I love May — mostly because we have two bank holidays to enjoy, but also because it’s the first month we can invite friends round and just about guarantee being able to sit in the garden with a few nibbles and a drink. If you want to rustle up something a bit different for your guests, our Hugo spritz cocktail will be a real hit. Mint and elderflower flavours are classics for summer, and prosecco adds to the sense of occasion. In case you’re sometimes puzzled by the terminology on wine labels, our mini guide will help you out. Plus, we’re excited in the wine team because we’ve an exclusive new rosé on our shelves, Studio by Miraval — it’s just right for warmer days.
SIMON CAIRNS, Trading manager, Co-op beer, wine & spirits
The lowdown: wine words
Message on a bottle
How do you know what a wine’s going to taste like, based on the descriptions on the label? Here’s our quick guide to a few words used to describe white wine…
Acidity — wines with high acidity can taste tart, sour and zesty. They give a sharp edge to your palate.
Body — this refers to the structure of the wine. At one end of the scale, there’s full-bodied, which is big and powerful. Light-bodied, at the other end, is more delicate, and medium-bodied is somewhere between the two.
Crisp — the description for white wines with a high amount of acidity. Crisp whites give a refreshing boost to your palate.
Dry — usually means there’s no sweetness. A dry wine usually awakens your palate, as opposed to a sweet one, which can sap moisture from your mouth.
Oaky — means the wine’s been stored in oak barrels, either during or after fermentation. In white wine, barrel ageing adds buttery, vanilla and sometimes coconutty flavours.
Cocktail of the month:
What’s in the mix for May?
The coolest new cocktail on the block, just in time for summer
Hugo spritz (VG) (GF)
Serves 2 • Ready in 10 mins
Divide 5-6 mint sprigs between 2 glasses, then crush or muddle to release the flavour. Add some ice, then divide 100ml each Co-op elderflower pressé, Co-op Irresistible Indian tonic water and Co-op Irresistible Prosecco equally between the glasses. Garnish each with a lemon wedge to serve.
Energy per glass 241kJ/57kcal Alcohol units per glass 0.6*
Bank holidays are made for relaxing outside with family and friends, a few snacks and a glass of your favourite tipple...
- Co-op Irresistible Prosecco with Honey Roasted Peanuts & Cashews. Floral and fruit aromas from the prosecco complement the honey and salt in the nuts, while the light carbonation lifts their natural oils, allowing more of the roasted nut, honey and salty flavours to come through.
- Co-op IPA with West Country Cheddar & Red Onion Chutney Crisps. Fruity, aromatic hops in this traditional IPA contrast with the tangy Cheddar of the crisps, while the sweetness from the barley enhances the caramelised onion. It’s a winning combination.
- Co-op Irresistible London Dry Gin and Tonic with Posh Prawn Cocktail Crisps. Gin and tonic is a surprisingly good match for seafood, because of the bitter quinine, aromatic notes and subtle sweetness of the gin. The prawn flavour in the crisps combines well with the botanicals in the gin too.
- Co-op Tillington Hills British Cider with Irresistible Sea Salt & Chardonnay Wine Vinegar Crisps. The vinegar in our crisps and the apples in the cider may seem like unusual partners, but the sweetness of the fruit balances the acidic profile of the vinegar, so they work really well together.
IN THE PINK
Love a glass of rosé? Don’t miss this! We’re thrilled to be the first retailer in the world to sell Studio, the stunning new wine from Château Miraval, the winery owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It’s dry, with fresh summer fruit flavours and the name comes from a music studio installed in the estate by a previous owner, jazz musician Jacques Loussier. Co-op wine buyer Ben Cahill says, ‘Studio is one of the most exciting wine launches in a long time. We’re expecting it to be a huge hit with our customers.’