Bring on the BBQ

This Independence day, I toasted much more than the 236th birthday of the United States of America. I toasted wine being made in all 50 states. I toasted freedom (DUH), and BBQs, and the fact that Prohibition only lasted 13 years. (What were they thinking??).

In honor of all things American and summer–primarily mouthwatering dinners al fresco and sipping a crisp sauvignon blanc while watching shirtless men cook (what is it about boys and grills?) I picked up a few party-friendly American bottles that I’m compelled to share.

First of all, I think it’s safe to say I’m not the only wine-loving, carb-hating female in NYC. That being said, what’s a girl to drink alongside BBQ (sans hamburger buns of course) that can accompany the rich flavors of spicy, classically American fare?


This week, my favorite was Old Moon 2010 Zinfandel ($7.99), a smoky, slightly peppery California wine with enough strength to take on a bacon double cheesburger, but with enough finesse to handle lighter fruit and cheese appetizers as well. (My personal favorite–This juicy red alongside sesame crispbread topped with manchego cheese and quince spread like this).

Herbed chicken or shrimp or red snapper on that BBQ? I adored Gary Farrell Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc, 2010–this lightly-oaked sipper was wonderful, with strong pear aromas and hints of vanilla. It was less tart than most Sauvignon Blancs, and I loved it.

If you’re hosting a party where tastes are less discerning,  Chateau Ste. Michelle 2011 Sauvignon Blanc will do the trick. This tart, fresh juice from Washington reeked of white grapefruit and lime and had a clean, mineral finish.  At $4.99 (thanks Trader Joe!) complainers can shut up. Sauv. Blancs like this are also great paired with leftover pasta or potato salad where their light citrus notes offer a great contrast to rich, creamy flavors.

Summer BBQ Wines Uncorked

Laura Loves: Using cute, re-usable ice cubes to keep whites and sangria @ the optimal drinking temperature despite record NYC heat.


Making Pizza on the grill–maybe not as classic as ribs or steak, but damn near as delicious. Depending on the cheese you use, they’re great with the above wines, but also buttery chardonnays or intense pinot noir.


Wine glass Koozies like these–they keep juice chilled, and keep glasses from getting mixed up.

Fun Facts: The first commercially produced BBQ sauce was sold in 1909 by the Georgia Barbecue Sauce company in Atlanta.

During prohibition, Zinfandel was one of the most popular varieties among home winemakers.


  • July 7, 2012
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