The odd torrential thunderstorm aside, the summer is in full swing. Hurrah! Of course, most of us are going to have to enjoy it here in Blighty rather than sur le continong or in the Maldives or Mauritius, so ridiculously complex and uncertain does travel abroad remain.
But, heck, if we can’t neck fine Provencal rosé by some sun-dappled French pool then we can darn well drink well here. France can come to us in vinous form and we can wallow with joy in our native vino too, with English sparklers and still wines better than ever.
Transport yourself with my following suggestions for a great British summer. As you enjoy a light drizzle on the front in Brighton, imagine that you’re strolling along Nice’s Promenade des Anglais and as you gaze through a sea fret at the vast sweep along the coast to Worthing, imagine the Bay of Naples. Drink long and drink deep. Cheers!
2019 Pierre Jaurant Pinot Blanc (£6.49; Aldi)
Aldi has gained a reputation for rather quirky wines over the years (I trust you grabbed one of their spiffing gallons of 10 Year Old Tawny Port last Christmas). I love Alsace and I love this. A beautifully judged, lightly floral, soft, creamy white, it’s perfect dejeuner sur l’herbe fare and hard to beat as a 6pm aperitif.
2017 Domaine Bisconte Roussillon (£10.00; Co-op)
The Co-op, too, has a brilliant wine selection, second only to Waitrose in my opinion. This is a great example of what they’re about: a big, bold and assertive Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre blend that’s rich, dark and juicy with a gloriously fruit-laden finish. A must for the summer barbecue, it brings a heady touch of French garrigue to your Surrey staycation.