W L WINE CONNOISSEUR BY THE LAWNS, THORNTON HALL Italian wines are so easy to drink and when paired with food the flavour and nature of the wine is emphasised to the full. At The Lawns, Thornton Hall, we pride ourselves on our wine cellar, we hold in stock some of the world’s most renowned varieties. Our next wine and dine evening is our “Yuletide Tasting Evening” on December 9th but for now, here is the selection of our top 5 wines. Prosecco Spumante, Amori (100% Glera ABV 11.5%) This company is the brainchild of an Italian, a Frenchman, and a Dutchman. Stefano Girelli, Philippe Marx and Peter Kosten have combined their skill and experience to bring affordable good value wines from across Italy, with the help of renowned Italian winemaker Stefano Chioccioli who makes all the wines. Bright aromas of pears apples and peaches are followed by more of the same on the palate. Gentle easy-going sparkler from north eastern Italy. Vernaccia di San Gimignano "Clara Stella" 2016 (100% Vernaccia ABV 13.0% ) Cappella Sant’Andrea, named after St Andrea’s Chapel, is a delightful estate within sight of the famous medieval towers of San Gimignano in Tuscany. There are only six hectares of vines but they are part of a larger working farm that has olive trees, donkeys, goats, chickens and even a few rabbits. It’s run by a young couple, Flavia del Seta and her winemaker husband, Francesco. Flavia’s mother, Antonella, inherited the property from her father Giovanni Leoncini and uncle Renato who bought it in 1959. The vines are in conversion to organic viticulture and there are modern winemaking facilities, complete with stainless steel tanks to retain maximum freshness. This is a classic seafood wine this has pervasive fruit with a touch of honey and silky texture followed by a hint of bitterness on the finish. Gavi DOCG del Comune di Gavi, La Chiara 2016 (100% Cortese ABV 12.5%) This 6.5 hectare estate in Piedmont was established by Ferdinando Bergaglio in 1975. He felt that his previous experience with famous winemakers in Gavi gave him sufficient expertise to set up La Chiara. Currently run by Roberto and Silvana Bergaglio 38 wirrallife.com with uncompromising attention to detail. This small estate's low yields give this wine a juicy, honey-like core. Add the Cortese grape's apple-like freshness, and you have a standard bearer for Gavi, Piedmont's most famous dry white. Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC, Vigne Alte, Zeni 2012 (50% Corvina, 45% Rondinella, 5% Molinara`ABV 15.5%) The family owned Zeni Winery is situated a stone's throw away from Lake Garda just up above the picturesque town of Bardolino in the Veneto. They were established in 1870. Fausto, Elena and Federica run the business following in their father Gaetano ‘Nino’ Zeni's footsteps. Ideally situated in the heart of the region they have the pick of the bunch from the long-term contract growers they deal with to help supplement their own production. They now manage 25 hectares of vineyards. They export over 80% of their production all over Europe, the US and Canada. Amarone is a powerful, concentrated dry red that is properly made from grapes that have been dried in airy barns. This is a superb example with mature, complex flavours. El Aziz, Vendemmia Tardiva, IGT Sicilia, Fina (100% Grillo ABV 14.0%) Bruno Fina is a man with an agenda. Stocky, shaven-headed, he cuts the sort of figure that doesn’t let much get in its way. This has involved launching his own impressive range of wines and building a huge ‘baglio-cantina’ a mansion-cum-winery in an Arab-Sicilian style. Sitting on an escarpment, this is visible from miles around and conversely his dining room has spectacular views over the sea to the island of Favignana. Bruno doesn't have much in the way of vineyards but that doesn’t matter when your hinterland is one of the largest vineyard areas in Europe. His winemaking skills, while they have a New World influence, were honed by working for Giacomo Tachis, the godfather of Italian winemaking consultants. Rich apricot and exotic fruit mix, this is a fascinating dessert wine. Using late-harvested Grillo grapes, it has that all-important balance between sweetness and acidity. To try any of these wines, visit The Lawns Restaurant at Thornton Hall, Thornton Hough, Wirral, CH63 1JF or call 0151 336 3938.