Colin Burbidge, of Lancashire Wine School, writes about finding a good tipple to cool you down in this heat.
As the weather heats up we all start to look for something cool and refreshing.
Prosecco, which along with Pinot Grigio has seen Italian wine sales in the UK leapfrog France, is always a favourite but if you fancy a change then there are plenty of alternatives.
On the sparkling front I recently tasted Jansz Premium Cuvée from Booths at £15.99.
This Tasmanian delight isn’t always easy to find so I don’t enjoy it as often as I should. In common with other sparklies such as Champagne the main grapes are Chardonnay and Pino Noir.
Amazingly, although Tasmania is an Australian state, don’t associate it with the ‘how hot?’ outback temperatures.
With its much cooler temperatures, the Tasman climate is ideal for sparkling wine production, retaining the all-important acidity required for a refreshing glass of fizz.
The premium cuvée is sparkled naturally in the bottle and aged on the lees (dead yeast cells) for an average of two years, similar to processes employed in Champagne.
But the resulting wine is a little fresher, I think, than most champagnes with a wonderful honeysuckle scent, hints of strawberry, a little nutty with a citrus finish.
It may not be an inexpensive wine, but it is an inexpensive treat, so pick a moment and enjoy!
On the still wine front, we recently tasted a delicious Chardonnay that I go back to time after time, both for courses and for my own enjoyment.
The widely available Original Dark Horse Chardonnay from California is a gently-oaked Chardonnay but, if oak normally puts you off Chardonnay, give this one a chance.
Partly produced from grapes in Lodi, which lies between San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this is a region fast becoming one of California’s true wine stars.
The Mediterranean-style climate makes it perfect for great wines that are both New World fruit forward and carry some French-style finesse.
Baked apple, mingled with peach and hints of toasted oak and caramel, make this both refreshing and with enough body to accompany a meat dish like barbecued chicken.
At around £8.50, a great bargain.
Even better when on offer ... try Sainsbury’s latest deal.
I’m not Rosé wine’s biggest fan.
Many of the commercial brands on the market are too bland and too sweet for me but recently I’ve enjoyed a nice example from Navarra.
Rosé isn’t meant to be serious.
It’s usually produced by fermenting initially on the skins for 12 to 36 hours. before pumping the juice away from the skins to allow fermentation to complete, with just a little colour and very little tannin.
I expect refreshing acidity and delicate summer berry fruits from a Rosé.
And the Señoria de Saria Rosado gives just that.
Summer berries, strawberries, just a touch of sweetness and plenty of mouth-watering acidity.
Bodegas Sarria is based in Navarra, just north of Rioja, where the cooler than most parts of Spain climate offers ideal growing conditions.
Sarria are based in the northern part of this region, close to the famous town of Pamplona.
At just £6.95 from The Wine Society, this is a great value glugger, just as easily partnering lighter food like salmon.