Bank Holiday Wines – A Wine Buyers Guide

With the second of May’s two bank holidays upon us I see no harm in sharing a few thoughts on the ideal wines to make your long weekend that little bit tastier. Actually scrap that – you’ll have an absolute blast with these picks…

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Making plans for these ‘government bonus’ weekends is fraught with disappointment as it tends to end up lashing it down, so any fun plans that involve being outdoors flies out the window, (inside the window might be more apt!) Numerous previous weather fails of my own, and I’m sure I’m not alone, over long weekends won’t stop us rounding up the troops for a get together in a nearby park for a classic BH experience! Plans will involve all manner of park-related sports, including the obligatory hamper, which I’ll get to soon.

More importantly though, your activity pack must include – a frisbee (preferably an Aerobie), petanque set (the plastic ones are a little tacky but do the job well enough), a football (mitre delta circa 1988 edition gets bonus points) and last but not least a bat and ball set!

So, join me in keeping fingers and toes crossed, or anything else you superstitiously do, especially if, like me, you have arranged something fun for your three days off!

The Hamper!

I think there’s something really special about putting together a picnic hamper. Whether it’s just a simple effort or something more grandeur, it’s always pretty exciting. Like the sporting equipment, there’s a few things I consider having ‘must pack’ status…

‘Must packs’  include – honey roast gammon sandwiches (if you roast a joint yourself you’ll be a hero, ask my mate Dom! Great value too). A whole roast chicken (easy to do and hack it and pack it how you see fit), crisps and dips (naturally), a wide range of cheeses (pack some crackers and pickle), a fruit salad (strawberries and cream as an addition).

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There’s bound to be a fussy feller present at your picnic, commonly known as a vegetarian. So you’ll need to do a few obvious ‘meat free’ sandwiches.  Chuck it all in a cool box and if the sun doesn’t come out… curse this global warming we are clearing suffering! Option B is obviously to pick someone’s pad and lay it all out indoors. Still tasty.

Right… onto the wine….

The suns out (or to be honest, we’d settle for it just being dry) and the lovingly prepared hamper is set to go (not kicked to the kerb because it rained):

FIZZ is essential. Budget up to you, however, personal experience says no one will be bothered either way.

Feeling flash – Champagne Gremillet Brut Selection NV

Champagne Gremillet Brut Selection

Looking for value – Le Dolci Colline Prosecco NV

A good Rose is well worth packing.

Catering for the masses – Gypsy Lee Rose White Zinfandel 2012

Gypsy Lee Rose White Zinfandel

Looking after yourself and the few that do care – Domaine de Rimauresq Provence Rose 2012

Crisp white #1 (exactly what I’d pack) – Chateau Sainte Radegonde Muscadet Sur Lie 2010

Crisp White #2 (alternative) – Bel Olivier Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Easy drinking red – Famille Perrin Cotes du Ventoux 2012

Famille Perrin Cotes du Ventoux

Something a little pricier (also easy drinking) – Fincas del Sur Malbec 2011

Essential – SHERRY – Fernando de Castilla Classic Amontillado NV

You can keep this as simple as you like or go to town. However you plan your long weekend, make sure it has some exciting wine packed in!

Make sure you follow Dave on Twitter @DR_VirginWines

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