Ah, summer breeze makes me feel fine… Especially when there’s a white wine flowing and the crustacea stalls are brimming with shellfish, oysters and crabs.
Think chequered tablecloths, the clinking of glasses, a bowl of lemony mayonnaise and your favourite fish dish rekindling thoughts of sun-drenched beaches in faraway lands.
Against the backdrop of a blue sky and promise of a balmy forecast, our ice buckets are prepped for something bright and breezy, or fruity and tropical that work wonders with seafood. Here are seven bottles that fit the bill…
1. SPAR Languedoc Blanc 2017, France (currently reduced to £6.50 from £7, SPAR, in store only)
A Mediterranean white that’s right on cue with soupe de poissons (fish stew), we love its floral character that lifts the fruity flavours of apricot, citrus and peach, with a spicy note on the tail and fleshiness that keeps the wine rich and round. Made by Paul Mas, it’s a lovely, inexpensive drop. Don’t forget the garlic toast.
2. Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling 2017, Australia (£6.99, Aldi)
A dry riesling with grassy aromas, limey acidity and a streak of minerality that works so well with shrimp and a squeeze of lime (or any foods that have ‘green’ flavours, such as Thai seafood curry). But with sun-kissed apple, lime and lemony notes you might expect in a riesling from Down Under, there’s depth and intensity. Lots of fun and great value.
3. Taste the Difference Albariño 2016, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain (£8.50, Sainsbury’s)
Spain’s answer to muscadet, the crisp, clean flavours of albariño (Galicia’s flagship grape) have a natural affinity for seafood, and this captures all the freshness that’s albariño’s calling card. A brisk style with floral aromas, inviting peach and apricot notes, even some green apple and lime, well-balanced acidity and a zesty minerality makes it just the ticket with seafood tapas, grilled fish and even paella.
4. Dourthe No1 Sauvignon Blanc 2017, France (£8.50, The Wine Society)
A pioneer of dry, white Bordeaux, Dourthe are celebrating 30 years of their No1 label – and from the first sip, this dependably delicious wine delivers ripened tropical and grapefruit flavours with much more purity, weight and energy than the price would suggest. A sophisticated and delicious choice with a seafood platter.
5. Fildefere Muscadet Château de Cleray 2017, Loire Valley, France (£9.95, FromVineyardsDirect.com)
If we need to school ourselves as to why muscadet is a natural bedfellow with oysters, it’s because the bright acidity, pure mineral character and light, lemony weight marries beautifully with a plate of half a dozen. Made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, while they can be neutral in a nice way, this one has some melony concentration and would be terrific with any type of shellfish.
6. Abbotts & Delaunay Fruits Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc 2017, South of France (£9.99, Majestic)
With a commitment to quality over quantity, Abbotts & Delaunay have sealed their reputation as a premium producer in the Languedoc. This new release sings from the glass and captures sauvignon blanc’s classic character – but with a roundness, complexity and blossomy, fruity freshness. Again, a perfect partner with fish stews, sardines, shellfish, grilled fish and, of course, fresh crab.
7. Anselmo Mendes Alvarinho 2017, Portugal (£13.49, Laithwaites)
A terrific introduction to Portuguese alvarinho (albariño) from the Vinho Verde region, this is a floral-edged, seriously stylish expression, with ripe peach, tropical fruits and a hint of lemon mingling on a silky palate with beams of freshness from beginning to end. The winemaker is cited as ‘the most innovative alvarinho producer’, and while it pairs equally well with sardines or grilled fish, this wine has an intensity that should really be appreciated on its own before you dive into the food.
- Press Association