Nero Oro Appassimento 2016

Nero Oro Appassimento 2016, Italy

(from £8.99 on multibuy, Majestic or via WineSearcher

I must admit I’m a huge fan of Vivek Singh’s cooking – and when he’s on festive form, it’s a joy to partake. Witness his roast goose breast mappas with aloo podimas in this Christmas special edition of Saturday Kitchen.

But it does present challenges on the wine front. The combination of meat, which calls out for red wine (especially at this time of year) and abundant spices, which can clash with the tannins in red wine, means a bit of nifty thinking is called for.

My solution was to reach for this delicious Sicilian red made in the appassimento style. That means the grapes are partially dried before fermenting, which gives it a lovely raisiny richness and succulence, which softens the spice but also ties in with the meat.

It went down very well in studio. ‘Oh wow’, said studio guest Nina Wadia, while Rick Stein and show presenter Andi Oliver cooed their appreciation. Great value, as well. Cheers!

(Susie, 6.5/10, Dec 2017)