“I nearly always look for wines that go nicely with food, particularly seafood,” Charlie says. “I take time to find the wines that over-deliver on their price point, wines with freshness, elegance, purity and ‘wines with soul’. I'm always interested in the winemaker behind the wine: knowing that they're treating their vines and soils in the right way, their story, history and how that all comes out in how they make their wine and the resulting bottle.”
Soli Pinot Noir 2017
'Bulgaria might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of quality pinot noir, however in a sheltered little vineyard on the eastern side of the Thracian Valley, Italian winemaker Edoardo Miroglio is crafting delicious, juicy, perfumed pinot. I’ve tried this blind against many different pinot noirs from around the world and I was convinced it was a Santenay from Burgundy – and I wasn’t the only one in the group. The wine is light, fresh, fragrant with redcurrant and wild strawberry fruit and it’s dangerously easy to drink. Perfect for a Thursday evening when you are just in the mood for a glass of something delicious.'
AA Badenhorst Papegaai 2019
'For pure value for money, this has to be one of my top whites of 2020. Made by rockstar winemaker Adi Badenhorst in South Africa’s Swartland region, it’s a dazzling blend of palomino and sémillon, with the palomino giving it a laser-like zap of acidity and the sémillon adding a fleshiness to counter and complement. The South African wine industry needs all the help it can get due to a prolonged period of prohibition during their lockdown, which banned sales of alcohol for months on end and had devastating effects on the finances of the wine farms. This wine is a great, affordable bottle to buy and support the industry.'
Domaine Horgelus Sauvignon Blanc and Gros Manseng 2019
'The trick with the world of wine is to find a wine that totally over-delivers on quality, but with a reasonable price tag attached. For me, Domaine Horgelus from France’s most delicious corner, Gascony, hits that mark. The wine is comprised of locally grown gros manseng and international favourite sauvignon blanc. It’s a wine that is better than the sum of its parts: sauvignon on its own at this level can be one-dimensional in flavour but when you add the more exotic gros manseng you get a partnership worth investing in. Herbaceous, but also a punch of tropical fruit depth.'
All quotes are from Charlie Stein, GQ Magazine published 29.08.2020