As an Australian living in the lovely, moist country of England, I often find myself reminiscing about a childhood back home, where Summer still existed. Now, during the months of June, July and August I’ve learnt to remind myself that somewhere over in continental Europe, Summer is happening. There are millions of people enjoying the summertime, working on their tan, and sipping on a chilled beverage while soaking up the rays. The hot sand is probably between their toes, there’s a gentle, cooling breeze and their favourite book can finally be read.
But – I also like to imagine some kid kicking that sand in their face, their mistaken nap leading to third degree sunburn and the shocking realisation that when wet, their swim suit is transparent. Not only do these last few things make me feel a lot better for being over here in the UK, they also help me realise how it’s not all doom and gloom being in the mildly warm British Summer.
Nobody makes the most of the sunny weather more than the British. Everywhere else it is surely taken for granted – it’s an expectation. Whereas here, everyone knows that when the sun has its hat on, time is of the essence! Embracing sudden sunshine is a British talent – before you can say ‘Pinot Grigio’ the parks are full of picnickers, short shorts and white thighs abound, flip flops become a fashion standard and you’ll be pushed to find a spare seat in any local beer garden. I’ve never seen a greater interpretation of ‘carpe diem’ in my life.
Our ‘summertime’ is special and a little more sporadic – you simply have to know what to be drinking to have a good time.
There’s no better way to embrace the sunshine than with boutique wine. You know it. I know it. Your mouth knows it. Why drink plonk when you can make your next outdoor occasion a memorable one? You wouldn’t tuck into some Spam for breakfast after going vegetarian for months. Instead you naturally jump straight to the good stuff after going without something for so long.
If I was you, I would stick to whites and Rosés. As for reds, unless you’re thinking of a slightly chilled bottle of Pinot Noir or Gamay, I reckon they are just too heavy and dehydrating.
So take a deserved dip into wines like:
- Pinot Grigio – so, so, so easy drinking – try classic Italian or groundbreaking Aussie PG
- Californian Viognier – the Golden State delivers a golden grape perfect for fish
- Corvina – never heard of it? It’s Italian, and we have one incredible Rosé; made purely from it!
For an evening outdoors, there is nothing more thrilling than enjoying a great bottle of bubbly with fireworks. The Virgin Wines alternative is a pack of sparklers and a bottle of Lanson sparkling wine! After all, they do say that the Summer is a natural aphrodisiac, so perhaps all that stands between you and a special someone is whether you’ve bought this gift or not…
No one sums it up better than the Fresh Prince – summer, summer, summertime – time to sit back and unwind… Or in this case, unscrew a really decent bottle of wine.