Gry-Sablon Beaujolias-Villages

For a country where two consecutive minutes of sunshine constitutes a good summer we have an almost unfathomable obsession with eating al fresco. The merest glimmer of the sun’s heat and sure enough sales of ketchup boom as people resort to smearing their well-done offerings in something – anything – that will help to differentiate it from the charcoal pit whence it died for a second time…


However before this article turns into something akin to an AA Gill meander around the subject (what does the ruddy food taste like man?) on to more pertinent matters.


What to drink in these moments of outdoor revelry? Well the good news for slurpers is that we’ve never had it so good – listed below are a few suggestion to help your summer pass swimmingly (whatever the quality of the weather).

Nero d’Avola is an ancient grape from Sicily capable of great things – a variety noted for its similarities to Syrah/Shiraz and equally at home with barbecues. At the moment it is still a relative newcomer to the UK market and as such prices are very reasonable; expect to get a decent drop for less than £6. Pay a little more if you can and you’ll get a wine brimming with sweet tannins, plums and a hint of peppery spice – a real winner!

One to try:

Doricum Nero d’Avola £5.99


Beaujolais is due a revival soon and with good reason – you’d be hard pressed to find a more refreshing red. Made from the invigorating Gamay grape, Beaujolais needs to be served ever so lightly chilled to make a great aperitif or as an accompaniment to lightly spiced dishes such as grilled lamb tajine.

One to try:

Gry-Sablon Beaujolais Villages £8.99 (GAMAY)


Pinot Noir is a grape for the connoisseurs out there; no varietal can rival Pinot for silkiness and resonance of flavour. A good Pinot Noir will have echoes of raspberry jam and fresh red berry fruit with perhaps a touch of mocha on the finish. Good Pinot merits your full attention with its complex and alluring palate and so is the ideal partner for that special dinner party where you need to look more sophisticated than you really are… try examples from New Zealand for a New World alternative to Burgundy.

One to try:

Waipara West Pinot Noir £10.49


Cabernet Franc is a grape variety rarely seen on wine labels; it is more commonly used as a blending grape in regions such as Bordeaux. However it is a splendid grape in its own right and is particularly successful in the Loire Valley where it makes fresh blackcurrant-laden wines such as Chinon. These fresh and invigorating wines are often good value and offer a heartening riposte to the glut of over-the-top heavily oaked reds which have enjoyed such puzzling popularity recently. Treat yourself to a wine with real character!

One to try:

Chinon ‘Les Varennes du Grand Clos’ 2001 Charles Joguet £13.99

Happy slurping!

Reviews by Ben Cahill

Allison Graham

Allison is the Publisher of Eclipse Magazine. She loves going to the Races and is learning to bet (despite being officially the worst bettor in the History of the Universe), there's a lot more to learn...

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