MOVIES & BOOZE: Fancy a drink this weekend?

Martin Moran offers his tips on wine for picnics...

Wine expert Martin Moran joins Sean Moncrieff for this week's special Electric Picnic Movies and Booze. Today he discusses tips and tricks for drinking wine outdoors: 

The summer may be just about over but there’s at least one more big picnic to go in Stradbally, but who knows, maybe we’ll have an Indian summer and time for more? So what sort of wine should you choose when you’re drinking outdoors? My first suggestion is one that is easy to open without a corkscrew and that means screwcap or bubbly. Fizz always makes an occasion feel festive and injects a little energy or electricity into an event.

You’ll also almost certainly be drinking out of plastic cups and the odds are that the wine is probably warmer than you’d want it to be, so no point in opening anything fancy. If you want to chill the wine and there’s no ice or a cooling stream handy you could add frozen grapes transported in a thermos flask!

My go-to choice would be a juicy low tannin red that’s good chilled or at ambient temperature. Wines that fit the bill include Beaujolais and young inexpensive Pinot Noirs from places like Chile and New Zealand. Other, less well known wines would include Italians Bardolino and Valpolicella, young Tempranillos from Spain, Carignan from Southern France and Cinsault from South Africa.

Whites need to be zingy and refreshing and not oaky or bland, so put down that Pinot Grigio and pick up a Sauvignon Banc or a dry Riesling, an Austrian Grüner Veltliner or an Albarino, a Godello or Verdejo from Spain or from Italy a Gavi, a Lugana, a Pecorino or Fiano. Or keep the alcohol on the low side with a Vinho Verde.

Rosé would be a great versatile choice too and personally I’d go for the drier styles you’ll get from the South of France or Northern Spain rather than the cheap sweet Californians but you know your own preferences.

If you are making it fizz, it’s important to somehow keep it cold. If you can afford Champagne that’s great. If not, aside from the ubiquitous Prosecco, Spain’s Cava is affordable and better than ever and France also has Cremants from the Loire, Alsace, Burgundy and Jura to enjoy.

Wines Tasted on the Show

Cremant de Loire Rosé, Supervalu, €20 for two in their September sale. Packed full of berry fruit and fizz and at a price that’s two good to ignore.

Ars in Vitro by Tandem, Navarra, O'Briens, €14.95 but €10 for 1st week in September. A blend of Merlot and Tempranillo aged only in concrete vats, ie no oak and it’s a delightful surprise with its fresh fruit flavours and acidity and silky texture.


Martin Moran MW, @winerepublic.