With many of us more conscious of our alcohol intake, at 11.5 percent by volume, the Semillon Blanc from McGuigan, the Australian wine producers, may be the wine you are looking for. The label on the back of the bottle, signed by Neil McGuigan, says ‘I challenged my winemakers to create a new wine style based on the classic Australian variety Semillon. We wanted to retain the vibrant citrus characters, naturally low in alcohol and great aging potential of Semillon whilst creating a modern approachable style.’ We decided to try this wine, which is lighter in alcohol and see how it stands up to other wines that are stronger, we didn’t find it wanting.’

The wine has a great grassy freshness on the nose that is very inviting. On the palate, this soft medium bodied white wine, which is beautifully pale in colour, gives you great soft green fruits, reminiscent of gooseberry, greengage and kiwi. It has a pleasurably sharp tangy edge, though not overly so and great length on the tongue. We tried this new Australian creation on its own – of course – and that’s where we got these flavour sensations. We then went on to finish the bottle with a starter of smoked salmon and salad and it paired extremely well with it. The wine seemed to become sharper when balanced with the salmon and made an excellent contrast to the fish.

McGuigan’s The Semillon Blanc is an excellent wine to drink as an aperitif, it feels great in the mouth and has a great freshness, but it does pair well with bolder fish dishes like our smoked salmon and I think would work well with white meats including those served with rich sauces, which would bring out the wine’s acidity and balance the dish really well.

McGuigan’s Semillon Blanc is available from Tesco at £6.99, which we think is well priced for such a good wine that has great flavour and body. It is certainly one that you should consider pairing with any fish starter next time you are doing a special meal, or for lunchtime drinking – its lower alcohol content means you can drink more – perhaps…

For more information about McGuigan wines, go to www.mcguiganwines.com.au