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Home News > August 2018 > SWA’s wine picks for Summer

Before everyone heads off for the summer to enjoy lazy days, beach walks and great food and drink, we’ve put together our dream menu paired with some of our 2018 wines. So what SWA Winners will the team be choosing for their summer dishes this year?

Grilled octopus by Micaela Martins Ferreira, deputy competition director
No one says no to a glass of bubbly, especially if you have a breath-taking ocean view as I will have this summer in Peniche, Portugal… Duménil, Premier Cru, Brut Rosé, NV (Davy's Wine Merchants) is an amazing choice with its elegancy and freshness, which proves to be well-balanced with an aromatic finish. I can’t think of a better way to start the holidays!

As a seafood lover I will be having a lot of grilled octopus over this summer (my favourite), and I’m excited to pair it with Framingham, Classic, Riesling, 2015 (Liberty Wines). It’s zesty, with lovely acidity and good typicity, showing some appealing lemon and lime notes it will definitely bring.

Ceviche by Amy Seabrook, marketing manager
One of my favourite wines from this year’s competition is the Mirabeau, Azure, Côtes de Provence, 2017 (Bibendum) and in the summer months my go to drink is a chilled rosé so this was an obvious choice on the wine front for me. With the lovely ripe and fragrant fruit you get on the palate with this wine, I can’t think of anything more perfect than sipping this by a pool with some ceviche or my absolute favourite, Sicilian red prawns.

Chicken salad by Lindsey Coleman, publishing and events director
When the hot weather comes I turn to salads as my go-to dish and there’s nothing I enjoy more than al-fresco dining - wine in hand! With English sparkling wines doing so well in the competition this year, it simply has to be one of these incredible winning wines. I think the Hattingley Valley, Classic Reserve NV (Enotria&Coe) will be perfect with a delicious roast chicken salad.

BBQ meats by Mady Lawes, marketing executive
My favourite things to BBQ are chicken legs, pork ribs and lamb burgers. I marinade the chicken in fresh lemon and garden rosemary overnight, and baste it often with the leftover juices whilst cooking. I coat the ribs in a thick honey BBQ glaze and throw them straight onto the flame to get those lovely caramelised burnt bits… you can’t have ribs without burnt bits! And for the lamb burgers I like to add bay leaves to the flame and smoke the burger to cook it.

These flavours for me need something full and plentiful so I’ll be pairing with the WX Brands, Marques de Calado, Tempranillo, 2017 (Majestic Commercial) - this fresh-fruited red will be ideal.

Roast beef by Chris Losh, competition director
We probably roast beef more often than we grill steaks on our barbie, mainly because it’s less effort, but the lack of charring makes it easier to show off some seriously good wine, too. I’m having a bit of an Etna love-in at the moment, so for my first choice ‘dream wine’ I’d probably go with the Santa Maria La Navem, Calmarossa, Etna Rosso, 2014 (Hallgarten & Novum Wines). It’s not cheap, but it’s a fabulous drop, and there’s a nice cool-hearted crunch to it that makes it drinkable even on warm afternoons. It would tolerate a bit of gentle chilling, too.

For budget offerings, I’m not going to go the obvious route and pick a Malbec (though the Trapiche Estacion for under a tenner at Enotria&Coe is a steal). Instead, I’m going to head to Australia. The country’s performance with Shiraz was extraordinary this year, and I think the Maxwell, Silver Hammer, Shiraz, 2015 (Tilley's Wines) is exceptional at £8.99. Plus it makes me start singing the Beatles, which is never a bad thing.

Porchetta by Ed Warr, events producer
When the sun stays out for as long as it has been, we need to get more creative with our bbq’s as charred burgers and chicken just won’t cut it! So I will be going all out with the rather sumptuous Tuscan Frescobaldi, Brunello di Montalcino, 2012 (Hallgarten & Novum Wines). Its smoky and leathery nose will marry well with the rich Cherry wood smoked Porchetta, the wines balanced acidity is just enough to handle the buckets of Salsa Verde and the tannins suit the spices in the pork, bringing a little bit Italy to South London!

Blue cheese burgers by Hannah Ware, event coordinator
This summer I will be drinking a lot of Vakakis, Epogdoon, Barrel, Muscat Blanc, 2015 (Southern Wine Roads) - a beautifully refreshing and tropical wine for this very rare hot summer that we are enjoying in the UK. I’ll be pairing a few glasses of this with a big juicy burger, fresh from the BBQ with a generously cut slice of blue cheese.