With the warmth of spring just a hop, skip and a jump away, we’re counting down the days until we can don our sunnies and kick back with a good glass of crisp white on the patio.
But if you’re feeling uninspired by run-of-the-mill sauvignon blanc or lacklustre merlot, it could be time to broaden your wine drinking horizons. We asked James Reina of Majestic Wines for some top tips to refresh our palates.
‘UK wine drinking trends are often swamped by certain grape varieties that capture the imagination of a generation,’ says James. ‘In recent years we’ve all embraced the delicate and quaffable style of wine that pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, merlot and other such grapes produce. Couple this with aggressive pricing in the marketplace and bulk production, and you end up with a somewhat homogenised wine experience across a large swathe of the hospitality industry.’
Lucky for us, many of the great pubs, restaurants, hotels and bars in the South West (including a lots of the Trencherman’s members) are reacting to this by venturing into less well chartered territory, providing comprehensive wine lists with easy-to-read tasting notes, and clued-up staff.
Try swapping your go-to-glass for James’ alternatives next time you’re wining and dining:
- Swap pinot grigio for oltre passo falanghina
A beautiful white grape variety with all the crisp freshness of pinot grigio but with a serious streak that will have you delighting in its unique flavours and aromas. Matched with mussels, its absolutepairfection.
- Swap sauvignon blanc for Majestic’s exclusive southern French blend of sauvignon blanc and viognier, Cuvees Families
70% sauvignon keeps a lively character while 30% viognier adds a beautiful viscosity and makes it a great match for a plethora of seafood dishes. Smoked salmon never tasted so good.
- Swap merlot with a Chilean Claro Reserva carmenere
This is a grape variety that has threatened to explode on the wine market for a while, but hasn’t had enough marketing and industry recommendations for total lift off. The perfect marriage to sourdough primavera pizza.