Break Out the Barbecue! Memorial Day Grilling and the Wines to Go with It

Break Out the Barbecue! Memorial Day Grilling and the Wines to Go with It

onion_01.Memorial Day brings the unofficial onset of summer—which means breaking out the barbecue, getting into the backyard, and enjoying warm-weather food and drink. Here are a few outdoor favorites and the ideal wines to pour alongside.

Potato chips and sparkling wine is a match made in heaven. So while the grill is heating up, get the party started with chips, a creamy onion dip and a celebratory sparkler:

FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA WINERY Sparkling Wine “Sofia Blanc de Blancs” 2012 (Monterey County, CA) $19
CHANDON Sparkling Wine “Limited Edition Blanc de Noirs” non-vintage (in a red, white, and blue bottle!) (CA) $22
BILTMORE ESTATEBrut Sparkling Wine “Blanc de Blanc” non-vintage (Asheville, NC)

How about some barbecued ribs, bratwurst or chicken? For anything slathered in barbecue sauce—as long as it’s not too sweet or too spicy—go with zinfandel:

RUTHERFORD RANCH WINERY Zinfandel “Old Vine” 2010 (Napa Valley, CA) $22
COSENTINO WINERY Zinfandel “The Zin” 2012 (Lodi, CA) $22
MURPHY-GOODE Zinfandel “Liar’s Dice” 2011 (Sonoma County, CA) $21

For dessert, how about wine popsicles?

What’s a backyard barbecue without burgers? Let your toppings determine your wine—for example, for the basic lettuce, tomato, and onion burger, go with dry rosé. It will be full-flavored enough for red meat, but light enough for the fresh toppings:

BLACKBIRD VINEYARDS Rosé “Arriviste” 2012 (Napa Valley, CA) $25
CHATEAU D’AQUERIA Rosé 2011 (Tavel, France) $18
J VINEYARDS Rosé “Vin Gris” 2013 (Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA) $20

For slightly more hearty toppings, roasted red peppers, for example, or a mushroom burger, go for a light bodied red:

BERONIA Crianza 2009 (Rioja, Spain) $13
LA CREMA Pinot Noir 2012 (Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA) $40
ERATH Pinot Noir “Estate Collection” 2011 (Willamette Valley, OR) $34

And for something heavy, like a bacon blue cheese burger, a richer red wine will complement the burger’s salt and fat, while the wine’s fuller body will work with the cheese:

BERONIA Gran Reserva 2006 (Rioja/Spain) $28
GIRARD Petite Sirah 2012 (Napa Valley, CA) $30
MERCER Merlot 2008 (Columbia Valley, WA) $24

Here’s to a great summer! How will you be celebrating Memorial Day? Tell us below.

Photo Credit: The Food Network.


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