With such an exciting summer of sport and such a diverse array of sportsmen and women from all over the globe participating, it made us think about the rich assortment of wines we have from around the world. There are whites and reds from countries you might not even associate with wine but that have a tradition and culture of vine cultivation and winemaking that pre-dates even the classic wine regions closer to home. In this post I’d like to introduce you to a handful of wines from some of these less well-known wine regions, explaining what makes each wine so special and recommending a couple of complementary dishes for each.
- One such countryÂ that springs to mind is Greece – which is also particularly relevant as the cradle of sporting events held thousands of years agoÂ - so why not try the following Greek wine:
Lefkos Moschofilero Peloponnese 2011 – Case of 6
Â£50.94 (Â£8.49 per Bottle)
A lively Greek wine with intense floral aromas, lychee fruit and a lengthy, mineral finish. This wine shows the Moschofilero grape at its very finest, a delicate Greek white that lingers with aromatic roses and violets and hints of spice. Winemaker Kostas Mitravelas takes pride in this famous grape and harvests it from vineyards high on the Mantinia plateau in Greece’s central Peloponnese. This elegant white wine makes a delicious, light aperitif, or serve it with summer salads, tomato bruschetta or goats’ cheese.
- Turkey is another country with rich wine traditions and that has seen wonderful advances in quality over recent years, a great starting point would be:
Sevilen Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – Case of 6
Â£59.94 (Â£9.99 per bottle)
Ripe citrus flavours with a steely minerality and lively gooseberry fruit acidity, this Sauvignon dances on the palate and presents the richer more complex side of this popular variety. Winemaker Forent Dumeau makes the most of the Turkish sunshine to find perfect sugar levels and allows this wine a lengthy six months on its fine lees to gain gorgeous richness of texture.
Delicious with tagliatelle carbonara, lobster thermidor, or baked sea-bream with fennel and orange. Perfect for partnering fresh asparagus or an array of smoked salmon canapÃ©s.
- Further afield in Australia, one of the new range of regional reds caught myÂ eye recently in the tasting room:
Mattiske Road Barossa Valley Shiraz 2010 – Case of 6
Â£101.94 (Â£16.99 per bottle)
Rich, velvety and beautifully balanced in style, this outstanding Barossa Shiraz has intense yet refreshing flavours of juicy blackberries and mocha. Chateau Tanunda is a celebrated and historic producer in the Barossa region, which is famed for its wonderfully hedonistic Shiraz. This notably harmonious style was grown in the property’s Mattiske Road vineyard and matured by winemaker Tim Smith for 18 months in French and American oak barrels. As a result of minimal further treatment, it may throw a harmless sediment. Enjoy it with game pie and chutney or a venison casserole.
- The USA is always guaranteed to be competitive and no less so in the field of wine, go for the:
Rockus Bockus 2009 – Case of 6
Â£77.94 (Â£12.99 per bottle)
This red wine is bold and juicy, fresh and fruit-forward, with flavours of blackberry, chocolate and brown spice. The modern-day incarnation of the God of Wine, Rockus Bockus is on a mission to make delicious wine by day, and share it by night. The wine is made by a team known for making esteemed cabernet sauvignon from Napa and Sonoma that set out to make an everyday red for wine lovers. Acclaimed Bristol, UK artist and illustrator Ben Newman brought Bacchus to modern life on the label. It works very well with robust red meat dishes.
- And hoping for victory closer to home, why not celebrate with English fizz?
English Sparkling Brut NV – Case of 6
Â£132.00 (Â£22.00 per bottle)
A deliciously well-rounded, succulent sparkling white with elegant flavours of honeyed red apples, toasted brioche and a hint of spring blossom. England is fast making a name for itself with its high quality sparkling wines and this is a brilliant example from one of the country’s top winemakers, Owen Elias. For this wine, Owen blended grapes from Kent, Sussex and Essex and then aged the wine for 18 months prior to release, adding honeyed, bready richness to the ripe apple and floral flavours. This generous, easy-going style is ideal as an aperitif or as a match for all kinds of canapÃ©s or strawberries and cream.
Do you have a favourite wine region? Share your opinion on your favourite wine and please feel free to ask any questions by leaving a comment below.