Stellenrust Stellenbosch Manor Chenin Blanc 2016

Stellenrust Stellenbosch Manor Chenin Blanc 2016, South Africa

(from £8, Sainsbury’s)

This was my Saturday Kitchen wine choice to go with steamed halibut, asparagus and shellfish by Tom Kitchin.

It’s a very wine-friendly dish. What does this mean, quizzed presenter Matt Tebbutt? It’s a good question, so perhaps worth clarifying. Some dishes are quite delicate and easy-going – as a result, they work with a lot of different wines. The opposite is a dish which uses ingredients that are tricky to pair with wine (chilli, artichoke etc) so need a much more specific wine, and will clash with lots of others.

Needless to say, I’m a big fan of wine-friendly dishes! It’s nice to have your options open, to serve your favourite wines (or wines your guests might be fond of.)

The reason I chose this wine – was because I liked it! It’s great value and full of flavour, really succulent and rounded. It also works well with the dish: that typically zesty Chenin Blanc acidity works like an extra squeeze of lemon, tying in beautifully with the halibut and shellfish, while the richness stands up to the meatiness of the halibut and all that gorgeous butter. It’s also got plenty of ripe fruit flavour, and we need that fruit to offset the saltiness here, for example from the sea purslane.

Tom – something of a connoisseur – loved it. ‘This is the kind of wine I like drinking,’ he enthused, ‘it’s really nice, it’s like screaming: ‘Spring, summer, we can go outside!”

And if that’s not a good wine, I don’t know what is.

(Susie, 6.5/10, April 2017)