Ready, set, grill: The perfect wines for your summer barbecue

Ready, set, grill: The perfect wines for your summer barbecue

You'll want a wine that is assertive and can stand up to grilled meats.

Courtesy of Rupal Shankar
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As Americans, there is nothing we love more than a barbecue. Summer is the perfect season to enjoy your meals al fresco with friends and family. To make your cookout extra spectacular you’ll need delicious food and memorable wines.

Typically for grilled meats, I reach for red wines. There are general rules for pairing wine with grilled meats: You want a wine that is assertive and that can stand up to the meats. That means a wine with firm tannins, rich fruits and a complex structure. Ideally, you want the fat in the meats to balance out the tannins of the wine.

For your next big barbecue, look for a wine that might surprise your guests. Rather than serving a typical California Cabernet Sauvignon or an Argentinian Malbec, look to the old world. Wines from France, Italy and Spain can be the perfect accompaniment for your steaks, kebobs, burgers, lamb chops or spicy sausages. These three wines are versatile and match a variety of meats. They are sure to be a hit for your next grill session.

Bodegas LAN Rioja Reserva 2012

The Bodegas LAN Rioja Reserva is the ideal pairing for a juicy grilled steak.  The tannins in the wine work well to cut the fat of a big ribeye or marbled New York strip.  The LAN Rioja has a bright red hue with intense and complex aromas.  Velvety on the attack, it is smooth and delicate on the finish. It is elegant, balanced and harmonious on the palate. Bodegas LAN Rioja Reserva has an incredibly long finish that leaves you wanting for more.

Pasqua PassioneSentimento Veneto Rosso 2016

The PassioneSentimento is an Amarone style wine.  Aside from being a fabulous wine, it is also a great conversation starter with its super cool label.  Verona is best known as home of Romeo and Juliet.  In Verona you find the famous home of Juliet on Cappello Street. Every day thousands of tourist visit Juliet’s house and leave love letters.  The famous love story of Romeo and Juliet is the inspiration for Pasqua’s PassioneSentimento line of wines.  The romantic wine labels are adorned with love letters similar to those found on the walls of Juliet’s home.

There are wonderful notes of red fruit with spicy overtones on the PassioneSentimento. The Rosso is balanced, round, plush and caressing on the palate.  The wine is a baby Amarone that will pair perfectly with a thick juicy burger or spicy sausages.

Ferraton Père & Fils Saint-Joseph La Source 2015  

This is a textbook Syrah that is juicy, spicy and savory.  “La Source” is a cool climate Syrah that shows a combination of bright blackcurrants, violets, smokiness and firm tannins.  The backbone of the wine is its minerality and the “La Source” ends with a long and spicy finish.  This is a lip smacking Syrah that is the perfect accompaniment to grilled lamb chops.

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