Summer wine

By Julia Jenkins, 11th July 2022

The sunshine is back again so we can sit out in the garden and enjoy a glass of wine whilst the BBQ is heating up. It is time to find the ideal light white, fragrant rose or light red for summer drinking.

There are lots to choose from too – the lemon fresh dry white Pecorino from Italy or the delicious Assyrtiko from Greece are high on my list right now. Although Pecorino has a light citrus aromas and subtle fresh peach notes it is also great with many cheeses including the one it shares a name with but not with strong cheddar or blue. Picpoul de Pinet from the tiny Pinet region is a great palate refresher with its lovely citrus fruit flavours. Young French wines from Viognier and blends such as Ugni Blanc and Colombard grapes, and Italian Vermentino are also worth seeking out as aperitifs.

To match with crisp salads and light meat or fish dishes some of the best wines are the refreshing white wines from the Loire Valley such as the Touraine Sauvignons etc. Look towards the Atlantic Coast near Angers and you will find Muscadet de Sevre et Maine sur lie, back on our shelves again after a brief absence a few years ago. When young it has lovely crisp green apple and flinty dry flavours and a lovely texture that evolve over time in wines that have spent time on their lees before bottling. Don’t forget classic Sancerre and Pouilly Fume plus Chablis too.

If you like Muscadets look out for some of the crisp uncomplicated whites from the Albarino or Godello grape in Galicia in NW Spain These wines are full of flavour yet light and refreshing and great with summer fish dishes, salads and as aperitifs. New Zealand Pinot Gris like the Clark Estate example is a suitable alternative to a Sauvignon as is a Chenin Blanc from South Africa such as that made by Jeremy Borg under the Painted Wolf label.

Roses come into their own at this time of year with their light touch, but no longer are they typically nondescript or slightly sweet. Look out for new roses from traditional red wine making regions such as the Albia Rose from Tuscany made from the Sangiovese grape by the renowned Chianti producer, Ricasoli and is light, fragrant, and refreshingly fruity with a lovely soft note but still dry. Southern French Roses such as the light coloured, fresh roses from Provence and those from the Languedoc Roussillon with their vibrant yet light raspberry, strawberry and cherry notes are quintessentially summer wines to make the most of though they are great all year round.

BBQ reds need to have some ‘bite’ to accompany the chargrilled flavours and often this is best in young reds such as the vibrant Portuguese red wines form Esporao, Mont Rocher Carignan form the South of France, Romanian Pinot Noir and a definite wow is the Visconti della Rocca Salento Primitivo from Puglia – all full of flavour and great character. You could also try some of the spicy deep Lebanese wines from Domaine des Tourelle or even a bright juicy soft mouthfilling Georgian Saperavi…  Worth a try!







© Archant Community Media Limited used under limited licence


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