what to drink in the warmer weather - summery reds and crisp rosés


Okay it’s a rare event but occasionally we witness a sunny, summery day here in Oxfordshire. Like many others, we often turn to a delicious chilled rosé to make the most of the situation. Other than that, a few olives and the weekend paper don’t go astray!

Best drunk as young as possible, rosés do not improve in the bottle. With age they can lose their fruit (not good) and you end up with flabby, dull plonk. So don’t fall into the trap of buying a  reduced price rosé from 3 years ago!

There’s also a lot of talk about summer red wines to drink slightly chilled. So what qualifies? Wines with low tannins such as Beaujolais, Valpolicella Classico, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc will suit a little chill when the weather is warm. Look for fresher styles, with good primary fruit, rather than complex, robust, savoury styles such as Reserva Rioja or an oaky Shiraz. About 20-30 minutes in the fridge is all you need. Then it’s flip-flops on, fire up the barbie, tropical shirt, Agadoo!

Here's a few wines that have been tickling our fancy in the (slightly warmer weather). The reds I've listed are all good summer reds that will benefit from a bit of a chill. Apologies for the random image sizes - one day I'll resize them when I've finished dusting all the shelves.


St Pierre Cuvee Tradition [click here] With a wonderfully pale salmon pink colour and aromas of white peach and hints of spice to start with, that then develop into more tropical fruits. These all come through on the palate with a lovely and well balanced acidity, as would expect from a Provence rose.

Pierre Chainier '1749' Rose d'Anjou [click here]

Pale strawberry pink in colour, this has delicate summer pudding aromas and a round medium-dry palate with balancing but delicate acidity. This wine proves that rose does not need to be bone dry. We love this wine alongside berries and fruit salad.

 Balland Coteaux du Giennois Rose Les Beaux Jours [click here]

Emile Balland started his domaine in 1999 and today has just 5ha of vineyard, though his family have been making wine in the Loire since 1650. The vast majority of his holdings are in the relatively unknown Coteaux du Giennois with both chalky and flinty soils allowing Emile to blend inexpensive wines that deliver surprising amounts of complexity and concentration. A wine that seriously over delivers offering a LOT of Sancerre type character for not a lot of money.

Julienas-Chaintre Fleurie [click here]

Classic Fleurie on the nose with big hints of violets, dried fruits and subtle oak. Light on the palate but by no means a slouch, cranberry and red fruit flavours show with an underlying florality.

Intense ruby in colour.  On the nose this Fleurie delivers aromas of violets and dried currants with hints of oak.  Light on the palate, a touch of cranberry and red fruit come through with underlying floral notes on the finish.  Classic balance of clean, refreshing acidity and well-structured tannin on the finish.

Snapper Rock Pinot Noir, Marlborough [click here]
Bright garnet in colour. Perfumed nose of fresh cherries, cinnamon and all spice with savoury undertones. Spicy tannins are matched with pure crushed red berries and dried herbs on the palate. Persistant flavours of tamarillo lead onto a lingering dry mineral finish. 

Taking its name from the vineyard "del Sindic", one of the best areas for growing the Dolcetto its charm immediately strikes the drinker. The intense ruby red colour has wonderful nuances and the bouquet is full and fruity.

To be savoured with proper attention to discover the full-bodied, velvety and pleasantly dry taste that perfectly accompanies all meals from hot appetizers to pasta dishes or grilled meats.