Lighter Wines for Summer Drinking

I don’t know about you, but one of our greatest pleasures is discovering a wine that’s packed full of flavour – but under-delivers on alcohol. And even better if it’s reasonably priced.

Quite simply, it means we can drink more without falling off our chair or, more to the point, feeling the effects the next morning. There’s nothing snobby about it – just a desire to indulge and enjoy as much as possible while minimising the side effects. More of the play for less of the pay.

So it was a great pleasure to research and write this piece for Decanter, finding the best wines at 12.5% or less alcohol between £8 and £20.

The nominal angle was to find wines for summer drinking. But what does that mean? Summer can be many things to many people, from al fresco lunches in the blazing sun to comfort wines when it rains (as it inevitably does in the UK). I talk a bit more about this in the piece but really we’re just talking about delicious wines that bring pleasure and which can work with bright flavours on the plate.

As a postscript, the tasting for this piece took place at home, during lockdown. I was originally intending to taste about 80 wines – so when nearly 300 ended up arriving, we expanded the piece – and prayed for recycling centres to be re-opened before cardboard boxes ran us out of the family home.

[Lighter Wines for Summer Drinking appeared in Decanter magazine’s September 2020 edition]

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