Yesterday we had the family round for lunch and served a 2002 Douro red from Portugal with the main course of spice-crusted roast lamb with garlic and rosemary, roast potatoes (my youngest son managed to put away 15 but remains, annoyingly, as skinny as a rake) and in-season purple sprouting broccoli.
Now I know there are loads of reds which would have paired with that dish (Cabernet Sauvignon being an obvious contender) but the wine, a single vineyard Quinta do Vale Dona Maria made by Christiano van Zeller which came from English wine merchant Tanners was particularly delicious. It was soft and supple with rich, ripe bramble fruit: a sweet contrast to the cumin-dominated spicing and the slight bitterness of the greens or PSB as they now call it in the trade.
Sometimes it’s good to serve something that makes everyone sit up. My eldest son and his girlfriend are both doing wine qualifications so it was a chance for them to try a wine they hadn’t come across before.
For dessert we had fresh apricot pancakes I was testing for a book which I strongly recommend once they come into season. The apricot filling was laced with a gorgeous apricot liqueur made by the French firm Gabriel Boudier which really brought out the flavour of the fruit. (You can find it in Waitrose in the UK). It was so good I added an extra splash as I served them - plus a scoop of vanilla ice cream! (Well, it was the weekend . . . )
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