Summer Food & Drink
With summer in full swing, many of us are taking advantage of the warmer weather and easing of lockdown. As we spend more time having picnics in our local parks and grilling in our gardens, there is no better time to discover new and exciting food and wine pairings
As we’ve spent extra time at home, it’s no surprise that more of us have taken up cooking and are enjoying creating a feast for the family. Plus, with the hot weather we’ve had, getting out in the garden and eating alfresco has been the only option.
But how do you choose which drink to accompany your delicious dishes?
To help get you started, the team at Winebuyers have shared their favourite summer food and wine pairings, all of which are perfect for you to try at home.
Wine pairing: Fruity reds
This staple of the American cook-out has since become the smell of British summer. At the first sight of the sun, the barbie comes out and the burgers go on the grill. Mustard, relish or ketchup with red meat calls for a red wine, preferably fruity, with a higher alcohol content to aid digestion of the protein. Chilean Carmenere, known for its herbal and oaky properties, is an ambitious bottle that is capable of carrying body and standing up to both red meat and your choice of condiment.
Wine Pairing: Fresh, light whites
For something different, crab toast is a simple, stylish canapé that takes just minutes to prepare and is perfect for a garden get-together. Better still, the UK produces some of the best crab in the world. The wine pairing must be fresh, light and white. A Sauvignon Blanc from Loire is a decision you won’t regret, but Albarino, Muscadet and Greek Assyrtiko are all fantastic choices too. If you include dark crab meat, look to an unoaked Chardonnay.
Wine Pairing: Rosé
Halloumi has quickly become the vegetarian summer staple, taking the place of beetroot and goat cheese tarts, with good reason. When grilled, it retains its moisture and structure and compliments a whole host of dressings and accompaniments. For the wine, think pink. The thirst-quenching quality of Rosé works wonderfully with the saltiness of halloumi, and let’s face it, what’s more refreshing on a hot day than a chilled glass of Rosé to accompany your food.
Dish: Caprese salad
Wine Pairing: Light, young whites
Why not have a taste of Italy in your back garden. This red, white and green salad perfectly surmises this beautiful Mediterranean country. The light ingredients; tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, are beautifully balanced and call for a similarly light, young white wine.
Wine Pairing: Light, young reds
Too much preparation can be un-welcome in the summer heat, and charcuterie boards are effortless and great for taking on a picnic. These French-inspired meat boards only require you to slice and swallow. Light, young reds, like a Beaujolais, are the only recourse here.
Dish: Apricot Tart
Wine Pairing: Italian Passito
You don’t have to save wines for the main course, there are some exceptional bottles, which are a perfect accompaniment to a light dessert. Perhaps the prettiest dish in patisserie is apricots with almonds. A delicious and light combination, making it an ideal summer dessert. Passito, Italy’s raisin wine, is a match made in heaven. Notes of stone-fruits, honey and nuts match with the sweet apricot and almond flavours of the tart.
Malvasia grapes are grown with excellent sun exposure and left to dry in the sun, to create a beautiful, sweet flavour. After pressing and extended maceration, the juice is aged in casks for a year until ready for drinking.
So next time you are dining outdoors, plan your menu in advance and choose your wine accordingly and savour the flavours.