With the warmer evenings and the sun setting later, everyone is gathering around the deck basking in the aromas of barbecued specialties.  The key for successful wine pairing with your outdoor dining is simplicity.  Don’t choose a wine that requires too much thought – the wines should fit the food but they should also fit the casual mood.

Here’s some basic food-wine pairing when it comes to the BBQ.  Sparkling Wine goes well with almost any grilled food – stick with a Prosecco or Cava, even a light California bubbly.  White Wines are suited to grilled fish, chicken and some pork dishes – Chardonnay goes well with the fattier fish like tuna, trout or rockfish, also veggie burgers.  Rose’s served brisk and cool have a bit more acidity than whites to battle the grilled flavors of the food.  Red Wines – Pinot Noir from Oregon, Russian River or Burgundy fare well with pork or salmon and smoked meats with a bacon accent.  Bordeaux, California Cabernets and Barolo are perfect matches for hamburgers, steak, BBQ ribs or beef tenderloin – if it’s on the “hot” side go for a Zinfandel, Australian Shiraz or Argentine Malbec.

20140722-summer-wine-pairing-alia-akkam-istockSo dust off the Weber, turn up the stereo, and grab your corkscrew. Because whether you’re flippin’ burgers or searin’ a juicy steak, we’ve got some wine selections to make your next backyard barbecue the best yet!
Eppa Suprafruta Red Sangria NV

Light bodied and refreshing, Eppa introduces itself with crisp citrus notes that meld into pomegranate and berry overtones.  Its natural, subtle sweetness is a result of its blend of real fruit juices, which bring a brightness of flavor.  Pleasant and soft, leaving you with a light taste of berry that begs for another sip.

Joseph Carr Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

The wine features aromas of blackberry, chocolate, and blueberry preserves.  Plush on the mid-palate with silky tannins but firm acidity, it shows rich black fruit on the long finish.

Peter Lehmann Clancy’s Red Blend

Clancy’s Red is a pure Barossa wine; a collaboration of winemakers and growers who believe in making honest wines that punch above their weight.  A blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz, this wine is soft and supple and full of juicy flavor.

J Vineyards Pinot Gris

The complex, medium-bodied mouthfeel reveals crisp citrus and lemongrass, combined with the rich, ripe succulence of pineapple, green pear and jasmine.  This intense and layered wine finishes dry with bright, mouthwatering acidity and distinct minerality.


Josh Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast 2014

Wine Enthusiast – 89 points
Ultimate Beverage Challenge – 93 points

Sweet-seeming oak and ripe berry flavors meld together nicely in this full-bodied, firmly structured wine.  It has aromas like wood smoke and grilled beef and flavors like blackberry jam.  Slightly drying tannins keep it lively.
F. Coppola Rosso & Bianco Shiraz

Ripe, lush texture and moderate tannins are the trademark characteristics of our Shiraz. To achieve this, we source fruit from old dry-farmed vineyards in Lodi. These grapes are blended with fruit from Paso Robles, which gives the wine its intense berry and spice flavors. Our Shiraz is aged in both French and American oak barrels, achieving more complexity of flavor; French oak imparts a vanilla character, American oak helps sustain the inherent spice qualities.  Small amount of Viognier added for light floral notes.  Easy drinking wine perfect for summer BBQs.

Guenoc Claret Victorian

Wine Enthusiast – 90 points – “This wine has a great core of dark-fruit flavors and dark chocolate, a firmly tannic texture that makes it appetizing, and nice balance. It’s a very solid dinner wine that doesn’t have to be the center of attention.”
Blend: 70% Merlot, 15% Petite Sirah, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.  A complex blend of Guenoc’s award winning wines. It possesses fragrant notes of black cherry jam, black currant, clove spice, Earl Gray tea, and hints of oak. Well-rounded, elegant tannins on the palate bring bright acidity with hints of cherry, red raspberry and blueberry followed by a long chocolaty finish.

Poggio Anima “Lilith”  Primitivo

Poggio Anima ‘Lilith’ Primitivo Sibling Rivalry, we didn’t know this could exist with wine.  When the DNA is a near exact match to its American counterpart, Zinfandel, this is what you have. This is a rich, full-throttle take on Primitivo. BBQ PLEASE!

Two Arrowheads White Blend

TWO ARROWHEADS is a luscious blend of Viognier and Roussanne from the calcareous soils of Paso Robles. Made with grapes grown in the warm California sun and cooled by mild breezes from the Pacific Ocean, TWO ARROWHEADS is fermented partially in oak and finished in stainless steel. This is a round and aromatic wine, offering a beautiful perfume of white peaches, guava, orange blossom, and nutmeg followed by flavors of passionfruit, melon,. 71% Viognier, 29% Roussanne. BARREL REGIMEN:
10% for 3 months in neutral oak, balance made in stainless steel
Elvio Tintero Rosso

Tintero Rosso is the perfect backyard red. This blend on barbera, dolcetto, nebbiolo and cabernet sauvignon is aged in stainless steel and is meant for drinking young. The bright acidity is refreshing and keeps you coming back for more.

Chateau Ducasse Bordeaux Blanc

Ducasse is a classic blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc. The semillon provides plenty of fruit while the sauvignon adds a mineral background and acidity that is sure to please on a hot summer day.

Piero Benevelli Dolcetto d’Alba

Dolcetto is the unsung hero of the Piedmont region of Italy and Benevelli is one of the best examples. This fruity yet complex red is super versatile and will be the perfect match to pulled pork and other BBQ favorites.

Tami Nero d’Avola

Back by popular demand. The Tami Nero is dominated by blackberry and raspberry notes with a savory finish that really defines the wine. Try this with grilled flank steak and you’ll be the hit of the party.

Del Prete Primitivo

Primitivo is the full-flavored, fruit-centric cousin to the more savory Negroamaro grape. Del Prete’s version is not at all simple, but rather has quite a bit of spicy personality and deep plum complexity. It’s also not at all lacking for acid, and is very food friendly with a variety of dishes. As with all of Natalino’s wines, there is a healthy dose of rustic charm and plenty of weight without being clunky.
Apothic Red Blend

Apothic Red was crafted from a blend of primarily Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These varieties come together seamlessly for a fruit-driven wine with fresh dark fruit flavors and jammy red fruit notes. The Zinfandel offers bold dark fruit flavors and spicy notes, complemented by the soft mouthfeel of Merlot. The Syrah adds layers of smooth blueberry, while the Cabernet Sauvignon delivers ripe fruit flavors and a firm structure. This decadent blend is framed by hints of oak, vanilla, and mocha.

Smoking Loon Steelbird Chardonnay

Smoking Loon “Steelbird” is Chardonnay with a difference. We kicked the oak to the curb aging this wine for five months in 100% stainless steel. The wine opens with layers of juicy and ripe honeydew melon, followed by steely notes of citrus. Vibrant, yet creamy on the palate from 100% malolactic fermentation, with its refreshing flavors of lemon curd and pineapple; it’s sure to become an instant summer favorite. This wine will pair nicely with a wide variety of dishes, from homemade tropical salsa and chips to a garden salad with lemon grilled chicken or even a simple white pizza

Villa Pozzi Grillo

With a straw yellow color, Villa Pozzi Grillo exhibits aromas of exotic and white flowers while on the palate, it is fresh and fruity with notes of mango and pineapple.  It is a medium bodied, well-balanced wine with delicate acidity and a persistent finish.

Eppa Red Sangria

Light bodied and refreshing, Eppa introduces itself with crisp citrus notes that meld into pomegranate and berry overtones. Its natural, subtle sweetness is a result of its blend of real fruit juices, which bring a brightness of flavor. Eppa Sangria was recently featured on the TODAY Show!

La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

Aromas of red cherry, raspberry, pomegranate and sweet tobacco.  Multi-layered flavors of red, blue and black berry fruit, plums, cherries and a hint of blood orange underpin subtle layers of exotic spice and toast.  Fine tannins and balanced acidity drive a long finish.