The Ray Mears of wine is back. Last time I gave some recommendations for rather posh rosés; now I turn my attention to white and red wines.
Even those of you who are resolutely red wine people must find yourselves drawn to something cold and crisp at this time of year. Here are some ideas to help you explore beyond Kiwi Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio.
Hofman Weisser Burgunder Trocken 2014 - £13.95 from slurp.co.uk
Sort of familiar, soft of not. It’s not quite Pinot Grigio, but its sister (brother?) grape Pinot Blanc and it’s from Germany not Italy. Not a showy wine, but with refreshing stone fruit it has the substance to stand up to food.
Tyrrell’s Lost Block Semillon, Hunter Valley 2013 – around £12.49 from winedirect.co.uk and independents
This is in the same mould – a light (just 11%) wine that is all lemon/lime flavours and suited to drinking on its own, but with a surprising ability to stand up to vinaigrette-drenched salads.
Château Bel Air Perponcher Réserve, Bordeaux 2014 - £8.50 from The Wine Society
Sauvignon blanc fans, it’s time to get the white Bordeaux habit. This fruity, fresh and easy-drinking example is a blend of Sauvignon blanc, with some Semillon and a little Muscadelle that says “drink me”.
A summer wine’s first duty is to refresh – something that is easier for a chilled white or rosé to achieve. But reds can still find a place in the summer months.
Tesco Beaujolais 2014 - £4.49
Lightly-chilled (in fact I wouldn’t recommend letting this get up to room temperature) on a sunny day, you can’t ask for more for under a fiver. Plenty of juicy, crunchy fruit and a brush of tannin make this a great Gamay for a picnic. For a taste of more “serious” Beaujolais, seek out Domaine Lagneau Régnié, “Cuvée Gérard Vieilles Vignes” 2013 - £11.25 from Stone Vine & Sun.
Bradshaw Pinot Noir 2012 - £4 from Asda
This has to be one of the best wine bargains around, in fact I think it’s almost criminally underpriced. Behind the beautiful peacock Art Nouveau-style label is a Pinot Noir from Romania with, at this price, astoundingly good, fragrant, cherry fruit. Chill lightly and drink up!