There's no season like grill season

When it comes to summer dining, many automatically think of refreshing white wines and rosés but summer is also synonymous with BBQ season. Bring on the reds.

By exploring different options, red wines can elevate the flavours of BBQ dishes, providing delightful combinations. Whether you’re grilling steak, enjoying barbecue ribs, savouring grilled portobello mushrooms, or indulging in grilled salmon, these suggested red wines will enhance your culinary experience.

Grilled Steak

Nothing says summer like a sizzling steak fresh off the grill. Whether you prefer a juicy ribeye or a tender filet mignon, the robust flavours of grilled steak are enhanced by a well-selected red wine. Here are four red wines that complement this classic summer dish:

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon: Known for its boldness and firm tannins, a Cabernet Sauvignon’s dark fruit flavours and hints of oak perfectly match the richness of a perfectly cooked steak.
  2. Malbec: With its ripe plum and blackberry notes, Malbec provides a smooth and fruit-forward accompaniment to grilled steak, enhancing its smoky flavours.
  3. Syrah/Shiraz: Syrah’s peppery and spicy characteristics, along with its dark fruit flavours, create a delectable pairing that elevates the taste of a juicy steak.
  4. Sangiovese: This Italian varietal, with its vibrant acidity and flavours of cherry and earthiness, beautifully complements the grilled flavours of steak, bringing out its umami elements.

Barbecue Ribs

Summer wouldn’t be complete without some mouthwatering barbecue ribs, slathered in tangy sauce. The smoky, sweet, and savoury flavours of ribs require a red wine that can stand up to their boldness. Consider these red wines to enjoy with barbecue ribs:

  1. Zinfandel a.k.a. Primitivo (in Italy): With its ripe berry flavours, spiciness, and medium to high acidity, Zinfandel cuts through the richness of barbecue sauce, creating a delightful contrast.
  2. Petite Sirah: This full-bodied wine boasts intense black fruit flavours, robust tannins, and a peppery finish, making it an ideal partner for the strong flavours of barbecue ribs.
  3. Grenache: Known for its red fruit flavours and soft tannins, Grenache offers a lighter-bodied red wine option that complements the smokiness of barbecue ribs without overpowering them.
  4. Carmenere: This Chilean varietal is characterised by its deep color, herbal notes, and dark fruit flavours, making it an excellent choice to enhance the smoky, herb-infused taste of barbecue ribs.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

For those seeking a vegetarian option, grilled portobello mushrooms make for a delicious summer treat. These hearty mushrooms have a meaty texture and smoky flavour that pairs wonderfully with certain red wines. Here are four red wine suggestions to accompany grilled portobello mushrooms:

  1. Pinot Noir: With its lighter body, vibrant acidity, and earthy notes, Pinot Noir beautifully complements the grilled mushroom flavours without overpowering them.
  2. Merlot: Offering a smooth and velvety texture, along with ripe red fruit flavours, Merlot provides a gentle pairing that brings out the earthiness of the mushrooms.
  3. Gamay: This light-bodied red wine, known for its red fruit flavours and refreshing acidity, harmonises well with the grilled portobello mushrooms, creating a delightful combination of flavours.
  4. Tempranillo: Hailing from Spain, Tempranillo boasts flavours of cherry, tobacco, and leather, adding complexity to the earthy and smoky flavours of grilled mushrooms.

Grilled Salmon

Grilled salmon is a light and healthy summer option that pairs surprisingly well with certain red wines. Here are four red wine suggestions to enjoy with grilled salmon:

  1. Pinot Noir: The delicate flavours, vibrant acidity, and light to medium body of Pinot Noir create a harmonious pairing with the grilled salmon, enhancing its natural flavours.
  2. Rosé of Pinot Noir: For those who prefer a chilled wine in the summer, a well-chilled Rosé of Pinot Noir offers a refreshing and crisp match with the grilled salmon, providing a delightful contrast.
  3. Grenache: With its red fruit flavours, soft tannins, and medium body, Grenache complements the richness of grilled salmon without overpowering it.
  4. Lambrusco: This sparkling red wine from Italy exhibits fruity flavours, lively bubbles, and refreshing acidity, making it a surprising but delightful choice to enjoy alongside grilled salmon.

Cheers to the joys of summer dining!

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