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Great Wines for Summer Grilling

Great Wines for Summer Grilling

Firing up the grill this weekend? Pair your charred treats with these reds

Pair these wines with smoky meats and vegetables.

Red Knot Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2012 ($16)

Looking for a moderately priced and easy-to-find wine for your summer grilling? Red Knot Shiraz is a good quality for value option. The wine is aromatic with notes of milk chocolate, smoke, coffee, and ripe fruit. On the palate, moderate tannins, medium body, good acidity, and silky texture with primary fruit and spice, and integrated oak influence. A solid everyday wine, and a great option for summer barbeque.

Geyser Peak “Walking Tree” Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, 2011 ($28)

This is an easy-drinking and approachable cab. Stylistically, it’s meant to be food-friendly, rather than big and tannic. On the nose, notes of fresh and mulled blueberries, bacon, nut, and fig. On the palate, cherry preserves, pepper, and umami with smooth tannins and refreshing acidity. This wine is both structured and refined.

Pairing suggestions: Burgers with gruyere on toasted brioche, kebabs, barbecued ribs, grilled pizza with spicy sausage, grilled pulled pork nachos.

Both of these wines have national distribution.


7 of the Best Wines for Summer Barbecue Season

With the summer season in full swing, it’s safe to say that barbecue season is upon us. There’s no better way to fight those long, hot work weeks than with wine-soaked barbecues on the weekends. But let’s face it: July and August are hot, and finding the right wines to match your food and quench your thirst without giving you heatstroke can be a difficult task. Still, there are plenty of wines out there perfect for long days by the grill — yes, reds, too!

We’ve rounded up seven of our favorite barbecue wines for this summer season. With sparkling, white, rosé, and red, there’s a barbecue bottle out there for every palate.

Raventos i Blanc ‘L’Hereu’ Brut Conca del Riu Anoia 2014

There’s a reason we start all of our evening soirées with bubbly, and it’s not just because it looks fancy AF. The super high acidity in sparkling wine causes our mouths to salivate, prepping our palates for long nights of eating. We love this organic/biodynamic Cava from Raventos the palate is creamy and dense, yet balanced out with a striking acidity and mineral notes. The perfect aperitif sparkler to start your grill sesh. Average Price: $19

La Fleur du Roi Bordeaux Blanc 2015

Who says good Bordeaux has to cost a fortune? This Sauvignon Blanc-dominant blend is rounded out with Sémillon, the classic assemblage for dry Bordeaux Blanc. The wine is full of juicy stone fruit flavors and crisp acidity, promising to keep your thirst quenched all throughout your sun-drenched afternoon. Very easy to drink. Average Price: $11

Forstreiter Grüner Veltliner Schiefer Reserve 2014

Roots run deep at this Austrian estate, with the Forstreiter family crafting wines in the Kremstal region since the late 1800s. Forstreiter ages their Grüner Veltliner for two weeks on the lees post-fermentation, giving the wine a flinty, layered palate of white pepper and earth. Perfect for pairing with grilled vegetables. Average Price: $20

Clos Beylesse Cotes de Provence Rosé 2016

Nothing conveys summer barbecue like a chilled glass of rosé! When it comes to everyone’s favorite pink juice, Provence certainly sits at the top of the throne. This Syrah-dominant blend, rounded out by Grenache and Cinsault, is extremely light on the palate, with a soft yet zesty acidity. Pairs with… well, everything that has to do with being outdoors. Average Price: $26

Ochota Barrels ‘Texture Like the Sun’ Adelaide Hills 2016

Whoever said “red wine should never be served chilled” obviously never popped this bottle in the fridge for 10 minutes. This kitchen-sink blend of both red and white grape varieties is super light and juicy, perfect for red-wine lovers who feel slighted in the summer. Average Price: $28

Karavitakis Winery ‘Little Prince Red’ 2015

This fourth- generation Cretan winery focuses on the island’s terroir-driven indigenous varieties. This medium-bodied dry red is comprised of 65 percent Kotsifali and 35 percent Mandilari, with grapes influenced by Mediterranean climate and cooling sea breezes. The wine is soft and aromatic, with supple flavors of red fruit and earth. Delicious with grilled vegetables and light meat, though it can definitely stand on its own. Average Price: $14

A Portela Mencia 2014

When it comes to barbecue, Spanish reds are king. While many wine drinkers tend to lean toward heavier Tempranillo- and Garnacha-based wines, we love the earthy, light-to- medium-bodied reds from northwestern Galicia. Mencia, an indigenous grape to the region, is highly aromatic and earthy, pairing well with an array of smoky barbecued meats and charred vegetables. Average Price: $15


5 Great Wines Made For Men

When you think of wines you typically think of ladies sipping rosé while wearing their “Everyday Rose” shirts. But wines don’t have to be so female-centric. There are plenty of wines for guys. Here are five wines made with men in mind.

Federalist Zinfandel Bourbon Barrel Aged – Bourbon barrels make anything better. You could age Nickleback in bourbon barrels and after six months “Rockstar” would be a ear-pleasing diddy. So when you take the already delightful Federalist wine and age it in bourbon barrels you only get more gooder Federalist wine.

The Federalist ages their Zinfandel and their Red Blend (76% Merlot). These luscious vinos are aged six months in charred bourbon barrels for an exquisite smoky and sweet flavor. Besides the expected black fruit tastes, you also get strong hints of caramel and vanilla. You also get a hefty 15.50% ABV. Thank you bourbon wine!

Adobe Road Redline – This premiere Napa Valley wine is influenced by automobile racing. The bottle features a red-lining tachometer sure to get your pulse racing. This makes sense since a professional race car driver and team owner, Kevin Buckler also makes this wine. And a fantastic wine for that matter. Kevin was part of The Racers Group (TRG) before he started making exceptional wine in the heart of Sonoma County, California in 2002.

This 2016 Redline Red Wine explodes with dark cherries, blackberries, velvety dark chocolate, mocha, vanilla, and toasty anise. This is a potent wine with 14.8% ABV.

Ravage Cabernet Sauvignon – Using locally sourced ingredients, Ravage created this complex Cabernet Sauvignon that boasts dark, rich flavors. Delve deep into notes of dark berries, sumptuous mocha, and velvety vanilla. Hugh Mangum, co-founder of Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque, helped pair this uniquely delectable wine with mouthwatering summer grilling recipes.

Lasorda Family Wines – Nothing is as Americana as baseball, and few have been such legends in America’s pastime as Tommy Lasorda. Now the Lasorda Family Wines present their own wines inspired by the illustrious MLB Hall of Fame manager. Lasorda, son of Italian immigrants, loves wine and has created his own brand of vino. His brand offers a Chardonnay with hints of Asian pear, lemon, peach blossom, and vanilla.

The longtime Los Angeles Dodgers manager also offers a Cabernet Sauvignon with delectable deeper notes of black currant, dark chocolate, and raspberry.

Scott Kelley Oregon Tempranillo 2016 – Tempranillo wines originally came from Spain, but this fantastically full-bodied wine comes to us from the Umpqua Valley of Oregon, an area that the Native Americans dubbed as the “land of hundred valleys.”

You’ll encounter silky smooth flavors from this wine aged in French oak barrels brought to us by Scott Kelley that features flavors of fruit, cocoa, and spice.

You’ll notice that the bottle has a fly fisherman on the label, which honors Scott’s dad who took him fly fishing on the Salmon River in Oregon as a kid, but sadly passed away last May.


Wine to Get the Party Started

Having a party next week and don't know which wine to buy? Or how much? Follow these wine tips to make your party tops.

Related To:

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Quantities: Allow for one bottle per guest, unless the majority of people will not be drinking or if other types of alcohol will be available. Letting the wine supply run dry is the worst sin a host can commit, so it's better to err on the side of having plenty on hand. You can always enjoy any extra bottles in the weeks after the party or use them as an excuse to host another shindig.

Shaggy Dogs: Unless your party is for hipster sommeliers, opt for “shaggy dogs” — that is, immediately likable crowd-pleasers. This is not the time to teach your friends to like the wine equivalent of anchovy terrine instead, choose an approachable, comforting type, like a vinous version of the Neelys’ lasagna. Here are three great shaggy dog wines:

Prosecco: It's bubbly, fruity and festive. This Italian favorite will welcome your guests to the party better than a bearded collie’s wagging tail.

Albariño: This zingy Spanish white quenches thirst while pleasing those who like their wine flavorful but not sweetly oaky.

Malbec: This beloved pour from Argentina nails the bull’s-eye of palate pleasure with ripe, plummy flavor and typically soft, velvety texture.

Mark Oldman is a wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers


3 Sizzling Wine Types for Barbecue

The aromatherapy of summer is the sweet perfume of a fired-up grill, accompanied by wine that complements whatever happens to be sizzling and smoking above the coals.

Related To:

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Food on picnic table with red wine

If burgers or steaks are your 'cue of choice, you'll never go wrong with a rich fruit-forward red, preferably one with hints of smoke to match the food's flavor and with a tinge of oaky sweetness to flatter the meat's marinade. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and simple versions of Cabernet Sauvignon get the job done with aplomb, often with a slightly dry sensation that pairs so well with the protein and fats of red meat. If the weather is as sweltering as your grill, don't hesitate to make these reds more refreshing by giving them 10 or so minutes of refrigerator time.

When the fare is lighter — chicken, hot dogs, pork loin, vegetables and the like — a dry rosé is as comfortable around a grill as a grinning George Foreman. Not only is pink wine chillable and medium-weight, but the wine-inclined are increasingly discovering that a good rosé need not be the vinous equivalent of a pink flamingo (i.e., sweet and goofy). Tavel or Bandol from France, rosato from Italy and rosé from the United States are just a few of styles worth your while.

A third option, one vastly underutilized by the thirsty griller, is Champagne or sparkling wine. While most people unfortunately save it for birthdays and ball drops, a sparkler's abundant acidity, cleansing bubbles and inherent festivity add lift to almost anything you'd grill on a hibachi. Prosecco from Italy, cava from Spain, American sparkling wine and simple renditions of Champagne are only a cork pop away from offering you barbecue bliss.

Mark Oldman is a wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the series The Winemakers. He shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical.


Last week, we invited Chef Eric Upper to share his tips on great grilling wines and Cabernet-friendly recipes for summer entertaining. Chef Upper was the co-host for our July Hosted at Home Virtual Wine Tasting Experience, and if you've not yet heard of our new monthly subscription service, Hosted at Home, you can find out more here. A Chef Upper was a virtual wine tasting pro, and he developed some fantastic Cabernet grilling recipes to pair with the two Napa Valley wines in Hosted at Home's July wine shipment: Nickel & Nickel Air Show Vineyard Cabernet and Nickel & Nickel Hayne Vineyard Cabernet.

We are excited to share the recipes and the inspiration behind them with you now!

When we told Chef Upper we were spotlighting two phenomenal single-vineyard Cabernets this month, he was quick to suggest that a mouthwatering filet mignon and a flavor-packed vegetarian fusilli dish might showcase how versatile Napa Valley Cabernet pairings can be!

Chef Upper's Fusilli Estate was inspired by his weekly forays at the San Francisco farmers market and his personal relationships with many of the area farms. Estate means summer in Italian, and this dish is very much about vegetables that are at the height of season right now, Upper says.

As for the filet mignon, included both searing and grilling directions for these filet mignons, along with a classic hollandaise. A tender lean cut of beef paired with a luscious sauce is just such a great combination."

About the Wine Pairings:Â Winemaker Joe Harden's not shy about calling Nickel & Nickel Hayne Vineyard Cabernet one of his favorite Napa Valley wines of the 2017 vintage, praising it for having delicious layers of dark, bright fruit while possessing the structure and concentration we expect from St. Helena Cabernet. Harden describes Nickel & Nickel's Air Show Vineyard Cabernet as having an explosion of really pretty, fresh fruit flavors and super fine-grained tannins that make it an approachable and versatile wine to pair with food.

Both Napa Valley Cabernets paired deliciously with Chef Upper's recipes and definitely earned top spots on his list of great grilling wines for summer.

Want more mouthwatering grilling and barbecue wines? Check out our full single-vineyard Cabernet lineup here. Then explore our recipe archives for steak and Cabernet menus, burger and wine inspiration, soups, salads and more!


Grilled Snacks and Side Dishes

Grilled Brazilian Cheese Skewers (Espetinhos de Queijo de Coalho)

It's not hard to see why these grilled cheese skewers are such a popular snack in Brazil—how do you argue with molten cheese on a stick? Plus, they're so easy, they practically make themselves. The cheese of choice, queijo de coalho (available online if you're not lucky enough to have a Brazilian market nearby), typically comes pre-skewered, so all you have to do is grill the skewers until the cheese is deeply golden brown on the outside and warmed through.

Charcoal Chimney–Grilled Broccolini With XO Sauce

This recipe showcases our preferred way to grill crisp green vegetables so that they actually stay crisp even as they char. By placing the vegetables on a small wire rack directly over a chimney starter full of hot coals, you ensure they get hit hard with the intense heat they need to cook through quickly without turning limp. Stalks of broccolini, cooked until just tender and dressed in umami-rich XO sauce, are a perfect illustration of the process.

Charcoal Chimney–Grilled Sugar Snap Peas With Buttermilk-Dill Dressing

Save the snap in your sugar snaps by grilling them with the same hot-and-fast chimney-starter method used for the broccolini above. Once they're well blistered, we pair these sweet snap peas with a creamy buttermilk-dill dressing for a nicely dippable backyard snack.

Charcoal Chimney–Grilled Asparagus With Green Goddess Dressing

It's really easy to burn asparagus on the grill, or overcook it until the stalks are floppy and flaccid. Using the chimney-starter method lightly chars the asparagus and helps the spears retain a slight bite. An herb-filled Green Goddess Dressing makes an excellent dipping partner.

Grilled Cabbage With Spicy Thai Dressing

Cabbage may seem like an underwhelming choice for a vegetable side, but when prepared on the grill, it develops a nutty, sweet flavor and tons of crisply charred edges. Cutting the head into wedges, but leaving the root end intact, allows you to grill it without it falling apart. This version pairs the cabbage with a punchy Thai dressing of hot chilies, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and herbs for alternatives, check out our Grilled Cabbage With Blue Cheese Dressing and Grilled Cabbage With Yogurt and Mint.

The Best Basic Grilled Corn

Grilling brings out the best in fresh summer corn: The powerful heat helps concentrate the kernels' sweetness, and, if you use our recommended method of shucking before grilling, adds a pleasant char to the exterior. Basic grilled corn needs very little adornment, but if you want to get adventurous, try adding flavorings, like garlic and ginger soy butter, harissa and mint, or spicy chili mayo.

Elote (Grilled Mexican Street Corn)

Perhaps the best way in the world to serve grilled corn, and certainly our personal favorite, is in the form of elotes, or Mexican street corn. Simply slather your lightly charred corn with a creamy mixture of mayo, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, and Cotija cheese. A squeeze of lime finishes it off, cutting through the richness of the cheese and mayonnaise.

Grilled Spiced Cauliflower

Like cabbage and other brassicas, cauliflower benefits from an intense blast of heat to bring out its sweetness, and a grill is the perfect tool for the job. An earthy spice rub with just a bit of heat gives this cauliflower lots of flavor, while starting over direct heat and finishing over indirect leaves the thick wedges crisp on the outside and tender inside.


The Cellar: Great Wines for Summer Grilling

France&rsquos Bordeaux region is famous for its big and bold, not to mention expensive, red wines. Unbeknownst to many American wine drinkers, many of the region&rsquos chateaus also produces white wine, an often

The $10 Graves de Vayres Blanc from Chateau Fage, lightly chilled, works great as a &lsquowelcome aperitif&rsquo or a sipping wine as dinner is being prepped and the grill is heating up. This wine is primarily Semillion, the same grape that, along with Sauvignon Blanc, makes the delicious dessert wines of Sauternes. This wine is very different however. It&rsquos dry, medium-bodied, soft and friendly with delicious citrus flavors alongside notes of ripe gooseberries and elderflower.

2009 Santa Carolina Reserva Pinot Noir

The wines from Valle Del Maule, part of Chile&rsquos Central Valley, have long been overlooked. Recently, successful experimentations with international grape varietals such as Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir has

The 2009 Reserva is 100% Pinot Noir aged 9 months in oak. It displays delicious dark raspberry and spice aromas on the nose and only faint hints of oak. On the palate this medium-bodied wine comes across a little rough displaying little more than sour cherries on the mid-palate. However, the transition to the finish is spectacular with fine earth, licorice and cocoa powder notes. This wine would pair great with any grilled bird or even a rich fish like a salmon or tuna steak.

2007 Gloria&rsquos &lsquoOld Vine&rsquo, Cailin&rsquos Cuvee

Not only does John sell fine wines, he makes them too. This week&rsquos final wine is his own creation a limited production Zinfandel, Carignan and Petit Sirah blend. The grapes are sourced from Gloria&rsquos &lsquoOld Vines&rsquo winery

100% Californian Zinfandel is sometimes over-the-top rich, ripe and jammy. In blending in the Carignan and Petit Sirah, John has created a structured, meaty, full-bodied blend with smooth tannins interwoven with the delicious of blackberries and spice. While I know it pairs wonderfully with spicy chorizo, I am sure it can handle any kind of heavy meat off the grill.

Steffen Rasch CSW is ready to answer any wine-related questions, comments or concerns you may have. Feel free to email him at [email protected] . And as always, don&rsquot forget to follow GoLocalProv&rsquos Wine Cellar on Facebook and sign up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.


The Perfect Wine Pairing for Every Classic BBQ Dish

Picking wines that complement all of the tangy, salty, and sweet flavors of our favorite grilled foods can be a challenge. So many different types of palates to please! But before you throw in the towel and settle for a case of Bud Light and a few bottles of pinot grigio, we’re here to eliminate all of that intimidation. Seriously, you’ll be pairing burgers with Beaujolais like a sommelier just in time for the Fourth.

To get the scoop on the best way to bring your barbecue fare to life with wine, we consulted the experts at Vivino, the world’s largest online wine marketplace. Their vino pros helped us round up these recommendations for the top varietals for every type of grill fare. Whether you’re cooking pulled pork or tofu, we have something here that&aposll sizzle harmoniously.

Burgers are summer grilling staples, so it's only fitting that they pair with the number one summer barbecue wine: Beaujolais. Light, fresh, and fun, Beaujolais is extremely food-friendly. Expect peppy red cherry and strawberry flavors with a touch of earthy undertones.


The Case for Grilling Your Cocktails

Eric Medsker

Grilling fruits and vegetables for cocktails imparts a smoky, summery flavor. Eric Medsker

There are few things more American than grilling. And as it happens, there are few inventions more American (and ingenious) than the cocktail. So it’s only fitting that we, as headstrong and curious citizens of this great country, would think to marry the two. When juiced or muddled into the base of a drink, grilled fruits and vegetables weave in a layer of rich, smoky, summery flavor, not unlike the comforting scent of an early evening campfire.

How does one grill a cocktail, you ask? Situate anything and everything that isn’t booze, right onto the grill: whole citrus halves, sweet pineapple rounds, slices of serrano pepper, grapefruit wedges, and fat slices of stone fruit. And keep these tips in mind while grilling:

  • Make sure your grill is hot, but the coals are lightly layered and not flaming, so ingredients don’t become too charred. If using a gas grill, turn the burners down to low. Check ingredients every 30 seconds or so, until they have distinct grill marks but are not ashy.
  • Use long tongs and a heavy-duty grill glove to pick up and take off ingredients, which are smaller and trickier to handle than meat or fish.
  • Instead of muddling fruit directly into a drink, you can use it to infuse simple syrups for a more subtle flavor.
  • Using a mini-smoke box like this one from Weber, you can smoke herbs, berries, and even a cocktail glass by setting the woodchip-filled box atop your grill and letting your ingredients hang out while you flip burgers.

Grilled Pineapple Margarita

Grilled Pineapple Margarita

Seared Apricot Ginger Cooler

Unlike other stone fruit, apricots stay quite resilient when ripe and stand up to a quick sear on the grill with aplomb. Once the flesh warms through and its juices bake a bit, the apricot takes on deeper flavors that pair nicely with a spicy bourbon or rye and an equally spicy ginger beer. Swap out apricots for peaches or nectarines as the summer gets on toward the dog days. Get the recipe for Seared Apricot Ginger Cooler »

Smoked Lemon-Lime-Ade

This lemonade is rendered smoky-sweet with the juice of grilled lemons and limes and toasted simple syrup, which has a mild caramel flavor that does a lot to complement the grilled fruit. Get the recipe for Smoked Lemon-Lime-Ade »

Charred Chile Daiguiri

Charred Chile Daiquiri

Smoky Grapefruit Gin and Tonic

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Great Wines When You’re Grilling Part I: Hamburgers

The summer cookout is a staple of the season (something almost as American as apple pie) and more often than not, the good, old-fashion hamburger takes center stage. Now, nothing elevates a hearty meal like the right bottle of wine, and there are a lot of great small-production wineries making top-notch stuff. So we figure, why not enhance the tradition of the American cookout with some boutique, uniquely American wines? The next time you’re ready to order wine online, here are some great options for you to add to your basket:

Howell Mt. Vineyards 2012 “Old Vine” Zinfandel

Region: Howell Mt, Napa Valley

Aromas of blackberries, cherries, and plums mingle with hints of white pepper, vanilla, and cola on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of bramble fruit, cherry, and plum that flow into traces of spice, earth, and toasty vanilla. A plush red with lively highlights, enjoy a bottle with a cheddar burger. 250 cases produced.

A bouquet of strawberry, cranberry, floral spice, and creamy oak greets the senses. The palate offers flavors of bramble fruits, cranberries, and strawberries alongside whispers of pepper and vanilla. Smooth and bright, open a bottle at your next cookout. 295 cases were made.

Vina Robles 2012 “Red 4” Blend

Grape(s): 50% Petite Sirah, 20% Syrah, 20% Grenache, & 10% Mourvedre

Raspberries, plums, and cranberries meld with traces of pepper and bacon on the nose. Flavors of cherry, raspberry, and cranberry come together with highlights of spice, herbs, and minerals on the palate. It’s an inviting Rhone-Style blend that’s ideal for your next get together. 15,799 cases produced.

Fragrances of raspberries, strawberries, spice, and vanilla rise up from a glass. The palate delivers flavors of blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry that flow into hints of cedar and sweet spice. Lush fruit and elegant tannins, make it a wine that will please a crowd. 1,488 cases were made.

Midnight Cellars 2012 “Full Moon” Red

Grape(s): 50% Zinfandel, 40% Syrah & 10% Merlot

The nose offers aromas of cherries, plums, and raspberries along with a hint of pepper. With a sip, flavors of raspberry, boysenberry, and plum blend among suggestions of white pepper and minerals. Ample fruit and a highlight of spice dear this wine to any cheeseburger you want. 3,100 cases produced.

Aromatics of raspberries, cherries, and blackberries meld with notes of clove, all-spice, and white pepper on the nose. Flavors of cherry, blackberry, and plum emerge on the palate, along with highlights of sweet spice and pepper. A lighter red with lively flavors, it’s very nice to sip alone but a bottle could also be enjoyed with a juicy hamburger. 150 cases were made.

Rail-2-Rail 2013 OldVine Zinfandel

Grape(s): 95% Zinfandel & 5% Tannat

A bouquet of strawberries, raspberries, plums, and spice rises up from a glass. The palate offers flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry that flow into hints of white pepper and herbs. Soft and smooth with plush tannins, fans of easy-going reds ought to try this bottle.

Comanche Cellars 2012 Merlot

Aromas of black cherries, blackberries, and plums blend with notes of dark chocolate and sweet spice on the nose. With a sip, flavors of bramble fruit, cherry, and plum unfurl into highlights of smoky oak, baking spice, and chocolate. Dark and mouth-filling with solid tannins, it will hold up well to even a hearty cheeseburger. Just 50 cases produced.