Is there any better sound in summer than a cork popping from a freshly-bought bottle? Be it a languid holiday morning, where the bubbly is being brought out to mix your morning mimosa, or a sunlit summer soiree, where the bottle will be the first of many opened until night finally arrives, that distinctive ‘pop’ is sure to lift your mood.
But what wines are perfect for summer? Some of our favourites are restricted for the winter months — full-bodied Malbecs and woody naked Chardonnays that compliment the wind and the rain we’re in hiding from. But summer? In the warmer months, you want your wine to celebrate the sunshine and fresh, long days. And we’ve got just the thing…
When you want the bubbles to flow: Berry Bros. & Rudd Crémant de Limoux by Antech
This is a beautiful, balanced wine — perfect for a summer celebration. With elegant aromas of orchard fruit and honeyed spice, the palate marries more exotic fruits with a clean, pebbly backdrop and an impressive depth of flavour for a cremant de Limoux.
Crémant de Limoux by Antech
For lunching al fresco: 2017 Gavi di Gavi, Bric Sassi, Roberto Sarotto, Piedmont
Summer is all about eating outside, but the best meal on earth is nothing without a perfect wine pairing. If fresh pasta, oily fish or salad is on the menu, then so too should this versatile, easy-drinking white. With aromas of citrus tempered by a steely, zesty palate, it may look lightweight, but it knows exactly what it’s doing.
2017 Gavi di Gavi, Bric Sassi
When the forecast requires rosé: 2017 Berry Bros. & Rudd Provence Rosé by by Château la Mascaronne
2016 saw a benevolent ripening season by Provençal standards, and this sunshine-soaked period has been immortalised by Château la Mascaronne. It’s floral, rounded and symphony of red fruit and soft spice. There’s more flavour that meets the eye with that gentle nacreous colour, but it’s a surprise we’re sure you’ll enjoy.
Provence Rosé by by Château la Mascaronne
When it’s time to chill: 2016 Morgon, La Voûte Saint-Vincent, Domaine Louis Claude Desvignes
That’s not to say there’s no time for a red. Even though these fuller wines tend to be associated with the darker days of the year, bottles such as this La Voute Saint-Vincent ’16 are a heaven-made match for small summer tapas meals. Mouth-wateringly acidic and dripping with red fruit flavours, it’s the perfect end to a hot sticky day.
2016 Morgon, La Voûte Saint-Vincent
For firing up the barbecue: 2017 Berry Bros. & Rudd Argentinian Malbec by Pulenta, Mendoza
And, of course, it has to be another red when you fire up the barbecue. Soft hedgerow-fruit aromas pair with a bright, raspberry freshness to bring you the silkiest texture we’ve ever found in a summer wine. It’s a supreme Malbec which, when paired with a supreme steak, will take your grill game to a whole new level.
Argentinian Malbec by Pulenta, Mendoza
When you’re feeling adventurous: Dagon Clan ‘Har’
You might not be heading off on holiday this year, so why not travel the globe through your tastebuds? Romania, somewhat surprisingly, is currently making a name for itself in wine, and this would be our pick. Light-bodied, crisp and with hints of cherry and loganberry on the palate, it’s a chance to try a new culture from the comfort of your own garden party.
Dagon Clan ‘Har’
Need a new wardrobe for summer, as well as a wine collection? Here are our top tips for updating…