We may have had a wonderful summer but the bank holiday weekend usually signifies the end of the season.
Hopefully the weather will play ball and let us see the summer out in style, so whether it’s family gatherings, a last break to the seaside or just a simple barbecue in the garden, here are some wines to help you enjoy the last holiday weekend before Christmas – now that’s a sobering thought!
I’ve featured Mirabeau Pure Rosé 2017 Côtes de Provence (Waitrose, Ocado £13.99) before but it’s still one of my favourite summer rosés and is now also available in magnums (Waitrose £27.99) which are perfect for larger gatherings.
Its beautiful packaging almost says ‘drink me’, and shows off its classic Provence pretty pale colour to the full.
A blend of grenache and syrah, the nose is wonderfully fragrant with strawberry, grapefruit and even a hint of blackberries followed by more red fruits and citrus on the palate with a long, refreshing finish.
A perfect aperitif or match with a crab salad or some sushi.
Earth’s Essence Chenin Blanc 2017, Western Cape (Ocado £5.99 on offer from £9.99 until September 4, Aldi £5.99) is made by the KWV using a process which utilises rooibos and honeybush wood and is 100 per cent sulphur and preservative-free, so if you are someone who suffers from sulphur intolerance this is a great find.
There are notes of pear, apple and a touch of honey on the nose, followed by a crisp apple and citrus palate and a gentle finish.
This is a fresh, easy drinking wine for a summer salad or maybe some barbecued halloumi.
Viognier is a grape that almost smells of summer and Parcel Series Limestone Coast Viognier 2017 (Majestic £11.99 but £7.99 if part of a mixed six) hits all the right notes.
The bouquet is full of ripe peach and apricot blossom and a hint of tropical fruits, followed by a nicely textured palate with enough acidity to stop it becoming too ripe and overblown, which can often be the case with viogniers at this price level.
It works really well with coronation chicken or maybe a Moroccan chicken tagine.
Nero Oro Appassimento Nero d’Avola 2017, Sicilia (Majestic £9.99 but £8.99 if part of a mixed six) is made by a process more often associated with the much more expensive amarone wines of the Veneto region.
The Nero d’Avola grapes are left on the vine a little longer than usual, and once picked they are dried on racks giving them a higher sugar content.
This results in a rich, riper style of wine, with lots of dark fruits and a touch of spice on the nose, followed by a warm, full bodied palate with layers of dark fruits and a rich, smooth finish.
Not a subtle wine, but good value which would work well with some smoky, sticky ribs on the barbecue or a rich homemade lasagne.