Ooo, summer. The birds are a’ tweeting, nostalgic odours of freshly cut grass tickle our nostrils and… and… ACHOO. Yep, not to forget there’s a whole load of hay fever to go around! But, putting all of that to one side, let’s not forget what really makes summer oh, so splendid. It’s the tipple that has tickled taste buds since circa 2000 BC that comes in a tapestry of colours, and tastes flipping marvellous.
That’s right – wine. Lots and lots of wine! It’s the libation that we never lose lust for and, if you read on, you’ll discover some of the best ways to enjoy it this English summer, courtesy of Le Cordon Bleu London.
Lucky for you, we’ve reached out to wine aficionado Matthieu Longuere MS, whose impressive CV of wine makes him the perfect chap to talk to when it comes to find your perfect serve. As the Wine Development Manager at Le Cordon Bleu London, Monsieur Longuere has come into contact with his fair share of moreish wines. So, we asked what the heck we should be keeping our eyes out for where wine is concerned. Here are his two cents…
Firstly, wines should have various elements in common; apparently, they should be light-bodied or medium-bodied instead of being over rich or full bodied. Flavours should be kept fresh, crisp, fruity and youthful – acidic notes can stay at home – and less is actually more when it comes to percentage. Ideally the wines should be around, or below, 12.5% ABV, as the presence of alcohol tends to create bitter flavours and make your mouth dry – eek, it’s like having a hangover before the hangover sets in!
So, we now know which elements tick boxes but what if you don’t know which kind of wine you like? It’s a given that we’re pretty spoilt for choice in England when it comes to choosing a good ol’ sparkling wine.
Mr Longuere of Le Cordon Bleu London believes Gusbourne and Exton Park trump it when it comes to reliability, as trusty producers. And, one for the roséravers, the sparkling version of this delightful drink tends to be fruitier and juicier than its white counterpart, making it a real hit when it comes to whacking out the wicker for a summer picnic!
You may, however, be ready to dim the sparkle and opt for something a little more quintessential. If so, turn your thoughts towards still wines, the most common of which is still rosé during the summer months. Did you know that adding an ice cube to it actually has a name? Yep, it’s called a rosé piscine – or rosé swimming pool if you will! Now, that’s something we’d like to take a dive into!
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If you fancy yourself a rosé piscine then Mr Longuere wills you to choose a riper and fruitier rosé, perhaps from a Mediterranean grape variety such as Grenache or Primitivo, to avoid drowning out the flavours with a cube of ice. Clever stuff!
Where still white is concerned, why not go all Union Jack and go for one of the most British grapes going – the Bacchus! It’s a very popular grape described by Mr Longuere as “sunshine in a glass,” that oozes flavours of elderflower and pink grapefruit.
Last, but by no means least – red! Whilst red is usually associated with roaring fireplaces and cosy blankets, you can enjoy it just as well in the summer months by opting for a Pinot Noir or Gamay as a grape variety. Keep your eyes peeled for one from cooler climates; we’re talking Germany, Northern France, Beaujolais or New World coastal vineyards.
Gosh – all of this learning about wines makes for thirsty work!
Luckily, you can learn way more where this came from. And, at the next dinner party, you can talk down Jim from accounts as he drowns you in amateur wine knowledge from his trip to Madeira! The key? Get involved one of Le Cordon Bleu’s many Wine Diplomas and courses!
Join the Certificate in Wine and Beverage Studies and grab yourself a hands on learning experience, for three months. The course is ideal for wine enthusiasts and gives you an awareness of wine, spirits, cocktails, tea, coffee and non-alcoholic beverages.
Or, opt for the Diploma in Wine, Gastronomy and Management. This six-month course incorporates sensory analysis and food pairing taught alongside business management. If you’re the next NYE Timber, then this one is for you!
Finally, there’s the short course! The Canapes and Wine Pairing Course is an intensive option studied in just one day that brings a whole host of practical understanding and interactivity to the table to comprehend the partnership between food and wine.
So why not wind down, grab a glass of vino and mull over Le Cordon Bleu’s awesome wine knowledge offerings, all of which take place in the centre of vibrant, booming, foodie heaven, London!
Ever dreamt of owning your own food business?Le Cordon Bleu has got your back…