As you get ready to light up the grill and celebrate Dear Old Dad – we reached out to Heinen’s Fine Foods Wine Director, Carlo Riggio for a few of his wine favorites guaranteed to make Sunday simply perfect. Just like Dad.
For dads – and grilling in general I usually reach for a trusty Zinfandel. But lately I find myself captivated by the well crafted reds that are coming from Washington. Two fantastic, and nicely priced at under $25 a bottle are Browne Family Vinyard’s ‘Tribute’ or Precept Vineyards’ Pendulum Red both from Columbia Valley. When I think of grilling protein, I think of the char and smokiness that compliments the dish. The one common denominator I always seem to get with Washington State reds is this great fruit component that is never overly jammy in any way and always has a nice, distinctive spice, toast and dark cocoa aspect to it. The spice, toast and cocoa are what immediately came to mind with the thought of grilling and pairing.
Those characteristics along with the balanced fruit from Washington will make these blends a perfect complement to any grilled pork or beef dish, whether the dish is seasoned with fresh herbs or slathered with BBQ sauce. What a great Fathers Day pairing this would be!
I’d also suggest two lovely wines from Australia that go beautifully with grilled meats or just for watching the US Open. John Duval wines, one of the most famous wineries from down under has two Shiraz offerings Eligo and Entity that pair perfectly with any Sunday afternoon. Another I suggest is Penfolds that you can find ranging between $10-$15. Too many people overlook Penfolds, but their mid and high tier offerings are phenomenal.
We didn’t even talk about whites, which not fair, as there are some great whites out there and not everyone is going to grill beef or pork. A great suggestion for shrimp or fish is Voignier. This white grape is formally from the French wine Condrieu in the Rhone Valley. Like Chardonnay, Viognier has the potential to produce full-bodied wines with a soft character and more naturally aromatic flavors of peach, pear and violet.
Pairing wine and food will always enhance your experience but the one thing to always remember is to enjoy what your palate responds to. Don’t be afraid to experiment but at the end of the day you like what you like, it doesn’t always need to be complicated. Have fun, drink good wine and enjoy your company! Cheers.