Great Wines For BBQs
My husband is a barbecue fanatic, even in the winter. Since he likes to keep things simple, is there a good all-purpose wine that will match with just about anything he might grill?
You have to love the dedication. If I raise the lid on my gas-fired girl more than a half dozen times during the summer I consider myself lucky. That said; I have to admit that more and more folks seem to dig making barbecue a way of culinary life no matter how frightful the weather outside grows.
I assume by “simple” that you mean hubby digs himself a hotdog or hamburger more often than he does a fat juicy steak. No worries. A good all-purpose wine will work its magic on the whole menu no matter how laidback or elaborate.
My favourite grill mate is something made with Shiraz. The red grape is a brooding, deep-fruited wonder at best and appealingly candied at worst. With black spices and dark berry flavours it’s hard to go wrong with a French version from the northern Rhône region (the grape’s original home) or a structured, jam-infused Aussie creation from one of the better producers from Down Under.
A good red fallback position is Merlot. Sure, it might be a bit cliché to suggest the most balanced, juicy grape style to match barbecue fare but the bright and mouth-filling berry fruit of a Californian, Chilean or Italian version is classically outdoorsy because it works.
A New World Pinot Noir is choice number three. Mellow, well rounded and, when made well, thick and chewy; it’s more than grape enough to wrestle any condiment-laden backyard fast food menu.
On the white side I still like me a Riesling but have found a place in my cold heart for Sauvignon Blanc when I hover over the coals. New Zealand styles tend to be too zingy and clash with the cornucopia of flavours found under a bun. I like a nice Bordeaux white (which softens the SB’s bite with a touch of the Sémillon grape) or straight-ahead version from South America.