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Home News > August 2019 > SWA Summer Menu

This may be our last summer of fun before the inevitable Brexit happens (might not happen) in the autumn. Right now we’re treating ourselves to a variety of wines that make us oh-so-happy, so please enjoy this write up of what we (the SWA team) will be drinking and eating this summer in our annual SWA summer menu.

Snails by Micaela Martins Ferreira – SWA deputy competition director

Celebrating summer means re-energizing for the rest of the year, therefore I truly believe that needs to be cheered in style, plus this year I have couple of good reasons to go a bit crazy… I’ll toast with Brut NV (£75.13, Angel Champagne); with its complex and intense nose showing some stone fruit and nuttiness, it will definitely start me off in the right foot. A must-have in my friends’ gathering every summer is snails, with a special sauce that you can only have at our favourite tavern; this year I will surprise them and bring SWA Fine Wine of Year – Quinta dos Carvalhais, Branco Especial NV (£29.20, Liberty Wines). This amazing blend of Encruzado, Verdelho and Semillion will refresh our palates throughout our snail feast!

A celebration by Chris Losh – SWA competition director

My missus has a Significant Birthday this summer, which is going to mean lots of parties, food outside and celebration. Add all that together and there's only one drink that fits the bill, rosé fizz. Champagne is sadly out of the reach of an impoverished journalist, but I was absolutely knocked out by the standard of the English pink sparklers at SWA this year. For the hoi polloi I'll get a couple of cases of the extraordinarily well-priced Greyfriars Rosé (£14.00, Matthew Clark), though for private consumption I'll get the Harrow & Hope Brut Rosé 2015 (£22.08, Jascots). They're a rising star of the UK wine scene, and this superbly good rosé shows quite clearly why.

Oysters and a seafood platter by Ed Warr – SWA event producer

When the hot whether sets in, I like to plan a little trip back to my Mothers, who happens to be a stones through away from Mersea Island where arguably the best oysters in the world are found in abundance. So while sharing a dozen Oysters and a seafood platter at the Company Shed with mum, I’ll have our glasses filled with a wonderful Condrieu, Le Petit Cote 2017 from the Domaine Yves Cuilleron (£36.88, Enotria&Coe and Top Selection). Its fantastic fresh aromatics marry well with the seafood and the oiliness ties it all together. Here’s to another bottle!

Prawns by Amy Seabrook – SWA marketing manager

My favourite thing to do in summer is enjoy long lunches outside - usually with as much fresh seafood as possible! I love nothing more than sitting in the sun with a bowl of prawns and a bottle of something delicious. This year I’ll be turning to the SWA Merchant of the Year, Enotria&Coe for their Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre 2015 from Domaine de Vauroux (£19.66, Enotria&Coe). The notes of ripe lemon and melon will be the perfect pairing as I drink into the evening.

Mixed sausage tapas by Mady Lawes – SWA content marketing executive

Since a trip to Barcelona in the springtime, all my partner and I have wanted to do on a lazy Sunday is fry a mixed bag of sausages, eat them washed down with cava and sit in the shade, outside, on a hot summers day. The fat and grease that’s produced from this perfect mix of chorizo, classic and black pudding bites of sausage is intense and it needs a sharp acidic bubble to cut through it. Unsurprisingly the Cava Brut NV from The Tapas Wine Collection (£8.25, Carchelo) works really well with this. It’s an intense nose of pear and apple, with really good acidity and a citrus weight on the finish. Helps wash down our greasy sins.

Fish and chips by Bob Davidson – Imbibe sales manager (and MW student)

Summer is all about eating outside on the odd day that the weather is clement enough to allow it. Picnics with tasty tapas type tit-bits, or sitting looking out at the sea clutching a rustling bundle of battered rock salmon and chips, constitute some of life’s simple pleasures. It’s a cliché that Champagne is the ideal partner for fish and chips, but if you want to step it up a gear, try sherry. Fernando de Castilla, Fino (£9.65, Boutinot) in all its glorious umaminess is the perfect bedfellow for that classic British dish. Or tapas, obvs. Or just on its own, with some good tunes and a comfy chair in the shade.

BBQ by Jacopo Mazzeo – Imbibe news editor

Summer means only one thing to me: the higher-than-usual chance to be blessed with a decent, warm-ish, sunny day. On those rare occasions, I immediately take the barbeque out and start grilling. There’s always a wide range of cuts involved and no wine can match them all, so I go for a pairing dictated by tradition instead. The Altura Cabernet Franc from Bodega Norton (£12.75, Berkmann Wine Cellars) is, as the name suggests, a high-altitude, savoury and full-bodied red from the Valle de Uco in Mendoza, Argentina. It’s deep, intense, with plenty of dark fruit and smoky notes to complement my BBQ meats & vegs, while its acidity and high-yet-round tannins cut through all the fattiness that inevitably coats the palate as the bacchanal goes on. Full-bodied red under the scorching sun? Bring it on.

Steak and chips by Eva Pickersgill – SWA event coordinator

In the summer, I have found that most people tend to eat salads and fish, preferring a lighter meal in the evening because it’s too hot to cook. Not for me though! All I want on a hot day is a big, fat, juicy medium-rare steak, chips and a not-so-small glass of Malbec to bring it all together. This year, I’ll be drinking Amalaya Gran Corte Malbec, 2017 (£11.87, Liberty Wines) with my steak. I find that some Malbec’s overpower the flavours of meat, but this keeps the steak the star of the dish.