This week's Bargains
Pearls of Wisdom
There’s an R in the month and ostreaphiles everywhere are drawling at the thought of their first oyster of the season. These tasty bivalves are delicious just as they come, but partner them with the right accompaniment and wine and they’re manna from heaven!
2010 Picpoul de Pinet , Domaine Félines Jourdan Was £8.95 Now £6.15
Picpoul is a little-known, old-fashioned white grape from southern France which produces deliciously rounded wines. Domaine Félines Jourdan is a master with of this variety, producing fresh, dry white wines with hints of citrus fruits and fennel which are buttressed by a crisp backbone. This is just the right style of wine to enjoy alongside oysters in their shell served with a squeeze of lemon or a dash of Tabasco.
2010 Beaujolais Villages, Le Tracot, Domaine Dubost Was £10.50 Now £7.85
Serve oysters the ‘French way’, on the shell with shallot wine vinegar, alongside a chilled red beaujolais. Choose one of the lighter styles, such as a ‘village’ wine, like this excellent example which is made from gamay grapes grown in the notable Le Tracot vineyard. It is a low-tannin wine which exhibits sapid cherry fruit and a notable terroir minerality.
2007 Château Villa Bel-Air Blanc Was £18.95 Now £13.95
Château Villa Bel Air is a Graves property owned by the legendary Cazes family, who also own the revered Château Lynch Bages. This wine is a classic dry white bordeaux blend of sauvignon blanc and sémillon, the former giving delicious green herbaceous notes, while the latter bestows an attractive softness and roundness. Try this with Oysters Rockefeller: the sauvignon will echo the chopped herbs and spinach atop the bivalve, while the sémillon complements the butteriness of this delicious hot oyster dish.
All these wines are only available at Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Bin End Shop in Basingstoke, where they sell all their bin end wines at a minimum discount of 25%. Visit www.bbr.com/bin-end for opening times and directions.