Grilled Food and Wine Pairing |

Beneath the Cork with Mike H. Assistant Liquor


Pairing wine with food should be a fun endeavor especially when it comes to summer grilling. Balancing flavors is a good starting place where you don’t want one element to overpower another like a Cabernet might do to shrimp skewers or steak might do to Pinot Grigio. Texture can be important too and is demonstrated well by a wine with tannins cutting through a fattier piece of meat. As I once heard, another way to think of pairing food & wine is to treat wine like another condiment. Try to create a similar effect to squeezed lemon on seafood or pesto on a steak or salad. Finally if all else fails pick a sparkling wine like Prosecco to pair with grilled food as those bubbles can pair with nearly anything. With all that said, here are some old & new favorites I will be enjoying this summer…

Grilled Vegetables with Rodney Strong Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc
This wine is fresh, crisp & delicious. This is a 100% Estate grown wine and shows cases awesome citrus fruit and tropical characters with enough delicacy to compliment lighter grilled veggies but enough backbone to work with some of more difficult one’s to pair like Brussel sprouts or asparagus.

Grilled Seafood with Domaine du Tariquet Cotes de Gascogne Classic
This is the perfect wine for summer with its refreshing character and intense aromas of citrus and tropical fruit notes with floral hints. This also makes it a great choice to pair with seafood off the grilled. Think the aforementioned Shrimp skewers or other grill worthy white fish.

Grilled Barbecued Chicken with Primarius Rose
We can always argue about the chicken or the egg but often I also hear white of red with chicken. How about if we say both and offer Rose. The spicy and fruity notes of your barbeque sauce paired with the juicy, tangy and cherry flavors of this Rose are off the charts.


Grilled Steak with Marietta Arme

Certainly a steaks cut, aging technique and accompanying sauces can change the pairing suggestion but generally steak with an intensely flavored wine is always a good bet. Cabernet is always a good choice but Cabernet based Blends can provide boldness and richness too like this one from Marietta.

Barbecue Pork Ribs with Herald Alexander Valley Zinfandel
Any excuse to break out Red Zinfandel is fine by me but with BBQ’d Ribs it is a must. The red berry flavors, spice and smokiness of the Zinfandel coupled with the flavors of the ribs are absolute dynamite.


Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Cline Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is not always at the top of the list for “grill” wines but I love it with salmon prepared in this manner. The deep red color of this wine is impressive for 100% Pinot Noir and notes of strawberry and cedar in this wine make a perfect partner for this salmon preparation style. Another great grilling partner to this wine if you are so inclined is leg of lamb.

Happy summer!

Mike H.
Assistant Liquor Division Manager
Coborn’s, Inc.

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Beneath the Cork with Mike -