Gibson's grapes: It's time to get your whites on
Glastonbury is here, Wimbledon is just around the corner. The great British summer is in full swing. All we need now is the weather... but let's not get our hopes up too much.
Assuming the sun does agree to come out, then here are some summer white wine suggestions to go al fresco dining.
Muscadet is a wine that seems to have slipped from view.
Once the go-to wine for mussels, it seems that Picpoul de Pinet from the south of France has stolen the limelight. That’s a shame because when it’s well made muscadet is a perfect summer wine – simple, dry white that doesn’t require too much thought and is a great match with shellfish.
Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2015, Champteloup (Waitrose £5.99 down from £7.99 until Tuesday) is just such a wine.
It’s fresh with citrus notes and a touch of saltiness, followed by a crisp, clean, refreshing finish. This is just crying out for some prawns to be thrown on the barbie and it’s great value while on offer.
Sauvignon blanc is in many ways the perfect summer white wine, with New Zealand leading the way. But if you are looking for a style that is slightly more elegant with a little less tropical fruit, then cool climate regions in the Cape are a place to seek out.
Paul Cluver Ferricrete Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Elgin (M&S £8 down from £12 until Tuesday) is produced in the cool Elgin region by one of the area’s leading producers.
This is all about elegance with grapefruit, gooseberry and a little blackcurrant leaf on the nose, followed by zesty, refreshing acidity and a lively finish. If you can still find some English asparagus this would be perfect. If not, how about with some sushi?
Chapel Down Bacchus 2014, England (Waitrose £9.99 down from £12.99 until Tuesday) is in many ways an English answer to sauvignon blanc.
Bacchus is a grape variety that can work well in English weather conditions and this wine from the Chapel Down Vineyard in Kent is an excellent example of just what can be achieved.
From a really good vintage this is fresh with lime and some tropical fruits on the nose followed by crunchy, lively acidity and a surprisingly long finish. Match this with salad or serve as an aperitif in the garden.
Lastly this week you may have to search for this wine a little but it’s currently my favourite summer white.
Mar de Frades Albariño 2015, Rias Biaxas ( £16 sommelierschoice.co.uk). It comes in a blue bottle, which may or may not remind you of a certain wine from the ’70s but there the similarity ends.
This wine recently came out top in a Decanter wine magazine tasting of albariños and it’s an absolute textbook example of this Spanish grape.
Very pure with notes of white peaches and citrus, it’s another wine with some salty hints in the background. The palate has a gorgeous texture with a long, fresh finish. The freshest seafood you can find would be a perfect accompaniment and of course... some sunshine!