BBQ’s are one of the delights of a British summer, as soon as the temperature ticks over 15 degrees, the shorts are on, the coals are lit and the meat is ready to char. I’m partial to some good old Texas brisket, with the finest steaks, tenderest short ribs and juiciest sausages available.However most people make the mistake of only thinking about the wine to partner the meat, but often the sides go unnoticed.
Luckily, we’ve got every base covered, from the most popular meats, to the pasta dishes that we love so much
America took BBQ to another level, especially in the southern states of South Carolina and Tennessee. So I thought it was fitting to start with an American wine that compliments the juicy char-grilled, smoky nature of your big meats like steaks, burgers and to an extent sausages. The wine will compliment the lashing of BBQ sauce with it’s full-flavoured fruity nature. If you’re not a big fan of Zinfandel, aim for a nice heavy Shiraz, something with a little bit of weight behind it. If you’re a fan of neither, then follow this very simple rule, aim for the bigger reds from the hotter climates, they will match the intensity and flavour of your meats a lot more than the lighter reds.
BBQ’s tend to be red meat dominated, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A good BBQ will satisfy every need and the urge for fish in the sun is prominent among many. Maybe it’s the feeling of sitting on a water bank in Venice while enjoying the fresh catch of the day, or maybe it’s just because it’s delicious full-stop. Here we are talking some garlic marinated prawns, clams, mussels and oysters. For this, you want a nice Albarino. This fresh and aromatic white is the perfect partner to these types of fish and it grows in the coolest regions of Spain. A lot of Albarino is grown in Galicia, a cool, wet and windy region of Northern Spain, it also happens to be known as the seafood coast.
Chicken breast is another staple of any BBQ, if you get the cooking time spot on, you won’t taste a juicier chicken breast, than one that’s visited the BBQ. It comes in many shapes and sizes but the consistent is, it’s always delicious. Whether it be a chicken burger, some skewers, a whole roast, a breast roast or even some drumsticks or wings, you can always find a wine to perfectly match. Whenever I’m cooking a little white meat on the BBQ, I always partner it with Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, wines with a little intensity. A general rule is if the seasoning on the meat is herb based, go with the citrus vitality of a Sauvignon, but if it is richer and creamier, Chardonnay is the way to go. Here are a few suggestions from our range:
One of my favourite parts of a BBQ is the side dishes and foods that accompany all the meats, none more so than some roast and char-grilled vegetables. For richer grilled vegetables like red peppers, courgettes and aubergines, you want a fuller red than if you were cooking off some mushrooms or onion. For a lot of the deeper flavoured vegetables, opt for a lovely young Spanish Rioja, for the ligher vegetables, go for a lower tanin red like a Pinot Noir or a heavy full-bodied dry white like an oaked Chardonnay.
Finally, would a BBQ be complete without the addition of some cheeses. Whether you are grilling some Halloumi or just chopping up some feta into your side salad, there is a wine for each one. Personally I always opt for a french white to partner the Halloumi aspect of the dinner and a nice Riesling to make the Feta sing. Luckily we have a couple of wines that will add that extra flavour and texture to any dish:
There we have it, our quick guide to the perfect wines to take your BBQ to another level. I’m hoping to get out in the garden this weekend to light up the new smoker BBQ for the very first time and hopefully we’ll all have that chance over the bank holiday. The food is obviously the most important thing, but don’t forget to have an array or wines on offer to delight all your friends and family. If you follow the guide above, I’m sure everyone will be talking about your BBQ for weeks or months to come.