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pastry make another good match. It's great

with quiche or, if your picnic is on the

beach in Cornwall, then it's perfect with

a piping hot pasty from a local bakery.

Fine for fish: blanc de

blancs, blanc de noirs

Oysters are a classic match with crunchy

young blanc de blancs. The wine's citrus

€nesse from its Chardonnay base works like

a squeeze of lemon or lime, as it does with

salmon tartare or smoked salmon.

Blanc de noirs, based on Pinot Noir and

Pinot Meunier, brings a greater depth with a

note of red fruit, and works with foods that

are a step up in richness. Traditional English

seaside foods of lobster, smoked mackerel

and potted shrimps all €t the bill. Bring

along a jar of horseradish for the mackerel,

but make sure it's not too vinegary.

Pink partners: rosé

Dressed crab is a €ne choice with blanc

de noirs, but even better with a rosé. Rosé

adds a real sense of occasion and, with its

ripe Pinot background, it works well with

richer foods. This is €zz for meat eaters; try

it with duck, game, or even lamb cutlets.

Delicate slices of prosciutto match the

colour of the wine and its ”avour intensity.

Rosé is remarkably good with a packet

of serious crisps for NC/NP picnics. Or snap

up artisan Scotch eggs and pork pies at the

farmers' market. Sausage rolls are less cool,

but a glass of rosé will give them glamour.

Old friends: vintage

Vintage Champagne is never too posh for

a picnic. The great advantage is that the

extra time in the bottle has soothed the

briskness of the €zz and emphasised the

character of the wine, so it can rise to the

most complex dishes. It's also terri€c with

cheese, especially Beaufort and Cantal.

Sweet success: demi-sec

Demi-sec is never quite as sweet as you

expect or hope it is going to be. As the

name suggests, it's o–-dry. However, it

shines with subtly ”avoured, simple cakes,

such as lemon polenta cake or almond

and raspberry cake. On an English beach

with the wind blowing, it works surprisingly

well with moist carrot cake (without

the frosting) or banana bread. But avoid

passion fruit - it's just too tart.

PERFECT PAIRINGS

Top drops and their ultimate food matches

CHAMPAGNE SPECIAL

Bollinger Special Cuvée Eat lunch in the

winery - amid the life-size cutouts of James

Bond - and you will be given Comté cheese.

The sta– will talk (almost) as seriously and

passionately about Comté as they do about

Bollinger. It's not just because they're cheese

fans: the full-bodied Special Cuvée, with its

complexity from all the reserve wine blended

in, works harmoniously with the cheese. From

£42.49; Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose

Billecart-Salmon Rosé Like many rosés, this

is a wine that's often drunk as the aperitif or

opener for a celebration. Serve it with jamón

de Jabugo, pâtés and charcuterie. Also pair it

with panna cotta - it adds a creamy backdrop

to the fruit in the wine. From £52.95; Berry Bros

� Rudd, Lea � Sandeman, Roberson Wine

Moët � Chandon Rosé Impérial Gazpacho

is a clever match with rosé. Moët goes a step

further with its suggestion of gazpacho with

smoked salmon and mimolette cheese crisps

with its Rosé Imperial. From £40.99; Selfridges,

Tesco, The Whisky Exchange

Pol Roger Brut Réserve This is, of course,

a French wine, but the Winston Churchill

connection still makes it the top choice for the

most British of picnics. The Brut Reserve with

its blend of Chardonnay and Pinots is just the

thing with a plate of perfectly rare cold roast

beef. From £39.99; Majestic, Selfridges, Waitrose

Taittinger Nocturne One for opera lovers.

Take a tip from the name of the special cuvée

and have it with your evening picnic. Notes

of sweetness mean you can pair it with

sweeter treats, such as little Portuguese

custard tarts or strawberry shortcakes.

From £40; Hedonism Wines, John Lewis

Veuve Clicquot Champagne loves

mushroomy, truže ”avours. Veuve Clicquot

o–ers truže-”avoured popcorn with its

Yellow Label NV, and you can easily make it

yourself with a few drops of truže oil and

a bag of popping corn. Veuve Clicquot also

recommends marshmallows with its rosé -

a citrusy marshmallow with a hint of ginger

works well. From £35; Asda, Tesco, Waitrose

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