Just riding my bike home yesterday through a few different neighborhoods, as my route takes me, I noticed a common thread in the newly summerish air no matter what part of town I was in. Barbecue (or barbaquoi as Chloe Sevigny would say)! That’s right. It’s the time of year where whether beached or patio’d, you bust out the grill for your favourite hunk of meat or fish and give your meal that smokey goodness that weather like this screams for.
Depending on whether you’re grilling a white fish and want a white, or whether you’re used to your big chewy Cabernet for that prime rib, we all have our favourites for this time. Maybe though, just maybe, you’re missing out on your new favourite big red for said cuisine, and you just don’t know it. That grape could be Bonarda.
Originally out of Italy, Piedmont region known for the famous Barola and Barbaresco, the wine is shrouded in a touch of mystery as to how it escaped Europe. Even the exact clones of what we now know simply as Bonarda are still a little hazey, but one thing we do know now is that it is widely planted, very well grown, and immacutely produced in Argentina. This little baby travelled a long ways to get where it is now, and give us what we want for our summer patio parties.
Now a lot of people argue that Bonarda is just the other Malbec, and this could make Malbec lovers rejoice! Hallaloo! But for those of us that want more than just an easy going medium bodied, medium flavoured wine, I think Bonarda gives us the next step up. And also, it’s delicious.
The fruit is definitely on the raspberry and even nearing the dark plum side, more medium in body than full, perfect for both red meat and heavy fish. But unlike the simpleness of most Malbec, Bonarda give us rich smokey earth and hints of leather when done right, and BAM there you go: a perfect pairing for BBQ. W’hat’s good and easy to find? A couple are done right at the right price point. Dante Robino, and Broquel. Both excellent producers of Bonarda and both with very similiar characteristics, so just pick one of them up next time your smoking out your neighbors and the sun is shining. And if they’re close enough, hand ‘em a glass. Okay a half glass. Okay just smile and wave.