Wines to Drink to Get Through a Pandemic - Part 5

We are back to the wider wine world today for some bottles made for summer food pairing. I've included one of each colour for those of you who find yourselves cooking a lot at this time!


Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc

$17.95  |   VINTAGES#:  13338

South Africa has long been known for its Chenin Blanc, a wine that has been made there for centuries. This wine comes from almost 50-year-old vines, is made with time on lees, some  barrel fermentation and skin contact, all of which lend to its character and complexity - and it has lots of both. Light golden colour with beeswax, wet wool, spice and baked apple on the nose. On the palate bright acidity, spice, mushroom, dried apple with a long mineral finish. There are many layers of flavour and texture in this wine, and I find every sip another delightful adventure. I love Chenin with cheese because of the high acidity that so nicely balances the fat in a creamy, stinky cheese, but it would also be a really interesting pairing for a summer picnic that includes smoked fish and a creamy potato salad with fresh herbs.


Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé

$18.95  |   VINTAGES#:  373985

From the Midi region in Southern France and made from a classic blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, the wine has just the palest blush of pink in the glass and a nose of ripe strawberries, fresh herbs and wet stone. On the palate it is crisp with crunchy red fruit, grapefruit and good mineral length. I could drink this by the buckets in the summer - it is just lovely and refreshing. This will be delicious with all manner of summer salads, including Niçoise, with quiche, grilled seafood or on a sunny afternoon with a great book.

Note: I've mentioned in a previous post that Gérard Bertrand wines are biodynamic. For those of you who missed that discussion, here's how Gérard Bertrand describes the practice on their website: "Biodynamic agriculture is similar to vine homeopathy. It consists of the use of compost and herbal teas from biodynamic plants. Biodynamics takes into consideration all the natural elements that surround the vine and is based on cosmic rhythms" ( It also means no herbicides, pesticides or other chemicals are used in the vineyards. It's very cool, very environmentally friendly and the wines are very tasty.


Lagar de Robla Premium Mencia 2012

$15.95  |   VINTAGES#:  439729

Mencia is a grape from the Bierzo region of Spain. While not as well-known as other Spanish reds, Mencia has a lot to offer with bold flavours, good structure for food pairing and usually a pretty reasonable price tag. This bottle has lots of rich, stewed red cherry and black plum on the nose, along with some spice, smoke and black licorice. On the palate it is very dry, with grippy tannins announcing themselves immediately but balanced nicely with acidity. The fruit is juicy and a bit tart with more peppery spice. I found that it needed food to expand its tight structure. If you have a barbeque and like to grill burgers or ribs, this is a terrific summer red as it has depth and presence without feeling like a heavy, wintry wine.


The weekend looks sunny and bright, which is much needed for many reasons right now. I hope you will find time to enjoy some al fresco dining with a good bottle of wine.

Until next time, stay safe and healthy and enjoy your wine.