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In Fiona Beckett’s hometown of Bristol, a growing number of restaurants are now allowing you to bring your own wine.
Although they require you to pay corkage, it’s a great opportunity to eat out without crippling mark-ups, she says. But what do you take? Indian or Thai food, are a different kettle of fish from tapas, and Becektt finds a rosé works well with all three: a sweeter style with spicy food and a drier one in a tapas bar. She recommends Mas Belles Eaux Vin de Pays de Caux Rosé 2010 (£7.95, fromvineyardsdirect.com). Beckett points out BYO also gives you the opportunity to drink a serious bottle that you might not be able to afford on a wine list, such as the “sumptuously creamy” Leeuwin Estate Prelude Chardonnay 2008, from Margaret River (£23 The Wine Society), as opposed to £63 at the London restaurant Skylon.
The Sunday Telegraph
Summer is surely the best time to eat smoked meats, seafood and cheeses, served with fresh salad leaves and a glass of wine, says Susy Atkins. And there could be no better pub for this than the Holt in Honiton, where chef, Angus McCaig, seems to cure and smoke everything in sight, she adds. Smoked fish, is a cinch – Spain wins hands down for its cold fino sherry with smoked mussels and kippers. A lightly smoked chicken breast is “fab” with a creamy white Burgundy such as a St Veran and a smoked duck breast demands a more sweetly ripe and fruity red, such as Australian Pinot Noir such as (Wakefield Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir, everywine.co.uk, £13.32).
If you like to drink Sancerre, then you probably know Pouilly-Fumé, Menetou-Salon, Quincy and Reuilly, the appellation controlées that make white Sancerre copies and that that cost a little bit less than wines from their more established rival. Anne Burchett, of Sopexa, the marketing agency representing the central Loire in the United Kingdom, says, “The British like nothing better than to be in on the secret of a cheaper version.” As an alternative Moore recommends the Coteaux du Giennois, she says it is not a Sancerre wannabe and doesn’t have the same potential but this is what she likes about it.
“There are some lovely – and, yes, good value – Sauvignon Blancs being made here but they have their own personality. Think Loire freshness, uplift and zing, but gentler and much softer in the mouth, broader, earlier maturing and without the prickle of a Sancerre.” Try Domaine Balland-Chapuis Montagnes Blanches 2010 Coteaux du Giennois (12.5%, £9.99, 25% off when you buy six until June 28, Waitrose).
The Financial Times
Jancis Robinson MW is talking about Puglia which she says is in the process of converting itself from “shipper northwards of anonymous strong, dark red in bulk to beef up weaker but more famous ferments, to a producer of wines of real quality on its own account”. The cardinal sins of over-oaking and over-ripeness are much less in evidence than they once were, adds Robinson. The most alluring local grape is Primitivo, grown on rich, red, sometimes, sandy soils over white limestone. The wines are perforce quite strong, sometimes 15%, but can taste of the ripest of red cherries, leather and warm liquorice, they tend to be well balanced by fresh, natural acidity and to have attractively round tannins that can keep them going as they develop in bottle.
The Mail on Sunday
The Swartland, a district in South Africa is fast building a reputation for wine, and is home to some of South Africa’s top winemaking talents, says Olly Smith. Many cut their teeth in big-name wineries before striking out on their own, and with a progressive approach to social media and an emphasis on fun, theirs is an example other wine regions could learn from. In 2008 Smith first tasted a brand new Swartland Syrah made by Chris and Andrea Mullineux. “The wine wasn’t even in bottle and they didn’t yet have their own winery, but it rocked my socks,” he says. There’s been notable success in the Swartland with grapes such as Shiraz, Mourvedre Cinsault and Grenache on the red front, and Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc and Clairette on the white. An outstanding red blend is AA Badenhorst Family Red 2007 (£29.95 at Harrods), he says.
Written by Carol Emmas
Courtesy of Harpers Wine and Spirit Trades Review