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!


Best Temperatures at Which to Serve Wine

Have you ever wondered why some wines are served chilled, and some are room temperature; some are even served warm, like a spiced/mulled wine? Have you noticed when a wine is served cold when it’s usually enjoyed room temperature, the taste of the wine is different? There’s a reason wines are served at varying temperatures. Here we will demystify the confusion behind wine temperatures, and how cold or warm you should be enjoying them.


The general rule is: The sweeter the wine, the colder it should be. In saying that, white wines are generally served anywhere between 55 and 58 degrees. If the wine is too cold it will mask the aromas and make the flavors seem flat and thin. If the wine is too warm, it will lack acidity and structure. Adversely, red wine is generally served anywhere from 62 to 65 degrees. This is considered ‘room temperature’ (remember, this was considered room temperature before modern heating was introduced). If red wine is served too warm, it can seem too alcoholic and a bit unstructured. If a red is served too cold, the flavors and aromas will be muted.


Greenhill4Sparkling wine should be served ice cold, anywhere from 40-50 degrees. Go ahead and put the bubbly in the freezer an hour before enjoying it. The ice cold temperature keeps the bubbles fine as opposed to foamy. Keep the sparkling wine in ice until the bottle is finished.



Rose should be served cold just like a white wine-anywhere from 50 to 60 degrees. It’s best to put these wines in the fridge as soon as you buy them. After you open the wine, leave it on the table to sweat; the wine’s aroma and character changes slightly as the temperature rises. See if you can pull the flavors out of the warming wine as the evening progresses!


After opening a red bottle of wine, leave the wine out on the table to slowly warm. Just as the white, the red will sweat, and the aromas and flavors will change slightly. If you’re going to enjoy a photo 5smulled wine, especially in this cold weather, it’s ok to drink it warm-the spices really come forward when this wine is warmed and it tastes delicious when heated. If you drink mulled wine cold, the flavors will not only be muted, the wine will come off as sweet.


If you enjoy a good glass of wine like we do, consider booking your next trip across Virginia wine country with us! Valentine’s Day is coming up, and a wine tour is a great date night you won’t soon forget!

Roasted Chicken & Brie paired with Rappahannock Cellars Seyval 2013

09/20/14 – Passion for Food, Wine & Life Experience


07/26/14 – Passion for Food, Wine & Life Experience