Best Summer Wines
As summer kicks off, there’s no better time to get your cellar stocked for all that the season has to offer – and these seven summer wines promise a world of great summer flavour and food-matching possibilities.
Don’t be at a loss for what to drink over the summer months – with the help of our expert Tasting Panel, we’ve put together our latest list of the best summer wines to help you entertain in style. From summer-perfect Chenin Blanc and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc Blends to the spice and savoury characters of Shiraz and Nero d’Avola – your summer is guaranteed to be filled with glass after glass of top-quality Australian wines.
Whatever your tastes, there’s sure to be something you’ll love among these picks – read on for our best wines for summer 2021.
1. Sparkling Rosé… SUMMER BUBBLES!
Every household should have a bottle of chilled Sparkling Rosé on hand, for any summer occasion. Dry, refined, bubbly and delicious, it can be enjoyed any time of day and requires no special cause to pop one open. What’s more, its status is soaring at the moment, making it even more important to have on hand!
Clover Hill is one of Australia’s principal producers of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier Cuvées, and this non-vintage Rosé shows why. It’s elegant yet powerful with a fine, mousse, layers of exotic spice, sourdough and ruby grapefruit. The palate shows distinct minerally complexity on the long and evocative finish. Perfect to serve with canapés like Deep fried oyster po’boy with celeriac remoulade and spicy mayo.
2. CHENIN BLANC… SUMMER C’est Bon!
With its origins in France’s Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc thrives in cool to moderate Australian wine regions including McLaren Vale and Margaret River. It has quite neutral yet very refreshing palate that pairs fantastically with summer food favourites including seafood, salads and pork dishes. If you haven’t already, it’s time to add Chenin Blanc to your best-of summer wines!
Having planted Chenin Blanc vines in their McLaren Vale vineyard in 1977, Coriole have plenty of experience with this lesser-known French variety, and know how to get the best out of it. This wine is delicious with or without food, and is warm and soft with spicy and nutty complexity, ripe white and yellow fruit, hints of cashew and white pepper and a flavoursome finish. Wonderful with Barbequed marron with garlic and herb butter.
3. GRÜNER VELTLINER… SUMMER ABROAD!
Grüner Veltliner has its origins in Austria and is very similar to Riesling, but with just a little more richness and distinctive peppery aroma and flavour. However, it can look more like a Chardonnay when aged. This is a style of white wine that can be enjoyed with a fantastic range of fresh and aromatic dishes, especially Asian foods, like Japanese sushi for lunch, to something a little spicier like a Thai vegetable curry.
This is the only Grüner Veltliner currently made on the Limestone Coast and was crafted by Anita Goode who is one of the region's brightest stars. Made in a deliberately more textural style, it delivers a mealy yellow fruit entry and is quite rich with spicy acid freshness, honeydew, apple and fresh herb notes, and a long, juicy finish. So good with Thai-style chicken curry with pineapple.
4. CHARDONNAY… SUMMER CLASSIC!
With their elegant characters and fine acidity, light to medium-weight modern Chardonnays are Australian summer classics. Lightly-oaked Chardonnay is relished for its lighter, somewhat fruity profile, crisper texture and floral, citrus-tinged aromatics – serve with delicious fish tacos, or a prawn and pineapple salad with lime dressing. Meanwhile, medium to fuller-weight and more heavily-oaked styles deliver notes of confectionery and vanilla with a mouth-filling, buttery-like texture.
Established in 1972, Mountadam High Eden Estate is one of Australia’s oldest cool climate Chardonnay vineyards. All fruit used to craft this wine was grown on the Estate with emphasis on select batches that expressed beautiful purity of fruit minerality with oak only playing a gently supportive role. The palate is sweet, rich and juicy with ripe layers of peach, melon and fig, creamy vanillin oak and nutty complexity. It’s long and flavoursome yet refined with lovely fine acidity throughout which makes it an excellent choice to serve with Prawn and scallop risotto with bisque broth, caviar and marinated king prawn.
5. SAUVIGNON BLANC SEMILLON BLENDS… SUMMER REFRESHMENT!
The heat of summer naturally influences the kind of wines people prefer to enjoy, so it’s no wonder many of us reach for a Sauvignon Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend – their lighter-bodied style and freshness makes them hard to resist, particularly when picnicking at the beach or relaxing poolside.
This would have to be one of the best value WA whites on the market, with a level of fruit quality and winemaking expertise that defies its price. It’s light and lively with real fruit purity throughout, showing classic tropical, citrus and capsicum core depth, nervous acidity and a vibrant finish. Sensational served with Luke Nguyen’s chilli-salted squid.
A younger-drinking red and a classic Hunter Valley style, this is a deliciously medium-bodied and velvety Shiraz with satiny red cherry and raspberry jube, fine tannins and charry barrel perfume. Pair with it an easy to prepare summer dinner favourite – Chicken Saltimbocca.
If you’re entertaining over the holiday season, make sure to try some of the above recommendations, plus take the stress out of planning with our guide to easy entertaining recipes, full of top food and wine matching suggestions as well as tips for entertaining in relaxed style.