By Charlotte Hope, Lifestyle Editor @TLE-Lifestyle

How’s your sommelier knowledge? Personally, the graph with which I work when drinking wine used to be ‘drinkable’to ‘not that drinkable but I’ll drink it’to ‘that’s just probably vinegar’. Over the last few years I’ve really thrown myself into drinking heaps of wine, on the ultimate selfless journey to find you, dear reader, the optimum bottle for the food that you’re ingesting. With this in mind, I bring to you four offerings for your Easter weekend – if you can get your hands on them then your guests will be impressed and you will forever be remembered as the one who hosted the Best Easter Ever (BEE).

So, let’s start with red wine, or vino rosso if we’re feeling pretentious, because it’s my personal favourite and I’m writing this article. The options I’ve got for you are based on the assumption that you’re having lamb for Easter, but let me elaborate on each one as I go. So for this experiment, I asked a friend round and we cooked a delicious slow roast shoulder of lamb for hours with rosemary, garlic and anchovies. We uncorked (or, for some, unscrewed) the wine and set about trying it with our finished dinner. The first wine we tried was 3 Wooly Sheep Pinot Noir, Hawkes Bay, 2014. This is a delicious medium bodied red that complimented the tender meat perfectly – before I even get to the second bottle I had to throw my hands up and say it was my favourite. My friend, something more of a connoisseur, noted that ‘this Pinot Noir veritably dances within the nose’. Nobody said we weren’t going to take ourselves seriously. Moving on to the next red, the Roble 2011, Bodegas Montevannos, Ribera del Duero from Spain, before we drank all of the Pinot Noir and left no room for this delicious offering. This, we noted, was slightly lighter on the palette with a spicy finish, but was very drinkable all the same. I might have paired it with a selection of cold meats and a hot Spanish evening, but we can’t have everything!

Moving on to our last red, a Monastrell, Castillo de Jumilla, 2012 from Spain, we were feeling quite full and, let’s face it, a little bit tipsy. I’d paired our lamb with some steamed kale and balsamic tomatoes, because apparently that’s just the sort of person I am, and this seemed to match the meal with gusto. This Monastrell reminded me of a Rioja, my ordinary red of choice, but slightly more full bodied and incredibly delicious. If any of your guests are regular Rioja drinkers, twist their arm into trying this; they won’t regret it.

After a little break, in which we may or may not have watched teen classic 10 Things I Hate About You, (because we’re all about balancing our sophistication) we moved on to the white. I decided to serve a selection of chocolates with this wine, given that we’d already demolished the lamb and we wanted these wines to be about Easter. And what is Easter if not a public holiday centred around chocolate? We moved back to the 3 Wooly Sheep estate for this classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, 2014. This was, at first taste, at the more delicious end of the Sauvignon Blanc spectrum, with gooseberry (my favourite) appearing at the end. My guest and I thoroughly enjoyed it, though after a long day of ‘research’(drinking) we had to screw on the lid and call it a day. This is, however, absolutely getting cracked out on Easter Sunday, so that I can impress my family and friends alike. All in all, the four wines I’ve mentioned are, to use my old system, more than absolutely ‘drinkable’, and I urge you to take advantage of my selfless tasting and buy them for your Easter parties.

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