As Easter approaches—

The classic reds to pair with lamb are Rioja, southern French reds, Chianti or Bordeaux. With Easter next weekend and roast lamb set to sizzle, rummage beyond the usual suspects.

The warmth of Puglia in Italy is perfect for ripening Primitivo (same grape as Zinfandel), which pairs splendidly with the richness of roast lamb. Or opt for an Aussie ace with reliable pedigree such as my gorgeous Grenache from Yalumba. Lathering on the rosemary? Go Greek – Apostolos Thymiopoulos is one of my favourite wine-growers and his Rapsani from vinoteca.co.uk is lamb heaven.

For old-vine wine that’s a Spanish steal, my Aldi choice is knockout. If you prefer a lighter red, grab my Saumur-Champigny and slam in the lamb.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

Baron Amarillo Spanish 80 Year Old Vine Red Blend 2016 (13%) £6.99 Aldi. Rich, powerful, spicy and lovely. Ace value for money.

Les Nivières Saumur, Loire 2018 (12.5%) £9.99 Waitrose. Sleek and scented as a cherry, this firm light silky red is sublime.

Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache 2018 (14.5%) £14.99 auswinesonline.co.uk. Pale yet punchy, this peppery glossy gem is a joy with lamb.

Thymiopoulos Rapsani, Terra Petra 2017 (13%) £25 vinoteca.co.uk. Barolo meets Pinot Noir in this prize beauty from Greece.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Notte Rossa, Primitivo di Manduria 2018 (14%) £11 Marks & Spencers. Fulsome as a blueberry moon with dollops of deep ripe fruit, treat yourself.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 5th April 2020

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