With the long, hot summer days rolling by, it’s always nice to find new wines to enjoy while dining al fresco. Summer favourites tend to be whites and rosés, but don’t omit red wines entirely, as there are plenty to choose from.
If you’re throwing a summer party, get plenty of rosé in, as that is what people generally expect. Think of it as the crowd-pleasing choice, particularly now there are lots of lighter, drier, classier versions to enjoy. Rosé is not longer synonymous with overly sweet wine, and the perfect bottle is delicious served chilled with dinner party food. Try something like Estandon Lumière Rosé, which is a very classic, pale rosé from Provence, which provides a crisp, refreshing bottle for long summer evening.
White wines for summer
It’s always a good idea to include a couple of different white wines for a summer dinner party. The best choices for hot weather are those that are young, fresh and fruity with a crisper edge. If you are sticking to tried and tested, then you’ll be looking for a sauvignon blanc, perhaps from New Zealand.
But if you’d rather choose something that is guaranteed to please your guests, but is also a little different, then choose a vinho verde from Portugal, or a picpoul. Both of these are sure to hit the spot. For example, Portal do Minho Vinho Verde is the ideal easy drinker, packed with crisp, fresh notes with a fruity edge. If you’re serving up a feast packed full of Italian cuisine, then you could go for a safe match, such as the Nosiolo Trentino from Mastri Vernacoli Cavit.
Red wines for summer
Many people avoid red wines altogether when it comes to summer drinking, but it’s always worth including them for balance. It can be more difficult to choose something that will suit your guests, particularly as some people always want to stick with a heavy, oaky red, even in the heat. However, even the most ardent rich red wine drinkers will find it hard going throughout an afternoon or evening party in the hotter months, particularly if they’re served at outside temperatures.
Try ditching oak-aged red wines completely and switch to a juicier, lighter, more exciting red. There are lots of pinots from Spain, Portugal and France to try, and although they’re a bit more expensive, they’re worth it. Try a high-quality Beaujolais for a real taste of summer in a glass.