clockThe move into British Summer Time always leaves me time disorientated but by 7pm this Sunday I know my system will have accepted the change – I can now listen to The Archers and admire the colour of a glass of lightly chilled white wine without needing to put the light on.

daffodilLonger periods of daylight send a signal to our brain to expect warmer days and nights. Our senses instinctively back this up by rejecting the dark reds and browns of winter and seeking out lighter colours.

So leave dark red Cabernet Sauvignons unopened and pick up a bottle of its white cousin Sauvignon Blanc instead. This light green coloured wine not only matches the burgeoning spring foliage but also the lighter foods we'll be eating once the weather gets warmer: quiches, cold meats and cold soups all match its gooseberry smell and taste.

Sauvignon Blanc, though fresh and fruity, can be rather one dimensional so a good alternative are wines made with the Chenin Blanc grape.

Mostly made in South Africa, Chenin Blanc’s multiple fruit personality makes it versatile enough to match almost any dish. But its sweet melon and apple flavours also make it a good choice as an aperitif or an ideal partner to a large bowl of popcorn while watching that favourite film for the seventh time.

Spring-time needn’t be just about white wines; there are plenty of lighter reds that are an ideal match to lighter meals. Try French Claret or Beaujolais, or wines made with the Pinot Noir grape to find strawberry and redcurrant flavours.

Belmonte Sauvignon BlancPG Wine Reviews

Andarra Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2013

£3.99 Aldi

With aromas of cheese and pineapple on sticks and flavours of creamy pineapple and grapefruit, this Sauvignon Blanc makes a good choice for everyday drinking and matching to nibbles and unpretentious nosh.

Asda Extra Special Italian Barbera D'Asti

£5 Asda

A deeply fruity red that's amazing value.

Les Jamelles Viognier 2013, French

£6.99 Co-op

This brand from the Co-op is a reliable and well-priced wine. With creamy flavours of apple strudel and lemon this aromatic Viognier makes a good match to fish in herby sauces or even biscuits and cheese.

Angove Australian Long Row Merlot 2013

£8 Sainsbury's

A nice fruity wine that tastes of cherry, raspberry and plum.

Berry Bros. & Rudd Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2014


Light gooesberry and apple flavours. A nice mid-way Sauvignon Blanc bewteen the overblown gooseberryiness of New Zealand types and often too subtle apple flavours from France.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on

half bottles of champagneHalf bottles of wine at half the cost? Not necessarily so, unfortunately. Because so few vineyards put their wines in 375ml bottles the price of this handy single-sized portion never gets lowered by mass production and so remains at about two-thirds the price of its 750ml equivalent. But half bottles aren’t all bad – they do allow you to assess the maturing potential of many wines without the risk and all the cost.

coinsYou may think paying around six quid for a bottle of wine is expensive but to the wine trade this is the cheaper end of the market. Because of both inflation and consumer spending habits the wine producers have found that the under-a-fiver category is no longer worth the time and expense and so if you can remember the time when you could get a decent bottle for under £3.99 then hang on to the memory because there won't be any more. Instead we must look to the £5.99 and under category to find the everyday bottles.

wine groupIt'll be easy celebrating Saint David’s Day tomorrow. Dish out some lamb cutlets and you’re well on your way to a delicious meal and an excuse to open several bottles in hope of finding a wine to match. Because as a young cut of Welsh lamb is neither quite red meat or white it matches both red and white wine equally well, so pacifying the food-wine matching theorists who insist on matching red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat and fish.