The Handbook
The Handbook

It’s summer! We’re in the garden, the picnic season’s already in full swing and the barbecue’s primed and ready to be wheeled out. All we need is some charcoal briquettes plus a steady supply of rosé and we’re set until September.

The ingredients for a perfect day spent in the great British summer include great weather, great food and great wine. Having recently just discovered Babylonstoren’s Mourvèdre Rosé I personally think it hits the perfect balance of price, quality and flexibility with most summer dishes.

All we need is some charcoal briquettes plus a steady supply of rosé and we’re set until September

It’s also incredibly tasty and, for the artistically minded, it’s got a great looking bottle and a pleasing colour. Mixing it with the meals that make up a perfect summer’s day is the least you can do.

Brunch

A late start in the mid morning heat, the birds singing and the smell of dewy grass is the perfect accompaniment to an ice-cold glass of Mourvèdre Rosé.

Brunch should be simple yet irresistibly delicious. I suggest a goat’s cheese omelette accompanied by slow-roasted strawberries. Easy to whip up, but also really brings out the fruity notes of raspberry and rose petals in the wine.

Brunch should be simple yet irresistibly delicious

Eat and sip and spread the weekend papers out across the table, it’s the slow, lazy and perfect start to the day.

Lunch

A late-ish lunch under parasols in the sun, children dashing round and grown-ups gossipping over a glass of wine and a table stacked with dishes. Rosé friendly pairings include steamed asparagus (super seasonal right now), rosé wine mayonnaise and shaved parmesan or perhaps prepare a starter or roasted red pepper and coconut soup.

Children dashing round and grown-ups gossipping

Babylonstoren’s Mourvèdre Rosé comes from the grower’s historic Cape Dutch farm in Franschhoek, South Africa. With 217 acres under vine and 13 different grape varieties, the place is an oasis in the Western Cape.

Not that anything really matters in the moment, other than the Mourvèdre Rosé’s creamy rhubarb taste, with the sweet freshness of watermelon and a subtle punch of acidity.

Tea

Tea is a moveable feast, often raucous and unruly as family members dip in and out between dips in the pool and a game of tennis.

Rosé meringue topped with lemon curd and raspberries, accompanied with a glass of Mourvèdre Rosé would go down a treat

A rosé meringue topped with lemon curd and raspberries, accompanied with a glass of Mourvèdre Rosé would go down a treat. As you hold forth you can regurgitate facts you learnt over your brunch-time papers as though you knew them all along!

Dinner

Standing on the terrace as the sun begins its final descent, the sky is the same hue as a glass of Mourvèdre Rosé. The 2020 harvest took place in January and February (Babylonstoren’s in the southern hemisphere, remember) and the product, a young rosé that’s made, perhaps unusually, from the mourvèdre grape, is fabulous.

It is, after all, the secret to the perfect summer's day

Back in an English summer, the sun’s set but the air’s still warm. Everyone’s sat around the table as laughter rings around the garden, intense conversations break out sustained and lifted by the flowing rosé.

A barbecue gently sizzles as seared tuna, celery and apple sticks and a toasted walnut salad is served in what’s left of the fading light. The sun may be gone but the summer stretches ahead, and there’s always another bottle of Babylonstoren’s Mourvèdre Rosé, it is after all the secret to the perfect summer’s day.