What's your favourite kind of day at the beach? Strolling the expanse of sand along the east coast while the breakers crash beside you? Soaking in a tide pool, paddle - or kite-surfing, toning up with a long swim, or catching a wave on your board? Or perhaps you'll just laze in the shade and take an occasional dip.
Maybe you're going to bring your kids and your friends and a load of goodies for lunch ... and of course, plenty to drink.

Increasingly, the beverage of choice is a chilled bottle of wine. At least you include it among the options you share with your group. You know who you are. You've discovered that it can nudge you towards euphoria when the evening sun splashes the clouds with colour. And if you glimpse the green flash, you absolutely need to raise a glass in praise of that rare moment.

Which wines work best at the beach? You want carefree, drinkable wines that are brisk enough to refresh you. Acid is the key to thirst quenching and is easier to find in a new world wine. For best chilling, select a wine whose alcohol level is below 13.5%. This means it'll have a bit of sweetness too, [because sugar and alcohol are in inverse proportion,) and day-long sipping won't do you much damage. If you like white wine, you're better off with low oak at the beach, so either avoid the Chardonnays or get an un-oaked one.

A great alternative is Sauvignon Blanc - crisp and crunchy with a hint of fruit flavour and a suggestion of wet rock. Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio [same grape, different language) is another excellent choice, but unless you're just guzzling, look for a good brand; there are too many flabby industrial Pinots out there. Perk up with Vin ho Verde, a Portuguese treat whose name means "green wine" - green as in fresh, which is definitely something you want for a day in the sun. For those who like a little sweetness choose Riesling, or Gewürztraminer whose lush fruity aromas go well with sunscreen! You can vary your diet with Gavi and Soave.

Rose combines the best aspects of white and red, and it's naturally summery. Pick a light one from Provence or the more affordable Languedoc.

For reds that chill well, look for grapes like Grenache [found in Cotes-du-Rhone!. Pinot Noir or a light Merlot. Often, recent vintages will give you more refreshing, primary fruit flavours. And you can't go wrong with Beaujolais.

Feeling bubbly? Leave the champagne for special - and cooler- occasions and pack a Prosecco or sip "Spain's Champagne", a Cava.

As always, we're ready to advise you in any of our locations, so stop in and expand your horizons.