The Vintner Out & About
While traditionally August is a quieter month for us with London emptying and the wineries in France, Spain and Italy shutting down, this year we’re keeping busy with Rick Stein’s ‘Summer of Shellfish’ campaign that’s showcasing delicious lobsters, oysters, crabs and crayfish.
Christmas Dinner is probably the biggest event of the year for you and your loved ones, yet there never seems to be enough time to fully prepare for the festivities ahead.
Not only will there always be a shortage of chairs and the worry of over-cooking the beef, the wine selection can been seen as an ominous cloud over the whole occasion.
Luckily, we are here to make it easy for you to choose the right wine for every special occasion.
Something to get the festivities started...
Discover the perfect pair for your Christmas lunch...
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At The Vintner, we regularly get together and run team tastings on our 100 wines and this week it was my turn to take to the stage and talk through a flight of green, fresh and vibrant Grüner Veltliners. What stands out for me about Grüner is its versatility when matching with food: barring red meat, it goes with almost anything. With that in mind, I’m matching our Grüner Veltliner by Bernhard OTT with what I think is its ultimate match and also country fellow… the brilliantly retro Wiener Schnitzel. The acidity in the wine helps lift the fried breadcrumbs and oil off the palate and the spice and white pepper complement the meat and are never overpowered.
The big bright orange thing in the sky is out and we’re celebrating here at Vintner HQ by cracking open a couple of bottles of our best-selling, summer loving pink and pairing it with an equally light and delicious dish of grilled (or barbecued) chicken Paillard and watercress. The wine in question is our Mado en Provence Rosé 2015, and it’s so blinking pretty I want to put a sample of desk and propose to it. Fine, silky and bursting with bombastic strawberry and raspberry fruit. The fruit and weight of the wine will partner well with the red wine dressing.
Throughout the world (or perhaps to be more precise, the fashionable neighbourhoods in London, Paris and New York) the natural wine revolution is gaining traction. It seems the more hipster the neighbourhood, the more natural wine bars/restaurants keep popping up. Not surprisingly, some of our own restaurant clients have asked us for natural wine options too. This has been quite a task for me. Over the last few months I have tasted my way through the mire of natural wines being shown at wine fairs in London and in France and my findings of wines that are not faulty, over-oxidised or with a tasting note more akin to that of cider has left me with very little to get excited about. That doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying, but what became immediately clear to me is that, at present, the majority of natural wines currently on the market are borderline undrinkable and anyone selling these wines should be approached with caution.