Three red wines perfect for barbecue season | Alistair Gibson

It seems to be the classic start to a British summer so far, dodging showers and wondering whether to persevere with shorts.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 2:58 pm
Mils His To Rias Bobal organic.

I lit the barbecue on Sunday afternoon and of course within minutes it started to rain. Despite the weather it is time to start thinking about wines to serve with your summer barbecues. Generally speaking there are lots of fairly strong flavours when it comes to barbecues, from sticky marinades to spicy rubs, not to mention the smoky influences and so any wine needs to be able to stand up to these.

When it comes to red wines – and of course whites and roses also have their place – here are three to consider.

Australian shiraz is definitely a classic barbecue partner and St Hallett ‘Faith’ Shiraz 2018, Barossa (Tesco £14) is pretty much a textbook example. St Hallett is one of the most respected producers in the Barossa and having visited the winery some years ago I have cellared many of their wines ever since.

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It offers ripe black fruits, Asian spices and toasty oak on the nose, followed by a juicy palate with more dark fruits, reminiscent of chocolate cherries, spice and soft tannins. This is very accessible and satisfying and would match some smoky lamb cutlets very well.

Zuccardi Q Malbec 2019, Valle de Uco (Majestic £15.99 or £13.99 as part of a mix-6, Ocado £17.99) is a more elegant Malbec than some of the more heavily oaked and over-ripe examples often found on the shelves.

From high latitude vineyards, this is quite aromatic with blueberry, spice and mocha on the nose, the palate offers layers of dark fruits and chocolate with fresh acidity and a long, pleasing finish. If you were going to sear a côte de boeuf on your barbecue then this is the wine to pair with it.

Bobal may not be an instantly recognisably variety but after tempranillo it is Spain’s most widely planted grape and Bodegas Altolandon ‘Mil Historias’ Bobal 2019, Manchuela (Hermitage Cellars £9.25 on offer from £11.25, Hennings Wine £11.50) is definitely worth seeking out. From high altitude vineyards, northwest of Valencia, this is produced organically with minimum intervention in the winery. It is really fresh, with ripe dark fruits, dried herbs and floral notes on the nose, there is a lovely purity of fruit on the palate along with a nice savoury edge before a very satisfying finish. This is a great barbecue all-rounder for the summer, which you could even slightly chill.