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rosé in summer

The Perfect Wines To Enjoy During The Summer Social Season

The summer weather may be typically British and unpredictable, but there’s still plenty of events to look forward to on the sporting and cultural calendar at this time of year. Here are some suggestions to enjoy a glass of wine as you watch a spot of tennis, cricket, racing, or enjoy an outdoor concert.

Rosé

Rosé wine continues its resurgence, as its image has been transformed over the past few years from a rather unfashionable choice, to a popular summer drink that is enjoyed by all ages. The pretty shades of pink mean that it’s a hit on social media, while it’s also a lighter choice for people who are conscious of their units.

Contrary to popular belief, rosé is not a blend of white and red wine, but is made from red grapes that are left to ferment for a shorter period of time. When selecting a quality rosé, look for labels that aren't overly generic with no specifics about grape varieties or the region it was produced in. 

French varieties such as the Beaujolais Rosé Nouveau, Philippe Deschamps are reliably good. The best varieties will have crisp floral or fruity flavours, and can be enjoyed on their own or with light dishes such as salads and fish.

British wine

A decade ago, a bottle of British made wine was considered a rarity, but now it is being taken much more seriously. The southeast of England shares a similar climate with the famous Champagne region in northeast France, so it is not surprising that it has some good vineyards, stretching from Essex and Sussex to Kent, Hampshire and Dorset. 

The trend for warmer summers has led to bumper grape harvests, particularly in 2023, where some wineries reported crops that were 25 per cent bigger than usual. Brush wine is sold to independent wine merchants in the UK and also exported around the world. Sparkling wines from the Dropmore vineyard in Buckinghamshire are very popular. 

Sparkling wines

For a special summer occasion, you can’t go wrong with a favourite sparkling wine. This is essentially white or rosé wine that has bubbles of carbon dioxide trapped in it during the fermenting process to give it that lively fizz. 

Champagne is the classic brand of bubbly, and generally the most expensive type of sparkling wine that you are likely to find. This is due to the fact that it is made with traditional methods of adding yeast to the bottle before it is sealed. Crémant and Cava wines are also made in this way.

Other popular sparkling wines such as Prosecco are made by sealing the wine in a large tank and adding the yeast. The yeast is then removed from the wine after an ageing period. To get the best flavour from your summer bottle of fizz, chill it in an ice bucket that is filled with equal parts water and ice until the temperature is around seven degrees C.

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