Wine for barbecues - WineUncorked: Wine Reviews and Tips

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.

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 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.

Latest wine reviews

Email newsletter

Get the latest wine reviews
and tips straight to your inbox

About

About WineUncorked and its editor, Paula Goddard Read more

Instagram