No doubt you’ll find yourself hosting or attending a BBQ this summer and if you’re anything like us, you might find yourself scouring the supermarket aisles for longer than need be, wondering which wine to buy. With apps like Vivino available, the last thing you need is some know-it-all calling you out on a low rated wine or sharing with the whole party how cheap it was! We decided to call in a favour from our good friend at Elizabeth & Wine and get the lowdown on the best affordable summer wines and hopefully help you retain your wine cred.
You may have heard of ‘New World’ and ‘Old World’ wines but not know the difference? Old World wines are typically owned by families or artisanal producers and governed by strong laws whereby they keep lots of their wine for themselves. Whereas New World wines are large trade bodies and produce wine for the consumers and they are far more technologically advanced with more mobility to change to the style of wine. This often means the New World can produce wines that are more affordable. If you’re looking to purchase New World wines, a top tip is to look out for wine regions along the coast or mountains, as these natural factors have a cooling influence on the grapes when growing, making the wines delicious to drink!
Elizabeth Hawthornthwaite from Elizabeth & Wine, shares her top picks of delicious Summer wines to buy and some tips on how to choose the right wine for the right price.
Awarded ‘Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Winery of the Year 2017’ at the New York International Wine Competition, this highly aromatic wine is refreshing and fruity, with typical flavours of grapefruit and elderflower. The grape is Sauvignon Blanc and is the flagship varietal from New Zealand. Perfectly paired with fish or shellfish.
Claire and Mike Allan of Huia are delightful people of the NZ wine world who met 20 years ago in Champagne, France. Claire is passionate about the environment and is successfully Organic certified as she employs biodynamic practices while opting for minimal intervention throughout fermentation using mainly wild yeast ferments.
Buy on Vivino app for £15.80 or Wine Direct
Made 100% from a grape called Gargenega which is rare to be used 100%. Making a very sophisticated, beautiful and aromatic wine, which is a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. The producers are 3 sisters in their 40’s who have taken over from their parents producing organic wines. They are firm believers in their land and operate the winery on solar power. These ladies are winning lots of awards for the quality of their wines and selling at a really good price.
£18.25 from The Fine Wine Company
Lots of flavour can be found in this Sauvignon Blanc which has generous gooseberry flavours and a herbal twist.
£10.99 from Majestic
This wine is made from grapes called Grenache and Syrah, and the style of wine is fruity and refreshing, with crisp flavours of bright berry fruit like strawberries and raspberries. You should serve this wine chilled – and it will work well with or without food. Perfect to takes to a friend’s BBQ.
A magnum (yes, you read that right, a MAGNUM) is just £27.99 from Waitrose. We suggest getting yourselves down there asap as we don’t see them being on the shelves for long once word gets out!
This has become famous in London and France and often sells out. This wine is made from the grapes Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah. It is pale salmon in colour, with fruit flavours of peach and strawberry with a long finish. This is perfect summer time drinking. If you like this one then you’ll also love Rock Angel, made from the same producers, but with a little more complexity.
£17.99 from Waitrose
Grown in a pretty region of soft green hills and stone cottages just below the slopes of Burgundy, this wine is made from a grape called Gamay, and the style is fruity and refreshing, with crisp flavours of red fruit-like strawberries and raspberries. Served best slightly chilled (yup, even some reds are best drunk chilled). Beajolais is the blueprint for what came to be known as natural wine. Better remembered in the 1950’s when they started making “Beajolais nouveau” a cheap easy drinking red wine that was produced quickly. By the 1970’s, cars would race to France every 3rd Thursday of November to bring back the first batch for breakfast and this was a huge hit.
The area was roughly the same size as NYC – producing 100 million litres of wine a year. Exporting more bottles than Australia and California combined. Despite its commercial success, Beaujolais had become a dismal example of technical winemaking. The New York Times complained about how producers would “‘push’ the vines” to twice the recommended yield, “making the vine piss”. Whilst Beajolais is the underdog, it’s definitely one to be watched as the vines are old and the wine makers are producing some premium quality wines with affordable price tags. Wine makers, especially in France, are very traditional and pride themselves on making great wines.
Available directly from Elizabeth & Wine at just £20 a bottle, including delivery. If you order a case of 6 bottles, you’ll get 15% off.
Made from Central Otago Pinot Noir grape, this lovely red gives you red and black cherry with a little bit of pepper, very smooth drinking with a real finesse and balance.
£12.00 from Tesco
Light and vibrant Pinot Noir with red fruit; flavours of violet, raspberry and strawberry. It is a soft and easy drinking red wine with a smooth finish.
£16.99 from Waitrose
*Alternatively, look out for these stunning light red wines on one of the Cru levels in supermarkets: Morgan, Fleurie, Brouilly and Moulin-a-Vent.
Elizabeth & Wine is an exciting new business, specialising in delivering fabulous wine experiences in your office, home or at events you’re hosting. They’re all about demystifying wine to make it accessible, fun and engaging by supplying everything you need – including the wine – so all you have to do is enjoy the experience. Elizabeth is incredibly flexible and can arrange a variety of themed events which will enable you to go toe-to-toe with even the most serious of sommeliers, giving you all the tips and tricks of the trade while having fun with a glass of wine in hand:
Their brochure contains all the contact info and extra details you’ll need.
If you are interested in working in an environment that allows you to learn more about wine and broaden your knowledge, we have some fantastic waiter jobs and bartender jobs available. We work with many of London’s finest restaurants and hotels, all of which have a key focus on excellent wine lists and beverage offerings.