Wine Advice: Christopher Sealy
When Salon—our bottle shop—was open during the summer, we would often get guests from Alobar coming over to buy a bottle of wine to go with their takeout.
This is where we were able to direct them to other regions— Languedoc reds, for instance, for a robust fruit flavour, nice acid running through the wine and at a price point that was manageable. Wines that are most versatile with any Alo takeout tend to veer towards Austrian Grüner Veltliner or perhaps dry to medium-dry Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. Austria is always great for quality all across the board. Austrian wines are gentle companions to any meal and are never about outshining the menu. For red wines, we have offered some Tuscan Sangiovese and Southern Italian reds—Gaglioppo, Primitivo, Aglianico—and Portuguese Alentejo red blends. These wines provide a great acid to tannin structure with enough fruit to carry you through the meal. I think these wines deliver a certain level of comfort and finesse with all the structure and “history” versus going with an all-too-familiar classic Cabernet Sauvignon.
The same way you might be planning a fantastic trip to some “exotic” destination or some tucked-away European corner, you need to apply the same mentality to wine selections. One never knows what will be discovered and you will be likely paying a quarter of the price. Biodynamic and natural wines offer a certain flavour and texture profile that is more in line with a gastronomic experience. There is a new world emerging, and I think many guests just want to get back to some sort of “comfort” that they have been sold over the years. Branding, branding…Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon—great but a little boring…like a broken record.
📷 Alo Food Group