While many of you barely put your grill on winter hiatus, Memorial Day weekend marks the official start to barbecuing season.
The key to pairing wines with summer barbecues is pretty simple: Find something delicious and inexpensive. If you have a couple of families coming over, open three or four bottles of various wines and let your guests choose what they want to drink. We tend to like rich Cabs, red blends, Zins and Syrahs with grilled foods, but Sangioveses, Merlots, Tempranillos and Grenaches also work really well.
Tend to go with something inexpensive because the focus is rarely on the wine. Instead, backyard barbecues are a time to enjoy the company of friends and to eat some great food. This usually is not the perfect opportunity to trot out a favorite $50 or $100 Cab or Pinot Noir. Save that for fall or winter when you can focus a great meal around the wine – rather than the smorgasbord of flavors likely to be on your barbecue table.
Also be aware that with summer heat, red wines can start to lose their aromas if they get too warm. It might sound sacrilegious, but cooling down the reds a bit more than you normally would will be delicious and refreshing.
Following are 10 wines we’ve tasted recently that are $15 or under and should be delicious with your next outdoor grilling session.