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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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A Trip to Tuscany

Tuscany is one of the most highly regarded wine regions in the world, and whilst it only produces 6% of all of Italy’s huge wine yields, what it does produce is of an exceptional quality. Tuscany is renowned for producing some of Italy’s most beloved wines: Chianti and Brunelllo di Montalcino and it is a region which is very popular with wine tourists too.

Tuscany is the oldest of all wine regions in Italy, with vine growth in the area dating back to the 8th century BC, when Etruscans developed the first vineyards and explore the potential of winemaking in the area. The first chianti was documented in the 14th century, although it was a white wine back then.

Tuscany is in the western-central area of Italy, with the Tyrrhenian Sea at its coastline. It benefits from a Mediterranean climate on the coast with hotter Continental climates in the Apennines area. The area is covered in hills which provides its fantastic terroir and there are a huge number of well-regarded wine growing regions and famous wineries.

Italy has quite strict classifications when it comes to its wine but this hasn’t stopped an unofficial category developing in Tuscany. So called Super Tuscans are believed to be the finest Tuscan wines produced. The first ever Super Tuscan was Vigarello, released in 1968. It was made using 100% red grapes with no white in the blend and Sassicaia is another stand-out Super Tuscan known to be made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The advent of Super Tuscans was Italy’s chance to show their red wines are as good as those from any other country in the world. Lots of Super Tuscans are based on the use of the Sangiovese grapes but more and more Bordeaux-blend style wines have been produced. This process requires importing grapes from other regions but the climate in Tuscany has seen them flourish.

Over 80% of the wines produced in Tuscany are red but there is a select growth of white wines too. The fine reds available from Tuscany in our collection include this Da Vinci Chianti (2014) and this Capezzana, Carmignano Villa di Capezzana (2011).