A barbecue is an informal occasion to relax, put your feet up in the sun and get a little tipsy. Wines that are not too serious and definitely easy to drink seem like a good idea. We popped a long to Waitrose to see what they had on offer and were surprised by the amount of knowledge staff had about the wines.

These are the ones we tried and enjoyed last weekend. Stick with us and you’ll sound like a wine buff in no time at all:

Laurent Miquel Vendanges Nocturnes Cinsault/Syrah Rosé

A cheeky little number,“Generously flavoured with fresh cherry and raspberry”, it owes its fruity notes to the Cinsault and Syrah grapes which are harvested at night to retain the crisp freshness. Perfect for a summers evening it can be enjoyed as an apéritif but also works well with lighty-spiced food or even a fresh fruit salad.

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Merlot

This smooth New World Merlot, produced by the Craggy Range Vineyard, models itself on a Bordeaux but is warmer and resembles a very smooth, ripe Saint-Émilion. Boasting cassis fruit and spicy chocolaty notes it is best drunk with rare roast beef, duck of a succulent filet steak.

Deakin Vine Series Merlot

A great all-rounder this soft and fruity wine from the Murray Darling region can be drunk with a wide range of foods but is acceptable on its own. Bursting with flavour from juicy red fruit, plum and cherry this Australian Merlot does not disappoint on taste or value for money.

Astrolabe the Wrekin Chenin Blanc

Aromas of crisp green apples, honeysuckle, bright citrus and vanilla contrast with the rich flavours of ripe pear and apricot. These tones are lifted by an exhilarating mineral freshness that has seen this lovingly crafted New Zealand Chenin Blanc become a classic of its time and garner an almost cult status of which it is deserving. Barbecue guests will enjoy this flavoursome tipple with fish, chicken or vegetarian foods.

Chapel Down Vintage Reserve Brut  NV

This fresh, soft and fruity sparkling English Wine is a blend of Rivaner, Reichensteiner and Pinot Noir grapes from Chapel Down, the largest producer of English Wine. Fresh citrus, quince and hints of strawberry on the finish makes it the perfect accompaniment to the summer.