SECOND guessing the British summer weather is a bit like a game of spin the bottle but without the kissing. But come rain or shine I bet many of you will be pouring some barbecue wines as you singe the sausages and panic about the burgers.
Here’s a pink, white, red and a sparkles – perfect barbecue wines, whether you’re hiding under an umbrella or dabbing on the suncream.
Barbecue wines: Enjoy this pink with prawn kebabs. Treat them gently.
Aldi Exquisite Collection Cotes de Provence Rosé 2015 (12.5% abv, £5.99 or £35.94 for six from www.aldi.co.uk)
It is the Law of Wine that you should enjoy Provence pinks in glinting sunshine. A few days ago this wine won the International Wine Challenge Great Value Rosé under £7 trophy.
It is a blend of grenache, cinsault, syrah and mourvédre and aromas flirt with strawberries and quince; when you sip, you’ll quickly want another sip of this refreshing mouthful of summer fruits with a touch of minerality and a slight creamy texture. The flavours last too. They don’t disappear in a watery wish-wash of so-whatishness.
Barbecue wines: This white would be fab with Thai-spice marinaded chicken
The Society’s Grüner Veltliner 2015, (12% abv, £7.50, www.thewinesociety.com)
My Better Half arrived home after a 70-mile bike ride (I’d walked the dog to the park – that’s the fitness differential in our household) and I thrust a glass of this in his hand.
He’s hard to please but he gave me these adjectives “tasty, moreish, drinkable, smooth”. I couldn’t disagree. You might not be able to pronounce it, but I bet you’ll love this grüner veltliner.
A nose-dip reveals aromas of peach and pear, and a fleck of white pepper; then a sip bursts with more peach and pear flavours with a nudge of spice which fizzles with the acidity to make your palate stand to attention. A wine with lovely depth to savour.
Barbecue wines: Red is perfect for sausages, especially with charcoal scrunch.
Asda’s Extra Special Barbera d’Asti 2013 was named Best Value Red under £7 by the IWC. I nipped into my local Asda and there it was, an astonishing £5, quite incognito, nestling amongst the other reds. Go fill your boots.
If you do, you’ll find an Italian red which does everything an Italian red does. It is chokka with cherries and spangled with spice.
The acidity glints like a mirror in the sunshine and it is best paired with food. So I did – a steak with a crunchy coat of black pepper and mustard seeds; then the next day the sun was shining, we brought out the barbie and burnt some sausages. Yum.
Barbecue wines: Just let this English sparkler fizz away, sit back and enjoy
Henners Brut 2010 (£27.99, 12% abv www.corksout.com) is a multi-award-winning English sparkling wine crafted in east Sussex (www.hennersvineyard.co.uk) and is a blend of two traditional Champagne grapes, pinot noir and pinot meunier.
Bubbles giggle into the glass and the mousse isn’t for leaving this world in a hurry; aromas of ripe pears, citrus and brioche tempt from afar, drawing you into the glass for another deep nose-dip. It’s the kind of wine I forget to taste as I’m so entranced with the aromas. Ah but not quite – taste I did – and mouth-cleansing juicy citrus is offset by almond richness. Delicious.
First published in Raise a Glass, Trinity Mirror regionals May 22, 2016