With the May Bank Holiday on the horizon, our thoughts turn to the great outdoors… and a barbecue of course.
No doubt scores of us will be firing up the grill in the hope of some summer sunshine and these food-friendly reds will enhance BBQ sauces, marinades and just about anything from the pit… or a Sunday roast if the clouds let us down.
A top-value, crowd-pleasing red, Nederburg 56 Hundred Shiraz 2014, South Africa (£5.75, Morrisons) will complement all the earthy flavours of a sweet and smoky BBQ sauce with its crushed blackberry and black cherry fruit, soft and juicy mouthfeel and a touch of smoky spice on the finish.
Ideal for a mixed grill, you can build your meal around Saint Auriol 2014 Corbieres, France (£6.99, Waitrose) – a medium-bodied red from the Languedoc that marries dark berry fruits with notes of thyme, rosemary and herbal spice that will play nicely against sweet and smoky potatoes and veggies.
Great with barbecued meat, the montepulciano grapes in Finest Montepulciano D’Abruzzo La Francese 2014, Italy (£7, Tesco) are aged in oak to produce lush and woody sweet berry fruits with a hint of vanilla and a touch of mocha on the short, smooth finish.
A delicious young Rioja, Ramon Bilbao Single Vineyard Rioja 2014, Spain (£9.49, Majestic) is an easy drinking blend of 70% tempranillo and 30% garnacha to spice up the plummy flavours and bring some richness to the party. With ripe aromas of sweet cherries and savoury red fruits, it’s a perfect match with barbecue smoked pulled pork.
Barossa is a powerhouse for shiraz and this intense black beauty is ripeand generous with enough spice, succulent sweet black fruits and toasty vanilla to enjoy on its own, or pair with juicy lamb cutlets on thebarbie. Try Ebenezer & Seppeltsfield Shiraz 2013, Barossa Valley,Australia (£15, Marks & Spencer) and let your taste buds do the talking.
Michel Rolland Clos de Los Siete 2013, Mendoza, Argentina (£15.75,Sainsbury’s) is a joint venture from Rolland and a handful of winemakers to produce a blend that reflects the very best of their bodegas. Malbec based with merlot, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and petit verdot, it hits all the right notes with seductive aromas of violets and spice leading to blackberry and plum laced with peppery spice on the velvety smooth palate. A must for an Argentine themed asado.
If you fancy pushing the boat out this Bank Holiday, Numanthia 2011, Spain (£35.05,www.ocado.com) is a wine to swoon over. Made from old vine tinta de toro (part of the tempranillo family), this voluptuous red graces wine lists across the world and is powerful yet elegant and the perfect match with rib-eye steak. Rich and deeply perfumed, it’s a symphony of blackberry, cedar and spice with lovely complexity and a luxurious long finish.