A Squared: Summer Wine & Barbecue Pairings

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Wine & Barbecue Pairings

I love a summer barbecue. It's my humble opinion that almost any food tastes better cooked on a grill. It's also my opinion that said grilled food can be made even more delicious accompanied by the proper glass of wine. And while most people might associate summer barbecue dinners with a nice chilled beer-- which is also a great idea-- Vinepair recently released this handy infographic matching some of your favorite barbecue dishes with the right wine. I wanted to build on that here and introduce you to a few great wines and suggest some summer cookout-appropriate recipes to serve along with them. So if you're hosting a barbecue, attending one, or just grilling at home, here are some foolproof pairings for you:

Summer BBQ Wines


 
1. CK Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc - The Mondavi name is synonymous with California wine with a winery founded in 1943 and four generations of Mondavis with a passion for winemaking. This crisp citrusy medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect summer wine. Serve it chilled and enjoy it with tangy mild goat cheese, green salads, pestos, or anything dressed in a light vinaigrette:
Grilled Corn Panzanella
Grilled Zucchini & Herbed Goat Cheese Crostini
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pomegranate & Goat Cheese 
White Bean & Artichoke Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette 


2. "Limited" by Cambridge Cellars 2013 Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon - California Wine Club is one of the best ways to discover the small family wineries of California's wine country and from around the world. With a variety of membership levels based on your own level of wine knowledge and hand-picked wine selections delivered right to your door, there is something for everyone here. This "Limited" by Cambridge Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is a California Wine Club pick and has great aromas of peppercorn and herb with flavors of rich fruits like blackberry and plum with a soft finish. Pair this wine with rich beef dishes like flavorful grilled burgers or steaks:
Bison Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Onions & Horseradish Aioli 
French Onion Cheeseburgers
Red Wine Flank Steak Marinade 
Skirt Steak Marinade


3. Two Lands Pinot Grigio - Australian wine traditions meet California winemaking when two continents collide to create Two Lands wines. I have sampled all of their wines and my favorite white was by far the light and crisp Pinot Grigio. It is the ideal summertime wine. It's a more delicate wine with subtle fruit and citrus notes that pairs amazingly well with lighter fish and seafood dishes:
Fresh Herb & Lemon Grilled Whitefish Packets 
Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Slaw 
Swordfish with Mango Avocado Salsa

 
4. Salton Intenso Cabernet Franc - Brazilian wines are newer to the US wine scene, but I have a feeling that they're on the brink of becoming really popular. With bold flavors from the grapes grown in the Serra Ga├║cha region of Brazil, this Cab Franc start out with red fruit and green pepper flavors follwed by peppery notes that pair nicely with rich proteins like lamb and salmon:
Balsamic Fig Grilled Lamb Chops
Orange Balsamic Glazed Lamb Chops
Pan Seared Cajun Salmon with Broccoli Slaw 


 
5. Predator Old Vine Zinfandel - I tried this wine during my recent trip to Napa and fell in love with it there. Produced as a part of the Rutherford Ranch family of wines, this Zinfandel has a really intense spicy smoky flavor that was pretty much made for pairing with grilled meat. Enjoy it with barbecued pork or grilled poultry served with heavy sauces or accoutrement:
BBQ Grilled Chicken Salad 
BBQ Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Grilled Chicken Banh Mi with Red Gold Sriracha Aioli  


6. VOVETI Prosecco - Prosecco is my go to drink-- I love nothing more than a chilled glass of this slightly dry bubbly whether it's a celebration or just dinner on a Tuesday. Voveti comes from the Veneto region of Italy and was created by the Ferrer family who has over 100 years of winemaking expertise. This sparkling Italian white wine has a creamy bubbly texture and fresh fruity notes like melon and green apple that make this a refreshing summer wine. Pair it with light, but filling summer chicken and pasta dishes:
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad 
Chicken Marinade 
Greek Grilled Chicken Salad 
Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad 


7. Oliver Winery Soft Rose - Unlike many of these more 'mainstream' wines, Oliver is based more locally in Bloomington, Indiana-- home of Indiana University, alma mater to many of my friends here in the Windy City. Oliver was founded back in the 1960's as the basement hobby of an IU professor, which turned into an Indiana success story complete with tasting room and online store. This Soft Rose is one of Oliver's sweeter wines, made from 100% Catawba grapes grown right here in the Great Lakes region. This semi-sweet wine is best served chilled and pairs well with salads and mild cheeses, but would also be a perfect pairing for fruity desserts:
Biscoff Cookie & Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches 
Grilled Peaches With Frozen Yogurt 
Old Fashioned Raspberry Icebox Dessert
Polish Apple Cake 



Editor's Note: Samples of several of these wines were provided in order to facilitate this post. The opinions expressed herein are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support A Squared!


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