It’s quite easy writing about wines with Christmas in mind. It’s another matter predicting when it will be most appropriate to recommend wines suitable for sipping in the garden in summer.
Allow me to explain why… Christmas without fail has always been on December 25th, to my memory anyway. Whereas, summer can be any day in June, July or August and we never know which one it’s going to be.
So I thought I would get in early with these half-a-dozen white wines suitable for the latter.
1. Château Le Bernet 2014
If like me you find single varietal New World Sauvignon somewhat overpowering, consider the Old World instead. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes are good blending partners, making for a more rounded wine, something Bordeaux winemakers have known for a long time.
£9 at Sainsbury’s
Château Le Bernet 2014 is from the Graves sub region of Bordeaux, known for its white wines and gravelly soils. Nicely dry and with a crisp acidity this is really a food wine but you could drink it on its own. It suggests lemon, citrus zest and white flowers, with a hint of smoke and a slightly salty mineral complexity. Otherwise pair it with anything from oysters to fish fingers.
2. Laudun Reserve du Boulas
£9 at Marks & Spencer
Or head to the Rhône and Laudun Reserve du Boulas, Côtes du Rhône Villages, 2014 available at M&S. A blend of Grenache Blanc and Clairette, this is a full-bodied white with oodles of tropical and orchard fruit flavours, white pepper and honey.
3. Rolf Binder Highness Riesling 2015
Eden Valley, £10.99 at Waitrose
Waitrose has Rolf Binder Highness Riesling 2015 from the Eden Valley in Oz. I love Riesling, it’s one of my favourite grapes, and this example doesn’t disappoint. It is clean and crisp with flavours of lime, white flowers and a pronounced mineral finish.
4. Burton Vineyards The Vermentino 2015
£7.49 at The Co-operative
Vermentino is perhaps best known from Sardinia where it is widely grown. New at the Co-op is an Aussie take on an the grape, Burton Vineyards The Vermentino 2015. It’s top stuff too. Dry and crisp it would be a good pick, for those balmy summer days, with its refreshing lemon, grapefruit and tropical fruit flavours.
5. Borgo Molino Venti 2 Prosecco 2015
£9.99 at The Co-operative
Also new to the Co-op is a well-made fizz, Borgo Molino Venti 2 Prosecco 2015. This is quite dry for a Prosecco, with some persistent bubbles, a little honeysuckle on the nose and delicate flavours of ripe pear and citrus. It also comes in a very nice looking bottle, plus it is suitable for vegetarians.
6. Fattori Soave 2014
£7.49 at Majestic
Staying in Italy, Majestic has Fattori Soave 2014, which has a good fresh acidity that will work well with summer salads. With citrus flavours, green apple, hints of Mediterranean herbs, almonds and some mineral notes on the finish, makes a good aperitif too.
Here’s to those summer days and nights.