Now that it seems finally safe to haul out the grill and charcoal and fire up some barbecue, it's also time to start thinking about what wash down all those desiccated hunks of burnt and blackened animal protein with.
There's beer, of course: the breakfast of champions. But there are also plenty of cheap wines that don't suck and play really, really well with almost anything you cook, undercook or turn into meat-flavored cinders on your backyard grill.
One of the best of those wines wears French pants but American undies, which is to say it's produced in France from French grapes but for the hulking American wine conglomerate, Gallo. It's the 2008 Red Bicyclette Rosé, a charming and quite agreeable blend of Grenache and Syrah that can be found at most giantmegasupermarkets for an easy-to-like $10.
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Don't expect any great depth or layers of flavor but you do get lots of light, refreshing strawberry and raspberry fruit with just enough underlying citrus acidity to keep it honest. Serve it chilled, put ice cubes in it, make it into sangria. . . they're all good. And it goes well with take-out too, just in case you're not up for a meal of meat-flavored cinders.