The June bank holiday this weekend kicks off the Summer season for most of us (even though the weather may not play along!), and what this means in terms of wine selection is a marked shift from red to white as we look for wines which will work well with the salads, seafood and lighter dishes gracing our tables.
It isn’t always as simple as that though, some whites are better suited to these dishes than others, in general terms I would look an un-oaked white wine which is lighter in body with crisp acidity and moderate alcohol.
Taking all of this into account, we have put together a stunning set of summer whites, all of which will be available as part of our Buy 1 Get the 1 ½ price all summer long (Mix & Match).
Starting out in central Spain, the de Alberto Winery is located an historic old farmhouse founded by the Dominicans in the 17th century. Their vineyards are at the heart of the Rueda DO, and working with the local Verdejo variety, the de Alberto team produce incredibly crisp, refreshing, and elegant white wines.
Their delicious Monasterio de Palazeulos (€13.95 buy 1 get 1 half-price), is an intensely fruity wine with aromas of melon, fresh-cut grass, fennel and apple, Great on its own it makes for a wonderful pairing with simply grilled fish due to its clean crisp profile.
For my next choice, we have to cross the border into Portugal and head south for Alentejo. When João Portugal Ramos began his career as a winemaker, the Alentejo region was still widely unknown. Nobody has done as much for the region’s promotion and reputation as João Portugal Ramos.
A mix of local grape varieties with a splash of Sauvignon, Pouca Roupa Branco (€14.95 buy 1 get 1 half-price) strikes the perfect balance between the ripe, almost-tropical fruit and the zesty fresh finish,
Finishing up in France, Domaine de la Chauvinière is located on some of the best soils in the region at the top of the sloping bank of the Maine river which gives its name to the appellation Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, this unique site produces perfectly ripe grapes with a beautiful sugar/acid balance.
This premium fruit provides 4th generation winemaker, Jérémie Huchet with the perfect base from which to craft his single-estate Muscadet (€14.95 buy 1 get 1 half-price), which is a really refreshing wine with tangy green apple and lemon peel fruit, while 'sur lie' or ageing on lees adds weight and texture and light bready note. If there is shellfish on the table, you would be hard put to find a better white wine to serve than this beauty.
Of course, I know white wine isn’t for everyone, so for all the red wine drinkers out there I have included one great red as a treat, it’s an old favourite at a very special price for this bank holiday weekend only!
Based in Cenicero Rioja, Monte Real farm 300 hectares of Tempranillo vineyards with the objective of making modern fruit driven Rioja. They can trace their heritage back over 100 years and this coupled with a modern winery allows them to straddle tradition and innovation.
Their Reserva (€12.95 down from €20.95 until 10pm B/H Monday) is often referred to as one of the best traditional style Riojas, consistently delivering a little more weight and depth than its peers.