The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. It involves friends, food, and in Seattle, the start of summer weather…usually. We are fortunate enough to live near one of the many vistas around the city where you can catch a glimpse of the fireworks. It’s become a tradition to invite friends to join us in the afternoon for a backyard barbeque (although many years that means dodging raindrops while huddling around the Weber) and then trot over to the park with sparklers for the show.
As I prepare my menu for this Friday, I am reminded that grilling and backyard picnics are so often associated with beer or funny cocktails. But I’m a wine lover, and believe that it is an awesome pairing as well. My top picks for barbeque festivities?
Semillon. Especially this current vintage of 2013 Klipsun Vineyard Semillon. For those of you who may be in warmer areas than Seattle, this is a great warm weather cooler with bright fruit and lively acids. However, there is also a subtle fattiness to it that rounds out the wine. The Semillon is perfect with your potato salad and grilled chicken dishes. It’s also a pretty perfect pairing with corn on the cob.
Malbec. Malbec is a great barbeque wine, and I might be biased, but I swear that the Fidelitas Malbec is the BEST barbeque wine. The tannins are in check and the plummy, spicy notes just mimic anything you pull off the grill. I know that a few of our staff members think that the Malbec is awesome with ribs. I personally vote for grilled sausage. This wine is also going to be great with anything that involves grilled veggies, especially peppers and onions…maybe even an earthy quinoa black bean salad?
Cabernet Franc. Looking for something a little bit special to share with friends this week? Been wanting an excuse to open that sold out bottle of Ciel du Cheval Cabernet Franc? Here you go. Cab Franc is another great cookout wine because of those subtle tannins, peppery tones, and slightly smoky note. This is the wine that is going to be awesome with your burgers, or honestly, just with really good potato chips.
I’ll definitely have a few bottles on the table later this week and hope you might sneak one in to the world of beer as well. Have a fun and safe Fourth!