Well, what a fun evening last night. Barbecue food and wine pairing on a sunny summer’s evening in the beautiful setting of Cheltenham’s Pitville Pumproom. Brilliantly organised and hosted by Emma and Gil of the Wine Society Events Team. Somewhat a trial event but hopefully to be repeated at a venue near you. A real antidote to my post Glastonbury comedown.
Guests were received with a more than acceptable glass of Cremant du Jura (Dom de Montbourgeau) which may now become our default fizz. A chance then to mingle as everyone arrived before taking to our tables where 6 further wines had been poured and were waiting for our keen attention.
Emma then briefly presented each wine in turn and suggested possible BBQ matches ahead of the serving of the BBQ food. Interested to see one of my recent favourites the Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2018 making an appearance. I think this is a great food wine with the structure and balance to deal with a wide range of salads and fish dishes.
Another unoaked wine featured, The Society Exhibition Albarino 2018 which also matches the Raats in terms of is versatility. Indeed, versatility was a theme with all the wines given the varying possibilities and flavours that your average barbie throws out.
The Three Terraces Marlborough Pinot Rose was a lovely drop and really good value, but for me, more of an aperitif than a food wine and not entirely bought in to the concept of pairing this with sausages!
The three reds spanned three continents. The Stephane Aviron, Dom de la Madriere, Fleurie 2016 was my favourite of the night. I thought it exhibited real personality and character. A bit of barnyard and a touch gamey may not make it everyone’s cup of tea but it hit the spot with me. This went especially well with the Cumberland sausage.
A Syrah du Maroc Tandem Alain Graillot et Thalvin 2016 from Morocco was a first for me. A very easy wine to enjoy and would pair easily with any red meat off the grill. Then on to South America for Susana Balboa El Peral Mendoza Malbec 2017. Match this with any cut of steak and you will be happy.
Although not part of the walk through, there were three “bonus” wines to enjoy but I did not get around to those (a Touraine Dom Guenault 2017, Grant Burge “Benchmark” Shiraz 2018 and a Moscato d’Asti Elio Perrone 2018).
Once the wines had been described and pairings discussed, time to enjoy the fabulous barbecue food prepared and cooked on the outside terrace of the Pumproom. Burgers, Sausages and Chicken thighs on the face of it did not sound that exciting but I was very wrong. Just shows that when you have quality source ingredients and food cooked well, seemingly humble food can talk for itself.
Refills of all the wines remained available for some time and pretty sure no one was left wanting!
All in all, a great evening, well organised and with good company. The evening flew by. A big thank you to Emma, Gil and the WS events team.