Al fresco dining is one of the best things about summer.
On balmy evenings, you often don’t really want to sit out and eat a big ol’ meal, but rather just enjoy some nibbles over a couple of glasses of wine and good chat.
Surely, nights like these are what cheese, charcuterie and olives were made for?
We popped in to Wholefoods earlier in the day and picked out some yummy treats including olives (practically as large as golf balls!), a selection of cheeses and a couple of sheets of coppa.
What we really needed was a great food wine that was versatile enough to wash this all down with…
The solution came in the form of a very little known wine in the UK: Jurançon.
Situated in the South of France, you may have heard of Jurançon (Juh-ron-son) before, but chances are you’ve encountered the sweet stuff. As well as great dessert wines, they also make incredible dry white wines too from the Gros & Petit Manseng grapes.
Never heard of them? Never mind – what’s important is that if you like grape varieties such as dry Riesling and Chenin Blanc, then you’ll love dry Jurançon too. It’s full of complex flavours like pineapple, lime and buttery brioche. It has a delicious mouthwatering acidity that makes you want to come back for more (and more, and more…). It’s this freshness which makes it a great food wine too.
If you’re feeling decadent, it pairs up spectacularly well with foie gras too.
I know it’s a little out there, which makes it a bit tricky to find in the UK. I’m lucky enough to work for a wine supplier with a large portfolio, so we tasted the Cauhape (pictured). But you can find some examples out there in the mainstream, such as the Chateau Jolys which comes in at an affordable £10.49 from Waitrose.
Luckily the weather is set to stay the same for at least the rest of this week, meaning many more days of alfresco dining to come…