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Pancake friendly wine
In this week’s Tipping’s Tipples, MIKE TIPPING comes up with a Fairtrade wine, a pancake friendly wine and a Côtes-du-Rhône he first discovered on holiday.
IT’S A bit of a wine potpourri this week. I’ve picked an affordable bottle to mark Fairtrade fortnight, a sweet wine for Shrove Tuesday and a bold red, that reminds me of a holiday in France.
Fairtrade fortnight kicks off at the end of the month. If you want to show your support, try Six Hats Shiraz 2009, a Fairtrade wine and a gong winner in the International Wine & Spirits Competition.
Produced by Citrusdal Wines, in South Africa, it is good at its £6 price tag and delivers plenty of varietal character. I can imagine it would be great with barbecue grub in summer, but for now I’ll stick to pairing it with a hearty casserole. With juicy blackberry and raspberry fruit, cracked black pepper and smoky overtones, it has a lively acidity that helps it complement such dishes.
I wouldn’t normally suggest a wine for Pancake Day, which is on Tuesday, but something a little bit different landed on my desk a couple of weeks ago. It was a pudding wine from English wine producer Chapel Down, based in Tenterden, Kent. If you want a tipple to go with a lemon and honey filled pancake, then I reckon it will work a treat.
Chapel Down “Nectar” Late Harvest is not intensely sweet, it is quite light and fresh, and has a relatively modest abv of eight per cent. Made with the aromatic grape varieties, Schönburger, Bacchus, Reichensteiner and Siegerrebe, harvested during 2010 and 2011, it suggests peach, pineapple and lime sherbet, with hints of honeysuckle and elderflower.
I was perusing the latest list of vinous promotions at Waitrose, which start on Wednesday, when I noticed a wine I encountered during a holiday in France last year.
I found said wine in a supermarket there, buying one at first and returning the next day to get several more, having enjoyed it so much.
Guigal Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge 2007 is a spicy blend of syrah, grenache and mourvèdre grapes. It’s warming stuff, with rich black fruit flavours, liquorice, pepper and sturdy tannins. At its offer price of £7.99, down from £9.99, this is a good buy. It is perhaps needless to say that it was even better value in France.
• Six Hats Shiraz 2009, £6 at Asda 17/20
• Chapel Down “Nectar” Late Harvest (50cl), £12.99 from chapeldown.com 16/20
• Guigal Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge 2007, £7.99 at Waitrose from Wednesday (Feb 22) 18/20