The first sip of a terrific wine can rekindle happy holiday memories, so here are some great ways to toast summer.
Prosecco may be fashionable, but you can’t beat the body and aromas of a crisp, dry cava to pair with salty nibbles. From ‘cava country’ in the Penedes region, try The Wine Selection Cava, Spain (£5, Asda), lively bubbles with good structure and a lemony richness – and at this price, what’s not to love?
A wine that doesn’t give much away on the bouquet, but is delicious on the palate, is Sannio Greco Janare 2012, Southern Italy (£7.25, www.thewinesociety.com). It is a Campanian white with a light honeyed richness, salty iodine note and citrus fruit flavours.
Chateau Marsyas Blanc 2010, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon (£22.10,wwww.philglas-swiggot.com, 0207 9244494) is a fantasy journey to the Middle East. This Bekaa Valley beauty is a blend of 60% chardonnay and 40% sauvignon blanc. A lush mix of peach, pear and apple flavours with honey-creamy notes and an expansive, rich finish, this is a wine to sip, savour and relish.
A ‘berry’ juicy red such as Spar Californian Red, USA (£5.99, Spar) begs to be tasted on a sunny day. A crowd-pleasing easy glugger made from the ruby cabernet grape, it’s a drop of Californian sunshine in a glass with lots of soft cherry fruit, little tannin and a hint of spice on the finish.
M&S Vinalta 2012 Malbec, Argentina (£7.99, Marks & Spencer) is an International Wine Challenge silver medal winner and a perfect choice with sizzling steak – it’s soft and gorgeous with violet-scented fruit, plum and spice that coats the mouth with dense, velvety black fruit flavours leading to a powerful finish.
Another big wine, Wakefield Promised Land Shiraz Cabernet 2009, Clare Valley, Australia (£9.77, www.spiritedwines.co.uk) has been crafted for late summer drinking. And while it has lots of juicy red berry fruits, plum and cassis, it maintains a youthful quality with a well balanced, refreshing finish and supple tannins - ideal with spicy spare ribs.