While I'm generally more of a red wine lover, in the height of summer, there is nothing better than an almost frosty white or rose wine, that has crisp touches of apples or gooseberries, or sometimes the sweetness of peach.
With a reputation for being a good foodie wine, I often opt for a bottle of Sancerre, and with the buzz that surrounded Loire Valley wines this year for their quality and unbeatable price, I skipped over to my trusted pals at Lay & Wheeler, from whom I learned a great deal when I joined them in Bordeaux for the famous En Primeur week.
Tasting a small sip of the 2014 Sancerre Chavignol Rose, the intensity of the mineral was quick to determine that this would pair well with something light, fresh and slightly sweet, to complement the dry but fruity quality.
What better than one of my favourite dishes in the world? A humble but fleshy ceviche with mango and avocado.
Have you made ceviche before? It's SO easy and the very first time you try it, it's like a swift, delicious kick to the mouth, as well as a colourful, visual feast.
I've become so accustomed to throwing ceviche together, I don't follow a recipe but have outlined quantities below for you to cobble together your own; it's a rough and ready dish, one which I like to serve with hunks of rustic, porous bread.
To make enough for two starter-sized portions, mix together:
Eight Raw Madagascan Tiger Prawns, sliced lengthways and in half
(You could choose any raw prawn but I have a real hang-up with the politics behind farmed prawns and so apart from rarely eating them, if I do, they're always from the ocean even though it's still not a perfect choice)
The juice of two limes
One sliced banana shallot
One red chilli (or half to taste)
One roughly diced ripe avocado
Half a ripe mango
A handful of chopped coriander
A pinch of salt, pepper and sugar
You must leave the ceviche to 'cook' in the acidic juices for at least twenty minutes and it will keep for up to a day, although it will surely toughen up the longer you leave it.
Twenty minutes is all I need and then it's lavishly spooned onto bread and devoured, with some of that sharp Sancerre to wash it all down with.
A real summer delight.