Make the most of an Indian summer
The Spanish love to party, and Barcelona is home to Freixenet, the king of cava. For a cracking cava that lives up to its name, try Freixenet Cordon Oro, DO Cava, Spain (£9.49, The Co-operative), pronounced “fresh-eh-net”. Made from the Catalan trio of grapes, xarel-lo, macabeo and parellada, this fresh, fruity, semi-sweet sparkler takes its name from the gold bottle and if you like moscato, then you’ll love Cordon Oro.
Alternatively, if you prefer a medium-sweet rose and a beaming taste of fresh berries from Bordeaux, try Domaine De Pellehaut Ete Gascon Rose 2011, France (£9.99, Waitrose). A blend of 60 per cent tannat and 40 per cent merlot, it is strawberry dominant with redcurrant notes and juicy cherry flavours that linger with creamy notes on a refreshing finish... serve this pink nectar well chilled.
But if you’re thirsty for some rose-hued elegance that’s crisp and bone dry, try Turkey Flat Vineyards Rose 2012, Barossa Valley, Australia (£12.99, www.drinksdirect.co.uk). A full-flavoured, salmon-red rose that’s a popular choice Down Under, it’s a blend of four varieties (grenache, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and dolcetto) with a fruity, cranberry-filled profile, fresh acidity and crispness on the finish.
Gifted winemaker Alain Grignon has once again shown his talent for producing great-tasting, great-value vinos. If you think a good French sauvignon blanc signals a pricey Sancerre from the Loire Valley, Grignon will convince you otherwise with his must-try Esprit Soleil Sauvignon Blanc, Vin de France 2011 (£5.99; buy two, save £2, £4.99, until October 29, Majestic). Fresh, smooth and fragrant, the sunny label mirrors the appealing flavours of this bright white.