It’s just about summer so that means it’s time for barbecue season! When sitting out on the porch, I do love a dry Rose from Provence, or a crisp white - Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling or Albarino usually. But when there are burgers, steaks, hot dogs, and kebabs on the grill, we need a red (unless we’re in a margarita mood).
With a good grilled steak, I do prefer a good quality red from California, Spain, or Australia - Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Monastrell would be my picks. And when pairing to a good quality steak, we need a good quality red, and that might require a little spending. Try Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley, Sonoma County), d’Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz - a perennial favorite with grilled steak (McLaren Vale, South Australia), or El Nido Clio (Jumilla). These wines are big and bold yet elegant with nice structure and tremendous presence.
With a more laid back afternoon or evening of grilling, I tend to prefer Zinfandel, Malbec, Cotes du Rhone red blends (GSM or Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre), or a Portuguese red, which I believe to be among the best values in reds. Some of my picks include Carm Reserva (Douro, Portugal), Murphy Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel (Sonoma, California), Michel Torino Malbec (Cafayate Valley, Argentina), or my regular crowd pleaser - d’Arenberg The Stump Jump GSM (McLaren Vale, South Australia).