Fresh wines for warmer weather

braised endives

As we cast aside the robust wines of winter, Times Local News drinks editor James Viner says it’s time to raise a glass to fresher, fruitier options

1) Must-try Mediterranean white
2016 Jean-Luc Colombo Les Collines de Laure Blanc, IGP Mediterranee, France
The Solent Cellar/The Vineyard Wines/Islington Wines, £11.99-£13

This beauty is a stylish affair and perfect for a spring dinner party; a lovely tribute to two regions, the Rhone and Provence, with vinous input from rolle (aka vermentino) and viognier. A heavenly white peach, fennel, melon and pear-filled bouquet heralds a totally charming, rounded palate leavened with crisp acidity and a lingering finish that’ll reward every one of your taste buds, one after another. Pour it for a spring spread with grilled and roasted white meats, fritto misto, spaghetti alle vongole or crab linguine. It’s also ideal for solo sipping. Such a prepossessing find for printemps. Alc 13.5%

2) Grab a light and exquisite red bargain
NV Vignobles Roussellet Pinot Noir, France, Aldi, £4.49

It’s a fitting moment for lighter, fruit-driven reds to make their appearance, so embrace springtime with this juicy, jolly, red plum and red berry joy. Easy to enjoy on its own, or open for seared/grilled salmon, roast lamb or beef in oyster and black bean sauce, this is a great pinot with a soupcon of merlot and sensational value. A speedy chill before serving works wonders for this sprightly, vivid and sylphlike rouge. I can’t recommend this everyday quaffing Aldi bargain enough. Stock up with confidence.
Alc 12.5%

3) Floral and citrusy Kiwi ‘anytime’ white
2017 Te Awa, Left Field Albarino, Gisborne, New Zealand, Wine Rack, £11.99
Pep up April with this dazzling, bright and refreshing albarino (al-bar-EEN-yo) that’s somewhere between a peach and melon. Some lime zest notes, snappy acidity and a long, crunchy finish seal the deal. Epic with softshell crab, crab sandwiches, fish with beurre blanc, tagine with couscous, grilled lobster, all manner of canapes and shellfish risotto. An extremely polished and credible Kiwi rendition of Spain’s most fashionable white grape variety from North Island’s east coast.
Alc 13.5%

4) High Street Choice: Elite Champers to toast the start of spring
Piper Heidsieck Cuvee Brut NV Champagne, France, Co-op/Majestic/Sainsbury’s, £30-£32
There’s a great depth of flavour in this sophisticated wine crafted by masterly Chef de Cave Regis Camus. Made from a majority Pinot Noir, this suave and intellectually stimulating bubbly from a revived historic Champagne house is redolent of pears and apples, with a hint of hazelnut and almond blossom, plus a memory of brioche. Very elegant and truly delicious with sufficient class to charm a fussy connoisseur, it’s a dead cert to ravish your anticipative spring palate. Serve as an aperitif or with fishy canapes, a special brunch or seafood (especially black miso cod or oysters). Alc 12%

Follow James on Twitter @QuixoticWine

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