As anybody who would normally be buzzing around Europe at this time of year well knows, August is the month when most of the continent packs up and heads to the beach, sweating glass of rosé in hand. Those who prefer the city can now traipse lackadaisically through relatively uncrowded streets before settling in for a sun kissed Aperitivo in a picturesque square. Those most at home in the mountains may bask in the delicious contrast of chilly breeze and blazing sunbeams.
Though since most of us are not travelling this summer, we’ll have to rely on the transporting qualities of a nice glass or two to tide us over until our next continental adventure. As we won’t have the benefit of glorious scenery to gloss over any shortcomings in the beverage department, I’ve made sure to pick some elevated options. Meanwhile, for those who are abroad (lucky you!), I have a short list of wine accessories to make sure you’re maximising the vinous component of your precious time away.
Without the azure reflections of the Med to boost its appeal, a watery white rosé can feel insipid––not so with gutsier rosés like those made with a generous dose of mourvèdre in the Provençal enclave of Bandol: Tempier Bandol Rosé 2016 is mouth-filling and plush with juicy red grapefruit, poached pear and languid floral notes.
Meanwhile, you might not immediately grasp the appeal of a sweet fortified wine in the midst of a sultry summer, but think of it as a perfectly bittersweet, ambrosial cocktail and suddenly a chilled glass of Blandy's Bual 2002 from the volcanic island of Madeiramakes perfect sense.