Our top picks: April
Each month, we will be bringing you our top picks of seasonal ingredients, our wine recommendations and important dates for your calendar.
We have a spring in our step with the thought of warmer days and longer evenings. There's an array of wonderful seasonal produce on offer as well as the famous April showers. From Beef Week to World Malbec Day, and with Easter soon approaching we have some egg-cellent recommendations below.
Beef Week – 1st– 7th
In its ‘rarest’ and reddest form, i.e. steak or roasted, beef is best off with a chunky red Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon based wine. Château de Parenchère 2014 ticks the box here and with its balance of power and elegance. Of course, the Argentine-inspired partnership of steak and Malbec is acclaimed for good reason and a very classy example is our Finca Sophenia Estate Malbec from high-altitude Mendoza vineyards. Elsewhere, beef stews and pies can be accompanied by a good Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.
Easter – 19th– 22nd
This time of year is of course all about spring lamb and this is another meat which can, when roasted or in a casserole or Irish Stew, handle a big red such as a Médoc or quality new-world equivalent. Similarly, a good Rioja or Ribera del Duero will also hit the mark and we would plump for the fabulous Pesquera Crianza, one of the pioneers contributing to the success of Ribera del Duero over the last 40 years.
The powerful and distinctive flavour of crab requires a hefty white such as a Viognier or a Southern Rhône (e.g. Marsanne, Roussanne). Château Pennautier produce a Viognier from slopes close to Carcassonne in the south of France with characteristic stone fruit character and a refreshing acidity. Lobster and shrimp are also options at this time of year and, if served with a mayonnaise, should go with white Burgundy (try the Domaine Luquet Saint Véran) or equivalent weighty Chardonnay. If served plain, you could plump for the zing of Champagne or a good Chablis.
World Malbec Day – April 17th
Commemorating the day in 1853 that the modern and quality-focussed wine industry was established in Argentina. This paved the way for Malbec to emerge as the country’s flagship grape. Make sure you have some Malbec by-the-glass and let us know if we can help you promote it. We are lucky enough to have two fantastic producers in Finca Sophenia and Familia Schroeder who both produce some of the best Malbec in Argentina. Finca Sophenia benefits from the high-altitude environment of the Tupungato Valley in Mendoza. Familia Schroeder on the other hand are in the cool southern region of Patagonia, one of the most exciting emerging regions of Argentina.
Radish - Eat with the seasons
The Japanese are masters of the fresh salad or side incorporating the seasonal radish. Try a Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or maybe the blossom characteristic of a good Pecorino. We can recommend the Pinot Bianco from Kellerei Kaltern which is nestled in the foothills of the Dolomites. Other seasonal ingredients include leeks, new potatoes, morels & Welsh lamb.