5 Best Summer Food & Wine Pairings

Oh, those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer – how we’ve missed you.  However, those “days of soda, and pretzels and beer” seem a little outdated Nat King Cole, so we thought we would fill you in on the 5 Best Summer Food & Wine Pairings that will see you through our ever-fickle English summer. Whether you’re down at the beach or the local park sunning yourself with friends and family, or waving your fists through the windows at the pelting summer rain, here are some excellent choices.  

1. Fish & Chips and Champagne 

Fish and Chips

We realise this seems a bit silly and indulgent, but this is truly a knock-out pairing that feels like such a treat. Just imagine this – you're down at the beach with your freezer bag in tow, filled to the brim with ice (and your bottle of bubbly). You head to the nearest fish and chip shop and then carve your path to the best spot for perching over the waves.  

With its acidity and bubbles, the Champagne will cut through the fat in the fish and chips perfectly. It also makes a great match for that vinegar and lemon you may have doused the dish in as well as those bready, yeasty flavours from both the batter and the lees. As Fish & Chips is one of the UK’s national dishes, we’d also suggest a fantastic British sparkling to pair.  

Here are our top picks for your Fish and Chips 

Champagne Pairings for Fish and Chips

Frerejean Freres PC Brut 

Pol Couronne Brut NV 

Wiston Estate Brut NV 

2. Burgers and Sausages on the BBQ and Smoky Shiraz/Syrah 

Shiraz Pairings for BBQ meats

It’s finally grilling season! Step away from the cooker, today is a scorcher (and as we write this the temperature gauge is actually going up). Burgers and sausages are the obvious choice. While the humble snag can pair with many a red (and a white), the perfect match is a smoky, spicy Shiraz, which is handy because a deep and meaty Syrah is also a match made in heaven for a juicy beef burger.  

We recommend one of these Aussie red’s to keep on the garden table during your next BBQ 

Torbreck Woodcutter’s Shiraz 2020  

Luke Lambert Syrah 2017 

3. Salmon and a Provençal Rosé 

Salmon and wine pairing

Grilled, in a salad, raw - really, just salmon any way is a perfect pairing for rosé. Initial thought on this is that the colours work (very important of course!), but so do the flavours – especially if there’s some lemon juice with mayonnaise or yoghurt involved. The dry, fruity flavours in these mineral driven rosés compliment just about any salmon dish. 

You can’t go wrong with pairing this newly released Le Reve Provençal rosé by Bordeaux Master Jonathan Maltus, who created this stunning wine for his wife (who is not a fan of white or red!) 

4. Spaghetti alle Vongole and Fiano 

Spaghetti alle Vongole

For a bit of comfort food on a rainy summer’s evening, when you still want to feel like you’re by the sea, or when you need to whip something up quickly on a hot summer’s day – vongole and Fiano are just about as perfect a pairing as you can get. The essence of the Italian seaside, vongole’s garlic and chili flavours blended with the brininess of the clams – delizioso! Fiano originated Campania in the Mediterranean stretches of Southern Italy and boats bold flavours of hazelnuts and florals, with a distinctive zesty and crunchy profile which stands up brilliantly to salty seafood dishes. 

We recently tested this pairing out with the Donnachiara Empatia Fiano di Avellino 2019, which received 94 points from James Suckling. Believe us when we say, this is one of the most earth-shatteringly delicious matches we’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. 

5. Strawberries and Sauternes 

Strawberries and Cream

We couldn’t write this without paying homage to one of the most classically English summer delights. We’re thinking of those red and juicy fresh English strawberries in the gatherings of June and July, thrown into tarts, Eton Messes and layered trifles. Sauternes is a classic pairing for strawberries and cream, so we suggest you bring it out at your summer party for something a little extra decadent. 

This Chateau Briatte Sauternes 2014 is a blend of Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Semillon and is both sweet and fresh honeyed apricots and a refreshing acidity. Certainly a great match for any strawberry based dish you’ve decided to concoct.