The best wines for alfresco dining

Summer 2018: a much-needed heatwave, the roses are probably the best they’ve ever been, and football almost came home. Our region’s open spaces are awash with row upon row of the finest floral sundresses, shirts and shades, there’s nothing like enjoying the great outdoors. One squirt of factor 50 and you’re off! Now is the time to invite friends and family over to dine alfresco because there’s nothing better than sipping something splendid in the garden, whilst showing off your flora and fauna. That is, of course, after you’ve hunted through the shed looking for the furniture, only to find it’s looking beyond its best, or resident to a rather large spider.

Cool summer drinks come into their own at this time of year and we’re all on the lookout for something full of zest and zing to plonk into our ice buckets. You can’t beat the pop of a cork on a bottle of fizz whilst revelling in that splendid sparkle, however a glass of zippy cider or a chance to grin with some gin might also be right up your street.

So, if you’re on a mission to find some sizzling summer sippers, here’s the lowdown on what to serve

whilst the sun has got his hat on!

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Bottle of Mirabeau Pure Magnum, France
Mirabeau Pure Magnum, France

Mirabeau Pure Magnum, France

Alas, a magnum of marvellous Mirabeau magic for the centrepiece of your garden table. This magnum (that’s two bottles in one) of rosé makes the perfect talking point for your summer celebrations. Inside the impressive bottle you’ll find a rosé with all the irresistible hallmarks of Provence’s most princely pinks.

Bottle of Breaky Bottom Brut, Sussex, England
Breaky Bottom Brut, Sussex, England

Breaky Bottom Brut, Sussex, England

With all this hot weather we’ve had, experts are predicting that this will be the best ever year for English wine so why not pop open a glass of English extravagance with this South Downs splendour? Breaky Bottom sits in a beautiful secluded fold in the chalk Downs at the end of a 1 ½ mile farm track

– wonderfully remote; and with free-draining chalk soils, an ideal site to produce stylish fizz. A floral, elegant style made using 100% Seyval Blanc grapes, with clean crisp apple flavours supported by lovely biscuity notes.

Bottle of Bird in Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir, Australia
Bird in Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir, Australia

Bird in Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir, Australia

Run along T’pau with your china in your hand, there’s a new kid on the block. This light and refreshing fizz is salmon pink in colour with a lively palate that evokes flavours of fresh summer fruits. A delicate bead leads to a crisp, clean finish. The perfect pre-dinner apéritif or celebratory drink.

Bottle of Moncaro Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Italy
Moncaro Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Italy

Moncaro Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Italy

A classic Italian white wine that’s light in style and deliciously refreshing. The intrinsic almond and citrus flavours make this Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi a fresh crisp white with a long finish.

Bottle of Domaine de Sainte Rose Coquille d'Oc Blanc, France
Domaine de Sainte Rose Coquille d’Oc Blanc, France

Domaine de Sainte Rose Coquille d’Oc Blanc, France

This eminently drinkable white wine has wonderful peachy aromatics and a surprisingly rich finish. Zingy citrus fruit flavours accompany savoury, spicy and herbal notes.

Bottle of Beronia Rueda Verdejo, Spain
Beronia Rueda Verdejo, Spain

Beronia Rueda Verdejo, Spain

Tired of pouring the same old Pinot Grigio all the time? Then it’s time to try something different. I give you this exceptional white wine from the up and coming Rueda region of North West Spain. Made collaboratively by two highly commended Spanish winemakers Beatriz Paniagua and Matias Calleja, it’s bursting at the seams with zesty citrus flavours and complemented by a refreshing and satisfying finish.

Bottle of Recchia Bardolino, Italy
Recchia Bardolino, Italy

Recchia Bardolino, Italy

Quite simply, my house red for the summer. Or should I say ‘summer house’ red? Light and aromatic with a redcurrant and sour-cherry tang. Corvina grapes bring body and structure to the wine, whilst this is also the ideal candidate for lightly chilling in the fridge before serving.

Domaine Paul Blanck Pinot Noir, France

A rare arrival on our shores this Alsatian Pinot Noir is refreshingly light-bodied with ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit notes and a delicate smokiness. As with the previous red, serve slightly chilled.

Bottle of Offley Rosé Port
Offley Rosé Port

Offley Rosé Port

This unusual rosé port combines the delicacy of rosé wine with the elegance of good port – a versatile wine that takes port into unexplored areas. Aromas of tropical fruits, it is fresh with mango and guava flavours.

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