Dylan’s top tipples for your BBQs!
“Recent soaring temperatures have already had the population dragging out the barbeque and hopefully, we shall see a good outdoor dining summer. So what to drink with the often very powerful smoky (if not downright burnt) flavours? A cool beer serves as a lovely snifter in hand or Pimms is another popular and refreshing choice. Lighter in alcohol, these make easy drinking and don’t knock your head off in the sweltering heat!
Alternatively, you can choose a nice Prosecco and the best come from the Valdobbiadene or Conegliano regions of Northern Italy. At around the 11% alcohol these are light pre-dinner drinking that aren’t as demanding as Champagne and are much cheaper. If you want, you can dilute the alcohol by adding orange juice or try peach puree for a delicious Bellini. Staying with the sparklers, the pink Saumur Rose produced by Louis De Grenelle in the Loire valley is amongst the nicest al fresco drinking with its notes of red summer fruits and crisp dry edge.
Sherry wines are often neglected these days and these can be a beautiful pre-barbeque drink. Choose a crisp dry chilled Manzanilla or Fino to accompany olives and almonds and the saltiness will blend magnificently. A really different and underrated drink, sherry wines can also accompany seafood – grill large prawns in their shells and liberally scatter with sea salt for a fine match with an amontillado. Go on, give it a go!
If you’re cooking dark meats with powerful marinades then you need a big wine to stand up to it, there’s no point choosing a delicate Burgundy that will be destroyed by the flavours of smoke and jalapeno sauce. If you have lamb for example, the Argentinian Catena Malbec might be a good choice. Chicken is often skewered with onions and peppers and if you have a sweet honey or Chinese marinade maybe try an Austrian Johann Topf Riesling with its lime flavours to cut through or a Spanish Martivilli Verdejo.
I would also be a fan of a good rose at barbeques and the Cricova Cabernet Sauvignon Rose from Moldova would be a fine match for white meats and fish with a bit of structure and fruits from extended contact with the red grape skins and a touch of sweetness that can help blend in with any sauces or marinades. These can stand up to the strong and sweet flavours of the food and the smokiness.
Top it off with ice cream and Pedro Jiménez poured over. A simple pudding that needs no preparation but this exceptionally sweet and raisin sherry wine will transform it. Happy BBQ’s!”
All the above and many more can be purchased from Dylan’s wine shop Gwin Dylanwad Wine, Dolgellau and on their website“.
By Dylan and Llinos, Dylanwad Wine, Dolgellau.