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Summer Wines?

Is this the best time of year? It must be pretty close, at least in terms of garden produce. I seem to be eating nothing but salad from the garden at present; potatoes, courgettes, broad beans, lettuce, rocket, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes. Add a little cheese and what more do you need? Almost no need to go to the shops. But what to drink with all this fresh produce? Most reds are too heavy while the flavours of all these lovely summer vegetables are all pretty delicate. Personally I’d go for some of these: Picpoul de Pinet. This is the name of both a grape and an appellation area in the South of France. The wines are light, bright and have lots of citrus fruit flavours. Most of the vineyards are close to the sea and this just makes me think of lazy Mediterranean afternoons. They are good value too usually in the £7-9 bracket. Erbaluce. I appreciate this is seriously off the beaten track, it’s a white grape from North West Italy, but it is good to try something new now and again. If you can track one down it will give you lovely floral and honey flavours with a nice Italian savoury grassiness that makes for a great food wine. A little more pricey normally though, £10 to 12? Grenache Rosé. You find lots of these from Languedoc and they usually give really easy drinking fresh strawberry fruit flavours. The good ones balance that with a nice stab of refreshing acidity. Again they should be good value too at around £7-8 a bottle. Valpolicella. I know this is red but I love it. Sadly though I think it still has a bad name for people over a certain age, remember all those Italian Restaurants? But good ones are light bodied, nicely acidic to go with all those tomatoes and they should deliver a nice punch of fresh cherry fruit. Perfect even if a lightly chilled. You can find these for £6 upwards but it’s worth paying a little more, say £10, for which you will get much nicer fruit flavours. Enjoy your salad! Jon

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New Decade, New Start For Scarlet Wines

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