Award-winning sommelier Bert Blaize and food writer Claire Strickett published a book this month called Which Wine When, that takes the mystery – and stress – out of picking the perfect wine for any occasion.
This is the book for those who find themselves at the shops standing in front of rows of wine, making panicked decisions about what to drink. Whether you’re ordering a curry, taking a bottle to a dinner party or spending the night on the sofa with a bowl of pasta, there is always a wine for any occasion, and Bert and Claire know how to help you choose it.
We thought it would be good to sit down with them both and hear about what they’re drinking at the moment and, what they would drink with Simple Food dishes!
What are the wines you’re looking forward to, as the weather is heating up for summer?
The obvious option is rosé, but there are so many other things you could be drinking as the mercury rises. Riesling is one of our favourites for the summer months: it's super-refreshing and full of fresh citrus.
Another great thing to experiment with in summer is lighter styles of red that are brilliant slightly chilled - Beaujolais, from France, or Valpolicella and Lambrusco, from Italy (the latter has the added perk of being a sparkling red - definitely one to try if you haven't!) are great when chilled down and make perfect picnic bottles
Le Grappin even do their Rose and Beajolias in 'Bagnum" pouches: you can freeze them and use them to keep other drinks/ your picnic foods cool, then you have chilled Bojo on tap as they thaw!With lockdown easing, small outdoor dinner parties are going to be happening – what wine would you suggest as a perfect aperitif and why?
Dry white sherry (or if you can't find it, white port). Serve with lots of ice, tonic and lemon. It's a great thirst-quenching low ABV alternative to a gin & tonic. It's also super versatile for food pairings and will pair with most aperitif snacks.
Here are the pair’s, pairing suggestions:
Syrah from the Rhone, with good body and natural spice.
Chicken Meatballs with tomato & Basil, Pearl barley with carrots and almond shavings
Dolcetto di Alba - a fun, light and affordable red wine that won't overpower the turkey but will compliment the tomato sauce.
Organic Tofu Teriykai , Teriyaki Soba Noodles and Edamame, Chilli miso aubergine
An off-dry aromatic wine would be perfect. Something like Riesling (from Germany or Australia), a Pinot Gris (from Alsace) or a demi-sec Vouvray will deal with the spice and add tropical flavours that are ideal with a sweet chilli sauce.
Soave, a white wine with rich textures and fragrant, earthy notes (thanks to the volcanic soils it's grown in) is brilliant with anything with mushrooms.
A dry Lambrusco - a sparkling red with bite that will keep your palate fresh.