Grilling out, but you feel like raiding the wine cellar instead? What are you going to serve? Food & Wine magazine asked Sam Calagione, the founder of Delaware’s Dogfish Head brewery, and Marnie Old, a wine educator, the authors of He Said Beer, She Said Wine, to offer their suggestions for the appropriate beer or wine pairing with various grill dishes.
Including the grill classic, the hot dog:
Hot Dogs With Grilled Coleslaw
Victory Prima Pils
Yeasty pilsners are great with anything on bread and especially refreshing with hot dogs.
2006 Georges Duboeuf Domaine des Rosiers Moulin-à-Vent Beaujolais
This friendly wine’s vibrant fruit is ideal with hot dogs.
Fred Tasker at the Miami Herald says don’t wash your food down with beer, go for the corkscrew.
With that grilled shrimp slathered in oil and garlic, pour a fruity, nutty wine with a Portuguese heritage — verdelho.
With barbecued chicken quarters, serve a complex, multigrape rosé in the style of the Southern Rhne.
With that peak grilling achievement, the charcoaled New York strip, try a sturdy, ink-hued nero d’avola from Sicily.
In California, Randall Grahm, the brooding, eccentric, genius winemaker, makes whites, reds and rosés roughly patterned on those of the Southern Rhne. They’re packed with flavor, capable of standing up to the spiciest barbecue sauce.
In Sicily, Alberto Cusumano takes the native, dark-black nero d’avola grape from vineyards around the island and vinifies it in the family winery near Palermo. Rapidly breaking into the international market, his powerful wines are good matches for spicy barbecue.
In Italy, Fabrizio Bindocci makes a rich, smooth red wine from the sangiovese grape. Located in Tuscany but just outside the official Chianti area, he can’t call it Chianti. So he calls it Rosso de Montalcino. If you grill your steak in the Tuscan style, with olive oil and rosemary, this would be the perfect match. In France’s Southern Rhne Valley, the Skalli Family’s Maison Bouachon makes Chateauneuf-du-Pape with extra richness from grapes from 70-year-old vines.
While I don’t think wine vs. beer will replace the great gas vs charcoal debate, don’t be afraid to center your grilling experience around the beverage rather than the main course.