Food & Drink

The best wines for al fresco drinking this summer

Raise a glass to the great outdoors this summer (Cotswold Distillery/PA)
Raise a glass to the great outdoors this summer (Cotswold Distillery/PA) Raise a glass to the great outdoors this summer (Cotswold Distillery/PA)

When we think about packing a picnic or colourful spread of gorgeousness, one of the charms of drinking in the open air is that ‘anything goes’.

From sunbathing to socialising, to tucking into something downright delicious, what you pop in your cooler bag can be as eclectic as your veritable feast.

Carefree, without the need for proper glassware, everything seems to taste so much more delicious under sunshine, blue skies and with the kiss of a gentle breeze.

To entice you to unfurl a blanket – as if you needed an excuse – here’s what to chill out with and be at one with the great outdoors…

1. Chosen by Majestic Picpoul de Pinet 2022, France, £9.99, Majestic

Chosen by Majestic Picpoul de Pinet 2022, France, Majestic
Chosen by Majestic Picpoul de Pinet 2022, France, Majestic (Majestic/PA)

An exciting new range that’s all about shining the light on key grape varieties from famous regions without having to dig deep, ‘Chosen By Majestic’ own-labels are priced at under £10 when you mix any six. A hot weather white, we’ve plucked their picpoul for its absolute freshness, lovely lemony notes, green apple accompanied by limey acidity and zesty finish. A natural with shellfish, garlic dips and Greek salads.

2. Adnams Fizz, Rosé, Extra Dry, Italy, £10.49, Adnams

Adnams Fizz, Rose, Extra Dry, Italy, Adnams
Adnams Fizz, Rose, Extra Dry, Italy, Adnams (Adnams/PA)

What’s a summer picnic without a little sparkle? A delicious alternative to rosé champagne, you can’t beat this pretty pink fizz for sheer drinking pleasure. Impressively fresh with a strawberry nose and soft summer fruit flavours entwined with citrus-edged fizzy fruit, there’s a sense of style to this sparkling wine. One for melon and Parma ham or summer fruit puddings.

3. Grüner 2021, 3 Cans, £16.50, Canned Wine Co

Grüner 2021, Canned Wine Company
Grüner 2021, Canned Wine Company (Canned Wine Company/PA) (Pete Axford)

A cool alternative to sauvignon blanc, Austria’s grüner veltliner is perfectly suited to summertime sipping with its peppery, herbaceous character, peachy vibrancy, Granny Smith apples, plenty of orchard fruits and zippy, citrusy finish – such as these sustainable sips. A wow wine with mouth-watering acidity.

4. Vinca Organic White and Rosé Mixed Pack, £20, (187ml x 6), Vincawine

Vinca Organic White and Rose Mixed Pack, Vinca Wine
Vinca Organic White and Rose Mixed Pack, Vinca Wine (Vinca Wine/PA)

When one of you loves white, the other pink, or you like to flip-flop between styles, this delightful duo ticks all the right boxes. Wonderfully versatile, the sun-kissed Sicilian white offers crisp, tangy citrus with blossomy, herbal notes; while the pink promises fresh notes of rose petals for a perky pick-me-up. Think cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches or bite-sized snacks.

5. Tommy’s Spicy Margarita Cans, (125ml x 8), £32, Pimentae

Tommy’s Spicy Margarita Cans, Pimentae
Tommy’s Spicy Margarita Cans, Pimentae (Pimentae/PA)

Shiny, slimline and easy on the eye, these cute ready-mades are nothing short of a work of art – and a perfect picnic shooter when you pull the ring. Expertly mixed, the spicy heat of chilli amps up the flavour with the sharpness of fresh lime adding zingy complexity to the fiery finish. Serve well chilled to tease your taste buds with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy… gone in a flash.

6. Radlow Hundred Rosé 2022, England, £34.99, (2 x bottles), Radlow Hundred

Radlow Hundred Rose 2022, England, Radlow Hundred
Radlow Hundred Rose 2022, England, Radlow Hundred (Radlow Hundred/PA)

With its picture-postcard label, this rosé looks river fresh before you’ve savoured the first sip – and lives up to expectation. Mouth-watering from the word go, there’s an engaging quality with wild strawberries on the nose, a fruity palate with ripe, red berry fruits, limey notes and hints of watermelon lingering on the medium dry finish. A really lovely, attractive style, think prawns with Thai dipping sauce.

7. Cotswolds Distillery Pre-Mixed Wildflower Gin Spritz, Cotswolds Garden Cocktail, £3.95 each, (275ml), Costwolds Distillery; Cotswolds Distillery Pre Mixed Cloudy G&T, £47.40 (275ml x 12), The Food Market

Cotswolds Distillery Pre Mixed Wildflower Gin Spritz, Cotswolds Garden Cocktail and Cotswolds Distillery Pre Mixed Cloudy G&T
Cotswolds Distillery Pre Mixed Wildflower Gin Spritz, Cotswolds Garden Cocktail and Cotswolds Distillery Pre Mixed Cloudy G&T (Cotswolds Distillery/PA)

Nailing the art of the premix, Cotswold Distillery’s award-winning gins combine all our favourite wild fruits and flavours in these crowd-pleasing cocktails and spritzes. Each manages to capture the countryside in a glass, but your senses will be smitten by the neon pink gin spritz which tantalises with hints of lavender, blossom and botanicals. Beautifully balanced and ready when you are.

8. Champagne Palmer Blanc de Blancs, France, £43.99 from £53.99, now until July 4, Waitrose

Champagne Palmer Blanc de Blancs, France, Waitrose
Champagne Palmer Blanc de Blancs, France, Waitrose (Champagne Palmer/PA)

If you’re heading to a romantic beauty spot and want the champagne to cascade as beautifully as the water feature, these top-ranking bubbles are where it’s at. With a beguiling bouquet of white flowers and brioche, there’s a wonderful yeasty complexity to the pristine citrus fruit, feeling fresh and elegant with a long, persistent finish. A stunner!