WINE RICHARD EHRLICH Sunny surprises for the great outdoors
Now that the World Cup is a (fairly) distant memory, we can get back to the true purpose of summer: spending as much time as possible outdoors. Sunshine builds up more than our supplies of Vitamin D. It builds a feeling of contentment which, carefully stored, can help see us through the bleak midwinter.
I’m not a great sunshine fan myself. To quote Woody Allen, explaining his aversion to the celestial rays: “I don’t burn, I stroke.” But being outdoors in the shade is just as great a pleasure, especially if the scent of sun-kissed petals fills the air.
Drinking in these circumstances is easy: find something chilled, simple, and pleasant. But I like to make it more difficult, at least some of the time. Instead of looking for the alcoholic equivalent of easy listening, I look for a challenge. One that happened to me recently was sampling a miniature of Warner Edwards Elderflower Infused Gin. I love Edwards’s ordinary gin and have recommended it here before, but elderflower is a flavour whose attractions have always escaped me. Until now. Here it’s subtle and aromatic, and makes for one of the most intriguing G&Ts you’ll ever drink. Retail price: £33. Buy or find stockists by
Another sunny surprise I’ve had this summer: discovering a sparkling wine I really, really love which comes from Australia. It’s Tyrrell’s Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2009, and its toasty maturity, allied to some very lively red-fruit flavours, make it a worthy competitor with entrylevel Champagne. Which is no mean feat at £16.99. Availability is limited to the importer’s website,
But it’s worth seeking out. Of course, there’s no point in seeking challenges all the time. I believe I’ve recommended here an earlier vintage of Les Bastions Rosé, from the Saint Mont AOC. Whether I did or not, I can vouch heartily for the new 2013 vintage. This is not your common-or-garden bubble-gum-in-aglass rosé. It has weight, depth, and a bit of tannic bite. £6.99 from
Warning: this wine is not suitable for drinking indoors. Unless you really have to.