With summertime in full swing, our mouths water as we think about pairing seasonal foods with a variety of summery wines. We know that most people think of beer when they consider barbecues or other summertime cookouts, but we argue that wine adds more depth and flavor to grilled foods. Here are some of our favorite food and wine pairings:
Food: Hamburgers, the American classic. Any grill master who is worth their title knows how to barbecue a great burger. Add a little cheddar cheese, some mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion and you have an American classic.
Wine: You can actually pair both red and white with this American classic. On the white side, a buttery Chardonnay or bubbly Champagne may be the perfect pairing. When it comes to red, we love a straightforward Cabernet Sauvignon, a peppery Zinfandel, or an earthy Pinot Noir like the Jordan.
Food: Grilled zucchini. We think fresh summer veggies brushed with olive oil and seasoned with a little bit of salt and pepper and then cooked directly on the grill taste amazing.
Wine: Lemon-bright wines like our Aspen Pinot Gris and 2014 Pinot Blanc bring out the smoky, grilled flavor. Smoky reds like Spanish Tempranillo will intensify your culinary experience. Other delicious options include Riesling and Chianti.
Food: Barbecue chicken or shrimp. When it comes to barbecue sauce, traditional “red with red meat, white with white meat” logic flies out the window. You need to pair your wine with the sauce. So, what do you love? Sweet, smoky, or spicy? That will be what determines your wine.
Wine: Let’s break down the wine pairings here:
Sweet: An excellent pairing would be a white or blush wine like white Zinfandel or Rosé
Smoky: Pairs well with a strong red like Malbec or Merlot. Another great option is the 2011 Natasha Pinot Noir.
Spicy: Sip on something citrus-forward like Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.
Food: A big, juicy steak. If there’s one thing we love it’s a fantastic, local steak grilled up and served with new potatoes or some other delicious vegetable.
Wine: We all know that red wine pairs with red meat, but how do you determine the right red for the job? Here at Youngberg Hill, we have created full-bodied red wines that go perfectly with that fat steak you want to chow down on this weekend. For example, our 2011 and 2012 Jordan Pinot Noirs are a fantastic pairing with red meat. Other pairing options include a classic Bordeaux, Cabernet, or Merlot.
Food: Veggie burger. Sometimes you have to go vegan or vegetarian, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get to drink wine! Two of the best veggie burgers we have seen either have a strong mushroom element or quite a lot of quinoa, so those are the flavors for which we will recommend pairings.
Wine: Pinot Noir generally pairs excellently with mushroom flavors. This is because here in Oregon, we are known for both mushrooms and Pinot Noir, so the flavor profiles go hand in hand. Another great pairing for mushroom-forward veggie burgers is Mourvèdre.
Quinoa has a completely different taste and requires lighter white wines like Sauvignon blanc or Viognier.
We would love to hear what your favorite summer food and wine combination is! Share it with us in the comments below.