Tempted to reach for the Sauvignon Blanc, but fancy a change or a talking point at the BBQ? Why not try some of these refreshing options?
Picpoul de Pinet
This warmth loving grape comes from the Languedoc in the south of France. Amazingly, it managed to stay crisp and refreshing despite the intense summer heat. Its name means ‘lip stinger’ in the local dialect, referring to its amazing ability to retain acidity. The vineyard areas around Pinet specialise in it. Becoming increasingly fashionable on wine lists around the UK, its not hard to see why. Attractive floral profile, with lemon and lime flavours which make it ideal with seafood or grilled chicken.
The best expression of this comes from Sardinia in Italy. It has lovely crisp green apple, grapefruit and lemon/lime flavours, often with a touch of herbaceous character. The effect of the sea supposedly gives it a distinctive salty mineral tang too. It is also normally quite low in alcohol, at around 11-12.5%abv. Goes a treat with any grilled fish or meats coated in Mediterranean herbs and lemon.
A home grown hit. This German variety is named after the Greco-Roman god of wine and has really taken to the English climes. Our version of Sauvignon Blanc. Expect elderflower, citrus and gooseberry but with a slightly softer edge to the acidity. Never cheap but is competitively priced against many New Zealand offerings. Some major supermarkets stock it, but often easier to purchase online direct from vineyards themselves.
This variety is from the Rueda in North West Spain. Freshness is paramount in this grape, so they are often harvested at night or early morning at cooler temperatures to preserve its aromas. Soft textured, yet full bodied and pungent with flavours of citrus, stone fruit and melon. Delicious and often great value in comparison to its more famous neighbour, Albariño.
Not always sickly sweet, although the nose often fools your brain into thinking that. Dry versions have all the same delicacy and perfume with a grapey, stone fruit, citrus peel and floral character. The best ones balance these wonderful aromatics with crisp acidity. The classic region for this style is Alsace, though for slightly cheaper expressions look to Chile or Spain.
Juan Gil Moscato Seco, Reserve Wines Manchester, £12, 14%abv