Who needs the sun when you could be chilling out with a zingy glass of vino?

I love Triade Fiano/Falanghina/Greco 2010 IGT Campania

I love Triade Fiano/Falanghina/Greco 2010 IGT Campania

So the summer has been a bit patchy so far. But I’m convinced the best is yet to come and we’ll find ourselves bathed in glorious golden light, wishing we’d stocked up on fridge-loads of cool, refreshing vino to see us through.

I’m thinking of sharp, snappy whites, pristine rosés and even reds with some tang that you could serve chilled.

So what should we be looking for?

In terms of grapes, if you’re looking for crisp whites, Italy has a jaw-dropping range of zingers. Italian Pinot Grigio is widely available and astonishingly popular – my tip is to look for examples from the cool, northern Alto Adige, such as the splendid Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Pinot Grigio 2010 (£7.49).

We seem to be drinking more and more Pinot Grigio, and its vineyards are spreading around the world from Argentina to England – Waitrose is offering Sussex’s Bolney Estate Bookers Vineyard Pinot Grigio 2010 for £8.99. But the truth is, Italy has a myriad of crisp whites beyond Pinot Grigio that offer stacks of character and splendid value for money.

Fiano from Sicily and Campania is amazing – peachy, round and refreshing (have a pop at Tesco Finest Fiano 2010, £6.99). Greco di Tufo is elfish, bright and dazzlingly fresh vino. Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is clean with a subtle almond bite. And Frascati is making a comeback.

Soave is extraordinary when it’s done right. On a recent visit to the area, I tasted a wine that blew my mind with its quality – Capitel Croce Soave made by Anselmi from a single vineyard of Garganega grapes in Monteforte.

Part fermented in oak, it’s an amazingly rich and zingy wine with almond, pear, pineapple and a long, fresh finish.

Find it at greatwesternwine.co.uk, nywines.co.uk or slurp.co.uk for about £17.50. Of course, Sauvignon Blanc is a massively popular grape variety, with sharp grapefruit zing and different nuances around the world. In France, in places such as the Loire and the appellations Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre, it has a light, bright purity.

And if you search in less well-known places you can find great value.

Look for Sauvignon de Touraine or try Domaine Balland-Chapuis Montagnes Blanches 2010, £9.99 in Waitrose – it’s very similar to Sancerre but without the high price tag.

In New Zealand’s famous Marlborough region, Sauvignon Blanc takes on a special passion-fruit intensity with tropical ping.

And you can find some real class from Chile in coastal Casablanca and Leyda or high in the Andes; Castillo de Molina Sauvignon Blanc 2010, £7.99 at Sainsbury’s, is a seriously intense, refreshing wine.

South Africa, too, has some wonderful Sauvignon Blanc, from areas such as Elim and Elgin – try the rapiercitrus freshness of Iona Sauvignon Blanc (£10.44, waitrosewine.com).

And closer to home, France has some wonderfully crisp, good-value zingers such as Muscadet and Picpoul de Pinet. Spain and Portugal also shine with their Albariño and Vinho Verde respectively – both stunning, crisp whites. But whites aside, is there an alternative? Rosé deserves a big mention as a crisp refresher for summer.

Not the sweet fruity ones for me, thanks, but the crisp, dry, holiday-infused wines of France’s Provence will do me nicely. Majestic has a cracking range of Provençal rosés to choose from, including Côtes de Provence Sainte Victoire 2010 Famille Negrel (£8.99 on offer) and Château Pigoudet ‘La Chapelle’ Rosé 2010 (£8.49 on offer).

And, of course, if you’re a red wine lover, look for lighter grapes such as Pinot Noir and Nero d’Avola and serve them a tad chilled.

Half an hour in the fridge should sort you out and emphasise the fruity flavours in the vino. Have a pop at Tesco Finest Côtes Catalanes Carignan 2010 (£6.99) and serve it lightly chilled for your next summery barbecue.

And if the summer continues to be patchy, you could always hold on for the first bonfires of autumn and serve these chilled beauties wrapped up in a toasty coat!

Chateau Sainte Marguerite Grande Reserve Cru Classe 2010 Cotes de Provence

Lava Greco di Tufo 2010

Triade Fiano/Falanghina/Greco 2010 IGT Campania

Tagus Creek Red 2010

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