Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wine and Grilling: Part One

Well, the temperatures are starting to warm up in most parts of the country. We still have a few cool or even cold days here and there, but spring is around the corner. Most men and some of us women like to get our "grill" on, so looking at wines that can stand up to grilled foods should be some interest around this time of the year.

Most people always think of red wines with grilled meats, but many white wines as well as rose`wines pair well with shrimp, fish, chicken and pork off the grill. When considering wine pairings with meats off the grill always look at the marinades or seasonings put on the meat or seafood you will be grilling. The herbs and seasonings have a lot to do with success of a wine and food pairing. Herbs and spices are a must for cooking; they can turn a dish that could be ordinary into something extraordinary.  Some of my favorite herbs and spices for grilling is sage, rosemary, ginger, curry and Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. Ginger works so well when marking a citrus based marinade or glaze for seafood, pork or chicken. Just be mindful that when working with citrus juices like orange juice or any product with that contains sugar,  that you have to careful with burning foods on the outside on the grill. The outside will caramelize quickly and the food can be undercooked.  Here are a few wines that pair well with foods off the grill.

Bogle 2007 Phantom

The Bogle 2007 Phantom is a blend of Petite Sirah 53% (Clarksburg), Zinfandel 44% (Lodi/Amador), and Mourvedre 3% (Amador). This wine is a very deep garnet color. The nose is filled with aromas of pepper, dark fruit, and a hint of juniper. The palate mimics the nose with flavors of blackberries, blueberries and a hint of coconut which really added a nice surprise to this wine. The palate is smooth and rich. I would pair this wine with any meat off the grill. An ideal pairing would be a big steak like a thick rib eye or burger right off the grill. At a SRP of $16.00 this wine is a QPR or "bang for the buck" in my book. Note: This wine was a sample provided by Bogle Vineyards. http://boglewinery.com/

J 2009 California Pinot Gris

This wine has a light straw color. The nose is beautiful! I have to say that I have a "thing" for wines with ripe beautiful noses. The nose has a "warm" tangerine and honeysuckle nose with just a slight hint of spice. The palate mirrors the nose with an addition of honey and lime. I think this wine is one to have during the warm months and also in the the cooler months due to the warmth of the nose, the citrus flavors (tangerine), and the acidity of the wine and the hint of spice. I think this wine would pair well with young, and ripened goat cheese, pork, grilled orange glazed chicken, crab cakes, and grilled shrimp, which were marinated in a marinade that included orange juice with a bit of ginger and lime juice. This wine is one that I will have in my cellar, just to sip or to pair with a meal. Note: This wine was a sample provided by J Wines. http://www.jwine.com/

This wine is a lovely dark garnet color. The nose is filled with aromas of bright red fruit flavors, (cherries), a bit of dust, a hint of caramel and spice. The palate mimics the nose with a silky mouth feel. This wine paired well with a turkey rubbed with an herb infused compound butter. It would also pair well with roasted chicken, pork roast and salmon. In addition, this wine would pair well with grilled pork, chicken and salmon.  Note: This was a sample from Rodney Strong Vineyards. http://www.davisbynum.com/

Mas de la Dame Rose` du Mas 2010

This wine has a medium pink color. The nose has aromas of strawberries, rose petals and a hint of spice. The palate mimicked the nose with an addition of black pepper and a hint of fennel. This wine has a nice structure that showcases its blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 20% Cinsault. This wine would pair well with grilled meats, especially baby back ribs slathered in a smokey sweet sauce, pork chops or chicken. I would even pair this wine with a grilled turkey burger brushed with a glaze made from cranberry sauce. Note:  This wine was a sample provided by Palm Bay International. SRP $ $14.99 http://www.palmbay.com/news_roses_for_spring.asp

As I have the opportunity to sample more wines and create delicious pairings, I will submit another post on wine and grilling. Foods off the grill taste so good, the smoke just adds that finishing touch that we all have come to love. Some like grilling on gas and some like charcoal. I tend to lean toward charcoal because of the intense smokey flavor, but gas is convenient. Sometimes when the weather does not permit, we use grill pans on the cook top in the kitchen.  Just remember that grilling is grilling whether outside or inside, and sometimes we just can't stop the rain!

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