A sip of summer

PUBLISHED: 12:32 27 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 20 February 2013

A sizzling barbecue, Herefordshire sunshine and a glass of chilled wine. Edward Symonds invites you to take… A SIP OF SUMMER

A sizzling barbecue, Herefordshire sunshine and a glass of chilled wine. Edward Symonds invites you to take… A SIP OF SUMMER

A sizzling barbecue, Herefordshire sunshine and a glass of chilled wine. Edward Symonds invites you to take...

A sizzling barbecue, Herefordshire sunshine and a glass of chilled wine. Edward Symonds invites you to take...

Our new wine writer is Edward Symonds, a member of the Symonds Cider family who have been in the drinks industry since 1727 - coming up to 300 years trading in the county of Herefordshire. Grandfather William Symonds was the creator of Scrumpy Jack Cider, now owned by Heineken UK.

The modern day Symonds family run an event bar company supplying bars to some of the leading events in the UK. Edward is in charge of Saxtys bar, grill and club in Hereford with a reputation for good wines and the county's only dedicated Champagne Bar offering more than 20 types of Champagne from £30 to 395 a bottle.

Hopefully, you will be reading this magazine while sitting outside on a comfy chair, with a glass of chilled white wine, basking in the glorious English summer sun.

After the last few years of truly abysmal summers this year must be different, if only because I have purchased new garden furniture and a brand new barbecue for Mrs S. They have been used a couple of times already and I will be extremely disappointed if they are not used on a regular basis this year.

When we make investments in our outside living space it is disappointing when the bad weather stops us enjoying them. But now that I am predicting a glorious summer, I want to make sure that we plan some great al fresco entertaining. So here are my recommendations to ensure that your wine choices go down well with your guests.

A Herefordshire barbecue means good local meat and plenty of it - big steaks, pork chops, fat sausages... When choosing wine, the temptation is to go for heavy reds with loads of fruit and alcohol. However you must be careful, especially if your party is in the afternoon. You don't want your guests snoring in the corner by early evening.

A perfect red for summer drinking is Rioja and you don't get better than Murrieta Tinto Reserva which is one of the oldest producers of Rioja in the world. Chianti or a good Côtes du Rhône, are excellent choices; alternatively Australian Shiraz or even a South African Pinotage (just be careful of the abv on these as they can be strong in alcohol).

If you are going Aussie style and having prawns on the barbie you won't get better than a glass or two of vintage Champagne. Look for a 2002, which is currently the best year this millennium. Even better a 1996 or a 1990 will really impress but will cost! Moet Grand Vintage is consistently good, or for a little more money Louis Roederer, a personal favourite.

With chicken or fish you are spoilt for choice. You will not go wrong with the hugely popular Pinot Grigio (Mezzacorona, Italy) or a New Zealand Sauvignon (Mount Nelson, Marlborough). Both are easy to drink and traditionally light. However if you want to push the boat out go for Sancerre or Pouilly Fum (Pascal Jolivet is a fantastic example of both).

Finally it would not be right to ignore ros wine. A major success story of the past few years in the wine industry, this area has seen huge growth in sales and popularity. Favoured by the girls, a perfect party host will have a good option in the fridge especially if you have a lot of ladies attending. A popular choice of the girls at Saxtys is Sartori Pinot Grigio Blush - light easy drinking which is slightly drier than most ross. If you need something sweeter an excellent example would be the Australian wine, Melbourne Lounge Ros.

If you would like to find out more information about wines for barbecues Saxtys is hosting a Wine and BBQ night with a representative from Moet Hennessy on Wednesday, July 29. Tickets are 20 and include all wines and food.

Tel: 01432 357872 or www.saxtys.co.uk

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