Easter 2011. Already it seems such a long time ago – those lovely memories of a long, gloriously sunny afternoon where we could laze outside and sip wine all afternoon.
We started with a bottle of Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Conegliano Prosecco Superiore Brut 2009. I wanted the 2010, as recommended by Miss Bouquet as most Prosecco is a wine made to be drunk young. But this was still quite good. Light, with minimal bubbles and aromas of apricots and blossom, this reminded me of the aperitivi we had when my parents owned a house near Valdobbiadene, the heart of Prosecco country in North-East Italy. Not the harsh stuff you often find in the UK.
Moving further North-East, our next wine was a luscious Ribolla Gialla 2009 made by Marko Primosic, a producer based on the borders with Slovenia. My sister bought this back from a recent visit to Italy, so I don’t now if you can buy it here. But I just loved its lemon custard, straw and cooked apples flavours. And you can happily sip it without food. Want more!
With our slow-roasted hogget (one-year old sheep) we needed something robust. The Vina Pomal Reserva 2005, a Rioja I was given by Grupo Codorníu, fitted the bill well. Soft brambly fruits, smooth tannins and a hint of spice to match the spices rubbed into the lamb, this is decent Sunday lunch fare. At the time of drinking, there was a good offer at Majestic – £8.99 per bottle if you buy two. However, it’s now back at £12.99 and – having just drunk The Wine Society’s Exhibition Rioja Reserva 2003 at £12.95 (now sold out) – I think you can find Riojas with more finesse for that price.
Finally, Eton Mess and a clean, light, floral organic Torelli Moscato D’Asti “San Grod” – a perfect end to a lovely lunch.