Richard Household from Brompton Wines, one of our main suppliers, gives us a rundown of his favourite wines to enjoy this bank holiday weekend.
Welcome to my wine blog for Create. With my glass in hand I will write about all sorts of trends, wine passions, things I like, things I really don’t like and so on – really whatever I’m thinking about as I taste wine. If you have any comments then please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a radical proposal – there’s more to summer wine than Sauvignon Blanc!
Come on now, it’s time to look beyond the crisp, apple, grassy sauvignon based wines that we all love and try something new. Well not new, these wonderful summer whites have been made for many, many years but we don’t always choose them because the grape varieties are less well known. Here are some reasons why you should try!
We are all creatures of habit and varietal wine labelling has meant an increase in the same grapes being produced and sold the world over – sauvignons from New Zealand, Chile, France, Spain, South Africa etc…. can all taste very similar. We have become totally focused on the grape variety rather than the producer, terroir and regional climates of wine. These factors and many more go into crafting great wines at every level. Wines are wonderfully diverse – there is a wine for every mood, desire, taste, occasion that you might find yourself in. So a recurring theme that I will come back to time and time again (a mission if you like) is to try to avoid the obvious and to praise the many hidden gems readily available for you to enjoy. So not so hidden then but you know what I mean.
Here are a few white wines that are just perfect at this time of year:
At this time of year I am happily gorging on asparagus – I love it. Grilled on the BBQ or lightly steamed so that the asparagus is still slightly crunchy. Melted butter or a decadent homemade hollandaise sauce (yes, I know it’s bad but I can’t help myself), with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt – oh yes! Maybe a soft boiled quail’s egg or two as well. Choosing a white wine that matches asparagus is tough – the flavour is very green, so you need a wine that has clean citrus flavour, good acidity and a little richness. Try a really good Italian white from vineyards on the volcanic slopes around the village of Soave in the Veneto region of northeast Italy. The flavours are so clean and pure with a hint of apricot, fresh peach with really good acidity and minerality. It’s a perfect combination and not one that you might have thought of.
Another option would be South Island Riesling from New Zealand –for example Felton Road in Central Otago. The wine has a wonderful balance between ripe pear and bright, bold citrus. Mouth-wateringly delicious.
I also have a thing about rhubarb – crumble, compote, fool, anyway you like at this time of year. How about a wine that tastes of rhubarb?! There are some incredible white wines coming out of Spain now and I particularly enjoy Verdejo. The wines are beautifully aromatic with herbaceous flavours and a hint of yes, you guessed it, rhubarb. Some of my favourites have a little sauvignon in the blend to top and tail the ripe fruit. You can get Verdejo from Rueda. I had a particularly good one recently from Castilla called Mazacruz. It amazes me that wines of such finesse and purity can be made in such a hot part of the world. The advances of modern vinification are incredible but that’s for another time!