Summer selection from our resident wine blogger – Miss Bouquet

I cannot get enough of London at the moment! It helps of course that the sunshine makes everything look amazing but it’s not only the capital that’s looking good it’s the people wandering around it that are looking fabulous too. Have you noticed? Take a look when you’re next having a sneaky cappuccino to drink-in. Every other woman I see looks like she’s just stepped out of the pages of a magazine. Floaty floor length skirts, ankle tie sandals, short jumpsuits, long jumpsuits, bold florals, nude shirts, colour blocking minis all of which are complimented by immaculately painted toes. Of course. You’ll see what I mean when you’re next on the tube, glance down long enough to enjoy the rainbow of colours fit to brighten up the dullest of journeys but look away before you home in on fake tan smears!

The ease at which so many women have embraced this seasons trends is testament to the fantastic job of the high street and online retailers who have made fashion so affordable and accessible that it’s almost impossible to get it wrong. In wine terms however there are very few retailers that manage to communicate this year’s wine trends and simultaneously inspire people to go out there and try them.

Ignoring the supermarkets who have to cater for the masses, now Oddbins has fallen we’re left with Majestic and a handful of excellent independent wine shops and what I like to call wine-e’s; wine shops of the electronic, online variety. Unlike Zara, Mango, Whistles, Reiss,  Topshop, ASOS and net-à-porter the UK’s wine-e’s, Majestic and supermarkets continue to fail the consumer. There simply aren’t enough wine ‘changing rooms’ to try before you buy. With the exception of independent wine guys like Vagabond wines if you buy a case of wine for delivery to your door, try a bottle and decide it’s not to your taste then life’s too short to face the queue at the post office not to mention the delivery cost to send it back. When else do you have to buy 12 of anything before you try them? Mascara? Knickers? Orange squash? The only example I can think of is eggs, and well… they’re just eggs.

Majestic are one wine retailer and wine-e trying to break out of the mould and if you can get around the fact that it’s the only shop your Mum can get your Dad to go to without having to bribe him to get in the car then it’s worth taking note of some  good looking and great tasting Australian wines that you’d be crazy not to be seen with on your dinner table this summer. The range is called The Shortlist which rightly implies it’s exclusivity and the number of wines in the range.

Chose from five wines; Chardonnay, Riesling, Shiraz, GSM and my favourite the Cabernet Sauvignon. They’re all about as classy as you can get for the price – £14.99 reduced to £11.99 when you buy two or more aussie wines. The Chardonnay is a stand-up-and-take-notice example of what every bar, pub and restaurant around the country should be serving by the glass. The Cabernet Sauvignon is a ripe and velvety, chocolate covered cherry delight that will impress you on an indulgent night in as much as it will impress your Dad when you pop over for a Sunday BBQ. The GSM (Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre blend typical of the Rhone and proving to be a very fashionable and palateable blend from all areas of the wine world) is sweeter on the palate than the Cabernet so for those with a more savoury tooth pop it in the fridge for a bit to create a moreish red to chill out with on a long summer’s eve.

Just one word of caution, avoid wine-e’s, wine-o’s and fake tan in that order. I’ve been there and done that, it’s not you, people really are looking at your feet!