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Top drinks to pair with your feast

Susy Atkins Shine for ShelterBox

Wine writer, TV wine expert, and the author of eleven drinks books, Susy Atkins tell us about her favourite drinks for your Shine for ShelterBox feast

Let's raise a glass to Shine for ShelterBox! With so many chefs supporting with superb recipes, I had to get involved by picking the perfect drinks to partner with them.

Susy Atkins

Shine spritzer for added sparkle

Make a simple jugful for all by mixing (per person), over plenty of ice, 30ml gin with a 10ml elderflower cordial, a big squeeze each of fresh lime and pink grapefruit, topped up with either cold soda water or (preferably) chilled prosecco. Garnish with mint sprigs and thin slices of green apple. Drink the cocktail with light white fish dishes, seafood, herby salads, grains and simple green vegetable dishes.


Bubbles for a warm welcome

Let’s hear it for Cava! Prosecco may be a fun party pop, but for some more serious food matching, Spain’s classic Cava, especially in the pink style (they call it Rosado) is a seriously good buy. My favourite dishes with a glass of this chilled fizz are charcuterie and little seafood snacks, and do try it with sushi too.


Red wines for a ‘chilli’ night

If you’re cooking up a spicy feast for your Shine event, you might make Carmenere the wine partner. Chile is the main producer of this red wine, which has distinctive spicy notes. I love Carmenere with a hot chilli or spiced dishes with lots of tomato and onion, such as rogan josh and dopiaza. Pinot Noir is a real treat and one of the world’s most revered reds. It’s a great match and really versatile so works with many dishes like mushrooms, duck, steak and even soft cheeses.


White wines for winter warmers

Looking for a ripe, rounded white but which tastes fresh and dry without the oakiness of many Chardonnays? Then try a Viognier. Most hail from the hot south of France and there’s a sun-kissed richness which marries brilliantly with roast chicken, poached salmon and creamy curries like kormas. A vivacious dry Riesling from Australia, which is shot through with super-tangy lime juice, is terrific with white fish and simple seafood, Thai green curries and prawn stir-fries. Lip-smacking stuff.


Pale Ale for a party buffet

More robust in flavour and hoppy with a very fresh, slightly bitter edge, IPA is a surprisingly good match for crusty breads and savoury pastries. Just try one with a classic margherita tomato pizza, Cornish pasties or a seriously good pork pie to see what I mean.


Cider for a spicy night

A very versatile food-matcher, cider is especially fine when washing down flavoursome cheeses like Cheddar, and with ham, pork and chicken dishes. Medium-dry cider is terrific Indian dishes like onion bhajis, and vegetable curries, too.

You can find more wine and drinks matching tips from Susy Atkins in Delicious magazine and the Sunday Telegraph.