Summer has arrived early this year, people have started getting the barbecue out since April and with the extra optimism about this year potentially having the best summer for a while it is a good idea to stock up on wine. When you think of summer parties you think of weddings, barbecues, picnics and beach parties. All of these are great excuses to get out the wine and make each occasion a party to never forget.
But which wines are good for which events? This article will give you an overview of some wines that work well at summer events.
For weddings the first choice of drink and the first one to offer a guest has to be Champagne. The fizz and luxury of this wine make a special occasion and add to the excitement of it too. This wine needs to be served chilled and in a Champagne flute to get the best out of it. If you need alternatives why not try a bottle of Cava. This Spanish alternative for a summer wedding party makes a great welcome drink and is usually good for the budget conscious. To follow on from the Champagne, a dry white such as a Pinot Grigio is a good choice as it goes well with most foods and is a wine that is easy to drink and liked by most people.
Barbecues are a completely different occasion and therefore need a completely different type of wine to make them go swimmingly. The nature of the food served means that it can be quite difficult to match a wine to it. The food tends to be rather meat focussed and usually marinated in strong tasting sauces. As with strong meats a red wine tends to be the best bet. When looking for a red wine to go with barbecue food look to the areas that are known for barbecue – Australia is a great place to start and an Australian Shiraz is fabulous for this. You can even leave the idea of having to have a red wine behind as an Australian Chardonnay is also strong enough to match up to the flavours of the barbecue. Another area to look at is South America as their rich red wines would also be a good match for a barbecue and in particular Argentinean wine goes very well with a steak.
Picnics and beach parties are much more frivolous occasions and often involve some kind of activity like beach games or running around after little people. This means that high alcohol drinks are off the list and generally probably not the order of the day. Choose instead a Vinho Verde, a Portuguese white wine which has a bit of fizz and is of a lower alcohol content than other white wines. Also look to rose wine which also has a lower alcohol content and is a nice sweet drink on its own.
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Fiona Muller has been writing for over 20 years. She is a qualified journalist and has worked in food and drink writing for the last few years especially summer wines. For a wide range of wines that are great for summer drinking laithwaites.co.uk
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