Traditional recipes

Best Wines for Weekend Grilling

Best Wines for Weekend Grilling

Some bold wine choices to match the boldly flavored food coming off the grill this summer


Whether you use charcoal, wood, electric, propane — or even dig a hole in your backyard to make an old-fashioned wood-fired grill — warm weather weekends are a time for us to roast, toast, char, and put grill marks on our food.

When it comes to knowing what wine to drink, here are some traditional, edgy, and off-the-wall pairing suggestions. But remember — in the end, wine and food pairing is a matter of personal preference, so try your wines in advance before you put them on the table.

The dish: Marinated portobellos
Traditional: An earthy, somewhat spicy, lighter red wine such as a Côtes du Rhône.
Edgier: A Cabernet Franc from the East Coast with pencil-lead notes.
More off-the-wall: A Tannat from Uruguay, such as Pueblo del Sol, with its blend of mellow fruit and spicy bitters finish.

The dish: Chicken with tangy BBQ sauce
Traditional: Merlot-based rosé from California's Monterey County.
Edgier: Search out a citrus-accented rosé made from Sangiovese grapes, perhaps one from Emilia-Romagna.
More off-the-wall: And while we're in Emilia-Romagna, let's go really radical with a sparkling Lambrusco, the fruity-but-fresh every-night wine in many homes in the region.

The dish: Strip steak
Traditional: Nothing goes better with steak than a Bordeaux red, so try a less-expensive but sturdy one labelel Bordeaux Superieur or Côtes de Bordeaux.
Edgier: Surprisingly, Barbera d'Asti is seldom mentioned as a steak wine, but it makes an excellent one.
More off-the-wall: A sturdy, lightly spicy Kadarka from the south of Hungary.