It was national barbecue week, or something like that, at the beginning of June. I know this because I received a flurry of emails in May, on behalf of various vintners, extolling the virtues of certain wines with barbecue grub.
I am sure that the wines suggested would match well with the foods suggested but I’m not sure we are all capable of preparing some of the elaborate dishes mooted.
If I spark up the barbie, the menu will usually be limited to burgers or sausages. Sometimes there’s a little rump steak too but nothing that will conjure up too many culinary conundrums.
So with this in mind here’s a trio of red wines, all with a somewhat spicy character, that will work brilliantly with those hickory smoked, meaty treats.
The Wine Society’s own label Sicilian Reserve Red 2013 is cracking value and a perfect match for those burgers and bangers.
The Society’s Sicilian Reserve Red 2013
£7.50 from The Wine Society
It’s made from the Nero d’Avola grape, which is very widely grown in Sicily and not totally dissimilar to Shiraz in taste. It is smooth with juicy flavours of brambles, raspberries, plums and some peppery spice on the finish.
Argentinian Malbec is an excellent choice when burgers and steak are being served.
Parrilla by Viñalba Malbec 2014
£8.99 at Majestic
New in at Majestic is Parrilla by Viñalba Malbec 2014, from the Mendoza region. Full bodied and structured, it oozes black fruits with liquorice notes and hints of violet.
Or from the other side of the Andes, splash out on Errazuriz Max Reserva Carménère 2014, from the Aconcagua region in Chile.
Errazuriz Max Reserva Carménère 2014
£12.47 from ASDA online
This is a well crafted wine made from the Carménère grape which thrives in the Chilean climate. It is judiciously oaked, with blackberry, cassis and dark chocolate flavours, some tomato leaf notes and a lick of vanilla, all held in place by some sturdy tannins.