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Food & Drink

5 wines for summertime grilling

Dave DeSimone
| Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 12:33 p.m.
There is a fresh and fruity wine to make every juicy grilled food taste better.
There is a fresh and fruity wine to make every juicy grilled food taste better.

Just about everybody loves grilling foods of all sorts throughout the summer. Slow, patient grilling delivers delicious, juicy fish, poultry and meats with irresistible smokiness and light charred texture. Pairing the dishes with fresh and fruity wines completes the pleasure.

The key comes in picking wines that pair effortlessly with the food to make it taste better. Rather than standing out on their own, the wines should have just enough flavor and concentration to avoid overwhelming the grilled foods. Have fun grilling with family and friends while trying the following tasty pairings:

• The delicious 2017 Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières “Gris de Gris” Rosé, France (Luxury 74883; $15.99) pairs perfectly with corn on the cob served with the classic Mediterranean dish of grilled jumbo shrimp marinated with olive oil, minced garlic, paprika and salt and pepper. This lovely rosé wine also comes from Mediterranean vineyards, in this case in southern France. The rocky, sandy soils and sunny climate ripens the grenache gris, grenache noir, carignan, cinsault and mourvèdre grapes to perfection. The wine’s dusky salmon color unfolds irresistible red fruit, citrus and lavender aromas. Fresh red fruit and citrus flavors with refreshing acidity and mouthwatering mineral notes lead to a fruity, yet dry finish. Highly Recommended.

• The juicy, gulpable 2017 Marcel Lapierre, “Raisins Gaulois” Vin de France, France (Luxury 74767; $16.99) reliably pairs with all types of grilled weiners, hotdogs, sausages and kielbasa. The wine’s bright raspberry and blueberry flavors balance with a hint of earthiness and terrific freshness. Winegrowers Mathieu and Camille Lapierre ferment whole clusters of organically grown Gamay grapes with native yeasts to capture pure fruitiness. The screw cap closure makes opening the bottle a snap. Highly Recommended.

• The easy drinking Marietta Cellars, “Old Vine Red” Lot No. 66, California (Luxury 73499; $13.99) offers the perfect choice with grilled cheeseburgers. This red wine embodies traditional, beautifully balanced California “field blends.” It mixes Zinfandel with healthy dollops of Petite Sirah and other red grapes in a juicy, fresh style that invites one sip after another. Elegant, silky tannins add just enough body to balance juicy, meaty burgers. Highly Recommended.

• Try the 2013 Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva, Spain (9327; On sale: $10.99) with grilled lamb chops, a delicacy in northern Spain where this wine is produced. Campo Viejo Winery captures the essence of Rioja’s marvelous terroir even while producing millions of bottles annually in a modern hillside facility. This blend of tempranillo, garnacha and mazuelo grapes — Rioja’s traditional red grapes — offers a marvelous balance of ripeness and freshness. After fermentation in stainless steel, the wine ages for 18 months in a combination of American and French-oak barrels of varying ages. The barrels impart classic spiciness, an element that complements the lamb chops’ smokiness. Highly Recommended.

• Grilled steaks pair nicely with the 2015 Clos La Coutale, Cahors, France (Luxury 74268; $16.99). This red has just enough concentrated, uplifting dark fruit and smoky, earthy notes to complement juicy, flavorful steaks. The wine’s lively acidity and rich, silky tannins add refreshing balance. The trick comes in the blend of grapes. Winemaker Philippe Bernède uses fully ripened, dark Malbec grapes augmented with Merlot grapes. The Malbec delivers concentration, freshness and firm structure. The Merlot adds fleshy fruitiness and softness. Recommended.

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