Pete Stewart chooses the drinks to accompany Giovanna’s recipe:
ILOVE the sound of Gina’s healing salad, but there are elements in the dish that will present a few problems for the intrepid wine-matcher.
The worst offender will likely be the artichoke as it tends to make wine taste bitter or metallic. So you need a young, fresh wine with lots of character to stand a chance beside the grub.
I’d suggest going a bit left-field, and trying one of the wonderful white wines of Greece. The Greek wine industry has come on in leaps and bounds since Oddbins introduced a range of top-quality examples to an unsuspecting (and sceptical) public back in the year 2000.
The wines were different and interesting with exotic sounding grape varieties and people (for the most part) struggled to leave behind their Retsina prejudices and embrace something new. But that was 18 years ago, and the wines have been steadily improving ever since. Also, as a wine-buying nation we are now more likely to move away from the more obvious styles and seek out something more challenging.
The two whites to find this weekend are Malagousia and Assyrtiko.
Malagousia is wonderfully aromatic and manages to combine a delicacy and a richness in the glass at the same time.
In the mid-70s plantings were exceedingly rare and it was the work of one man, Evangelos Gerovassiliou, that saved the grape from extinction.
Domaine Gerovassiliou Malagousia 2016 (Inverarity One to One, £15.99). This is still my favourite Greek white of all time, and a large chilled glass would be the perfect foil to Gina’s salad. They also produce a wonderfully creamy Viognier if you’d prefer to start your Greek journey with something more familiar.
Assyrtiko is a different animal, producing very dry whites with a Burgundian feel to them. Think of the minerality of a premier cru Chablis combined with the rich earthiness of a Montrachet and you’re starting to get there. The volcanic island of Santorini is the grape’s spiritual home and this is a really top-quality wine for adventurous wine lovers.
Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko 2017 (Inverarity One to One, £21.99). You have to try this with scallops, or lobster or a good roast chicken stuffed with lemon and herbs … it will wow your friends and impress your family. Cheers.
Pete Stewart is Glasgow director of Inverarity One to One, 185a Bath Street www.inveraritymorton.com