News, Culture & Society

Brimming with fruit but not too boozy, they’re the perfect… reds under the sunbed! 

Brimming with fruit but not too boozy, they’re the perfect… reds under the sunbed!

Fruity reds are great for warmer weather, forgiving when it comes to glugging with food and good value too. But some of them can be so sweet you can hear your dentist weeping from 16 miles away, or at the other end of the scale, so light you might as well be drinking water with red paint in it. To avoid these pitfalls it pays to pick bottles with bolder flavour but without being so heavy and boozy that you feel as if you’re locked in a sauna wrestling a fruity duvet. But do such wine grails even exist?

You bet. I’ve been banging on about how much I love Beaujolais at the top Cru level, and if you pick the right one you can splash about in it for hours and you won’t want to come out. Château de Pizay Morgon 2016 (13%) starts at £9.99 in Majestic (its mix six price) and it’s all you’ll ever need for a fruity red that’ll have your sipping sorted through these warmer weeks. It’s silky and firm as a couple of black cherries bouncing around in the world’s tastiest tombola.

But look further south in France to the Languedoc and you find wines brimming with soft fruity flavour at prices that frankly leave me gobsmacked. The Saint-Chinian I’m recommending from the Wine Society this week is so good I felt like worshipping the splendidly named wine buyer Marcel Orford-Williams at a recent tasting. I kept it together with ‘Crikey, that wine is lovely’, which I think kept my dignity – and his – intact.

Beyond France, Spain too has wonderful fruity reds with decent presence and impact. Bobal is one to watch that’s being made in ever-fruitier incarnations, but for a dependable source, Garnacha is incredible – just make sure the booze level hovers around 13.5% and avoid bottles that are saturated with woody flavours from oak barrels. Across the seas, Chile’s cooler regions have great opportunities, whether coastal, mountainous or down south towards the glaciers.

And remember New Zealand – if you’re prepared to splash a little deeper in the cash box, its reds can be as fruity as they are fine. Plenty of grails to choose from.