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Tom Doorley on bor­der­line se­ri­ous wines that still taste like a lot of fun

I knew I’d be tempt­ing fate if I de­cided to write about sum­mery wines. No sooner had I sat down at my desk than the heav­ens opened, so I apol­o­gise for this thought­less­ness.

All I can do is hope that by the time you read this the sun may be mak­ing valiant at­tempts to de­feat the clouds. This is im­por­tant as the wines I want to sug­gest this week are es­sen­tially ones that go best with a lazy open air lunch be­tween friends. And they are all red, bar one. Some­how it’s a lot eas­ier to choose whites for good weather. My sole rule of thumb with such whites is to avoid oak (there’s some­thing about the whiff of smoky vanilla that goes with the cool of evening, to be hon­est) and hu­mon­gous amounts of fruit. Other­wise, it’s plain sail­ing.

I’ve in­cluded a rosé be­cause there is, to be frank, a rather nar­row win­dow of op­por­tu­nity to drink this kind of stuff en plein air with­out shiv­er­ing.

Grab the op­por­tu­nity and dis­cover that pink wines are not all sweet and mawk­ish; most of them are dry and rather grown-up.

Just avoid any­thing of that shade from Cal­i­for­nia (you’re bet­ter off with a can of Coke) or that has the dreaded word ‘blush’ on the la­bel.

Other­wise I’m look­ing for low tan­nins, de­cent fruit, plenty of acid­ity for fresh­ness and ‘cut’ and, im­por­tantly, wines that you don’t need to drink with a brow fur­rowed in con­cen­tra­tion. We’re look­ing for good stuff — bor­der­line se­ri­ous wines that still taste like a lot of fun.

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