Monday, 14 March 2016

Wines to put a spring in your step

Even if sunny spring weather goes AWOL, you can still put a spring in your step with a glass of something light, fresh and fruity.


Cuvée Pêcheur 2015 - £4.99 from Waitrose
If you’re looking for something to have on standby for when the sun comes out, or are planning a spring party, look no further. This is a blend of Ugni Blanc and Colombard (both varieties usually backing singers rather than the headliner) from Southwest France that has plenty of zing and a bit of floweriness. Buy and enjoy this now – all its charms stem from its youth and freshness.

Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Caves de la Nantaise 2014 - £5.95 from The Wine Society
Remember Muscadet? Remind yourself why you loved it with this delightfully fresh, light-bodied (and light alcohol, just 11.5%) wine with a hint of the sea and oyster shells about it.

Tesco Finest Côtes de Gascogne 2014 - £6, Tesco
A rather boring name for a great little wine. Here Sauvignon Blanc is complemented by the high quality but relatively unknown local variety, Gros Manseng, which contributes weight and a grapefruit tang.


Bel Air Perponcher Rosé 2015 - £8.50 from The Wine Society
With rosé, more than any other wine style, eye appeal is vital; it epitomizes the idea that we taste with our eyes, so the wine’s colour (and to some extent packaging) is almost as important as the flavour. This charmer is a beautiful pale shell pink with a mixture of lemon zest and pith, and hints of redcurrant fruit. A perfect glass on a sunny afternoon in the garden.

Château Tour de Mirambeau Rosé Réserve 2014 - £10.60 from Tanners
If the weather warms up sufficiently that you throw caution to the wind and get out the barbecue from its winter quarters, this could be the wine to match. Hailing from Bordeaux, it is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape renowned for making wines big on fruit and structure – so it shouldn’t surprise you that, even as a pink wine, there is plenty of black fruit flavour with a hint of woodiness, warmth and spice. This is a powerful, food friendly wine that would go well with marinated lamb chump steaks.

Rosa dei Frati 2014, Cà dei Frati - £14.75 from , £16.49 from The Wine Reserve (Cobham), £16.90 from Hedonism Wines (Mayfair)
This is a beautiful pale, negligée pink colour and comes in an equally pretty bottle. Fresh strawberry fruit combined with lemony acidity makes this a great "glass in the garden in spring" wine, which also stands up to vinaigrette dressing or a tomato tart.


Rainbows End Cabernet Franc 2013 - £11.99, Hard to Find Wines (
Cabernet Franc is just right for spring and summer and this one is a textbook example from South Africa. Ripe red fruit and pencil shaving aromas give way to a palate that is densely flavoured, but with all important fresh acidity. A joy and – at this price – a bargain.

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