The most recent vintage fruity red or a full-flavoured white is perfect for barbecues—

For barbecues, a decent all-round choice could be rosé frosting gently in an ice bucket, especially good with summery salads. But personally I prefer a fruity red or full-flavoured white to offset the bold, smoky flavours from the grill.

My rule of thumb with reds is to stick to the most recent vintage. Buying 2018 reds ensures a fruity and refreshing wine.

For steaks I tend to go for grapes such as Malbec from Argentina or Garnacha from Spain, but with burgers Cinsault from South Africa is a lovely, lighter option. If you’re sizzling shellfish, believe it or not, white Côtes du Rhône is a brilliant rich yet refreshing wine and 2018 was a superb vintage.

But look further afield to catch jaw-dropping value – my wine of the week is Romanian and scooped a gold medal victory at the Decanter World Wine Awards.


COME ON BARBIE, LET’S GO PARTY: Malbec 2018 (13%) £5 Morrisons. Juicy, fruity and lightly spicy. A superb bottle of a red for a fiver.

BARBIE ON THE BEAT: Old Vine Garnacha 2018 (14%) £5.35 Co-op. Sleek, silky and powerful. Is there a better high street red for the price?

ME AND BARBIE MCGEE: Cuvée Reserve Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018 (13%) £5.99 Aldi. Brilliant blending gives ripe, fulsome flavour at a wonderful price.

WANNA BE BARBIE’S GIRL: Finest South African Cinsault 2018 (13.5%) £7.50 Tesco. Scented, light and delicious red with fruity finesse – serve chilled.


Wine Atlas Feteasca Regala 2018 (11.5%) £5.25 Asda. Hands down the best white in Britain for the price. A peach of a wine – buy every bottle.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 16th June 2019