So what wine do you pair with kind of food? The classic pairing for grilled sausage is sweetish white wine like riesling or gew rztraminer. And the heartiest red meats, like grilled rib eye or smoked brisket, can take a hearty red wine.
But sometimes, how you ?re cooking the food makes a difference. Grilled chicken marinated in olive oil, garlic and rosemary pairs with sauvignon blanc. But smoke that same piece of chicken with a dry rub, and it changes character entirely. Then, you ?ll want a light red wine like a tempranillo or a beaujolais. And rose, of course, will go with almost everything except that grilled rib eye. The bright fruit complements barbecue ?s smokiness quite nicely, in fact.
These wines are a good place to start. But don’t be afraid to open a couple of different bottles (including a riesling) and let Dad decide what he likes best.
? Georges Duboeuf Beaujolois Villages 2006 ($10). I was surprised at just how good this was ? not candied at all, as beaujolais sometimes is, but honest red fruit and more acid than usual. Also, it ?s lower in alcohol than most red wines, another plus for the summer. Drink this slightly chilled with grilled vegetables and smoked or roast chicken.
? J. Bookwalter Subplot No. 22 NV ($20). A red blend from Washington state that offers quality and value. Don’t be scare off because it’s non-vintage; it’s actually one of the wine’s selling points, allowing winemaker John Bookwalter to mix and match grapes and vintages in the best possible combination. Serve it with burgers, ribs or grilled portobello mushrooms.
? Basel Cellars Merlot 2005 ($28). This is a big-deal beef wine from Washington state, and one of the Wine Curmudgeon’s favorite merlots (which is saying something, since I don’t much like New World merlot), It not as heavy as some cabernets, but still stands up to grilled meat quite nicely.