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20 May 2021

Miscellaneous wines of the moment

An enticing half-a-dozen of whites, red and rosés sourced from big supermarkets and one-store independents priced £7 to £10 in the UK.

Vara Rosé 2020 Cramele Recas Estate, Romania (12% abv) - Good-value dry and zingy rosé made from 65% Merlot and 35% Feteasca Neagra, which develops creamy straw-raspberry flavours followed by crisper cranberry type crunchiness. £7 Marks & Spencer (image from their site). Versatile with food.

Merinas Organic Rosé Tempranillo 2019, Bodegas y Viñedos Fontana (12% abv) - From organically farmed vineyards in central-eastern Spain (roughly between Madrid and Valencia), this off-dry and very fruity rosado is deep-coloured, in the Spanish style, with creamy strawberry and cherry and light refreshing finish. £7 M&S. Not bad with vegetable curry (cauliflower and peas), lentil noodles and lamb samosas (the latter two from M&S of course!).

Crane Lake Pinot Noir 2016, California (12.5% abv) - Appealing mature soft Pinot with sweet berry fruits and developed savoury flavours, some firm tannin vs nice lingering sweet/savoury fruit. £8.99 The Vineyard, Belfast. Went well with a lightly spicy meaty pasta dish (Mortadella sausage tortelloni and a little spag bol added as a sauce with a splash of Tabasco, no cheese).

Deakin Estate Chardonnay 2019, Victoria Australia (13.5% abv) - Tasty more 'mineral' style of Chardy with yeasty undertones, ripe pear and peach fruit, quite crisp finish filled out by palate weight and lingering buttery notes. £7.99 The Vineyard, Belfast. Good foodie all-rounder.

Porta 6 Branco 2019 Vidigal Wines, Lisboa, Portugal (13% abv) - A refreshing blend of, depending on whose site you look at (variable information on the web from one retailer to another and the producer's), Arinto, Viosinho, Viognier and Chardonnay (and/or sometimes Fernão Pires, Moscato...) with ripe citrus and exotic fruits too, quite rounded mouth-feel although nice crisp dry finish. £8.99 The Vineyard, Belfast (and many other independent stores about the same price). Accompanied battered cod, baked potato and beetroot & rocket salad reasonably well! Click here for a note on the Porta 6 red (probably better than the white overall).

Lumà Grillo 2020 Cantina Cellaro, Sicilia (13% abv) - Aromatic nose with grapefruit and orange peel countered by honeyed apricot notes, fairly concentrated rich and oily textured then crisp zesty and long to finish. £10 The Vineyard Belfast. Successful pairing with salmon & mustard, chips, green beans.

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.