I’m a bit of a barbecue weenie. At my house, boy meets grill until mid-fall. Then I wheel my gas-fired girl into the garage until Victoria Day.

She’s ready to make her 2011 debut this long weekend, and when it comes to picking a wine to match grilled meats, I look for juice that can hold its own against the intensity of the meat, the influence of the marinade and, since I’m a bit of a hamburger aficionado, any condiments I decide to lather on when meat hits bun.

Think young, jammy and red. It’s not time to uncork that Bordeaux you’ve had since midway through the last century. Best bets are Californian zinfandel and merlot, Aussie shiraz, Chilean cabernet sauvignon, and for a taste of the Old World, a Barbera d’Asti from Italy’s Piedmont region.

In Argentina, barbecue is a way of life and a red like Trapiche’s 2010 Varietals Malbec ($9.00 - $11.99) — with dark, blueberry flavour, balanced tannins and spice trail — is a grill match made in Mendoza.


Prices reflect the range across the country. Some products may not be available in all provinces.

Peter Rockwell is the everyman’s wine writer, working in the liquor industry for more than 25 years and travelling the globe looking for something to fill his glass and put into words.