From extreme heat to colossal storms, it's enough to turn a man to drink | WINE with Alistair Gibson
As I wrote this week’s column the Met Office issued its first extreme heat warning.
Yes, it’s hot out there and it made me think about what wines we should be reaching for when the temperatures soar.
It’s not a great time for red wine drinkers, unless you are happy to go with lighter reds and chill them, rosé obviously has a place but to my mind refreshing white wines with relatively high acidity are the wines to reach for.
Sauvignon blanc is a fairly safe bet here, it has naturally high acidity and is also very much a crowdpleaser if you have company.
Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Marlborough (Ocado £18.99, Harvey Nichols £19) is from a 24 hectare vineyard that was purchased in 2012 by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, one of the most well-known names in French wine.
Rimapere is Maori for ‘five arrows’ which is the Rothschild family emblem, and this is definitely classy wine, a real step up from so many of the Marlborough sauvignon blancs found in supermarket wine aisles.
The nose offers pink grapefruit, lime zest, tomato stalk and passion fruit, the palate is nicely structured with crunchy gooseberries, lime and some underlying minerality along with crisp acidity before a long, refreshing finish.
This is a delicious summer white and would pair well with seafood salads, Asian influenced seafood dishes or we drank it with some Brie from the Rothschild’s family farm which was a wonderful and perhaps surprising combination.
The Pebble Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Val de Loire (Tesco £9) is a wine from the Loire Valley which it has to be said is made with more than a nod to Marlborough sauvignon blanc.
There is going to be a shortage of New Zealand sauvignon blanc later in the year due to a very small 2021 harvest and this is the type of wine that may well benefit from that.
The bouquet certainly grabs your attention with ripe tropical fruits, including passion fruit and guava, followed by more ripe fruit on the palate but with enough zesty acidity to keep it nicely balanced. Simple summer white to try this with some garlic prawns or how about a bowl of chilled gazpacho?
How about Greek wines? They are increasingly found on shelves and let’s be honest the Greeks should know a thing or two about hot weather.
The Wine Society has been championing a range of Greek wines this year and Lafazanis Geometria Malagouzia 2019 (thewinesociety.co. £10.95) is part of that range. Malagouzia is a grape variety here, an indigenous Greek variety and this is from the Peloponnese region. It is unoaked and quite aromatic with ripe peach and apricot fruits and citrus notes, the palate is quite broad with more ripe orchard fruits along with a definite streak of salinity and some mouth-watering acidity on the finish. It would work with a Greek salad or some simply grilled squid. This is great value and a lovely summer wine.
A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.
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