Summer wine pairing


It is said that 2018 could perhaps be the best ever vintage for English wine.

Will 2018 be the best ever vintage for English wine?

Whilst farmers of other crops struggle with a summer of prolonged drought, grapes at vineyards across Worcestershire are thriving in the endless days of sun and warmth. Chris Haywood of Astley Vineyard contemplates on how best to match some of their wines with amazing seasonal and local food.

“Here at Astley Vineyard we only produce white wine, both still and sparkling, which although might not be your first choice during the winter months, it is exactly the beverage you want to drink on a tropically hot day. So, whilst the sun and heat seem to be perpetually turned on, what types of food should you be matching with your glass of white wine?


Asparagus can be tricky to pair with some wines due to their green and sometimes bitter flavours, but when cooked right and when amazingly fresh, this sweet English classic is a delight. Cooked simply (and very quickly) in butter, try eating it with some lemon juice, black pepper and shavings of parmesan sprinkled over.

Pair this with a crisp, mouth-watering and zesty wine such as our own Bacchus 2016 and you have a match made in heaven. The acidity of the lemon and tang of the parmesan compliment beautifully with the acidic wine, whilst the sweet green flavours of the asparagus picks up on the spectrum of flavours in the wine. It’s a must try.

An honourable mention of a great pairing with our Bacchus must also be Lightwood’s St Thom goats cheese. Made in Worcestershire, it is lovely with the asparagus, and incredible with the wine. We love this cheese so much.

Piri Piri Chicken

Spice is a component of some dishes that can clash horribly with wine if not done correctly. The classic way to combat (or work with) spice in food is to have an element of sweetness or ripeness in your wine. Luckily, two of Astley’s wines work beautifully with spice.

Firstly, our Severn Vale 2016 is a reliable pairing with anything hot. This medium dry blend has ripe flavours of juicy apple and sweet elderflower, and so if your dish has noticeably high acidity, sweetness or has a rich sauce, bets are that this wine will work.

If on the other hand the dish has a drier, less acidic heat to it (ie no tomato sauce or less citrus), our Sabrinna 2016 is another great pairing. It has much lower residual sugar, but the flavours are more tropical (think lychee and passionfruit). A simple piece of spiced chicken (or even lamb) is a great pairing.

Light Summer puddings

Finally, all this summer heat means that you don’t really want to have stodgy, super sweet desserts at this time of year. Instead, fruity, lightly sweet and spiced puddings are usually much more fitting.

Our Late Harvest wine made from the Siegerebbe grape would be an ideal pairing with many desserts, but our Old Vine Kerner also does a more than adequate job of being your dessert wine.

Try drinking this wine alongside roasted peaches, lightly sweet cheesecakes, or with powerful flavours like ginger or rhubarb.”

Astley Vineyard welcomes visitors at its cellar shop near Stourport on Severn,

and on pre-booked tours and special wine tasting events .

Find out more on their website or give them a call on 01299 822907