast lamb with garlic and anchovies or Roquefort.”
Ramos Reserva 2011
Kirby also picks out this as his “bargain basement” recommendation, he said the wine is “a fine example of modern Portuguese wine-making”.
He added: “Deeply concentrated flavours of red fruits, some touches of leather and tar on the nose, good tannins and a long satisfying finish. Remarkably good value to accompany any Mediterranean foods, but particularly paella.”