Picture it now. It's a hot and humid. The sun is shining in the clear blue sky. The sounds of gently lapping waves roll in. The lingering aroma of lighter fluid, the forenote, atop the scent of burning charcoal. The grill is warming up. The barbecue is about to begin.
With Memorial Day this weekend, the summer heat is not far away. It's that time of year when you can do little outside but head to the beach, light up the grill, and throw back a few cold ones. This usually means some watered-down form of mass-produced beer. However, this need not be the case. Fernando Miles Jewett of Crown Wine and Spirits
walks us through a few, dare we say,
more sophisticated options.
Are you grilling up some traditional barbecue favorites? Ribs maybe? A nice thick steak? If so, Fernando suggests red Zinfandel. "Zins are fantastic with big meats. They have a nice pop that stands up to the charbroiled flavors of a grill," he says. One of his favorites is Buena Vista. Priced at $16.95, it's from one of the oldest continually run wineries in the country. They were able to continue producing wines through Prohibition by selling to churches. Saldo, which sells for $26.99, is another recommendation.
If you're going for a lighter grilled offering, Fernando suggests a nice rosé. According to him, "They're great with grilled fish and chicken as long as neither is served with a heavy sauce. Rosé also works really well with the vinegars in salads, which can be very difficult to pair." His most popular rosé at the moment is Whispering Angel from Provence. It sells for $19.95. A second great but less-expensive option is Farigoul ($10.95), yet again, a Provençal rosé.
Another daytime favorite for Fernando is anything with Sauvignon blanc. While he admits that loves drinking the New Zealand Sauvs, he says, "They can be kind of hard to pair." For a barbecue, he suggests a Sancerre: a French region that uses Sauvignon Blanc varietal. These wines are crisp and pair well with salad. A goat-cheese salad would match incredibly well. Fernando also suggests Honig ($15.99), a California Sauv Blanc that is known for its environmentally friendly method of production.
That being said, it's time to crack open a bottle.