Great grilling demands red-hot wine choices
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.
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IS A LONG TIME WINE MERCHANT AND WRITER AND A REGULAR
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