There’s nothing quite like a chilled glass of crisp wine or ice-cold beer in the garden in the summer, but there are plenty of other options to tickle your taste buds. Nick Mosley talks to some of Brighton’s drink experts to find out what they are quaffing this month.

IN THE world of drinks, 2019 has seen the re-emergence of some old favourites such as rosé wine and Fino sherry.

Meanwhile new trends include the likes of canned wine and spirits distilled with no alcohol.

With Brighton’s burgeoning bar scene being one of the most influential in the UK, there’s no shortage of venues and retailers to choose from.

“Rosé is massive this summer,” said Cassie Gould of Butlers Wine Cellar in Queen’s Park Road, Brighton.

“I love a pink wine and think they work well for people, especially in the heat, as they have the freshness of a white wine, with some of the red fruit character and structure of a red.

“These lend themselves perfectly to food pairing and they offer a variety of options and flavour profiles as they are produced all over the world.”

Provence in the South of France is probably the most well-known rosé producing region, however due to bad weather in recent years there have been a number of poor vintages.

This has led to vintners and supermarkets expanding their rosé range to include pinks from across the globe.

Cassie said: “We have a rosé wine list in The Grand hotel in Brighton where you can find six different pinks for sale by the glass.

“None are from Provence but all are stunning wines, and perfect to enjoy with their seafood afternoon tea.”

England also produces some quality rosé wines, with Off The Line vineyard near Hailsham specialising entirely in that style.

Kristina Studzinski, co-owner of the vineyard, said: “Making quality rosé is possible in England.

“It’s hard to get Pinot Noir to ripen sufficiently well to make red wine as the end of the growing season in England tails off too much into colder, wetter weather.

“But that degree of ripeness isn’t needed for quality rosé. What is required are subtle fruit flavours, balanced acidity and naturally good alcohol levels which we do get.”

While we’re used to having our wine in a bottle, there is an increasing trend for quality wines to be sold as bag-in-box and also cans.

Yes, canned wine is now most definitely a thing.

Cassie said the trend is spreading: “In California you will see canned wine everywhere.

“In the UK people are still very unsure but I think they are an excellent idea.

“Long gone are the days of metallic tasting wines in a can, as new technology means cans are lined differently so the drink is protected.

“They can also be recycled easily and consumed on the move, especially good for picnics and train journeys.”

We tend to think that red wines should be served at room temperature, but that definitely isn’t the case.

Chilled red wines can be a refreshing alternative in the summer.

“If we visit a winery in Spain or any other hot country, red wines will be served from the fridge,” said Cassie.

She recommends that you choose light bodied, juicy wines with low tannin such as Pinot Noir, Beaujolais or Bardolino.

She added: “My go-to at the moment is the El Berrakin Garnacha, a completely natural wine made without any chemical additions.

“It’s as juicy as a big bunch of ripe cherries. You can get it from our shops or by the glass from Fourth and Church [in Church Road, Hove] chilled of course.”

Fortunately English reds are also perfect for chilling.

The Pinot Noir from Bolney Wine Estate recently won a gold medal at the Wine GB 2019 awards, and is a perfect expression of a cool climate red wine.

Another trend that is making waves not only in the bar industry but also in the supermarkets is no-lo: no alcohol and low alcohol wines and spirits.

Zoe Cunliffe of Brighton’s Mixology Group says that such is the interest from trade and consumers that they are now including the category in their cocktail training courses.

Zoe said: “We now cover no-lo in our cocktail training programmes and have around eight different products to work with which vary in flavour.

“Although these products don’t pack the bunch of a shot of gin, producers are working hard to create flavours akin to gin by using a variety of botanicals.

“For those who have not called time on drinking alcohol we are also seeing a rise in the vermouth market. This lower alcohol option comes in at around 16 to 18 per cent ABV and goes well with tonic.”

Bolney Wine Estate, Albourne Estate and Blackdown Distillery produce premium vermouths in varying styles.

Over at Merkaba Bar at My Brighton Hotel, bar manager Thomas Waite has also seen a shift to lower alcohol drinks.

Thomas said: “The biggest trend I have seen this summer is the release of new flavoured vodkas, such as Absolut Strawberry.

“These have a slightly lower ABV but have a much fresher taste to them, making it easier for us as bartenders to create new and interesting twists on a spritz.”

Everybody enjoys a glass of bubbles but the cost of champagne and English sparkling wine can often mean this a more of a treat than a regular occurrence.

Cassie said: “We drink a lot of cava ourselves. I think these wines offer great value for money and more complexity than prosecco. They are made in the same way as Champagne and English sparkling wines and tend to offer more biscuity, toastiness.”

Port and sherry have also lost their “grandma” image, and are seen as contemporary and cosmopolitan drinks by those in the know.

Cassie said:”For alternative aperitif drinks we turn towards dry sherry or a white port and tonic.

“These are excellent drinks to get you ready to eat. I highly recommend the Manzanilla sherry from Bodegas Yuste, available by the glass at Wild Flor on Church Road.”

Kate Allleston from Market Restaurant and Bar in Western Road agrees that sherry and food are the perfect combination.

She said: “Summer is the perfect time to enjoy all styles of sherry. From the driest fino with some cheese and charcuterie through to the sweetest, richest Pedro Ximenez with a lovely dark chocolate tart or on its own instead of dessert.”