Wine to Dine – July 2018 – Berries

Drinks writer Peter Ranscombe picks five wines to go with berries.

The star ingredient in the food feature inside the July 2018 issue of Scottish Field magazine was the great Scottish berry. Here, we need a range of wines with varying sweetness and dryness to match the different dishes that can be created from soft fruits.

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde Rosé
Portugalia Wines
Portugal offers great value when it comes to sweeter rosés to match berries. A special tip-of-the-hat to Mike Turner from Please Bring Me My Wine for sharing his enthusiasm during the recent Vinho Verde tasting in London. He showed me there’s so much more to Portuguese pink than Mateus Rosé, including this example from Casal Garcia, which is packed full of red cherry and ripe raspberry aromas, flowing through into strawberries and cream on the palate.

Pierre Martin Sancerre Chavignol Rosé, 2017
Lay & Wheeler
A drier pairing, which sings with fresh strawberry aromas and flavours. Lay & Wheeler, which is he upmarket arm of Majestic Wine, has a very strong list of wines from the Loire Valley in Northern France, including his pink Sancerre, which had concentrated strawberry and raspberry flavours to balance its refreshing acidity.

Lustau Moscatel de Chipiona
The lighter way to enjoy dessert wine and from a great producer too. Bodegas Lustau is best-known for its sherries, but that doesn’t mean we should overlook its non-fortified dessert wines from Jerez in Spain. This muscatel is bursting at the seams with pineapple and green apple on the nose, with a touch of spun sugar and lemon sherbet joining the green apple on the palate. I think lighter styles of dessert wine like these can be ideal matches for the sweetness of some berry puddings.

Escarpment Hinemoa Riesling, 2016
Great Grog
A very versatile sweet riesling from one of New Zealand’s expert winemakers. If you’re going super-sweet with your berry desserts then rieslings are well-worth a look, especially when they have the right balance between the intense citrus flavours and the fresh acidity as shown here by Larry McKenna at Escarpment, who also makes stunning pinot noirs.

Cairn o’Mohr Strawberry Wine
Don’t forget fruit wines – they can be an ideal match to berry puddings. Cairn o’Mohr’s strawberry wine is really distinctive, with dessert-friendly flavours ranging from strawberry jam through to marshmallow and burnt sugar. It’s other fruit wines are well worth exploring too.