By Clayton Smith, Majestic Fine Wine Manager

Clayton SmithGrowing up in Australia, I developed a real love of the outdoors – and more importantly, a passion for cooking on the barbeque. Since moving to the UK, I’ve seen countless Brits try and fail to perfect the art.

Now, I don’t profess to be the BBQ king, but I need no encouragement to fire up the coals and I’ll happily put my skills up against your average Joe. As a result, the summer months tend to see our home become the epicentre for BBQ-loving family and friends. With all those guests to entertain, having a fair stash of very decent wines in is a must. Here are some sizzling matches for a few of my favourite BBQ dishes.

Sancerre Cuvée Edmond 2008, Alphonse Mellot
A fabulous, barrique-fermented Sancerre with aromas of pineapple, greengage, gooseberries, lemon peel and subtler grass, herb and sea-shell notes. The zingy acidity is balanced by a rich, full-flavoured palate.

Food Match: Chilli and garlic marinated squid.

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘La Maltroie’ 2008, Fontaine Gagnard

The delicate bouquet is tinged with flowers, citrus, minerals, green apples and a lick of exotic, oaky spice. This is a sophisticated white Burgundy with a rich, full texture and long, smooth, very silky finish.

Food Match: Moroccan spiced tuna steak.

La Planeta Chardonnay 2008, Sicily

The nose of this rich, hot-climate Chardonnay is big and spicy, yet still fresh – buttered toast, tropical fruits, lemon, honeycomb and a decent whiff of oak leap from the glass. That big, oaky personality continues in the mouth.

Food Match: Thai marinated chicken skewers.

Château Romassan Rosé 2010, Bandol, Domaines Ott

This pale pink Grenache/Cinsault/Mourvèdre blend has a pretty nose of strawberries, raspberries, fennel and watermelon; flavours joined by hints of exotic spice on the palate. It’s easy to see why this elegant, pure wine is one of the world’s most celebrated rosés.

Food Match: Whole salmon stuffed with lemon and herbs.

Château Larrivet Haut-Brion 2004, Péssac-Léognan

A classic claret nose of blackberries, pipe tobacco, cedar, star anise and grilled meat notes is followed by a silky, seductive palate with blackcurrants, liquorice and juicy black fruits balanced by sweet fleshy tannins. The finish is long, smooth and quite savoury.

Food Match: Grilled lamb cutlets with salsa verde.

Promis 2007, Angelo Gaja

A harmony of Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese, this has a deeply expressive nose of cherries, cassis, plums, chocolate, Szechuan pepper and leather. The soft palate is laden with ripe red berries, soft chewy tannins and an immensely long finish. Truly scrumptious!

Food Match: Rib-eye steak with garlic butter.

*Prices valid until 29 August 2011

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