Memorial Day weekend is finally here- days to remember those who have served for our Freedom and celebrate the coming of summer with family, friends and grilling. I recall going to the Forest Preserve to play softball and have a pop (when I was very young) or a beer and enjoy the smell of meat grilling over charcoal. Now that times have changed a bit, and my palate as well, I like to try wine with these events also. What are some good wines to try with grilling? Let's get to it:
- Gotta have a nice refreshing white wine for seafood or to cool off. For that I'm calling for 2010 Ponzi Pinot Gris from Willamette Valley ($15). A dry wine full of tropical fruit flavor to pair with grilled oysters, fish, shrimp or chicken, and weighty enough to stand up to marinades
- Think Pink. Rose is a great way to is a fine way to go towards beating the heat and the berry sweetness will quench your thirst and pair phenomenally with BBQ sauces. Try the Bastianich Rose ($13) made from 100% Refosco by the Bastianich Family and Chef Mario Batali.
- Looking for that light summer red to pair with light meats like chicken and pork? Most people would grab a great Pinot Noir like 2009 Au Bon Climat for under $20, but I like to try different things. A Grenache has slight bit more weight but can be an amazing summer wine. Try 2006 Fireblock Old Vine Grenache ($15) from Australia- you'll get great red fruit, twizzler (awesome), tingling spice and flavor length.
- When we're talking lamb, beef and game with grill marks, it's time to pull out the big guns. You'll want a red with boldness, body, spice and fruit. This has Malbec written all over it and I'm grabbing a bottle of 2010 Achaval Ferrer ($18) from Mendoza. Zinfandel is always a great choice in this part plus it hits with BBQ and ribs. Four Vines and Ridge make amazing wines and even some blends using Zin and you'll love them all. Not to be forgotten, Shiraz/Syrah has 'wow' factor with black peppercorn and deep rich fruit, so go for Kilikanoon 'Killerman's Run' Shiraz ($17).
Any direction you go you can't go wrong because you'll be spending time with those you love getting ready for a terrific season. Enjoy!