Monday, June 11, 2007

Grills Just Want To Have Fun

Can you smell that? It is summertime and the neighborhood grills are smokin’. Why pour yourself another cold beer when grilled foods go so well with the right wine? To help you choose, consider the flavors in the marinade or sauce used on the food you're grilling.

For citrus-based marinades, pair a crisp, herbal white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or a tangy Australian Verdelo. Raw citrus usually battles with wine’s acidity, but once warmed, it can be very complementary. Try food pairings such as roasted veggies in fresh herbs, grilled fish with dill and lemon or chicken brushed with Italian salad dressing.

Balance the spicy bite of rubs on pork or chicken by opening a fruity white like a Gewürztraminer from Germany or a Vouvray. If you like reds, a soft, low-tannic California Merlot or "grapey" Beaujolais will not fight the spice. You can make your own rub or buy one already prepared. Find a wide variety at

Cabernet Sauvignon is made for steaks. The higher tannins are mellowed by the meat’s fat, producing a palate pleaser. Top your burgers with bold cheeses, like blue or sharp cheddar and it gets even better!

If you are a purist and use a charcoal grill, the smoky flavors it imparts work best with a Shiraz or Syrah. This varietal's big fruit flavor and mellow tannins is a winner with grilled food.

When the working day is done, grill's just want to have fun.