Summer is still here and we should all be enjoying it in the best possible way. Neil Phillips, more commonly known as The Wine Tipster, has provided us with an excellent guide of how we can embrace Britain’s favourite season from home and what the best drinks are to ensure you’ll be doing it in style.
There’s no denying it – this summer looks a lot different than previous ones. And while the global Coronavirus pandemic may have put a dampener on being able to enjoy the summer season of events in a traditional way, that’s no reason to sack them off altogether.
We can still get excited about them from the comfort of our homes.
The bonus being we don’t even have to worry about the weather. So, as we continue to social distance and slowly begin to reopen life as we know in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we can still enjoy some summer traditions from the comfort of our four walls.
Overall Guidelines to Follow
Alcoholic drinks may take centre stage when watching our favourite summer events on the box, but that’s no excuse for neglecting the rest of the preparations. Neil Phillips has four overall guidelines to follow when sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the events from our screens. First things first – when the heat is up, our water reserves need to remain topped up, so make sure there is plenty of thirst-quenching H2O in the house.
The Wine Tipster loves Hildon- available both in still and sparkling. Moving on to food and taking into consideration of people’s dietary requirements, allow for a little forward planning.
Make sure you have asked your guests what they like to eat so you can stock up on vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free products should you need to. And don’t forget the nibbles. When the drink is flowing, the nibbles need to be on hand. Canapes are always an elegant and sustainable addition to wines with minimum utensil use and waste. And finally, when it comes to wines, ensure they are served at the right temperature, in a suitable glass or premium recyclable material for when you’re drinking outdoors.
First out of the stalls, and closest to The Wine Tipster’s heart when it comes to summer events, is horse racing. With Royal Ascot and The Newmarket Guineas Festival having successfully led the way with the first ‘behind closed doors’ premium racing events in June, more top racing action is coming up.
The Wine Tipster says all you need to do is study the form, tune in and watch all the exciting action with bubbles. Toast your winners with Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial Champagne. If Prosecco is more your thing, Ruggeri Argeo Prosecco Brut DOC, Veneto, Italy will hit the spot.
Outside of horse racing, the world of live music performance has also been put on hold this year, including iconic events The Glyndebourne Festival and The BBC Proms. These too, though, can be enjoyed virtually.
We’ve been able to tune in to Glyndebourne Open House online every Sunday at 5 pm since June, and there will be the whole of August to enjoy broadcasts on television, radio and online.
Classical performance is like a mental bath for the Wine Tipster, and if you share his passion of cultural events, you will most likely enjoy his suggestions of Champagne Castelnau Brut Réserve NV, the wonderful, vegan-friendly Champagne which benefits from around five years on its lees, giving it a depth of flavour and lovely texture, whilst maintaining an attractive, crisp acidity.
Champagne Castelnau is a supporter of the arts and also Official Champagne of Amaury Sport Organisation which organises the Tour de France, rescheduled currently for the end of August.
The Great Outdoors
Other favourite British outdoor summer events such as Wimbledon fortnight, Henley Royal Regatta and music festivals across the country are all off the agenda this year. But while we await their return in 2021, it’s possible to celebrate the wonderful institutions that they are with an al-fresco afternoon tea or a premium picnic.
The Wine Tipster says afternoon tea has become an event in itself in the last few years, and it follows a strict etiquette in the best venues. He loves the ritual of how to serve and stir tea, and the heated discussions about jam or cream first!
Picnics, on the other hand, are a more relaxed affair, offering a smorgasbord of delights and promising a long and lazy afternoon. Give your Afternoon Tea the treatment it deserves and your blanket banquet some relaxed elegance with Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé NV, Champagne or the Lanson Rosé Brut Champagne.
The Wine Tipster’s suggestions:
- Champagne Castelnau Brut Réserve NV – £29.50 The Wine Society
- Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé NV, Champagne £46.00 Laithwaites
- Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial, Champagne £49.99 Waitrose
- Lanson Rosé Brut Champagne NV £38.00 Tesco