It’s midway through spring and, in true British style, we behave as if it’s already the height of summer. The abundance of barbeques, Pimms-fuelled parties and long lunches is testimony to our eagerness to don the sunglasses and flip-flops at even the slightest hint of summer-esque weather.
We stubbornly insist upon spending these marvellous new ‘long’ evenings shivering and huddled around the expired embers of a slightly pitiful-looking disposable barbeque, convinced that this is the height of true sophistication.
However, all of this premature summer fun brings with it the risk that by the time it is actually summer, we’re bored. Charred meat becomes dull and tasteless strawberries, commonplace and even Pimm’s, the epitome of English summer becomes sickly after a certain point.
Thankfully, however, this disasterous outcome is avoidable and, once again, wine is the solution. Grab a few of the bottles below to liven up your summer drinking and avoid the monotony of previous years. They even rival Pimm’s.
2009 Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough (13%; £5.99 each for two, Majestic): Classic New Zealand Sauvignon with gooseberry and passionfruit. A sophisticated wine, perfet for adding some flair to the average York picnic.
2008 Mâcon-Lugny Louis Latour (13%; £7.99 each for tow, Majestic): Great value for a classic and sophisticated white Burgundy. Crisp fruit flavours.
2008 Mont Gras Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah Reserva, Colchagua Valley, Chile (14.5%; £7.78 each, Waitrose Wine): Full bodied and fruity.
2004 Chateau Arnauton, Fronsac (13%; £9.99, Majestic): Right bank claret. Juicy with great acidity. Has a complex finish with black cherry, earth-y and pepper-y qualities.
2008 Berrys’ Extra Ordinary Red Burgundy Nicolas Potel (12.5%; £13.80 each, Berry Brothers and Rudd): Pretty special stuff. Great Pinot Noir with red berries and violet.
2008 Crios Malbec, Mendoza (13.5%; £8.99, Majestic): Incredibly smooth with deep fruit flavours.
2009 Sancerre ‘Les Baudrières’ Dominique Baud (12.5%; £7.99 each for two, Majestic): Crisp citrus and gooseberry flavours, balanced by restrained mineral elegance.
2008 Kangarilla Road Chardonnay, McLaren Vale (13.5%; £8.79 each for two, Majestic): Fruity but balanced well with acidity and oak.