What are the experts drinking this August bank holiday?

The Late Summer Bank Holiday is the last break of the year before Christmas, so there's no better time to uncork a bottle of something special. Below, eight experts share their long weekend wine selections

Words by Club Oenologique Editors

white wine at picnic
Buyers, sommeliers and bar owners share their top bottles with us ahead of the weekend

The Late Summer Bank Holiday is the last break of the year before Christmas, so there’s no better time to uncork a bottle of special wine reserved for bank holiday drinking. Barbecues are a mainstay of this long weekend, whatever the weather; others may find themselves at music festivals, or even Notting Hill Carnival. For some of us, it may feel like the last chance to get away for a mini-break – and there’s nothing like a well-chosen bottle of wine to make an occasion of it.

Buyers, bar owners and sommeliers have shared their top bank holiday wine bottles with us ahead of the weekend, touting red, white, sparkling and rosé wine – there’s even a magnum in the mix for those larger get-togethers. Those interested in learning more about Ukrainian wine should start with wine buyer Will Hill’s wine tip. For a celebration, consult Sandia Chang’s Champagne suggestion below. And anyone who wants to impress friends at the grill should skip to bar owner Sunny Hodge’s recommended Pet Nat.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend, here are eight wine suggestions to put some extra shine on your bank holiday.


wine glass with sunshine reflected

Eight wines to open over the August bank holiday weekend

odessa black wine

Villa Tinta, Odessa Black 2018

  • £12.90, Honest Grapes
  • Will Hill, group wine buyer at Honest Grapes, London

‘The wines of Ukraine have more recently started to be explored, with standout examples of both international varieties and indigenous grapes emerging.

‘For me, the family-owned Villa Tinta Winery from the stunning Odessa region produces the finest example of the interesting Odessa Black grape. It’s also known as ‘Alibernet’, a portmanteau of Alicante Bouschet and Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a clue to its deep dark colour and intense flavour profile. Black fruits, spices, and a velvety smooth texture lead into a long and complex finish. A great example of the unique style here and hopefully your door into discovering more wines from this beautiful country.’

rose champagne rh coutier

RH Coutier, Cuvée Rosé Grand Cru, Brut NV

  • £56, Bubbleshop
  • Sandia Chang, co-founder and sommelier at Kitchen Table, London

‘A bottle from this underrated grower Champagne producer from the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay is what is needed to celebrate the last bit of summer without breaking the bank. Antoine Coutier’s family was the first to plant Chardonnay in the village of Ambonnay where Pinot Noir once dominated. This unique blended rosé is mostly made up of refreshing Chardonnay with a touch of Pinot Noir red fruit. It’s a versatile Champagne perfect for the beach, barbecues or rainy summer days under shelter.’

jose antonio garcia mencia wine

José Antonio Garcia, Viñas Viejas Mencía, Bierzo

‘We haven’t quite had the Mediterranean summer we were all so desperately wishing for. Fear not, I am still optimistic that I’ll be firing up the barbecue this bank holiday. Soggy sausages or sizzling sweetcorn, I’ll be drinking this gem: a 100% Mencía from the charming and understated José Antonio Garcia.

‘The estate’s secret weapon, this wine is a whole bunch of charisma from 80-year-old vines in Valtuille, rooted in red ferric-clay soil. A touch of Brancellao and Garnacha add to the intrigue. Fermented in stainless steel and aged for a year, this wine is vibrant and cheeky: it dances with lively tannins, crushed blueberries, blood orange and cranberry.’

ego vinum rosé wine bottle

La Bodega de las Estrellas, Ego Vinum, Aguja Ancestrale

  • £23, Aspen & Meursault
  • Sunny Hodge, owner of Diogenes the Dog and Aspen & Meursault wine bars

‘For uncertain weather this coming bank holiday, this particular low-intervention number absolutely covers all risks the elements may bring upon us. It’s a stunner of a natural sparkling rosé made from Cencibal (a local strain of Tempranillo) as a Pet Nat, spending a year in amphora. La Bodega de las Estrellas was the first winery to go organic in the region of Castilla La Mancha and the amphoras are kept in 9m-deep cellars to regulate the wine’s temperature. This helps keep acidity at the forefront and produces an incredibly intense, red fruit-forward sparkling marvel. The hands off approach paired with masterful winemaking has made an almost savoury yet rich style of sparkling rosé; it’s clean and vibrant and uber-quaffable, ticking all the boxes come rain or shine.’

Donna elvira Fringilla 2019

Donna Elvira, Fringilla Falanghina 2019

‘I love this wine for its fulfilling volcanic salinity, a satisfying quality that Fringilla reveals at each sip, enhancing the ripeness of its sun-blessed Mediterranean fruit. A white wine (100% Falanghina) to drink at the seaside (or if you’re just pretending to be there), an ideal summer companion for your grilled seafood fix or just a sipping partner while contemplating life.’

primo fuoco rosato

Fattoria di Sammontana, Primo Fuoco Rosato 2022

  • £29, Modal Wines
  • Desiree Chantarasak, co-founder of AngloThai, London, partnering with Outcrop at 180 The Strand

‘A fabulous and complex, deep rosé, filled with cherries, a super-juicy mouthfeel and a wonderful salty finish. Fermented for eight months in clay amphora, this wine is both refreshing and satisfying. Serve it chilled at any barbecue or summer celebration and you’ll be the star of the show.’

wine society white burgundy rpet wine bottle

The Society’s White Burgundy 2022 (rPET bottle)

‘The August bank holiday is perfect for barbecues and music festivals (weather permitting) and having just recently been to a music festival, I wanted to recommend The Wine Society’s new rPET bottles, specifically the White Burgundy, which went down very well there. The plastic bottles are ideal for packing in among your festival or barbecue goodies; they chill quickly and have no risk of smashing. A very convenient and delicious bottle for the August bank holiday.’

liberte cherie magnum wine bottle

Château Grand Boise, Liberté Chérie Clairette 2021 (magnum)

‘Château Grand Boise is tucked up in the limestone hills of Provence’s Saint Victoire region. Run on biodynamic and certified organic lines, the estate is chiefly famous for its rosé. But owner Jean Simmonet wanted to showcase another side of Provence. Planted in 2013, its Clairette vines have proven to be remarkably stubborn to cultivate, and this 2021 is the first time bottling them under the Liberté Chérie label. Only 480 magnums have been produced – and magnums are always the right choice for a bank holiday weekend. Showing no sign of the 600-litre oak barrel the wine was aged in, it has a bright, zesty grapefruit and fennel seed tang that delivers absolute refreshment that’s ideal for both outdoor dining and late-night dancing.’