Blazing wines

barbecue manBarbecues and delicate wines don't go together. To compete with the rich smells and flavours of barbecued food you need a wine that tastes of berry fruit. So what's needed are robustly-flavoured reds and fruitily-flavoured whites.

burnt sausagesRed wines made with the blackberry and cherry tasting grape varieties of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo work with barbecued meats.

The usual rather-burnt barbecued burger often comes topped with a fiery chilli relish. You’d think drinking a cold beer or chilled white wine with this would soothe the tongue, but a room-temperature red wine will cleanse the mouth and enable your taste buds to start registering again. Your burger will taste meaty and your red wine fruity.

Villa Maria ChardonnayBut where are we white wine drinkers in this mass of red? The lighter tasting flavours of white wines go well with barbecued fish, chicken, vegetable kebabs and salads. These foods will often have picked up a smoke-laced tang and so need wines with a bit of individuality: gooseberry tasting Sauvignon Blanc or the honey tones of Viognier work well.

Mind you keeping white wines cold while the sun shines and the barbecue radiates heat is tricky. For a quick and cheap solution, wrap your whites in a tea towel soaked in water. As the water evaporates it takes the heat away, so keeping your wine cool for about half an hour.

PG Wine Tips

£3.99 and under

There are still some good bottles to be found that cost the same as a couple of National Lottery tickets.

Tesco Chilean White

£3.79 Tesco

Bargain of the Week. Easy-drinking light peach, lemon and banana flavours. Good choice for a social barbecue as most folk will like it.

£5.99 and under

There are a few fruity, slurpable wines among the forgettable masses.

Spar Chilean Merlot

£5.49 Spar

The warming black pepper, plum and blackberry flavours are a match to burnt spareribs.

Costs a bit more, but tastes great

Sometimes a bottle of wine tastes so fab it's still a bargain whatever it costs.

Tesco Finest Portuguese Touriga Nacional 2010

£7.99 Tesco

Tastes of Bourbon biscuits dipped in crème fraiche. A light-bodied red with some sophisticated flavours – so save it for matching with salads and fish.

Errazuriz Chilean Carmenere Reserva 2011

£8.49 Wine Rack ,£8.74 Majestic (buy 2+ bottles for £6.99)

Fruity and spicy: plum, sloe, cinnamon, clove and pepper.

Villa Maria Private Bin New Zealand Chardonnay 2011

£8.99 Wine Rack, £9.99 Tesco

A rounded and creamy Chardonnay with none of the sharp lemon flavours you often find in European Chardonnays. Expect melon, pear and toasted pineapple flavours.

This article has also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk

Related article: Tesco barbecue reds of the week