Half-term week has been and gone and what a busy week it proved to be as, despite the machinations of an internet ticket resale website, I managed to attend a momentous concert by The Rolling Stones in Southampton – Jagger belies his age with great vocals and much athleticism and the Stones, as they now wish to be called, captivated the audience with seeming ease.
Matters oenological led me to a Lidl store to look at their summer collection and I perused the white wines to select a few.
My first selection was that of a Portuguese Vinha do Rosário – an example of a skinny wine (i.e. lower alcohol of just 10.5 per cent) for those watching their calorie intake.
Elderflowers and nuts pervade this delightful wine sporting a slightly musky flavour and it is an ideal wine for a lunch- -time tipple!
My second selection was a 2017 Gavi of Italian provenance priced most competitively at £5.99 and proving to be fresh and juicy, medium-bodied with citrus notes and hints of cooking apple – great with sea bass!
My favourite white wine selection, however, turned out to be a 2016 Les Aubrières Val De Loire Chardonnay and, bemused by the provenance, I had to sample a bottle!
The Loire region is quite far north for vineyards, but consequently produces crisper, fresher Chardonnay with peachy fruit to the fore and worth every penny of the £5.99 price – a great summer wine, à mon avis!
Lastly, I espied a Pinot Gris, not the ubiquitous Pinot Grigio (yawn!) in the form of a 2017 New Zealand Gisborne Pinot Gris retailing at £6.99 and noted its clean acidity allied to a dash of chardonnay and gewürtztraminer combining to add depth and a touch of peach to more customary apple and grapefruit flavours – good New World Pinot Gris!
In terms of reds, an outlay of just £3.99 is sufficient to purchase a Montepulciano D’Abruzzo – a most gluggable red with morello cherry to the fore and great value-for-money!
For just an extra pound, the 2017 Olas Del Sur Merlot from the Valle Central, Chile, surpassed my expectations with its fruity and juicy nature and note of smoky oak and would pair delectably with burgers, pulled pork or lamb chops – a steal at this price!
For another pound expended, the 2016 Clostre Brunel Saint-Chinian turned out to be a skilfully balanced red with fresh and ripe bramble fruit added to a medium-bodied texture, good acidity and modest tannins.
My final red selection of a 2018 Marco Tempranillo straying much further from its usual homeland popping up in Australia and afforded a little extra power by the addition of 15 per cent ruby Cabernet – a cross between Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon – classic soft fruit plus touches of cocoa and vanilla define this fine grape export! My boomerang is in transit, but Jagger rules!