Wine tastings at a barbecue

Man at barbecueBarbecued red meat and robustly-flavoured red wines are well matched. But 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 made with more fruity-flavoured white grape varieties for a better match. Gooseberry tasting Sauvignon Blanc and the honey tones of a Colombard go well.

Human tongueBut why not go further with those honey tones by analysing the flavours and combine a barbecue with a home wine tasting? Buy yourself some large wine glasses (cheap supermarket ones will do) for capturing any wine aromas released when the wine is swirled prior to sniffing and tasting.

After you've made a note of the label (so you can remind yourself next week whether to buy the wine again) pour the wine. Give it a sniff so you can make a note of its aroma and then sip and taste. There are no right or wrong words for the aroma and taste – write down whatever you think the wine smells and tastes of even if that's home-made custard or Persil washing up liquid.

thermometerAnd don't forget to keep those white wines cold while the sun shines and the barbecue radiates heat. Stand your white wines in a mixture of water and icecubes, or for a quick and cheap solution, wrap your whites in newspaper soaked in water. As the water evaporates it takes the heat away, so keeping your wine cool for about half an hour.

PG Wine Reviews

Co-op ViognierExquisite Collection French Clairette 2015

£5.99 Aldi

A lesser-known grape variety that produces a wine that tastes of Bakewell tart.

Araldica Italia Cortese 2015

£6.99 Majestic

A little bit of lots of flavours in this wine – honey, pear, apple and just a little bit of lemon.

Co-op Truly Irresistible Explorers New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2015

£6.99 Co-op

Melon and gooseberry – a really nice wine.

Pazos de Ulloa, Spanish

£7.99 Majestic

A really nicely balnced wine with sweet-sour flavours going on side by side. Good for food.

Ormarine French Picpoul de Pinet 2015

£8 Sainsbury's

Light and crisp wine. A good summer plonk.

Léon Beyer Alsace Sylvaner 2014

£8.50 The Wine Society

Honey, melon and light apple flavours.

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