Posted by: wineatlunch | July 21, 2010

Sizzle and Sip!

Wine Facts and Trivia: Sizzle and Sip!
Grilling and wine pairing is not difficult due to the simplicity of grilled foods. To choose a wine to pair with something off the grill, consider first, how hearty is the food, and second, what’s the dominant flavor?

For lighter foods-white-fleshed fish, vegetables, chicken breasts-pick a lighter wine. For heartier foods-sausages, burgers, steaks-choose a more robust wine. (Both reds and whites can be light-, medium- or full-bodied – so selection is taste specific.)

Now think about flavor. For steaks and butterflied legs of lamb-even if they’re marinated beforehand-the dominant flavor will almost always be the meat itself. But with foods like chicken slathered in barbecue sauce or shrimp with a fiery garlic-habanero vinaigrette, the sauce or seasoning is by far the main flavor of the dish. The dominant flavor is a key thing to consider when selecting a wine.

Here are some suggestions for wine once you’ve establised the flavor of your grillings: Crisp, fruity varietals such as sauvignon blanc, gruner veltliner, and viognierare refreshing wines with great values. Look for un-oaked chardonnays for a lighter, crisper taste and finish because oak can make a wine heavy, buttery, and creamy.  For grilling that calls for a red, try a pinot noir and even serve it slightly chilled to make it more refreshing on a hot day.


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