I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard this week saying they are starting the BBQ for the first time. I don’t know about you, but I am an all-year round seasoned BBQ’er! Here is my latest BBQ, put together by my 2 nephews and my nephew’s fiancée. My chrome baby is not only used to grill meat, but veggies, wings, sweet potato… you name it, and I can cook it on a BBQ. And my favorite way to BBQ is with a glass of wine and some great tunes.
I could write a year’s worth of blogs on great wines that go with BBQ food, and have touched on the subject before. The reason I am bringing it up again is that I have had some new wines lately, and they are perfect for BBQ season.
Here’s a fantastic wine that I have tried recently. The Alfredo Second Pass Shiraz. I can honestly say this is the first time I have tried a ‘second pass’ Shiraz, to the best of my knowledge anyway. Second pass is very similar to Ripasso, and Ripasso means ‘repassed’. It is Valipocella grapes that have been passed through Amarone must (skins, seeds and some juice) for flavor. It helps add to the body of the wine. The second pass is pretty much the same thing, this time with a Shiraz grape. The wine has been ‘passed’ through pomace to beef up the body of the wine and add to the complex flavors. I’ve never had one before, but I have to say I liked it. Dark and rich, with cherry flavors, a hint of smoke and vanilla and chocolate notes. At $16.99, this one was a winner – so much so I bought two more bottles yesterday. Second Pass Shiraz and any BBQ meat – a great match.
This is another great wine for a great price. Luccarelli Negroamaro from the Puglia region of Italy. Negroamaro is a grape variety native to southern Italy, and although Amaro means bitter in Italian, there is nothing bitter about this beautiful wine. This wine comes in under $15, and you will love it. Gorgeous plum and cherry fruits, with spice and vanilla. It’s easy to drink and you won’t feel guilty for opening up a bottle any day of the week. Begs to be paired with BBQ ribs.
Let’s leave Italy and head to France, and more specifically the Cotes du Rhone region. The Cotes du Rhone is known for spectacular Syrah wines, and this little gem comes in under $20. Medium bodied, raspberry and plum flavors, with notes of tobacco and spice. Great for ribs done on the BBQ, or a spectacular pizza wine.
Those all are new wines I have tried lately. I love experimenting with new wines. However, I can’t do a wine blog on BBQ season without mentioning some all-time favorites. And for that we have to head to sunny California and Washington State.
Nothing goes hand in hand with the barbecue like an Old Vine Zinfandel. I am confident I have tried every single one at the NSLC and this is my favorite. From the home of Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi California, Predator comes from vines that are at least 50+ years old. The fruit from these vines are very concentrated and very complex. Vanilla and smoke flavors, and even a hint of bacon, makes this my favorite wine for both the grilling and the eating. The wine on the right, the 14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend is named after the wild Mustang horses that at one time roamed Washington State. They were smaller, only measuring 14 Hands, and I think it makes for a great name for a vineyard. The Hot to Trot red blend is predominantly Merlot with Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon blended in for complexity and flavor.
Well that’s it for this week. I hope you get a chance this weekend to fire up the grill and enjoy one of the wines, or even let me know what your favorite BBQ wine is. I’m all for trying new wines.
Till next week, Cheers