If you're planning a 4th of July barbecue and haven't yet decided what to drink you might wonder what wine matches barbecued food? Here's an article I wrote for Decanter 5 years ago which still holds good today, I think.
Last night we opened a bottle of 2005 Nugan Estate McLaren Parish Vineyard Shiraz - a typically big lush Aussie red at a hefty 15% ABV.
Despite the growing concern about alcohol levels in wine many reds still clock in at 14.5% or more, a level at which they can become an unbalanced pairing for traditional European food. Many traditionalist would say that they are therefore not ‘food wines’ but as with other types of wine it depends how well they’re made and whether overall the wine is in balance. Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe for example rarely hits the shelves at under 14% but wears its alcohol lightly.
There's no tradition of wine & food pairing in Georgia because, "we're permanently in the process of eating and drinking, so everyone is continuously matching for themselves," firmly declared Georgia's 'wine queen', Tina Kezeli, my host for a week's tour of eastern Georgia's Kakheti wine region. Georgian meals are lavish affairs with tables laden with dishes appearing in regular sequence but without regard for timing or harmonious wine pairing. Some guidance is needed.