Treat yourself at Easter with a good, fruity wine – Alistair Gibson
The Easter weekend is nearly upon us, and while it might not involve quite the festivities that Christmas does, it’s still a weekend with much of the focus around the dining table. Therefore, a good wine would not go amiss.
Hopefully the weather will be kind and bring out some sunshine for us all to enjoy.
While spring lamb is the traditional Easter dish, we may be able to fire up the barbeque with some seasonal vegetables, such as English asparagus and Jersey new potatoes, and some delicious grilled meats. With that comes the perfect opportunity for some lighter reds and some slightly fruitier whites.
Irresistible Chenin Blanc 2018, Darling (Co-op £7.00) has long been one of the best value white wines in the Co-op range and the 2018 vintage continues that winning streak.
Chenin Blanc’s original home may have been the Loire Valley but it has now become South Africa’s white grape calling card, producing a very different style of wine.
Grown on the Cape’s cool west coast region of Darling, this bursts out of the glass with juicy pear, apricot and orange blossom, followed by enough zesty acidity to give it a fresh, crisp finish. This is a great all rounder.
But if you happen to be throwing some chilli prawns in a pan, it would make a great partner.
Errazuriz Estate Pinot Noir 2017, Aconcagua Valley (Ocado £10.99 , Majestic £9.99 but £8.99 as part of a mixed 6) shows just what Chile can achieve with good value Pinot Noir.
Like the Cape’s Darling region, the Aconcagua Valley is another cool area, but here it’s the Pacific that brings its cooling influence.
This is a light bodied Pinot Noir with cherry and redcurrants and just a little spice on the nose followed by fresh, silky tannins and just a little oak in the background on the palate.
It’s simple yet attractive wine, that you could happily chill just a little before serving.
A salmon dish with some spiced flavours would compliment this wine perfectly.
For a Pinot Noir with a little more complexity and body, I can promise that Vidal Reserve Pinot Noir 2017, Marlborough (www.nzhouseofwine.co.uk £14.99, www.thedrinkshop.com £14.50) is definitely worth the price tag.
Vidal is actually based in North Island’s Hawkes Bay region but also now produces wines from Marlborough, where this comes from.
It was aged in French barriques, a proportion of which were new, which has added to the complexity and flavour of this wine.
The nose is very aromatic with red cherry, raspberry, spice and some earthy notes. This is followed by a nicely textured palate with more red fruits and well-integrated, ripe tannins before a long, juicy finish.
This is very satisfying New Zealand Pinot Noir that would just as easily work with an Easter roast be it lamb, pork or chicken or fresh meat and veg from the barbeque.