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Barbecue and wine: How best to match summer food with wine.

Richard Davonport | 24 August 2015

A Great British barbecue is often associated with many things; burgers, bangers and rain to name a few. One thing that is rarely associated with a barbecue is good quality wine, but why not? There’s no reason not to embrace good wine when barbecuing. Working in conjunction with Colchester based ‘The Wine Company’; here are some suggestions for how best to match your summer favourites with the right wine.

Barbecued food has such wonderful concentrated flavours due to the intense heat and smoky nature of the cooking process. However, in order to balance these strong flavours a powerful, fruity red wine is needed. Some of the top suggestions made by our friends at The Wine Company include a 2014 Costières de Nimes, Château Teulon from the Rhône region in France. This supple red has strong hints of black and red berries providing the perfect fruity balance for barbecued food. If you prefer New World wines then a 2013 Malbec, Pascual Toso, Mendoza from Argentina is an alternative suggestion as is a 2010 Gimblett Road Cabernet/ Merlot/ Malbec from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. The strength of the Cabernet is balanced by subtle Merlot and fragrant Malbec.

Perhaps you prefer to eat fish rather than meat. When looking to match wine to a fish dish the texture of the fish is important to consider. If you’re cooking an oily fish such as sardines a crisp white is perfect, try a Muscadet or Soave. A fleshier fish such as sea bass requires a richer white; for example oaked Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc. Alternatively, if you prefer red to white a light Pinot Noir goes beautifully with a meaty fish such as tuna.

Italian recipes are very popular in the summer. Their fresh, light flavours are particularly enjoyable in the summer months. Unsurprisingly Italian food is best enjoyed with Italian wine. If your dish features a lot of tomatoes or olives a Sangiovese or Pinot Grigio will complement these flavours best. Often simplicity is most effective and over complication of flavours can result in both the food and wine losing its impact.

We may only have a snippet of summer left but it’s worth making the most out of it with top quality food and wine enjoyed in good company. If you would like more advice about how best to match your food and wine please contact The Wine Company: www.thewinecompany.co.uk

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