05/31/06 – Wines for the Grill

By Jesse on May 30, 2006


So we’re going to take a departure from our region based analysis and do a special “wines for the grill” event.  I know, heresy.  I should be burned at the stake for this.  Or… might it be more appropriate to say “burned at the steak?”  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!  Holy shit.  Wow.  I just set a new standard.  You know I did.  Love it.  Embrace it.

Lauren is going to be hosting a backyard barbecue soiree wine event.  Since it’s Memorial Day, the official beginning of barbecue season, we figured it might make sense to try pairing some summer wine with some summer food — specifically, grilled food.  Here’s how we’re gonna do this: everyone please bring a bottle of wine that you think might do well at a barbecue.  In addition, if you’re able, please bring something to grill that you’d like to taste with that bottle.  (If people are coming in pairs, it might make sense for one to bring wine and the other to bring complimentary food.)  Lauren will be supplying some food, certainly, but in order to make this experience more inclusive, it would be great for everyone to contribute something they’re particularly interested in tasting together.

Please don’t feel like you need to bring enough food for everyone to have a whole serving, by any means.  For example, if you’re bringing steak, everyone does NOT need their own 12 oz. steak.  Same goes for fish, chicken, kebabs, or even burgers.  Everyone is going to want to taste a little of everything rather than a lot of one or two things.  It’s about the pairings, after all.  This is still a Young Winos official tasting, got it?  It’s not some crazy backyard BBQ party.  It’s not a forum in which to have fun.  We’re here to learn.

In terms of what bottle to bring, this is a great opportunity for you to share with the whole group a wine that you particularly enjoy.  If you have a favorite wine from a region we’ve already done or from one we haven’t reached yet, please bring it along.  Recently we’ve done Alsace and Germany, both great regions for fruity white wines that might do well with barbecued food.  How about some of those Italian reds?  Everyone saved their weekly notes, right?  Anyway, bring whatever you want, and don’t forget that rose (blush) wines like White Zinfandel are perfectly reasonable barbecue fare, even if they’re not always ideal for drinking on their own.  And there are many other possibilities as well.  If you’re having trouble picking a wine, here are some suggestions, which I gleaned from the Bible as well as a couple websites:

GRILLED STEAK with Sangiovese / Chianti
With its underlying acidity and hint of saltiness, Sangiovese is stunning when set off by the richness and fat of the beef.

Zinfandel’s jammy fruitiness is an easygoing match.

The crisp character and naturally tart, herbal overtones of Sauvignon Blanc are very much at home among these fresh garden flavors.

Try a California or Australian Chardonnay – wines with lots of ripe fruit flavors that marry well with pineapple chutney and provide a luscious counterpoint to the grilled fish.

MARINATED CHICKEN with Beaujolais.
Chicken and Beaujolais are almost always a great match, but the light fruitiness and good acidity of Beaujolais will be especially delightful as a complement to a coriander and lime marinade.

Obviously we cannot forget burgers, and here’s a website that suggests wine to pair with burgers depending on what the toppings are: http://www.fabulousfoods.com/features/wine/burgerwine.html

We’ll be meeting at Lauren’s house east of Downtown.  Here’s the info: (interesting address)

**Also, we only have 8 wine glasses. Could some folks bring their own? Thanks!

The grill will be all fired up by Wednesday at 9:00.  We’ll see you then.