Barbecue Wines… Whatever the Weather!
It’s the summer holidays, apparently… Although it feels like we’ve all been on a slightly odd enforced vacation for a number of months! But with home-schooling hopefully a thing of the past for many, it’s time to remember that we’re in the height of summer and the most important thing is to ‘sip happy’! Come on, team… Let’s drink to make ourselves smile. In the odd year that is 2020, we need to keep our heads and look after each other. And now that we’re allowed socially distanced home-entertaining, it’s time to embrace the barbecue and get in some decent sips to share with friends and family.
You may remember that in my article for English Wine Week I mentioned an initiative called Help for Hospitality. www.help4hospitality.com is a new initiative set up by Berkmann Cellars, which aims to deliver wine direct to customers with 12.5% of the sale donated to the hospitality sector. Well, this is coming to an end at the beginning of August, so I wanted to make sure you don’t miss out on buying some great wine at the same time as supporting hospitality businesses struggling during the Covid-19 pandemic.
At this time of year, salads and veg dishes should be as exciting as whatever is sizzling on the barby! Something that goes with all the fabulous summer greens around at the moment is Sauvignon Blanc. Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2019 form Constantia in South Africa is an ideal partner to those summery veg options. Vines were first planted on the Constantia peninsula in 1685, and now, the Mueller family, who now produce Buitenverwachting (which means ‘beyond expectation’) are doing great work on the site. This wine has a beautifully fresh, green nose with hints of ripe gooseberry and crunchy green pepper. On the palate, it’s more delicate than some ‘in-your-face’ new world examples of Sauvignon Blanc. Yes, it has that trademark gooseberry tang, but there’s also squeeze of lime for vibrant freshness and a little sweet hint too, which makes it great with summer veg. Whether you want it to pair with charred leeks, or a rocket and parmesan salad, this wine will put a smile on your face as a sip with food.
And if you’re getting meaty over the flames, I’ve got a fantastic red for you to try. Umani Ronchi Podere 2018 is from the appellation of Abruzzo in Italy, renowned for delicious food-friendly red wines. The wine is made from 100% hand-harvested Montepulciano grapes and is matured in steel tanks for four months before bottling. It has a ripe, plummy nose with a hint of sun-dried fruit in the background too. When you taste it, this wine is a delight. It’s rich and juicy with sunny fruit and a prune-like richness that develops a hint of warming spice. As well as soft but long tannins, there’s a bright layer in the flavour profile too thanks to a delicate balsamic drizzle throughout and a lovely twist of black pepper on the finish. The great thing about this wine is that it will go with a variety of flame-grilled meats from burgers to steaks and it would also work really well with earthy charred beetroot and other root veg too. Another advantage of a wine like this is that it will keep you warm on the inside even after the sun sets and you’re refusing to go inside!
So, there are a couple of options for you to sip with friends and family this summer, but if neither of these wines take your fancy, there are also loads of other great wines on the website (including the incredible Cottonworth English sparkling wine), so have a browse, buy some decent bottles and support Help for Hospitality while you can.
Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2019 is £12.25 and Umani Ronchi Podere 2018 is £10.95 from www.help4hospitality.com