I DEDICATED this week’s column to a very dear friend, namely Laurie Barnes, who has sadly just passed away – the very gentleman who extolled the virtues of frequenting Lidl in the first place.
It is Lidl’s Spring Wine Cellar featuring lesser known wines or winemakers from predominantly three countries – France, Spain and Italy.
Italian wines were my initial port of call and a Vigneti Del Sole 2015 Veneto Bianco priced at £6.99 caught my eye with its appassimento style producing a soft, flavoursome, fruity white of pear and melon combination which proved to be decidedly easy on the palate. My last Italian selection was a 2015 Cascina Valentino Roero Arneis, Arneis being a little known, but characterful grape – only grown in the Piemonte region of North-West Italy. Imagine the foothill of the Alps and conjure up Alpine streams and you will fully appreciate this fresh and dry wine whose delicate nature, slightly floral character and herbal fragrance ought to regale your taste buds for the princely sum of £8.99!
Turning westwards to Spain, I selected one white and one red. At £7.99, the 2015 Salneval Barrica Rías Baixas is, as the name suggests, a barrel-aged white from the Albariño grape with oak. With a creamy vanilla scent and citrus fruits to the fore of the taste-buds, this rounded wine lends itself to pairing with any seafood.
These Lidl offers are for a limited time only, so give this one a try! As for my elected red, it transpired to be a 2011 Rioja Tempranillo Vendimia which intrigued me in terms of its age and also whether it could rival the average Reserva. At £7.49, this classic Rioja fails to disappoint and exudes dark fruit and a hint of chocolate and at this price certainly enticed me!
France now beckoned and I commenced at the lower end, selecting a Domaine de l’Ardennerie Muscadet Sur Lie from 2015 priced at an attractive £5.99 and noted its fresh and lively nature with classic minerality and hint of spring flowers and would complement a dish like scallops with aplomb!
Bubbles next and a Bissinger and Co Premier Cru Brut priced at £16.99 had fine bubbles, was biscuity with a hint of toast and brioche and indubitably justified its price tag!
My final selection was a Promesse 2013 Château Soleil priced at £9.99, a wine I will stock up on, given its fruity nose, hints of white pepper and its status as a fine example of a Merlot.
A wine to savour in tribute to Laurie – à la prochaine !