10 wines you HAVE to try...according Britain’s ‘best pub for wine’
- Credit: Archant
The Unruly Pig in Bromeswell was named Best for Wine in the 2019 Great British Pub Awards. Here owner and wine buff Brendan Padfield shares his top tipples.
"We try to make our wine list straightforward, offering something for everyone but at a fair price," says Brendan of the wine offering at The Unruly Pig in Bromeswell. "Our wine is not intimidating but informative, familiar and certainly fun. We also offer some wines that are less familiar but nevertheless interesting and dare I say 'quirky'.
"The wine list is easy, yet different and tells a tale - I hate wine lists that drone on using descriptions and language I barely understand. Keep it simple is my motto and make the customer feel at ease!"
Brendan's picks include:
1. Punta Tolotti (Amarone), Valpolicella D.O.C.G 2014 -Red
In at number one is an Italian Amarone. I have a love affair with everything Italian- I'm passionate about its food and even more so about its wines. So, it is perhaps not surprising that one of Italy's most prestigious wines features in my list. Amarone is what wine merchant's call a 'big' wine meaning that it is very rich, powerful and weighty. Amarone is coming into its own in autumn as it is the perfect match with rich game ragus.
2. The Age of Grace, Lismore, (Viognier), South Africa, 2017- White
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I could never be described as a shy character. I am the very definition of a bon viveur. But even I fell momentarily silent as I savoured tasting this wine. I am not normally the biggest fan of South African wines, but I adore the sheer class and elegance of this wonderful white wine made with Viognier grape. It's honeysuckle. It's orange blossom. It's delicious! Crickey, I'm sounding like that Jancis Robinson now (Jancis is a well-known wine critic). Anyway, it is certainly very special because British Airways serve this glorious little number in its first-class cabin. It's a refined match with chicken or pork.
3. Jaffelin Rully Blanc (Chardonnay), Burgundy, France 2016- White
I sometimes think about what my desert island meal would be and turbot would definitely feature. Nothing beats the meatiness and subtlety of what is often considered to be the king of fishes. And turbot screams to be accompanied by white Burgundy- well for me at least. Next to Italian reds, I can get dreamy about white burgundy. The Rully on The Unruly Pig's list is a classic white Burgundy - silky, buttery and smooth yet with good minerality.
4. Domaine de la ville de Colmar (Gewurtraminer), Alsace, France 2016 - White
Whilst I recognizes that this wine is not everyone's cup of tea, made in the Alsace in France, Gerwurztraminer nevertheless has a dedicated and very loyal following. Great with spicy food, this floral, herby and silky wine has great weight. I love to drink it as an aperitif, and much prefer it to Champagne as a treat.
5. Visintini (Pinot Grigio), Fruili, Italy 2017 - Blush
The Unruly Pig's wine list, perhaps unusually, has two Pinot Grigio's listed but in many ways, this is what our list is all about - something familiar and accessible and then something very different too in the form of a Pinot Grigio from Friuli in Italy. I'm not normally the biggest fan of Pinot Grigio, but this wine is a true thing of beauty. It has weight, elegance, silkiness and is ever so slightly blush (and a world a way of "normal" Pinot Grigio).
6. Carpinetto (Sangiovese) Brunello di Montalcino, Italy 2013 - Red
In at number six is another Italian classic - Brunello. What is there not to adore about this corker of a wine. A bottle for your birthday or celebration perhaps as it is expensive, but it is also heavenly. It's a perfect match was a leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic or, say, a pot roast pheasant. Something to linger over.
7. Cantine De Falco (Primitivo), Puglia , Italy 2017 - Red
Absolutely no surprise that the increasingly popular Primitivo grape /wine features on my list. It hails from Puglia which is my favourite part of Italy. Everyone is chasing value in the wine world and I believe Primitivo delivers by the bucket load. This is a full bodied, fruity yet smooth wine which is a perfect match with beef and particularly steaks. I would choose Primitivo over Malbec any day of the week.
8. Rabl, (Gruner Veitliner) Kampal, Austria , 2017 - White
I'm old enough to remember when Austrian wine was synonymous with anti-freeze. In the mid 1980s, several unscrupulous Austrian wine merchants diluted their wine with diethylene glycol (ethylene glycol is added to anti-freeze) to add sweetness and weight to the wine. Now I'm a fervent advocate of Gruner Veitliner which is a lovely alternative to Chablis - crisp, clean, great minerality and absolutely fab with shellfish.
9. Stopham Estate (Pinot Gris), England, 2017 - White
English wines are certainly on the up. Their problem, historically, has been price and therefore their value for money. My view is that this lovely little number from Sussex is a beautiful, off dry combination of what tastes like apricots and pears and therefore a perfect wine for pork or chicken.
10. Weingut Braunewell (Pinot Noir), Germany, 2015 - Red
This Pinot Noir started life as one of our monthly "special" wines but proved so popular it has ended up with a full listing. Pinot Noir is not a wine normally associated with Germany but could be said to typify why The Unruly Pig has an award-winning wine list. It's certainly different, very interesting and a little bit off-piste. It's black cherries in a glass and a lot of fun with duck or, for me, even fish. If our head shef Dave Wall ever has sea bream on the menu, you will always see me eating it with a glass of this in hand.