The Rise of Festival Fine Dining

Event Wine Solutions founder Paul Scaife talks Peppermint Bars through his top wine matches for a jam-packed summer season of festival food.

With the rise in consumer demand for a full history of how food is sourced, as well as the popularity of gourmet street food in cities, it’s no surprise that music festivals have seen a strong uplift in demand for high quality, innovative food on-site. Okay, so cooking in a field isn’t quite as easy as in a restaurant, but that doesn’t stop the hottest names in street food from getting their dishes out there, alongside great music.

For many festivals, the food and drink experience is deemed almost as important as the line-up. For festival goers, that now means top provenance ingredients, creative interpretations of world food and no shortage of choice.

Alongside this high expectation for food comes an equally high expectation for the perfect drinks offering. With the rise of craft ale, artisan cider and the demand for premium cocktails, it’s important that wine isn’t left behind in the dark ages. In fact, in recent years, there’s been exponential growth in consumer demand for a seriously good glass of wine to complete the perfect festival experience. But, if no glass is allowed into the festival, how can the wine offering replicate the typical fine dining experience we are spoilt with off-site?


Enter multi-layer PET. It is virtually indistinguishable from a glass bottle in clarity, fully recyclable and a mere 50g when empty. It also has a lower carbon footprint than glass during transportation, making it the perfect, environmentally friendly vessel for wine lovers at festivals. To be able to share a full bottle of perfectly chilled and crisp mineral character pale Rosé with friends, while tucking into dishes from the Maghreb, Goan fish curry, Tibetan beef stew (with Momos, of course!)…is living the dream!

So, what are our top tips for food and wine matches? Well, how about a delicately fragrant Viognier, reminiscent of apricots on the nose, floral and soft on the palate, but with a crisp finish, to enjoy with that spicy Thai mackerel? Or maybe a crunchy, blackberry strewn Malbec from southern France, that’s just perfect with the Chorizo in a large pan Paella? Then there’s the gently tropical, but gooseberry character of a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand; whilst a delicious sipping wine style, it’s also seriously at home with all manner of smoky offerings from the kettle barbecue.

at Camp Bestival 2015

But for me, for the perfect sunshine wine – while listening to the main stage from a respectful distance (I don’t want my wine glass jogged in the moshpit!) – it has to be a delicate, pale, perfectly poised Rosé from the deep south of France. There’s just something slightly ethereal about its dreamy colour; the burst of gentle red summer fruits and a touch of smoky strawberry. And anyway, Rosé sales are so strongly featured all year round in the High Street, it’s hardly surprising that their popularity at festivals should reflect the now universally accepted truth that they are truly versatile wines.

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