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...

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...

The Revenant

There is something gloriously ancient, mysterious and knotty about Carmenère. Its story brings together competing historical hypotheses, ampelographic hide-and-seek and remarkable powers of reinvention. It gets both winemakers and wine drinkers hot under the collar, with the power to dismay and delight in seemingly equal...