10 great restaurant wines for UK home deliveryBy Patrick Schmitt
One of the very few good things to have come out of the coronavirus lockdown has been the redistribution of restaurant wines to consumers at home – and we’ve rounded up 10 great examples available for delivery in the UK right now.
Hailing from a famous supplier of fine bottles to the UK restaurant trade, Berkmann Wine Cellars, the following selection gives you a taste of some wonderful and rare wines that were destined for great dining establishments now sadly shuttered up due to Covid-19.
And, by ordering through Berkmann for home delivery, you will also be raising much-needed funds for two charities: The Drinks Trust and Hospitality Action.
The wines have been selected by myself from a bigger list – which can be viewed here – based on what I would ideally order from the site, and take in a mix of gems that would very rarely be seen in UK retailers, if at all.
Among these is a brilliant food-friendly pink Champagne from Drappier, because you don’t need good times to drink great fizz, and a lovely refreshing dry sherry, because it offers so much flavour for so little cash.
Then there are some more unusual drops, such as a delicious Lebanese white, and an aromatic Greek red, because you may as well test your palate with something a little bit different during the tedium of a lockdown.
For those of you looking to spend a bit bigger, I’ve also chosen a few fine wines to cheer you up while you are closed in.
Now, because I can’t sample the wines at Berkmann’s HQ, for each of my chosen wines, I have asked for a comment from Berkmann purchasing director and Master of Wine, Alex Hunt.
Ok, so the person who chose the wines in the first place may not be impartial, but he’s a highly respected taster who samples wine for a living.
So read on for what would make a great mixed case for the lockdown lifestyle (or indeed, any time), and see what Alex has to say about each of the wines in this selection.
For fizz: Champagne Drappier Rosé de Saignée Brut (France) – £46.96
Alex Hunt MW: Fantastic expression of Pinot Noir from one of the region’s great specialists in the variety. Intense, refreshing, and dry with low dosage.
A sherry: Manzanilla Barbiana, B. Rodriguez La-Cave (Spain) – £7.96
Alex Hunt MW: As the weather gets hotter, what could be better than an ice-cold bone-dry Manzanilla, all apple skins, almonds and the tang of the sea?
A white wine: Château Ksara Blanc de l’Observatoire (Lebanon) – £13.75
Alex Hunt MW: Fresh, floral, aromatic – a really good garden sipper from an evocative location up in the Bekaa Valley.
Or… Bramito, Castello della Sala (Italy) – £23.50
Alex Hunt MW: Effectively Cervaro della Sala’s little brother, an effortlessly elegant Chardonnay with impeccable pedigree.
A rosé: Calafuria Negroamaro Rosato, Tormaresca (Italy) – £16.96
Alex Hunt MW: The rosé that’s been taking Italy by storm – pale in colour with just a touch more weight and depth than the Provençal equivalent.
A red wine: Thymiopoulos Xinomavro (Greece) – £14.26
Alex Hunt MW: Great value from one of Greece’s star winemakers. Lightish in colour and body but with heaps of character – a must for summer.
Or: Julicher Estate Pinot Noir (New Zealand) – £28.50
Alex Hunt MW: Seven years in bottle have given this gold medal-winning Pinot a glorious savoury undertow to underpin the still-bright berry fruit. Silky, pure, noble expression of Martinborough.
A fine red: Barolo, Prunotto (Italy) – £55
Alex Hunt MW: I love what Prunotto are doing these days, having fully embraced the pale, perfumed side of Nebbiolo to produce wines of haunting beauty even when young.
Or: Yarra Yering Dry Red No. 2 (Australia) 2013 – £52
Alex Hunt MW: Iconic status fully justified here – this Shiraz-dominant blend has compelling complexity and grace.
And finally… a fine white: Chassagne-Montrachet, Philippe Colin (France) 2017 – £50
Alex Hunt MW: A particularly good vintage for our best-selling Chassagne. Already drinking superbly well, with lift, length and lime-leaf typicity.