Tending the grill is thirsty work, so following on from our gearing up for the grill story, we wanted to ensure you had the right vino to hand this Summer – especially with the Memorial Day weekend looming in just a few days time.
With that in mind, we turned to our friends at Vine Lore – one of the best wine brokerages in Utah – to come up with an essential list of wines that’ll serve you well this Summer. All the wines listed here pair perfectly with the wonderful smoky flavors of BBQ; wines with bright and fresh flavors that will enhance that classic grilled taste. Each category also handily has both a wallet friendly pick, and also a slightly fancier pick, for when you want to splurge.
Where can you find these wines? Visit vinelore.com/our-brands/portfolio and just enter the DABC product code into the search keywords field. From there, the Vine Lore website will give you info on where you can find each wine, even the inventory levels per store.
Remember – stores are closed this Monday folks, so you’ll probably want to print this guide now and head down to stores today before the weekend queues start to pile up.
Rosé might be the official drink of summer. The crisp acidity and soft fruit flavors make rosé the perfect food wine—delightful as an apéritif or as the meal’s vinous star. Tasting notes courtesy of Vine Lore:
Conde Villar Rosé, Vinho Verde
DABC code: 918759
The Portuguese region of Vinho Verde is known for crisp and fruity wines. This rosé made from native Portuguese grapes is no exception. The color of ripe raspberries, this wine wafts refreshing red fruit and a slight fizz plays on the palate. Pair with salads with grilled chicken, or even burgers.
Lorenza Rosé, California
DABC code: 919829
This winemaker loves rosé. In fact, it is the only wine she makes. A blend of four French varietals, Lorenza is hand-harvested and gently vinified. It has a subtle pink hue, tastes of white peaches and bright citrus, and carries a mouthwatering acidity. This old vine beauty is a touch lower in alcohol, too—making it the perfect Sunday brunch wine.
White wine is a Summer classic. Of course, we love Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, but often we reach for old world favorites too. These versatile wines are a great match for cold salads or grilled veggies—yes, even asparagus. These international beauties may end up as your summer go-to’s.
Alpha Zeta Soave, Vento
DABC code: 909882
Soave (Swah-vay), it’s a bit like Pinot Grigio, only hipper. This northern Italian favorite is still uncommon in the U.S., making it quite a steal. Sustainably farmed at the foot of the Dolomites, Alpha Zeta Soave is light and crisp with notes of green apple, pear, and lemon. Surprise your friends with your good taste and hip wine knowledge and serve this with apps and salmon burgers.
Zocker Gruner Veltliner, Edna Valley
DABC code: 918166
Gruner Veltliner (grooner velt-leener) is Austria’s national grape and many vegetarians’ best friend. While Zocker’s primary flavors are melon, lemon, and white pepper, the slight herbaceousness found in Gruner Veltliner aligns perfectly with hard-to-pair veggies (artichoke, asparagus, leafy greens). Sustainably grown in California’s Edna Valley, Zocker is winning awards all over the world. This wine is crisp enough to cut through creamy sauces but for summer try it with shish-kebabs.
Red wine is truly an all-year-long libation, but in the summer we look for reds that can pair with casual backyard fare and those that can take on the truly impressive butcher cuts of high-end outdoor dining.
Il Faggio Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
DABC code: 919330
This delightful everyday-drinker can handle just about anything you pull off the grill, from zucchini to pork. Il Faggio’s dark fruit notes are balanced with beautiful food-friendly acidity. Sustainably grown and hand-picked, this Italian classic is the perfect wine with pizza off the grill.
Pendulum Red Blend, Columbia Valley
DABC code: 495000
The Columbia Valley is growing a reputation for stellar Bordeaux varietals. With Cabernet Sauvignon the dominant grape, Pendulum Red Blend shows concentrated fruit—plum and blueberry—with the weightiness of dark chocolate, spice and tannin. Partner this with some ribs or your best steak.
Vine Lore is a locally owned fine wine and craft spirits brokerage made up of passionate advocates and knowledgeable educators dedicated to bringing the best in wine and spirits to Utah.
Founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review. Former restaurant critic at the Salt Lake Tribune. Stuart is largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words he doesn’t understand. Ate all the pies.