Six great companions for outdoor feasting
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)