Whether you’re looking for a refreshing white for a sun-drenched afternoon, a luscious red to warm you through the summer nights, or an English fizz fit for toasting summer’s special moments, Oz has got a wine recommendation for you.
Albastrele Sauvignon Blanc
As the sun finally begins to clear the clouds from our sullen winter skies, and the earth warms, and the trees fill with greenery, I feel a positively primal urge to rip open the nearest, brightest, breeziest bottle of Sauvignon Blanc I can lay my hands on. This year it’s from Moldova – an unlikely and tiny, but exciting wine country over by the Black Sea. This is bursting with irresistible flavours of green apple, white melon, banana and lemon flowers, all shot through with lipsmacking green apple and lemon zest acidity.
Viña del Cura Rioja Gran Reserva
I’ve been tasting a spate of brilliant Riojas recently, some of them, I admit, at the £20+ mark. And then I discover this – a Gran Reserva at Tesco from a really respected producer – Baron de Ley – whom I’ve often visited – for only £11. It’s wonderfully rich, bursting with really ripe blackcurrant and sweet strawberry fruit, luscious – but bone dry. Gran Reserva means the wine has spent at least 2 years in an oak barrel – which can dry the wine out and leave it thin and chewy. This one is the exact opposite.
There are few wines which can fill me with optimism and make my spirits soar like good English Sparkling Wine. Ridgeview is nestled amongst the meadows, vines and copses of ancient trees at Ditchling in Sussex, and I’ve stood on the verandah, glass in hand, gazing out towards the South Downs as the evening sun streaks the billowing clouds with gold. Bloomsbury is made like Champagne and from the same grape varieties, yet the texture is softer, the flavour more mellow and the brisk freshness is delightfully lifted by the unique cool crispness that only English bubbles have.