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The Wine Editor’s Top 5

Feature: Long Read
Words by Guy Woodward

With social gatherings off the agenda for the foreseeable, and Michelin-starred dining a distant dream, evening meals can, on the face of things, hold more limited appeal. But confinement doesn’t mean we need to deny ourselves all gastronomic pleasures. Here are some vinous treats that can bring you together around the table – and bring a welcome escapism along with them. 

Best of British

English wine has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, spearheaded by some truly world-class fizz. But there are also a handful of producers turning out really characterful, fine still wines. 

Chapel Down Wine
Errazuriz Wine
Errazuriz, La Pizarras Chardonnay

Errazuriz is among the leading lights of the Chilean wine industry, renowned for its age-worthy, Bordeaux-style reds. But it also makes a fine Chardonnay, which flies somewhat under the radar. Expect tropical fruits and a touch of vanilla from the oak ageing, all integrated with the finesse and subtlety of a great estate. Just the ticket with a creamy chicken dish.

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Nevri Conterno Wine
Nevri Conterno, Gattinara

The storied Nevri estate is the oldest wine producer in the Piedmont appellation of Gattinara. Now owned by Conterno, arguably Piedmont’s most famous name, it is making fantastic wines from the region’s signature grape variety – Nebbiolo. This is bright and fruity at first, but develops peppery, savoury notes; perfect with a warming casserole.

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Gerard Bertrand Wine
Gerard Bertrand, Le Viala

Gerard Bertrand is a former French national rugby player who has since carved out an equally stellar reputation as a winemaker, and this year launched the world’s most expensive rosé. For something a little more austere – but no less impressive – try this powerful Minervois La Livinière from the wild Languedoc-Roussillon, which boasts the region’s signature garrigue-like herbal notes alongside blackberry and violet tones, and should pair perfectly with a rich roast.

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Petaluma Wine
Petaluma, Botrytis Semillon

Looking for a sweet treat to round off a memorable meal? While Sauternes might be the obvious choice, for a modern take on Bordeaux’s celebrated ‘stickie’, turn to Australia, where renowned producer Petaluma uses the same grape variety – Semillon – and the same technique – botrytis, or the ‘noble rot’ of grapes on the wine – to deliver this wonderfully honeyed orange-and-mango rendering.

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