Great grilling de­mands red-hot wine choices

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life -

Cook­ing food over a grill is re­ally not vastly dif­fer­ent than us­ing high heat on a stove or a broiler, but there is an al­lure to the grill that con­nects us to our an­ces­tral roots.

Noted food writer Michael Pol­lan ex­plores this con­nec­tion in­depth in his lat­est book, Cooked; the dis­cov­ery of fire changed us as a species in a pro­found way, com­plet­ing our evo­lu­tion as car­ni­vores at the top of the food chain.

Stand­ing over a gleam­ing stain­less steel gas bar­be­cue may be a long way from grilling the rear hind of some wild beast over flame, but the con­nec­tion is there, nonethe­less.

The smoke and heat pair­ing — even over a gas flame — does won­drous things for food — and wine seems to have a par­tic­u­lar affin­ity to grilled meat.

As grilling sea­son is in full swing, here are a few wines well­suited to food over flame. Saint Si­doine Cotes de Provence

Rose 2013 — $17 Rose is not only red-hot as a cat­e­gory right now, but is a great match with grilled foods.

Here is a de­li­cious Proven­cal ver­sion blended from clas­sic south­ern French va­ri­etals — namely Grenache, Cin­sault, Mourve­dre and Syrah — to deliver a wine that tends to dis­ap­pear very quickly once it tick­les the palate.

This Proven­cal rose clas­si­cally dis­plays a pale sal­mon colour with a touch of spice in a core of crushed wild straw­ber­ries.

Its lively acid­ity and vi­brant fruit make it ideal with grilled tuna, sal­mon or shrimp and the value fac­tor is high.

Bogle is a Zinfandel specialist whose wines are very well­made and very well­priced, es­pe­cially when you con­sider the vines for this wine were planted in the early-1900s.

Zin is a nat­u­ral with grilled foods; the abun­dant al­co­hol, spice and fruit make it ideal with spicy ribs, chicken or beef tri-tip (done Santa Maria style, with a spice-heavy dry rub).

This Zin is a de­li­cious berry­bomb, with a nice whiff of oak and clas­sic spice notes.

You may re­call this win­ery when it was Chateau Sou­verain, which was founded in 1944, but it has been re­branded and the 2011 of­fer­ing is very tasty de­spite the chal­lenges of this un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally cool Cal­i­for­nia vin­tage.

It is a plush, easy­drink­ing Cabernet with lots of plum and blue fruit notes.

The al­co­hol is a mod­est 13.9 per cent and it would go nicely with grilled rib-eyes or a pork loin.

This wine de­liv­ers high in spades in the value realm.




Pho­tos: Jenn Pierce/Cal­gary Herald

Heather McCoy and Mark Gyles own Nour­ish, which is all about good food ... with­out any meat.

Bogle Vine­yards Old Vine Zinfandel 2010 — $23

Sou­verain Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 — $23

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