The perfect wine for your BBQ
Summer and the beach and BBQ are beckoning. We all talk about BBQ wine but what are you looking for in our wine when you are having a BBQ?
1. Wine must have must have a “big” enough taste to stand up to the strong tastes of BBQ’ed food.
2. BBQs foods tend to be oily or greasy so the wine must have sufficient acidity to cut through the fattiness of the food, cleaning the palette and enhancing your to enjoyment of the wine.
3. Alcohol levels should be lower to deal with drinking in the sun and that one tends to consume more wine during a BBQ than normal.
4. Red wine can be slightly chilled to about 19 deg C. This can be achieved by placing the wine in the fridge for about 30 minute prior to serving.
White and Rose wine can be well chilled to about 4 to 6 deg C (normal fridge temperature).
These days it is completely acceptable to drop a block of ice into your glass of rose or white wine (even Red!). This will keep it cooler and server to dilute it slightly thus reducing your actual wine consumption.
Tip: If you add a little carbonated (soda) water to your white or rose wine, your “Spritzer” is a refreshing and a lower alcohol drink. Great for the hot day around the BBQ.
Cheese and Wine matching made simple
Cheese and Wine events are slowly reappearing, but this time with a little more sophistication. Today we are more specific in our choices of cheeses and wines.
If you apply a little design you can create a sensory extravaganza through your choices, 3 to 4 cheeses at most and if possible stick to a single region for your cheeses and your wines. Generally, each cheese is matched with a single wine so think carefully.
Many wines are not good partners to cheeses so follow the guidelines:
- Sweeter or fruitier wines are a safer choice and tannic wines which tend to deliver a metallic taste if mismatched.
- Harder cheeses are more wine friendly.
- Pinot Noir is the most cheese friendly of the reds.
- Off dry Riesling is the most cheese friendly of the whites.
So, as a suggestion for your next, or yet to be planned, cheese and wine party - Serve:
Don’t be shy to guide your guests know as to which wines are meant for which cheeses, it will be worth it!
Food and Wine Secrets
A rather dated view, but still the de facto rule of thumb is that white wine should be matched with white meat and red white with red meat. This view however is reflective of the wine styles of several decades ago.
When white wines were nearly always lighter, fruity and crisp, and red wines nearly always heavy and tannic. The tannins in the reds helped tenderise the meats and the whites where considered light enough to compliment, not over power, the more subtle and gentle flavours of the chicken and fish dishes. The tartness of white wines along with flavours like citrus have been considered natural partners for fish and chicken dishes.
The second rule of thumb is the service sequence of tastes and styles. In the main, one should start with the driest of the wines to be served, and end with the most fruity and sweet.
Views have changed however, and today we believe the most important thing is that wines are matched on a style for style basis. A barbequed spicy chicken served with ratatouille and potato-bake will work beautifully with South African Shiraz or the lighter Rioja, take out the barbeque and keep the spices and your wine selection could change to a crisp Viognier or a Gewürztraminer or even an off dry German Riesling.
Today a more complete way to match your dish with the most appropriate wines is to match styles and taste sensation dominances:
- Match fatty or oily foods such as oily fish, Palma Ham, heavier cream cheeses, pâté and some lamb dishes with crisp (high acidity) dry wines.
- Match heavier red meat dishes, particularly those meats that would normally be regarded as tough with the more tannic red wines such as a younger Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Bordeaux or a Barbaresco or Barolo from Piedmont.
- Sweet foods go well with sweet wines but it is important that the wine is as sweet or sweeter than the food or the wine will taste tart and acidic.
- Ensure that the wine equals the “weight” and richness of the food.
- Salty foods are given a lift by adding sweetness to the wine selection. Well-known examples are Sauternes (Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend from the Bordeaux Region) and Roquefort Cheese (or a sauce made from stronger, bigger Roqueforts); Stilton and Ports are a must around Christmas time.
When choosing the dish to go with your wine, consider the origin of the wines as an important guide. If you are planning to serve a wonderful Rioja Reserva, investigate the foods typical of the Rioja region. Examples in this case are Tapas. Beef Bourguignon is a sure thing with a good Burgandian Pinot Noir or big Osso Buco will work fabulously with a beautifully balanced Chianti or Sangiovese.
In most cases you will find the matching easiest if you match regional foods with their wines, this is particularly true for continental wines and dishes.
When making a sauce or a saucy meal such as a casserole, select your wine and then sip a little of the wine before tasting the food and making any final adjustments to the flavour.