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A Barbecue Weekend 

You can’t deny it, the Irish summer is almost over. During the next couple of weeks, the leaves will start changing colour, the first grape harvests will begin in Europe, and the market for school books and uniforms will come alive again.

Sadly, there’s no escaping the fact that summer is coming to a close. But it’s not gone yet. And while it’s still here, there’s time for another barbeque!

Whether we’re gifted with long sunny evenings or we have to make do with drizzle and mistrals, ending the summer with some outdoor cooking is something of a tradition. In fact, some of my favourite food memories involve running from the garden griddle to the house, umbrella in one hand and a plate of burgers in the other.

It’s testament to the growth of our food culture that a barbeque is no longer synonymous with slabs of meat cooked medium-raw. We’re starting to realise how fish, vegetables, and even fruit can benefit from an encounter with charcoal heat. So, no matter what you decide to serve, these two wines make fine complements to the charred edge of barbeque food.


Winemaker Alwyn Corban inspecting the vines for Silks Chardonnay

Silks Chardonnay

Silks Chardonnay gets its name from the racing colours worn by jockeys. The wine’s equestrian connection is that winemaker Alwyn Corban’s vineyards are, in part, planted on an old racetrack in Hawke’s Bay on New Zealand’s North Island.

Like jockeys’ racing colours, Silks Chardonnay is light and colourful. The wine offers plenty of fruit up front, with pineapple and yellow apple enhancing the broader apple pie and butter notes. In a barbeque context, Silks would pair well with slightly richer dished that still have a little freshness, like buttery corn on the cob. Marinated white meats, like teriyaki chicken or white fish, also spring to mind.

Silks Chardonnay is also a perfect match for an unexpected barbeque favourite: chargrilled pineapple. As the fruit caramelises on the grill, the sweetness will complement the pineapple notes in the wine.

Korta Reserva Carmenere

All this talk of fruit, fish, and vegetables is well and good, but at its heart barbeque is all about intense, robust umami flavours. Korta Reserva Carmenere has enough charismatic flavour of its own to withstand the smoke and spice of barbequed meats.

Pioneering Chilean winemaker Irene Paiva

Irene Paiva makes this Chilean red. She’s one her country’s first female winemakers, and her Korta Reserva embodies the assertive elegance you would hope for from Carmenere. In the glass, you can expect peppery freshness, along with complex woody and chocolate hints. Herbed rack of lamb, chargrilled pork chops or chorizo all have an intensity that would sit well with this Carmenere’s creamy texture and emphatic flavours.

Whether basking in sunshine or battling the elements, another barbeque is a great way to savour the last of the season. And if you do decide to fire up the coals one last time this summer, both the Silks Chardonnay and the Korta Reserva Carmenere will be open for tasting in our shops in Mullingar and Arnotts from Monday, July 24th. Stop by, have a taste and end the summer on a high note.