BBQ ideas: Ashley’s perfect wine pairings

July 4, 2022
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If the sun’s out, surely it can only mean one thing – the barbecue should be, too. From shrimps and flame-grilled halloumi to burger bites and foil-wrapped salmon, al fresco grilling really is the taste of summer. But what we put in our wine glass is equally as important. And as it’s National Barbecue week (July 4th to 12th), we think there’s no better time to consider BBQ ideas and how to create the perfect pairing.

Whether you’re searching for a spicy red to suit your steak or a light white to complement your starter and sides, there’s wine to match every morsel. However, it’s crucial to store and serve your bottle at the right temperature to ensure everything washes down well. So, our assistant product manager, Ashley recommends an assortment of coolers to ensure your bottle is chilled to perfection. He also shares some wonderful wine pairings, BBQ ideas and tips with us below:

Reach for the rosé

Rosé is the go-to light summer wine for many and a firm barbecue favourite. It pairs well with fish and grilled vegetables but also complements sides, such as mouth-watering corn on the cob. Dark-coloured rosés work well with juicy BBQ meats, such as chicken or steak, particularly those from Tavel in the Southern Rhone region of France. I find Tavel La Nymphe Guillaume Gonnet 2019 ticks all the boxes, thanks to its dry, rich flavours. Fresh red fruits come into play with strawberry, red cherry, nectarine, peach and watermelon all in the mix. It’s easy to quaff, has balanced acidity and is also suitable for vegans. So, if you’re looking for BBQ ideas, this bottle of rosé could make the perfect finishing touch to your menu.

The Hedonist Shiraz

I love the versatility of this silky red for BBQ days and balmy summer evenings. In fact, it’s a superb companion for sirloin steak, marinated ribs or hamburgers as I find the dark-fruit flavours and a powerful palate work perfectly together with red meats. Blackberry fruit with notes of red berries, blueberries, liquorice, nutmeg and a touch of cracked black pepper is balanced by firm tannins. This gives it a velvety feel, which is well worth the experience.

Most of the fruit for The Hedonist Shiraz is predominately estate grown on its organic/biodynamic certified (which means no pesticides or herbicides) vineyard. This is situated in the Willunga foothills, McLaren Vale in South Australia. However, the estate also sources fruit from other regions, so the varied soil and climates add to the flavour. A close-knit winemaking team Walter Clappis, daughter Kimberly and her partner James Cooter, produce it. And, as a distinguished wine with a distinctive pig logo, you won’t forget it in a hurry.

Cool & compact BBQ ideas

Whether it’s a sizzler outside or decidedly cool, storing your red wine in optimum conditions is the way to go. In fact, extreme fluctuations in temperature can easily damage any wine and spoil its flavour and balance. So, if you want to keep a selection of reds at the ready (12-18˚C is the perfect temperature), it’s time to explore our range of wine coolers.

Many of our undercounter wine cabinets offer neat, yet stylish, storage for red, white and sparkling wine. Our Wi158 undercounter chiller from the Sense Collection comes has a black glass frame for a stylish touch. This single zone model features no-frost compressor cooling technology, ensuring that your robust red will maintain a constant temperature. For an understated, contemporary look, opt for our Wi159  wine chiller from our Classic range. The only difference is a one-piece stainless-steel framed door, which means no joins for a smooth, sleek finish.

Summer whites drifting away

White wines are usually suited to grilled fish or chicken, but I think Hole in the Clouds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is an exceptional all-rounder. A fresh and fruity sensation, I’m a big fan of its versatility. This works just as well with salmon and salsa, as it does with flame-grilled chicken kebabs or barbecued prawns. This is also a winning wine for vegetarians or veggie fans. I love the citrus at its centre, as the guava, passion fruit and lime give it real zip. This dry, yet juicy, wine comes from New Zealand’s South Island. It delivers mouthfuls of zing that you’ll want to keep drinking way after your barbecue coals have cooled.

Frame, set and match

Keeping such fine wine perfectly chilled in the heat is easy with our Wi6161 dual-zone appliance. If you want a seamless addition to your designer kitchen, it will feel like it’s part of the furniture. Your kitchen designer can make a bespoke frame or an entire door that matches your cabinetry for a seamless finish. Part of the Sense Premium collection, I love this cabinet’s spacious shelves, which can accommodate Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne bottles. It’s also versatile, as the upper and lower serving zones can be controlled independently. This is particularly convenient for those barbecue moments when you want to chill different wines at varying temperatures to match your guests’ different food preferences.

BBQ ideas to revive & refresh

If you’re looking to complement your wine drinking moments with other refreshments, then why not consider our dual zone Wi6235 model? This chiller is part of our Sense portfolio, with two doors, which make a strong style statement in a designer kitchen. You can even convert this appliance into a can chiller using optional glass shelving. For BBQ ideas with a variety of drinks storage in mind, I think it’s perfect for high summer when you may need a lemonade to help quench your thirst. Or you could store pre-mixed cocktail cans here to add to your party vibe.

Sparkle and shine

If you want to be the host with the most, then bringing out the bubbly may be for the best. Whether you’re celebrating the weekend, welcoming friends or marking an occasion, popping the cork on some fantastic fizz is a great way to do it. Champagne can also provide the perfect pairing with BBQ ribs and other grilled meats.

However, making your BBQ sparkle doesn’t have to be an extortionately expensive option either. Cava and Prosecco are fabulous BBQ ideas, as both offer the ‘wow’ factor when dining al fresco. I find Morrisons The Best Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco works wonderfully with salmon or prawns in a light, spiced marinade. The sweetness of green apple and pear balances well with pork sausages, too. It really is worth raising a glass to.

Keeping your fizz barbecue-ready is simple with our in-column Sense WC6100GM from our Sense Collection. It accommodates Champagne bottles like a dream with a soft-close door that offers a gentle touch. For a co-ordinated look in a modern kitchen, the fascia on this model looks very similar to an oven so it will sit neatly within a bank of appliances.

Setting the zone with BBQ ideas

If you’d like a stylish in-column appliance, the WC6521 cooler from our Sense collection offers dual, stacked temperature zones. With independently controlled upper and lower compartments, it’s also a practical performer. For contemporary chic, this black-glass model will create a perfect fit for a contemporary kitchen.

Big and beautiful

To stock up for a larger BBQ, our triple-zone WF1552 freestanding wine cooler can certainly cater for crowds. In fact, it can store a maximum of 111 Bordeaux-style bottles, with 22 in the upper zone, 45 in the middle and 44 across the lower area. So, you could store red at the top, rosé in the centre and white below for a hugely versatile wine storage solution. It’s vibration-free and, if you have room, this could be the appliance to choose for those who love to party.

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