Memorial Weekend is finally here. It is the un-official start to summer, and in my house means high school is over at the end of next week. Memorial Day is about honoring those who have served our country through military and first responder service at the cost of their lives. It is a day of gratitude and remembrance. Many Americans, at some point over the weekend, chose outdoor cookouts as a part of their Memorial weekend festivities.
I recently participated in a virtual tasting featuring Ferrari-Carano wines. It was a great tasting because Ferrari-Carano not only takes wine making seriously, they take food and wine pairings seriously. Don and Rhonda Carano are both second generation Italian Americans who understand how to live life. Rhonda explains, “Italians approach life as art and our lifestyle reflects our love of wine, food, entertaining, gardens and music.” Sounds like the perfect way to enjoy an outdoor cookout.
Here are the four wines we tasted with Memorial Day cookout suggestions. However, do not limit yourself to my recommendations, the sky is the limit to how well these wines will pair with food.
2016 Ferrari-Carano Pinot Grigio Russian River Valley Sonoma USA ($14): pale gold, medium youthful nose of white floral notes, white nectarines, orchard fruit, pineapple, lemon zest; bone dry with high acidity creating a zesty and crisp mouth feel, aromas follow through with more pronounced citrus and stone fruit, particularly flavorful for a PG, light body, long refreshing, tart lime zest finish.
Ferrari-Carano has crafted a flavorful and delicious Pinot Grigio. This wine would make an ideal aperitif by itself or served with a seafood crudo or cheese board. It will also pair well with pimento cheese spread, cold corn dip, and grilled chicken, lobster, and shrimp.
2016 Lazy Creek Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir Anderson Valley USA ($22): pale pink with orange hues in the glass; medium- youthful aromas of fresh picked strawberries, Rainier cherries, candied violets, orange blossom honey, Chantilly cream, vanilla, fresh picked herbs; elegant on palate with a balance of creamy texture and high acidity make for a delicious light body wine with a refreshing finish, more please.
Pinot Noir is one of my favorite grapes crafted into rosé, and Ferrari-Carano’s Lazy Creek Rose of Pinot Noir is one of the best I have had. The creaminess of this dry wine make it also an ideal aperitif because it is such an enjoyable sip; however, it will also pair beautifully with a cold summer salad or any veggies served along with BBQ. For dips think spinach artichoke, cold Mexi-corn, and French onion. Also perfect for grilled salmon, sea bass, shrimp, and lobster.
2016 Ferrari-Carano Dry Sangiovese Rosé Sonoma County USA ($14): pale salmon in the glass; medium youthful aromas of fresh picked summer red fruit including strawberries, cherries, and watermelon, orange zest, delicate red flowers, fresh herbs, and a slight candied note; bold yet refreshing tart red fruit palate, zesty and refreshing; light body, medium acidity, super pleasing tart finish.
This dry Sangiovese Rosé is a bit more robust, pair it with grilled hot dogs (you can thank me later), burgers, brats, and BBQ ribs. It can easily stand up to heartier cookout foods.
2014 Ferrari-Carano Siena Red Wine Sonoma County USA ($21): a blend of Sangiovese, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Shirah; deep ruby with purple hues; medium+ youthful aromas of candied berries including blackberries, cherries, and black raspberries, along with plums, violets, fresh tobacco, sweet baking spices, lavender, black licorice, milk chocolate, and vanilla; dry medium+ acid balanced with pronounced tannins that feel silky on the palate, juicy and round with layers of textures and flavors, full-body wine, with a long, juicy finish.
This red wine blend will complete your outdoor grilling weekend. Pair this wine with steak, smoked brisket, pulled pork, burgers, ribs, lamb chops, or just about any red meat, poultry, pork, or Portobello mushrooms you want to throw on the grill.
Thank you to all of those who continue to put their lives at risk in the military and first responders for our country. And thank you to those men and women who gave their lives for our freedom. Happy Memorial Day weekend to each of you. Cheers!