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Grilling Season Pairings

Grilling hamburgers on the BBQ in the middle of summer is one of the most delicious times of the year. Whether you're slapping down Wahlburger patties or your grandma's famous chuck blend, what you are going to drink while grilling and/or eating may be just as important.

While I traditionally shy away from red wines during the summer months, I have found that 8 Years in the Desert by Orin Swift is a great summer sipper that pairs well with most red meats, including those patties that need to be flipped before they turn into hockey pucks. The 2020 vintage is a blend of Zinfandel, Pitite Sirah and Syrah with "pure brambly raspberry juice and blueberry preserves with a hint of white pepper and High Sierra forest floor." Frankly, the plush layers of juice and its smooth finish make this wine almost too easy to drink and never disappoints.

Now if you are the type of person who only drinks white wines from Memorial Day to Labor Day, this juicy slab of perfection not only goes great with pickles, onion and lettuce, but would also pair well with a Chardonnay by En Route. Filled with "lush tropical flavors with juicy acidity and cool minerality," this crisp and refreshing wine lightens an otherwise heavy meal. You may also find that your Chardonnay also goes great with all those side dishes calling your name, including that green salad with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing and grilled corn (bonus points if it's grilled Mexican street corn on a stick).

If you prefer hops to grapes, an IPA or Pale Ale would go great with your carnivorous cravings. I would suggest trying Sip of Sunshine by Lawson's Finest Liquids. The hop character and ABV should go nicely with what your grilling providing you don't pull a rookie move and use the spatula to squeeze out all the juices (a big no-no).

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