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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine

Bottled Sunshine Wines to Enjoy this Summer

The warmer months are here, and with them come relaxation, festivities, and lots of sunshine. This is the time of year when lighter, brighter styles of wine come into their own.


Australian summers were made for enjoying wine. Hot days followed by warm evenings dining al fresco, long lazy lunches and barbecues all call for the perfect drop, and although there is no single definition of a perfect summer wine, some varietals tend to suit the warmer weather better than others.

To help you reach for the perfect bottle every time, we've compiled a selection of wines to take you through the season.

Think crisp, refreshing white wines—lighter, simpler, fruit and acid-driven dry or slightly off-dry whites, served well chilled. But don't discount the reds - many red wines are also refreshing on a hot day.

Sparkling Wine might very well be the wine world's best answer to summer heat. The hero of a special occasion, a glass of sparkling wine is always appropriate, anywhere, anytime, regardless of the time of year. The wine's temperature and the bubbles themselves make it a refreshing, cooling beverage, and its high acidity makes them ideally suited to summer foods such as ham, salads, chilled soup, soft cheeses, and a variety of seafood.

Pinot Gris, with its tangy, dry, light and fruity flavours, never fails to get a thumbs up from wine drinkers and is fast becoming one of the country's most popular white wines and just perfect with light foods such as pasta, grilled or roast chicken, fish and delicate seafood such as tuna and shrimp.

While Chardonnay is a wonderful wine to be enjoyed all year round, the warmer months are the perfect time to get to know the world's most popular white wine. The Hunter Valley produces rich, ripe Chardonnay wines with beautiful freshness and vitality and excellent when paired with roast chicken, grilled fish, or crayfish on the BBQ.

Brimming with perfumed aromas and spicy flavour characteristics, Gewürztraminer is pure summer in a bottle and one of the most distinctive white wines in the world. With its intense aromas, strong texture and low acidity, this wine is wonderful served with stir-fried pork and pickled plum, crayfish laksa or a fish curry on a bed of aromatic jasmine rice.

With its fresh, tropical fruit characters, un-oaked style and sheer drinkability, Verdelho is very much the crowd-pleaser and is well matched when served with a host of spicy Asian cuisines, including Thai, Vietnamese and Malaysian, or enjoyed kicking back by the pool. While it is widely grown throughout Australia, the Hunter Valley consistently produces some of the best examples of this variety, with pristine aromas and flavours that are ideal for early consumption.

Hunter Valley Semillon is the wine to drink this summer with or without food, as a pre-dinner drink or as a refresher at the end of a long, sweltering day. Naturally low in alcohol and almost devoid of residual sugar, Hunter Semillon is the ideal partner for the season's lighter fish and seafood meals. It's a great accompaniment to vegetarian foods, too. When young, it's great with fresh oysters, chilled prawns and cooked white-fleshed fish. With some age it is lovely when served with smoked trout or salmon, roast stuffed chicken, lobster with burnt butter and other flavoursome dishes.

Taking its name from Vitis apiana, "the vine beloved of bees", Fiano wines can range in style from light and fresh to full-bodied and rich. Its love of hot and dry climates has seen it thrive in wine-producing regions such as the Hunter Valley, and it is the perfect summer wine to suit a range of cooked or raw seafood.

Rosé has been taking over wine lists for the past few years and is now the tipple of choice for long lunches. The ensuing flavours range from red fruit and flowers through citrus and melon to celery and rhubarb. Characterised by its light body and crisp finish, Rosé is the ideal wine for summer and perfect when served with seafood such as tuna, barbecued prawns or swordfish.

But don't ignore the reds! A change in the season simply means a shift in wine style – out with the big, rich and powerful, in with the elegant and refreshing. Many red wines are excellent on a hot summer day, and Pinot Noir is the typical go-to warm-weather wine and can be lightly chilled without losing personality and character. Other varieties such as Gamay, Sangiovese, Barbera and Grenache that originated in Mediterranean climates are also perfect for drinking in warm weather.

Make your summer even more sensational by treating yourself to a new world of wine with delicious alternative varietals you are guaranteed to love.

Our Top Drops for Summer:



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