Drink in the sun: The season's best wines

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

From complex English sparkling wine to juicy Sicilian reds...

SPARKLERS

Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2008

The summer celebration drink should now be an English sparkling wine, since their flavours embody sunshine and countryside, with subtle hints of meadows and wildflowers. Made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, this recent award-winner from Kent has become complex and savoury from ageing. £24.99, gusbourne.com; £28.99, winepantry.co.uk

Champagne Jacquart Mosaïque Rosé NV

For some, there is no substitute for champagne, but why not try one of the lesser-known houses, such as this Pinot Noir-dominated blend full of flavours of wild red berries and cherries. Currently on offer, it is a great summer aperitif. £27.50 (normally £32.50), greatwesternwine.co.uk

Prosecco Frizzante La Jara Organic

This is just so much fun – a refreshing, vibrant, organic, deliberately unpretentious but well-made Veneto prosecco, just the ticket for a beach picnic or barbecue. Just don't forget the corkscrew – it is a normal cork, kept in place with a, er, string… There is an equally joyous rosé version. £10.95, swig.co.uk

ROSÉS

Famille Negrel Côtes de Provence Sainte Victoire 2012

Some Provencal rosés are quite expensive for what they really are, but this typical blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah is perfect for less than a tenner. Subtle herbal and tart fruit flavours, dry and slightly spicy and bliss to drink ice-cold, with bouillabaisse, on a warm evening. £9.99 (or £8.99 each for two if bought as part of purchase of six mixed bottles), majestic.co.uk

Three Choirs Rosé 2011

There are some extremely creditable English rosés emerging and this could hardly be a better example, from a vineyard nestled in the warm Gloucestershire microclimate and made from the Seyval Blanc, Triomphe and Regent grapes. Crispy, refreshing and bursting with raspberry and strawberry flavours, this is just the thing to accompany bowls of them or a summer pudding. £8.81, three-choirs-vineyards.co.uk; £10.85, jascots.co.uk

Chateau Plantey Canteloup Rosé 2012

A darkly coloured, unpretentious rosé from claret country, made with mainly Merlot grapes, but delivering crisp, refreshing strawberry flavours and a very dry, clean aftertaste. Good value, but buy by the case to save money and serve at parties with tapas or mezze-style spreads. £7.50, (or £6.76 each for case of 12), bbr.com

REDS

Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes Domaine Alain Chatoux 2011

Warmer weather is really the best time to appreciate the subtle virtues of the Gamay grape and the wines of Beaujolais Villages. Slightly perfumed, full of bright cherry and raspberry fruits, fresh and vibrant on the palate, this could even be drunk lightly chilled. Excellent with lighter meats such as poultry, pork or English rose veal. £10.95, bbr.com

Wirra Wirra The Widow Hen Shiraz Cabernet 2010

Not every summer occasion calls for a lighter wine – a leg of lamb, some strong cheese or a cool evening requires a more fulsome red. Robust, full-bodied and very dark, with tarry and brambly flavours, this is an unmistakably New World wine, but not overpoweringly so. Very drinkable. £9.99, ocado.com; £8.99, morrisonscellar.com

Baglio Nero D'Avola 2009

Although this medium-bodied Sicilian has forward flavours of black pepper and dark fruits, the fresh acidity of the grape keeps it surprisingly juicy, supple and easy to drink, particularly in warmer weather. A natural for barbecues or gatherings, and a red that works well with strongly flavoured fish dishes. £7.99, Marks & Spencer

WHITES

Bolfan Primus Riesling Croatia 2009

The emergence of hitherto lesser-known producers such as Croatia is one of the great recent wine stories and this organic Riesling proves they can deliver wines of real quality. All the Riesling characteristics are here in good order: bone-dry, mineral, refreshing with those unique "petrol" aromas. Drink with Asian foods, salads and goat's cheese. £11.70, jascots.co.uk

Saint-Véran En Crêches Domaine Jacques et Nathalie Saumaize 2011

After all the tropical fruit flavours of New World Chardonnay, it is wonderful to return to a classic white Burgundy such as this – unoaked, sleek, stylish, mineral, refreshing, with just enough of a complex richness to give it a bit of edge. This is the wine for a lovely roasted flatfish such as turbot, surrounded by fresh herbs and lemon. £11.50, thewinesociety.com

Langhorne Creek Marsanne Roussanne 2011

More unoaked restraint here in a carefully made combination of peachy Marsanne and lighter Roussanne, both otherwise used in Rhône-type blends, which creates something on its own, albeit with plenty of New World flavours. Pair with firm white fish such as grilled hake or cod loin, baked under a spicy crust. £9.99, Marks & Spencer

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Guru Careers: MI Developer

    £35 - 45k: Guru Careers: An MI Developer is needed to join the leading provide...

    Recruitment Genius: Fitness Manager

    £20000 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leisure organisation manag...

    Recruitment Genius: Visitor Experience Manager

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Delivering an inspiring, engagi...

    Recruitment Genius: Learning Team Administrator

    £17500 - £20500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for a great te...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence