Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Six Wines to Celebrate the End of Summer

The ‘unofficial’ end of summer is almost here. We still have a few more weeks of warm (OK – hot) weather, but school has started and those lazy days are drawing to a close. Time to plan one more picnic, cookout, or great all-out get-together and bid summer a final adieu. 

Great parties call for great food and great wine.  White wines have been the mainstay of summer, crisp, light, and mainly chilled. So let’s send off the season with an eye toward those moody autumnal red wines. Fire up the grill and let’s start pairing!

Burgers and Zin   

Try a full-bodied Zinfandel. The Zin’s fruity and spicy flavors will go well with a burger, or ribs and a Zin is wonderful with other grilled red meats.

Steak and Malbec

You won’t fail by serving a Cabernet Sauvignon with steak, but another great wine that’s often overlooked is Malbec. The tannins are hearty, the aroma can have hints of plum or tobacco, and the flavor should be fruity.  

Pork and Barbera

Although I won’t hesitate to pair a red with pork, many still feel more comfortable pairing a white wine with ‘the other white meat,’ especially when entertaining. If so, then grab a chilled bottle of Gewurztraminer for a nice alternative. Otherwise, get adventurous and try a Barbera with grilled pork.

Brats/Dogs and Options

A Zinfandel will work well with grilled hot-dogs. If you’re adding a chili sauce, go for a Beaujolais. For grilled brats, try a Pinot Noir.

Chicken and Merlot

Yes, I know, Chardonnay is the natural answer, but if you adhere to the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) rule, then pour a Merlot with robust berry flavors for a tasty white wine alternative.


Seafood and Pinot

Pinot Grigio’s crispness goes well with plain, grilled fish or shrimp. If you’re grilling salmon, tuna or mackerel then pull out a Pinot Noir.

Of course, sauces and sides will affect your pairing, so take a bite of the food and a sip of the wine to see what you like. Remember, wine is subjective; the main point is to celebrate the end of summer with the food, the wines, and the people you love - so go enjoy!

~ Joy