The new (old) Cristal

Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotèque 1995 (For release in 2017) Although there are times when a plate of food and a glass of wine go beautifully together, it’s rare that the wine actually smells identical to the food. Tasting Roederer’s yet-to-be-launched Cristal Vinotèque 1995 over dinner in Reims...

Brush off the BBQ red

Beefsteak Club Malbec 2015, Argentina, 13% (£8.79, Waitrose) At the Waitrose spring wine tasting there were plenty of wines I could have recommended but the sun was shining as I headed home and the idea of a weekend BBQ more than a little tempting. With this in mind,...

Tio Pepe En Rama

Tio Pepe En Rama, Spain, 15% (£15.99, Adnams, The Wine Society, Lea & Sandeman) New initiatives aimed at reinventing certain styles doesn't always work for drinks like wine, so it's wonderful when something does make sense. The En Rama initiative is designed to get people as close as possible...

Kentish fizz for chorizo

Chapel Down Blanc de Blancs 2009, England, 12.5% (£30, Wine Pantry and Chapel Down) It was a sunny evening with friends and we had a few wines open to go with tapas. None of them could stand up to the beautifully spicy pan-fried whole mini chorizo. 'Funnily...

Great value spring Sauvignon

Mud House Sauvignon Blanc 2015, New Zealand (from £6.50, Tesco) Hard to ignore this eye-catching deal (Majestic also have a similar one running at the moment). But it's not just that - I recommended this on Saturday Kitchen to go with a really fun, flavoursome dish by...

Benchmark Barbera d’Asti

Taste the Difference Barbera d'Asti 2014, Italy, 14% (£8, Sainsbury's) So Italian - full of the fragrance of cherries and wild herbs, very stylish too. I matched this on Saturday Kitchen to pasta dish by Joe Hurd which incorporated nduja (spicy sausage) and tomato sauce. Show co-host Gennaro...

Heartwarming Rioja

The Exquisite Collection Rioja Reserva 2009, 14% (£8.99, Aldi online) Pretty spot on Rioja Reserva at a fair price. It's very classic and there's plenty of wine for the price here. It's a dense, creamy and juicy red with hints of coconut and orange rind to complement the...

Bargain Aldi Burgundy

Jean Bouchard Hautes Cotes de Nuits red 2013, 12.5% (£9.99, Aldi online) The first duty of wine - whatever its colour - is to be refreshing. Gastronomic. Uplifting, if you like. Here's a red that does just that - and at a very fair, albeit not bargain...

Empress Ale

Empress Ale A smartly packaged, gently carbonated new ale designed to be paired with spicy food, primarily Indian. The idea was born, apparently, out of craft beer fan Surj Virk's, 'sheer frustration of not having an alternative to lager when visiting Indian restaurants'. Apparently he spent a year...

Revolutionary Nyetimber

Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2009, England (£35, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Farr Vintners, Lay & Wheeler) Very refined, accomplished and elegant fizz from the producer that really kick-started the modern English sparkling wine scene. This point was made particularly vividly because, at the same tasting, we were treated...

Twenty Twenty Tawny

Ramos Pinto Quinta do Bom Retiro 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Portugal (£35 for 50cl, Oddbins & others)  There’s still a touch of fiery ruby at the heart of this gorgeous, amber-hued tawny. The nose is rich and raisined while the palate is smooth, biscuity and mouth-coating....

A Cheeky Pink from India!

Jewel of Nasik Zinfandel Rosé 2015, India (from £5, Marks & Spencer) It’s not every day you get to recommend an Indian rosé on BBC1! This one’s juicy and fun, with plenty of succulent plummy fruit and a soft, easy-going feel. I paired it on Saturday Kitchen...

Spanish White For Seafood

Taste the Difference Godello 2014*, Spain (£8, Sainsbury’s) The Godello grape variety nearly went extinct in the 1970s – it was down to the last few hundred vines, apparently – but it’s since been resurrected, to brilliant effect. It makes succulent, fresh, herb-scented whites that work superbly...

Lush Loire White

La Taille aux Loups, Montlouis Remus Plus 2014, France (£21.50, Justerini & Brooks) A superb bottle of Chenin Blanc from a little-known region in a terrific recent vintage. If you’re looking for something impressive to grace your dinner table the next time you slow cook a slab...