Seven wines for al freso drinking with friends in the garden

Garden drinks with friends are here to stay as a mainstay of socialising in 2021 – and the perfect gathering requires the just-so wine.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 5:06 pm
The Society offers this indulgent red

Here are seven options to try with pals al fresco this summer.

Described as a dark and ‘brooding’ wine, The Society’s Exhibition Vacqueryas 2018, £12.50, really is intense in both colour and flavour.

It is a classic French wine made by one of the oldest wine-making families in Vacqueryas. Ideal with grilled meats on the barbecue, it is one that will linger long in the mouth and memory.

Glorioso Crianza, Rioja 2016, £9.50

The Society also offers up the Glorioso Crianza, Rioja 2016, at just £9.50.

Rioja is often thought of as a winter red, but this modern version could work in all seasons, with fragrant red fruit and vanilla instead of the heavy spice that can be experienced.

While ordering, pick up a bottle for white wine fans with the The Society’s English White 2020, a steal at just £8.50.

This is a flagship white from what is being touted as the best still wine vintage in England in recent memory. It has aromas of white fruits, citrus and gooseberry with a generosity testament to this wonderful vintage.

Try a well kept secret with this white wine treat

We found it light, crisp and refreshing.

Greek wine is little known – or even thought about – by most of us.

Take an adventure with Kompos Liatiko, Karavitakis 2019, £9.95.

It is very different to any wine we have tried before, with plenty of kick. One of the tasting notes says to expect oriental spices, and they aren’t wrong! It was rich and a real journey of discovery from the Karabitakis family, who have owned the vineyard near Chania in Crete for four generations. They are part of a movement called Wines of Crete, which champions more modern styles of Cretan wine.

Order the four wines listed above from The Society at

Viognier is being described as ‘the most happening wine of the moment’. And for a grape variety that was very nearly was extinct in the 1960s, it is now being celebrated with the new “International Viognier Day” on Friday April 30, 2021.

One option to wash down a celebration with is the Secret Viognier, Viu Manent 2018, around £14 from The Wine Chambers or Flagship Wines.

The secret here is that up to 15 per cent of the blend are ‘other varieties’ than Viognier, depending on weather conditions.

What isn’t a secret is that this is a versatile and vibrant white, which makes you imagine the warm days and breezes where it was made next to the Pacific Ocean. We may not get the same weather here, but with a glass of this floral, tropical fruit-soaked wine, we can dream.

Award-winning Zuccardi Apélacion Chardonnay 2018 (£17.75, Field and Fawcett, Cheers Wine Merchants) is one to crack open when the best friends come for a long overdue reunion.

An elegant Argentinian wine, it is unbelievably fresh, a real treat.

Finally, the Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2019, £16.40 from Sainsburys and Waitrose Cellar, is a favourite.

Subtle and classy, there are herby undertones mixed with red cherries in the flavour. One to relax with, maybe alone once the guests have gone home...