summer saladSummer is now officially here and with it the hope of sultry days and the need for a cooling drink. So now’s the time to choose chilled whites as these make a good choice for wine lovers looking for refreshment. Cold meats and light vegetarian dishes are a good stand-by on a hot evening and the citrus and buttery smells and taste of white wine make a good match.

But sought after Burgundies or New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs can set you back as much as £25 a bottle, but not all whites are as expensive. Chile, Spain and southern Europe produce whites made with their indigenous grape varieties at a quarter of the price which are just as enjoyable.

barbecue coalsAnd if you’re planning a barbecue then the lighter tasting flavours of white wines go well with fish, chicken or vegetable kebabs cooked over coals. These foods often pick up a smoke-laced tang and so need wines made with more fruity-flavoured white grape varieties for a better match. Gooseberry tasting Sauvignon Blanc and the honey tones of a Colombard go well.

rolled newspaperMind you keeping white wines cold while the sun shines and the barbecue radiates heat is tricky, but not insoluble. For a quick and cheap solution, wrap your whites in newspaper soaked in water. As the water evaporates it takes the heat away, so keeping your wine cool for about half an hour. For a longer lasting solution, stand your white wines in a mixture of water and ice cubes.