AH, summer. Despite a frosty few days, the sun is shining and it’s the season for lovely uplifting wines. We’ve got two of our favourite City wine experts to tell us their top summer wine picks. Neleen Strauss is the co-owner and sommelier at Thames-side restaurant High Timber (the cellar has 40,000 bottles in it) and Jason Bedford is the owner of the brilliant Mercer on Threadneedle Street which has won awards for its wine list.
CO-OWNER, HIGH TIMBER
BILLECART-SALMON ROSÉ NV
This is a mind altering bubbly – drinking it simply improves your mood, the weather, the world. It is what men should propose on and women should shop on. £29.99 at Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Oddbins.
JORDAN CHAMELEON ROSÉ
Made from Syrah and Merlot, this is a lovely light rosé and ideal with light snacks. It’s basically liquid sunshine from Stellenbosch in a bottle. Great balance and lingers for a long time. £10 at Jeroboams.
BOLLINGER ROSÉ NV
Like all great wines, this one expresses the terroir of Champagne. Perfect for celebrating wins and losses (Wimbledon, anyone?). £50 at Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Oddbins.
Made from cool-climate grapes bursting with summer fruit flavours. Should be enjoyed with slow food. £7.49 at www.sawinesonline.co.uk.
BOUCHARD-FINLAYSON PINOT NOIR
Asian spice fruit and ripe cherries, with a luxurious body and great mouth feel. A multi-dimensional wine to ponder. £19.99 at www.sawinesonline.co.uk.
OWNER, THE MERCER
TERROIR DE CHABLIS
This is an unoaked, flinty style of Chablis with lots of summery apple and citrus acidity. Definitely to be served with a meal – a fish BBQ or sea trout (just in season now) would be ideal. £79.50 for six bottles at Bibendum Wines.
MORGENHOF ESTATE CHENIN BLANC, STELLENBOSCH
Tropical fruit and peachy flavours are balanced here with French oak. This has a long finish and can easily be enjoyed on its own or with some smoky food. £10.99 at Waitrose.
DOMAINE DES NUGUES FLEURIE
Any Beaujolais style Gamay will suit summer, but I really like a Fleurie. These wines have hardly any tannins because they are pressed with CO2, and so are ideal for a little chilling. They’re full of summer fruits, especially raspberry and strawberry flavours and are great for drinking without food or with lighter meats like chicken. £8.99 at Majestic Wine.
GASPARD DE LA THAUMASSIERE
Sancerre rosés are normally pinot noir where the skins have been left in the wine briefly to add a little colour and some summer fruit flavours. Crisp acidity balance with an ever-so-slight floral note. The Gaspard is my favourite. £12 at Oddbins.
PRIMROSE HILL BRUT PRESTIGE NV
For summer fizz I like to go patriotic: English sparkling wines are excellent. This one is recently released by Chapel Down in Kent and has some Pinot Noir in it. It’s light and fresh and one of the best sparkling wines around. £42 at The Mercer.