Scottish Field wine columnist Peter Ranscombe picks five bottles to rub shoulder to shoulder with the recipes from Salt Café.
SUPPORTING local businesses is more important than ever as Scotland emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.
That’s why it was heartwarming to see the recipes from Salt Café in Edinburgh’s Morningside starring in the food feature in the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.
On their website, owners Steve and Liv proclaim: “If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well”.
And that certainly came across in the Salt Café recipes.
Here are my five wine recommendations – they’re well-known styles, and all done well too…
TIERRA Y HOMBRE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2020
Marks & Spencer
Goat’s cheese and sauvignon blanc are a classic pairing, but here we’re turning to Chile rather than France’s Loire Valley. Made by Vina Indomita – a winery that’s also a favourite with the wine buyers at The Co-op – I was impressed by the textbook gooseberry and asparagus aromas and by the way in which its high acidity was balanced by its concentrated fruit flavours. Much more tropical on the palate, with guava and passionfruit joining the gooseberry.
FINEST COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES SIGNARGUES 2020
Signargues, the most southerly Rhone village, will pair with the black pudding in those uber-posh beans on toast. Tesco’s offerings from the South of France have come and gone over the years, but I think they’re firing on all cylinders at the moment, and this example from winemaker Julie Rouffignac was leading the pack at the supermarket’s spring-summer press tasting. There’s an attractive mix of raspberry, raspberry jam, violets, blackcurrant, and blackberry on the nose, with that mix of red and black fruits becoming fresher on the palate. Grenache leads the way in the blend at 54%, with syrah chalking up 39%, followed by 5% mouvedre, and a 2% sprinkling of carignan.
CASTELLO DI RADDA RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2014
A splash-out Chianti from Edinburgh’s Independent Wine to sing alongside the steak and egg dish’s Italianate sauce. This is a great example of why it’s worth revisiting “big” wines from the best sites in Italy. On the nose, there’s a complex mix of classic red cherry, dark chocolate, spun sugar, wood smoke, and elegant balsamic notes. That fruity complexity translates through onto the palate as well, with the tannins we want to handle a steak, and Radda’s cool site bringing freshness to the acidity. Paula Cook’s Le Miccine Chianti Classico Riserva 2017 (£22, Woodwinters) would be a good contender too.
MAPLE LEAF CANADIAN ROSÉ 2019
And now for something completely different – a Canadian rosé with enough sweetness to pair with a pavlova. With the world becoming more and more obsessed with pale Provence rosé, it’s nice to see there’s still a place out there for an off-dry pink. Hailing from the Niagara peninsula, there are plenty of pavolva-friendly vanilla, butter, and strawberry jam aromas on the nose. The balance between the acidity, fruit, and sweetness on the palate is much better than it was in other examples at Aldi’s spring-summer tasting, with the vanilla leaving room for the strawberry and peach flavours to shine.
M&S PINK PORT
Marks & Spencer
Raspberries galore among these recipes, and this pink port – made for Markies by famous port house Taylor’s, which traces its roots back to 1692 – is an ideal pairing. Red apple, raspberry jam, and fresher cranberry and redcurrant on the nose, with more of the same on the palate. It’s sweet, yet with the acidity we need to stop the whole show from becoming too sickly. For more ideas from M&S, check out my review of its spring-summer tasting.
Check out Peter’s drinks blog, The Grape & The Grain, for more of his wine, beer, and spirits reviews.