Delicious Wines for Grilling Season

Delicious Wines for Grilling Season

Delicious Wines for Grilling Season

I know I am a bit premature to be heralding summer already but doggone it, warm weather here. Summer is grilling season for our household. Grilling is our favorite season because it gives us a chance to enjoy the beautiful sunsets and great views of the Tobacco Roots and Bridgers from the deck while enjoying summer fare and a good glass of wine. 

One of the benefits of dining al fresco is that everything tastes good. When we are camping even dehydrated packaged meals taste pretty good just because they are consumed in the fresh air.Dining on the deck seems to add that extra flavor and level of enjoyment to food without even resorting to the dehydrated mixes. 

I have a few summer suggestions for pairing grilled foods with wine:

BURGERS: American Zinfandel pairs well with the all-American burger. The spicy notes and bramble-berry flavors showcase the charbroiled burger to a T. Try Four Vines Old Vine Zin (90 pts. WineEnthusiast $11.95) with charcoal broiled burgers or 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zin ($18.95) with a juicy burger topped with a slice of cheddar. 

CHICKEN: The great thing about chicken is that it is versatile in style of preparation. Some folks like to use a tomato and barbecue flavored sauce and marinade while others like the lime, garlic, and cilantro Caribbean style. Others just like the flavor of apple wood smoke or the crisp outer skin that comes with plain chicken on the grill. For the tomato/barbecue lovers, the St. Roch Chimiers from the Wine Club would add some spice and set off the smoky flavors. The 2014 Yamhill Pinot Blanc ($17.95) will taste extra good with the Latin barbecue. Try the Cuvee Louis Gascone ($11.50) goes with almost any style grilled chicken.

STEAKS: Attempt the Zero One Sauce Blend ($14) from Washington for richer, fattier cuts like ribeye and T-bones. The Austerity Pinot Noir ($14) is a good match for lean sirloin or London Broil. Just about anything tastes good with a New York cut so try the Smith and Hook Cabernet ($20) or the Little James Basket Press ($14.95). 

RIBS: There are more ways than one to start an argument but one of the surest ways is to start bragging about how your barbecue sauce is the finest on earth. The folks who like the peppery Southwestern style should try Montinore Borealis ($14.95). If your taste runs more to the smoky mesquite style, the red full-bodied Tres Picos Garnacha ($17.50; 92 points Wine Advocate) is a perfect fit.

GRILLED PORK: White Knight Viognier ($12) is a really good match if your grilled pork is spiced with a little garlic or if you are using apple wood to give it a smoke flavor. 

SAUSAGES:  Grilled Brats or flavored sausages taste great on the grill. For German Bratwurst, Riesling and Gewürztraminer match well to the spices. Italian sausages with anise and clove taste really good with Valpane Barbera Rosso ($15.50 Grilled Lamb One of my favorite items to grill is lamb. Smoke from the grill and the slightly charred edges of the meat call out for Eberle Syrah ($22.95). This big dark wine with its muscular body, smoky nuances and black fruit match the rich gamy taste of lamb. Foundry Red from Walla Walla ($19.95) is a little lower in acid so you may want to go easy on the mint sauce if you open a bottle for your grilled lamb. Salmon Pinot Noir is the classic match for grilled salmon. If you use one of the Wine Gallery Alder Wood Smoke Bombs while your salmon is cooking, you will have one of the best food and wine pairings ever invented. The Black Magnolia Pinot Noir ($18.50) is all red fruit with tangy earthy notes that will make you wonder how the white wine with fish rule was ever invented.Shrimp Aussies say Shrimp on the barbie match nicely with chilled L’ecole #41 Chenin Blanc ($17) or D’Arenberg Hermit Crab. Both of these white wines have the aromatic fruit that sets off the slightly sweet flavor of grilled shrimp. Actually almost all slightly fruity whites will go well with shrimp. If you are butter basting your shrimp, you can try an un-oaked Chardonnay. For red pepper and hot sauce, Riesling or Gewürztraminer might taste pretty good.