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Going light and fresh for Summer

Summer is the time for lighter reds and acid charged (but slightly restrained) whites. Today’s post features them both.

June usually starts the “hibernation” season for those hearty, red wines.

They can now patiently await the cooler, darker evenings of September.

Light bodied reds lower in alcohol – often slightly chilled – come into their own about now.

They have less tannin, are less weighty and seem better suited to the more casual outdoor and warm-weather lifestyle of summertime.

For whites, zesty version with palate cleansing, high acidity work well especially if they are quite high in citrus flavours.

While that argues convincingly for sauvignon blanc, a relaxed atmosphere perhaps calls for something less intense than full-on Marlborough versions.

Today’s selections meet all those needs so make sure that one (or both) of them find a comfortable place by a deck chair near you.

Once again, pictures and hyperlinks are included where possible to make it easier to track down the wine in question.

First, a lime charged but measured sauvignon.

2022 La Corriente Sauvignon Blanc (currently £6.50 – instead of £7 – at Asda and 12.5%):

The previous vintage of this wine won Silver at the 2022 International Wine Challenge, and that standard seems to have been maintained this time around.

When compared to Kiwi sauvignon blanc, Chilean versions like this are often less intense, more herbaceous and, crucially perhaps, can be cheaper like-for-like.

Aromatic with a rounded texture, this example has, as its centrepiece, soft grapefruit, apple and tropical fruit flavours.

It is supercharged with good lime acidity and given depth by a touch of green pepper and the long finish that so impressed the judges in that previous vintage.

Now for a little-known (but “summer-ready”) red.

2021 Taste the Difference Marzemino (£7 – instead of £9 until 13 June – at Sainsbury’s and 12.5%): 

Marzemino is a popular red wine grape in Northern Italy (this one is from Trentino) that works well in cool climates with well-drained soil.

Its floral fruitiness and good retention of acidity makes it perfect summer drinking (ideally, as I suggested earlier, lightly chilled).

Dark in colour but light in body, this example displays intense cherry, elderberry and raspberry flavours supported by sharp acidity.

Those elements are neatly complemented here by supplementary touches of caramel, cinnamon and mint.

NB: Promotions tend to end a day early on the website.

Join me again on Thursday when I apply my “Discounter Discoveries” approach to the wines of Morrisons.

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14 Responses

  1. Been having very chill weather here on the east coast of late as the rest of the country basks … but yesterday we did eat out as the temperature got up to a massive 18’C !!!!! Had a mixed paella and opened a bottle of guess what?? Ta daaaa … the TTD Marzimeno. Usually have one in the rack bought last on a double dip at around £5.25. So little on supermarket shelves of anything else from Trentino-Alto Adige I’ve liked it from day-one and they seem to have preserved the integrity over different vintages. Will stock up again on the next 25%er and hope the shelf price is still £7 Highly recommendable …I agree Brian.

  2. It’s helpful to have a recommendation for a good summer-drinking light red and I look forward to trying the TTD Marzemino. It’s been very hot here in the Westcountry and I’ve been enjoying the M&S Zweigelt from Austria – so not far from Trentino – again lightly chilled.

  3. Hi Rebecca and good to hear from you as always. Coincidentally that was exactly what I had yesterday (with chicken escalope) and it will undoubtedly be a Friday treat some time soon.

  4. Love Zweigelt Rebecca. Sainsbury’s had one and it disappeared! But Sainsbury’s have got their excellent Gaillac reduced from £8 to £5.50 and like the somewhat acidic kick in the Marzimeno it works slightly chilled.

  5. I’ve also tried the M&S Zweigelt and it’s a lovely light refreshing red, as you say Rebecca even better slightly chilled. I liked the Sainsbury’s one as well Eddie.

    1. Lots of love heading for the Zweigelt then – and thoroughly deserved. Aldi also had one last year but that too is out of stock now.

  6. A chilled Sicilian Frappato is worth looking out for.Floral ,bright refreshing with a wild raspberry taste.The Wine Society did an excellent one,but is now out of stock.
    I do think we British drink our reds too hot and our whites too cold.! Any comments?

  7. Hi Paul, I always chill my reds, I use the 20/20 rule, take whites out of the fridge 20 mins before drinking and put reds in the fridge 20 minutes before drinking, works for me. I do, sometimes leave reds a little longer in the hot weather.

  8. Continuing the theme of lightweight wines …
    Last week the ever reliable Eddie Walker highly recommended the Lidl Coteaux Bourguignon Rose from Lidl at £7.99. I found it this afternoon in those parts of the middle aisles where they have misc food and drink “bin end” stuff – often without prices. Post checkout found that it is reduced to £5.99. Look forward to trying it. Which grapes? I found the following definition: “Rosé wines produced under the Coteaux Bourguignons appellation may also be called Clairet and are principally made from Gamay, Pinot Gris and/or Pinot Noir.”

  9. Agree about Frappato and about wine temperatures. The oft repeated point does make sense – “room temperature” was coined before central heating was common and cellar temperature is seldom as cold as domestic refrigerators. Chardonnay in particular straight from the fridge robs it of so much subtlety.

  10. “Ever reliable Eddie” seems an apt sobriquet. Be interested to hear what you, Richard, make of the wine and what your taste buds tell you about the grape assemblage.

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