There are a few rules when serving wines with barbecued food. Make sure that the reds are chillable and fruit-driven and the whites are characterful enough to handle the marinades – here are five crackers.
2009 Domaine de Sainte Rose Coquille d’Oc Blanc, Côtes de Thongue, France (£6.99, Waitrose). Made from a chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, viognier, muscat cocktail of grapes, this is a wickedly complex white wine and it’s one which will please vegetarians and vegans, too. Layered, elegant and textural, this is a surprise wine and one which will bewilder and amaze all-comers.
2010 The First Chapter, Shiraz / Viognier by Nico Vermeulen, South Africa (£9.99, www.virginwines.co.uk). Nico Vermeulen is a hero in the Cape and he has been winemaker of the year countless times, too. This purposeful, sturdy wine is a model bbq specialist with its inky purple hue and mighty blackberry and pepper notes.
2009 SPAR Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy (£5.79, SPAR). The lightest of the reds this week, this is a charming, genial montepulciano and it is delightfully balanced and fresh. If you prefer your reds to be light, appealing and not thunderous and brooding, then this is the wine for you.
2010 M&S Falanghina di Beneventano, Italy (£5.99, Marks & Spencer). The fascinating falanghina variety, from southern Italy is another in M&S’s new Italian line up which has caught my eye. Pretty, floral, lemon and quince notes are all assembled perfectly in this bargain-priced wine.
2010 Le Monferrine Barbera, Piedmont, Italy (£5.98, Asda). I love the barbera grape with charred, barbecued steak. This is a particularly impressive version because it does all of the blackcurrant and liquorice things that barbera is meant to do for a little over a fiver – round of applause, please!