Sunday 21 April 2019

20 bank holiday bottles - sparklers, roses, whites and reds to pay homage to the last of the sunshine


Toast the last of summer 2018 with our wine recommendations
Toast the last of summer 2018 with our wine recommendations
Corinna Hardgrave

Corinna Hardgrave

A salutary selection of sparklers, rosés, whites and reds to help you pay homage to the last of 2018's sunshine bank holidays.

Castellore Sparkling Blanc de Blancs 

€6.99, 11pc, from Aldi

If you're thinking an Italian sparkling Blanc de Blancs may taste like a Prosecco, you'd be right. With a light peachy flavour and a touch of lemon curd, this is astonishing value, so all I can say is stock up before it's sold out - it's a seasonal offer.

Arestel Cava

€10.99, 11.5pc, from Lidl

Made from the classic Cava grapes, Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada, this is fresh and fruity with plenty of the typical apple flavours you expect and a touch of pear and lemon. Drop in a strawberry or a raspberry for an extra zing.

Valhondo Rosé Brut Cava

€14.95, reduced from €17.95, 11.5pc, from O'Briens

Amazing summer drinking: you get two pleasures in one glass of Cava, with the ripe flavours of strawberries and cherries and a delicious creamy mousse of bubbles. A perfect apéritif, and great with a tomato salad too.

Colutta Brut Spumante Prosecco

€23.75, 11pc, from Wines Direct at Arnotts, Mullingar and

A nicely made Prosecco, this has a restrained and elegant nose perfumed with white blossom and notes of pear, apples and peach. On the palate, it is crisp and refreshing with good acidity and a delightfully frothy mousse.

Château d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé

€28-€35, 13pc, widely available in off-licences nationwide

If you want to impress, this iconic rosé is the one to rock up with. Textbook Provençal style, it is made from Grenache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre and has an elegant, stream of summer berries with a long, crisp finish.

Aldi Exquisite Côtes de Provence Rosé 2017

€8.99, 13.5pc, from Aldi

Picking up a silver medal at the recent International Wine and Spirits Challenge, this well-rounded rosé, with its classic pale colour, is bursting with fresh ripe strawberries and raspberries. Great with food, especially grilled chicken, pork chops and seared tuna.

Santa Rita Limited Release Rosé 2017

€12.50, 12.5pc, from Tesco, SuperValu and Dunnes stores

From the Central Valley in Chile, this is a crisp, dry rosé with plenty of ripe summer fruit and flavours of strawberries, raspberries, plus a touch of redcurrants. Great on its own or serve with light salads.

Now that we're all feeling well and truly Continental after weeks of glorious sunshine, our expectation dial is set to 'high' for the last bank holiday weekend of the season. Here's hoping that I haven't jinxed it by committing that to paper. But whether you're heading away for the weekend, going to the All Together Now festival in Waterford or relaxing in your own back garden, there's an extra day to be enjoyed, so it's the perfect excuse for an extended line-up of weekend tipples. I've got 20 great bottles here, from a super affordable sparkling wine to delicious rosés, crisp whites and summer red wines to toast the weekend away.

ViÑa Albali ValdepeÑas Verdejo

€7, 12pc, SuperValu

A great price for an easy-drinking summer wine, this is fresh and crisp, with light citrus notes of lemon and lime. Works as an apéritif or with light salads, perfect for a big crowd.

Tesco Finest Picpoul de Pinet

€9, 12.5pc, from Tesco

Picpoul from the Languedoc in the South of France, with its crisp apple flavours and refreshing acidity, is fast becoming a favourite among people looking for an alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. Perfect with seafood and grilled fish or just on its own.

Château riotor Rosé €13.46, reduced from €17.95,

13pc, O'Briens;

A rosé with great structure and intensity of fresh red summer fruit, this comes from the Provence estate of the renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape producer Mont-Redon, and is made from a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Vermentino.

Coto de Gomariz The Flower and the Bee Treixadura

€19.99, 13.5pc, widely available from off-licences nationwide

Tasting as good as it looks, this biodynamic white, made from the Treixadura grape in the Ribeiro region of Spain, is fresh and full-flavoured with notes of peach, apricot, lemon, green apple and a touch of herbs.

Picouto de Cima Vinho Verde 2017

€11.20 (was €14.95), 12.5pc, O'Briens

This Vinho Verde is 100pc Arinto, a native Portuguese grape, and has notes of lemon and silky white peach balanced with refreshing acidity.

Le Petit Balthazar Viognier Sauvignon Blanc 2017

€13, 11pc, Wines Direct

Naturally light in alcohol, and perfect for summer drinking, this white blend combines the lime and grapefruit crispness you expect from Sauvignon Blanc and is rounded out with delicious flavours of apricot, nectarine and tropical fruits from the Viognier.

Domaine de L'R Chinon 2013

€21-€23, 12pc, from 64 Wine, Mitchell & Son, and Sommeliers in Your Pockets;

Cabernet Franc is one of my favourite grapes, and this biodynamic, naturally fermented wine is floral, with crunchy red fruit, tart raspberry and cranberry.

Gandarada by Boas

Quintas 2015 Red Blend

€14.99, 13pc, from SuperValu, Sutton; Mortons, Galway; and Winehouse, Trim, Co Meath

Made from a blend of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (the grapes used in port) as well as Alfrocheiro, this is full of ripe, fresh redcurrants, blackcurrants and red plums. Great with chicken wings or spicy piri piri chicken.

Berton Vineyards Durif 2017

€9.99, 14pc, from Aldi

Durif, also known as Petite Sirah, is a Southern French grape, which also, as in this case, grows in Australia. If you like full-bodied wines, you'll love this, with its rich plum, black cherry, blueberry and spicy black pepper flavours rounded out with oak.

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