It may have seemed like a heatwave to start with, but it looks like the very hot weather in the UK could be here to stay. With high temperatures forecast for the next four weeks at least, it’s time to talk refreshing whites.
Summer white wines are light and delicious, providing a nice contrast to the popular rosé. Sifting through the options available, we like to go for something light and fragrant with a hint of floral aroma.
Pairing with summer foods
Everyone needs some good white wines that go with summery food such as vegetable dishes, grilled fish and fancy salads. Particularly delicious with English peas and seasonal broad beans, white wine is the best choice for the hot months ahead.
Taking white wine with you on a picnic can be tricky, as it’s difficult to keep them cold enough, but it’s also a good idea not to over-chill the wine. At this time of year, it can be tempting to leave them in the fridge for days before drinking but, unlike with rose, white wines are often best well chilled but not ice cold.
Everyone gravitates towards big name wines such as Sancerre and Chablis, but the south of France is also a good place to look for some more individual wines. For example, Chateau Rives-Blanques Cuvee Occitania Mauzac 2016, which is made in Limoux from mauzac is a frangrantly delicious choice. Usually the mauzac is only found in local sparkling wines, so this white is a nice change, with light fruity flavours of peach and apricot working well with grilled fish.
Alternatively, a good Sauvignon Blanc from the same region does the trick. Abbots & Delaunay Les Fruit Sauvages Sauvignon Blanc packs in citrus and tropical fruit flavours with enough acidity to cut through richer dishes.
Vineyards above the village of Lagrasse turn out the Laurent Miquel Albarino with the Spanish albarino grape. Resulting in a crisp, elegant, fresh and clean flavour it goes very well with all kinds of fish and salad dishes.
The Italian island of Sardinia is home to vineyards that make delicious wines, although they’re less well known in the UK as a rule. From up in the hills comes the Unmaredivino Terra e Mare Vermentino di Gallura, which is super refreshing with sharp apple and grapefruit flavours.
From the Italian mainland comes Sassi del Cadinale Gavi di Gavi, which is a smoky wine from the Piedmont. With lemons and spices threading through, it’s a lovely wine for seafood pasta.
Pinot Grigio is often the first choice for a summer wine and is seen as the typical Italian choice. Some people can assume it’s going to be a bland and uninteresting, but there are plenty of delicious choices around. For example. Redentore Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie is a natural wine (without sulphurs) and gives a full-flavoured, tangy taste with notes of pears and almonds. It’s great with richer cheese or fish dishes.
Don’t forget the UK, which is well on its way to making a name for itself in the industry, particularly for sparkling and whites. Try Ortega Classic Ferment which is grown on the North Downs towards Kent. It has a depth of flavours including lychee, melon, elderflower and honeysuckle and means you can enjoy an old-fashioned hot English summer while enjoying a delicious English wine!