Top 30 wines for summer

We choose the best wines for garden parties, picnics, and the best summer fizz

Amelia Pinsent rounds up the best 30 wines for summer, by event, from garden parties to barbecues, picnics and summer fizz so you have the right tipple to hand wherever you go.


2009 Mas Oller Mar, DO Empordà, Spain (£11.99)
A floral treat with honeysuckle and apple blossom from a tiny region in Catalonia between the Mediterranean coast and the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenées. Virgin Wines (0845 543 8864;

2008 Chablis, Christian Moreau Père et Fils (£14.25)
This could easily be mistaken for a premier cru and, served ice-cold, has more than enough gravitas to handle a range of canapés, too. Haynes, Hanson & Clark (020-7584 7927;

2009 Apremont Les Rocailles Vin de Savoie, France (£8.49)
It’s rare to see Savoie wines on English shelves, so this is a real treat. It has a lovely orchard-fruit perfume and a crisp, fresh finish. Waitrose

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Seppeltsfield Para 21-yearold Tawny, Australia (£19)
A slightly lighter and fresher style than the traditional Tawny ports, Para 21 year old is perfectly suited to strawberry jams and Cornish clotted-cream teas. Planet of the Grapes (020-7929 7224;

2009 Domaine Saparale Rosé Vin de Corse, Sartène, Corsica (£11.75)
A wonderful colour with subtle notes of summer berries, a hint of minerality and a fragrant finish. Yapp Brothers (01747 860423;

2009 Sauvignon Blanc Le Zuccole Puiatti, Friuli, Italy (£12.85)
This Sauvignon Blanc from cool northern Italy is wonderful. Le Zuccole has lime and pear notes with a hint of chalky limestone. (08445 445464;

2009 Château St Baillon Réserve du Château, Côtes de Provence Rosé, France (£9.01 per bottle, magums £19.98 or double magnums £52.88)
This is a rosé that melts your heart with its petal-pink hue. The fresh, thirst-quenching nectar features notes of ripe watermelons, cranberries and summer fruit. Goedhuis & Co (020-7793 7900; 2009 Los Vilos Cabernet

Sauvignon, Central Valley, Chile (£5.70)
Supple tannins, notes of blackcurrant and a cool finish. A versatile and refreshing red wine, ideally poured slightly chilled with roast-beef sandwiches. Haynes, Hanson & Clark (as before)


2007 Bourgogne Rouge Pinot Noir Domaine Des Maréchaudes, Burgundy, France (£9.99)
Clean and soft with a lively centre of juicy red fruits- perfect for garden dinners of spare ribs and lamb fillets threaded on rosemary. Oddbins (0800 328 2323;

2006 Musella Valpolicella Superiore, Veneto, Italy (£11.99)
Italian reds complement tomato-based or sweet-and-sour marinades. This is a classic blend of Corvina and Rondinella. Virgin Wines (as before)

Château de Sours Rosé, Bordeaux (£9.99)
This shade of pink is spot on with summery flavours, with its flinty minerality and dry finish. Delicious with grilled prawns or veal chops. Goedhuis & Co (as before)

2008 Pazo Señorans Albariño, DO Galicia, Spain (£14.49)
Best ice-cold with barbecued seafood, it’s a medley of peach and pear fruit with flecks of citrus. Virgin Wines (as before)

2007 Château Unang, Côtes du Ventoux, France (£8.33)
The truffley nose on this Grenache, Carignan and Syrah blend is typical of the Ventoux, tinged with liquorice and black cherries. Perfect with fillet steaks and Jersey Royals. Hicks & Don (01747 824292;

2007 Domaine Filliatreau Saumur Champigny Vieilles Vignes, Loire, France (£14.50)
Loire Cabernet Franc has a natural affinity for barbecues. Try it with anything cooked with a Tandoor influence. If it’s balmy out, chill it for 10 minutes in an ice bucket. Yapp Brothers (as before)

2007 Errazuriz Single Vineyard Carmenère, Chile (£14.99)
This reminds me of the joys of well-crafted Carmenère and its twisting, savoury sous bois notes and autumnal forest fruits. Great with a hog roast or a paprikabased marinated pork chop. Stone, Vine & Sun (01962 712351;

2007 Alsace Riesling Vieilles Vignes (£8.99)
This old-vine Riesling is from Turckheim, one of the top Alsace co-operatives. It has texture adding to the lime blossom and slate core. One for grilled vegetables with Haloumi cheese, but is also a perfect partner for shellfish. Sainsbury’s


2009 Wither Hills Pinot Gris, Wairau Valley, New Zealand (£9.99)
The quince and pear notes are underpinned by a fine backbone of acidity. Great for Coronation chicken or dressed crab, but test it with terrine and watch it blossom. Waitrose

2009 Camel Valley Bacchus, Cornwall, England (£10.99)
Bacchus, England’s heroic grape variety, seems to enjoy our cooler climate and retains fine acidity balanced against notes of elderflower and gooseberries. At its best with a crisp green garden salad. Waitrose

2009 Stone Rock Sauvignon Blanc, Entre deux Mers, France (£7.99)
A clean, verdant white with gravelly notes. It’s great value and a match with asparagus and goat’s cheese. Oddbins(as before)

2009 St Hallett, Gamekeeper’s Reserve, South Australia (£7.99)
The secret ingredient here is a dash of the Barossa-grown Portuguese variety Touriga Nacional into the final blend of Syrah and Grenache. Try it with sausages or cooked ham. Sainsbury’s, Waitrose

2008 Yalumba, The Scribbler Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz, Barossa Valley, SouthAustralia (£9.99)
A display of Cabernet’s perfume of juicy blackcurrants. The Shiraz brings savoury granite and blackolive seasoning, which balancesthe ripe fruit, and it finishes with fine dusty tannins and a pinch of menthol eucalyptus. A wine for carnivores, but will also be a knockout with a ploughman’s. Oddbins, Noel Young Wines (01223 566744;

2007 Babich Syrah, Gimblett Gravels, New Zealand (£8.44)
With peaty, blueberry undertones and a dark inky concentration, this is the ultimate red to sip drowsily on a picnic rug in the shade, accompanied by a range of French cheeses. Tesco 2009

Domain Begude Pinot Rosé, Limoux, France (£7.49)
This is a different style to the Provence rosés-with more colour and concentration, it’s the ultimate solution to the red or white wine dilemma. With fragrant Morello cherry notes and a hint of redcurrants, this dry wine is delicious with charcuterie or on its own as an aperitif. Majestic Wine (01923 298200;

2008 Craggy Range Zebra Vineyard Pinot Noir, Central Otago (£17.49 or £13.99 if you buy two NZ wines)
An elegant Pinot that gives the traditional French wines a run for their money. Treat this as you would a fine premier cru Burgundy-one to impress guests with at Glyndebourne or bring out for a special occasion. Majestic Wine (as before)


2007 Camel Valley ‘Cornwall’ Brut, England (£19.95)
Hooray for our new national tipple-English sparkling wines. An elegant blend of Seyval Blanc and Reichensteiner, Camel Valley has a faint whiff redolent of a pear orchard with a long and refreshing finish. Camel Valley (01208 77959;

NV Puiatti Blanc de Blancs Brut, Friuli, Italy (£15.95)
A sparkling Chardonnay from Giovanni Piuatti that has an appealing gritty texture, a crisp, citrus zestiness on the palate and a silken, honeydew-melon finish. (0844 544 5464)

NV Jansz Premium Rosé, Tasmania, Australia (£11.99)
A summer-scented, wild-berry and lavender-imbued sparkler. Light and summery. Selfridges, Cambridge Wine Merchants (01223 568993;

NV Bollinger Rosé, Champagne (£59)
This is such a serious wine that it’s hard to find words to describe its ethereal nature. The austere minerality and crunchy red fruits gently reveal themselves in a glittering, graceful vision of elegance. Waitrose

NV Aubry Brut,Champagne (£24.95)This is a deliciously sumptuous blend of all three of the Champagne varieties-the lemony core is softened by a gentle roll of bubbles and it’s refreshingly dry, with interesting notes of raspberry and vanilla. A great house Champagne. Hanford Wines (020-7581 2983;

2004 Taste the Difference Vintage Champagne (£19.99)
It’s nearly impossible to find vintage Champagne for under £20, so hurrah-here it is! This toasted-nut and brioche fizz has the perfect balance of fruit and dusty minerality. Invest in a few bottles as this will only improve with a few more years, and will become the ultimate summer treat.

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