posted on June 24, 2009 15:48
Wine Advice: Red blends are perfect for summer grilling
Winemakers are creating unique reds that are easy-drinking but bold enough for grilled meats.
By GARRY SCHOLZ
The 4th of July is right around the corner, and that means backyard grilling will be in full swing. The perfect red wine this summer for grilled meat is a non-traditional red blend.
American winemakers, in particular, have been free-thinking in their approach to crafting unusual reds. Syrah and Zinfandel seem to be two of the grapes used more effectively to create unique reds, although many other varieties also are used.
Syrah adds color, body, and fruity richness when combined with other red grapes such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
For its part, Zinfandel adds character by giving the finished wine more balance; a richer, softer taste; and a little pepperiness.
And that's just what you want during summer: a red wine that's easy to drink but big enough to handle grilled foods and tangy, spicy sauces.
Bennett Lane 2005 Maximus Red Feasting Wine, Napa Valley ($32) is another Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah blend. It has real weight and structure, with lots of fruit and hints of baking spices. It's made to stand up to the heartiest of grilled steaks. Serve it when you have ribeye or New York strip.