Wine for BBQ season

Markby Mark Cochrane

The lawn has been cut, raking done and you’ve plucked as many dandelions as provincial election signs on March Road.

Your lower back is at the point of seizing up or just plain giving out but you push on because at the end of the day you’ll be able to sit back in a lawn chair and survey the splendor of your “homestead” in all its crabgrass wonder whilst sipping a cold beer.

But first, you have to search the dark recesses of that poorly lit garden shed to find it. With a few groans, and a brief fight with a garden hose you see it. There it is, in all its grease stained and dust covered majesty….the BBQ! You can almost hear the faint sizzling of sausages and the smell of barbeque chicken emanating from the grill. It’s calling you like an ancient pandora’s box to open the lid and look inside.

You struggle to free it and after more than a few swear words the BBQ is pulled on to the deck and opened. Wow! you should have really cleaned that before putting it away. This BBQ will need a major makeover to get it back to last year’s grilling glory or maybe a lengthy burn off will do for now. You’ll definitely need some good wines to pair with the marinated chicken and steak that you plan on grilling this weekend.

Here’s a couple of wine suggestions from South Africa that aren’t typical of the Chenin Blanc and Pinotage varietals they are known for.


2017 Spier Signture Chardonnay – Stellenbosch South Africa

South Africa is not really known for it’s Chardonnay but the trend over the last decade has been to switch from more traditional varietals like Chenin Blanc to more popular wines like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. This Chardonnay is done in a California style with a soft texture and some oak. Pear, golden apple, vanilla and butterscotch are all there which combine for a smooth fruit forward Chardonnay. Pairs well with garlic marinated shrimp skewers on the BBQ.

LCBO 487181 – $12.30

Available in Almonte and Carleton Place LCBO)


2016 Big Bill Cabernet Sauvignon – Western Cape South Africa

The wine is actually called “The Legend of Big Bill” which was named after KWV’s original manager, Bill Millar. KWV winery is South Africa’s oldest winery (originally a coop winery). This Cabernet is very dark and rich with flavours of plum, menthol and a hint of dark chocolate. It pairs well with most red meats but I tried it with a pulled pork dish marinated in Bullseye BBQ sauce.

LCBO 457119 – $12.95

Available in Almonte and Carleton Place LCBO)

Mark Cochrane
Email me at markuncorked@gmail.com
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