Great Wines for your Grilling Times

The weather is perfect to fire up the grill, invite some friends over, and have your first backyard BBQ of the season. As you saw in the short video above, I brought three wines into the CBS12 WPEC studios today to offer you suggestions to make your grilled food and wine pairing perfect this summer season.

Huber Hugo – Gruner Veltliner – 2008

Our first wine, a versatile white from Austria, comes from Weingut Huber. The 10th generation to work the winery, Markus took over the reigns in 2000, after a stint in South Africa where he really learned about wine making. Gruner Veltliner may not be a wine you’re familiar with, but you’ll thank me for introducing it to you. Crisp and clean, it’s a wine that will range from citrus driven with great minerality and acidity (as this one is), to soft peach and apricot flavors and floral notes.

Gruner Veltliner, or GruVee, is a wine that will pair with nearly any food you put with it. Starting with the cheese plate, it’ll play wonderfully with any rich cheese, and even “Stinky” cheese! You dont stop there, however, and try it with grilled chicken, fish, lobster, pork, as well as spicy Thai or even sushi. The video has great descriptive tasting information, so be sure to watch. The Huber Hugo Gruner Veltliner is available for about $12.

Morande Reserva Pinot Noir 2008

The next wine that should be at any back yard BBQ this season is a Pinot Noir from Chile. Yes, Chile. I know you have enjoyed Pinot Noir from France, California, and Oregon; now it’s time to try one from Chile. Morande, founded in 1996, makes some delicious wines, including a Carmenere in their Pionero line that has this fantastic eucalyptus note that rocks! The grapes come from the Casablanca Valley, and the maritime influence on the weather provides cool enough growing conditions to make a great Pinot at a great price. You can get the Morande Reserva Pinot Noir for under $12

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Pinot Noir is a red wine that has a very wide sprectum of expressions. It can be light to medium bodied, and from fruit focused to earthy and smoky. It really picks up the characteristics of where it’s grown, the terroir, and that is what I think I enjoy about the Morande Reserva Pinot Noir the most. It’s light enough, and has enough great strawberry fruit on it, with showing the earthy, smoky notes that you not only see in Pinot, but that you may expect from a Chilean red wine like a Carmenere. It’s light enough to pair with grilled salmon, but has enough body to stand up to burgers, grilled pork chops, and even steaks. We grilled some portobello mushrooms, paired it with this wine, and had our guests in heaven!

Bennett Lane Turn 4 Cabernet Sauvignon

The last wine, which we didn’t get to talk about in the segment is Bennett Lane Turn 4 Cabernet Sauvignon. If you watched the video, I botched the name trying to get out something about the wine in those 5 last seconds! It’s a nice Napa Cab for only $20, made by a winery that has earned several high scores on it’s various wines over the past few years. The fruit is sourced from multiple vineyards, in Calistoga, Oakville and St Helena, is aged 10 months in French oak, and is just a nice wine.

The Turn 4 Cab is definitely a Napa cab all the way, with a heavy mouth feel, and a lot of dark cherry fruit up front. There’s a nice transition to a Christmas spice component, and a finish with some pepper. It’s perfect with grilled steaks, or throw a lamb chop that is brushed with olive oil and rosemary on the grill, and you’re going to enjoy the way the flavors work together with the wine.

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What will you be grilling next? I’d love to hear how you prepare some of your favorite backyard BBQ foods, and we’ll talk about the wine pairings together!