Top three wines to enjoy at Easter | Alistair Gibson

The Easter weekend is nearly upon us, and while it might not be quite the Easter we would like (again), there is a definite hint of Spring in the air.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 3:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 3:21 pm
One of Alistair's top picks. Picture: Patrick Barbereau

Daffodils are in full bloom and it’s about this time of year when I start to get excited about the arrival of new season vegetables, particularly English asparagus. Here are a few wines with Easter Sunday lunch in mind.

Bouvet Saumur Brut NV (Majestic, £13.99 but £11.99 as part of a mixed six) is a really terrific value French alternative to Champagne. It is produced using the same method as Champagne but is predominantly made from chenin blanc and the resulting wine is very appealing.

There is a constant stream of small bubbles in the glass, the nose o ffers green apples and orchard blossom, followed by a lively palate with more crunchy apple and pear fruit, bright acidity and a long, clean finish. It makes a lovely aperitif and you could also serve this with some simple seafood.

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The Society’s English White 2020 (The Wine Society, £8.50) is a reminder there is more to English wine than just sparkling wine and this seems a very apt wine for the start of an English s pring.

Made for The Wine Society by Three Choirs Vineyards, one of the largest wine estates in the country, the nose is a little reminiscent of a spring hedgerow, along with some citrus blossom and gooseberries.

T he palate is very fresh with more gooseberry fruit and zesty acidity and a refreshing, just-off-dry finish. This is only 11 per cent alcohol which makes a nice change and it would work equally well as an aperitif or with some smoked fish. If you can wait, how about an asparagus risotto?

Roast lamb is very much the traditional Easter Sunday lunch centrepiece and Rioja can make for one of those perfect food and wine matches.

With the steady growth in organic wine sales, it is notable that many prominent producers are now looking to think about organics and sustainability in the vineyard.

Ramon Bilbao Organic Rioja 2019 (selected Co-ops, £10) was made from tempranillo with a little garnacha and was aged for eight months in older American oak barrels. This is quite modern style Rioja – there are red fruits, violets and a little spice on the nose followed by a fresh, supple, fruit- driven palate with some silky tannins in the background.

This would work really well with a roast leg of lamb or if you were having a shepherd’s pie later in the week.