The number of impromptu gatherings, where l’heure de l’apéro turns into a casual dinner around the BBQ, multiplies with the arrival of warm weather. Friends stop by with their favourite items to put on the BBQ and there are an abundance of flavours. But what wine do you choose when you have so much variety on the grill? Here are a few tips to make the most out of of every bite.
Whether you are searching for a white or a red, choosing a wine that doesn't have an over-the-top personality is key. When it comes to whites, I like to go with wines that have a certain richness and roundness. This is helpful when you have both fish and meat on the grill, and you are trying find a wine to complement both. I generally stay away from sweet and oaky wines. Italy’s Soave, Vermentino, Verdicchio, and Gavi are my go-to picks. A dry Canadian Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc would be a great option too. Inspired by the style of Alsace, JoieFarm Pinot Blanc 2014 is a delicious pick.
If you prefer to go for reds, stick with light body, light tannins and fruit driven wines. They provide a nice bridge between the fish, the meat, and the grilled vegetables. Cru Beaujolais, Oregon Pinot Noir or light Italian Frappato are just the right partners. Don’t be afraid to chill them a little before serving! Tested and approved, the juicy Flat Rock Pinot Noir 2012 works like a charm.
Can’t decide between red or white? Opt for rosé! Those that have a fuller body will pair well with the multiple dishes being served. Tavel from France or Garnacha from Navarra in Spain are naturals. The 13th Street Cabernet Franc Rosé will also leave your mouth watering. Slightly heavier, the Road 13 Syrah/Merlot blend, also known as Honest John's Rosé, is another great pick. Santé!
Michelle Bouffard is a wine educator and journalist who splits her time between Montréal & Vancouver. She co-owns the Vancouver-based company ‘house wine’ and is the president of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. She Tweets @michellebwine and Instagrams @michellebouffard.