Barbecue bliss

Posted on: 10 May 2013 by 50connect editorial

Summer has arrived and so too has barbecue season so relax with friends with this selection of summer wines

barbecue treatsWhat could be finer than spending a hazy, lazy afternoon in the sunshine as you, some wine and food loving chums enjoy some alfresco dining? 

Well this week we're not only to give you some brilliant barbecue wine tips but also a few pointers that will keep you in barbecue heaven all summer long.

Marinate

Marinating your meat for twenty-four hours will not only enhance the flavour but will also tenderize it and help it cook evenly.  Oh, and make sure you take it from the fridge an hour before you start cooking as this’ll help keep it succulent.

Buy quality meats 

Don't think that as it’s for a barbecue any old cut will do. Owing to the quick and intense method of cooking, poor quality meat, even after marinating, is prone to becoming tough and chewy.

Cook your bangers first

Unlike lean steaks and chicken, sausages have enough fat to keep themselves moist whilst everything else cooks.

Fish 

As our friends Down-Under will tell you, a barbie isn’t a barbie without a few prawns. But don’t do as I did and use ready cooked ones because as I discovered, you will be chewing for a month! Give raw tiger prawns a couple of minutes a side and you are in barbecue bliss! 

Have a water spray on hand

Grease fires will give your food a bitter, burnt flavour, so keep the flames down with a couple of squirts from the water spray. Just fill up an old washing up bottle and away you go!

Burn citrus in your coals

Not only will this make your garden smell even lovelier, it will also help to keep the bugs at bay.  A few lemon or peelings work a treat! 

The golden rule when picking wines for a barbecue is, size matters! 

Be it red, white or rosé you need wines that are going to be able to cope with the myriad of bold, intense flavours that lie within the food. 

Shrinking violet reds and lily livered whites need not apply!

Viognier

So what to start with? 

Well for our money a viognier is always a good start to a barbecue.  

This is because as well as being hefty and big on fruit, viognier’s naturally modest acidity means you can drink it while the food cooking and it won’t upset your stomach. 

Right now Majestic has a cracking viognier in the voluptuous shape of the Alain Grignon (£7.99). 

Rich, soft and rammed full of peach and apricot fruit with a zesty hint of citrus, this is ideal as an aperitif though will go well with chicken and fish alike.

Fizzes are always lovely at a BBQ and if you’d like to add a sense of occasion without breaking the bank, get a few bottles of the Pelorus in (Majestic £23.99). 

Arguably the best non-Champagne fizz there is, this Cloudy Bay produced beauty is opulently rich and full and exudes stylish notes of red apples, pears and creamy yeastiness. 

Try it as an aperitif or with Thai prawns and pork.

Rosé has recently been the new black when it comes to fashion conscious wine lovers, and we're quite taken with the La Chasse Shiraz Grenache Rose (Booth’s £6.99) is something to smile about.  

Crisp, with oodles of strawberry, red cherry and plum fruit, it’s got good weight - as you’d expect from syrah - and a lovely, tangy finish. 

Try this with lamb, Lincolnshire sausages or marinated white meats.

As mentioned earlier, size matters when it comes to BBQ wines and never more than with the reds. This being the case here are two wines that are bound to please. 

Montagnac

The first is the Montagnac Cabernet Sauvignon (£.4.75 Bordeaux Undiscovered). 

This remarkable little wine offers you masses of sweetly toned blackcurrants - just the thing to off-set the charcoal bitterness - with touches of green pepper and herbs. Easy drinking and fun, this is a wine that will have your guests coming back for more.

At the other end of the scale, not to mention the world, is the Tesco Australian Shiraz (Tesco £3.99). Deep purple / red in colour. Complex red berry and chocolate fruit with subtle vanillin oak flavours. Full, rounded fruit flavours of raspberry, cherry and ripe plum, balanced with vanilla oak characters.

Well hopefully we've given you some food for thought and probably jinxed the weather at the same time. Happy barbecuing!

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