Drink in the sun: The season's best wines

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

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


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


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


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


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
peopleJonathan Ross has got a left-field suggestion to replace Clarkson
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
Pandas may be more sociable than previously thought
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Arts and Entertainment
Written protest: Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, has sent an open letter to the Culture Secretary
footballDoes Hodgson's England team have an identity yet?
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss