With sizzling temperatures across England bringing out the tulips, apple and pear blossoms and not to forget our big happy smiles, it may be wise to propose that spring may possibly be around the corner. Pleasant weather, coupled with Easter weekend celebration (and hopefully a bit of time off work) would give us all an opportunity to unwind and open our minds to a positive summer ahead with hopefully some barbeques on the cards. The weather is a big guiding factor that makes us lean towards selecting energetic wines that uplift our spirits and also help recharge our batteries. Easter wines unlike Christmas do not need to be texturally rich or of a serious character. We need to go in for upbeat, refreshing and youthful wines with a reasonably flexible character as many of us tend to go easy on complicated cooking involving heavy prep work and cream based sauces, focusing instead, on easy grills and diverse styles of summer salads adding in a mix of seasonal fruits like green apples to add that extra zing. And interestingly so, wines need to be more on the floral, fruity style with refreshing citrus tones to complement the changing weather and hence the reason why white wines start becoming more popular during spring! Doesn’t that all make sense? Our palates are themselves realising when and how to make seasonal shifts, based on weather patterns and the resulting cooking styles and so it’s just a matter of fine tuning and listening to our palate and wisely choosing the wines. With hopefully most of our active minds and bodies getting geared up for biking, golfing, running and swimming out in the outdoors, our foods will noticeably get lighter textured with use of lemon vinaigrette marinades, to make up for the hot weather. Winter vegetables and rich sauces give way to crunchy, leafy and green vegetables like cucumbers and celery, with meat lovers opting for fish, prawns, hams, prosciutto while some of us retaining the traditional rack of lamb or ham as their easter celebration dinners. Down below we have wines that will suit every Easter supper. Noteworthy is that these are quality wines available at a great bargain that will not only suit the upbeat sunny profile of guests, but also compliment an wide array of the host’s dinner menus.
Here are my top choices for the upcoming Easter break, keeping in mind the varying shades of spring sun, cool winds and diverse cuisines while bolstering our cheerful positive disposition! Happy Spring and a Happy Easter to you…
Sainsbury’s buy 6 and get 25% off is out now and from my experience that lasts for a very short time. So here are a few of my picks. You must avail of this opportunity sooner than later.
Villa Maria Private Bin, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc(£7.5)
Marlborough now having firmly established its foothold in producing contemporary styles of food friendly, ripe yet attractive Sauvignon Blanc varietal, you can never go wrong with Villa Maria’s Private Bin collection that makes very high quality and consistently pure styles of sauvignon blanc without being overly grassy or racy. These can be served alongside summer barbeques, salads and also go equally well with sea food and evening banter sessions!
Chateau Miraval, Cote de Provence, France £16
None other than the posh get-away and wedding destination not-so-secret haunt of the celebrity couple Pitts (Brad and Angelina), this delicious wine is the partake of their 1200 acre chateau with its luxury 35 rooms, pumped up with active recreational centre comprising of a theatre, a pool, dirt bike course and heli pad – all presently being put on hold with the recent split up and the ensuing tension in the Brangie family. But no reason not to splurge in some of the spoils from their well-maintained winery that seems to be continuing its strong pursuit to producing quality Roses. Price has been marked down for this so you can definitely opt in for it now until management changes hands (or not!). Rose wines are great for summer cuisines as well fish, prawn and escargot.
DV Catena Malbec £12
Generations of established and proven research on micro climates and high altitude viticulture while retaining age old traditions cultivated by the Catena family in Argentina show its results in this stunning elegant Malbec which expresses firm back fruit freshness along with meat notes and smoky black pepper intensity that pairs well with roast lamb, ham or even chocolates. May be that could be your evening treat for the easter season.
Waitrose has 25% off of its wines currently and this is the time to build up your selection of spring wines. Top of my Waitrose picks for this month include:
If its anything to do with welcoming spring in Balmy Britain, you may very well do it with the best of an English Fizz. Having made a name for itself as Premier sparkling wine of England with almost 3 decades of experience in wine making, this is a brand that truly represents the heart of innovation for English fizz with a clever and near perfect reach of champagne it has deceived the taste buds of many a wine expert, who vouch for its quality and penchant for pursuing excellence. With price down from £35 to £26, this is the best time to pop open this sophisticated English Bubbly.
Lanson Brut Rose Champagne (£25)
Down from £35- £25, a not-to-miss deal on this highly respected Champagne with notes of red berries, fresh zingy tones, rich elegant mousse and a soft rounded body. A minimum of 3 years of ageing on the lees gives it a highly sophisticated structure and finesse.
Felsner Moosburgerin Grüner Veltiner (£8.99)
Down from £11.99 to £8.99, this grape is the native to the highest quality white wine regions of Austria called Kremstal. It’s easy style makes it the perfect accompaniment to nearly any dish including Indian curries, pasta, chicken and grilled salmon. With its delicate crisp green fruit notes, refreshing acidity backed with soft spices and a clean, zesty, lingering finish at the end, it works great as an aperitif but also possessing ample firmness and body to compliment lightly marinated meat dishes.
Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi (£9.69)
Old age and heat resistant, low yielding vines anywhere from 50-100 years old are used for making this wine, giving its highly concentrated plum, chocolate and earthy notes. Good quality zinfandel that is very friendly with red meats such as veal, game and rack of lamb and roasts. Lot of dark fruit and pepper flavours that are enjoyable to create the right mood for an evening do, along with food, friends and family, as the sun starts to go down! Price has been reduced from £12.99 to £9.69
Rustenberg John X Merriman Cabernet Sauvignon, South Africa (£10.99)
John X Merriman was the last Prime Minister of the Cape Colony before the formation of the Union of South Africa. He purchased this property, which later was renamed Rustenberg. Very strong blackcurrant and cassis flavoured elegant wine with mint, vanilla and pepper notes, firm tannins and soft oak. Can hold the power of spicy and intensely flavoured meats such as beef. Also, a great match to Lasagne and Moroccan flavoured dishes. (Down from £14.99 to £10.99 a good time to buy a versatile wine)