“In summer you look for something more like …
‘ooh, give me another glass of that’.
Something easier to drink.”
Author: Marco de Vries
The well-known Amsterdam-based but English-born chef Jean Beddington likes her summer wines. Which according to her might have something to do with the fact that as a naughty ten year old she got slightly drunk on champagne during a garden party.
This article was originally published in The International Correspondent (Issue 1 may/june 2011). New issue of The International Correspondent available on october 14.2011
Jean and I met on a summerlike afternoon in early April. Cyclists on the canals were already riding their bikes in their t-shirts and the trees were fully covered with fresh green leaves. Better circumstances for interviewing her about summer wines were hardly possible. Of course I was very curious to hear Jean’s opinion on Dutch summer wines, something Jean was surprisingly positive about.
“Dutch summer wines? Actually, they are becoming right for the summer because they are rather sour and watery. Yes, I know that’s a terrible thing to say. In general Dutch wines are getting much better. Actually, the prizewinning Weerkommen 2008 Rosé from the Achterhoek is a very good one. It’s not oxidised at all and the wine has got a good body to it. Only the price of wines like these is really ridiculous. But this is one I definitely would use in my restaurant. It goes well with my Asian inspired dishes.
“I also like the Thorn Pinot Gris from Limburg. It tastes very fruity, with lots of citrus flavours. And according to one of my delivery guys there is also a very good one from Zeeland. Almost as good as the Pinot Gris from Wijnhoeve de Kleine Schorre.
So far for the Dutch summer wines according to Jean. After all, there are many countries with a better reputation when it comes to wines.
“There are also wines that you hardly find on the wine list of most restaurants. Poiré is one of those. We like to serve it as an aperitif. It’s made predominantly from pears and comes from Normandy. It’s fruity, dry and has a different taste compared with a Crément.
“Instead of a Sancerre I like a good Menetou Salon; a white Loire wine with a crispy taste. It is slighty more interesting than Sancerre, I think.
“Spain is also a rich hunting ground for white wines. To me Albariño Rías Baixas from Galicia is very dear. It has got flavours of pears and apricot. And absolutely brilliant with shellfish, prawns and lobster. Also try the Prieto Picudo rosé which comes from a region on the border of Galicia and Léon. Very, very fresh. And when you happen to be in Léon don’t forget to drink a bottle of Charco Las Ánimas rosé. It hasn’t got too much of a raspberry flavour. More like a good red fruit.
“Pecorino is an Italian white wine that I also really like. It’s from the Abruzzo. The flavour is very interesting. Different from all the other ones I mentioned. More spicy I would say.
“Yes, you’re right about the New Zealand wines. They are very nice. Like the Sauvignon Blanc from the FortyFour Degrees wine estate in the Marlborough area. A very fruity, very light white wine with a very good body. “And of course we’d have to have Champagne in summer. I love to drink it! Maybe because I am English. Over here it still is very much a Christmas thing. But when I grew up my father opened up a bottle almost every week to celebrate this or that. To be honest, the first time I got drunk was on champagne during a garden party. My two favourite ones are Tattinger and Paul Roger. The Bruno Paillard on the wine list of our restaurant is not so toasty as the ones I just mentioned, but not too bad at all.
“My sommelier just scribbled on a piece of paper that I shouldn’t forget to mention the Jacob’s Creeck sparkling rosé which they sell at Albert Heyn. Cheap but good. Like summer wines should be!
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