Wed 20 Aug 2014

Bottles For Barbecues: Tips From The Society


BarbecueWith temperatures getting to reasonable heights, at least for part of the summer, many of us have been breaking out the barbecues and grilling for all we’re worth. I thought I would ask my colleagues which bottles they had chosen for their BBQs so that they might share sure-fire winners with members. As the long weekend approaches, I’m sure some of you will be planning barbecues, despite the return of more traditional Great British August Bank Holiday weather and I hope the following inspires.

Joanna Goodman
News Editor

Steve Farrow

Steve Farrow

Steve Farrow, Wine Information Editor
‘The wines I have been serving are both terrific value, making them perfect for breaking out when a crowd gathers in the sunshine. Baccolo Appassimento Parziale, Rosso Veneto (£5.95 per bottle) was enjoyed very lightly chilled beside some barbecued butterflied leg of lamb with chilli and mint as well as the usual blackened fare, and its juicy yet plush cherry fruit showed ripeness and refreshment in perfect harmony. At 12.5% abv and lightly cooled, as opposed to chilled, it went down singing hymns on a hot sunny afternoon. Everybody loved it.
The other wine that has been a particular success is Bleasdale Langhorne Creek Sparkling Shiraz (£12.95). I know that this choice might appear a bit left-field but it worked an absolute treat with some ribs in a sticky, sweet and smoky BBQ sauce and even better with some melting belly pork with Chinese five spice rub. The wine is full of berry fruit, spice and chocolaty depth leavened with a touch of sweetness and sprightly bubbles. Try it with a chocolate brownie for an eyebrow-raising wine moment.’

Chris Neilson, Member Services Adviser
‘I think the Temporada Malbec (£6.25) ticks a lot of the barbecue boxes, especially if you need to cater for a group and just want something cheapish to keep everyone happy. It really is good value for money.’

Pierre Mansour

Pierre Mansour

Pierre Mansour, Society Buyer
‘Versatility is the key when it comes to choosing wines for barbecues to match the variety of foods and flavours that are often available, particularly pertinent when taking bottles along to friends’ houses when you might not know the menu. If we are hosting I serve Blind Spot Gundagai Shiraz (£8.50) slightly chilled pre-barbecue (it’s surprisingly light and refreshing for an Oz shiraz) and by the time food is served and the bottle has reached room temperature, it’s perfect with grilled, smoky meats.’

Helen Murtagh, Digital Content Manager
‘I’m really enjoying the Rosé d’Anjou (£6.95) from the Bougrier Family at the moment with just about anything but it went particularly well with a seafood platter the other day!’

Simon Mason, Tastings & Events Manager
‘My wine of choice would be Undurraga TH Maule Carignan 2011 (£12.50) with a boned leg of lamb, flattened out and smothered in chermoula and cooked quite quickly over glowing coals I use Diana Henry’s recipe for Chermoula Lamb with Hot Pepper & Carrot Purée. It’s absolutely delicious. The purée with it (not on the BBQ) also worked great with the fruit element of the wine. This red is one of my discoveries of the summer – the usual grip of carignan has been tamed but not totally removed. Lovely black fruits but not in any way OTT as Chile is sometimes wont to be.’

For more hints and tips on serving wine and to use The Society’s Food & Wine Matcher and browse for recipes, visit the Wine World & News section of our website.

Categories : Miscellaneous


  1. Ted Wilson says:

    Argentine Malbec is a sure fire bet. The Wine Society recommended same for my stepson’s wedding reception, a big catered barbecue, and it was perfect.

  2. Matthew Huntingford says:

    We’ve done a lot of BBQ’ing this summer, and the biggest hits with guests were Weinert Cavas de Weinert (mind you, this generally goes down well with anything meaty) and Brazin Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel, which worked especially well with some meat given a bit of smoke treatment.

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