Memorial Day means summer is right around the corner. And a PTO-free three day weekend (well, for people with normal jobs that don’t involve side work and hiding tips from the government) is basically a bonus drinking day over a hibachi. It also apparently is an homage to soldiers that have fallen to protect our civil liberties, but whatever! Lets do shots in Dad’s backyard!
I know the thought of outdoor grilling automatically brings to mind ice cold beers and Fireball, but do me a favor and give wine a try. Several wines offer fantastic pairing opportunities for classic BBQ fare and can still be quite refreshing. And, honestly, you can stand to be a little classier today. You’re already wearing an American flag halter, for Christ’s sake.
Crisp California Sauvignon Blanc like whaaaaat! The sharp acidity and inherent herbacious notes are a perfect complement for veggie shish-ka-bobs and especially dishes featuring tomatoes. Its also a great pair for grilled shrimp if you’re anything like me and can’t go, like, 48 hours without shrimp. There’s pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp , pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew… I prefer versions that aren’t overly oaky, so stay away from anything saying Fume Blanc or Robert Mondavi.
My Current Jam: 2013 Ojai, McGinley Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc
I love a good burger. They’re about as American as Carrie Underwood’s calves. And while I can immediately think of a handful of West Coast IPAs that work wonders with a juicy burgers (Green Flash, Societe The Pupil, Avery), a chilled Beaujolais can be equally refreshing without making you look 5 months pregnant two drinks in. Beaujolais hails from southern Burgundy in France and is 100% Gamay, a red fruit forward grape with silky soft tannins. A versatile people pleaser… just like your mom.
Ribs & Other BBQ
Carolina, Texas, Memphis, Korean: BBQ is what this damn country is about. And for a people that are young, bold, and increasingly fruity, you need a similar wine. My vote is for Zinfandel. Write that down. You won’t see me recommend Zinfandel often because they drive me coconuts. Overblown and boozy, they’re often at best a cocktail replacement and at worst a vehicle for cougars to get enough liquid courage to yell at their husbands in public. But this is actually a great pairing, with its big ripe fruit and spicy notes. You’re welcome, Zinfandel growers of America. I know you’ve anxiously been awaiting my endorsement.
My Current Jam: 2013 Bedrock Zinfandel, Sonoma County, CA
So there you go. Three easy and affordable ways to class up your BBQ. And yes, I know all these wines are 2013. I like my BBQ wines like I like my unpaid parking tickets: around 2 years old.
*In all honesty- Memorial Day is a remembrance of the many, MANY Americans who valiantly died fighting for our country. Take a moment to honor them. Personally, I think there should be a law requiring people to watch Band of Brothers in in entirety before being allowed into any rooftop pool parties today. #donniewahlberg