5 must have wines for your next barbecue!

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We know when it comes to summer barbecues, it’s all about the potato salad, right? Well, no. Not quite. For me, it’s all about which wine to bring the host or hostess, that’ll  pair nicely with the wonderful side dishes and juicy, grilled meats. Wait, did I say grilled meats? That sounds more like a cookout and we don’t usually gravitate towards those many times in the summer. We all know (or at least should know) that a real barbecue requires either charcoal, wood, or something similar to a barrel that will cook the meat slowly and definitely not on a gas grill which, if used, would then be called a cookout and not a barbecue. Right? Anyways, more on that another time! As a Certified Chef of Wine Arts, I not only love making food but also enjoy pairing wines with delicious food and fixings you can find at a great barbecue. That’s why I’ve put together this list of my 5 must have wines for your next barbecue.

1. 2014 Syrah Rosé Frizzanté That Southern Taste by Taste Collection Cellars
Source: Taste Collection Cellar

My first pick is the 2014 Syrah Rosé Frizzante, That Southern Taste by Taste Collection Cellar. Who can say no to a good sparkling, refreshing drink at a barbecue?

Not as fizzy as your celebratory champagne or prosecco, Frizzanté, which means ‘to sparkle’ in Italian, gives you just the right amount of bubbly on the tongue. This rosé frizzanté will give you a nice, tasty raspberry and strawberry notes. It’s also a great apéritif (an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite), making it the perfect wine to sip to keep you refreshed before you enjoy your meal!

Pairs well with:

  • Chips & Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Pineapple Salsa
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Rosé Watermelon Slices
2. 2014 Symphony by Theopolis Vineyards
Source: The Cork Screw Concierge

Made with two different varietals, Grenache Gris and the Muscat of Alexandria, this wine has peach, mango, apricot, and citrus fruit aromas, not to mention seductive floral aromas. This blend of wine is to be enjoyed on those long summer days and evenings, hanging out on the front porch or while laughing with your relatives at the family barbecue. Big Mama’s Baked Beans will taste even better with this wine because of its subtle spicy note that will ignite and explode on your taste buds.

Pairs well with:

  • Baked Beans
  • Grilled Corn
  • Cucumber & Tomato Pickled Salad
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Mac & Cheese
3. Sauvignon Blanc Aslina by Ntsiki Biyela
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Source: thebeveragejournal 

This dry wine is usually bursting with summer fruit flavors that will surely make your favorite Aunties Potato Salad disappear in no time. Why? Because Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect summer wine with its “grassy” notes! It’s a very refreshing dry wine that has aromas of lime, green apple, apricot, and peach as well as hints of fresh herbs, fresh lemon tart, and cut grass, giving it several mineral characteristics.

Pairs well with:

  • Potato Salad
  • Pasta Salads
  • Cole Slaw
  • Collard Greens
  • Grilled Zucchini & Squash
  • Turkey Burgers
  • Veggie Burger
4. 2014 Merlot Napa Valley by Darjean Jones Wines
Source: Darjean Jones

Merlot – the ultimate grilling wine. Yes, I said it. You need something to hold up to your Uncle Earl’s famous ribs. This rich garnet wine is so sexy in the glass! It is very intense with juicy blackberry and boysenberry notes. It has subtle hints of earth and ample tannins, providing it with enough structure to stand up to these assertive meats with its spicy and fruit forward overtones. Paired with this velvety finished wine, your ribs will be brought into another dimension.

Pairs well with

  • Spare Ribs
  • Portabella Mushrooms
  • Beef Burgers
  • Veal
5. 2013 Shaw Vineyard on Red Mountain by Frichette Winery
Source: Frichette Winery

This dry red wine is big and approachable. This varietal will arouse your taste buds to a totally different altitude just like on Red Mountain where my favorite pick is grown. It’s bold with aromas of dark jammy fruit like blackberry (my favorite in the summer time by the way), plum, and dark cherry. The finale with this wine is the subtle caramel kiss and long smoky finish on the palate at the end, just in time to light up your favorite cigar while you let your food digest and then dive into your favorite cousin’s famous Banana Pudding. Simply put, Cabernet Sauvignon it’s a slam- dunk for a barbecue. Everyone that will taste it will know right from the jump that this is the way to finish any festivity!

Pairs well with:

  • Kielbasa Sausage
  • Lamb Chops
  • Beef
  • Pork

There you have it! My 5 must have wines to make your next barbecue a guranteed hit!