Summer is approaching and with it warm days spent enjoying good friends, good food and good wine.

While a crisp refreshing white is often the go-to choice for hot weather, sticking to this ‘golden rule’ might mean you are missing out on some wonderful pairings. Ultimately, if you choose a light wine that can be chilled, then even a red can make a perfect choice.

We have put together the ultimate summer wine list to help you find the perfect pairing to every occasion.

Picnic – Cheese platter

Sunny days in the park deserve a delicious ploughman’s platter of cheeses, cured meats and a refreshing wine to match. A classic overall cheese and wine pairing is a dry and crisp Pinto Grigio or Verdelho. Another delightful combination with cheese and meats is Rosè. Don’t be put off by the syrupy sweet Rosès you may have encountered in the past, a dry Rosè is crisp and light with juicy fruit flavours that are perfect for sipping in the sun.

We recommend: Head Wines Rose Grenache

Dinner Party – Seafood

The best wines to pair with seafood are crisp, high acid, mineral driven and un-oaked whites, such as a Riesling, Vouvray or Chenin Blanc. A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is perfect for oysters, while Chardonnay compliments the creamy textures of lobster. But if you have to choose one option to suit a variety of seafood dishes, then you can’t go wrong with a dry sparkling.

We recommend: Pirie Sparkling NV

Beach – Fish and Chips

Long days at the beach and fish & chips are an unbeatable combination, but adding a glass of wine takes this Aussie tradition to the next level. The high acidity of Semillon or Riesling will cut through the greasy chips, while notes of citrus will compliment the flavours of the fish.

We recommend: Portrait Riesling

Weekend get-together – BBQ

Red meat and red wine are a classic combination and there is no reason to give up this dream team just because the temperature rises. Opt for a lighter, brighter, fruity red with high acidity to keep it juicy and drinkable in the sun. A Beaujolais is a perfect choice as it can also be slightly chilled.

We recommend: Pierre Naigeon Beaujolais

Evening drinks

Balmy evenings spent with friends is the perfect time to have some fun with wine cocktails. Sangria is always a winner, with a jammy Zinfandel and lashings of juicy summer fruit. Other delicious combinations include a Prosecco and peach nectar bellini, and pink Moscato, ginger ale and gin garnished with lime and mint.

We recommend: Innocent Bystander Pink Mosacto