There’s Wine for That: The Foods of Summer

A sudsy brew may be your go-to beverage for a summer cookout, but if you're wine-venturous (like how I did that?), here are some general suggestions for pairing wine (gasp!) with your finger-lickin' summer picnic.

Salads: (with fruit) Try a dry Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, or Riesling; (with chicken) Chardonnay or Viognier; (with flank steak) Pinot Noir, Malbec, or Merlot

Caprese Salad: Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, or Chianti

Potato Salad: Dry Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, or Sparkling Wine

Grilled Chicken: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Grenache, or Malbec

Fish Tacos: Pinot Grigio or a Brut Sparkling Wine

Hot Dogs: Dry-style Riesling, Pinot Grigio, a dry Rosé, or Pinot Noir

Chili Dog: Shiraz or Zinfandel

Burgers: Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Zinfandel

7-Layer Dip: Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese or Cabernet Franc

Guacamole: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay, Tempranillo, or Cabernet Franc

Barbecue Ribs (and other yumminess): Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Zinfandel

Think of wine as another condiment. You are the chef. What would you add to your 'dog in addition to mustard and bacon bits? A crisp white wine, like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc? Or something with a little more texture and substance, like a Pinot Noir? There is no dead-wrong answer. It all comes down to what rocks your tastebuds.

When in doubt? Go with brut-style bubbly. Sparkling wine is way more than a glass of "cheers." It is actually a great pairing with foods that have strong flavors or multiple condiments – and it's super refreshing.

How to keep your wine cool on hot summer day? There are plenty of gadgets out there to help keep your bottle cool, from fancy buckets to icicles. Great. But a small bucket of ice water is also plenty fine for your sizzler-of-a-picnic. If you're so inclined to put ice in your wine (I'm not judging... too much), save it for the cheap stuff. Or better yet, make a summer wine spritzer by pouring equal parts wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, or Rosé) and club soda over ice, then garnishing with summery green apple, melon, peach, or berries.

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