By Andrew Lundy, Vino Wine Shops
When it comes to summer drinks, there can be fashion faux pas at every turn. With this guide you can avoid the potential pitfalls and really impress your friends at any occasion in the summer months.
If you’re still feeling some Brazilian fever following this year’s World Cup, I recommend our Brazilian pinot noir from Aurora. We have been selling this wine successfully for almost two years now, and it is a firm customer favourite. Bristling with new world fruit, it’s a light bodied pinot noir that needs some time in the fridge before serving with a charcuterie lunch or a light chicken salad. We also have a sparkling pink moscato from Aurora with just 7.5% alcohol. With its candied fruit, it’s a great start to any celebration.
No celebration this summer would be complete without champagne. Although it’s special enough served on its own, making champagne cocktails is a way of really wowing your guests. A classic Kir Royal is very simple to make - just pour a few millilitres of Crème De Cassis into a flute, and top up with champagne. You can use cava or prosecco to brighten up the complexity of a Kir Royal, but my tip here would be to use Fragola Wild Strawberry Liqueur from Bepe Tosolini in Italy.
Summer wines often need to be lighter, especially when paired with lighter dishes. Rosé is a natural fit for this – but avoid the sweet nectar-like ones. I’m talking about serious rosé – the pale, dry and elegant French variety.
Domaine Vacheron is one of Sancerre’s top producers and makes some of the world’s most highly regarded Sauvignon Blanc. But for me, the highlight of their range is actually their rosé. Made from pinot noir, their Sancerre Rosé is arguably one of the best rosé wines in the world, and for less than £20, you can try the very best at an affordable price. Produced only in the best vintages, the hints of raspberry and strawberry form a dry, ‘grown up’ wine that pairs perfectly with a feta salad or with salmon. Your wine connoisseur friends will note the ‘minerality’ that’s present in this wine, which is found in all great Loire whites.
Whenever we have good weather in here in Scotland, we like to fire up the barbecue. But a proper celebratory barbecue wouldn’t be complete without friends and family - and plenty of meat and drinks! Often, your guests will bring a bottle, but because you know what you are cooking, it’s best to match up the drinks yourself. Gnarly Head Zinfandel, from the Lodi in California, is the perfect wine for carnivores. The heady black fruit burst is unctuous in the glass and stands up for itself next to steak or ribs.
If you’d prefer beer and you fancy a drink with a difference, try Blackhouse smoked porter from Fallen Brewery in Sterlingshire. Flavours of chocolate, coffee and peat smoke give this 5% beer a character that was born to be enjoyed with chargrilled sausages or burgers.
Armed with these top tips for the best beers, wines and cocktails to drink this summer, you’ll be able to make any occasion one to remember.
You can find four Vino Wine Shops throughout Edinburgh, all within easy reach of Quartermile. The shops at Grange Loane, Broughton Street, Comiston Road and North West Circus Place offer a wide range of beers, wines and spirits that are a perfect match for any event.