The Nectar of Summer

Summer is the time for entertaining in style, and what better way to enjoy the warmer months than with a nectarous bottle of wine at the table? Here, Rene Hart looks at the perfect summer wines that are ideal for sipping in the sun.

Every year, during the glorious summer months, it’s time to pack away the slow cooker, dust off the barbecue and prepare for the entertaining season. From casual alfresco dining to formal dinner parties, these relaxed summer days can only be enhanced by a chilled glass – or bottle – of your favourite wine.


An irresistibly refreshing and delicious pink rosé is a summertime staple, and whether it’s delicate and sweet, or savoury and dry, both are equally delectable in the heat.

The 2014 Longview Boat Shed Nebbiolo Rosé from the Longview Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, is a perfect thirst-quencher that pairs marvellously with a mouth-watering table of tapas. With its rich salmon colour and slight orange tone, the wine possesses wonderful aromas of orange peel, rose petal and ripe strawberry. The palate has rich cherry and musky flavours, and delivers the ideal combination of crispness, vibrancy and texture in the mouth.

If you prefer something with a little extra body, the 2015 Paxton Rosé is 100 per cent shiraz, and is sourced from a biodynamically grown vineyard in McLaren Vale. The bright fruit characters are testament to a healthy vineyard, which produces vibrant rose-pink rosé that is crisp, yet refreshingly fruit-driven, making it perfect for red and white drinkers. This medium-bodied wine represents the South Australian sunshine and warm days by the beach, displaying fragrant raspberry and cherry aromas. The fruit is beautifully balanced by acidity and a fleshy texture with a resounding long, full-fruited palate that leaves your mouth singing for more. It means this rosé can handle food with a bit more heat, such as beef with black bean sauce and chillies, or Mediterranean pizza with plenty of spicy chorizo.

A bottle of 2014 Caudo Vineyard Rosé on a blistering hot afternoon provides plenty of refreshment and fun. The wine is produced from the Caudo Vineyard in the Riverland wine region of South Australia – the heartland of Australia’s wine industry. This rosé gets its deep ruby-red colour from a combination of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and shiraz. Refreshing, dry and zesty, the wine has a delicate nose of raspberries and ginger. It also holds a soft and velvety texture, and finishes with apple raspberry tannins.


With a novel palate presence and a style that is favoured among many, moscato is a wine that finds friends in all circles. Fun, festive and full of flavour, this is a gem that can start a party, make a brunch, or pair beautifully with your favourite desserts. The sweetness is refreshingly pleasant, especially on a hot day when you need something to help lift you up, and with its low alcohol content, it will keep you happy without taking you over the edge.

The 2014 Annie’s Lane Moscato is a versatile wine that is perfect for quaffing on its own, or with a lazy lunch. The Clare Valley region where the moscato is produced is a phenomenon in terms of viticulture, as it not only produces full-bodied red wines but it equally produces floral rieslings and sweet moscatos that are beautifully silky and elegant. This blushed- rose moscato is a fun and buoyant wine that offers vibrant aromas of strawberry, musk and Turkish delight, as well as full and luscious exotic fruit flavours and a finish that perfectly balances crisp acidity and zest.

An easy-drinking, effervescent style of moscato is ideal for poolside entertainment, and to help keep fresh and cool as the mercury rises. The 2014 Angove Long Row Moscato is the perfect choice, with a nose of crisp apple and fresh tropical fruits that burst through in this delightfully aromatic wine. The moscato presents as crystal-clear in the glass with a pale green tinge, and delivers a palate of gooseberry and orange zest. A subtle spritz leads into a delectable sweetness that fills the mouth and lingers, and its exotic flavours are perfectly matched with Asian cuisine.

The Barossa is widely recognised as Australia’s most varied district for premium grape growing and produces some of South Australia’s best wines. The 2014 Grant Burge Moscato epitomises this region’s remarkable wine- making capabilities, as it is handcrafted from Grant Burge’s premium vineyards and other respected growers throughout South Australia. Pale gold in colour and distinctively presented in a unique rippled bottle, the spicy, citrus tones and floral aromas are complemented by hints of apricot and lychee. There is an abundance of unbearably sweet offerings out on the market – wines that would put a diabetic into immediate peril – however, this moscato finds a balance between its honeyed sweetness, spicy ginger and zesty lemon flavours. The wine finishes with a soft, clean acidity and lingering ‘frizzante’ that dances lively on your tongue, making it a beguiling and seductive drink.


In the sweltering heat of summer, it’s hard to imagine knocking back a heavy red, but if you pick a wine that is light and can be served slightly chilled, even reds can be the perfect summertime wine. Pinot noir is a leisurely red that can easily suit summer situations, especially when matched with smoky meat just off the barbecue. Refrigerate overnight and take it out before you leave home, and it should be the perfect temperature by the time you arrive at your favourite picnic spot.

The 2013 Jacob’s Creek Reserve Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir will keep you sipping, totally captivated, until the bottle is empty. This satisfying cherry-red pinot noir is modest with a lot of fresh red fruits and earthiness on the nose, as well as savoury elements and exotic spices. The palate is medium-bodied, and layered with complex tart berry flavours and subtle oak. The structure is delicate and savoury, with finely textured tannins and balanced acidity that leads to a refined and lingering finish. It’s an ideal accompaniment to roast duck or mushroom ragu with polenta.

The delightfully plush and juicy 2013 Pinot Noir is one of Shaw + Smith’s newest family members, sourced from the cooler regions of the Adelaide Hills. The vine fruit is handpicked and hand-plunged to avoid fruit damage, and is matured in French barriques. The light colour belies the intensity of this wine with its captivating fragrance of strawberry and rose. This is a wine with tension and style, and an organised complexity of both flavour and texture that is all held in place by fine silky tannins. Red fruit aromas in the red cherry and redcurrant spectrum carry through onto the palate with a supple mouth feel, followed by flavours of ripe berries and spicy cedar, as well as a touch of meatiness on the finish. This medium- to full-bodied style is well paired with roast pigeon breast and confit leg, blood sausage and quince.

When it comes to quality summer wines, South Australia is indeed the lucky state, showing perfectionist traits year after year that produce perfect wines for warmer weather. From a pinot noir with extra fruity depth, to a rosé with layers of flavour, and moscato with delectable sweetness and balance, there are so many delicious wines to choose from. Now all that’s left to do is invite the crew over, stock up on a few bottles, and let the celebrating continue in style!