Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Enjoy a Taste Greek Sunshine

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Enjoy a Taste Greek Sunshine

Article excerpt

THIS week a welcome taste of Greek sunshine dropped into the office in the form of a bottle from Spirited Wines in Manchester.

I'VE checked the weather forecast and it looks like some rain, some wind and some sun. Typical Bank Holiday weather. But rain or shine, I bet some of you can't resist having the first barbecue of the year this weekend.

Malagousia 2011 from Domaine Gerovassiliou in Thessaloniki (Pounds 15.90), pictured, is typical of the lovely, distinctive white wines coming out of Greece.

And why not - after all, it is the start of the 17th National Barbecue Week on Monday.

Spirited Wines has been showing this bottle over the weekend at the North West Wine Fest at St Peter's Church, in Ancoats.

In the crisp air of a chilly dusk last week, I joined friends and family huddled round a greedy outdoor wood brazier as dusk fell. The stove wasn't the only greedy one - we barbecued pork, leek and apple sausages, pinky prawns spliced Greek wine is going through a resurgence and rediscovering some of its lesser-known indigenous grapes.

between slithers of peppers and yes, burgers.

Home-made with lamb mince, onion and chilli flakes. Oh go on, extra chilli.

Malagousia is a case in point. An elegant variety which almost became extinct, but has been revived, partly by vintners at this estate. It has a fullbodied richness which is reminiscent of both malvasia and chardonnay.

This example is really something special.

As girlies, rose took centre stage. We began the evening with a glass of Taittinger Prestige Rose NV, (RRP Pounds 47, Waitrose, Majestic, Wine Rack, John Lewis, Fortnum & Mason). Well, when I say "we" I mean those of us not scouring the ground to throw wood on the fire. Spring and summer 2013 began at that moment. A traditional blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier, this is a crisp, red-fruit packed treat, with a fizz that prickles and teases with elegant aromas.

There's a linseed and fresh vanilla aspect to the nose from its time in oak while the palate is full and satisfying. I matched it very successfully with prawns in a spicy tomato sauce.

Elsewhere I got the chance to test drive a flight of rose wines.

Cune Rosado 2011 (Pounds 8.99 or Pounds 6.99 for two at Majestic, Pounds 9.49 Taylor's Fine Wines, Partridges of Sloane Street, The Bottleneck, The Clifton Cellars) is from one of Rioja's oldest producers with vineyards in Rioja Alta.

Villa Maria Private Bin Rose 2012, (RRP Pounds 9.99, Tesco, Majestic, Wine Rack) is a blend of merlot, viognier, pinot gris, gewurtztraminer, and malbec, proportionately in that order. Its aromas were a squish of very ripe strawberries, with some stone fruit too. A refreshing This is made from 100 per cent tempranillo and is a slightly confected style of rose with typical notes of strawberry and raspberry.

dryness to taste, packed with red fruits. …

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