SPRING has sprung and if you are anything like me, the whites and roses came out to greet the equinox, as did the sun, thankfully. It may be a few weeks before we can truly start to relax with friends but let’s use the time left to search out the perfect patio whites.

I’m talking about light, fruity non-snooty wines that you can sip in the afternoon as well as a few more robust styles ready for the days when you can offer your neighbours the gift that says you care, a carcinogenic beef burger biscuit.

One of my favourite grapes at this time of the year is definitely riesling and while there are a few cracking contenders from the new world, the kabinetts from Mosel are still the pack leaders for the grape. The gorgeous pale salmon roses from the Provence are also patio favourites of mine with their lush raspberry fruits, refreshing acidity and their uncanny ability to forgive burnt offerings. But for me, chardonnay is still the crown prince of the patio even if it does make a working class lad like me look a tad middle class for the day.

There are others on the horizon, mind you, with some excellent Alsace gewurztraminers and South African chenins stalking the garden space but grapes like viogner, marsanne and semillon, while beloved of many, are still better suited to the dining table.

Anyway, here are a few corkers to practice on for the day, not so long now when hugging a friend wont be an arrestable offence.

Emil Bauer, ‘No Sex Drugs, Rock & Roll, just Riesling’, Germany

With its crisp refreshing acidity, tropical fruits and fresh citrus flavours, not to mention a name that's every bit as racy as the liquid, this has to be on the list to share with your elderly neighbours.

The Good Spirits Co, Glasgow £17.20

Yarrabrook Chardonnay, Australia

I really didn't expect to like this. Let's face it, I'm a wine snob and this is a bit under my normal radar but, crikey, did I enjoy it! It's got apples and soft pear flavours with just enough of a hint of vanilla on the finish to entice me to finish the bottle.

Oddbins £7.50