With warmer weather on the horizon so the visceral urge to plunder the fridge in search of thirst-slaking wines gathers urgency. The question is ‘What to drink?’
I seek pleasure in wine, while bearing in mind the need for mineral-clad, energetic whites, or reds that swoon with crunchy fruit notes etched by savoury, gentle tannins.
These are the sort of wines that bring a grin on their own, while parrying with the pungent heat, crunch and sweetness of South-East Asian fare and other lighter foods enjoyed across the warmer months.
Here are some favourites:
Beach Road Greco
Stone fruit and fennel aromas thread across a viscous mouthfeel, tapered with a herbal twine.
Topper's Mountain Petit Manseng
There are two cuvées. One done in barrel, the other fermented in tank. I prefer the latter as it promotes the tangerine tang of this great Basque variety. As a uni student in Paris, jurançon sec was a go-to and this is every bit as good!
Ravensworth The Grainery
For me, the finest white Rhône blend in the country.
Chamomile and lemon curd aromas reverberate across a more generous palate than most Hunter sémillon. Minimal, racy and compelling.
A real surprise. This is peach, nectarine and Meyer lemon careening along mineral rails.
Mount Majura Mondeuse
A Savoie indigène, drinking like an alpine syrah with the pulpy flesh of a great beaujolais.
An Australian icon. Among my top five wines in the country. Thrilling young; highly complex after five to eight years in the cellar.
By Farr Rising Gamay
Rides a prickly whole-cluster attack to a kernel of crunchy red to dark fruits nestled within.
Superb thrust and parry of textures: mineral, phenolics and leesy breadth. Very long. Thrilling wine!
Mada Nebbiolo Rosé
Just drink in large drafts! A lick of volatility brings verve to wild berry fruits and a scrubby rasp.
Koerner Pigato Vermentino
Meyer lemon, anise and stone fruit toned by a skinsy grip. Liguria meets Sardinia meets the Clare Valley!
Sassafras Savagnin Ançestrale
The finest pet-nat in the land.