We all like to sit in the sun and sip something delicious, so whether you're a lover of white, rose, fizz, or even red, we've come up with our suggestions for true crowd-pleaser wines perfect for that picnic, early evening social, or just to savour on your own after a hard day's work.
Also known as "Green Wine", Vinho Verde is known for being a great value youthful white wine with lots of fresh acidity, lower alcohol, and sometimes a hint of fizz, making it a favoured choice for summer picnics. The region sits in the northern coastal area of Portugal and can use a range of native grapes. Vinho Verde wines typically show similar fresh flavours; lemon, lime, grapefruit, melon, pear, apple, and possible light florals.
Our popular Adega Guimaraes Vinho Verde uses gentle crushing and soft skin maceration for a naturally aromatic, fresh wine. Green apple and citrus fruit sit at the fore of the bouquet and flavours, with refreshingly crisp taste and a hint of fizz. Passatempo Vinho Verde is crisp, light, refreshing, and mouth-watering wine that bursts with crisp green fruit, refreshing minerality and a hint of sparkle. Este Vinho Verde blends grapes from the Lima Valley for lots of fruity aromas and a palate that hints at slight sweetness with soft spice, lifted acidity and lingering fruit on the finish.
Italy's favourite white grape is a refreshing, easy drinking favourite the world over. Refreshing acidity with typical citrus, green apple, pear and honeydew melon make it an easy choice for summer drinking. When creating a rose wine, red berry flavours such as strawberry and raspberry come forward, but without compromising any of the zesty crispness.
Casa Defra harvest grapes from the stunning Berici Hills in Vicenza, Veneto for both their white and rose Pinot Grigio. The white is ight and vibrant with zesty, citrus character, notes of green apple and tropical pineapple, whilst the rose has a similarly crisp and fragrant palate with hints of strawberry and a succulent finish.
The Lady from Ferro 13 is one of our finest Pinot Grigio wines, with grapes carefully sourced from the Delle Venezie hills before 3 months on lees with continuous batonage, and resting before bottling.
A wine full of citrus and excellent acidity, the palate layers lime, lemon, grapefruit, subtle melon and florals for a perfect summer sip.
Ke Bonta Pinot Grigio white and rose spend 4-5 months on fine lees before bottling for a textured mouthfeel and extra ripeness in flavour, without compromising on its refreshing minerality, alongside green fruit, apricot, fresh strawberry and raspberry respectively.
Outside of Italy, Merry Mole may be Moldovan, but their Pinot Grigio rivals Veneto. An off dry palate shows apple, juicy white pear and honeydew melon, whilst their pale Pinot Grigio Rose is sumptuously dry with fresh strawberry and soft florals balancing perfectly with zesty lemon and minerality.
The ultimate country to reflect the perfect Mediterranean coastal holiday, Greece has been producing wines to sip on the sunny beach for many years, with a range of native grapes that never fail to please. Roditis, Moschofilero and Assyrtiko are favoured for white wines. Tsimbidi Voltes use the first two with short maceration on fine lees for a wine of subtle complexity, imparting freshly-cut flowers, green apple and juicy stone fruit alongside crisp minerality. Gaia blend all three grapes from high elevation vineyards for a fresh, light wine with florals, zesty grapefruit, green apple and peach kernel character.
Red blends can also make for good summer sippers, with Agiorgitiko and Mavroudi popular grapes. Tsimbidi Voltes blend both for a fairly light bodied wine with red and black fruits and sweet spice balanced by fresh acidity and soft tannins. Gaia use just Agiorgitiko in an unoaked style for a refreshing red of velvety texture with abundant red and black fruits reminiscent of summer pudding. Gaia also use Agiorgitiko for their rose wine, with cold crushing and fermentation for youthful refreshment, with rose petals, pomegranate, strawberry, vivid cherry and lifted crisp acidity.
The Beaujolais region sits at the southern tip of the Burgundy region in France, and has found its forte in the production of ultra-light red wines made from the Gamay grape. Wines can be labelled simply Beaujolais, and higher Crus will be labelled with their village, such as Brouilly or Fleurie. Their light, fruity character with good acidity and few tannins, makes Beaujolais a red that can be enjoyed in the sun with lighter meals.
Domaine de Milhomme's Cuvee le Murier is a riper example, with cherry, blackberry and blackcurrant alongside supple tannins. Domaine dit Barron Brouilly is elegant and refined, with firm texture, gentle red cherry, plum, dark chocolate and subtle raspberry, all backed up by excellent minerality. Domaine de Montangeron harvest the finest Gamay grapes from the Fleurie Cru for the lightest, most floral example. Rose petal, violet and iris balance red berries, blackcurrant and spicy nuances for a wine brimming with silky finesse.
CHILL OUT RED
As we know, red wines have a tremendous breadth of style. There are some that can even be served chilled during the warmer months, without losing their full flavour. This is particularly more common with red wines that are near-natural or with slight sweetness, where fruit and acidity outweigh tannins.
Romania's Solara blends Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with natural fermentation, a short time in French oak, and bottling without filtration, fining, or added sulphur. This creates a natural wine with raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry and bubblegum, alongside refreshing acidity and soft tannins. Spain's Raw produces wine to the highest eco-friendly standards. Their red blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and just a dash of Merlot for an easy-drinking wine with full body, excellent acidity, black and tart cherry, and a hint of spice.
If you'd prefer chilled semi-sweet reds, Georgia, the home of wine, is known for its expertise. Tbilvino Pirosmani is our most popular, made from native Saperavi grapes in this semi-sweet style named after the famous Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani - a wine connoisseur. A lovely, soft, round wine with ripe bramble and damson fruit, a hint of spice and just enough grip on the finish. Back to Romania, Folklore's Calusarii vinifies Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to be luxuriously sweet, with elegant black and red cherry, dark chocolate, and a discreet nutty flavour on an embellished finish.
Finally, if you want a bubbly treat we've selected a few of our lightest options, perfect when served ice cold. Fresita has a wonderful sparkling wine base blended with the natural strawberry pulp from small, freshly-picked Patagonian strawberries harvested at the foot of the Andes. Luscious strawberries abound, but do not overpower its freshness and delicacy.
There are many prosecco wines to choose from, but Bella Modella with its touch of sweetness and rounded, fruity character is a good crowd pleaser. Deliciously frothy with ripe apple and citrus fruit character before a crisp finish. If you just want a summer picnic-sized bottle of prosecco, you can't et finer than Villa Sandi Il Fresco. Fruity and flowery with delicate citrus, it is fresh and lively in the mouth.
For a fuller, drier wine, Luis Pato's Maria Gomes uses Portuguese Baga grapes for the finest Brut, fresh fizz. Lovely sweet-floral fruits aromas are complemented by a touch of toasty biscuit character. Fine bubbles on the textured palate, packed with apple, fresh lemon, white plum and white flowers.