I’m all-out ready for barbecue season! Flippin’ burgers on the grill under the hot sun with friends around sounds pretty idyllic and, of course, wine fits into the picture nice ‘n easy. When you’re grilling beef patties and then loading them up with condiments, you’re gonna want a bright and juicy red to lap up all of that salty goodness. Here are a few suggestions that should hit the spot well.
Eau Vivre Winery's 2013 Pinot Noir is a shining star from British Columbia’s Similkameen Valley; expressive of telltale regional minerality and bursting with bright, red fruit like ripe cherries, raspberries, currants, and the like. Serve it with a hint of a chill and then tuck into some hearty fare.
JoieFarm’s 2012 Pinot Noir is just as lively, upbeat, and charismatic as the white wines that have put them on the map. The small-but-punchy popular winery on British Columbia’s Naramata Bench consistently strikes a fine balance of purity of fruit, thanks to the intense heat of the Okanagan sun, and bright acidity, courtesy of wide diurnal temperature shifts and the close proximity of the vineyards to Lake Okanagan. The wine practically grins with plums, cherries, blackberries, and other fruits of the summer.
SpierHead Winery’s 2013 Pinot is a spry and lively wine of champions. From their northern Okanagan home of Kelowna comes this perfumed sea of blackberries, plums, and a few fresh-picked aromatic herbs that help it sail across the palate. It results in a worthy adversary to any salty goodness that’s on your plate
The aptly named 2013 Burger Blend from 13th Street Winery is a re-hash of the beloved “mulligan stew” that this Niagara winery gem released in the late 90's. This time, they’ve used just two varieties, Gamay Noir and Pinot Noir, to create a juicy refreshing wine bursting of ripe berry fruit that will complement any burger in its path.
As with any red wine, I do recommend that you serve these wines after at least 10 minutes in the fridge or the same amount of time on ice; it’ll just allow the fruit to sing that much louder!
Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at KurtisKolt.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt.