To second this lyric from Summer Wine ( Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood 1967), one of the joys of the summer is being able to cook, eat and relax outside. When picking your wines for BBQ’s, picnics and summer garden suppers, go for something that will please all your guests and that won’t break the bank. For reds usually something with alcohol around 12% works with hotter temperatures and lighter summer foods. Don’t forget a few minutes in the fridge for the reds can sharpen the fruits precision in the wine and help the balance overall. For whites, usually unoaked and refreshing works best and for rose wines my tip wold be the paler and dryer the better as this will be super refreshing and go well with food.
Something we should drink more of this summer is the white wines of Bordeaux. Typically elegant and refreshing with mouth-watering acidity making them perfect for hot weather, in Bordeaux these wines would be enjoyed with any type of seafood and I can’t think of a better food match. Château la Freynelle (€12.95 down from €14.95 for July & August) is a good place to start and the hint of Semillon in this Sauvignon Blanc dominated blend gives notable mid-palate ripeness.
Another excellent match for seafood, chicken, white cheese and salads is Albariño, This example is from The Languedoc rather than Galicia and Winemaker Laurent Miquel and his Irish wife Neasa grow these grapes on their own estate. Their Alaina Albariño (€13.95 down from €16.95 for July & August) has aromas of grapefruit & delicate floral notes, leading to a palate that is peachy, yet also lively & refreshing with a hint of lime on the finish.
Not forgetting the Rose of the summer L’Ostal Rosé (€15.45 buy one, get one ½ price for July & August) which is made by the Cazes family of Château Lynch Bages, this is an elegant pale pink rose, it is dry with a ripe mid palate and good weight to balance its cherry and berry summery fruit aromas and flavours.
Finally for red lovers this Spanish Malbec, Ocho y Medio (€9.95 down from €12.95 for July & August) is juicy and plummy, not too heavy and perfect for BBQ meats, it is bursting with red fruits aromas and flavours and finishes with cleansing acidity.
Don’t forget if its really hot, go retro and make yourself and guests a refreshing white wine spritzer – it keeps you hydrated and reduces alcohol consumption.
Fill a large glass with ice
Fill with white or rose wine to 1/3rd
Top up with sparkling water
Decorate as you wish with mint/cucumber/raspberry/strawberry/
Serve with a straw