Summer really is when all of the good stuff is poured.

Coffee is a year round necessity and hot chocolate is pretty good on a winter’s day; but the smorgasbord of summer bevvies is unmatched by any other season. Below is a roundup of some of the Margaret River Region’s top seasonal hits to try this year.

And the biggest summertime bonus? Longer sunlight hours mean more time to sip, swirl and slurp.

Art of Sparkling Experience at Howard Park Wine Chapel. Credit Paris Hawken.
Pop the cork and celebrate with Howard Park Wines. Photo: Paris Hawken

Pop the cork

There is one name that comes up when it comes to seeking out sparkling wine: Howard Park.

This summer it’s all about the effervescent Jeté Rosé: it’s so pretty in the champagne flute you almost don’t want to spoil the sight by drinking it. Almost. Howard Park produce their Jeté using the Methodé Traditionelle; meaning you’ll be sipping on the finest grapes from Western Australia treated in exactly the same way that Champagne is produced in France. It’s a lengthy process that is just like the ballet move that the wine is named after, both requiring time, patience and dedication.

The result is a creamy and nutty sparkling Rosé, bursting with tart strawberry characters. While no excuse is needed to pop the cork, it’s ideal on its own before dinner or paired with summery dishes such as freshly shucked oysters or a chic prawn cocktail.

Cocktail Hour

Ask any regular bar hopper where their go-to spot is for a quality cocktail in stylish surrounds and their answer is almost guaranteed to be Morries. A stalwart on the main street for many years now, if you’ve been out for a night on the town in Margaret River at some point, you will have likely popped in here for a classic with a twist.

Not sure what to order? Start with one of their summer favourites. Step sideways from a margarita and try a Goblin Co. You’ll be sipping chilli infused blanco tequila shaken with lime, coriander and a touch of agave nectar. More of a sweet tooth? Then slurp on a Strawberry Basil Smash: an icy concoction filled with the Westwind’s gin, strawberry shrub, fresh basil, lime and egg white.

Morries Cocktails Nightlife
Cocktail hour at Morries. Photo: Martine Perrett and Tourism WA

Take a tip from a pro

Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes, especially when it comes to choosing the perfect drop. Every year you’ve got new vintages, new blends, new wine producers and newly planted grape varieties to decipher. It’s time to call in a pro, and with more than 20 years touring the region under his belt, Tony at Margaret River Vintage Wine Tours is the man for the job.

Tony is a full bottle on the region’s wine, and he says you can’t go past an oaked Chardonnay; some of his favourites include Leeuwin Estate, Voyager Estate and Thompson Estate. If you want to learn more, just jump on a tour with him!

Sweet somethings

It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll have tried anything quite like the creamy Nougaretto on offer at Bettenay Wines. Also home to the Margaret River Nougat Company, this unctuous and very easy drinking liqueur is essential an alcoholic, liquid version of the honey and almond based sweet.

On its own, poured over ice or drizzled over vanilla ice-cream; the only limit to where to decant this lip-smacking stuff is by your imagination. Pick from honey and almond or coffee and almond flavours or grab both in a nifty triple pack, along with their fortified chilli rosé known as Lost The Plot. A visit to Bettenay’s will allow tastings of the whole offering, as well as access to take-home supplies. It’s the perfect present to head home with, though it’s pretty hard to stop at one glass so you won’t be the first who has returned back to top up supplies.

Bettenay Wines Picnic Rose Wine
Nougat and wine, the perfect mix at Bettenay's. Photo: Supplied

Alternative varieties

New wave, old school wines is the go at Amato Vino. Step into a new experience by exploring the range of alternate varieties like Savagnin, Trousseau, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Teroldego this summer!

We highly recommend a try of the ‘Fusa’ range… (foo-za). Prepare for juicy, fresh drinkability, yet complex and alluring wines – packed with flavour but oh-so light on their feet. The Bianco and Rosso are fruit-forward, fleshy and flavoursome, yum.

Think pink

There is no such thing as too much pink when it comes to summer enjoyment. Rosy sunsets, magenta-hued berries and a healthy glow after a brisk beachside stroll. You can also add Black Brewing Co and Dune Distilling – to that list, with a couple of pink treats in store for summer drinkers.

Dune Distilling have a range of special gins, and we currently adore the Pink Grapefruit Gin – carefully crafted from native and imported sourced South West and Australian botanicals including juniper, coriander seed and pink grapefruit. Beer lovers might prefer to froth over Black Brewing Co’s Sunset Lager, a perfect beer for the end of a hot day with a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset. This brew is infused with Maarr (native lemon grass) and Wyrrung (wild rosella), unique and refreshing.

Dune Distilling Co Gin
We currently adore the Pink Grapefruit Gin from Dune Distilling. Photo: Supplied

Hot pink... hazy?

We said it, there’s no such thing as too much pink in summer, so what about a Hot Pink Hazy then?
Beerfarm makes beer for all occasions, from smashable lagers to complex IPA’s and sours packed full of rescued fruit, and we couldn’t be more excited to add their new hot pink hazy to our hot-2024 list. If you’re not fully sold on pink hues, revert back to trusty tastes and opt for their new ginger beer being released 22 Jan.
The legends at Beerfarm took home winner of the Best Beer of the Year at the WA Good Food Guide awards for their IPL, so there’s no doubt anything these folk come up with, we’ll be drinking it this summer.
Enjoy a bevvy at Beerfarm this summer. Photo: Lauren Trickett

Raise a glass to Rosé

Warm summer evenings, salty beach hair and fresh seafood all scream of summer, so it’s only fitting that what is poured into that glass is on par. Snake + Herring’s 2023 ‘Tainted Love’ Syrah Rosé ticks all the boxes when it comes to choosing a refreshing drop for your wine glass. The 2023 vintage was cool and dry, which allowed for slow ripening with great natural acidity and fruit purity in the wine. Prepare for a slight salmon hue and lifted raspberry and floral notes. Tres sexy, tres chic. Drink from tumblers, at sunset, in boardies and berets. Or with pizza?

snake and herring rose wine
Reach for a refreshing rose from Snake & Herring. Photo: Supplied

Zesty whites

Passel Estate produces two multiple-award-winning white wines, which are both perfect for the warmer months. Their zesty Sauvignon Blanc is ideal for summer and differs from many others originating from the New World / Margaret River due to the partial barrel ferment.  Given that it’s the crowned Queen of Margaret River, Chardonnay is the other obvious choice. Passel Estate’s current 2020 vintage has received four silver medals from international wine shows and high praise from Richard Hemming MW and Ray Jordan. We’ll drink to that!