“She gets to keep the chalet and the Rolls, I want the Montrachet.”

Forbes Magazine, May 6, 1996

The pundits are forecasting a hot summer, so before they change that to wet and windy, let’s take a look at an old flame of mine, white burgundy.

Only the French could make a region with only one white grape so darn complicated but then again, only the French who could make chardonnay taste so incredible.

If you’ve never tried a Batard Montrachet or even one of the lesser Montrachets for that matter, you really must add them to your bucket list now. I still remember my first, and for that matter my second and third because they blew my mind away with their strikingly yellow hue, incredible vanilla aromas and their palate of hot buttered crumpets. At that level, they really are works of art and, as with the old masters, a decent white burgundy can cause you to stop in time and reflect on life itself and if you get that effect from any New World white then please let me know as I've been searching for years.

White Burgundy comes in all manner of sub-styles with something for everyone unless you like Blue Nun or Liebfraumilch in which case, why are you reading such an intellectual column? Basic Bourgogne Blanc is light, fruity and refreshing, especially over lunch in a Parisian café, but for an inexpensive pleasure, especially with seafood, you have to try a decent St Veran with its lightly buttered citrus fruits.

If it’s a really hot day and there's a seafood salad calling your name then it’s simply got to be a steely dry Chablis. Chablis is a style of wine for proper wine lovers because it’s so different from anything else that you're almost guaranteed to love it or hate it but there's rarely any middle ground. They’re dry, flinty, pungent, astringent and the fruit is almost non existent ­— like a greengrocers after a burglary ­— but they’re also complicated and demanding and I love them. On a steamy hot day, there's nothing better than an almost frozen Chablis but they are at their best with food.

While it’s not a widely recognised pairing, try Chablis with cheese, virtually any type of cheese by the way from goat or Stilton to a really old rich cheddar because I've found it to be a match made in heaven, or at least in Burgundy but to many a Frenchman, it’s one and the same place.

My usual words of caution about avoiding the cheap end of the shelf seem are more appropriate than ever with Burgundy though because the wines at the bottom end are as thin as a supermodel and not half as interesting.

Anyway, I've got a crab salad with a smattering of smoked salmon waiting for me and I'm in a quandary. Should I open the Chablis or the Puligny? Oh sod it, lets try both, at least I can call it work! Pip pip for another week.

  • Gerard Richardson MBE is wine columnist for Newsquest

William Fevre Chablis 2017

Fevre’s Chablis are a masterclass with citrus fruits on the nose and hints of minerals, chalk and lemon on the palate. Try this with Crab or grilled Langoustines and give your taste buds a treat.

Berry Bros & Rudd £13

Petit Chablis

Light and refreshing with citrus fruits on the palate. Excellent with shellfish or leafy salads.

Marks & Spencer £12