Wines to Savour as the British Summer Fades Away
British summer may be brief, but it’s a thing of beauty while it lasts. The perfect season for beach trips, BBQs and garden parties – none of which would be complete without…wine! A summer wine should be light, crisp, and refreshing, and should pair perfectly with whatever you are eating. So, to help you out, we have come up with the perfect summer wine guide, however you are celebrating the sun.
Head to the beach or the coast to soak up the last of the summer sun and breathe in the fresh sea air.
Riesling 'Opou', Millton, Gisborne 2012 (NZ) – BIODYNAMIC - This vegetarian Riesling from New Zealand is the perfect thing to drink at the end of a long, hot day on the beach. Bursting with grapefruit and candied limes, it leaves a honeyed spice texture in the mouth. Best of all, this biodynamic bottle is also low in alcohol, so you can enjoy the sunset with a clear head.
Viognier 'Riverpoint', Millton, Gisborne 2011 (NZ) – BIODYNAMIC - A deeper, more minerally wine, this lovely Viognier has notes of croissant and poached pear, which add a warmth and spiciness. One to enjoy as the sun is going down and the evening brings Britain’s characteristic chill.
NZ Sauvignon Blanc 'Woven Stone', Ohau 2014 – SUSTAINABLE – One of our favourites, this delightful Sauvignon Blanc has won awards for its elegance and weightier-than-usual taste and mouthfeel. With notes of grass and herbs on the nose, it carries flavours of gooseberry and white florals, the perfect light wine to pair with seafood or antipasto of a summer’s eve.
A good Garden Party means an excuse to get a little fancy – so we recommend breaking out the bubbles. We have a truly fabulous selection of summery sparkling wines for you to try – who needs Bollinger?
To eat – Canapes.
Limney Estate Brut, Davenport, East Sussex 2010 (England) – ORGANIC – This lovely organic sparkling wine is made just down the road in East Sussex, with equal quantities of Pinot Noir and Auxerrois grapes grown right here in the UK. Its 2009 vintage was the first organic wine to win the Vintners Trophy for Most Outstanding Sparkling Wine – need we say more?
Brut Traditional Method, Huia, Marlborough 2009 (NZ) – BIODYNAMIC – This biodynamic Marlborough Brut offers a biscuity, bready nose with an underlying toasty character. On the palate there are flavours of peach fruit and citrus with a long, elegant dry finish. The perfect match for delicate finger food.
Prosecco 'Casa Coste Piane', Valdobbiadene DOC (Italy) – ORGANIC/NATURAL Created by one of a long line of Valdobbiadene farmers, this natural Prosecco comes from vines tended by father and sons for over 60 years. Unusually, this Prosecco is made in the champenoise method, with the second fermentation taking place in the bottle, with no added sulphur, sugar, or yeast. Its dry, clean, fresh minerally and unfiltered taste will be like nothing you’ve ever tasted – we promise you will not look at shop-brought Prosecco the same way again.
Rosé often gets a bad reputation, but when made with care from the very finest grapes, it can have as much refreshing complexity as any other wine. We’ve selected three of our favourites which will set off your picnic to perfection.
To eat – Bread, cheese, ham, and salad.
Pinot Noir Rosé 'Diamond Fields', Davenport, East Sussex 2013 (England) – ORGANIC – Another bottle from our favourite East Sussex vineyard. This Rosé is fermented in stainless steel tanks which helps keep its freshness and intense red berry flavours. Dry, with lots of Pinot Noir fruit character, this comes highly recommended.
Rosé 'Woven Stone', Ōhau 2014 (NZ) – SUSTAINABLE – A lovely, peachy salmon-toned offering from Ōhau, New Zealand’s newest wine region. This is one you can drink all year round, but its fresh apple, citrus, and subtle cherry notes make this a particularly good wine for summer. Made with a blend of Pinot Gris and 9% Pinot Noir, this wine is ripe and nicely-weighted on the palate with a pleasingly dry finish.
Pinot Noir Rosé, Spy Valley, Marlborough 2011 (NZ) – SUSTAINABLE – This sustainable Rosé comes from Marlborough’s Spy Valley. It is refreshing and bright with a soft refined balance and aromas of plum, peach, and strawberry.
Barbecues can be tricky for summer-y wine pairings, so be sure to pick the right red. In the warmer months, we recommend chilling your red for around half an hour, to make it as refreshing as it is delicious. Chilling emphasises tannins and oaks, so be careful not to leave any well-structured wines in the fridge for too long.
To eat – Red meat, sausages, smoky-flavoured foods.
Pinot Noir, Spy Valley, Marlborough 2011 (NZ) – SUSTAINABLE – Our first choice is another sustainable wine from Spy Valley. This Pinot Noir has a fragrant nose of blackberry, plum, dried spice and fresh ground coffee – which promises to mingle delectably with the smoke from the BBQ. The palate offers flavours of sweet fruit, creaminess and liquorice.
Pinot Noir 'Petit Clos', Clos Henri, Marlborough 2014 (NZ) – ORGANIC – For all its Frenchness, this Petit Clos Pinot Noir from Clos Henri comes straight from New Zealand. The grapes are harvested by hand ensuring uniform ripeness before the wine is aged for 10 months in French oak barrels. This lovely red carries notes of plum, cherry, clove, and cinnamon on the nose and delicate earthy flavours on the palate.
Cosmo Red, Millton, Gisborne 2013 (NZ) – BIODYNAMIC – This vegan red from good old Aotearoa (New Zealand) is exceedingly drinkable. With soft fruits and smooth tannins, it is made with a blend of Malbec, Syrah, and Viognier – extremely unusual for New Zealand. Give it a go – we’re sure you won’t be disappointed!
When it comes to summer events – no one wants to be caught short! That’s why we recommend buying a case, so you have every eventuality covered. Click here to view our Summer Sale.