This week, wine experts reveal their top drops for the summer season. Today, Jane Skilton, wine writer, chairman of the International Chardonnay Challenge, and judge of the Liquorland International Wine Competition and the Hawkes Bay Wine Awards, gives her picks.

For a barbecue?
A good Hawkes Bay syrah (my husband's favourite); Trinity Hillis a good choice. (Glengarry, $20.89). If pinot noir was in order, I'd choose something fromCentral Otago; Akarua Rua (Glengarry, $39.51) is fantastic quality for its price.

For a champagne breakfast?
My friend Stephen introduced me to small producer Champagnes this year so I'd try and track down something unusual.

If I wanted to drink New Zealand, I would choose Quartz Reef Brut (Vitis Cellars, $32.00).


For a picnic?
Lightly chilled Beaujolais. Always hated the stuff but have had my mind changed this year. Good ones include Terres Dorees Beaujolais 2011 (Maison Vauron, $22.50) and Matray Beaujolais 2010 (Maison Vauron, $20.00).

For dessert?
Desserts are hard to match because of all the sweetness. I'd always choose a lightly chilled Australian Liqueur Muscat which can stand up to anything, even chocolate.

Chambers Rutherglen Muscat 375ml. (Countdown, $25).

Low-alcohol wines?
Brancott Estate Flight Sauvignon Blanc. (Countdown, $24.99).

Sauvignon works well as it has masses of exuberant character to begin with so you can dial back the alcohol and still have a decent drink.