|This week has certainly been a scorcher and many of you have been looking for suitable wine recommendations to quench your thirst. Here are our top tips for pleasurable wine drinking during the warmer weather.
1. Avoid higher alcohol wines. High alcohol wines have more body and are less refreshing than lighter bodied wines. Coupled with dehydration from perspiring more than usual, they will make you drunk faster and are likely to give you a headache fairly quickly. Wines that are lower in alcohol (under 13% abv ) are lighter in body and won’t make you as sleepy! As a general rule, wines that come from cooler climates are lower in alcohol than those that come from hot countries, and white wines are usually lower in alcohol than reds.
2. If you like your wine to be cold, choose wines with plenty of flavour. Not all wines respond well to being chilled as it can suppress the lovely fruit flavours. Select white wines which have intense fruit flavours as these will taste best once the wines are chilled. Lightly flavoured wines can be a bit dull once chilled.
3. Sparkling wines love being chilled – the bubbles are smaller, last longer and the sparkle makes them extra refreshing. Look for good quality fizz with lots of flavour – be it Prosecco, Cava, Crémant, English sparkling wine or Champagne.
4. Some red wines taste great chilled! Most don’t, as the tannin in red wine tastes harsher and more bitter if the wine is chilled. Reds with light tannins (such as Beaujolais, red Burgundy, Valpolicella or Loire Valley Cabernet Franc ) can be served lightly chilled as they come from grapes with thin skins and lighter tannins and are refreshing and fruity. Most rosé wines have light tannins – the paler the rose, the lighter the tannins.
So, taking the above factors into account, my recommendations for enjoying in hot weather wines are as follows:
Sparkling wines – Any of the English Sparkling wines as they are light in body, yet have lots of lovely fruit flavour. Gusbourne, Nyetimber and Lyme Bay are all great warm weather wines. If you are feeling very brave, we have a sparkling Aussie Shiraz, Miss Molly, which is served chilled. Just make sure that you are having it with a plateful of barbeque food though as it’s a humdinger!
Whites – Any of our Rieslings, Sauvignon Blancs or Albarino varieties.
Chilled Reds – Fleurie or Beaujolais Villages, Les Petits Grains Cabernet Franc, Joseph Drouhin La Foret Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Allegrini Valpolicella.
Rose – This really is the perfect time to drink rose. It doesn’t really matter which – choose the one that suits your sweetness preference and consider if you are eating or just enjoying a drink in the sun.
Whatever you are doing over the summer holidays we have a great range of wines for any occasion and are always delighted to help you chose wines which suit your taste and budget.