NATIONAL WINE DAY
NEIL PHILLIPS TALKS US THROUGH THE BEST OF THE SEASON
It goes without saying that the contents of your glass should be as stylish as your suit, so here are some vinous suggestions for the season's social occasions. As we move to summer, it’s time to take a look at some fabulous fizz, racy Rosés, zingy whites and lighter reds for some liquid sunshine...
Coates & Seely Brut Reserve NV, Hampshire, UK
The Wines of Great Britain story continues to grow at a rapid rate, producing around six million bottles a year currently, with Sparkling wines accounting for nearly two thirds of that. One of my absolute favourites is the award-winning Coates & Seely Brut Reserve which is delicious, with complexity, elegance and stunning length. Look out for their vibrant, crisp and delicate Rosé NV too.
Stockist: www.coatesandseely.com/shop , The Dorchester, The Savoy, Simpson’s, Sexy Fish, Annabell’s and other premium restaurants, bars and hotels
To get up close and personal, visit Coates & Seely or another GB vineyard or look out for English and Welsh Wine Weeks from Saturday May 25th to Sunday June 2nd . More information at www.winegb.co.uk
Prosecco DOC Ruggeri Argeo Brut Treviso, Veneto, Italy
Our love for Prosecco continues abound. Produced only in the beautiful Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia areas in North East Italy, there are numerous quality names, including Ruggeri, one of the oldest and most famous, which was founded in 1950 by Giustino Bisol and is now run by his son Paolo. Their very expressive top-class wines include Prosecco DOC Ruggeri Argeo Brut DOC Treviso, which has a lovely, refined, soft and elegant style.
Stockist: Great Western Wine www.greatwesternwine.co.uk/
For the perfect summer serve, try a Bellini Cocktail. Invented in 1948 by Venetian bar-tender Giuseppe Cipriani, it’s a perfect blend of two parts Prosecco, one part peach purée.
Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay 2016, California
Kendall-Jackson produce fabulous wines and their Chardonnay is a classic example of delicious, ripe tropical fruit from the cool, coastal regions of California, balanced with gentle oak barrel ageing. Chairman, Barbara Banke, is a firm favourite of mine for her wine and horse-racing credentials as she is heavily involved in thoroughbred horse breeding too and once even named a horse after me – Wine Tipster!
Stockists: Penistone Wine Cellars, Sandhams, Hennings, Hailsham Wines, Amazon
Chapel Down Bacchus 2017, Kent, UK
The Bacchus grape, named after the Roman God of wine, produces a dry, fresh, crisp wine, with lovely floral and fruit character. Chapel Down’s Bacchus is an excellent example of this style and can, quite honestly, be served at any and every summer occasion in my opinion. I’ll be keeping my fridge stocked for both formal and impromptu moments.
Côtes de Provence Rosé de Léoube 2017 Château Léoube, Provence, France
This top-class, elegant and delicate dry organic Rosé from the very picturesque Provence region in France, is beautifully balanced, with flavours of strawberry and white peach. It works so well as an aperitif but is also very food friendly, matching with fish, shell fish and mildly spicy dishes too. This pink will be a popular choice during The Cheltenham Festival and throughout The Season.
Stockists: Daylesford Organic, Kingham www.daylesford.com, Waddesdon Manor
Book a table or visit the elegant bar at The Wild Rabbit in Kingham Oxfordshire where this classy Rosé is served by the glass from magnum, and where the excellent Alyn Williams from The Westbury Hotel is Chef Patron. www.thewildrabbit.co.uk
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Awatere Valley Pinot Noir 2016 Marlborough, New Zealand
Pinot Noir is the perfect choice for those who like lighter reds and its popularity continues to grow. It’s a great partner for food across a spectrum of dishes, but sips equally well on its own. Yealands Estate is in the premium Awatere Valley region of Marlborough, on the cliffs looking out to sea and, freshened by the coastal breezes across the vineyard, this Pinot Noir has lovely ripe fresh summer fruit characters, with a touch of cherry and spice.
Chiroubles 2017, Georges Duboeuf, Beaujolais, France
Drinking red wines slightly chilled can be a great alternative to crisp whites or Rosés during the summer months and whilst you might think twice about chilling a full-bodied Malbec, this delicious Beaujolais is absolutely perfect for straight-from-fridge drinking. It is made from the Gamay grape and is soft and fruity, with flavours of cherries and raspberries, a little spice and low tannins, making the perfect early evening summer tipple.
Croft Twist Fino Spritz
When I first tried Croft Twist a couple of years ago, I thought it was wonderful and an absolute winner! A modern British take on Spain’s rebujito cocktail, it mixes cask-aged Croft Fino with sparkling water, and English elderflower, lemon and mint cordial. At 5.5% ABV, it’s perfect if you’re after something a little bit lighter. It’s also great to surprise guests with. Don’t tell them what it is and see if they guess… For the perfect serve, pour over ice and garnish with a twist of lemon peel and a sprig of fresh basil.
Stockists: Ocado, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s
Neil Phillips is The Wine Tipster. He is based in The Cotswolds and spends much of his time entertaining wine and horse racing fans either at the UK’s racecourses or in vineyards across the world. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @thewinetipster or at www.thewinetipster.co.uk