We love the first smells of summer - fresh cut grass clippings, flowers in the garden and, of course, our all time favorite - burgers cooking on the grill! We asked Jessica Bell, former sommelier-turned-Inventor/Entrepreneur ofHaloVino, for her favorite summer cookout wines. Read through our wine blog to discover her secret to great cookout wine pairings!
Follow our wine blog for more tips on food and wine pairings and how to have great tasting wine, even when glass is not an option — like opting for recyclable, reusable, and non-breakable outdoor wine glasses at your next cookout. Stay prepared for the summer and order your HaloVino wine glasses today!
Whether you’re having a small group of friends and family over on a summer night or throwing a large cookout for the whole neighborhood, pairing the perfect wines to your grilled fare can feel a little daunting.
Fear not! On our wine blog, we have compiled a list of our favorites that are not only easy to find, but also easy on the wallet. We’ve separated our recommendations based on the grilling menu you choose. Your friends and family will appreciate you for the wine connoisseur that you are.
Great for: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and lake house cookouts
WIne Pairing: Zinfandel
Zinfandel feels as American as Memorial Day, the Fourth and Lake House Life because it’s not grown anywhere else except for America under that name.
These soft, fruity, and ripe red wines pair well with savory meat and mellow out the occasional bitter char found crisped around the edges of a burger or hot dog. Grab your tongs and a glass of Zinfandel to make the most out of your summer cookout!
Our favorite bottles: It was too hard to pick just one! Here are some of Jessica’s favorites at various price levels so you can always have a bottle of Zinfandel on hand no matter how much you want to spend!
Under $10: Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel.
$10-$15: Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel, an Italian wine that dates back to the late 19th century.
$20+: Ridge Three Valleys Red Sonoma Zinfandel for a great wine under $25.
Great for: Father’s Day and dinner parties
Wine Pairing: Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon
Steaks call for a wine with a fuller body than a Zinfandel and can stand a touch more of tannin than Malbec. As such, any Cabernet Sauvignon will do, but Jessica prefers to reach for a Malbec from Argentina, a country she knows can do beef and red wine better than anyone.
Our favorite bottle: Decero Malbec. This has been Jessica’s go-to affordable, well-structured but approachable Malbec for years.
Great for: A casual Wednesday night and vegetarian friends
Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir (a classic) or Tempranillo
Jessica’s husband is vegetarian, so they often opt for a nice grilled pizza loaded with fresh summer vegetables over burgers or steaks. This Wednesday night treat calls for a more affordable red wine that is both light and goes down easy. Sure, Pinot Noir is great — but after living in Spain for 2 years and working at a Spanish winery, Jessica uses any excuse to source Spanish wines. A young Tempranillo from Spain with its tart cherry and earthy tones work well with sweet & acidic pizza sauces and the earthy notes of vegetables.
While Marques de Cacacres isn’t Jessica’s favorite, she is a pragmatist and this is a solid brand that you can find almost anywhere. With Rioja reds, it’s worth it to spend an extra couple bucks to get a better wine and “splurge” on a bottle of Crianza for under $15.
Jessica also really enjoys Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza at just under $30 a bottle.
— an especially rare gem that is a little more pricey and not as easy to find.
Now that we’ve shared reds we pair for our cookouts, we wanted to concede we almost always include rosé wine.
Rosé wine is so versatile, making it a nice, crisp alternative — especially on a steamy summer night. So if you’re looking for variety, or are just more of a rosé person, grab a bottle of pink wine to pair with your summer cookout!
Looking for recommendations? We’ve already covered our favorite rosé wines in a previous post on our wine blog if you want to learn more about best rosé to serve for your friends and family.
No matter what you choose to cookout this summer, make sure you pair a wine that both your guests will enjoy and compliments the meal.
When you choose outdoor wine glasses from HaloVino, you get glass-free wine glasses that are perfect for any event or party.
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