I promise you, I’m not pulling your leg, but British Summer Time is here. This morning at 1am, our clocks leapt forward by an hour, robbing us of an extra hour in bed. But in exchange for brighter evenings I’m fine with it – more time for evening sipping outdoors when the weather eventually warms up. To get us in the mood, jump into the scented seduction of fragrant white wines.
With its exuberant zing, Sauvignon Blanc is a bit of a no-brainer in this category, and while New Zealand still has some stunners, there are so many other Kiwi treats to consider – Te Awa Left Field Albariño Gisborne 2017 (13.5%) is a revelation for £12.99 from Cambridge Wine Merchants.
As for Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa is making some serious splendour. Leaf Plucker Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (13%), Aldi £6.99, belongs in your basket, as does Springfield Special Cuvée 2016 (12.5%), from £10.99 in Majestic.
For something a bit more mellow, if you think you’re over Chardonnay, think again and embrace fresh unoaked peachy examples such as Marks & Spencer’s Cascara Chardonnay 2016 (13.5%), £10, made by supremely talented Marcelo Retamal in Chile.
There are some great off-the-beaten track grapes too, such as Malagouzia from Greece or Slovenian Ribolla, which both feature in my recommendations this week (see right).
Portugal too remains bafflingly underrated for its quenching, Atlantic-influenced white wine – among my favourites is Soalheiro Alvarinho Vinho Verde 2016 (12.5%), which you can find at The Wine Society for £16. And it’s worth every penny.
But if there’s one nation that excels in gently scented whites, it’s got to be Italy. Tesco Finest Falanghina 2016 (13%) is a treasure of a wine for £9, or grab the Co-Op’s Irresistible Gavi 2016 (12.5%) for a sip that’s a pristine and as sharp and defined as a diamond – yours for £7.99.
Or how about the lightning-meets-lime-zest style of Teruzzi & Puthod Rondolino Vernaccia di San Gimigniano 2016 (12.5%) for £9.49 in Waitrose?
This has to be one of the loveliest ways to leap into summertime.