Sipping wine on holiday may not be possible this year but we can have a liquid holiday—

Sharing wine with friends is among my favourite things – only pipped to the post by sharing wine with friends on holidays. Since neither are hugely possible at the moment, I’ve got two ways for us to experience similar sensations without moving a muscle.

Firstly, we can still drink wine from our favourite destinations, in a sort of liquid holiday. Happily, wine-making has spread so widely across the globe, there are plenty of options.

The culture of wine creates delicious rivalries, whether it’s between neighbouring villages, regions or countries. I’m always falling in love with simple wines made locally that are inexpensive and unique.

The ambience no doubt contributes, but while we’re living through these challenging times, they seem to hit the spot magnificently.

The second way of sharing wine more widely is online. I’ve been connecting with wineries and regions via the web in lockdown and this week also sees the release of series seven of my podcast A Glass With…, which is free to listen to via all the usual podcast outlets or at aglasswith.com.

The format is simple – sharing a glass with a celebrity while the interview flows with the wine. Episode one of this series is TV chef Matt Tebbutt, an old friend of mine, which made it trickier than I’d expected to research and prepare!

Matt sipped a glass of excellent rosé from Babylonstoren in South Africa – check out the offer below.

Episode two comes out on Monday, starring Tamzin Outhwaite, and I look forward to sharing further guests along the line. Meantime, if we can’t travel in person, let’s at least take our taste buds on holiday, one glass at a time.

SPECIAL OFFER: Buy three or more bottles of Babylonstoren’s 2020 Mouvèdre Rosé and get a 500ml tin of their Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a gift. Simply visit thenewt.co.uk/aglasswith

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN: This Is Fruity White 2019 (13%) £5 M&S. A massive crowd pleaser. In no way is this sharp, this has fruity sweetness along the lines of a squishy peach and will make you dream of sunny French feasts.

PRETTY VACATION: Côteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé 2019 (13%) £7.20 Tesco. Curvaceous bottle delivering soft summery fruit with a pleasing whipcrack of raspberry zing. Delicious summery wine and great value for the price.

HIGHWAY TO HOLS: Lugana 2019 (13%) £9.50 AsdaItalian ace that reminds me of top notch French Chablis minus the price tag. Gorgeous stone fruit flavours here with a bit of lift – like lacing up your plimsolls with lemon rind and leaping into summertime.

SUMMERTIME BOOZE: Xinomavro Jeunes Vignes Thymiopoulos 2018 (13%) £10.95 The Wine Society. A lot of wine for the money – expect the bright lightness of Pinot Noir with a savoury tang of Nebbiolo. I love this vibrant red wine served lightly chilled outdoors with a barbecue. Close your eyes and you’re back in your favourite taverna.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Voyage au Sud Vermentino 2019 (12.5%) £5.99 Waitrose. Waitrose are nailing it at the moment, leading the supermarket pack for quality and value and this wonderful French white typifies their recent surge in quality. Fleshy with plenty of peachy zing, it’s a wine that feels like a pure glass of generosity. I was astonished to find it priced £5.99 and would happily pay ten quid for it. Stock up on a case.

This column was originally published in EVENT for the Mail on Sunday, Sunday 15th June 2020

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