Susan King, CA FWS

The joy of the Memorial Day weekend – the signpost for warm weather, fresh produce and grilling.  This Spring to Summer transition welcomes the bounty and joys of this time of year, and we begin to transition our wine selections to match the seasonal fare.

Berries, Apricots, Strawberries, Peaches, Melons, Avocados, Chard, Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Corn, Peas and so much more are in season around the weekend.  A farmer’s market bonanza!

Here are some tips for pairing for a Memorial Day BBQ:

Mixed Appetizers or Charcuterie – often the most difficult course to pair with because of the variety of foods, flavors and textures.  Champagne or other Sparkling wines are the perfect pairing, as the acidity and body of those wines will stand up to anything.  If you do not want to break the bank with Champagne, try a Cremant de Bourgogne or a Sparkling wine from South Africa or Tasmania – Graham Beck or a personal favorite, Jansz of Tasmania.

Another great option for Mixed Appetizers is Rose’ wines.  Try pairing with a Rose’ from the South of France; Provence, Minervois, or Bandol, or a Rose’ of Pinot Noir from California or Oregon.

Kale, Chard or other Greens – Sauvignon Blanc is a great pairing with greens, as the herbal notes in Sauvignon Blanc pair beautifully with anything vegetable.  Sancerre and New Zealand are the great choices here.  Henri Bourgeois from Sancerre and Clos Henri from New Zealand are great options.

Creamy side dishes such as Potato Salad – A Chardonnay from Australia or California pairs well with our traditional potato salad recipes. Also consider a Chenin Blanc from South Africa.

Grilled Chicken – Cabernet Franc with simply prepared chicken is a go to pairing for me.  Try Cabernet Franc from the Chinon or Bourgoueil regions of the Loire.  Jacky Blot’s Domaine de la Butte wines are a favorite.

BBQ Sauce – Ribs and Meats – smoky and sweet BBQ sauces are paired nicely with Australian Shiraz or California Zinfandel.  Langmeil and Yalumba are wonderful Australian wineries and Turley is amazing for Zinfandel.

Grilled Steak – a simply prepared grilled steak is a great pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon.  Try a Bordeaux or Napa Cabernet.  If you are feeling adventurous, try a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Coonawara region of Australia – amazing Cabernet Sauvignon wines are coming from this area.

Strawberry based desserts – Strawberry season is my favorite, as I break out my collection of a special, slightly sparkling, slightly sweet wine, called Brachetto d’Acqui from Northern Italy.  This wine is the best pairing for strawberries.  Prepare to be transformed.

Peaches/Melon desserts– Dessert wines from the Muscat grape are fabulous with Peaches and Melon based desserts.  Passito is an ancient winemaking method and produces amazing dessert wines that are not cloyingly sweet.  Look for Passito wines from Italy such as Vin Santo from Tuscany, or Passito di Pantelleria from the small island of Pantelleria off the coast of Sicily.

Blue or Blackberry based desserts – Lambrusco from Italy or a Ruby port from Portugal are great choices here.

Please enjoy your holiday!

Susan King, CA, FWS is on staff at Cold Craft, Inc. to assist our wine cellar customers with organizing their wine cellar, pairing foods for special dinners and educational events, etc. Cold Craft customers deserve the best and this is one way we deliver.

Susan King attended the Professional Culinary Institute and achieved her Certified Sommelier designation from the Court of Master Sommeliers. She worked for the fine wine distributor Henry Wine Group for 9 years, but for the past two years she has worked with private and corporate clients, specializing in creating fun/educational events, and counts the Silicon Valley Capital Club, Fenwick & West, Cloudera, Saratoga Country Club, and Saratoga Retirement Community as some of her clients.

In addition to her Certified Sommelier designation, Susan is also a French Wine Scholar and Master of Rhone with the French Wine Society, and WSET Advanced Sommelier. In her prior life experiences her work found her traveling around the world where she fell in love with all things wine, which sparked her current career.

Should you have a wine cellar concern, wish to schedule your HVAC and Wine cellar maintenance or simply have a question or concern, please do call us at 408.374.7292, [email protected]. We can assist you with any wine cellar storage needs. #winecellarsolutions #winecabinets