Hurray. It is
Christmas again Easter. Well, it is easy to get confused given that it’s still so darned cold out there it feels like Narnia. On my way home from the office the other day I actually considered pinching the furry onesie someone had abandoned over in the features department. Just to keep warm.
We don’t ‘do’ Easter in my family which means that a fairly quiet weekend is in prospect. If anyone asks, I’m going to be doing a lot of running, revising and catching up on reading. In reality, there might be quite a lot of lying on the sofa, eating meatballs and watching series 2 of The Killing.
If you are doing a proper big family Easter Sunday you might be thinking about putting a big pan of mulled wine on the stove – a good move, though when the sun does finally come out, watch out for seasonal “what do you mean it’s May? We’ve only just put away the mulling spices” jet-lag. If it’s lamb that’s going on the table here are a couple of wines I’d be tempted by….
La Bastide Blanche Bandol 2010 France (Waitrose, £10.49 down from £13.99 until 2 April): When I mentioned this red on twitter yesterday my friend Joe, who is a bit of a wine genius, came in with, “I bloody love that wine.” Too true. It’s what I call a ‘proper’ wine – the real thing, made down in the heat of the south of France, rich and deep, and you can taste the balmy, herb-scented evening air of Provence in the glass. Waitrose have this on their flash 25% off fine wine sale, which is a pretty irresistible offer. A moment in which you feel Father Christmas walking through the melting Narnia snow. And I’d have some of this for summer too.
Chateau Lauriol Cotes de Francs 2008 France (Lea & Sandeman, £11.95/£10.75) A bottle full of smiles. This comes from a property that belongs to the family who own one of the most prestigious chateaux in Pomerol. I put this claret in the actual Christmas wines list I did for the Telegraph and like it even more as an option for please-can-it-be-spring-now. It has a pretty scent, all joyful red fruit – it’s the cabernet franc in the blend that gives you that – and a clean cut that reminds me of a crisp white shirt. Plus lamb is just lovely with red bordeaux, a classic (especially if you cook the lamb with a crispy herb crust). And I rather like wines from the 2008 Bordeaux vintage.
Tesco Finest Cotes Catalanes Carignan 2011 France (Tesco, £6.99 but 25% off if you buy 6+ bottles this week, so works out at £5.24) Always a good value wine, this generous, relaxed, brambly, figgy carignan. Works really well with lamb cooked with black olives. Also one for the store-cupboard as frankly it goes with pretty much anything, especially a raging thirst.