Perfect wines to enjoy with roast lamb at Easter

There is a recipe for roast lamb that Elizabeth David describes in ‘French Country Cooking.’ It’s gloriously simple involving sitting the lamb on a bed of unpeeled garlic and covering it with fresh sprigs of rosemary. You serve it with white haricot beans cooked in a little white wine. As Elizabeth David writes it’s best cooked ‘à point’ and is a standard dish of many Paris bistros. As we step into Spring and the first green shoots of the herb garden appear, thoughts naturally turn to Easter, possibly the first lunch outside and what we might be preparing in the kitchen to celebrate the Easter Weekend. For the oenophiles among us what wine to open is at the forefront of our minds.

Roast Lamb doesn’t have to be heavy, in the Larousse Gastronomique they recommend serving with quarters of lemon and bunches of watercress. The little twist of lemon will certainly have an effect on the taste of the wine you serve, it will appear a little smoother. If the weather is fine and you have decided to eat alfresco you could opt for a Beaujolais perhaps, something like the juicy red fruit of Dominique Piron would work very well. Or if you wanted something with a little more fruit, perhaps a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, I would suggest the Rapaura Springs from Marlborough.

But I tend to think something red from Bordeaux is the most agreeable partner. Pomerol, Saint Emilion, Fronsac a little further afield from the Castillon perhaps? Anything really, but I like the dry, blackcurrant and cedar infused aromatics of something from the Left Bank which I think pairs perfectly with new season lamb. If you do really want to push the boat out the 2015 Duluc de Branaire Ducru would be very fine indeed. Or you could try something a little different and head to the vineyards of Southern Bulgaria where the sumptuous 2016 Coline d’Enira is produced. This is a bold, rich, powerful red wine that needs a strongly flavoured dish to pair with it. Try it with smoky barbequed meats.

There is always a chunk or two of chocolate laying around at this time of year. It’s a little indulgent to pair it with wine but why not? Ideally you need something fortified and sweet. A tawny would be my choice, try it chilled a little while in the fridge door and then pour a small glass with a square of chocolate – heavenly!

Will Lyons

Club Vice President

Rapaura Springs update us on their 2020 Harvest

It’s always enjoyable to receive video updates and messages from our winemakers across the globe with the latest from the vineyards and winery. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve received multiple heart-warming messages from our winemakers, many of which have faced challenges in their harvests and production due to local Government restrictions.

Rapaura Springs, based in Marlborough New Zealand, produce great tasting wines for us including a Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

Matt Thomson, Consultant Winemaker and part of the team at Rapaura Springs, has sent us this video from their Bull Paddock Vineyard highlighting the challenges they’ve faced in the past few months and where they are currently at with production. They’ve just finished their 2020 harvest and are currently in the fermentation process before they begin to blend in the next few weeks.

Watch the video below to see how they’ve been getting on.