Summer is thirsty work, which is why we've asked Mike Bennie to pull together a list of the 10 best drinks to get you through. Bennie is among other things, co-owner of P & V Wine and Liquor Merchants, behind Rootstock and the wine at Melbourne's Longsong, and a self-confessed White Russian fan.
The No-Brainer Thirst-Crusher, All-Summer Beer: Reschs Pilsener Longneck ($6)
Sure, the beer nerds among us will have a field day over a CUB icon slotted into the list, but Reschs pours golden and true, crisp and refreshing, and does the trick for baking hot days. It’s simple, done well.
The Upmarket Barbeque Beer: Willie The Boatman Marrickville Lager ($12)
Brewed by inner-west Sydney good guys, this might be a plainer style of beer, but it’s made with a cottage industry approach. The end product is neatly bitter, shows a little malty funk and is generally down right sessionable. It’s a perfect foil for charry things off the grill.
The Drink of Summer: Adelaide Hills Distillery Rose Vermouth ($36)
One of the best things to drink at midday in the sun is vermouth poured liberally over rocks, decorated with a micro-planed zest of mixed citrus fruits. It’s such a good vibe. This particular vermouth is delicate, pretty and gently bittersweet, so it’s ideal.
The Drink for Drinking in the Wading Pool in Your Backyard: Express Winemakers Chenin Blanc 2017 ($28)
Young-gun wine producers out of the deep, dark wilds of Great Southern in Western Australia, this invigorating, tangy white finds that magic nexus between interesting and thirst-slaying. It’s a white of saline, nutty-savoury and brisk, green apple fruit characters.
The New Thing You Have to Try This Summer: Umeshu – Heiwa Shuzo Tsuruume Nigori Umeshu ($57)
Ume fruit sits between plums and apricots and forms the base of the incredible Japanese liqueur, Umeshu. This artisan umeshu is like drinking a mixed stone fruit nectar Fruit Box. Serve on the rocks or with soda.
The Fizzy Wine for Kicking Off the New Year Right: Latta Vino Good Times Pet Nat Magnum 1.5-litre ($65)
Pet nat, or petillant naturel, is sparkling wine naturally fermented in the bottle. This one is made from pinot gris grapes, and this slapped-cheek pink, fizzy wine is scintillating drinking, best served pre-midday, ultra-cold in tumblers, and drunk in direct sunlight. Think rose-hip-tea meets a cranberry juice kind-of-vibe.
The Summer ‘Sports Drink’: The Never Never Distilling Co Triple Juniper Gin ($70)
Gin and tonic is never bad, and it’s often the best thing to sip while watching the great summer sports of cricket (Ashes), tennis (Australian Open) or sailing (Sydney to Hobart). Here’s a dry style that’s punchy in juniper and just so damn good with a belt of tonic.
The Thing to Drink with Summer Fruits: Mac Forbes RS28 Riesling 2017 ($40)
Get set for one of the friskiest whites going around. It’s not an ultra-sweet riesling, but a tickle of light honey does run through its green apple crispness. Plus the light sugar coating makes the wine go down a treat.
The Red to Drink Straight From the Fridge: Minim Floyd 2017 ($31)
It’s a quirky blend of grenache and viognier, two grapes that seem uneasy bedfellows, but they make a perfect pair in this light red. It’s garnet-coloured, fresh in forest berry scents, offers pomegranate juice flavours and crunchy texture. This wine won’t last longer than the time it takes to pour.
A Park Wine: Chevre Spring Red 2017 ($29)
The bottle might say “spring”, but the contents are definitely summery. This is the wine for great outdoors, grassy spaces, bucolic tree-lined vistas and drinking from plastic cups on a picnic blanket direct from your icy esky. Juicy as, slurpy, light red and very drinkable. Go forth into the warmer months armed.
Some wines reviewed or recommended here may not be found in store.
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