It’s the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. So let’s talk about the weather. Bank Holidays are notorious for unpredictable forecasts. We’ve all got our fingers crossed that this warm spell will last, but I’m not too worried. I’m always torn on my treasured days off, between sunshine, alfresco lunches, leisurely strolls and shopping, or, a great steak, a bottle of red, cosy sofas and chatting the afternoons away.
As a wine type, (unless it’s something sparkling in a Champagne coupe), I’m definitely a red girl. And as this is the colour I usually turn when I so much as look at the sun, Bank Holiday climates don’t normally bother me. I realise I’m likely to be in the minority, apart from the partaking in some wine sipping over the fabulously long four days of holidays that is.
This got me to thinking about those wonderful winemakers of the world, who thankfully produce and nurture a vast variety of grapes, perfect for drinking in any weather type, in any city, come rain or shine.
Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn at Hotel du Vin has given us a little insight into the grape varieties to match the varied conditions:
Warm and sunny
These ideal Bank Holiday conditions make for a light, fresh and fruity wine with acidity. Perfectly refreshing. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety, displaying flowery, almost perfumed aromas, as well as a high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally pure and are seldom oaked.
Wet and cold
Syrah is a heavy and rich type. A dark-skinned grape, grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce powerful red wines. Whether sold as Syrah or Shiraz, these wines enjoy great popularity.
Grey and overcast
Pinot Noir. A lighter red wine. This is a black wine grape. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot Noir grapes and is derived from the French words for ‘pine’ and ‘black’ alluding to the grape variety’s tightly clustered dark purple pinecone-shaped bunches of fruit.
Windy and anything in-between
Cabernet Sauvignon, the easy drinking grape with a bit of weight to it. Perfect for a breezy day. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognised red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates. Very adaptable.
So, I think I’ll be ordering the Pinot Noir, whatever the weather this Easter weekend, and enjoying it in the bar at my local Hotel du Vin Newcastle, or perhaps a glass of Champagne in the courtyard with some sunscreen if the sun still has his hat on.