SAM WYLIE-HARRIS chooses some refreshing white wines for the summer holidays WHETHER you're fond of an elegant white wine, a casual, neutral style, or something as sharp as a whistle, summertime always signals bright, young things to sip in the sunshine.
Refreshing and ready to drink now, here are some top picks to pour under shimmering blue skies...
SAY IT WITH A BOTTLE A FLORAL and grapey muscat that's laced with a mild sweetness, Torres Days of Summer 2013, Chile (PS5.99 from PS6.99, now until August 26, The Co-op) is deliciously juicy and exuberant with honeysuckle notes and a lovely lift of yellow apples and lemon on the gentle finish. Ideal for picnics and finger sandwiches - even the white label resembles a wicker basket.
UNDER THE SPANISH SUN THE trendy grape from Galicia that devotees are labelling the new sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio, albarino is fresh and breezy with a touch of saline minerality and crisp, citrus fruit flavours that pair so well with shellfish and seafood. Try Sendero des Santos Albarino 2012, Rias Baixas DO, Spain (PS12.99, laithwaites.co.uk) which is aromatic and classy with peach, grapefruit and a hint of lemon on the energetic finish.
MADE IN ITALY FLAVOURSOME and silky with bags of appeal, A Mano Fiano, Greco Bianco, Puglia, Italy (PS7.95, www.thewinesociety.com, available end of August) marries southern Italy's two best indigenous grapes - fiano and greco - to deliver a lively and zesty Campanian white with enough body and weight to keep it interesting. Fresh and floral with apple, pear and blanched nut flavours, a hint of smoke and good minerality.
POSTCARD FROM PORTUGAL A TERRIFIC southern white from the heart of Portugal's cork-growing region, Marques De Borba White 2013, DOC Alentejo, Portugal (PS8.95, tanners-wines.co.uk) balances two local varieties with viognier for a flattering style that's soft and round with fragrant honeysuckle, apricot and peach flavours, ending with a gentle, delicate finish and juicy acidity.
CALIFORNIAN CLASSIC AMERICA'S number one, bestselling chardonnay for more than 20 years, Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2012, California, USA (PS15.99, www.henningswine.co.uk) has a rich core of baked apple, honeydew melon and custard pie, with wafts of tropical fruits, vanilla and honey. An easy drinking chard that's smooth, creamy and with vanilla-laced oak on the finish.