Early summer drinking

Yarra Valley Pinot Noir, 2011

Yarra Valley Pinot Noir, 2011

Stuart Piper with his wife Debbie and children Megan, 10, and 12-year-old Abigail  Picture: Sarah Standing (170385-8300)

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With summer just around the corner it’s time for alfresco dining, barbecues and salads as well as lighter, fresher wines.

Prosecco seems to be the go-to value sparkling wine of the moment. It should be light and fresh and not take itself too seriously.

The Co-operative Special Cuvée Prosecco Brut (Co-op £9.99) – a Which? Magazine best buy – is good value. It’s really fresh with a nice appearance in the glass. The wine has crisp green apples and some citrus and almond notes – a perfect early evening aperitif.

Domaine Joël Delaunay The Holy Snail Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Loire (slurp.co.uk £7.49) is almost as much fun as its name; great value, fresh, fruit-driven sauvignon with citrus and crunchy blackcurrants. Try with goat’s cheese salad or delicious asparagus.

Pinot Noir 2011, Yarra Valley

Good value pinot noir with a little complexity is hard to find but this lovely wine is worth the countless frustrations. Made in cool climate Yarra Valley, home to many of Australia’s best pinots, there are cherries, red fruits, cinnamon and just a hint of savouriness coming through. The palate is impeccably balanced and this would be a treat with a shredded duck salad.

Available from slurp.co.uk, £13.40.

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