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Page 66

Wine May 2019.qxp_Layout 1 24/05/2019 11:50 Page 1

TRISTAN DARBY Columnist Tristan Darby investigates wines to keep us cool this summer

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ummertime is upon us, and with it comes the warmer weather that makes me want to reach for cooler fresher wines. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with easy go-to wines like sauvignon and pinot, so this month I’m focusing on alternatives to liven things up a bit. Hailing from France’s famous Loire region, Domaine de Brizé Saumur Brut (£16.75, Great Western Wine) is a topnotch, super-stylish alternative to Champagne, but at half the price. It’s a blend of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay grapes and made using a traditional second ferment in the bottle for quality bubbles and complexity. Overall it’s crisp and refreshing with mouthwatering crunchy apple flavours. I can’t recommend this enough for quality and value. A perfect wine to enjoy alongside goat’s cheese and asparagus dishes or even crab and other shellfish starters. A great fizz for the price and worth every penny. Pedro Ximenez (PX for short) is a white grape you may have heard of. From Andalucia, it is harvested over-ripe and sun-dried, either to make a very sweet wine in its own right or to be used as a sweetening agent for sherry. However, Vina Falernia, Elki Pedro Ximenez (£9.50, GWW), made on the southern fringes of the Atacama Desert in Chile’s northern Elqui Valley is an unusually dry and crisp take. With floral and lime zest notes, it’s ideal for everyday summer drinking, aperitifs and light summer salads. There’s some weight and texture to the palate, too, which adds interest and makes it suitable for light fish and chicken dishes. A fab summer staple. Ramón Bilbao, Rosado 2016 (£10.95, GWW) is a fresh and elegant dry rosé Rioja made from garnacha (a.k.a. grenache) with a small amount of viura added for freshness, fruit and fragrance. A delicate pale-pink, it’s pretty and gentle on the nose with red fruit, citrus and flowers. Light and elegant in the mouth with a gentle fruit intensity of melon and orange zest and a fresh and fruity finish. Chilling red wine may seem counter-intuitive, but a cool bottle on a hot day can be juicy and refreshing. An hour or so in the fridge is long enough to chill a bottle sufficiently depending on your preference, and fruity, lower tannin, lower alcohol reds work best. Pinot noir, grenache and gamay are the classic grapes to go for, but here are a couple of more unusual alternatives. Ailala, Souson (£14.95 GWW) from Ribeiro in northwest Spain is fresh, fruity and jam-packed with blueberry and plum flavours. It’s smooth but comes with the local souson grapes’ hallmark acidity which brightens the palate and refreshes. Great to have at hand for when the sun is out and perfect with chicken, pork or cured meat. Another cracker is Pfaffl’s Zweigelt Vom Hause (£13.95, GWW), a refreshing Austrian alternative to new-world pinot noir or Italian Barbera. It’s vibrant and fresh but by no means lacking in depth or character, crammed full of dark cherry flavours and a touch of peppery spice. Fantastic chilled alongside a plethora of vegetable, chicken, pork, duck dishes, and tomato-based pasta and pizza. n Learn more about the world of wine with Tristan on a course at Great Western Wine; greatwesternwine.co.uk/events

66 TheBATHMagazine

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june 2019

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issue 201

Profile for MC Publishing Limited

The Bath Magazine June 2019  

The Bath Magazine is Bath’s biggest monthly guide to life and living in the city of Bath

The Bath Magazine June 2019  

The Bath Magazine is Bath’s biggest monthly guide to life and living in the city of Bath