Ok, so maybe the Queen will have to get her royal umbrella out for the Jubilee celebration this weekend but that will not prevent us from trying some jolly good and royally affordable wines!
Here is my 8 Diamond wines for the Jubilee:
- The traditional sparkling wine
I still haven't found anything better value than this Crémant du Jura at £6.99 from Aldi.
It's crisp with persistent but pleasant bubbles that carry excellent baked apple aromas. And no, the bottle doesn't shout 'I am not royal!'
For the English Sparkling, you need to get the South Ridge Cuvée Merret from Laithwaites at £15.99.
My only advice when it comes to welcoming Signore Grigio in your home is not to invite if it comes from half-pricio-di-venezie-di-supermarketo. My pick of Pinot Grigio at decent price is the Alessandro Gallici Pinot Grigio at £7.49 from Laithwaites. It's crisp, it's got citrus and a lot more elegance and charm than his colleagues mentioned above. Have it with your starters or with some prawn cocktail or white fish on the grill.
- The aromatic White garden sipper
Now the sun has got to make an appearance this weekend. It just has. So, when that's finally the case, grab a bottle of Marques de Riscal Verdejo at £6.99 from Majestic. It's got white flowers, white stone fruits and citrus and a bit too easy to drink. Also, very nice with a creamy chicken salad.
- The Sweet summer fruit salad wine
Fancy a tipple of a low-alcohol wine with a little bit of spritz and deliciously sweet Muscat grape flavours to go with your fruit salad? Ponder no more: get the Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d'Asti for £8.99 at Invinitywines.com. It's 5.5% alcohol, full of body and flavours and just delicious!
- The Sunset Rosé
Imagine yourself on a warm terrace looking at the sun setting over the Posh & unaffordable yachts in a small typical Provence port like St Tropez. Now, drift back to reality and have a sip of this simple but elegant Grenache-based rosé with delicate aromas of summer red fruits. You're there, it's the Coeur de St Tropez Provence Rosé at £7.49 from Laithwaites.
- The Banquet red
Nothing better than a quaffable red to start with a nice bacon roll, sausage roll, ham sandwich or some good ol' French charcuterie. And for that, there is nothing better than a Beaujolais Villages. Full of red cherry & berry fruit, it's got enough acidity to keep all of you coming back to it and create a jolly good sense of camaraderie. Louis Jadot £7.39 in Waitrose (on offer).
- The elegant Antipasti red
The Allegrini family might not be royal stricto sensu but their wines definitely are. The winter warming red Amarone is a divine beauty and could appeal to the Queen's wallet at £55/bottle. At the other of the spectrum, Allegrini also does a delicious Valpolicella from the Classico area (demoted due to screwtop) that is full of elegance, delicate and soft black cherry flavours and has got a lot of complexity for a wine at £9/bottle from Thedrinkshop.com. Get your prosciutto, grissini sticks and antipasti out, it's Valpolicella time!
ps: the picture is definitely NOT doing justice to the wine...
- The BBQ wine
On to the serious boys stuff now, a real BBQ requires a sturdy fruity Shiraz to go with these grilled steak, lamb chops and burgers. My pick: the Redbridge Creek Shiraz from Sainsbury's at £5.49. It's just got enough body to got with both Aberdeen Angus beef & English pork sausages and it's juicy with some delicious redcurrant flavours.
Whatever wine you try during this long weekend, enjoy it, keep calm and carry on!