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Add some fizz to your next barbecue

Now that the summer weather is just around the corner, you may be starting to think about dusting off the barbecue and putting it to work as temperatures heath up. Summer barbecues are now incredibly popular and a great excuse to get family and friends together. But barbecues are more than just what you put on the grill, you also need to think about the drinks that you will be providing to accompany your food.

Which wines complement which meat?

  • Steak: Zinfandel, Shiraz or Malbec.

  • Halloumi: Prosecco, Sauvignon Blanc, Friulano or Chenin Blanc.

  • Sausages: Malbec or Tempranillo – and you may find that many guests at your barbecue also appreciate cold beers if you are planning to serve sausages, too.

  • Pork Chops: For wine lovers, Pinot Noir or a dry rosé, and for other guests, cider may be a preferable option, particularly if the weather is hot.

If you don’t want to buy several types of wine

For many reasons, it isn’t practical to buy a different wine to go with every single type of meat if you are holding a large-scale event. There are some wines that will go with almost any kind of barbecue food, and these are Malbec, Riesling and Pinot Noir – so if you are looking to buy a wine to use as a general option, then these are all good choices.

How to serve your wine

Most people choose to chill their white wine in the fridge or even the freezer before they serve, however if the weather is hot outside then red wine is best chilled, too. Red wine should be drunk at approximately room temperature, but in the summer the weather can be much hotter than this. And avoid serving your wine in plastic cups. What your serve wine in can actually change the taste. So, it’s always best to serve wine in proper wine glasses whenever possible. By taking the time to select your wine option, you can be sure to choose something that will complement your food perfectly and your guests will have a day to remember.

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How to start your own wine collection

Wines have fascinating histories, vintages along with a variety of different values, making them perfect for collecting.

If you have been considering starting a wine collection and looking for inspiration, then how about the world’s biggest wine collection in Moldova. This record breaking wine collection is located in a small village called Milesti Mici, but there is nothing small about this collection. Stretching as far as 250 kilometres, the cellar is thought to be home to around 2 million bottles of wine.

Getting started

There are number of reasons why it’s great to collect wine. You will always have wine you like on hand and you can save money by buying quality wine when it’s younger and cheaper and age it yourself. Most wines are produced to be drunk within a few months, however some of the best reds taste so much better when they’ve been allowed to age for at least a few weeks, and even some whites too.

But you don’t need to break the bank or accumulate thousands of bottles to have a collection to be proud of. Here are some tips to start your own, perhaps a little more modest, wine collection.

Start small

You don’t have to go out and fill up your wine collection all at once. There is much pleasure to be head from buying bottles as you come across them. Wherever you live, you will find fellow wine enthusiasts, local wine collector groups and auctions, to help you start to grow your collection. The focus of your collection should be about buying wines you like to drink and learning about wine and seeing how it changes as it ages.

Collect what you like

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to buy what you like, not what you think you should buy. After all, you will be drinking some of it as time goes on. The only wines that are really worth collecting, are the ones you actually like to drink.

Think about storage

Although you may be eager to display your collection in your kitchen for all to see, you could risk ruining wine because the temperature was too warm, or drying out the corks with low humidity. So, if possible, invest in a temperature controlled unit. A consistent 55 degrees is the ideal temperature.

Keep a record of what you have

To make it easier for you to keep track of what wine you have, ensure there is some kind of order to your storage. At the very least you should know where each bottle is and how many you have. When you drink a bottle, add in detailed tasting notes which you can refer back to when you wish.

But don’t forget, while it’s satisfying to watch your collection grow, it’s more enjoyable to actually drink the wine and share it those around you.