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Wine Matters: Dining al fresco

By Myra Greer

Firing up the barbeque over the holidays?

It’s a great way to party, so here are some suggestions for tipples to go along with your food, including the pick of some of the current offers around in our stores and supermarkets. Note some may be subject to availability.

Crack open some fizz while you are waiting for the barbie to heat up. Nothing like it to get a party swinging. Lidl has an Italian Prosecco Frizzante at £4.49. Offers include Valdo Prosecco, £4.99 until July 22 at Sainsbury's and at Tesco. Gioiosa Prosecco is £3.99 until July 29.

M&S has a four for three offer on their cavas (which are made by Frexienet) until July 27. Half price offers at Tesco include Frexienet's Vintage Cava (harvest of one year rather than blended from several) and Hardy's Crest chardonnay/pinot fizz both £5.49 until July 29. Hardy's and most other Australian producers make a sparkling shiraz.

It is bright purple-red frothy fizzy stuff, often with a hefty dose of alcohol,

with flavours of up-front peppery bramble fruit.

Starters: If you are serving melon a tropical fruit flavoured New World chardonnay would fit the bill as an accompaniment.

There are loads to choose from — just make sure it’s unoaked. Winemark have South African KWV chardonnay at two for £8 until August 6. Asparagus served with hollandaise sauce or mixed herb and garlic butter makes a sophisticated yet easy starter. Serve it with a good quality sauvignon blanc — Villa Maria is always reliable. If you are pushing the boat out, Direct Wine Shipments have the classy La Di Motte Veneto pinot gris at £9.89.

Fish: With prawn kebabs or grilled king prawns serve the sauvi

gnon blanc or pinot gris again. Whole fish needs to be meaty for the BBQ, e.g. trout, tuna, snapper or swordfish, so a very light chilled red would work. Try the juicy, gluggable Paul Sapin's Fleurie £8.99 at M&S or Duboeuf’s Beaujolais Villages at Tesco.

Fowl: Chicken or turkey breasts well marinaded and cooked over herbs to add flavour make a tasty al fresco meal. The soft, wild strawberry flavours of tempranillo (rioja grape) coming from one of the lesser known Spanish regions such as Carinena, Navarra or Somontano would be most acceptable. Gran Carinena with a handy screw cap is £3.29 at Sainsbury's.

Steaks, burgers and sausages such as some of the gourmet sausages now available — Oisin venison sausages from Downpatrick's Finnebrogue Estate are delicious.

Australian Redridge Creek 2, £8 until July 22 at Sainsbury's, has merlot's soft ripe plummy fruit beefed up with petit verdot's deep colour and dark cherry liqueur flavours.

Belfast Telegraph


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