If you ever eat at really good restaurants, enjoy the wine, and wonder what it would cost at home… keep reading. From Alain Ducasse to Jamie Oliver, we asked Britain’s leading chefs to recommend their favourite affordable bottles from their wine lists, so you can enjoy a glass of the fancy stuff from the comfort of your own sofa. The best part? They're all priced under £16. We’ll go get the glasses…
Rick Stein: The Seafood Restaurant and Gordon Ramsay: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Stocked by both Rick Stein at The Seafood Restaurant, and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, this crisp, dry sauvignon blanc – also one of the Telegraph’s Wines of the Week – comes with a zesty, citrus finish. Hints of grapefruit and gooseberry cut through, adding a bit of weight to the palate. Easy drinking, versatile and very tasty. It’s listed by Rick Stein as a ‘special selection’.
Yotam Ottolenghi: NOPI
This juicy, soft red comes from Les Vignerons d’Estezargues – a co-operative winery that makes natural wines with a focus on organic and biodynamic methods. It has a cloudy purple tint with gentle flavours of blackberry, liquorice, pepper and nutmeg, and tastes wonderful with chargrilled meats and roasted vegetables – perfectly paired with Ottolenghi’s mouthwatering Middle Eastern cuisine. The Cuvee des Galets Rouge is described in the NOPI menu as ‘a real gem’ of a red.
Heston Blumenthal: Dinner
This rich, well-balanced red has an intense palate with depth and personality, so it’s no surprise this comes top of the list at Heston’s Hyde Park hotspot, Dinner. Elegant oak and ripe red fruits are offset against red cherry jam, rich coffee, aromatic spices and a subtle hint of chocolately sweetness. Serve with red meats and cured ham, as well as grilled fish and rich sauces.
Alain Ducasse: Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester
One of the world’s most decorated chefs – he is one of only two chefs to hold 21 Michelin stars – Alain Ducasse’s incomparable French cuisine is a sure-fire way to impress your taste buds. One of the wines honoured on his 40-page wine list is Jean Pierre Seve Macon Solutre – an outstanding Burgundy white with tropical fruit notes, subtle oak and a refreshing acidity. This drinks well beyond its price point and is a great match for salads, fish dishes or roast chicken.
Giorgio Locatelli: Locanda Locatelli
Giorgio Locatelli’s Michelin-starred menu comes brimming with rich Italian delicacies – think silky bowls of fresh, handmade pasta and rich, cured meats served with creamy burrata. One of his favourite wines to pair with his delicious cuisine is Perlas Nuragus di Cagliari from Dolianova – a fresh, delicate white with soft fruit flavours and notes of kiwi and lime. Soft yet rich on the palate, this is well-balanced with a subtle fruity flavour.
Ruth Rogers: The River Café
Ruth Rogers’ charming riverside haunt is the one best places in London for fine Italian cuisine. Every ingredient at The River Café is sourced locally and menus change with the seasons. A fabulous wine to pair with her sumptuous seasonal fare, Tuferello Nero di Troa – a variety of red grape found in Puglia in south-east Italy. It has a deep fruitiness and a good depth of sour cherry and blueberry fruit on the palate.
Raymond Blanc: Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
For bona fide foodies, a trip to Raymond Blanc’s celebrated Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is an absolute must. With two Michelin stars under his belt, you know you’re in safe hands. His 48-page wine list contains a range of bottles from lesser known wine-producing countries but, unsurprisingly, also has a strong French contingent, one of which is an Alsace Sylvaner Vieilles Vignes from Domaine Ostertag – a full bodied white with fresh aromas of white fruits, citrus and fresh grape.
Jamie Oliver: Fifteen
Championing hearty British cuisine with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced produce, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen is a firm favourite among foodies. Be sure to try the Mano rosé – it’s a rich rosé produced in Puglia, Italy, with lush citrus flavours, perfectly paired to pasta, beef and lamb dishes.