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Brilliant bottles of red for summer barbecue season

Time to get your grill on, says Sam Wylie-Harris.


Whether it’s a casual cookout or bonzer BBQ, sizzling season is coming into full swing and now’s the time to stock up on essentials – not forgetting the wines.

After all, if you’ve been labouring over those tasty marinades cooking techniques and whipping up super and sides, you’ll want to make sure your drinks bring something to the table, too.

These lip-smacking reds will get the juices flowing while you flame the food…

1. Torre De Ferro Reserva 2019, Dão, Portugal, £6.99, Lidl stores


Defo one for your BBQ bucket list, there’s lots to love about this easy, approachable plummy red from Portugal’s famous Dão region. Aromas and flavours of floral damson fruit taste perfectly poised (especially at this price), with touches of red cherries and warm spice lingering on the finish. A smooth ride all the way, one for grilled lamb chops, chicken thighs and chargrilled veggies.

2. Waitrose Côtes du Rhône Villages 2020, France, £7.99, Waitrose


The definition of a top value red, this grenache blend and southern Rhône star is packed with the region’s rich black fruits. Delicious from word go, the dark cherry, raspberry and herby character supported by hints of spice offers freshness on the finish – and enough structure to pair perfectly with all your favourite classic BBQ dishes.

3. Co-op Irresistible Bio Bio Valley Malbec 2021, Chile, £8, Co-op stores


You know you’re onto a winner with a Decanter silver medal winner at the 2022 World Wine Awards (90 to 94 points). Plush with impressive depth of flavour, scents of violets and savoury black fruits unfold with mouth-filling blackberry fruit balanced by a dry, peppery note and hint of saddle leather. Bring on the steak.

4. TTD Western Australian Shiraz 2021, £8.50, Sainsbury’s


A palate primer, this smooth shiraz proves how Australia’s signature red grape wildly over-delivers with its sunny personality and sun-drenched juiciness. Think vivid blackberry notes and perfect parcel of spicy, sweet black fruits, raspberry notes and lingering velvety finish. One to complement the tenderness of a well marbled flat iron steak.

5. Adnams Carmenère 2021, Central Valley, Chile, £8.99, Adnams


This impressive own-label red is a crowd-pleasing fruit bomb laced with spiced cherries, bell pepper, herbs and smoke. Fabulously fruity and layered, secondary notes of earthy blueberries and blackberries are accompanied by hints of mocha with a lasting, smoky finish. Versatile and food-friendly, it’s your go-to with flame-grilled meats, lamb, chicken and spicy sausages.

6. Southern Right Pinotage 2020, South Africa, £19.50, The Champagne Company

(Southern Right/PA)

A knockout red and beautiful introduction to South Africa’s signature grape. Pinotage hints at plummy flavours, with complex dark berry fruits, delicious ripeness and exotic spice, and you’ll be smitten from the first sip with this one. A wine to linger over until the last dying embers – if you can make it last that long!


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