I’m a wine expert – and here are my top six special wine picks for the June bank holiday weekend

THE warmer climes of southern Europe deliver our six special wine picks for you to enjoy this June bank holiday weekend.

My weekend started on Thursday with a lunch where Delphine Glangetas, technical director of Domaine de L’Ostal in Languedoc, France, and Priscilla Girelli, the fourth generation of her family in the wine business in Italy, were special guests. .

The holiday is upon us


The holiday is upon usCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Delphine oversees the production of my favorite French rosé wine from Domaine de L’Ostal while the family owned vineyards of Priscilla in Sicily craft superb wines under the Santa Tresa and Cortese labels.

Sicily, indeed, southern Italy in general, is currently the most exciting wine region in Europe, with superb wines made with native grapes generally available at extremely competitive prices.

I’ll come back to the wines of Cortese and L’Ostal in the coming weeks but for now there’s something in my super six for the weekend to please everyone.

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Federico Paternina Gran Reserva Rioja (ABV 14%)


€12.95 on sale @ O’Briens Wine

BY far the bargain of the week – or possibly any week! A blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha that aged for 24 months in American oak barrels, followed by an additional three years in bottle before release.

The final wine is quite complex and balanced with aromas of roasted nuts and dried fruits.

The soft, silky palate is medium-bodied and well-structured, with soft tannins and hints of ripe red fruit. To be enjoyed with: Sunday roast.

Caruso & Minini Naturally Grillo (ABV 13%)


20 € @ Whelehan Wines

GRILLO is an aromatic Sicilian white variety. What I call an “upcoming” varietal, like island neighbors Catarratto, Inzolia, Zibibbo and Frapatto.

Strains that are now exciting jaded palates across Europe – and will soon be doing the same here. This organic sample has an explosion of aromas on the nose: green apple, lemon, lime and herbal notes. The crisp and balanced palate is well rounded with saline and lime notes. To be enjoyed with: Fish, or pasta with vegetables.

Antario Gavi (ABV 12%)


€13.99 @ @ Spar, Euro Spar, London and Mace

GAVI is one of those perfect summer whites made from the Cortese grape grown in and around Gavi in ​​Piedmont, Italy.

Characterized by its intense honeydew melon bouquet, the palate is crisp yet elegant with crisp flavors of white peach and citrus, and a smooth, creamy, deliciously long finish with just a hint of almond.

To be enjoyed with: An extremely versatile wine, a great aperitif but good with roast chicken or baked fish.

Luis Pato Vinha Formal Branco (ABV 13%)


25 € @ Whelehan Wines

LUIS Pato is one of Portugal’s renowned winemakers, and this luscious wine is one of his premium white wines. Made from the native Bical grape, it is aged for approximately eight months in new French oak barrels before bottling, adding a creamy richness to the wine.

Stone fruits and citrus are the dominant aromas. There is a nice balance on the energetic palate, with plenty of freshness and a flavor profile quite similar to Sémillon: citrus, peach and honey with a hint of grapefruit. To be enjoyed with: Goat cheese.

Carta Roja Gran Reserva (ABV 13.5%)

10€ on sale @ O’Briens Wine

A MASTERCLASS given by the eminent Spanish master of wine Pedro Ballesteros just outside Madrid recently saw my prejudices towards Monastrell melt away.

Yes, wines made with grapes can be high in alcohol and flabby – but there is a growing awareness of what can be achieved with a little tender, loving care.

Here we have sweet notes of bramble fruits and black pepper and vanilla from the time in oak before release. To be enjoyed with: meat stews or Manchego cheese.

Villalta Valpolicella Ripasso (ABV 15%)


€12.99 @ Spar, Euro Spar, London and Mace

EXCELLENT value for money Ripasso from the Veneto region of Italy, made with the Corvina grape, with Rondinella and Molinara completing the blend.

Passing the Valpolicella Classico through a second fermentation, adding the remaining skins from the production of Amarone and Recioto, gives the wine more tannin, body and a slightly higher alcohol.

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Dark ruby ​​red in the glass with a bouquet of ripe cherries, raspberries, currants and spices.

Excellent balance on the palate, with supple tannins and acidity to support the richness of sweet summer red fruits. To be enjoyed with: Stewed red meats.

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