Camping truly is one of the best ways to get back to the basics – spending time with nature, leaving behind modern conveniences, and cooking over a fire. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip a delicious meal with the perfect wine pairing, does it? Not if you ask me!
The most important thing when organizing your camping meals is to plan ahead, packing your cooler wisely with solid ingredients that have lots of flavour. An easy way to make your campsite dinners taste great is to make a versatile, flavour-packed barbecue sauce in advance that can be stored in a jar and used to season whatever you throw over the fire. This recipe has a tasty balance of sweet, spicy and sour – perfect to dress up a simple chicken breast , flank steak, or pork tenderloin. Add to that the intense, smoky flavour of cooking over a campfire and you’ve got yourself a gourmet main course without even trying!
Now to pick the perfect wine. Since you could use the sauce on just about anything, what you want to focus on is the sweet-spicy-sour flavours of the barbecue sauce. Because the sauce is tomato-based, you need a wine that has lots of acidity to balance that out, and you definitely need something that has ripe, fruity flavours to stand up to the sweet and spicy elements. A smooth, fruity, medium-bodied red wine would be perfect. Try something Spanish made from Tempranillo or Grenache grapes, or Nero d’Avola from Sicily. Canadian Gamay, Pinot Noir, or Merlot are also great choices. These will be a perfect contrast to the smoky flavour from the campfire too. And don’t forget – please, please, please don’t drink your red wine warm! A slightly cool red wine, especially when fruity and low in tannins, will taste much better than one that’s been sitting in the sun all day. If you’re short on cooler space, try lodging your bottle underwater in the lake or river for an hour or so to bring the temperature down a bit – just make sure it doesn’t float away!
Here are a few more tips to keep in mind when choosing your campsite wines:
- Go for fruity, easy-drinking styles of wine with low to medium alcohol levels – light to medium bodied reds and fuller styles of white that will quench your thirst and satisfy your palate without being overwhelming.
- Look for convenient packaging – screw-top bottles make opening and resealing easy and there are loads of great quality wines under screw-cap available. You can also find a good selection of wines in alternate packaging that is lighter than glass bottles, including tetra pak, plastic bottles, and cans.
- Don’t break the bank! Camping is about keeping things simple and remembering how to enjoy the basics. Great value wines abound in liquor stores, you just need to experiment to find ones that you’ll love. Look for fantastic values from countries such as Argentina, Chile, Spain, Italy, and of course, locally-produced wines. And here’s a tip – wines made from grapes that are lesser known (e.g. NOT chardonnay, shiraz, or cabernet sauvignon) can be some of the best hidden values on your liquor store’s shelves.
Social media comments
Powered by Facebook Comments