Summer is delivering lots of sunshine, hot evenings and (more importantly) lots of opportunities to sit out with a nice glass of wine and relax. That’s why we have been hard at work (we promise it’s work!), trying out some of the best wines of Summer 2016.
This guide features the best summer wine and wine accessories we could find; including wines from France and Romania, two types of fizz from Italy and Spain, plus a nifty cork remover and wine stopper. What more could you need to kick off a great summer’s evening?
Le Petit Ballon (our pick of the season)
Now, you may not have heard of Le Petit Ballon, but if you love wine and you are looking for a new way to experience it, then this is for you. Le Petit Ballon is a French wine subscription service (available in the UK) and last year alone they shipped over 400,000 bottles!
To help is get an idea of the wines provided by the service, we tried a couple of sample bottles and our favourite was the Clos de l’Ours Grizzly 2015 (Organic). Typically, I am not a fan of rose; however, this fantastic offering had huge, refreshing and a real vibrancy of flavour.
The wine is packed full of strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and even pomegranate flavours. Le Petit Ballon suggest that this wine explodes on the palete and we couldn’t have put it better ourselves. We didn’t know a rose could pack so many flavours!
For us, Le Petit Ballon is one of the most exciting wine related finds of the summer and if the small selection we sampled is anything to go by, their selection of wines is sublime.
To take the hassle out of buying the perfect wine, Le Petit Ballon offers two levels of subscriptions, The Apprentice Box (£24.90 per month) and The Master Box (£39.90 per month). The Apprentice Box is a perfect introduction subscription to discover unknown vineyards and great value wines. Gifting subscriptions can be made on a 3, 6 and 12-month basis. Find out more here.
Cramele Recas Romanian Wines (with a modern twist)
When you think “wine” you may not immediately think Romania. It just doesn’t seem to be favoured as a go to for wine and, having tasted these fantastic offerings from Cramele Recas, we can’t quite understand why. Also, you may even be surprised to hear that this exporter of wines actually produces the UK’s biggest selling Pinot Grigio (sold under various labels). We tried a few bottles of wine from Cramele Recas (Romania’s biggest exporter of wines) and we adored them.
Cramele Recas is a relatively modern producer of wines, but the site the wines are grown on are centuries old and there is a history of great wine in the vines. To get a jist for these wines, we tried the Paparuda Pinot Noir and others. The moreish Pinot Noir was clean, with lots of red fruit flavour and a pleasant redcurrant aroma. Easy to drink (to say the least), this is deeply pleasant wine to drink and a great indicator as to the potential of the wines here.
i heart Prosecco Minis (£2.99)
Delicious, crisp and perfectly sized to stowaway in a hand bag, these mini bottles of prosecco are ideal for trips to the races, picnics or any other Summery activity you can think of. At under £3 they are also easy on the purse strings too. Available at Bargain Booze, Nisa and other local newsagents
Codorníu Rosado Brut NV
How about this gorgeous fizz from Spanish cava giant Codorniu. This Rosado Brut ooozes bags of character and makes for a great pressie too. This is a deliciously delicate drink with a stylish finish and is our favourite Summer choice from the Codorníu range. Available at Co-op & Wine Rack RRP £9.99.
Calmo CORKLIFTER by Toccami
One thing that can take the edge off enjoying a bottle of wine is looking for that pesky corkscrew that won’t stay in the draw or using a corkscrew which just doesn’t cut the mustard. That’s why we were excited to try out the CORKLIFTER by Toccami. This sleek device makes fast work of opening bottles of wine and it doesn’t cost the earth either at under £28.
We tried the device on new synthetic “corks” and it removed that quite easily. Plus, we also tried it on your standard cork and this also came out cleanly. Thanks to the CORKLIFTER it’s now dangerously easy for us to access wine in our house!
But that’s not all, as the package also comes with a handy foil remover for the sparkling drinks, so you really have all you need. Plus, the quality seems high and the box comes with a replacement screw and blades for the foil remover – a great touch! This device is totally worth the money!
Calmo Wine Pourer, Stopper and Drop Controller by Toccami
There is that odd occasion when a bottle of wine is not fully drunk and there is a need to seal up the bottle for the next night. This handy device will neatly seal up your bottle and keep it fresh to fight another day. But that’s not all! In fact, the device also acts as an elegant pourer with a non-drop top, just to make sure no wine escapes when you pour.
This offering from Toccami is most certainly one of the prettier stoppers and pourers we have seen. So not only is it functional, but it is also pleasing on the eye too. The device simply slips into the bottle opening, creating a seal and therefore allowing you to pour away. Once finished, simply pop the stopper in to preserve the wine. For £8, this is one of the best tools of
Find out more about Toccami products here.