Easter drinking: part one



The gathering of the clan is in the diary, the long Easter weekend awaits. But which wines are the perfect accompaniment to traditional roasts and a surplus of chocolate? We’ve been quizzing our staff to find out what they’ll be opening. First up with his suggestions is the Buying Team’s Nicholas Stewart.

2012 Felton Road, Bannockburn Pinot Noir Central Otago (£38 per bottle)
Succulent roast lamb, rosemary, new potatoes, fresh peas, mint, butter and all washed down with a fruity yet elegant glass of Pinot Noir… What’s not to like? In the wine trade there is much talk of ‘place’ and the importance of different vineyard sites, soil types and climatic conditions; this attention to one’s surroundings extends far further than the wine itself and very often helps when making food and wine pairings, as local cuisines can evolve to suit their vinous counterparts. New Zealand has long been exporting both lamb and wine and it therefore seems sensible for us to pair the two, despite being many miles from source. Felton Road’s Bannockburn Pinot Noir is a blend of fruit from each of its vineyards sites, namely Calvert, Cornish Point and Elms. The fruit is as ripe as one would hope for from a New World Pinot, however there’s a European restraint about the wine-making which adds extra depth and complexity. All that’s required now is friends and/or family, a long table and the first flush of spring for all of these ingredients to combine perfectly.

2005 Pinot Gris, Clos Windsbuhl Vendange Tardive, Domaine Zind Humbrecht (£28.10 per half bottle)
Chocolate can be something of a dam buster for many of us; a single square and the flood gates are open with will-power washed meekly away in favour of the immediate pleasure offered by gluttony. If this is the case and you are unable to resist the siren call of cacao, then why not fill your glass with something equally decadent and allow yourself to be swept up in it all? The driver behind Humbrecht’s Clos Windsbuhl wines is their acidity and the freshness it gives them, which makes this late harvest Pinot Gris a natural partner for all decadent chocolate permutations that even the most creative of minds (in the William Curley vein) might be able to concoct. Notes of honey and apricot combined with the aforementioned acidic backbone and it’s hard to imagine life beyond dessert.