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Fruity Wines That Love A Good Barbecue

By Robert Parker Most people serve beer at a barbecue. But the right wine can transform a humble hamburger into a special meal. Barbecue wines should be inexpensive, immensely fruity, largely un-oaked, and have loads of red and black fruit. In the best cases, the wine has more personality than you would expect for the price. Although some will stay for two or three years, most are meant to be enjoyed now. Here are some of my favorites from around the world.

Hugues Beaulieu 2006 Picpoul de Pinet

87 points. An absolutely delicious light-bodied, tank-fermented and -aged white. Crisp grapefruit, lemon, and lime notes jump from the glass. This wine is a perfect match for grilled seafood or chicken. $9

Guigal 2005 Cotes du Rh?ne

89 points. A blend of 50% syrah, 40% grenache, and 10% mourv?dre, this wine is an amazing value with terrific texture, a deep ruby/purple color, loads of cassis, black cherry, licorice, and spice. It is an all-purpose red with enormous crowd appeal. $12

Georges Duboeuf 2005 Fleurie Flower Label

87 points. Duboeuf is the emperor of Beaujolais, and this one has a beautiful, spicy taste of black cherries and an expansive mouthfeel. It is a fruit-forward crowd-pleaser. $12

Thorn-Clarke 2005 Shiraz Terra Barossa

91 points. This is a heady, full-flavored, inky-purple wine that saturates the mouth. It will stand up to just about anything you throw on the grill and will deliver plenty of fruit no matter how much mustard, ketchup, horseradish, or spice you put on the dish. $13

Cavas El Cep Marques de Gelida Brut Exclusive Sparkling White (2002 or 2003)

90 points. This Spanish sparkler offers plenty of yeasty brioche, apple skin, and white peach characteristics. It's a perfect palate-cleanser, and an absolute steal. $14

Les Garrigues 2005 C?tes du Rh?ne Cuv?e Romaine

90 points. Made mainly from old-vine grenache, this is an inky-purple-colored wine with a knockout perfume of melted licorice, roasted meats, black cherries, and jam. Hints of roasted herbs and smoky, meaty notes make it an ideal wine for grilled foods. $15

Falesco 2005 Merlot dell'Umbria

89 points. If you're grilling steak in the Florentine style (brushed with olive oil), select a wine from central Italy such as this merlot. It boasts a deep ruby/purple color and a big sweet nose that includes mocha, espresso roast, and loads of black cherry fruit. $16

Monti 2005 Montepulciano d'Abruzzi

89 points. This wine is a perfect match for charcoal and wood-fired food, because it tastes as if it emerged from scorched earth. It displays an inky-purple color and huge, almost volcanic notes of fire, roasted meat, licorice, and truffles. $16

Caggiano 2004 Aglianico Arpinia Tauri Campania

88 points. This wine from southern Italy seems to have been created to be enjoyed with outdoor cooking. A dense ruby/purple-colored wine, it has loads of sweet black fruits mixed with charcoal, spice, and a hint of mint. $17

Wines rated from 96-100 are extraordinary; 90-95, excellent; 80-89, above average to very good

Robert Parker is the world's most influential wine critic. Visit to see tens of thousands of tasting notes, buy his books, or subscribe to his newsletter, The Wine Advocate.

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