by Gareth Groves
Woop! It’s a Bank Holiday weekend.
Boo! It’s the last one until Christmas – and that is officially a long time away.
Nevermind, after last week’s meteorological pessimism, today I have decided the glass is half full. It’s the end of summer and I want something that tastes of sunshine. I know the Glorious 12th was two weeks ago but I’m not ready for game birds and bread sauce just yet. Surely there’s time for one last summer pudding and barbecued bream this year.
This week’s wine is an attempt to hang on the memory of long, sunny evenings. d’Arenberg’s The Money Spider Roussanne has been my favourite wine from Chester Osborn’s extensive range. Made from the best white grape in the Rhone (sorry, Viognier but Roussanne will always be number 1 to me), it is not an attempt to copy the style of the best white Chateauneuf du Papes, instead it is unashamedly Australian; a baggy green wine that is bright, breezy, fruity and fun.
There’s no oak to get in the way of the aromatic peach, apricot and lemon fruit and Roussanne’s characteristic body adds enough weight and depth for the wine to handle a wide variety of dishes. If you live within striking distance of Clapham Junction, it goes amazingly well with the fried crispy sea bass with lemongrass, garlic and chilli at AA Gill’s new favourite restaurant, Mien Tay.
It’s not a complex, ageworthy wine to lay down in the cellar. It is a simple, refreshing, delicious wine packed with lip smacking fruit; a ‘buy it – chill it – drink it’ sort of wine. With a bit of luck the sun will put its hat on this weekend and I’ll get to enjoy it while slaving over some hot coals.