There is something to enjoying your dinner outdoors on a warm summer night that just can’t be beaten. A beautiful sunset, the sound of birds and crickets, and a delicious meal go so well together that the only way it can get better is with a lovely glass of wine.
In our opinion, the ideal way to dine al fresco in the summer is with your grill, and this can open up a world of possibilities in terms of your wine choice.
The smoky char that comes with any food prepared on the grill can give you several options. If you’re going the red meat route and have steaks going, we know a red is a great choice. The typical suggestion would be a Cabernet Sauvignon but it’s warm outside so we say go a little lighter and pick a Red Zinfandel. You don’t want to take away from the beauty that is a freshly grilled steak.
Maybe you’re having some fish – perhaps a citrusy grilled salmon? A crisp Sauvignon Blanc will be the perfect pair – citrus matched with citrus. If you’ve gone with a flavorful marinade, go with a Pinot Gris or even a chilled Gewurztraminer, especially if the fish is spicy.
Now let’s talk about vegetables. Who doesn’t love a big tray piled with a rainbow of grilled veggies? You’ll want something truly light and refreshing since a simple grilled zucchini has a delicate flavor all on its own, so we suggest a Gruner Veltliner. If you want to keep it simple but elegant, then a Chenin Blanc.
Perhaps you’re going all out in a true summer barbeque with all of the sauced-up ribs and chicken legs! You’ll want a big bold red wine to complement your big bold bbq so head towards Australia with the Malbec or Shiraz. They each have enough body and zest to keep up with those saucy meats but won’t take over the spotlight.
And of course, when all else fails, the most outdoor-drinkable wine for summer is Rosé. A good sparkling one is also welcome any time you’re at the grill. It’s perfect for sipping while you’re doing the cooking and for enjoying a glass after cleaning up.
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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