Super Summer Sippers for your Memorial Day Weekend

Summer is almost here and boy, it’s finally starting to feel like it. 

Toasty weather means only one thing, MORE WINE!

In the spirit of the holiday weekend, I thought I’d toss out some easy pairing tips while you’re loading your fridge up with foods & bevis for your weekend menus.

Want the best grapes for all things ‘backyard’ grilling? 

Brats & Hot Dogs: Yeah, yeah…I know.  Beer is the best answer here, but don’t forget about some easy drinking grapes for this pairing.  MALBEC, for one. My tag for this little grape seems appropriate as I deemed it ‘the hot dog of grapes’.  As it’s grown in South America, the grape takes on juicier dark berry components, perfect for these porky grilled bites.

Another fave for this section and really works pretty darn well for almost anything PORK related is the grape SYRAH.  Find a dense, chocolatey version from WA state for your ribs and roasts, and for brats/hot dogs and bacon cheddar cheeseburgers – a nice Côtes du Rhône (generally a combo of Syrah/Grenache) are a perfect answer, these are easy drinking and won’t break the bank.  And remember, ZINFANDEL works for ALL things sticky BBQ style.

Grilled Chicken or Fish (especially salmon):  One can never go wrong with Pinot Noir.  There’s a reason why she’s the world’s most recent answer to EVERYTHING food!  Most Pinot Noirs are easy drinking, light bodied and highly versatile to lighter fare like chicken, and especially good with cedar planked grilled salmon!

Lite Green Salads or a Cheese Plate:  Oh how I love a delicious southern French white or classic New Zealand Savignon Blanc for pairing to this part of my meal.  Viognier from the Rhone Valley of France, or even the Languedoc (here, you can find some lovely white blends with the grape Viognier tied in), through to those southern Italian whites and into New Zealand for Sauvignon Blanc is a lovely answer to all things leafy and light.  Here’s one of my most recent favorites!

Tomato Based Salads or Grilled Veggies:  Again, Pinot Noir works well here–but, here’s where you can get into a number of Rosés to satiate your senses.  For a list of gorgeous Pinks, head here for more recommendations. (Still not sure about those pinks?  Read here for a better understanding of the process.)

However, there’s still ONE grape that does it all for me when it comes to tomatoes, and that is SANGIOVESE.  You know that statement, ‘What grows together, goes together’?  Yep, all things tomato based, especially delicious Italian themed salads like caprese or a greek styled salad, work gorgeously with a tasting Tuscan Sangiovese.  Check out the region of Chianti, Italy for a whole slew of delicious Sangioveses.

The Almighty German Potato Salad:  We are Minnesotan, after all!  One answer for ya, folks…RIESLING.  Find a real German Riesling for this midwestern picnic food and I promise you, you won’t regret trying them together — it’s a bit life altering.

Snacks like Potato Chips, Fritos, or other Salty Treats:  CHAMPAGNE, of course!  The classic brut (dry) styled Champagnes are perfect for this category.  Bubbles, remember…the answer to all things salty, fried or super heavy on your palate.  Incidentally, Champagne, also an amazing pairing to your picnic fried chicken.  Try it!

Last but not least…The Classic Midwestern Fruit Salad:  From watermelon, cherries, grapes and cantaloupe, try on everything from Chardonnay to Moscato.  Sometimes with the sweeter fruits, I prefer a sweet bubble like Moscato to add that little pop to my summer bite.  Yet, Chardonnay is almost classic to fruit like pineapple, apple and melon.

From your picnic basket to the grill – try out a few of these tasting tips for making your Memorial Day Weekend one Perfect Pairing!  #clinkclink

And for a whole slew more of my recommendations:  Super Summer Sippers, Pinks, Bubbles, Best Wines under $20, Best Wines for the BarB and beyond — Check out Amusée’s Pinterest Page for oodles and oodles of options!  

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