Easter is upon us and I hope you have lovely things planned with family and friends. I’ll be revising for a wine exam, but you can’t have everything. Oh, hang on, there will be wine “to taste” so that’s a bonus. Whatever your plans, here’s a selection of Easter wines to try. I hope you have a fantastic time.
A couple of Easter wines: from the Co-op
These are great for when friends pop by unexpectedly this Easter weekend. They’d be perfect with a fish dish too. (The wines, not the friends.)
The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Chenin Blanc 2017 (£6.99, 13% abv) is an ideal wine now the weather is warming up. The grapes grow on ancient parcels of bush-vines sourced from Darling which is an hour’s drive from Cape Town and they benefit from the cooling influence of the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a light, refreshing wine with notes of crisp apple, ripe pear and a sunshine peep of tropical fruit.
The Co-op Irresistible Marsanne (75cl, £7.99) has been created by the consistently excellent Jean-Claude Mas from grapes grown in the Languedoc in the south of France. It has aromas of pears and honey, a hint of nectarine; and then just when you think you’re all done on aromas, vanilla waves a gentle veil. There’s a subtle creaminess on the palate and a good kick of acidity.
A couple of Easter wines: whites with a hint of oak
Both of these are Australian chardonnays (please don’t groan!) with a subtlety of oak for a delicious weekend roast chicken.
Tesco Finest Yarra Valley Chardonnay (£11, 12.5% abv) is fermented and aged in oak barrels and has a beautiful balance of acidity and tropical fruit with a delicate creaminess and a touch of spice. I guess overly-oaked Australian chardonnay ruined the grape for lots of people but winemakers in Oz are toning down the oak and creating chardonnays of subtlety and elegance.
Here’s another one. McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay 2016 (RRP £14, Sainsbury, 13% abv) It’s a few years since I tried this wine and I’d forgotten its delicious complexity. It is made from grapes grown in the cool climate of the Adelaide Hills which creates a fresh, zingy wine. Fermentation in oak takes hold naturally – via the wild yeast on the grapes and in the winery – and the wine is stirred on the lees for eight months. All those processes deliver a multi-layered wine with lemon and dried honey, grilled pineapple, dried apples, vanilla and herbs.
A couple of Easter wines: reds for your Easter lamb
Seascape Malbec 2017 (£8, Booths, 14.5% abv) hails from South Africa and is part of a new Capeography range created by Boutinot. The company is celebrating South African vineyards from inland (Landscape) to altitude (Cloudscape) and coastal which is this range, Seascape. The wine has aromas of plums, cold tea and pepper. A strange mix you might think, but this is an easy-drinking medium-bodied wine not a punchy malbec from Argentina.
I’ll nip now to Aldi and Te Haupapa Central Otago Pinot Noir (£8.99, 13% abv) which is one of their Easter limited edition buys. I loved this wine. It has a nose that just keeps on delivering, with eucalyptus, raspberry, gentle red fruits, a peep of prunes, black cherry and a seam of earth. It is named Te Haupapa or The Frosts after the weather in Central Otago, the world’s most southernmost wine-making region in New Zealand.
Have fun. x
First published in over 30 Trinity Mirror regional newspapers including:
Hull Daily Mail – Leicester Mercury – Cambridge News – Liverpool Echo –South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales – Huddersfield Examiner
– The Chronicle, Newcastle – Teesside Gazette –
Birmingham Mail – Coventry Telegraph – Paisley Daily Express