Memorial Day is of course a day to remember veterans who served for our country to afford us the freedoms we now enjoy. Memorial Day is also the unofficial kickoff for summer, and a time to fire up the grill to start grilling season as well. Wine is the perfect choice that goes very well with all the grilled meats and vegetables (let’s face it, wine goes with everything!), so here is a list of the wines we think pair best with your unofficial summer time barbecue!


Believe it or not, even though the Rose is basically the poster child of summer, it’s a bit more acidic than white wines, and may overpower the grilled flavors of your food. If you choose to serve a Rose, serve this with cheeses and fruit as an appetizer while the meats cook.


Vino Virginia Wine Tour 2014 - 31Choosing a white wine to pair with a grilled fish, chicken or pork seems like a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s the type of wine you use that will make the dinner (or lunch) a hit. Of course, if you choose to stay safe, you can always go with a sparkling wine; sparkling wines are refreshing in the heat, and pair well with almost any grilled food. You can also enjoy a light-bodied white or a Prosecco if you want to have a bit of variation.


Choose a Burgundy or Chardonnay for fatty fishes like tuna, trout or rockfish. Chardonnay also goes well with veggie or turkey burgers, and regular burgers that are served with a mushroom sauce.


Pinot Noir has a light weight, and smooth texture that goes quite well with pork or salmon. The flavors of both the food and the drink pair well with neither overpowering the other. If you choose to go with a heavier wine such as a Cabernet, Petit Sirah, or Shiraz, choose a smoked meat, especially if that meat is cooked with or served with bacon. The notes of a Pinot noir will play off of the smoky, tea-leaf flavors of the wine.


No barbecue is complete without a hamburger! If your guests will be enjoying hamburgers, steak, ribs, or tenderloin, you must serve a wine that matches the big taste those foods bring. Choose a Cabernet; or if the food is spicy (even mildly spicy) pair with a Zinfandel, Malbec, or Shiraz.DSC_9032


All in all, when choosing a wine, make sure the food is front and center, and that the wine will be no more than an elegant backdrop for the main star of the show-the barbecue! The wine should also fit the mood, so if you’re guests are not of the elegant sort, choose a more relaxed, casual wine to compliment them as much as the food itself.


Ask us for more of our recommendations on wine pairings for your next outdoor gathering during your next wine tasting. We want your event to be just as enjoyable as your wine tour!

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