THE LOW DOWN: There’s lots of super-rich, crowd-pleasing reds in the Malbec feature ““ go get em! My single~ recommendation is more in the traditional style. As is the wonderful Fontodi Chianti Classico. Something different in a picnic red is the Gamay/Pinot blend from Switzerland. And fans of the juicy Porcupine Ridge will be happy to see a return visit of this South African treat.
The Viognier from Peninsula Ridge and a white from Gascony are must-try charmers for summer drinking. An Aussie and a French dry Rosé completes my~ picks. You can never have enough good Rosé on hand!
ANDEAN VINEYARDS 07 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 125963 $15.95
Starts out rich and yummy but there’s a solidness too ““ even a refreshing bite. The manly Argentina experience, with old-style French manners. Wonderful stuff. And organic too.
FONTODI 06 Chianti Classico. Italy 933317 $28.95
Fontodi is one of the few Chianti producers who hasn’t sold out to the current fashion for rich ‘n smooth. The wine is firm and gutsy with wonderful earthy flavours. Expensive but worth every penny if you love Tuscany. Wine for grilled or roasted meats.
CAVE de la CÃ”TE 07 MORGES, CÃ´tes Vaudoise, Switzerland 123414 $18.95
A frisky, light, refreshing red produced from Gamay, Pinot and some local oddities. Summer picnic wine ““ you’ll be the only on who brought Swiss.
BOEKENHOUTSKLOOF WINERY ‘Porcupine Ridge’ 08 Syrah, South Africa~ 595280 $15.00
Vibrant, juicy-sweet wine with enormous BBQ appeal. It’s smooth, it’s easy to like and the slight smokiness will cuddle up to food. Terribly easy to guzzle, but watch out for the high alcohol.
Nice and easy
PENINSULA RIDGE 07 Viognier, VQA Niagara 662601 $14.95
Viognier is the new hot white ““ taste and see why. Delicious honeyed-flavours and a nice-guy personality. Somewhere between Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. Yummy for sure. Charred foods are a good contrast with the sweetish style of the wine.
Nice and easy
DOMAINE de PELLEHAUT 08 Blanc, CÃ´tes de Gascogne, France 126136 $14.95
Low-alcohol, light bodied white with an amazing array of smells and flavours ““ which might have something to do with the half dozen grape varieties used. Crisp and refreshing but also quite pretty. A Sunday brunch showstopper.
PETER LEHMANN 08 Rosé, Barossa, Australia 34298 $15.95
Fresh, frank, mid-range Rosé. Drier than most out of Australia. And you get to enjoy bright cheerful art on the label. Perfect patio lunch stuff.
MAS AMIEL 08 Rosé ‘Le Plaisir’, CÃ´tes du Roussillon, France 117051 $18.95
The rich, south of France style. Very seductive. Bring on the seafood! A bit pricy but the stylish packages softens the blow. And you gotta love a wine called Le Plaisir.