Six great com­pan­ions for out­door feast­ing

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - DRINK -

As the re­cent Bank Hol­i­day heat­wave high­lighted, there’s re­ally no need to wait un­til the height of sum­mer to brave the great out­doors, when you can be the barbecue pit­mas­ter now. But while you’re por­ing over those tasty mari­nade recipes and de­cid­ing how many meat op­tions to grill up, don’t for­get to think about what you’ll be pour­ing in your glass too.

Whether it’s a ca­sual cook­out or gourmet get-to­gether, the wines should match the weight of the food and be de­li­cious enough to hold their own while you’re wait­ing for the burg­ers to start siz­zling, or the juicy grilled shrimp to turn pink.

Here are six top picks to get the juices flow­ing this barbecue sea­son... 1. Do­maine Sainte Rose, Co­quille D’OcRose 2017, South of France (£7.49, Waitrose) To mir­ror the fa­mous pale pinks of Provence, but with­out the de­signer price tag, try this straw­berry pink from the sunny Langue­doc. Ut­terly de­li­cious, with an ar­ray of crushed berry aro­mas. Sink with seafood. 2. Wild­flower Pinot Gri­gio, Ro­ma­nia (£6.50, Spar) A pinot to point you in the right di­rec­tion — specif­i­cally Ro­ma­nia, where the qual­ity is rapidly im­prov­ing — this fresh, zippy crowd-pleaser has enough flo­ral aro­mat­ics. Lemon groves and jas­mine come to mind, with its del­i­cate flavours and a re­fresh­ingly crisp fin­ish to keep you com­ing back for more. Works well with grilled fish, and good enough to be the first glass be­fore mov­ing onto a red. De Bor­toli Wood­fired Shi­raz, Aus­tralia, cur­rently re­duced to £7.50, Asda Tesco Finest Ar­gen­tinian Mal­bec, Ar­gentina, £7.50 3. The So­ci­ety’s Chilean Chardon­nay 2016, Li­mari, Chile (£6.95, TheWine­So­ci­ety.com) Su­per fresh, su­per de­li­cious, this straw­blonde chardon­nay ticks all the right boxes. With trop­i­cal fruits on the nose, a hint of baked ap­ple, oak and spice, the lay­ers of peachy fruit and creami­ness are bright­ened by fresh acid­ity. With far more vi­brancy than the price would sug­gest, it’s de­li­cious with sal­mon steaks, flaky fish and veg­gie burg­ers. 4. Tesco Finest Ar­gen­tinian Mal­bec 2017, Ar­gentina (£7.50, Tesco) De­li­ciously invit­ing from the word go, sun-kissed plum, vi­o­let and blue­berry aro­mas lead to sim­i­lar flavours with a twist of pep­per and smooth tan­nins on the fruity fin­ish. A nat­u­ral bed­fel­low with red meats, its ripe fruits are also an easy drinker with chorizo sausages and grilled chicken mari­nade recipes. 5. De Bor­toli Wood­fired Heath­cote Shi­raz 2016, Aus­tralia (re­duced to £7.50 un­til May 30, Asda) Shi­raz and spice and all things nice... Lovely on the nose, with lots of rich black fruited aro­mas sea­soned with herbs and a for­est floor of dark fruits, this is soft and lush with smooth tan­nins and a long spicy fin­ish. As the wood-fired name sug­gests, it’s a per­fect match with any­thing that spends time on the fire. 6. Han­cock & Han­cock Caber­net Touriga 2015, McLaren Vale, South Aus­tralia (£14.99, TheWineRe­serve. co.uk) This deftly blended cab sav, with a splash of touriga, is an ab­so­lute cracker with flame-grilled steak. With an en­tic­ing bou­quet of black­cur­rant, vi­o­lets and shrubs and a wealth of suc­cu­lent bram­bly fruits (with the touriga grape lending a lit­tle bit of grip and com­plex­ity), it’s lay­ered and com­plex with sweet spice on the ul­tra-smooth fin­ish. A wine to linger over un­til the last dy­ing em­bers, if you can make it last that long. The So­ci­ety’s Chardon­nay, Chile, (£6.95, TheWine So­ci­ety. com)

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