It’s Spring, Apparently.

Maranges Le Croix Moines, 1er Cru, Camille Giroud 2013 (13.0%)

Available from Berry Brothers (£20.65 as of March 2018)

Sometimes wine, like food, can be like opening a cherished book. Whether the characters are good (sipping a Nebbiolo in New York), bad (that time  someone drank too much Malbec and threw up consistently over a three-mile Uber ride), or ugly (Blossom Hill served on draught is a thing), they’re still memorable, and can still raise a smile.* That first Proustian whiff, leading to the memory of that trip; that meal; that day, can rouse even the greyest of funks.

Take the Easter weekend. It came, it rained, it meant I still had to have the bloody heating on. If anything’s going to get me out of the winter doldrums, a light to medium red, something reminiscent of a late summer city break in France, might be the tonic I need. Just because it feels like winter doesn’t mean you have to drink like it. A Provence rosé on a drizzly day in mid-November? Er, yes, because if there’s going to be one day a year that anyone’s wishing they could be whisked off to Nice, that one is a pretty safe bet.

* Although the Uber thing was three years ago now, and it still feels a bit soon TBH.

So, what are we drinking?

Do not be fooled by the label. The refined proclamations of “premier cru; grand vin de Bourgogne” suggest that this is one to enjoy with the game course, picking fresh shot out of guineafowl.

Pressing ahead to the pour, and immediately when swirling the glass a barrage of cooked raspberries, red cherries, and even a hint of almondy flavour hits the nose. Last week, I made a raspberry bakewell cake. This is it in sharper, liquid form. It’s not heavy, light to medium bodied, almost Beaujolais-like (to this unrefined palate).

There’s no long, savoury finish, but this is a simple and frankly delicious wine to just sit and enjoy. No pretension required. Fresh, joyous, perhaps lacking a little in body for some but hey – if it tastes this good, any slight apprehensions are easily forgiven.

And what are we eating?

The sharp fruit and acidity suggests something tomato-heavy would work well. Given that, to me, this feels like a lovely aperitif wine – some bruschetta or cured meats to nibble on would be a fine accompaniment.


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