Raise a glass to the arrival of summer with light red Rioja, white port and all things pink
Additional words: Mark de Wesselow
Beronia Mazuelo 2014
Spring lamb might be associated with Easter but the meat is at its most tender in May and June. And while a robust red such as Rioja might seem like the obvious match, the region’s oaked white wines and lighter styles of red are fantastic wines to see you through from spring into summer. We like this Beronia Mazuelo 2014. While nearly 80% of red grapes grown in Rioja are Tempranillo, this is made with the softer-flavoured Mazuelo grape (also known as Carignan), which has a refreshing mint note and touches of spice that is the perfect match for lamb.
Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé
Gone are the days when Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé was described by the wine press as a mere vin de plaisir. These days, this category is big business and LP has an iconic position in the rosé pantheon as a mark of quality. Its new, limited-edition ‘constellation’ encasement adds an extra sense of luxury and makes a scene-stealing gift too. Made from 100% Pinot Noir, the wine delivers complexity alongside elegance, with fresh red berries and fine bubbles. Pairs well with saucisson or spring rolls as well as red-fruit desserts.
Nice Pale Rosé
If you still haven’t got your head around wine coming in a screw-top bottle, then your mind will probably be blown by the news that you can now buy wine in a can. And while it might lack the romance of a bottle, there’s no denying that what canned wine lacks in visual impact, it more than makes up for in convenience (no glasses or corkscrews required!) and speed of chilling. Nice is the brainchild of two south Londoners who source their Pale Rosé from near Montpellier and their Sauvignon Blanc from Côtes de Gascogne. Both make for crisp and dry summer drinking whether you’re on a picnic, at the beach or just on the train home.
Taylor’s Chip Dry White Port
White port has been having a moment for a couple of years now and the same is expected this summer. The P&T makes a nice lower-alcohol, lower-cost alternative to a G&T. Mix two parts tonic (Fever-Tree for preference) to one part port, with plenty of ice and a generous slice of orange or lime, or a bruised sprig of mint, and enjoy the fresh fruit flavours, complex nuttiness and dry peppery finish. The sweetness of the port works perfectly with the dry tonic.
Thiénot Brut Rosé
This is a really classy pink Champagne from a boutique house that produces high quality wines across the range, sourced mainly from the Thiénot family’s own vineyards. It’s a delicate colour with attractive red-berry fruit and creamy texture all wrapped in bright acidity. What’s not to like?
£43.50, Champagnes and Chateaux