by Lorri | Nov 9, 2016 | UnCorked
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.
- 2014 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere, Chile (about $11 retail)
- 2014 Volver Single Vineyard Tempranillo, Spain (about $20 retail)
For burgers, consider zinfandel, malbec, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon or a dry rose.
- 2013 Montes Twins Red Blend Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile (about $14 retail)
- 2014 Crios Malbec, Argentina (about $18 retail)
Chicken pairs well with sparkling wine, pinot noir, chardonnay, carmenere and dry rose.
- NV Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut, Columbia Valley (about $13 retail)
- 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.
- 2014 Clos du Bois Pinot Noir, California (about $12 retail)
- 2014 Sean Minor Pinot Noir, California (about $20 retail)
Zinfandel, malbec, cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir are good options for pairing with sausage.
- 2014 Kaiken Malbec, California (about $14 retail)
- 2014 Cline Cellars Zinfandel, California (about $18 retail)
by Lorri | Jun 26, 2013 | Tips, UnCorked
One of my favorite things about summer is the ability to regularly fire up the grill. We like to grill everything from squash to sausage, which we then top with everything from a simple drizzle of olive oil to a rich slather of barbecue sauce. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is when family and friends arrive it seems they have the urge to gravitate to the cooler filled with beer. I hope these easy tips and recommendations will make your next cookout a wine-friendly affair and help you persuade your guests to close the cooler.
Steak and cabernet sauvignon are an ideal match up. Most cuts of steak cry out for a full-bodied, tannic red wine. If you sauce your steak, consider choosing a sauce without a lot of sugar to keep the ideal combination of salty, fat and high-tannin wine flavors.
- 2011 Bridlewood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, California (about $15 retail)
- 2010 BR Cohn Silver Label Cabernet Sauvignon, California (about $24 retail)
Salmon and a buttery, oaked chardonnay are wine-pairing perfection. Chardonnays, particularly those from California, can overwhelm many dishes with their oaky, fruity, full-bodied style, but the richness of salmon complements these flavors.
- 2011 BV Coastal Chardonnay, California (about $11 retail)
- 2011 Argyle Chardonnay, Oregon (about $23 retail)
Burgers and merlot may seem like an odd pairing,but the two work wonderfully together. Merlots tend to share supple, velvety tannins and round black cherry and plum flavors that enhance the smoky earthiness of a grilled burger.
- 2011 Bogle Vineyards Merlot, California (about $11 retail)
- 2010 Bell Wine Cellars Yountville Merlot, California (about $40 retail)
When it comes to chicken, many red wines will overpower the delicate flavor, but sometimes a red is exactly what you want. Chicken with heavy sauce or cheese requires a full-bodied wine with intensity, making zinfandel an ideal choice. Most zinfandels have ripe luscious, fruity, spice and vanilla aromas, making the match work. If you are grilling a chicken dish lightly seasoned with a little olive oil and herbs, chardonnay is a sound choice.
- 2011 Cline Cellars California Zinfandel, California (about $12 retail)
- 2010 Earthquake Zinfandel, California (about $30 retail)
by Lorri | Jun 2, 2010 | UnCorked
For many of us the best thing about summer is cooking on the grill. It takes us out of the kitchen and onto the deck, creating a casual atmosphere. Our selection of wines also goes casual, complementing the flavors of the grill.
Matching wines to grilled food is relatively simple. There is usually a protein with a rub, sauce, spice or marinade as the main seasoning. To compete with the smoky, bold flavor of the grill most of these seasonings are robust. Think about full-bodied wines able to contend with the strong flavors, such as merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, shiraz, carmenere or zinfandel. If your grilled items are light on seasoning or are vegetarian, consider chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio for ideal accompaniments.
Another plus for summer grilling is you won’t need to splurge. Because the wines will likely be competing with smoke from the grill and the scent of much-needed mosquito repellent, less complex wines work best. Check out regions known for bargains like Chile, Argentina, California and Australia.
- 2007 Tamas Double Decker Red, California (about $9 retail)
- 2008 Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile (about $13 retail)
- 2007 Gnarly Head Cellars Zinfandel, California (about $14 retail)
- 2007 Ventisquero Carmenere, Chile (about $13 retail)
- 2008 Lindemans Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia (about $10 retail)
- 2009 Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc, California (about $12 retail)
- 2007 La Playa Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile (about $11 retail)
- 2008 Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz, Australia (about $15 retail)
by Lorri | May 27, 2009 | UnCorked
Gone is the day when the biggest cookout dilemma was whether to serve burgers or brats.
Today, in addition to the charcoal versus gas argument, grilling experts and food writers are busily advising on all of your grilling needs — from basting brushes and smoker boxes to grill size and all of the tasty and unique foods that can be prepared on the grill.
Modern grilling has moved way beyond the basic burger to include such dishes as Chinese-style ribs with guava sauce, lime-marinated mahi-mahi and even pizza.
But no matter if it’s the humble hamburger or an exotic fish dish, one beverage always goes great with grilled food: wine.
- 2006 Jacob’s Creek Shiraz, Australia (about $12 retail)
- 2006 St. Francis “Old Vine” Zinfandel, California (about $27 retail)
- 2006 Cellar No. 8 Cabernet Sauvignon, California (about $12 retail)
- 2008 Cline Cellars Cool Climate Syrah, California (about $20 retail)
- 2007 Greg Norman Estates Pinot Noir, California (about $15 retail)
- 2007 Artesa Carneros Chardonnay, California (about $22 retail)
- 2007 Concannon Pinot Noir, California (about $13, retail)
- 2007 Turkey Flat Vineyards Rose, Australia (about $18, retail)
- 2006 Cline Cellars Zinfandel, California (about $12 retail)
- 2006 Gordon Brothers Syrah, Washington (about $22 retail)
- 2007 Montes Classic Series Chardonnay, Chile (about $13 retail)
- 2006 Bennett Family Russian River Chardonnay, California (about $25 retail)