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Egg-cellent Easter wine

Fri 15 Apr 2011 13:24


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Easter is only a week away so wine expert Tom Cannavan decided to hit the shops and find some of the best tipples around, which are perfect for celebrating the holiday weekend.

Often a great family occasion, many people mark Easter with a big meal, with foods such as seasonal spring lamb, hot cross buns which are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, and Simnel Cake, a rich fruit cake covered in marzipan that is a traditional Easter gift, all likely to make an appearance at the dinner table.

Other countries of course choose other foods, such as salty bread pretzels in Italy and a whole roast ham in the USA, so Tom has picked three different wines which can match well with whatever Easter meal you’ve gone for.

1. Paul Mas, Marsanne 2010, France, £7.74, ASDA
Marsanne is one of the great white wine grapes of the Rhone Valley in France, though normally it is blended with Roussanne and Viognier, so its name is less familiar than many varieties.

Here, excellent Languedoc winemaker Paul Mas has crafted a delicious, dry version where floral aromas and apricot fruit are clear, juicy and food-friendly. Flavours of peaches and apricots make this wine ideal for versatile for fish or lightly spicy dishes.

2. Calvet, Limited Release Merlot 2009, France, £6.99, Waitrose
This is a classic Bordeaux wine, and therefore a banker for roast lamb (in Bordeaux, its the classic pairing). This has a lovely kirsch-like aroma of cherry and red plum and the palate has really juicy and keen black fruit.

This is flooded with those sweet and plump black fruit flavours, with modest tannins and acids giving a bit of structure in a very gluggable, lamb-friendly wine.

Tasting cues of cherries and plums makes this an ideal wine to match up with a nice lamb dish.

3. Fonseca, Unfiltered Late Bottled Vintage Port  2005, Portugal, £14.99, Majestic
This selections is a port, a fortified wine, which means that some brandy was added to the wine during fermentation, which makes it high in alcohol (20 per cent ABV). However it’s nice and sweet, as the brandy stops the fermentation leaving some natural grape sugar behind.

These complex, smooth red wines are gutsy and powerful, but also have a delicious floral character and delightful chocolate egg friendly-sweetness.

Tasting cues of chocolate, blackberries or cherries make this a perfect wine either to match up with chocolate or cheese, or to sip after dinner on its own.


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