DRINK It’s a new year, try a new wine
Taste the Difference Cotes Du Ventoux, Rhone Valley 2016, France (£8.50, Sainsbury’s)
AS the new year begins, Sam Wylie-Harris rounds up her top wine-rack picks.
A lovely surprise, this is a generous red that wraps its arms around you and brings a smile from the very first sip. A rhapsody of raspberry and spice, the peppery bouquet tickles the senses and the velvety smooth palate is saturated with lush berry fruits, with a spike of earthy liquorice on the sweetly ripe finish.
The Hedonist Shiraz 2016, McLaren Vale, Australia (£14.49, new vintage available late January, Waitrose)
This IWC gold medal winner is an inky black beauty from the flourishing, verdant vineyards of McLaren Vale. Made from biodynamic grapes (processed organically and sustainably), this velvety smooth shiraz is marked by a deep bouquet of dark berry fruits, with a core of intense black fruit preserves laced with pepper and spice. To add to its kudos, it’s made by Walter Clappis, one of Australia’s most talented winemakers.
Marks & Spencer Grillo 2017, Italy (£7, Marks & Spencer stores)
With an “R” in the month for the foreseeable future, the New Year still signals shellfish for seafood lovers – and what could be nicer than a super Sicilian that’s not only deliciously refreshing but brings a drop of Mediterranean sunshine to the table? The grillo grape gives this wine honeyed aromas of lemon, lime and dried herbs, which gather momentum as they glide along on the smooth, creamy palate, with well balanced acidity and a delightful, spicy note to finish.
PHOTOGRAPH: ALAN DONALDSON