Since it is getting close to the annual celebration of the Fourth of July, there are usually plans to spend the day outdoors grilling for close friends and, of course, family.
During the hot days of summer, it can be a little tricky to choose a wine to drink outdoors and while I enjoy red wines, white wines will definitely help to keep things a little bit cooler.
The typical fare that is prepared on my grill for this holiday consists of grilled chicken, Italian sausages and grilled vegetables. One concern with all of the flavors associated with the flavors of different meats and grilled vegetables is that it can be difficult to pair with only one varietal -- so why should you limit yourself to just one?
Over the years, I have found that grilled chicken, Italian sausages and grilled vegetables can be complemented nicely by both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Each of these varietals should be served chilled and they are quite versatile food wines.
The 2010 Cupcake Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc starts with zingy citrus flavors of lemon and grapefruit, as well as the green aromatics that are commonly associated with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wines. This wine retails for $10 and should be quite easy to find.
Another classic styled New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is the 2010 Chasing Venus from the Marlborough region that sells for approximately $15 a bottle. The name of this wine is a reference to Captain Cook, who in the mid-1700s set sail across the Pacific Ocean to study the planet Venus and he allegedly ended up as the first European to set foot in New Zealand.
For those who truly enjoy a Sauvignon Blanc wine that is fruit forward with grapefruit flavors and somewhat herbal, this wine is worth trying.
Cupcake Vineyard’s 2009 Pinot Grigio is produced from grapes grown in the Trentino region of Italy and retails for $10 a bottle. This Pinot Grigio has a very clean taste, with citrus overtones. It is a very easy wine to drink.
Another Pinot Grigio to pair with this meal is the 2009 Albino Armani 1607 Corvara from the Adige Valley of Italy. The “1607” on the label refers to the fact that this family has been making wine for over 400 years. The Albino Armani retails for $19 and is straw yellow in color and contains subtle flavors of peach and pear, along with a really nice finish.
While all four of these wines should complement the grilled chicken, Italian sausages and grilled vegetables, sometimes there is nothing more refreshing an ice cold beer to cool off with from the heat of the sun and the grill.
Regardless of which of these selections you end up choosing you can’t go wrong -- especially when you pair them with close friends and family on a hot summer day!
Jim Rawe, a family attorney in Bradenton, is an avid collector of fine wines. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.