Campo Viejo wine on foodJudging a restaurant on their food will only ever give you half the story. A competent wine list is just as important as the menu as it not only matches the food but also the expectations of the diners. It should also describe the wines in enough detail so that the paying customer can make an informed choice. A notable wine list, though, must do this and more.

wine glass and corkNot only should it contain wines that match many types of food, it should also contain wines from less well-known and fashionable regions - the best of Austrian, English, Israeli and Algerian wines would be notable choices. A note-worthy wine list would also offer adaptable, good-value house wines to provide an alternative to higher-priced more specialised wines.

A good wine list will have a selection of wines available by the glass or half-bottle. This allows a customer to enjoy one or more appropriate wine styles with their meal. Often overlooked, good wine available in small measures is worthy of note.

Champagnes are included on the majority of lists - customers expect to see them but often the bottle price stops a purchase. A notable wine list will offer Champagne but also sparkling alternatives such as vintage Cavas, and sparkling wines from southern England or the Franciacorta region of Italy which are often more reasonably priced and more fully flavoured.

PG Wine Reviews

If you want to create your own restaurant-style wine list then include the following wines.

Tesco Spanish Tempranillo 2017
£4.15 Tesco
Simple cherry and chocolate flavoured red.

Andrew Peace Australian Chardonnay 2018
£5.35 Co-op
Fresh pear, pineapple and peach with a bit of oak. Good for the price.

Luna Argentinean Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
£7.99 Lidl
It tastes like chocolate and blackberry cheesecake.

Colossal Reserva 2016, Portugal red
£8 Iceland
This tastes like a light port with the glass a mix of spicy chocolate, raisin, concentrated violets amd blackcurrant jam. A lot going on.

Devil's Creek New Zealand Gold Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2018
£11.99 Majestic
This is an interesting take on the classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – which we've come to expect is all gooseberry flavours and not a lot else. This example also comes with passionfruit and apple.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk