Ameer Kotecha

Entente Cordiale: why French wine and British food are a perfect match

  • From Spectator Life

Hopping across the Strait of Dover remains something of an Olympian task. A mere 20 miles of water it may be but ten days of quarantine on return is unpalatable no matter how good the baguettes are across the Channel. Even once the rules change, it will be too late for the holiday hopes of many this summer. But it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a summery French wine. The good news is that French wine and British food make for a surprisingly strong match.

I am sometimes loath to recommend anything other than English and Welsh wine given the quality of what we now produce on home soil. Indeed even if you think the glories of an English sparkling white or rosé would be wasted served alongside the slab of red meat you’re cooking on the barbecue, we are now producing growing amounts of red wine in this country too.

But with our own wine now so good that even the French are buying it, we can be confident enough to enjoy a tipple of their stuff now and again too. Beaujolais wines hail from the region just north of Lyon that cannot decide whether it is a part of Burgundy or the Rhône. They are light and fruity and the reds are often best drunk slightly cool. The Gamay grape, from which Beaujolais is generally made, has great versatility and the wines generally are low in tannins and light in body so they don’t easily overpower delicate food. They are in other words perfect summer drinking and pair excellently with British dishes. Here are some culinary matches to consider:

Beaujolais Blanc, Domaine Lathuilière-Gravallon Roche Noire 2017

Pair with shellfish, like crab, lobster or prawn

Zesty with subtle lemon pith aromas, it has a bright acidity and minerally notes which makes it a great match for shellfish.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles


Written by
Ameer Kotecha
Ameer Kotecha is a British diplomat, pop-up chef and writer on food, travel and culture. He is the author of The Platinum Jubilee Cookbook (Bloomsbury).

Topics in this article


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in