June 2007

Wine Talk: Wine on the Barbie

Author: Krissy Cantelupe

Summer’s here and it’s time to head to the beach, hit the golf course and of course, fire up the grill! When grilling various meats, fish, even crab legs, there are plenty of wine options to complement your meal. You can choose white, red or even a nice dry rosé. Here are a few suggestions:

When grilling a swordfish filet, salmon, or a tuna steak, a fuller-bodied Pinot Grigio, such as Maso Canali or a Monterey Chardonnay, such as Chalone or Hess would be a perfect selection. The tropical fruit flavors found in most Monterey Chardonnays are great companions to the smokiness from the grill. If you prefer red, try a Pinot Noir from Sonoma, such as Mac Murray Ranch—a nice fruit-driven Pinot with plenty of black cherry and cassis. Place the Pinot in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, just to put a slight chill on it. This way, if the outdoor temperature is in the high 80s, the wine will not be too warm.

For those interested in barbequed pork or even a good quality hot dog, a Riesling, such as McWilliams from Australia, would be outstanding. This is a drier style Riesling that will not interfere with the sweetness of some barbeque sauce, or the acidity of ketchup on your dog. If you want something unique, try a dry rosé, such as “It’s Okay,” from Vinum Cellars.

Whether you love rib-eye, strip or tenderloin, the grill is also utopia for your steaks. This is a Zinfandel moment—the spicier, the more black pepper, the better. 7 Deadly Zins from Lodi is a fun Zinfandel with plenty of spice to complement your choice of beef. Uniquely packaged with all seven sins listed on the bottle, see how many you can guess.

Rancho Zabaco, Monte Rosso Vineyard, is also a great selection since it is a single-vineyard Zinfandel with a great price point. Malbec, a Bordeaux blending grape, is also a unique varietal which grows quite well in Argentina. The wine has big, zesty cherry flavors with quite a bit of white pepper on the finish. Bodega Norton has a fantastic Malbec which consistently receives good press.

The grill is a fun place to experiment with food as well as wine. Instead of grabbing a beer, next time you fire up the grill, take out your corkscrew and open a bottle of wine.

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