Our wine editor Bruce Palling has selected six wines that are just perfect for Summer, with our partner Corney & Barrow
What is the correct form if, after consenting to a sommelier serving you a mystery bottle, you then find it virtually undrinkable? A friend recently had this happen in Beaujolais, where the sommelier insisted it was supposed to taste like that: thankfully he relented, and took it off the bill. It is not always easy for the uninitiated to tell a sommelier that the wine is off, but you should always stand your ground if you genuinely find it unpalatable. Corked or spoiled bottles are less of a problem these days, especially with the introduction of screw tops, and I can assure you this won’t happen with Corney & Barrow’s Moulin-à-Vent,
the grandest Beaujolais category of them all. In 40 years of buying wine from Corney, this has never happened to me – though if it ever did, I know they would do the right thing and immediately rectify the problem.
The reds this month are all French, but from quite diverse parts of the country, and are all from different grapes. That is the magic of a wine – not only does it exhibit the characteristics of the grape variety, but it also expresses the dirt and climate where it’ grown. If you ever have the opportunity to drink old Moulin-à-Vent, jump at it, as after a decade or so it takes on the flavours and depth of red Burgundy, despite it being from gamay, as opposed to Pinot Noir, grapes.
In the whites, Chablis needs no introduction, while South African Chenin Blanc is arguably more exciting than its French equivalent. I find that the Nelson Sauvignon Blanc has more
in common with the Old World versions of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé than its more expressive and fruity New Zealand cousins. And this is why we adore interesting wines – for their ability to reflect their origins in such beguiling and individual ways. Enjoy.