Clean and fresh - wines to start a new year with

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:33 28 January 2019

La Courtine and Vinho Verde. Picture: Fiona Taylor

La Courtine and Vinho Verde. Picture: Fiona Taylor

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Fiona Taylor, of Christopher Piper Wines, discusses lower alcohol wines.

Serol. Picture: Fiona TaylorSerol. Picture: Fiona Taylor

January in my opinion is always a fairly gloomy month as frankly it’s too long and too dark.

Why not forget signing up to the gym as a New Year’s resolution (let’s face it, by March there will always be a good reason why not to go) - just buy a couple of bottles of decent wine at a non-exorbitant rate, that you can appreciate, enjoy and savour every now and again.

Even better, how about wines that are lower in alcohol (not ‘low alcohol’, I’m talking around 11 per cent abv) so you can feel less guilty about grabbing a glass from the cupboard on a Tuesday evening in front of the fire/TV instead of heading off to do star jumps in a room that smells of sweat and feet. Hmm..I know which evening I’d prefer..

A firm favourite for January has to be La Courtine (10.5 per cent abv) from the Côtes de Gascogne in southern France. It’s 100 per cent Colombard and is very pale, and crystal clear in the glass, with a lovely grapefruit and flint nose. It has very little residual sugar, but the fruit is so concentrated and ripe that the wine seems off dry, but with a lovely clean finish. Quite delicious !

Another white to mention is Este Vinho Verde.

With a touch of sparkle, this is a deliciously fresh Portuguese wine, full of light ripe william pear fruits and a refreshing finish. It’s absolutely delicious as an aperitif or the perfect accompaniment to fish and salads. At 11.5 per cent abv, there’s no guilty feeling about cracking this open before the sun is over the yardarm. Unanimous applause!

From a virtually unknown (in the UK anyway) region in the Southern Loire, Éclat de Granit Côtes Roannaise from Domaine Sérol (12 per cent abv) is an absolutely superb Old Vine Gamay, with all the elegance and finesse of a top notch cru Beaujolais without the price tag!

It is bursting with rich, ripe velvety fruit and is deliciously pure, fresh and aromatic red. Bright raspberry flavours on the palate with an underlying complexity make this an outstanding wine; it is bursting with earthy sweet characters, a good burst of acidity and has an intensely long finish.

All of course available online or in store at Christopher Piper Wines.

For more features from East Devon Resident, click here.

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