Within this column I’m usually open to suggestions, happy to respond to the widening demands of our readership as well as the prevailing fashions of the wine drinking public. I’m even happy to tag along with the theme of the day in the belief that everything’s worthy of comment if wine is part of the debate, but National Barbeque Week, that stopped me in my tracks!

Well someone dreamed it up. The British Sausage Board, or the magazine (if there is one) perhaps BBQ Monthly, but editorial links from charred bangers to Cabernet Sauvignon was stretching it so I proceed gently, trying to hold my tray steady upon which sits a brimming poison chalice.

Now don’t get me wrong, if I drew up my own ‘Desert Island Discs’ of life’s essential pleasures, eating and drinking al fresco has got to be close to the top. However, barbeques and outdoor dining are not mutually inclusive in my book.

Forgive me for looking a tad showy but during the years of wine-buying my travels have taken me to the countryside – rather than the cities – of many countries. Most of them fairly warm otherwise there would not have been many grapes to look at. Within theses countries hospitality has been nothing less than generous and often experienced al fresco. I’ve had Munster cheese bread partnered with Alsace Riesling as the sun set over the Vosges Mountains, a luncheon of tomato and white onion salad with a dozen Provencal Rosés set upon a patio overlooking the suburbs of Nice, whole smoked eels so petrified they reminded me of the contents of an umbrella stand, presented on hay bales in an Austrian vineyard whilst discovering the joys of the Grüner Veltliner grape. I’ve even tasted oysters pulled live from the Atlantic on a warm evening in Galicia in North Western Spain, whilst pouring tumblers of Albariño down my salt lined throat.

These profound memories of local food and wine pairing, this immersion in the cultural micro-climates of a particular country, are by necessity blessed with clement weather and regarded as an everyday event from breakfast to supper time.

Warmer climes of the world use these every day sensual pleasures to enhance their agricultural lives and celebrated nature’s little bounties whilst, co-incidentally, having invented the term ‘locally sourced’ for both wine and food.

Conversely, we in Britain have tended to select food and drink in order to defend us from our climate, think Shepherd’s Pie, or Irish stew, Guinness or Whisky. Nothing wrong with this I may add, but the frenzy that accompanies a barbeque when the sun is forecast to appear makes my head spin. From our barn we drag out the barbeque, often still full of last summer’s ashes and irate spiders. Lifting the half filled sack of charcoal usually reveals the neat erosion undertaken by a family of dormice leaving my feet with a deposit not dissimilar to Vesuvius. Street vendors from Thailand to Sri Lanka seem to cook outdoors on a nightly basis with consummate ease, so why do I always end up with warm wine and cold chicken? Why do my family, who normally regard me as a half-decent cook await with baited breath for their E-coli meat course?

There are surely very straightforward answers that one tends to ignore, but this is our week nevertheless – so barbeque we must.

Suspending my dislike of flies, wasps and the gale force winds from a former airfield, may I offer some enthusiasm and vinous guidance?

Firstly I have noticed that fair breeze or hot sun will decimate any potential aromas from a wine glass long before you have had a chance to savour the bouquet. This tends to rob the wine of many of its potential glories leaving it a shadow of its former self. Pick wines which are reasonable forceful in flavour, by that I mean tastes which are spicy, fruitful or herbaceous. Do avoid traditionally heavy wines or wines high in alcohol and tannin which often become undesirable and unrefreshing out in the sun.

If you pick fish or shellfish to scorch, look to white wines from the Alsace, the Loire Valley, Germany or Northern Italy whose natural acidity will offer refreshment as the smoke fumes swirl your way.

However if red meat in any form is your choice, look to marry their robust smoky and caramelised flavours with reds that have similar flavours such as younger New World Cabernets or Pinots, but do avoid grapes that offer too many tannic qualities The Gamay grape from the Beaujolais region can often be an all-round life saver by mid afternoon.

One safe bet, due to Britain’s new found enthusiasm for dry pinks, are the raft of exciting Rosés now available here. Both Southern France and Northern Spain are building wines of substance, hard on their heels are rich, fulsome pinks from Chile, New Zealand and Australia.

One final tip is to avoid Rosés with additional sugar dosage, a style often associated with California (you know who I mean) wherein the sugar overdose clashes with the smoky caramelised flavours from the fire.

So a good Rosé would probably be my all round choice with even a thought for pink Champagne if the occasion deserves it. One could even forget the sausages altogether.