Wines for a damp and drizzly May Day

soup in a cauldronIt’s going to be a warmish and damp Bank Holiday weekend according to The Met Office. But don’t let the dampness and lack of sun deter you from enjoying a picnic - a picnic with a difference that is. Instead of sipping light whites and rosés with your lettuce-filled sandwiches, why not get in a couple of cockle-warming reds and hearty whites for your May Day soup and sarnies.

Louis Jadot whiteLighter tasting white wines go well with warm weather outdoor foods like roast chicken sandwiches, vegetable kebabs and salads. But cooler weather heartier foods need wines made with more fruity-flavoured white grape varieties for a better match - so leave the Pinot Grigio until the summer begins and stick to gooseberry tasting Sauvignon Blancs and the honey tones of Colombard for the moment.

sausage sarnieThe continuing cool temperatures are even making the usual picnic diet of cold food and fresh fruit seem less than satisfactory. What is required now is high calorie comfort food.  Hot soup accompanied by a bacon sandwich drizzled in Daddies Sauce or a crispy roll filled with grilled pork sausage should do the trick.

Try matching high tannin red grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Malbec or lemon tasting whites like Chardonnay, Riesling or Semillon with your bacon and sausage snacks.

Whatever the weather don’t let it stop you enjoying your wine.

PG Wine Tips

£5.99 and under

There are a few fruity, slurpable wines among the forgettable masses.

Cape 312 South African Sauvignon Blanc

£4.25 Nisa

It’s light, available from your local corner shop and it’s cheap. What more do you want? Well perhaps its light lemon, almond and apple flavours – which are more French than the usual blousy South African whites that are normally available.

Co-op South African Chardonnay

£4.49 Co-op (down from £5.49 until May 1)

This wine does exactly what it says on the label: tastes of passion fruit, baked pear and melon. Whiffs of highly buttered toast. Nuff said.

Co-op Italian Chianti 2010

£4.79 Co-op (down from £5.49 until May 1)

Velvety cherry and damson flavours with a bit of Marmite and TCP thrown in. This is actually quite a robust version of a Chianti, the usual supermarket offerings are generally lighter affairs.

Villa Pani Italian Pinot Grigio Chardonnay 2011

£4.99 Co-op (down from £9.99 until May 1)

Not quite sure where the Co-op gets the original £9.99 price from because this wine ain’t worth more than its offer price of £4.99. It’s still good – light lemon and creamy apple flavours – but I wouldn’t want to pay any more.

Aldi Minarete DueroMinarete Spanish Ribera del Duero 2010

£5.49 Aldi

This new addition to the Aldi range is really very good and great value for money: it tastes like cocoa dusted blackcurrants. Very nice.

Costs a bit more, but tastes great

Sometimes a bottle of wine tastes so fab it's still a bargain whatever it costs.

Legaris Spanish Verdejo 2011

£7.99 Wine Rack

This white made with the Spanish Verdejo grape is a Sauvignon Blanc by another name – classic Sauvignon flavours of gooseberry, grass and lemon. Nice though.

This article has also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk