Barbecued red meat and robustly-flavoured red wines are well matched. 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 made with more fruity-flavoured white grape varieties for a better match. Gooseberry tasting Sauvignon Blanc and the honey tones of a Colombard go well.
But why not go further with those honey tones by analysing the flavours and combine a barbecue with a home wine tasting? Buy yourself some large wine glasses (cheap supermarket ones will do) for capturing any wine aromas released when the wine is swirled prior to sniffing and tasting.
After you’ve made a note of the label (so you can remind yourself next week whether to buy the wine again) pour the wine. Give it a sniff so you can make a note of its aroma and then sip and taste. There are no right or wrong words for the aroma and taste – write down whatever you think the wine smells and tastes of even if that’s home-made custard or Persil washing up liquid.
And don’t forget to keep those white wines cold while the sun shines and the barbecue radiates heat. Stand your white wines in a mixture of water and icecubes, or for a quick and cheap solution, wrap your whites in newspaper 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
Arcoiris Chilean Chardonnay 2016
£4.99 Co-op (down from £6.99 until July 4)
Simple apple and pear flavours. An everyday glug at a reasonable price.
Monte Giove Sicilian Pinot Grigio Chardonnay 2016
£5.29 Co-op (down from £7.29 until July 4)
Refreshing white blend of two well-known grape varieties that tastes of lemon, pear and melon.
Majestic Loves Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2016
£5.99 Majestic (price reflects bought within mixed case of 6, single bottle £6.99)
Another of the new Majestic Loves range with the funky labels. Not your usual goosberry-tasting Sauvignon Blanc but a more subtle version with flavours of juicy apple and passion fruit.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Spanish Albariňo 2015
£7.50 Sainsbury’s (down from £8 until June 27)
Very fruity white with creamy peach, melon, apple and pear all going on.
McGuigan Australian Bin Series 9000 Semillon 2016
Very light flavours and light in alcohol too – only 11%. An ideal lunch-time wine with lemon and apple nuances.