Enjoy some lovely wines this long Easter weekend

You wait patiently  for one celebration  to  brighten up the year and  then several  come along at  once. Happy Easter.

 I’m turning my first  thoughts to Malbec,  because in case you missed it, Thursday was Malbec World Day, the celebration (created by marketeers)  of  this grape which Argentina has made its own.

 Malbec is as good a way to go as any for Easter Sunday lunch. Trapiche Pure Malbec, (£8.99,  Co-op)  is unoaked so what you get on the vine is what you get  in the vin.  Hence the name “Pure”.

Trapiche Pure Malbec wine review
Trapiche Pure Malbec

It makes a bold  statement with aromas of  deep black peppery fruits on one level; but on another is  almost  ethereal, with flora hints as floaty as  a  wispy dandelion seed caught in a sun-glinted breeze.

To taste, gutsy red and black fruits,  acidity and tannins that grab and  entice. I thought of a teenage boy growing up; all  bolshy but still  unaffected by the Big Brave World. I know, the inside of my head worries me too.

I tried another unoaked malbec wine, blended with  shiraz. Compadre  Shiraz Malbec  2011 (£8.99,  at www.virginwines.co.uk).

 Upfront brambly  fruit, woodiness, on the nose, and a glug of black  fruit which was nice but no showstopper.

 A couple of whites from Aldi’s new Venturer series might tick you over happily.

Rueda Verdejo and Vermentino are both £4.99.  I wouldn’t suggest you  serve with Easter lunch, but  to sip with pals, or as you watch Shrek (again) then go for it. The Rueda is deep lemon with a sauvignon  freshness and   pineapple,  melon and peach. I preferred it to Vermentino,  which is cut with lemons  and pine nuts. Both at less  than a fiver, hey.

The style of pink I never want to like, but always do,  is moscato –  and Gallo  Family Vineyards Pink  Moscato  (RRP £6.99) had me pouring a little bit more,  then more.

It’s a sweetie but surprise yourself. Easter Monday in the garden, why not. It’s only 9% abv and a  nose-dip in the glass reminds me of  those strawberry cream tarts I always squash on the way home from the shops. To taste, light and refreshing, pomegranate seeds, strawberries, some lemon  too.  I like it.  There, I said it.


 Also in my glass ….

Sometimes wine around the £10-£15 price point can be disappointing. This is two or even three times more than wine drinkers would pay on average and yet the wine  isn’t  always two or three  times better. It’s a shame, because it can  put people off trying  new wines.

But Penfolds Koonunga Hill 76 2012 (£11.99,  www.spiritedwines.co.uk) is bang on the money.  A  big, characterful  blend of shiraz  and cabernet, it’s  full of jammy  cassis   – a  mouth-filling burst  of fruit. There are  subtle,  elegant  flavours on the finish; herbs, liquorice and olives. The 14.5% doesn’t  overpower.

They say, there’s  no such thing as a  bad Rioja.  But with  a name like Glorioso – and a crianza 2010 at that, one might expect the  exceptional.  Glorioso  Crianza Rioja 2010,  Bodegas Palacio (£7.95, from www.winesociety.com) was pleasant with some strong redcurrant flavours in every mouthful. It cheered up my macaroni  cheese (which takes some  doing) and was still going  strong when it came to apple flan.

There was none of the heaviness one often finds with Rioja and at £7.99 The  Wine Society are ripping off  no one.  It wasn’t a stunning  Rioja. But you know what  they say …