Sofa chats – Four perfect pairings

Julep Blog 2

On our “sofa” today, we invited friend and wine expert, Lorenzo Tonelli to share some of his favourite wines from the UK and his native Italy.  He’s too modest to say (so we will!) but he’s actually a rather good wine expert as he recently made the finals of the UK Young Sommelier Awards 2021 and was just pipped to the title taking an impressive second place!   Here’s a few of his wine recommendations from both the UK and Italy and we also asked him to select his favourite sofa from our collection and he chose the Julep Sofa, by Jonas Wagell featured above! Read on for some wine expert advice:

“English wines are getting a well deserved position in the wine industry and the quality is getting better every year”


When did English wines start to get recognition?

“The English wine movement is something that started during the late 90’s but has become more well-known in the last 10 years with a very rapid evolution, due to the slight temperature rise during the last century.  A few producers saw the great potential of this combined with the characteristics of the soil and vines that are usually compared to Champagne.  And what this means, of course, is that now English sparkling wine is placed as a strong competitor against the classic bubbles that we all know very well from all around the globe.”




Which English sparkling wine do you like to drink and what would you serve it with?

Recommendation: Blanc des Blanc 2013, Nyetimber, West Sussex

“A Sparkling Blanc des Blanc by Nyetimber is an absolute winner. Be ready to taste real freshness and brightness in one glass, with a classic nutty and almondy aroma typical for this type of wine and an amazing acidity that brings up all the qualities of this incredible sparkling wine. Perfect to enjoy with a few oysters topped with a glorious spoonful of caviar; here the richness and the acidity of the wine will cut through the fatty element of the caviar and add extra flavour to the salty side of the oysters, creating a perfect balance between the elements.”

We say: Bubbles were made to share and enjoy! Sip this delicious sparkling wine with family and friends around the table (Split featured below) to bring together some joy and celebration.

Split High Table Blog

Is English wine all about bubbles? 

“Although Sparkling wines are the best known, as the temperatures in the UK are getting warmer, a different range of varieties have found an opportunity to grow where 20 years ago it was quite impossible.”

Which English wine might surprise us? 

Recommendation: Pinot Noir 2018, Gusborne, Kent

“Gusbourne is a small winery established in Kent and I was really impressed by their Cuvee of Pinot Noir, which I think is one of the best reds in England. It is an elegant and fresh choice with a strong fruity character and soft tannins which surely will gain more personality during the next few years. This is a lovely wine to combine with a plate of seared scallops from the English coast, served with a sweet corn puree with a touch of basil and a pinch of chilli. This great Pinot Noir will enrich the meatiness of the scallops and the soft and creamy texture of the puree.”

We say: We can totally imagine enjoying the smoothness of this wine curled up on the uber-smooth Sesann armchair – seventies design and maximum comfort.

Tacchini Sesann 1

We have started to see Orange wine being introduced onto more menus, can you tell us a little more about this and do you have a suggestion to try?

Recommendation: Jakot 2018, Radikon, Friuli

“Contrary to the name, this is not made from oranges (!), but from white grape skins left to macerate into the freshly squeezed juices. This is a quite new trend in the market but it has been traditionally made for decades and it is believed that the production of this wine started a long time ago in Georgia with the start of civilization.  It is a cultural tradition that has remained in just a few European places like Friuli, in the North East of Italy and I think one of the best expressions of this wine is Jakot from Radikon” according to Lorenzo. 

“Orange wine has an intriguing development of flavours in the mouth, notes of orchard fruit, like peaches and nectarines, complemented by a natural savoury and salty character from the varietal. A really amazing dish that can be enjoyed while sipping a glass of this wine could be a fresh salmon tartare with avocado, sesame seeds, a little bit of spicy chili and soy sauce to combine all these flavours together.”

We say:  This wine deserves to go in the spotlight.  We love the Miss 2 suspension light which will help you to clearly see the delicious tones of this wine

Do you have a favourite wine from back home in Italy?

Recommendation: Verdicchio Riserva 2016, Villa Bucci, Marche

“It is hard to pick a favourite, but if you are looking to try a new Italian white wine, I definitely recommend a Verdicchio from my home region, Le Marche.  This area of Italy is a well-kept secret and has really great tourism and wine potential.”

“This wine is a pure Verdicchio made from 70 years old vines, the wine goes in oak for just a little period to give it the right roundness and structure. The final result of the selection of the finest grapes and only using organic principles, creates a legendary wine with a complex, savoury and ripe flavour profile, which develops notes of citrus and almond that can be perfectly paired with a grilled lobster served with a hollandaise sauce on the side, this combination will bring up the spiciness from the cayenne pepper and the sweetness and savoury flavours from the grilled lobster, a perfect match!”

We say:  This reminds us of holidays! If you want to evoke memories of sunny days in Italy, fill your home with one of CULTI Milano’s amazing home fragrances such as the Mediterranea, a fragrant blend of fresh, zesty lemon and bitter orange, refined by neroli blossom, laced with a hint of spiced ginger and cedarwood to add warmth.

We are as dedicated to quality furniture, as our appreciation of food and wine!

For design inspiration (and beautiful interior ideas where you can drink your favourite wine!), visit or call us on 020 3908 5605.