If it stops raining

sunHere comes the sun. Well in-between the rain. The Met Office outlook for next week suggests ‘a good deal of fine dry weather’ with a ‘changeable’ end of August Bank Holiday. So if you want a picnic then do it sooner rather than later and get those picnic baskets and chilled bottles of wine on standby.

picnicChoose lightly flavoured whites to match the subtle flavour of picnic quiches and cucumber sandwiches and more robustly-flavoured reds to help wash down the heartier flavours of sausage rolls and Ginsters Cornish pasties.

But with all that nosh packed away the picnic basket is going to be quite heavy enough, so it helps if the accompanying wine comes in light-weight packaging.

Carry a traditional glass bottle of wine to your picnic site and you'll be adding the equivalent weight of four large tins to your basket. But choose a wine in plastic-coated cardboard and your drink immediately halves its load.

Tesco Everyday ValueTesco’s Everyday Value range comes not only packaged in 1-litre tetrapaks but also in smaller versions filled with just 25cl of wine. These individual sized portions are just the job for an informal picnic – light in weight, light on the pocket and light in flavour.

Sourced from Spain, the Everyday Value range offers quaffable flavours: melon and banana for the white, light raspberry and cherry for the red. There’s even a strawberry-flavoured Everyday Rosé.

However there is fundamental drawback to the packaging design – what’s printed on it. I don’t think the Tesco graphic designer has gotten over the 80s view that wine wrapped in cardboard is cheap and nasty, because that’s the image conveyed by the 5 minute clip art job on the front of each tetrapak.

But if your zeitgeist is strong enough to ignore the derision from other picnickers then why not get some cardboard-coated wine? You’ll have the last laugh as not only is the wine inside fruity and fulfilling but the price is just £1.29 for the 25cl tetrapaks and £3.99 for their larger 1-litre cousins (equivalent bottle price £3).

Tesco Everyday ValuePG Picnic Wine Tips

£3.99 and under

There are still some good bottles to be found that cost the same as a couple of National Lottery tickets.

Aldi Italian Soave

£3.39 Aldi

It does come in glass bottle but it’s still pretty good: crisp apple, almond and greengage flavours. Everyday drinking at a very good price.

£5.99 and under

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

Aldi Italian Pinot Noir

£4.19 Aldi

A new addition to Aldi’s core wine range and it’s very good indeed – light cherry with more intense cherry flavours on top with a dusting of cocoa. It’s like biting into a chocolate-coated freshly picked cherry. Yum.

Arniston Bay South African The Coast White

£4.25 Co-op (down from £5.99 until August 14)

Lemon and lime zing with a pear and pineapple ending. The white is a perfectly acceptable picnic plonk but the red version of The Coast is to be avoided – watery sweetness with no fruit.

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