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We should all do our bit for charity, so this week Tom Cannavan has been inspired by wine retailers who have pledged to donate 10 per cent from the sales of certain tipples to Comic Relief.
Many retailers have signed up, so Tom decided to make this week’s wine selections focus on the best of the red nose wine bunch.
In 1999, British wine writer Jancis Robinson and her husband, food critic Nick Lander, founded 'Wine Relief', an official offshoot of the Comic Relief charity.
Wine Relief encourages wine retailers to donate some of their profits directly to the red nose day charity which supports some of the poorest people in both Africa and the UK. That, in turn, allows people to donate painlessly, simply by buying a bottle or two of these wines before red nose day on March 18th.
So check out Tom’s top selections – and relax in the knowledge that you’re not only getting a good bottle of wine, but you’re donating to charity too!
1. Kiki, Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc 2009, New Zealand, £11.99, Virgin Wines
Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc? Cynics would say that there's been a glut of grapes in New Zealand for the past couple of years and that's why we're suddenly seeing bubbles in our Sauvignons, but the fact is this is a hugely enjoyable fizz - where some of the Marlborough Sauvignon punch and verve comes through - is a very enjoyable wine.
With tastes of mangoes and limes, this fruity wine is perfect served alongside some goat's cheese, sushi, or a bowl of mussels.
2. Workhorse, Chenin Blanc 2010, South Africa, £7.49, Marks & Spencer
Quite a few of the red nose wines in the shops come from South Africa, which makes sense given that Africa as at the core of the Comic Relief effort.
This quality white from the Cape is partly aged in French oak barrels to give a nutty creaminess, but really it is all about crisp, focused and terrifically stylish fruit.
Tasting cues of brioche and apples make this a lovely wine to team up with mild curries, vegetarian dishes with courgette and aubergine.
3. Domaine du Pech Rome, Tempranillo 2009, France, priced at £7.99 from Majestic
Like the sparkling Sauvignon, this is another curiosity here as the great grape of Spain - Tempranillo - rarely turns up in France. However, why not when it produces lovely wines like this with its juicy blackberry fruit that coats the tongue, and hints of tobacco and subtle spices. This really is very stylish stuff.
Tastes of blackberries and fudge make this indulgent wine a nice tipple to drink alongside lamb chops, roast lamb, or in fact, anything that baaas!