Summer BBQs: don’t banish wine to the cellar

May 24, 2014 9:01 am

The sun is shining, and an amazing realisation dawns on you: after months or rain and cold, it is finally barbecue season! As you head out to the garden to dust off your barbecue, your natural reflex may be to grab a chilled beer. But don’t automatically banish wine to the cellar – there are a number of wine styles that pair beautifully with barbecued meat.

barbecue-and-wineYoung, bold, spicy reds pair wonderfully with barbecued beef and lamb. Try a youthful Aussie Shiraz or a Côtes du Rhône from France. Grilled pork sausages or pork chops would be divine next to a youthful Merlot – very tannic reds would not be a good choice given the high salt content in pork sausages. These youthful reds can even be served slightly chilled (although not as cold as you may serve a white wine).

A hugely underrated – but brilliant – partner for summer grilling is dry Rosé. The refreshing crispness and notes of red fruit offered by a Provence Rosé make it the perfect companion to barbecued chicken or grilled prawns. Rosé is actually extremely versatile and can handle a variety of flavours, so don’t worry about overpowering it with spicy or sticky sauces.

If in doubt, opt for an unoaked, dry, youthful Sauvignon Blanc. Look for a bottle from Malborough or alternatively a Sancerre from France’s Loire Valley.

Vegetarians, fear not – grilled skewers of vegetables such as tomatoes and mushrooms would sit wonderfully with a Pinot Noir. The earthy and slightly gamey flavours of this wine make it a match made in heaven.

So there you have it – a simple and straightforward guide to pairing wine with your barbecue. Now, where can I find a glass?

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