Scottish Field wine columnist Peter Ranscombe hums Eddie Grant’s classic tune as he matches bottles to Brodie Williams’ brunch dishes.
THE first time I got off the tube at Brixton and saw the sign for “Electric Avenue”, a wee lightbulb popped on inside my head.
It hadn’t dawned on me that Eddie Grant’s 1983 reggae classic was about a real street in London, even if Radio 2 had taught me its connections to the Brixton riots.
The fruit, the fish, the fabulous chatter make the market stalls along the avenue a must-visit location if you’re south of the river.
Then, take a 15-minute walk from that tube station and you’ll reach Annapurna, the cafe opened by Masterchef semi-finalist Brodie Williams.
The Fifer’s brunch dishes were an enjoyable change of pace for the Wine to Dine column in the April issue of Scottish Field magazine.
It was fun to explore alternatives to Prosecco – so often the brunch bubbles of choice – and to conjure up concoctions to go with those breakfast barbecue flavours.
Langham Corallian Classic Cuvée
Lea & Sandeman
Forget Prosecco – it’s time to kick off your brunch with an elegant English sparkler to celebrate Brixton’s best. This is a really elegant and food-friendly chardonnay-dominant fizz, made in Dorset. I loved its apricot and lemon rind aromas and flavours, which had enough intensity to balance its crisp acidity.
Klippenkop Chenin Blanc 2019
This South African stunner will go swimmingly well with Brodie’s smoked mackerel pâté Scotch eggs. A combination of bright and attractive green apple, peach, and lemon on the nose leads into an explosion of richer red apple and peach on the palate. Good chenin from South Africa doesn’t have to cost the earth – check out Badenhorst’s Secateurs for another great example.
The Society’s English White 2020
The Wine Society
England’s answer to sauvignon blanc – all the acidity you could want to slice through the goats’ cheese quiche. Expressive elderflower aromas give way to juicy lemon and elderberry on the palate, almost reaching a peachy level of ripeness and intensity during what’s been hailed as a landmark vintage for English. I’ve struggled in the past with this and other English blends made by Three Choirs, but this is serious stuff. This wines in last month’s sauvigon blanc-fest would also do the job nicely.
Escandalo Carignan 2018
Deliciously smoky barbecue notes from Chile’s secret vinous weapon to go with the uber-posh smoky beans and poached eggs on sourdough. It’s got the dry and meaty tannins to take on chewier dishes, but they’re well-integrated, with lots of savoury roast meat, tomato sauce, and brighter raspberry and redcurrant jelly flavours. Carmenere may grab all the attention in Chile, but carignan is the country’s unsung red grape hero.
Puffing Billy Vodka
The Borders Distillery
If you’re looking for a Scottish vodka to stand up to the tomato in your Bloody Mary then look no further than the textural Puffing Billy from The Borders Distillery. So much vodka is – let’s face it – bland, but this has the aromas of read and green apples, yeasty cereal, and more vegetable green bean. Those green apple flavours are joined by mint on the palate, enhancing its cocktail credentials. It’s the texture that’s the star of the show though, with a roundness that you just don’t find with standard fare.
Read more of Peter’s wine, beer, and spirits reviews on his drinks blog, The Grape & The Grain.