Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 25 July 2016

Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 25 July 2016

Barbecues and subtle, delicate wines do not go together. To compete with the rich smells and flavours of barbecued food you need a wine with dark fruit and chocolate notes, so forget about whites and rosés – think instead of robustly-flavoured reds.

Red wines made with the red-berry tasting grape varieties of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo work best with barbecued meats. Their blackberry and cherry flavours in Italian and Spanish blends have enough strength to keep up with oily marinades and crispy cooking.

The typical slightly-burnt barbecued burger often comes topped with a fiery chilli-tomato relish. You’d think drinking a cold beer or chilled white wine with this would help soothe the tongue of excess chilli, but actually a room-temperature red wine is a better bet: your tongue feels cleansed enough for your taste buds to start registering again. Your burger will taste meaty and your red wine fruity.

Fruity tasting wines don’t happen by accident. Where grapes grow will affect a wines flavour. Warm southern Mediterranean countries tend to produce fruity wines and these typically have an alcoholic content of around 12.5 per cent. This level of alcohol gives the wine enough mouth-cleansing body without being overwhelmingly alcoholic.

American and Australian wines can measure a massive 14.5 per cent. Such high levels of alcohol leave a wine sickly-sweet and so intensely flavoured that it overpowers any food it meets. Not all southern-hemisphere wines contain so much alcohol. The Californian Gallo wines are typically a more manageable 10%. Read the small print on the wine bottle’s label before buying to be sure you don’t get more than you want.

PG Wine Reviews


Pasico Spanish Bush Vine Monastrell Shiraz 2015

£4.50 Sainsbury’s (down from £5 until August 9)

Spicy plum and black coffee flavours. Good for pizza and barbecues.


La Patrie Cahors Malbec 2014

£5.50 Sainsbury’s (down from £7 until August 9)

Rather light for a Malbec – fruity flavours best matched to salads and sausages.


Sous le Soleil French Cabernet merlot 2015

£5.99 Waitrose

Blackberry and plum with the smoothness of milk chocolate.


Tesco Finest Italian Chianti Riserva 2013

£6 Tesco

Soft black cherry, chocolate and toast flavours. A soft edge that goes well with food.


Honoro Vera Spanish Garnacha 2014

£6.99 Co-op (down from £7.99 until August 2)

Cherry, choc and raisin.


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© Paula Goddard 2016