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LIVE 24-SEVEN


WHEN SUMME R A R R I V E S WINE FOR BBQ’S. . .


As we move gently into the ‘summer’ *months, it seems only fair that I re-visit and update my thoughts on all things wine related and BBQs. It will come as no surprise to all who know me, that I am more a ‘cook inside and take outside’ kind of gal, which perhaps says more about my BBQ skills than I care to elaborate on…but there is no denying the pleasure of spending an afternoon/evening around a BBQ, savoury aromas swirling around, glasses full and good company.


*my constructing a rudimentary ark, coincides with the wettest June on record!


I am not so insensitive as to metaphorically stomp all over tried and tested wine pairings (I can see a queue forming already …keen to attest to the opposite…), but I am going to play fast and hard with suggestions here, simply because I think all of you out there who love everything about cooking on the equivalent of a metal frame with wire on the top are big enough to take it…


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Perhaps skirt around old world reds; often, barbecued meat and vegetables are coated with a spice rub or a sweet and acidic BBQ sauce and a decent Bordeaux or Italian Nebbiolo can be obliterated under a wave of paprika and ketchup.


Now, here comes my favourite part… it’s hard to go wrong with bubbles!


While you may prefer to keep the top drawer bottles for another occasion, Spanish Cava, Italian Prosecco and (my favourite), a well-priced Blanc de Blanc, can be a match for pretty much any BBQ sauce and be a refreshing oasis when faced with a sticky rack of ribs!


The complexity of a BBQ sauce – with vinegar, sugar, mustard, chilli and other little gems from the spice drawer thrown in – can mean all subtlety in the wine is lost, so a young Oregon or New Zealand Pinot Noir would struggle. Conversely, a ‘big’ wine, such as Californian Zinfandel or Australian Barossa Shiraz, can fight food rather than complement.


WINES & GRILLING V SMOKING Grilling imparts a more charred flavour dependent on the amount of time the food is on the BBQ. The more intense the charred flavour, the better it will taste with wines aged in new oak. New oak barrels are often charred on the inside before wine is aged in them and can impart flavours such as coffee, chocolate, leather and toast, to complement foods.


Smoking foods involves a longer exposure to high heat and so they tend to pair well with wines with softer tannins and less overt new oak flavours.


My ‘Try it you might like it’ suggestions…


HOT DOGS & DRY ROSE A dry rosé will pair with almost anything you care to throw on your sausage in a bun. Light and clean red fruit notes complement ketchup, but can also stand up well to mustard and onions. A good dry Provence Rosé would be my choice, all day and night long, and its mineral quality will even complement the hot dog’s savoury saltiness.


BBQ CHICKEN & ZINFANDEL BLEND Although the Zinfandel grape is often associated with overpowering jam, these fruit-driven wines are bold enough to handle all manner of BBQ food and yet, chilled down for an hour, you will find fruit at the fore and high alcohol tamed; the higher the alcohol, the riper the grapes and heavier the jammy character.


GRILLED SALMON & GAMAY With its light body and low tannins, Gamay is one of the most food-friendly varietals, but its bright fruit and acidity are a beautiful contrast to the smoky flavour and creamy texture of grilled salmon. Wherever possible, jump to top level Cru Beaujolais, which are often aged and with slightly softer


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WINING & DINING WINE EXPER T


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