The idea of summer drinking usually prompts thoughts of refreshment, bright aromas and tangy flavours. Very full bodied wines and hefty ales belong to warmer seasons for many of us. With that in mind, here are three summery drops to consider: an excellent, ultra-drinkable alcohol-free pale ale, a taste of tradition in a lively regional white wine, and a modern dry rosé of real distinction.
Mornington Free Non-Alc Pale Ale, (375ml can), $15 per six-pack
A lasting head and slight cloudiness suggest more interest than most non-alcoholic brews. It's aromatic with herbal hop savouriness, apple/citrus scents, and a whisper of pale malt. Light and tangy with subtle tropical flavours, it offers balanced bitterness and sustained aftertaste. Impressive. (Less than 0.5 per cent alcohol.)
Tahbilk Marsanne 2020, $18-$21
History in a bottle from central Victoria's lovely old Tahbilk winery. Pale and green-tinged, a delicate aroma of florals, melon and honey leads through a juicy, ripe, fragrant mouthful, with just enough backbone for balance. A great quaffer right now, but Tahbilk Marsanne will always improve in bottle. (Screw cap; 13 per cent alcohol.)
Ageing? Drink over five years plus
Stockists include Kemenys, Bondi (NSW); Tahbilk online store, tahbilk.com.au
Stella Bella Otro Vino 2020, $24-$26
Sangiovese makes very good rosé and this Margaret River wine is a case in point. Pale salmon pink, the nose suggests red berries, cherries, watermelon and a touch of leesy complexity. The palate is light, clean and savoury with a lasting, bone-dry finish. A rosé for summery food. (Screw cap; 13.5 per cent alcohol.)
Stockists include Cloudwine Cellars, South Melbourne; Summer Hill Wine Shop, Summer Hill (NSW).