Summer drinking tends to be predictable. Tradition tells us to buy reds that are muscular enough “to fight the good fight” with vigorously barbecued steak; sauvignon blanc has become their conventional summertime companion.
But take advantage of the current Majestic promotions to try something different – especially as doing so needn’t cost a fortune.
A white with a welcome identity crisis
Italy knows a thing or two about sunshine so why not treat yourself to a stylish summer white from just outside that country's designated Gavi area – especially as no one told the grapes about the official boundary line!
Gavi-like 2014 Araldica Cortese (£5.99 – instead of £7.99) is smooth, fresh and delicate with a textured, nutty mineral edge to add complexity to its spicy apple and tangy textured plum flavours.
Versatile light and fresh reds
Sticking with the wines of Piemonte, turn convention on its head this year and take a light-bodied, fruit-driven red into the garden – even when the barbecue is fired up for action.
From Barolo’s neighbour, 2013 Maretti Langhe Rosso(£8.99 instead of £11.99) is an attractive fruity red with assertive acidity behind its blackberry and raspberry fruit and minty, aniseed touches that enliven its surprisingly firm tannin.
A come-back kid that’s perfect for summer
Last century’s Vinho Verde tended to be bland and excessively sweet – but its re-invented format provides a lively and expressive wine that will astonish traditionalists.
They should give the style another try with 2014 Casal de Ventozela Vinho Verde (£6.66 – instead of £9.99) which keeps the original light, fresh, tongue-tingling apple qualities but updates them with richness and a gently acidic lemon edge.
Another white – another identity crisis
For many folk Pedro Ximenez is just an astonishingly sweet sherry grape; however, its South American namesake (apparently no relation) actually creates dry and delicate white wine.
Indeed, 2014 Vina Mayo Pedro Ximenez (£6.99 – instead of £10.49) from Chile’s Elqui Valley will enhance any post-work drink or sunny afternoon in the garden with its aromatic lemon fruit, savoury depth and smooth, cumin influenced finish.
Not forgetting red wine traditionalists
If all those unfamiliar names are outside your comfort zone, here are a couple of more conventional reds that still offer first rate drinking.
2011 Finca Carelio Tempranillo Barrica (£6.66 – instead of £9.99) from Castilla y Leon has intense cherry fruit and loganberry influenced acidity along with oak derived smoothness, vanilla and sweeter spices.
And, since we are never more than a couple of corkscrew's lengths from good value, presentable wine from Southern France, here comes another great one – 2014 Alain Grignon Vieilles Vignes (£5.99 – down from £7.99) – with its fresh, bright cherry and plum fruit and blackcurrant touches to add acidity to its uncomplicated liquorice and vanilla.
Now for the legals ….. the minimum purchase from Majestic is six bottles mixed any way you like and the prices quoted involve buying two or more bottles of that wine – although different arrangements do apply in Scotland. Finally, “prices valid until….” dates appear below each picture which, if you click on it, will provide an enlarged image to help you locate the wine in store.
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