30th Jun 2018
My favourite wines change almost constantly as I can’t stop discovering new regions and grape varieties. But most recently I have been trying as many wines as possible from Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia. My safe haven are German Rieslings and reds from Germany and Austria.
For me, there’s no summer without German and Alsatian Rieslings. Lower alcohol levels, high natural acidity and crisp minerality cry out for summer evenings and with them lighter summer dishes. But there are plenty of wines from other regions with similar characteristics. Amongst others Txakoli from the Basque Country, or Vinho Verde from Northern Portugal.
Some of my favourite food and wine pairings this summer are fish dishes at Aniar and fresh, seashore vegetables. Their natural saltiness pairs well with wines from Pedro Marques’ estate Vale da Capucha, Lisbon, Portugal. His wines are simply incredible in their saline minerality, vibrant acidity and beautiful textures.
The thing I love most about my job is that I am able to share all the beautiful wines I like with my customers. Beautiful wines that you wouldn’t automatically pick in a shop, or wines which need a certain context. In this case, the context is our menu at Aniar.
The most important moment in my career was encountering Enrico Fantasia from Grape Circus many years ago and start to work with his wines. The exciting world of grapes became suddenly even more exciting to me. Without his influence I wouldn’t be there where I am today.
For me, exciting wines are produced in (almost) every corner of the world. But natural wines excite me most. As the saying goes, sometimes less is more. And this applies of course to the fermented grape juice too. Less human intervention can create stunningly vibrant, lively wines with real sense of place and a strong character.
I think you get the best bang per buck today in Spain and Portugal, whether in organically or traditionally made wines. My advice is, ask the staff in your local wine shop for recommendations and don’t be shy to try grape varieties or regions you’ve never heard of.
A great bottle always tastes better in great company and the greatest company I like to share a glass with is my wife.
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