For light white wines to drink on their own or with food, cast an eye over this quartet

John Wilson: Making wines with concentrated flavours but low levels of alcohol is not easy

As the weather warms up, we may gravitate towards lighter wines. I covered rosés earlier in the summer and will take a look at warm weather reds next week, but today four white wines that fall into the summer wine category. Light enough to sip while waiting for dinner or chatting to friends, they will also go with most salads, fish dishes and white meats as well as lighter pasta dishes.

All four are 13 per cent abv, less in two cases. Making wines with concentrated flavours but low levels of alcohol is not easy. Cooler regions have an advantage. Sauvignon from the Loire (or New Zealand, South Africa or Chile), or Riesling from the Mosel are all naturally high in acidity but shouldn’t lack intensity.

Three of the wines featured here sell for less than €20. The fourth is not cheap but is certainly worth every last cent. Herbert Zillinger, despite being based in the less fashionable Weinviertel region of Austria, is one of the rising stars. I have tasted his wines three times over the past year or so and have been bowled over on each occasion.

In addition to the featured wines, I enjoyed Aristea Falanghina (€22.73) and Faino Fiano (€29.68), two new fresh Italian white wines from, as well as the Château Vitallis Pouilly-Fuissé (€31.99) from The Wine Buff.


Serve your summer wines well chilled but not completely freezing; it is one sure way to kill off all flavour in your wine. Richer white wines, such as Chardonnay, Viognier or South African Chenin Blanc are best drunk slightly warmer (and with food) while lighter white wines taste best at 10 degrees Celsius or less.

M&S Classics No. 30 Grüner Veltliner 2022, Vom Löss, Austria

12%, €10.40 (down from €13 until August 7th)

Crunchy green apples with a touch of ginger spice, vibrant acidity and a dry finish.

From: Marks & Spencer.

Parra Jiménez Garnacha Blanca 2022, Biodynamic

12.5%, €15.50-16.50

A delightful fresh summery wine with clean lightly textured white and green fruits and a crisp, dry finish. Drink with summer salads and light seafood dishes.

From: The Wine Pair, D8; Sheridan’s Cheesemongers.

Contrapunto Rías Baixas Albariño 2022, Spain

13%, €14.95 (down from €19.95)

Zingy fresh pears and green apples with a saline touch. Perfect with mussel or clam linguini or courgette and fresh tomato trofie.

From: O’Briens

Zillinger Neuland Grüner Veltliner 2021, Weinviertel, Austria

13%, €26

An explosion of opulent exotic fruits and flavours; mouth-watering peaches and pineapples, lime zest and spice, with a steely backbone and amazing length.

From: Barnhill Stores, Dalkey;; Lilith, D7; La Touche, Greystones; MacCurtain Wine Cellar, Cork; The Wine Pair, D8; SIX, D6.