Despite the changeable weather, summer is well and truly upon us. The wine trade may think nothing happens from June until August, but many restaurateurs will be busy, not just with tourists, but regular customers who can't take three months off over the summer. There is no excuse for complacency about your wine list. White and rosé spring to mind, but there's always room for a good red.
- ‘Ros de Pacs' Rosado, Parès Baltá 2006 It's pink, it's fruity and it's soft but not flabby or overripe. In a crowded field this Catalan rosado stands out for it's delicacy and sheer drinkability. Not to mention a rather attractive price. £4.95 per bottle, ex-VAT from Top Selection, topselection.co.uk
- Las Corazas, Bodegas Roqueta 2006 This ‘humble ‘ Tempranillo is jammy, berryish, with just the right amount of oak to offer a great value, honest glass of red, that cannot fail to satisfy. Serve slightly chilled if you can. £3.40 per bottle, ex-VAT from Indigo Wine, email info@indigowine
- Affordable: Pinot Gris, Kumeu River 2006 From one of my favourite producers in New Zealand, this could be the benchmark that establishes the ‘typical' New Zealand style of Pinot Gris. It offers a subtle, aromatic nose, with a full, rich palate, lovely creamy texture and moderate acidity. There is some residual sweetness, but nothing to be afraid of and a demure 13% alcohol. Drink this versatile wine with all manner of fish dishes, it will handle spice too. £8.41 per bottle, ex-VAT from Farr Vintners farrvintners.com
- Gavi, Pio Cesare 2006 Restrained and steely, with subtle stone fruit nuances, this northern Italian classic shows delicate fruit sweetness in the mouth, with a clean, fresh and pure fruitiness backed by crisp acidity. It's attractive and wellmade, and will partner soft shell crab and other seafood. Without a hint of oak it will also make a great aperitif for those who shun fruit bombs. £10.50 per bottle, ex-VAT from MMD tel; 020 8812 3380
- Saint Clair ‘Omaka Reserve' Pinot Noir 2004 A Kiwi Pinot with soft tannins and snappy acidity. Cool before glugging. Has tastes of expressive, fruityblackcurrant, cherry and plums. £11.02 per bottle, ex-VAT from Michael Druitt; hallgarten.co.uk
- Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Tanbark Hill', Philip Togni 2002 Normally much sought after, this is a limited release via Bibendum and is particularly notable because it shows not a whiff of the extreme heat of its vintage. It is a middle weight, but quite beefy nonetheless. There's ripeness, but freshness too and some genuine class. Drink now or keep. £286 per case of 12 in bond, equivalent to £25.17 per bottle, ex-VAT from Bibendum, bibendum-wine.co.uk