Drink me Bring out the bordeaux
Spring will soon bring lamb to the fore; I relish it and the possibilities it brings for wine. A simple roast leg, slow-cooked shoulder and rack are among the finest meals you could serve to show off red wine. Lamb seems to have everything in balance: fat, meat and sweet flavours that accentuate the qualities of a good red. A roast is rich in tradition and it feels right that the wine is traditional – bordeaux, or claret as we refer to it in Britain. The region has many nuances, but the red wines are loosely divided into styles defined by their dominant grape variety: the softer profile of merlot with its flavours of plum and leaf, or the more upright, structured power of cabernet sauvignon with its grip of tannin and blackcurrant. If you are buying from the high street for immediate consumption, it is merlot-dominated (as all the below are), and I would err towards St Emilion and Pomerol. The current vintages you are likely to see, 2015 and 2016, are good – this makes a difference, especially if you are on a budget, as cheaper bottles in a weak year often disappoint. Claret is one of those styles that benefits from air so I always decant – a jug will do. Here are three to savour with lamb.