Wines that taste good in the sun, and that doesn't mean just white or rosé!
There are some amazing reds you can drink properly chilled or after just an hour in the fridge. For example two new arrivals created by Elisabetta Foradori. In 2017 the Foradori vineyards in Trentino Alto Adige were hit heavily by hail and Lezer (£19.50 per bottle) is the result of experimenting with a much shorter maceration of grape juice on the skins. The result is a summer delight. Pale in colour, light in body but no lightweight in flavour. Unlitro (£19.25) is from Ampeleia in Costa Toscana. Refreshing and joyful and packed in a litre bottle for added fun!
Other reds you could enjoy chilled include Lo Petit Fantet d'Hippoyte (£11.75), from Corbiéres, Domaine Lapierre's Raisin Gaulois (14.95), delicious, crunchy Gamay from Beaujolais, or Les Petit Clément Rouge (£8.95) from Côtes du Tarn.
Other new wines recently arrive include a pair from Free Run Juice in South Australia. Frankly Aussie wines at this price point can be a bit hard work and not a lot of fun but Samurai Shiraz and Chardonnay (both £10.50) are a breath of fresh air. The Chardonnay "tastes like rain on a hot day..." which, unusually, has to be a good thing this summer.
Merayo Godello (£12.80) is from the Bierzo region of Spain, directly north of Portugal. The wine reflects the unique mix of Atlantic cool and Spanish heat. The Merayo family has been growing grapes for five generations but it's the current generation, Pedro, who has really taken things to the next level. Perfect with fish.
From the other side of Spain, in Alicante, Tragolargo (£11.50) is a fruity, easy, dare we say, smashable red made from Monastrell. Rafa Bernabé (pictured above) isn't as well known as Don Quixote perhaps but in certain circles he's equally legendary for his pioneering natural winemaking. He's setting aside his hero cape and retiring though and has passed production of this to his neighbours at Vinessens. They're doing a fantastic job.
We’ve said it before and will no doubt carry on saying it but Portugal is crazily undiscovered. Maybe it's the unknown grape varieties in an increasingly varietally labelled market - these two wines certainly eschew any of the "international" varieties. But maybe that's what helps it be crazily good value! Ai Galera Poeticoand Mistico (both £7.50) a red and white grown in the Tejo region south of Lisbon are certainly that and delightfully drinkable.