The perfect picnic wine pairings
As we start to welcome the warmer weather, many of us will be embracing impromptu garden get-togethers, park picnics and lunches on sandy shores. From sausage rolls and scotch eggs to Spanish tortillas and duck rillettes, these occasions bring together a real assortment of culinary delights.
With such a variety of delicacies, we spoke with savvy sommelier, Bert Blaize, to reveal the wines he’ll be pouring into his eto decanter for his next picnic.
Picnic + Wines by Burt Blaize
Burt Blaize, Sommelier & Author of 'Which, Wine, When'
Smoked Salmon Sandwiches + Hunter Semillon
These wines always remind me of summer, it’s sunny Australia in a glass! Freshly cut hay, juicy yellow apple, quince and refreshing lemon zest – just what the salmon needs. The zippy Semillon cuts through the oily salmon and stands up to the flavour well. The Hunter Valley is the birthplace of Australian wine and Semillon is a must-try.
Recommended producer - Tyrrell's Wines
Scotch Egg + English Bacchus
A quintessential British picnic snack, I needed a Great British wine to pair. Many English producers are producing still wines using the Bacchus grape variety. It’s a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc with refreshing herbaceous notes. The lively acidity breaks up the rich meat while not overpowering your runny egg.
Recommended producer - London Cru
Burt suggests pairing a scotch egg with London Cru’s Bacchus.
Duck Rillettes + New South Wales Pinot Noir
Bringing some continental sophistication to your picnic, accompanied by some cornichons. Australia isn’t all big in your face red, New South Wales has many cool climate regions which make wonderful, sophisticated Syrah’s that rival their Rhone rivals at a fraction of the price. We all know how well plum sauce goes with duck, you get the same high tone, tart red fruit flavours to complement your duck. Look out for regions such as Orange, Hilltops and Southern Highlands.
Recommended producer - Philip Shaw Wines
Sausage Roll + German Riesling
There’s no nation that loves sausage more than Germany, so it’s not surprising to find their wines make excellent matches. German wines represent excellent value for money and are incredibly refreshing (perfect for the summer months) Areas like the Mosel produce some of my favourite white wines in the world.
Recommended producer - Sybille Kuntz
Tortilla + Albariño
Of course, we’re heading to Spain for this pairing, specifically North West ‘Green’ Spain, to Rías Baixas. The tortilla just needs something to lift the flavour and break it up while pairing with its silky texture. Another great summer picnic wine, Albariño is perfect here, not only does it smash a lot of overpriced French wine, it’s a joy to drink. With flavours of Jasmine, wildflowers, honeysuckle and juicy peach with an intense citrus backbone to leave you wanting more.
Recommended producer - Terras Gauda
Stainless mirror finish eto wine decanter
Having previously worked at La Belle Epoque in Manchester, Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons, Clove Club and the Mandrake Hotel, Burt has been named in the top 50 most influential people in the wine industry by Drinks Business and nominated by GQ for ‘Sommelier of the year.’
In 2020, Burt published his first book with Penguin ‘Which Wine When’ – what to drink with the food you love. It was shortlisted for The Fortum & Mason Award for Drinks book of the year 2021. Read our Q&A with Burt to discover more.