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Red wines are OK for chilling before grilling

Red wines are OK for chilling before grilling

There is just something about the alluring aromas of the grill and of course anything coated in barbecue sauce.

Often these smoky, spicy and sometimes sweet flavors seem to demand a beer pairing. But cabernet sauvignons and rieslings are just as enjoyable as the cold brew for this barbecue matchup.

Beer’s appeal likely has more to do with serving temperature than flavor profile as it is usually served icy cold.

Many think chilling a red wine is taboo. It’s not. There’s nothing wrong with serving red wine chilled. Keep in mind, I am referring to chilling — not dropping ice cubes into your glass. Many red wines are served too warm even in a restaurant setting and even more at the outdoor grill. Just put your red wines in the refrigerator for a quick chill and don’t leave them sitting out in the sun while you await your grilling perfection. Some of the wines ideal for chilling are Beaujolais (gamay), pinot noir and barbera.

THE VALUE

  • 2017 Louis Tete Beaujolais Villages, France (about $13 retail)

THE SPLURGE

  • 2017 Adelsheim Oregon Pinot Noir, Oregon (about $29 retail)

Most of us don’t consider white wines as a match to the flavors of a barbecue sauce but most are ideal partners. Think high acidity and refreshing aromatics. Pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc are almost always safe bets with almost any sauce. If the sauce takes on spicy and sweet flavors, consider rieslings and gewurztraminers.

THE VALUE

  • 2018 Montinore Riesling, Oregon (about $13 retail)

THE SPLURGE

  • 2018 Daniel Chotard Sancerre, France (about $26 retail)

And then there’s the all-purpose go-to, best bet, never let you down summertime grilling treat. If you read this column regularly you can already guess this match will always be a dry rosé. It’s the refreshing, chilled, slight tannic structure of these wines that make these combinations work.

THE VALUE

  • 2017 Acrobat Pinot Noir Rosé, Oregon (about $14 retail)

THE SPLURGE

  • 2017 Commanderie de la Bargemone Provence Rosé, France (about $17 retail)
Grilling anytime mixes food, wine

Grilling anytime mixes food, wine

Whether tailgating, camping or simply enjoying your backyard minus the mosquitoes, Arkansas’ temperate climate means we can enjoy the flavor and fellowship of grilling year round.

I know plenty of people consider grilling a summer-only ritual and close down the grill along with all of the other outdoor amenities as soon as the leaves start to change. But when that slight chill hits the air I find it’s the best time to fire up our grill. Take the warmth of the grill and add a glass of wine … that’s my kind of weather.

Beer is the general go-to for any type of grilling and barbecue. It’s refreshing and acts as a cleanser for the fat and richness on your palate from heavy sauces and the char taste from the grill. But wines can offer the same refreshing effect. Explore these classic fall wines for your next grilling opportunity.

If brisket or ribs are on the menu, reach for a zinfandel, carmenere, syrah or tempranillo.

THE VALUE

  • 2014 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere, Chile (about $11 retail)

THE SPLURGE

  • 2014 Volver Single Vineyard Tempranillo, Spain (about $20 retail)

For burgers, consider zinfandel, malbec, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon or a dry rose.

THE VALUE

  • 2013 Montes Twins Red Blend Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile (about $14 retail)

THE SPLURGE

  • 2014 Crios Malbec, Argentina (about $18 retail)

Chicken pairs well with sparkling wine, pinot noir, chardonnay, carmenere and dry rose.

THE VALUE

  • NV Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut, Columbia Valley (about $13 retail)

THE SPLURGE

  • 2013 La Playa Axel Carmenere, Chile (about $24 retail)

Match vegetables such as sweet potatoes, mushrooms, squash and onions with pinot noir, carignan or cabernet franc.

THE VALUE

  • 2014 Clos du Bois Pinot Noir, California (about $12 retail)

THE SPLURGE

  • 2014 Sean Minor Pinot Noir, California (about $20 retail)

Zinfandel, malbec, cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir are good options for pairing with sausage.

THE VALUE

  • 2014 Kaiken Malbec, California (about $14 retail)

THE SPLURGE

  • 2014 Cline Cellars Zinfandel, California (about $18 retail)