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Published:Thursday | August 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Jason Clarke, Contributor
Eppa SupraFruta White Sangria - Brian McCalla/Freelance Photographer
Eppa SupraFruta White Sangria - Brian McCalla/Freelance Photographer

As a child, my grandparents would often use that term to mark the end of my holidays, and in this case, it seems quite fitting as we come to the end of summer.

Back to the mayhem of school traffic and ease into the rainy period. What better way to mark the end of summer than with one final hoorah? A barbecue might just be the ideal way to close summer.

Barbecued meats tend to have a charred smokey flavour which are best served with medium- to full-bodied red wines that really can stand up to and complement their flavour. One might argue Cabernet Sauvignon (Cabs) are king of this segment, but blends are also equally capable of complementing a good barbecue.

Trivento has a line called Mixtus which I find to be a perfect value option for this sort of affair - the Shiraz-Malbec and the Cabernet-Merlot stand up quite well to the challenge. And if you like to experiment with making your own sauces, both add an equally delightful kick to a sauce.

There are a number of great red blends, particularly out of California, that have a great balance of fruit and spice which makes them an easy selection, not only for the purpose of a barbecue, but also for a casual sip during the evening.

Ménage à Trois is one that I always enjoy. The name alone is playfully suggestive, but it's a perfect blend of Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Soft and silky on the tongue, it's like heaven in a glass.

Zinfandels by themselves are also great options because of their fruity and spice taste, and just about any one will work beautifully. A Shiraz as a full-bodied wine will always work impeccably well.

Until recently, I had forgotten just how yummy the Little Penguin Shiraz was. I am always captivated by the first smell as I open a bottle - that really lets me know I am going to thoroughly enjoy it. Again, one can't argue with a good Cabernet Sauvignon. The market has quite a few available at varying price points, to match the depth of your pocket, but this varietal is simply perfect. Select your favourite and you are immediately good to go.

Cocktail Corner

I happened to venture to Cru Bar and came across a new treat, which is a great option as a light wine - Eppa Sangria, available in both red and white. The red sangria, made to taste like a traditional Spanish sangria, is intensified with blood orange, which gives it a unique taste. If you are thinking something white and light, the white sangria is perfect and has notes of apples and peaches which make it truly enjoyable as a bar drink. And at 9.5 per cent alcohol, it sure won't hit you the same way a typical glass of wine or cocktail would. So stop by one evening and give it a try and let me know what you think.

I am not an expert, merely a wine enthusiast sharing my thoughts and experiences. Feel free to share your own experiences at wineenthusiastja@gmail.com. Let us know what's in your glass at lifestyle@gleanerjm.com