Ever been stumped on how to pair your Mexican food with wine beyond the basics of white goes with chicken and red goes with meat? Well, with Mexican food there are various spices to take into account that makes the pairing need a little more thought.
As we head into the heart of summer, it’s time to get the barbecue cleaned up and prepared for a good stretch of home grilling. Unfortunately, if you are like most people, including me, when it comes to matching those outdoor delights with a good wine or beer, your lost.
Fear no more! The MultiCulturalCookingNetwork reached out to our friend Ed Draves, the wine know it all for the Premier Group in Buffalo, New York for a quick primer in making your summer feast a success, at least when it comes to drinks.
MCCN: Ed, thanks for taking a few moments to help us out on this. So, we want to have some folks over for a little summer entertaining and we need some help making sure we’ve got the right wine on the table. If I’m putting together the classic backyard BBQ, you know, burgers, hot dogs and potato salad, what should I pair with that?
Ed Draves: Dave, with the classic burger cookout, a nice Rhone wine from France, think Syrah/Grenache, is perfect. You can usually find really nice ones in the $10 range. If you are thinking beer, look for a pale ale and if you can find it, the Live Pale Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company would be a winner.
MCCN: Okay, but what about some of the other options. What if I want to grill some chicken, do a little cedar plank salmonor even a light summer fruit or pasta salad?
Ed: All these scream for Riesling, sweet or dry depending on taste but always cooler climate with ample acidity. There are lots of great local examples for people living in Idaho, Michigan, NY, Ohio, and Washington. The German examples (Kabinett level) are also fantastic. The lemon you’d put with the Salmon has me really exited to match with a Riesling, something from the slate soil of the Moselle region.
Also, for the salmon or the salads, you could try an unoaked Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. If you really want a red wine, try a Pinot Noir, it goes great with both salmon and chicken and is a nice light style wine.
MCCN: Okay Ed, that’s the light stuff, but sometimes you need to turn up the heat and throw a couple of T-Bones on the grill. What works with that or a big juicy Porterhouse?
Ed: That’s when you reach for a nice rich Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep red and full-bodied.
MCCN: Thanks Ed for your help on this. Any further thoughts?
Ed: Dave, just that if you are doing summer and drinks, why not try something on the cutting edge? Leave the vodka and rum in the cabinet and go for some premium Wahaka Mezcal [Joven Espadin] straight out of the freezer, ice cold and undiluted. It’s a great alternative if you are looking for something different in the spirits category.
So there you have it, our summer guide to putting your best foot forward when it comes to the backyard barbecue and drinks.
Again, our thanks go out to both Ed Drave and Premier Group VP Jon Notarius for their help and input.