Wine connoisseur Darren Shield is owner of Vesuvio wine bar and merchants in Darlington. Here he recommends six of the best summer wines. Chin chin
Este Loureiro Vinho Verde
Minho, Portugal, £9
I love Vinho Verde, even though it was overtaken in popularity by the pungent Sauvignon Blancs of New Zealand and elsewhere in the last ten years or so.
It has more subtle, light, grassy, lemon and elderflower flavours that go down so well on a glorious summer day. It weighs in at an easy going 11% alcohol, so is the perfect accompaniment to a light lunch or a an aperitif for your summer barbecue.
Albourne Estate Bacchus
Sussex, England, £14
Utterly delicious and refreshing, Albourne Estate Bacchus is without doubt the best English wine I have tried recently. Winner of English Wine of the Year 2015, it offers bright flavours of pink grapefruit, nettle and gooseberry – as well as pungent aromas of the English countryside. Try it with fish and chips – you will not be disappointed!
Lombardy, Italy, £15
Prepare to be amazed by this astounding wine. Rich swirling flavours of citrus, baked apple and pear mingle with notes of almond and creamy hazelnut to give a wine experience like no other from this underrated wine region. This is a real treat for the summer season.
Brigitte Lurton Malbec
Vin de Pays du Lot, France, £9
This charming Malbec is from the famous Lurton family of Southern France, and has an definite character of the new generation of Malbecs. Hailing from the ancestral home of Malbec in South West France, this is THE perfect barbecue wine. Blueberry and blackberry flavours are wrapped in a savoury blanket with tannins that are so soft they are practically non-existent. Without food, this is also a sensory experience.
Pata Negra Gran Reserva
Valdepeñas, Spain, £11
One of the true bargain regions of the wine world currently, Valedepeñas genuinely mimics the style of Rioja for a fraction of the price. This Gran Reserva hails from 2007 and so offers big developed flavours of raspberry jam with vanilla, clove and cinnamon all dancing on the palate.
Mount Holdsworth Pinot Noir
Wairarapa, New Zealand, £14
New Zealand is now producing some of the finest Pinot Noirs in the world. This great winery has coaxed this thin-skinned finicky grape to produce this lighter-bodied wine with exuberant strawberry and cherry flavours and hints of toasty oak. This charming wine matches perfectly with your lamb and rosemary. One of the great wine styles.
For more information visit www.vesuviowine.online