Summer food and wine
All hail the onset of summer! After enduring a long and cold winter the thought of warm sunny days is enticing. As well, our supermarket shelves and deli fridges are lined with fresh seasonal delicacies … asparagus, strawberries, globe artichokes. Yum. This week is English Wine Week so we asked Simon Hawkins from Hawkins Bros Fine English Wine in Milford to pair his favourite summer foods with the best of our English wines.
Strawberries Even though we can now get poly-tunnel English strawberries most of the year the summer varieties are still the best. The acidity of strawberries works fantastically with a sparkling rosé, Greyfriars Rosé Reserve 2014 is one such, its strawberries and cream nose and balancing acidity mirrors perfectly the flavours of the ruby fruits.
Asparagus Possibly the most eagerly awaited vegetable of the early summer, there’s nothing that quite compares to English asparagus in season, served steamed with melted butter and a grind of black pepper. Hidden Spring Vineyard’s Bacchus 2016 is the perfect accompaniment, the crisp gooseberry and elderflower notes of this East Sussex wine work wonderfully with the succulent spears.
Globe Artichokes Some think this a fiddly vegetable to work with and eat, but boy does it reward you with outstanding flavours! Here’s where I bang the drum for our own wine, Hawkins Bros Brut Reserve is a classic English fizz with great balance between fruit and acidity and is the perfect bedfellow for this delicious, edible thistle.
Samphire This salty sea-vegetable is a particular favourite of mine, harvested at low tide, steamed and served with a perfectly cooked piece of fresh fish. The saltiness of the samphire needs a bone-dry white to make it sing, I recommend Westwell Vineyard’s Ortega Classic Ferment 2016.
Burrata After over-wintering on silage, the sudden richness of the milk from cows re-introduced to upland pasture produces this wonderful, tangy, grown-up brother to mozzarella. Works fabulously with a lovely, light-bodied Pinot Noir such as Bolney’s Foxhole Pinot Noir.
Sunshine Ok, its not a food and we don’t get very much of it, so when it does appear let’s celebrate by cracking open a bottle of my favourite summer tipple, Hush Heath Nannette’s English Rosé, perfect on its own. It’s the English summer in a glass. Cheers!
All wines are available from Hawkins Bros Fine English Wines. hawkinsbros.co.uk