My top three wines for Summer & other stories
I’m spending a bit less time on the bike these days and a bit more time watching the Tour de France and drinking our stock…. which is making me happy and slower. I’ve finally become a star of the screen having done my first recorded interview with my great friends BM Caterers … it’s had more than 3 views, and we’ve only gone and developed a blind wine tasting using AI to guide our wine loving audience through the wine jungle. So here’s a few bits that prove we do actually do some work.
THE PERFECT PINK
I’ve stuck my neck out many times vouching that deliciously, crisp, coral pink Rosé shouldn’t cost more than £15 & when it does, that’s fine, but just know that you’re paying for a marketing machine.
The sort of flavours I’m after can come from many different countries but, until proven otherwise I believe these countries have to be in, or very close to, Europe. I say close to Europe because I’ve just returned from Turkey and found a fabulously fresh, floral, pink grapefruit like Rosé in amongst a plethora of rather desperate looking specimens that I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole. And I’ve tried so many strong contenders with excellent pedigree from South Africa, New Zealand, Aus and further afield and they just don’t cut the mustard for the simple freshness and vitality of my perfect, not too complicated or flashy, super refreshing Summer Rosé. So ….. if you don’t enjoy paying for a marketing machine, pay for a bottle or two of this Rosé from Domaine de Triennes from IGP Var in Provence. It’s a simple Summer Rose with strawberry, pink grapefruit and citrus notes and it’s incredibly moreish. The French would describe it as ‘Rosé de Piscine’ and it’s exactly that. It’s got a hellishly impressive team of wine makers and owners behind it and I love it because it delivers all that I want, with a bucket full of class for comfortably the right side of £15 quid #boxticked
WHISPY SUMMER WHITE
Lucy waved our stock sheet at me yesterday and out fell an awful lot of white burgundy ….. which is completely delicious but perhaps not the most refreshinglytastic white for lazy Summer days and al fresco lunches and dinners. ….. but ??? bottles of this delicious Sancerre fell out too.
The Loire is right up there in my list of favourite wine producing regions. I’m head over heels in love with what it can do with Chenin Blanc; I love simple Muscadet for it’s vitality and zippiness and I’ve got a puncheon for Cabernet Franc too but I’d forgotten that we bought this slug of Sancerre a few months back and it’s as good and as honest to its appellation as Sancerre gets. Like Chablis does with Chardonnay, Sancerre stands pretty much alone with what it can do with Sauvignon Blanc. It’s the only region that can coax those ‘freshly mown grass’, ‘hedgerow’, ‘elderflower’ notes that make drinking it a bit like lying in a meadow in Summer with your feet dangling in cool gently flowing stream. So I don’t look for much in my perfect Summer white and this wine does have it - lazer sharp with wonderful gooseberry, greengage fruit and that perfect scent of freshly cut grass. My tasting note’s a masterpiece and reads –YUUUUUUUM
BBQ READY RED
This isn’t the time of year for super posh red for me - the beautiful Bordeaux, Burgundies and Barolos can sleep until September (we’ve got lots of these btw) …. instead it’s time for red that works as well out of a Riedel Sommelier glass as it does from a plastic beaker on the picnic rug and it looks a bit like this …… Côtes du Rhône
Like Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône can range in quality from sewage water to sensational. Whilst it hasn’t suffered the near fatal blow inflicted by Beaujolais Nouveau, it has suffered a good few years of neglect allowing a plethora of mediocre, wishy washy, £4.99 reds out the door, masquerading under the Côtes du Rhone label …. which is exactly what excites me. Wherever you have big wine producing regions (and Cotes du Rhone regularly pumps out over 3 million hectolitres a year), you’ll find really great wine growers using that appellation for their most basic wines, which are often far from basic. We visited Stephane Ogier in May of this year and managed to snaffle the last 25 cases of this epic Côtes du Rhône ‘Les Temps est Venu’ whilst tasting his £100+ a bottle single vineyard Cote Rotie. We got a few bottles of that too but I’m almost more excited about this Côtes du Rhône. It's a far cry from sewage water and gives an affordable insight in to the wines of a properly talented, artisanal wine grower who’s rapidly becoming a star, if not the star, of the Northern Rhone.
…. and I’ve just realised that I’ve recommended three wines that are all French. Oh well, my decision still stands and they could do with a bit of support at the mo.
If you’d like to know more about any of the above or you’ve got any fun comments - good, bad or otherwise then please call or email me/us
…. and if you order any of the above and they don’t do exactly what we say they’ll do then let us know and we’ll see you straight.
Tom, Fred, Lucy & Charlie