Charles Lea's Wine List

Wines I Like - Summer
I like to choose wines to suit to moment, so there’s a lot of seasonal variation on my choices. Having said that, we do drink a lot of Italian red, whether from Piedmont or Tuscany or further afield. There’s just something about the combination of juicy ripeness, good acidity (whether we are talking about Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo or Sangiovese) and tannins that might have an edge of dryness which can hover on the edge of a refreshing bitterness.

These wines are just so good to drink and every sip calls for the next, and most of them work at any time of year. The Morellino 'Heba' from Fattoria di Magliano is just sensational slightly chilled - try it if you want to move on from rosé when the food arrives.

In a summer like this, rosé, and in particular MIP really are the drinks of the moment at Lea & Sandeman. That said, as we entered July, it was the MiP 'Collection' with it's slighly trying-too-hard bottle which for me began to steal the show - it's so bright and fragrant - just sensational.

Dry Riesling is still a delicious alternative, as are some of the more left field whites that we have listed in our 'Best White Wines for Summer' selection.

Reds do of course still have a place, whether al fresco or at the dinner table, and as we get into August and the days begin to shorten, red is a must for those dinners outside as the skies darken. Lighter reds that can be served cool, like Beaujolais or some Pinot Noirs, are great, but also look for the bigger velvety wines from Châteauneuf or the Tuscan Maremma - the ripe soft tannins in these wines mean that they too can be served cool - think 15C to retain freshness - properly restorative after an active day on the beach or water.