Barbecues and delicate wines don’t go together. To compete with the rich smells and flavours of barbecued food you need a wine that tastes of berry fruit. So what’s needed are robustly-flavoured reds and fruitily-flavoured whites.
Red wines made with the blackberry and cherry tasting grape varieties of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo work with barbecued meats. The usual rather-burnt barbecued burger often comes topped with a fiery chilli relish. You’d think drinking a cold beer or chilled white wine with this would soothe the tongue, but a room-temperature red wine will cleanse the mouth and enable your taste buds to start registering again. Your burger will taste meaty and your red wine fruity.
But where are we white wine drinkers in this mass of red? The lighter tasting flavours of white wines go well with barbecued fish, chicken, vegetable kebabs and salads. These foods will often have picked up a smoke-laced tang and so need wines with a bit of individuality: gooseberry tasting Sauvignon Blanc or the honey tones of Viognier work well.
Mind you keeping white wines cold while the sun shines and the barbecue radiates heat is tricky. For a quick and cheap solution, wrap your whites in a tea towel soaked in water. As the water evaporates it takes the heat away, so keeping your wine cool for about half an hour.
PG Wine Reviews
Ursa Maior Spanish Reserva Rioja 2008
£7 Spar (down from £9.99 until August 20)
Light bramble flavours with an underlying darkness.
Villa Maria New Zealand Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2014
£7.45 Tesco (down from £11.19 until September 2)
Gooseberry then passionfruit – sharp followed by sweet flavours.
Apothic Red Californian Winemaker’s Blend 2012
A mix of chocolate truffle and Turkish Delight.
Fetzer Quartz Californian White Blend 2012
Don’t drink this too cold otherwise you’ll miss the orangey flavours.
Tesco French Red Burgundy, Pinot Noir 2012
Raspberry and cocoa flavours with a bit of cough drop.
Jean-Luc Colombo French Les Girelles Picpoul de Pinet 2013
£8.95 Field and Fawcett
Tastes like upside down pineapple pudding.
The Pullhams Bin22 Australian Shiraz 2011
£9.74 Virgin Wines
Raspberry and cherry liqueur chocolates. Very slurpable.
Dehesa de Quixana Spanish El Ingenioso 2013
£11.99 Virgin Wines
A fruity red blend with a bit of depth: sweet damson, blackberry and cocoa flavours.
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© Paula Goddard 2014 www.paulagoddard.com