With an abundance of red lists and Amber lists, and not a lot going in terms of the green list, 2021 will be known as the Summer of the staycation. And whilst we may be missing those beautiful days in tropical climes, I am definitely a glass half full kind of person and I have already been enjoying gorgeous picnics in local beauty spots and Welsh beaches, and even, on a particularly glorious day, in our back garden.
I don’t think there’s anything like dining al fresco, and picnics have come on a long way since the days of limp cheese sandwiches on white bread. These days you can have your picnic catered for if you so wish, or you can do it yourself with gorgeous local produce from farm shops (we live close to Essington Farm and the Quiche and cold cuts are frankly to die for). Even supermarkets have a great selection of produce that is perfect for picnics. Aldi, in particular, has great choice in Olives, hummus and salads that are perfect for picnics as they are prepacked – you just need to bring forks.
Of course, whatever food you choose, you also need to compliment it with a good choice of wine. Independent Wines offer you the taste of Italy, and have, this Summer, selected some amazing wines that are crying out to be enjoyed on a beach or in a beautiful park.
For me, chilled white wine is the taste of Summer. The Siddùra Maìa 2019 | Vermentino di Gallura DOCG Superiore is one of their key choices. Maìa offers concentrated flavours of refreshing citrus fruits and white flowers, all thanks to a special tech unique of winemaking. Made in Gallura, aka northern Sardinian Riviera, the area is famous for its white sandy beaches and shallow lagoons. Siddùra’s winery is hidden up in the mountains, just half an hour’s drive from the seaside resort of Portobello di Gallura. In the glass, this Vermentino has clear lemon shade. Siddùra Maìa offers pronounced aromas of lime, peach, melon and yellow apple, complemented by notes of honeysuckle and jasmine. This is a crisp and delicious dry wine that would be perfect with salads and light desserts – I’m thinking of combining those peachy flavours with strawberrries and cream for real picnic decadence.
Of course, some people (my Italian father-in-law included) will only drink a hearty, full bodied red wine. In this case, you need to try the Ridolfi Fiero 2017 | Toscana IGT. This is a Super Tuscan wine that is a classic blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Sangiovese. It is produced by Ridolfi, a small, organic-certified winery in the famous Montalcino area. This is a deep and hearty wine with powerful and very complex aromas of redcurrant, blueberry, red plum and red cherry underpinned with cedar, prune, fig, chocolate and wet leaves. Dry on the palate, with delicate tannins, well-balanced acidity and a medium body. This is the wine you want to enjoy with a delicious roast beef and mustard sandwich, or a rich creamy chocolate dessert, flavours that linger in your taste buds for a long time.
This Summer will be what you make it, so get out there, enjoy some of the beautiful scenery of the UK, and enjoy some delicious food and wine.