Bring on the BBQ! Perfect wine pairings for flame-grilled flavours. By Mikey on May 31st, 2022 in Blog Spread the love National BBQ Week is upon us from 6th – 12th June and it’s something we simply cannot let pass us by. Alfresco dining may be a treat on these shores, but Alfresco cooking is something to revel in. It’s not all about comedy aprons and carbonised sausages though. What to drink with flame-grilled food is always a tough one. Big, smokey, savoury flavours might cry out for broad, rich red wines, but heavy reds and warm sunshine rarely play well together. Crisp, refreshing whites make the most sense in the heat, but their delicate nature can be overwhelmed by bold, robust dishes. The trick? Aim for the best of both worlds. Here we choose reds with delicacy and finesse and whites with structure and substance. A barbeque screamer We try many, many (many) wines here at hometipple and only the very best are listed. We’re picky. I mean, really picky. Two questions: Is it delicious? Is it value for money? Only if the answer’s yes to both will we take it. Even amongst the rarified group of delicious drinks we’ve chosen, very few tell you so clearly what they’re for. One such wine that leaves you in no uncertainty as to how best to drink it is Manyol Crianza. It screams “BBQ!”. Partly because it tastes a bit like one. Aromas and flavours are of (deep breath) plum, blackcurrant, blackberry, redcurrant, bruised apple, vanilla, pepper, cedar, clove, rubber, smoke, leather, and a hint of gunpowder. Tannins are mild, fine and smooth with everything balanced by really refreshing acidity. And even with all that going on, it’s still super easy to drink, even without food. Quite remarkable really. Old vines are awesome Odfjell Orzada Carignan is an amazing red wine from Chile’s Maule Valley made from hundred-year-old vines discovered when Norwegian Dan Odfjell purchased the land in the 1980s. As grapevines age, productivity wanes but their deep roots and thick trunk means they can still produce bags of flavour. The result is small amounts of intensely flavoured fruit. That’s why old vines (‘Vieilles Vignes’ anyone?) are awesome. Deep, rich, dark fruit. High yet super-smooth tannins and loads of refreshing acidity make this Carignan stand out. The fruit intensity works amazingly with bold, savoury, BBQ flavours. And it’s because of that acidity and oh-so-smooth tannin that this can still be drunk in the blazing sunshine. Give it a little love – decant it for an hour to mellow the tannin and pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes before drinking, just so it isn’t too warm. Satisfaction guaranteed. A taste everyone should acquire Joiseph Fogosch is a low-intervention, orange wine from Burgenland in Austria. Made from a white grape, Gruner Veltliner, it’s rested on its skins for a short time after fermentation. Because grape skins contain pigment the wine gains a rich golden/ orange colour. Combine this with a hint of tannin, some oxidation from a low-intervention approach (no added sulphites here) and subtle flavours imparted by wild yeasts, and voila! You have orange wine. Admittedly it is something of an acquired taste, but so are many of life’s greatest pleasures. And with Joiseph, you’re in expert hands. Flavours of chamomile tea, grapefruit peels, cider apples, smashed rocks and pine trees delightfully cut through big, meaty BBQ flavours. Serve it chilled and with all that zingy acidity, spice is also its best friend. If you already have a taste for orange wine, you’ll love this. If you’re a novice, you couldn’t choose a better starting point. Grey = Gris = Grigio? Pinot Gris/ Pinot Grigio. Same thing, right? Yes, but they couldn’t be more stylistically different. Known as one of the ‘Noble Varieties’ in Alsace, Pinot Gris is delicate, subtle and aromatic. Requiring a long period of late-season ripening to gain full flavour potential, long autumns and careful farming are essential. This is something Alsace and Oregon’s Willamette Valley share. Alexana Terroir Series Pinot Gris Willamette Valley is bursting with flavours of melon, honey, white flower blossom, pink grapefruit, apricot and a little lemon pith. An incredible mouthfeel, a rich creaminess and a magically long finish round things off in the best way possible. Top-notch winemaking by a top-notch winemaker. By contrast, most Italian Pinot Grigio is grown in huge volumes, offering wines with simple, diluted flavours that need to be drunk at near-freezing temperatures to be acceptable. They may both mean grey in English, but Gris and Grigio are very different.