Top summer wine tips

(by Peter Richards MW & Susie Barrie MW)

Susie Barrie and Peter RichardsIt’s that time of year when our minds turn to holidays & summer indulgences. Here are Susie & Peter’s top three tips to ensure blissful balmy drinking:

1 – Keep your cool! We tend to serve our whites too cold and our reds too warm, especially in the summer when it’s warm. Here’s our 20/20 rule: take whites out of the fridge 20 mins before serving – and put reds in the fridge 20 mins before opening. A great red for chilling is Frappato di Sicilia 2014 from The Wine Society (£7.95).

2 – Think pink: rosé makes for brilliantly versatile summer drinking. These days we Brits splash out over £1 billion on the pink stuff every year, from luscious blush Zinfandel to bone dry Provençal rosé. Good rosé makes a wonderfully versatile food match, from spicy dishes to grilled fish and meatier BBQ fodder. Try the refreshing Le Grand Ballon rosé from France, £8.49 at Waitrose and

3 – Best wines for summer? It’s all about refreshment value. Whites should be crisp and perfumed; reds shouldn’t be too alcoholic or full-bodied. Think Italian whites, southern French rosé and lighter styles of red from Beaujolais to Pinot Noir. Screw-caps are best for picnics (if not, Google ‘opening wine with a shoe’). Holiday infatuations rarely stand the transition back home. And don’t forget the fizz! Exton Park’s Blanc de Noirs (£28.95) is just one of many delicious home-grown bottles.

Cheers to the summer – whatever the weather!