?Alain Kerloc?h, award-winning sommelier, restaurant manager and co-proprietor at the Michelin-starred OX in Belfast, 'shares his top tipples for wintery days...?
When the weather is cold, it's nice to drink something warming. I like?a rich red wine like a Chateauneuf du Pape La Roquette.
One of my favourite food and wine pairings at this time of year is squid with chorizo paired with Spatburgunder 2013 from Martin Wassmer, which is a German Pinot Noir produced in Baden. As for my all-time favourite food and wine pairing? It doesn't sound very original but when you are in Brittany by the sea, you can't beat a crisp Muscadet with oysters. Guinness and oysters in the west of Ireland is special too.
Recently I've been enjoying exploring the wines of countries where wine was born, like Georgia and Lebanon. For me, Portugal is producing the best value wines today: you can find world-class sparkling, white, red and not break the bank.
I first fell in love with wine when I was 16 in Brittany. My manager taught me to be passionate about wine and I haven't look back since. My dream cellar would definitely contain lots of Burgundy wines: it has sentimental value as it's where I started off learning about wine. The best thing about my job is that you learn something new everyday, which helps to keep it exciting for our customer.
My most treasured wine experience was when I worked in l?Arpege where myself and Stephen Toman (chef and co-owner at OX)'met and worked together. We did a menu with different vintages of Champagne Dom Perignon: we even matched it with veal? and it worked!
In conversation with: Aoife Carrigy, wine editor of Image Interiors & Living