Barbecue reds

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 and chocolate. So what's needed are robustly-flavoured reds.

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

ZinfandelThe 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.

PG Wine Reviews

Spar Australian Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

£5.49 Spar

This red improves immensely with opening – so much so that I’d recommend it as your regular stand-by house red. Light and spicy bramble flavours mixed with milk chocolate.

Spar Spanish Tempranillo

£5.59 Spar

Creamy blackberry, liquorice and coffee flavours.

Callia Bella Argentinean Malbec 2012

£8.99 Majestic

Juicy and well-balanced flavours: a mixture of black cherry, blackcurrants and raspberry mixed with cocoa. Nice.

Cune Spanish Rioja Crianza 2010

£9.99 Majestic

Choc and cherry.

Errazuriz Max ReservaErrazuriz Chilean Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

£10.29 Waitrose (down from £12.99 until September 10)

Great wine for a great price with flavours of blackcurrant yoghurt, black pepper spiciness, ground coffee and a hint of Marmite. A lot of oomphy flavours going on there for a tenner.

Vina Real Spanish Rioja Reserva 2006

£17.99 Majestic, Berry Bros, Harrods

Yes I’m actually recommending a wine at over 15 quid a bottle, and I’m going to say it’s worth it. Because this wine is just so really, really nice and what’s even better you don’t have to wait ages for the flavours to develop after you’ve opened it (which is often the case with wines over a couple of years old). Just pour and enjoy the creamy, smoky cherry and raisin flavours that have a dark coffee hint and a mix of both dark and milk chocolate nuances.

Tweet me a wine question @huxelrebe

This article has also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on