John Wilson's top 20 wines for summer

From palate-tingling whites to elegent reds and everything in between, John Wilson has a summer wine to suit your taste and budget


It may be tempting fate to bring up the subject of summer wines, but as I write, we are enjoying yet another wonderful sunny day. 

Warmer weather certainly calls for a different style of wine.

As a general rule, look out for wines that are lower in alcohol, lighter in texture and body, and higher in acidity.

Unless you are eating, it is a good idea to avoid oaked wines.

This goes for reds and rosé, as well as white wines. Below are 20 wines to keep you refreshed throughout the summer months.


Picpoul wine1 Aldi Exquisite Collection Picpoul de Pinet 2013
13% €9.99
Aldi has a few very drinkable inexpensive summery whites including this fresh Picpoul with generous pear fruits. Stockists: Aldi



Olive branch wine

2 The Olive Branch Semillon Sauvignon, South Australia 2013,
12%, €11.99 for July
Attractive crisp, fresh, zesty dry white with light green fruits. Stockists: O’Briens



Menade wine

3 Menade Rueda Verdejo 2013 (Organic)
13%, €14.65
A big, smiling mouthful of ripe pear and pineapple fruits, balanced by racy citrus acidity. Stockists: Le Caveau Kilkenny; MacGuinness, Dundalk; Fallon & Byrne; Clontarf Wines


Giel Riesling wine

4 Geil Riesling Trocken Rheinhessen 2013, 

12% €16.50
Fresh and spritzy with delicate apple fruits. Summer in a glass. Stockists: 64wine, Glasthule; Sweeneys, Glasnevin; Clontarf Wines; independent wine shops



5 Bellier Cheverny 2013, 
12.5% €15.35/£10.30
It shouldn’t work but it does: a blend of Sauvignon and Chardonnay from the Loire with lifted grassy aromas, fresh green fruits and a lovely zippy finish. Very enjoyable wine. Stockists: James Nicholson,

6 Sancerre 2012 Domaine Paul Prieur,
13% €23-24
Exquisite palate-tingling crisp green fruits with a wonderful dry finish. Stockists: Leopardstown Inn; Mortons, Ranelagh; Molloys; Village, Castleknock; Thomas, Foxrock; Callans, Dundalk Rosé


Montesierra wine7 Montesierra Rosado 2013, Somontano, Spain
13.5% €11.90
Plump, ripe summer fruits with plenty of body – a real crowd-pleaser. Stockists: La Touche Wines; Clontarf Wines, Jus de Vine, Sweeneys, 64Wine, The Cheese Pantry; The Black Pig




8 Delheim Pinotage Rosé, 2013, Stellenbosch,
12.5% €12.99 or two for €19.40
Ample rounded fresh strawberry fruits with clean crisp acidity; great party wine. Stockists: O’Briens


Laurent B wine9 Laurent B 2013 Domaine Brusset Côtes du Rhône
13% €15.49
Lovely medium-throttle textured strawberry fruits. This is a great lunchtime wine and the perfect accompaniment to Provençal fish dishes and salads. Stockists: Mitchell & Son, CHQ, IFSC and Glasthule,


Mirabeau wine10 Mirabeau 2013, Côtes de Provence
13% €15.99 or two for €23.98
Exuberant rosé filled with ripe fruit – the perfect deckchair wine for sunny summer afternoons. Stockists: O’Briens


11 Sipp-Mack Rosé d’Alsace 2012
13% €17.49
This is what Alsace should make with pinot noir: delightful, elegant, fragrant, raspberry-scented rosé. Stockists: Mitchell & Son, CHQ, IFSC & Glasthule,


L'Hortus cropped12 Bergerie de l’Hortus Rosé 2013, Coteaux du Languedoc 
13.5% €15.70
Appetisingly crisp mineral rosé with subtle strawberry and summer fruits. Stockists: Wines Direct, Mullingar 1890 579 579





Vina Laguna wine13 Vina Laguna Teran 2012, Istria, Croatia
11.4% €14.95
Light lip-smacking, juicy cherry and damson fruits. Serve cool with charcuterie. Stockists: Redmonds; Hole in the Wall; Brechin; Jus de Vine; Corkscrew; Gibneys



Bierko14 Biurko Rioja 2013 (Organic)
13% €16.95
Slightly earthy ripe cherry fruits and a seamless easy finish. Stockists: Honest2Goodness Wines; The Black Pig, Donnybrook



Fleurie wine15 Fleurie La Madone 2010, Domaine des Chaffangeons
13% €19.95
Distinctly superior Fleurie with succulent, harmonious cherry fruits. Stockists: The Wicklow Wine Co; The Coach House, Ballinteer; Sweeneys; The Drink Store; Clontarf Wines; Hollands of Bray; Deveneys



Rosso di marco wine16 Rosso di Marco, Marco de Bartoli, Pignatello Terre Sicilia 2012
12.5% €20.99
Offbeat wine from a Marsala producer; light tangy cherries with a savoury bite on the finish. Stockists: Wines on the Green; Hollands of Bray; Clontarf Wines; The Drink Store; Jus de Vin; McCabes; Baggot Street Wines


Setzer wine17 Setzer Zweigelt 2012, Niederösterreich, Austria
13% €21.95
Smooth ripe dark fruits with hints of spice and dark chocolate. Stockists: Honest2Goodness; The Corkscrew; Baggot Street Wines; Donnybrook Fair



Roches Neuve wines

18 Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur Champigny 2013
12.5% €24.95
Very moreish vivid redcurrant fruits with a smooth finish. Perfect with cold meats. Stockists: Le Caveau, Kilkenny; Fallon & Byrne, Exchequer St



19 Aldi Cava Contevedo Brut NV
11.5% €10.49
Zesty and fresh with creamy green fruits, this is one of the best value bottles of fizz I have tasted in a while. Stockist: Aldi

20 Oudinot Brut Champagne NV
12% €39.00
Made from 100 per cent chardonnay this is a lovely crisp dry Champagne with cool green fruits and a touch of toasted brioche. Posh summer celebrations.
Stockists: Marks & Spencer

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