aperitivo wine

Happy hour

Hard day? Sometimes you need a little pick me up after work, and most of us will reach for the hard stuff. The Italians have created the perfect occasion for this: aperitivo.

Originating in Milan, this concept is essentially the best happy hour I’ve ever experienced. Buy an over-priced cocktail and then stuff your face with as much food at the buffet provided as possible.

Whilst this amazing concept is yet to hit the UK in a big way, here are some bottles that you should always have on stand-by in the fridge – ready and waiting to be cracked open after a long, hard day of work.

Don’t get me wrong – I still strongly believe that most wines should be consumed with food, but in some cases you just want a simple, easy-drinking wine that doesn’t require much thought.

Here are my picks for affordable, everyday, aperitivo wines:

Falanghina Beneventano, Italy, £6.49, M&S

The inventors of aperitivo, the majority of Italian whites are made to be simple and refreshing; uncomplicated and elegant. Pinot Grigio obviously springs to mind when you think of Italian whites, but you can find much more interesting wines for a similar price such as this Falanghina. (Psst! That’s the name of the grape and it’s pronounced Fal-an-ghee-nah)

Tesco Finest Picpoul de Pinet, France £5.99

Are you a fan of Sauvignon Blanc? Like Pinot Grigio? Picpoul is a love-child of the two, so if you like either then you’ll love this little number. First making its appearance in this post, it’s dry and full of fruit flavours like lemon and pineapple. Great with mussels, but also perfectly by itself.

Cono Sur Viognier, Chile, Asda, £5.00 (on offer)

Whenever I need a wine that’s going to be a crowd pleaser and great value for money, I head to the Chilean aisle. Slightly richer than the two examples above, this Viognier is full of ripe peach and honey flavours, but still refreshingly dry. A good bet if you want to try something a little different.