Every day the temperature reaches at least 50 degrees, I see people grilling out. And that makes me think about the delicious wines I will enjoy with grilled foods this spring and summer. Let’s face it, I am not good at grilling. But I get invited to BBQs and cook-outs because I bring delicious wines!
Thankfully, the days of simply throwing store bought hamburgers on the grill are over. Now we grill everything from meat in fancy marinades to seafood, vegetables, and even pizza and fruit. Similarly, the days of drinking beer with grilled food are over. Because why would we restrict ourselves like that? Life would be truly sad if we simply reached for the same old beer to celebrate the grilling season in Chicago.
So, here are some wines I love to bring to grilling parties and barbeques.
First of all, grilling makes us think of warm weather and being outside. And what is better to celebrate warm weather than tasty rosé? Whether you prefer the crisp, dry and aromatic, light-bodied and light-colored rosés from Provence or instead reach for the fuller bodied rosés from Pinot Noir, Merlot and even Cabernet, rosé is the perfect partner for any party. And because it pairs so well with spicy foods, soothing the palate with those delectable fruit flavors, rosé is a welcome guest at any cook-out.
You want something more festive? How about bubbly: Prosecco to start the party and warm up the guests and fuller bodied Cava or Crémant to pair with food. Vegetables grilled with extra virgin olive oil, fish, chicken? Not a problem, bubbly can handle it all. And if you go into more robust foods, choose a pink bubbly: it has more structure and body and goes really well with BBQ.
There are still those who insist on drinking red wine. Not a problem. I am sure you know already that Zinfandel goes well with BBQ. Yes, that’s true, but don’t do what everyone else does. Reach out for Pinot Noir, perfect for grilled portabello mushrooms and chicken, even pork. Or go for a bigger, bolder Malbec, delightfully fruity and yet zesty.
In a world where there are dozens of new wines on store shelves every day, it would be a shame to limit yourself to drinking only beer with grilled foods or BBQ.
So, if you want to be like me, a welcome guest any grilling party, come to my class on wines for BBQ and learn more tricks.
Thursday, May 21
The Chopping Block Lincoln Square
You will have a fun summer, I promise!