Summer Celebrations - Half Dozen
As lockdown restrictions continue to lift and small social gatherings are once again on the cards, we have chosen some favourites to add panache to a garden gathering.
With a pop to get things started, we’re reminding you that fizz is for ‘everyday’ and that doesn’t just mean Prosecco! The well-priced Tanners Cava, which regularly garners press compliments, will liven up proceedings.
Our white wine choice is a superb effort from France. Château Rives-Blanques nestles in the foothills of the Pyrenees, benefitting from both plenty of summer sun and the cooling effect of higher altitude vineyards. Their Odyssée Chardonnay has loads of tropical flavour yet also a purity and finesse derived from this location. It is a brilliant summer white, reminiscent of Burgundy yet without the price tag.
Great summer reds often hail from Beaujolais. The red grape of this historic region is Gamay, renowned for its soft, juicy style and the freshness of crushed raspberry and redcurrant fruit that sing from the glass. Fleurie is noted as the prettiest of the Beaujolais ‘cru’ villages (in essence, the best locations) with an extra floral side to its bouquet. The lack of hard tannins also means that if the mercury climbs and you are baking in the garden, slip the bottle in the fridge and enjoy it cooler than normal – it can be sensational with an alfresco lunch.
Portugal is producing some real treats these days, and red wines from the Douro Valley are among the best. Usually a blend of indigenous varieties, as is the case for Altano, the Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz grapes are now organic which is an added bonus. The Symington family, alongside nearly every grower in the Douro is putting a huge emphasis on caring for their natural environment. This lovely soft, easy red wine reflects the increased care and attention of today’s winemaking that starts in the vineyard and would undoubtably be a highlight at your next barbeque.