Top notes: Our expert selects the perfect bottles to bring a taste of spring to the mouth

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Reds

Mercurey Vieilles Vignes Domaine Jean-Pierre Charton 2010

Brighter weather demands lighter wines – it is mostly Burgundy as opposed to Bordeaux time – and all the virtues of the former are present here: the restrained, silky elegance of Pinot Noir, the subtle, fresh flavours of cherries and wild berries, underpinned with a little oak. A light, sophisticated wine to be enjoyed with a rare tuna steak or a roast chicken. £17.08, goedhuis.com

Azamor 2007

A big red from southern Portugal, this is an unusual blend of Syrah and Merlot, together with native grapes such as Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, which deliver a rich, smooth, powerful wine, with a spicy edge from barrel-ageing. Definitely one for chillier spring days, after a long country walk, to accompany anything involving linguica sausage – a Portuguese cousin to chorizo – or maybe roast lamb on Easter Day. £13.95, harrods.com; £9.99, aitken wines.com (minimum order six bottles)

Torres Ibericos Rioja Crianza 2007/8

Not all Rioja has to be barrel-aged and oaky; it can be medium-bodied and bursting with vibrant, crunchy, red-berry flavours as here, even after a few years in the bottle, illustrating the amazing versatility of the Tempranillo grape. But there is deceptive depth here, with a long finish, making it perfect for all kinds of tapas or a big paella. £9.99, Waitrose

Anakana Indo Carmenère Cachapoal Valley 2010

Spring may herald the start of the barbecue season and Chile's Carmenère is a lovely grape to accompany outdoor cooking. Full-bodied, packed with ripe, juicy black-fruit flavours, it is as straightforward as a piece of grilled chicken or lamb, maybe with a little spicy relish. This one has flavours of tobacco, coffee and leather to give added depth and complexity. £8.99 (as part of a minimum purchase of six mixed bottles), majestic.co.uk

Whites

Accuro Torrontes 2009

Aromatic and fragrant on the nose, lusciously full-bodied on the palate, with lovely citrus flavours and pleasingly dry and crisp on the finish, this is a finely wrought example of Argentina's native white grape from a company specialising in the country's boutique wines. Good with any prime white fish, particularly if accompanied by sharp Asian flavours of lime and chilli. £13, ruta40.com

Turonia Albariño Rias Baixas Quinta Couselo 2010

Grown in the warm and wet Atlantic-facing Galician region of north-west Spain, the Albariño grape delivers medium-bodied, zippy, fresh, lemony wines such as this (as well as being responsible for Vinho Verde in Portugal), with an unmistakable salty tang and enough character about it to handle robust shellfish dishes, including the extraordinary percebes molluscs native to the area. £12.92, goedhuis.com

Sipon Furmint 2010

The undiscovered vinous treasures which might be found in countries such as Slovenia are hinted at in this delicious white made from the same local grape, Furmint, used for Hungary's famous Tokaji sweet wine, but which here is rendered in a completely different type of wine – an elegant assembly of spring-blossom aromas and crisp, dry, refreshing tastes of orchard fruits and hints of citrus. £9.95, thewinesociety.com

Tesco Finest Darling Sauvignon Blanc

This stunning South African Sauvignon Blanc can give those Kiwis from Marlborough a real challenge in the value stakes. Huge tropical-fruit mouth-filling flavours, balanced with refreshing gooseberry astringency, make this ideal for spring. Good for parties and one of the few wines that perfectly match English asparagus, which comes into season next month. £7.59, Tesco

Sparkling

Champagne André Roger Brut Traditional Grand Cru NV

An absolutely top-notch Grand Cru champagne from this relatively small producer, still in the same family hands and made from mainly Pinot grapes with a small amount of Chardonnay. This is a big, rich and powerful fizz, with a generously fruity nose and a really mouth-filling taste of yeast and apricots, with an interestingly spicy finish. A traditional champagne for a traditional smoked-salmon starter. £35.55, jascots.co.uk

1+1=3 Cava Brut Rosé Seleccio

Oddly named, but there is nothing odd about this cava from Penedés near Barcelona, made from the local Trepat grape, with additional Garnacha and Pinot Noir. Packed with boisterous aromas and tastes of strawberry, raspberry and cherry, this is terrific as an aperitif when the days get warmer and also a good wine for sweeter dishes, particularly those involving chocolate. £11.99, champagnewarehouse.com

Rosé

Gascogne Rosé Cuvée Spéciale 2010

Let us hope for some warm spring days for eating outdoors and this refreshing, moreish, crisp, spicily finished and decently priced rosé, from the esteemed Plaimont co-operative in south-west France, would be the perfect versatile accompaniment to everything from salads to mezze-style foods. £5.99, M&S

Dessert wine

Els Pyreneus Maury Grenat 2009

This sort of sweet, lightly fortified vin doux naturel red is much more commonplace in France as either an aperitif or to accompany fruit-based puddings of all kinds. From the town of Maury, close to the Pyrenees, the Grenache grapes deliver intense flavours of dark cherries, plums and cassis. But this is relatively light and elegant on the palate and so perfect for spring consumption. £11.66, nezzar.com

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Volunteer Digital Marketing Trustee needed

    Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Corporate Events Sales Manager, Marlow,Buckinghamshire

    £30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
    Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

    Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

    The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
    Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

    Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

    The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

    Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

    Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

    Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

    The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
    The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

    The Open 2014

    Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?