In the summertime when the weather is hot...

Some options for summer wines.

Some options for summer wines. - Credit: Archant

If you have decided on a staycation this year, why not travel through the wines you enjoy? Many of us have enjoyed cooking and the pleasure of some good wines during lockdown; so, through the summer period why not think about the wines you might be drinking in your holiday destination.

Focusing on European destinations rather than the southern hemisphere because it is winter down there now there are many places and wines that come to mind. In France for example, the Loire Valley is home to many lovely white wines ideal for summer drinking. Think of all the Sauvignon-based wines such as those from Sancerre and Pouilly Fume that are tangy and refreshing not forgetting the Muscadets at the Atlantic mouth of the river that are ideal with seafood. So many light red wines too such as Chinon and Saumur Champigny that have light tannins and a lower alcohol making them ideal summer reds.

Deep in the south of France the light Provencal roses conjure up thoughts of a glass of wine in the garden in the sunshine and the reds of the Languedoc Roussillon are amazing when paired with barbecue food. The Carignan based Mont Rocher red or the Calmel & Joseph Corbieres or Terrasses de Larzac are examples of these wines.

Moving into Italy, there are many inspiring white wines offering great flavours such as fresh lemony Gavi from Piemonte or a crisp Pecorino from Abruzzo that is a great aperitif or accompaniment to meals including cheeses. The light Barberas and Grignolinos are worth a try too – a treat with light pasta sauces.

If you dream of Mediterranean island hopping and want to be reminded of the sparkling blue seas of this area why not opt for a glass of the lovely aromatic herby Vermentinos of Sardinia, a refreshing yet lightly honeyed Catarratto or softly fruity and spicy Nero d’Avola from Sicily. Further east on the island of Santorini the characterful wines made from the Assyrtiko grape are often found. For me, one of the best is from the mainland Greece in the Attican Peninsula made by Papagiannakos. It is a stylish dry white wine with minerally lemon and pear fruit notes.

The Iberian Peninsula consisting of Spain and Portugal has developed a renowned reputation for their red wines including Rioja, Ribera del Duero and the Douro respectively. In addition, there are some fantastic wines from holiday destinations such as Galicia.

Here, there are some delicious Albarinos made such as those from the Pazos de Lusco or a Godello from Pazo do Mar which is full of crisp lemon fruit notes and a peachy texture making it a lovely aperitif or great accompaniment to a range of fish dishes. Similarly, from Portugal the modern Vinho Verde wines that are vibrantly fresh and elegant from producers such as Vale do Homem and Casa do Arabalde are great choices on a hot sunny day. Great with fish too!

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Hopefully this is offering ideas to inspire you to try new wines and experiment with different food and wine matches that conjure up thoughts of past or future holidays.