Pete Ste­wart chooses the drinks to ac­com­pany Gio­vanna’s recipe:

Sunday Herald Life - - Food & Drink - Pete Ste­wart rec­om­mends

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

PHO­TO­GRAPH: SHUT­TER­STOCK

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