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27 Sept 2022

7 top drops to toast the last of the summer wine

7 top drops to toast the last of the summer wine

Some might say it’s been the summer of all summers.

Endless blue skies, hot, sunny days and sultry evenings – sometimes too close for comfort – and with all this, deliciously refreshing wines to chill out with.

When it comes to sipping al fresco, long may it last into the Bank Holiday weekend and beyond. To keep those summery vibes alive and flowing, here’s what to bag right now…

1. Cambalala South African Sauvignon Blanc 2021, South Africa, £4.95, Aldi

BBQ season may be coming to an official close, but chances are you’ll still be prepping for a summery gathering of some sort for a while yet. With that, think crowd-pleasing white to wash down with BBQ chicken, salads or spicy ribs.

One of Aldi’s biggest hits this summer (according to the supermarket chain, they sell more than two bottles a minute), this brings a mouth-watering grassiness aligned with tropical notes and long, bright finish. Win-win at less than a fiver.

2. Adnams Picpoul De Pinet 2020, Languedoc, France, £9.49, Adnams

A picpoul with personality, these light, crisp wines from the sunny Languedoc make the perfect summery aperitif – and love fresh seafood. This one’s especially appealing, with its attractive blossomy aromas with touches of acacia and hawthorn, and a more rounded palate than some. Green apples, ripe pear fruit and floral touches are backed by fresh, lemony acidity and ray of freshness.

3. Vara Romanian Rosé 2020, Romania, £7.25, Marks & Spencer stores

Fun and frivolous, if you ever want to be led astray from a Provençal Pink, Cramele Recas is the name behind some of Romania’s most affordable and attractive styles. The label itself makes you want to dive right in, and you might want to grab a sun lounger before pouring a glass of this delightful copper pink. With beams of vibrant summer fruits, hints of strawberry, cranberry and fresh acidity, it’s lively to the last sip.

4. Co-op Irresistible Viognier Pays d’Oc 2020, France, £8, Co-op stores

A delicious alternative to chardonnay, especially if you love a gentle touch of vanilla and juicy acidity to keep you coming back for more. Bang on the money, this offers well-knit peaches, apricot and honeysuckle flavours plus similar aromas, all of which carries through on the light, creamy, silky finish.

5. Brindisi Rosso Vigna Flaminio Negroamaro, Vallone 2018, Southern Italy, £8.95, The Wine Society

For a taste of la dolce vita and a food-friendly red that’s immediately likeable, this dark, plummy wine has summer pasta with fresh tomato sauce written all over it. Fragrant, with a pretty range of black cherry, plums and blackberry aromas, touches of prune, sweet spice and dried herbs come into play on the palate, with everything echoing and lingering on the smooth finish.

6. Castillo De Maluenda 2020, Spain, £11.99, Laithwaites

With its pretty postcard label and baskets of sun-kissed, juicy red fruit, this lip-smacking garnacha is steeped in lively berries, which glide effortlessly along. Utterly gorgeous from word go, along with a vivid burst of raspberry and cassis, plus herbaceous notes on the lasting finish, it’s lightly tangy too. Best of all, it can be enjoyed chilled, Spanish style.

7. Maison Mirabeau Rosé Picnic Set, £142, Maison Mirabeau

A blow the budget splurge for a showy occasion, this posh picnic set will seal you rosé holiday romance. Along with a bottle of their award-winning Mirabeau Pure Rosé, the set includes a handwoven wooden basket (insulated), food-safe wooden lid (can double up as a serving board), cotton blanket (can double up as a stylish throw), two signature picnic glasses and two G&T cans. What’s not to love?

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