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There's no better way of getting to know a place than by tasting its home made produce alongside a good wine, says Simon Kershaw
Most of us will be enjoying a few days off in the coming weeks, and the buzz word this year seems to be staycation. After Stephen Fry urged us to holiday at home in the Visit England ads, more of us are abandoning abroad and opting for a great British break.
Its good to rediscover the beauty on our doorstep. In Yorkshire alone you can hire any number of fantastic cottages on the coast, moors or dales.
But when it comes to choosing the wine for your break, should you just take a few bottles of the stuff you drink at home? Definitely not. As Ive said, wines are like friends. And you wouldnt take any passing acquaintance on holiday. Think about what youre going to be eating and what youll be doing. If you plan to be active, then dont buy only big hairy reds. Instead, opt for a light Provence ros or a crisp white.
Chardonnay is back. But not the version we remember, with all those vanilla and caramel overtones. This is chardonnay as it should be. It doesnt see any wood at all, and its lime and lemon flavours are perfect refreshment in the humid heat of midsummer.
Before you start to pack, visit your local specialist wine shop. Theyll be able to put together a mixed case which perfectly matches your destination. Hunters of Helmsley have gone one better, and can provide a holiday hamper full of foodie treats alongside the wine.
Grab one of the fantastic English sparkling wines to toast your arrival. And once youre there, always check out the local food suppliers the butchers, bakers and delis. Theres no better way to get to know a place than through its home-made produce.
Finally, remember to take at least one full-flavoured red. Because if theres one thing we can guarantee on a staycation, its rain. But if youve a good book to read and a glass of fabulous shiraz or malbec, youll be in a very happy place, whatever the weather.