Wine to try

Everyday wine:

"Domaine du Joncier Le Classique Lirac 2006 France
This impressive wine from a small, 32 hectare domaine in the southern Rhone is almost impossibly good value. And it's a proper wine, not a supermarket synthesis. The blend of grenache, syrah, mourvedre, cinsault and carignan has real depth - tangled layers that remind me of bramble thickets - with a satisfying finish. It would be good with a beef and olive casserole, or black pudding. I bought several bottles for the Iranian kebab and aubergine dip fiesta that followed my book launch and the sweet ripeness of the grenache married beautifully with the food.

£6.99 down from £8.99 until 17 May Waitrose"

"Les Nivieres Saumur 2007 France
The sappy smell of scented redcurrant leaves. The juice that stains the bread on a summer pudding. Beech leaves at their newest and most vivid shade of lime green. This wine reminds me of all of these. A light-bodied red from the Loire, made entirely from cabernet franc this is one for drinking while the sun is still out - at lunch, afternoon gatherings, and into the evening. Give it 20-30 minutes in the fridge to give a bit of snap to its soft fruityness.

£6.49 Waitrose"

"A good start is the superb Pinot Grigio Palataia 2008 (£6.99, Marks & Spencer; 12.5% abv), Pfalz, Germany. No, that's not an oxymoron. This is a genuinely unboring pinot grigio that would cost twice as much if made in north-east Italy. It's blended with 15% pinot bianco, which adds a layer of succulence and a suggestion of tangerines."

"For those who like the glossy mouthfeel of chablis but whose budget requires a cheaper alternative, try Cantina di Monteforte Soave 2006 (£5.24, down from £6.99 until 17 May, Waitrose; 13% abv), Italy, which tastes of pears and peach stones and is squashy, like a cushion."

Labels: , ,