Enjoy some lovely wines this long Easter weekend

Trapiche Pure Malbec wine review

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 …

Wine Press: Enjoy the Easter break with a glass of something different every day

Extra Special Vignes Citadelle Cotes du Bourg

IT’S Easter, time to relax. Four days off – and I’m ducking airborne corks flying at me from those of you still working.

Sorry and all that. For the rest of us, what shall we do with our time? Well this wine column isn’t called a wine column for nothing – here’s ideas from around some of the supermarkets to suit the four-day break. (Oops, I’m sidestepping hurtling corks again).

Good Friday. A day for wine with fish

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Albarino (£7.99) is a white wine from the north west coast of Spain. Albarino – have I said this before? – is one of my favourite grapes at the moment. It has a natural high acidity, is peachy-perfect and works brilliantly with fish.

Château de la Gravelle Muscadet Sévre et Maine sur Lie 2011, (Marks & Spencer, £7.99) sets off fish perfectly. It comes from the Loire near to the Atlantic and is bottled straight off its lees. This adds subtle creaminess to grapey-freshness. It has nuttiness on the nose and I came down in favour of a newly-cracked brazil nut.

From the other end of the Loire valley comes Calvet Sancerre (on offer for £9.99 from £12.99 at Morrisons). If you don’t know, then it’s worth knowing, that Sancerre is made from sauvignon blanc. If you like SB, then why not ring the changes.

Saturday: White wine with friends

For a crowd pleaser, think bubbles. Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Prosecco 75cl is reduced from £9.99 down to £7.49 (until April 9) and at Tesco, Finest Vintage Cava 2010 is reduced to £7.49 (until April 23).

If you want a white with a little pear and peachy depth then head back to north west Spain for Mara Martin Godello (Morrisons, RRP £10.99).

But for a crisper white, and something lighter on the pocket, then Asda’s Wine Selection Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc is reduced to £4.48. It might not over-excite the tastebuds, but this blend is an uncomplicated citrus affair with “caught you out” 12.5% abv.

Easter Sunday: Red wine for a meal with family

Asda’s Extra Special Pinot Noir (£10.48) is light ruby with aromas of cherries and herbal earthiness; it has low tannins with a taste of “medicine-bottle” cherries and pepper pecks with a lift of acidity.

Also from Asda is Extra Special Vignes Citadelle Cotes du Bourg a Bordeaux wine  Extra Special Vignes Citadelle Cotes du Bourgwhich has soft, supple, red fruits tempting on the nose and in the mouth. A good buy for £7.25.

Marquès del Romeral Reserva Rioja 2007, (M&S, £10.99) would be a perfect match for lamb. Tempranillo leads the way in a three-grape blend in this delightful rioja. Fruit tempts, while both vanilla and a hint of toast tease. If you don’t have lamb, just have the wine.

Easter Monday: A low alcohol treat as it’s back to work next day

A few columns ago I mentioned Brachetto d’Acqui, a sparkling red from Italy – Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG (£6.20) is a fruity treat at just 5% alcohol. Love it.

Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Moscato White (9%) is £6 in Asda and has strong tropical aromas though one honeysuckled glass is usually enough for me. From M&S, Giardini Veneto Tai Pinot Grigio 2011, £6.49 (9.5%) is what it says on the vin – a pinot grigio. It’s pleasant and lemony light for a quiet evening ahead of an early morning start.

 This column first appeared in the Liverpool Post on March 30 2013