Drink me

Hamish An­der­son

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - THE CUT -

I have vis­ited Chez Panisse once, 20 years ago. It was a time when Cal­i­for­nia wines were pow­er­ful – large, brash and heav­ily al­co­holic. Chardon­nay for white and caber­net sauvi­gnon, along with zin­fan­del, for red were the va­ri­eties to make your name from. I re­mem­ber the res­tau­rant tak­ing a dif­fer­ent ap­proach. There were European wines from un­her­alded areas. There were Amer­i­can pinot noirs and bot­tles from Rhône va­ri­eties, then a rar­ity.

Look­ing at the list to­day, it is still fan­tas­tic: un­der­stated and con­cise; full of quirks but with enough clas­sics to re­as­sure. It is pretty much per­fect in re­flect­ing the ethos of the res­tau­rant, which is what the finest wine lists do.

Bal­ance is also es­sen­tial. In the past I have made the mis­take of choos­ing 50 of my own favourite wines for the Tate restau­rants, only to find they were not what cus­tomers knew or wanted. For every ob­scure north­ern-ital­ian white, great lists must in­clude a ch­ablis or sancerre.

Here are three bot­tles from re­gions or grapes that are ex­cit­ing som­me­liers at the mo­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.