One of the best things about these lighter evenings is more time to do stuff, not least enjoying a glass of wine before the sun goes down. I’ve already picked out some countries to keep an eye on when it comes to seriously good wines (read Helen's last post here), including South Africa, Italy and England (yes, really!).
But warmer weather makes me want to drink pink again. Rosé wines have really grown up in recent years; what used to be an afterthought as far as winemakers were concerned is now something of a star turn. Quite literally, as it turns out, for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who bought a chateau and vineyard a few years ago. Their wine, Miraval, from Côtes de Provence, is properly delicious – as it should be at about £20 a bottle!
English Sparkling Wine hit the headlines last year, now that producers are making wines to rival Champagne. The best are made in the same way as Champagne using traditional grape varieties including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Look out for names like Wiston, Hambledon and Ridgeview.
For Spring-friendly reds – I’m talking fresh, juicy, red fruit flavours – give Beaujolais a go. It’s not about Nouveau now; rather the smarter ‘cru’ wines from the villages of Morgon, Fleurie and St Amour (love!) are the ones to forage for. Do as the French do and stick the bottle in the fridge for twenty minutes if the weather’s warm. Et voila, perfectly chilled!