Hot on the heels of its best ever medal tally in the International Wine Challenge, English wine is under the spotlight again this week which has been designated English Wine Week. It was sparkling wines that did particularly well in the Challenge but I have a soft spot for a variety called Bacchus, a white wine with a refreshing, sappy hedgerow freshness, not unlike a Sauvignon Blanc. Camel Valley in Cornwall makes a particularly good version.
I've suggested cucumber as a match not because I imagine you'll eat cucumber on its own with it but because I think cucumber-based dishes are a great match for its delicate flavours. You could serve cold poached salmon, for instance with a cucumber salad with a light dressing made with tarragon vinegar which would work really well or an old-fashioned cucumber and cream cheese mousse, an unjustly forgotten recipe from the '70's which makes a light and refreshing starter for this time of year.
Bacchus will also pair well with the kind of dishes that work with a light, minerally Sauvignon Blanc - fresh goats cheese or crumbly white British regional cheeses such as Wensleydale, fresh crab or a lightly dressed seafood salad. It also makes a delicious aperitif.
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