Food & Drink

The Wine: Get Reddy

Chef Ferguson Henderson celebrates the versatility of the Burgundy wine – “pass the corkscrew”
It has to be Burgundy, maybe that is too strong a word, as there is much wine to enjoy. Let’s say preferably. White Burgundy is splendid but, as with all white wine, it seems to remind us how good red wine is. The grape is Pinot, a grape variety which, thanks to the new world, we know all about. But unlike the new world, which produces splendid Pinots, Burgundy has been doing this for a long time. As with any long relationship, things can misbehave, and these are some of the most deliciously fickle aspects of the wine, it can turn itself off and on without a care for you the drinker – it is the wine that wears the trousers in this affair. It’s emotional stuff, and when it’s just right, Woooo! Baby!

The Burgundians have been involved in this heady romance for centuries. The more curvaceous shape of Burgundian bottles compared to the more scrunched shoulders of a Bordeaux bottle is something to ruminate on.

Speaking of how the bottle looks, I’m a big believer that labels on a good Burgundy should be amazingly simple, or look like the work of some monkish calligrapher – who says “you can’t judge a book by its cover!”

I’m going to have to stop here, as all this Burgundian talk is starting a chain reaction inside to which we all know there’s only one cure… pass the corkscrew.

Fergus is Port’s food editor and owner of St John Bar & Restaurantwine illustration emily robertson
Illustration Emily Robertson