These are the six wines you should be ordering for the bank holiday weekend

Provence pinks, intriguing whites, exuberant champagne — here's to the long weekend

Sometimes banks get a bad rap. Sure, there was all that bother with the financial crisis a while back; a bit of a fuss over obscene bonuses and lack of accountability; the hubbub over Goldman’s nasty office culture and brutal regime; the sneaky financing of rogue breakaway football tournaments that collapse after 72 hours. But they did give us one thing: the bank holiday. This grand old institution originated when the government decided to give the hard working employees of the financial world a day off — and the rest of us followed suit. 

Today, it is one of the few reliable pleasures of the calendar — a moment flavoured with a spring-summer air and an escape-to-the-country attitude. A time, if I need to spell it out for you, of good wine, drunk in sunshine, red-faced and cheery, possibly near some grilled meats. This weekend, we should all raise a glass to bankers everywhere for that, at least — and here are six wines to slosh around while you do. 

 

Domaine de la Renardière Chardonnay Jurassique 2016

Chardonnay, one of the most noble and traditional of white grapes, gets a happy twist here from the increasingly fashionable Jura region — a once-neglected area fizzing with new ideas and cult natural wines. Domaine de la Renardiere is a genuine biodynamic advocate, farming along those principles since 2010, and this wine spends between 10 and 16 months in barriques before bottling.  Excellent structure, with a refreshing, slatey minerality and some dancing citrus and herbal notes, it is a dear friend to grilled fish and seafood. 

These are the six wines you should be ordering for the bank holiday weekend

Domaine de la Renardière Chardonnay Jurassique 2016

£25.61

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Whispering Angel

Is a bank holiday even a bank holiday without a bottle or two of Whispering Angel? Most of Fulham doesn’t seem to think so. This is the oh-hello-ers tipple of choice — the default rosé for the chattering classes, with a name-drop air and a social cachet that encourages large formats. It’s also very good — a wonderfully drinkable, expertly finessed and always reliable Provence pink with soft peach notes, a quenching dryness, decent minerality and a gush of red summer berries. 

David Moret Le Grand A Aligoté 2019

David Moret 'Le Grand A' Aligoté 2019

Aligoté is the third grape variety of Burgundy — the lesser known younger brother of pinot noir and chardonnay. It is also the region’s best-kept secret — the wine that winemakers get tipsy on while their more established varietals get bought up by the rest of us. So this is the insider’s choice — a smart, unctuous, interesting little number with pleasing notes of nougat and toasted hazelnuts. Does good work with oysters, in my experience.

 

These are the six wines you should be ordering for the bank holiday weekend

David Moret 'Le Grand A' Aligoté 2019

£16.22

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AIX Coteaux d’Aix en Provence

This classic pale pink from Coteaux d’Aix en Provence is the ultimate barbecue wine, to me — a long afternoon favourite with a florid nose, good depth, and zinging freshness that stands up to grilled meats and hearty salads. A glass of this, tinkling with an ice cube, perhaps, in the 4pm sunshine is the true signal that summer is here. It is playful, reliable, and oozing with aromatic notes of white flowers and juicy watermelon which demand repeat visits. 

These are the six wines you should be ordering for the bank holiday weekend

AIX Coteaux d’Aix en Provence

£14.00

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Minuty ‘M’ Côtes de Provence

Guess what? Another Provence pink. This is the summer of 2021, we’re talking about after all — and the pale peachy stuff may as well pour from our taps, we tuck into it so often. Minuty is the reliable workhorse of Provence pink — ever present in the fridge, its apricot-tinged elegance beading with cool perspiration. But a workhorse has rarely been so gorgeous or refined. Minuty is still picked by hand, and imitated everywhere — but nothing rings quite as true as the original. Expect some delicious stone fruits, a refreshing zip of lemon zest, and a honeyed, pleasing finish of melon and white peach. 

These are the six wines you should be ordering for the bank holiday weekend

Minuty ‘M’ Côtes de Provence

£14.50

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Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV

Finally, in a bank holiday homage to the bankers themselves, some decadent fizz. The Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV is everything you need in a Sunday afternoon champagne, with the heritage and marque to match. Lengthy, complex, flecked with sunlight and the lightest touch of biscuity savouriness, the Brut Premier finishes with a nutty, oaky spice, cut through with lemon. It is gorgeous, celebratory, but never pretentious or pompous. Lovely, lovely stuff. 

These are the six wines you should be ordering for the bank holiday weekend

Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV

£36.00

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