These three easy wine pairings will guide you to a summer of grilling greatness.
The best thing about firing up the grill this summer: There’s always a festive feeling, no matter what you choose to cook over the hot coals. If you truly want your summer outdoor dining to be spectacular, though, keep just a few simple go-to wine pairings in mind. Pairing the perfect wines with beautifully grilled foods isn’t complicated, it’s full-blown festive.
Seafood: Whole-roasted fish, such as striped bass, red snapper or porgy
Wine: A zesty, tropical white such as a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
One of the most hassle-free and tasty things to cook over hot coals is a whole fish. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil, throw on some slices of lemon, and you’re in business.
A zesty, tropical white wine is always a sure thing with fresh fish. The wine’s acidity acts like a squeeze of fresh lemon juice with every bite and sip, drawing out the flavor of the fish and refreshing your palate.
Vegetables: Think zucchini, bell peppers and eggplant
Wine: A bright, crisp rosé, particularly from Provence
Slice up your veggies and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. The extreme heat of the grill will caramelize the outside of the vegetables, making them taste sweeter.
That’s why a crisp rosé is perfect. Its bright acidity will balance out the veggies’ sweetness, and the wine’s fruit flavor will complement—and elevate—the veggies’ flavors.
Red meat: Burgers, steaks, etc.
Wine: A big, bold red, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah or Zinfandel
Whether you like your meat still mooing, well-done or somewhere in-between, it’s essential to let it rest for a few minutes before serving so the juices all spread evenly through the meat.
You need a big, bold red to stand up to all that meaty, juicy richness, but the main benefit of a full-bodied red is its tannins. That mouth-drying sensation from the wine’s tannins primes your palate for the next bite of burger or steak, so the last bite will taste as juicy and delicious as the first.
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