Grill This, Drink That

Wines that pair well with fire

Summer's here! (Sort of.)

The arrival of Memorial Day weekend means it's time to fire up the grill and start stocking your cooler full of delicious, boozy beverages.

Burgers and beer have always been friends, but there's no reason why wine can't join the party, too.

To help plan our weekend grill-stravaganza, we asked a few of our favorite wine experts to recommend bottles that can take the heat.

The expert: Carlin Karr, Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO
The pairings: Rosé with grilled shrimp; Beaujolais with poultry or pork
"Rosé is quintessential this time of year, and it's a match with something on the lighter side. And the earthy character of Beaujolais goes so well with a little bit of char."
The bottles: 2013 Saint André de Figuière Magali Signature Rosé Côtes de Provence ($17); 2012 Jean Foillard Côte du Py Morgon ($33)

The expert: Matthew Pridgen, Underbelly, Houston, TX
The pairings: Grenache/Syrah blend with burgers; Syrah with brisket
"For a simple burger, I love pairing with a lighter red, like a Sicilian 2010 Etna Rosso from Scilio. For a fancy burger, I like a more intense wine that can stand up to anything from bacon to blue cheese. Another favorite: a Northern California Syrah from Trinity County, which has the earth, game and smoke that pair with anything from pork ribs to brisket."
The bottles: 2010 Montirius Le Clos Vacqueyras ($21); 2007 R. Merlo Estate Syrah Trinity County ($22)

The expert: Matthew Kaner, Bar Covell, Los Angeles
The pairing: Tavel rosé or Santa Barbara white wine with grilled vegetables
"Tavel rosés, made from Grenache in the Southern Rhône Valley, and Santa Barbara County Chardonnay, from either Sta. Rita Hills or Santa Maria Valley, both have amazing texture that can stand up to grilled veggies. The newcomers to the Santa Barbara scene are getting outside of the box and growing varieties like Chenin Blanc, which is another great option."
The bottles: 2013 Château de Trinquevedel Rosé Tavel ($18); 2012 Lieu Dit Chenin Blanc Santa Ynez Valley ($27)

The expert: Toby Franklin, The Optimist, King + Duke and St. Cecilia, Atlanta, GA
The pairing: Zinfandel with barbecue
"When I think barbecue, I think of big, bold flavors like char, spice and molasses. For a red, I go straight to all-American red Zinfandel, specifically a big, berry-packed, chocolate-y, smoky number. Or, I head in the opposite direction and go for a bone-dry, acidic white that can pierce through all that sweetness."
The bottles: 2008 St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel Sonoma County ($19); 2012 Goisot Bourgogne Aligote ($15)

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