June 1, 2015

A Summer Guide to BBQ and Wine Pairing


Summertime is here and your social calendar is already brimming with invitations for casual outdoor gatherings filled with family, friends, baseball, and, of course, BBQ! Whether hosting or attending, beverage selection is a key component to any successful party and although ice-cold pilsners and crisp glasses of rosé are certainly favorites, don’t to limit yourself to the obvious choices! There are as many wines for pairing as there are meats, fish and vegetables for grilling, so, get creative and make this summer’s celebrations the most memorable yet!



Although originally from France, today, Carmenére is grown most commonly in Chile where it has become their signature grape.  A strong backbone and bold flavor allow it to stand up to red meats like steak and brisket while a generous dose of pepper and spices make it the perfect match for barbequed ribs.  Try Santa Rita Medalla Real Carmenére and MontGras Carmenére Reserva.

Pinot Noir

From the luscious fruit flavors found in new world examples to the attractive earthy notes that characterize many French bottlings, Pinot Noir is always a delight and its medium to light body make it an ideal red to sip during warmer months.  Serve slightly chilled and pair with juicy burgers, grilled portabella mushroom caps and barbequed chicken. Try Arrogant Frog Pinot Noir, Peter Yealands Pinot Noir and Au Contraire Pinot Noir

Red Blends

Though sometimes more difficult to categorize than single variety wines, Red Blends let you have it all! Crafted specifically for great balance, Red Blends are rarely overpowering and can pair very nicely with a variety of foods like grilled eggplant, burgers and even grilled tuna steak!  Try Cavit Select Red BlendSanta Rita Secret Reserve and Alta Luna Phases.



Sauvignon Blanc

Bright and packed with citrus, herbal and mineral flavors, Sauvignon Blanc is a seafood lover’s best friend.  Pair it with grilled shrimp, calamari and delicate white fish.  It’s also a great companion to grilled vegetables like asparagus. Try:  Remy Pannier SancerreAlta Luna Sauvignon Blanc and Heritance Sauvignon Blanc.


Impressive aromatics characterize this incredibly food friendly variety.  Riesling comes in styles from bone dry to lusciously sweet and everything in between, but the classic, German version is a perfect balance of lively acidity with a touch of sweetness. Delicious served with spicy sausages, pulled pork sandwiches and even grilled pineapple!  Try S.A. Prüm Blue Riesling and Blue Fish Sweet Riesling.


A native Argentinian variety, Torrontes is a must try at your next cook-out! Its attractive floral aromas suggest a sweet wine; however, on the palate it reveals refreshing acidity, tropical fruit flavors and occasional touches of honey and herbs.  Perfect with spicy fare like Cajun barbequed shrimp and chicken wings! Try Killka Torrontes and Callia Alta Torrontes.

If you’re interested in purchasing the wines suggested above, visit or to find a retailer near you