The best reds—

Easter is a big deal at Smith Towers. My eldest daughter celebrates her 14th birthday today and next Sunday, what we cook for our Easter roast is the hottest topic this week. For me it’s got to be a scrumptious lamb, but which wine will do it justice?

For an all-rounder, I love Beaujolais, especially bottles from Moulin-A-Vent or Morgon. Gamay is usually a silky light grape but both of these Crus offer decent depth of flavour and taste. For richer reds, southern French blends such as Minervois or Saint-Chinian are laced with herby aromas locals call ‘garrigue’. Off the beaten track, the Corsican red I’m recommending from The Wine Society is a corker with lamb – I’ve already ordered it. Or for a safe choice, good old Spanish Rioja will do the trick, but branch out into Aussie Grenache too for quality and value.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

FLOCK TO THIS: Ringleader Old Vine Grenache 2018 (14.5%) £5.99 Aldi. Unbeatable value fr this bold spicy Aussie red that’s superb with barbecued lamb.

LAMB-BAM-THANK YOU!: Finest Saint Chinian 2016 (13.5%) £7.50 Tesco. Herby, sleek and deep as a black olive in a coal mine, this revels with lamb and rosemary.

CHOP! CHOP!: La Vieille Ferme ‘Cuvee Majestic’ 2017 Ventoux (13%) £7.99* Majestic. Majestic’s own ace red, this blend offers superb value for lamb chops (*mix six price).

BERRY-LICIOUS: Corse-Calvi Rouge Cuvee Fiumeseccu, Alzipratu 2017 (13.5%) £14.95 The Wine Society. Intriguing as sipping a herb garden while stuffing blackberries in your face.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Morgon 2017 (13%) £7.99 Lidl. The biggest wine steal so far this year. Sensationally sleek, top quality for the cash and lovely with lamb.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 14th April 2019

Back