Summer is in full swing and the heat is on. It is the perfect time for rosé all day and crisp refreshing white wines. However, if you partake in one of summer’s greatest past times (the cookout), then you know summer is also time for big reds. What better reds to pair with summer cookouts than wines from south of the border? Argentina is a beef lovers country and Chile embraces an array of beef dishes including empanadas filled with pino, Completo (Chilean hot dog), and Churrasco and Chacarero (Chilean steak sandwiches). So add your own heat to summer with these five big reds to pair with BBQ and grilling.
Merlot is a versatile wine that can bridge pairings when unsure which wine to select. It’s a full body wine with typically less intense flavors and tannins and riper than Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot is a great summertime choice to pair with burgers, hot dogs, and ribs. If you prefer going lighter, Merlot pairs well with grilled chicken and grilled vegetables, homemade grilled pizza, and even blackened seafood.
2016 Concha Y Toro Casillero del Diablo Reserva Merlot Rapel Valley Chile ($8): 100% Merlot; medium vibrant ruby; medium aromas of fresh picked red berries and plums, violets, subdued baking spice, milk chocolate, roasted walnuts, minerality; medium acidity and tannins create a silky mouth-feel that lifts off the tongue, long spicy finish, well-balanced wine; click here to locate this wine.
Carmenere is Chile’s signature grape. It is one of the six original Bordeaux grapes but suffered greatly during the phylloxera outbreak of the 1850’s, and when died was replanted with Cabernet Sauvignon. However, it found its home in Chile, though planted under the belief it was Merlot. Its warm spice and berry notes, black pepper, and smooth well-integrated tannins make it an enjoyable wine to drink. Looking for a wine to pair with your juicy grilled rib eye or fillet, Carmenere is a great wine to choose both for its flavors and textures as well as its price.
2015 Emiliana Natura Carmenere Colchagua Valley ($10): This wine was crafted of organic grapes from sustainably farmed vineyards; 100% Carmenere; medium- ruby; medium aromas of red berries and fruit, dried roses and savory herbs, dusty earth, sweet baking spice, and white pepper; dry wine with a touch of sweetness as it enters the mouth quickly followed by dusty earth notes and loads of spice notes, medium- acidity and tannins, silky mouth-feel, long spicy finish; click here to locate this wine.
Malbec practically begs for BBQ! Malbec is another French grape; however, Argentina has truly given Malbec a name in the world of wine. It is a full bodied with an intense flavor profile of dark fruit, smoke, leather, spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, and espresso. Think coffee rubbed steak, smoked brisket, black and blue burgers, and spicy sausage. Malbec will not shy away from whatever you can think of to BBQ or grill. Here are two stellar Malbecs, a classic from Argentina and a surprise from across the Andes in Chile.
2015 Achaval Ferrer Malbec Mendoza Argentina ($21): 100% Malbec; medium+ ruby with inky purple hues; medium+ aromas of dark berries and fruit, savory dried herbs, dusty earth, leather, dark chocolate, and minerality; lush on the palate, medium dusty tannins balanced with medium acidity, elegant with lots of earthiness on the palate, full body, long juicy fruit finish; click here to locate this wine.
2014 Concha Y Toro Gran Reserva Series Riberas Malbec Central Valley Chile ($18): 100% Malbec; medium+ ruby with violet hues; medium aromas of dusty earth, dark berries, dried tobacco, ground espresso, and smoke; youthful medium tannins provide a silky mouth-feel, balanced with medium acidity, pronounced juicy fruit and spice notes wrap the palate in a long spicy finish; click here to locate this wine.
In the world of red wine Cabernet Sauvignon is king. A full body wine with typically with high tannins and acidity delivers flavors of black fruit, herbaceous notes, and accompanied oak notes of cedar, tobacco, and vanilla. It pairs with a wide variety of foods but do not forget it with your summer cookouts. Steak, brisket, burgers, brats, ribs, even hot dogs will shine will paired with the king of reds.
2015 Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Chile ($17): 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot, 1% Syrah; medium- ruby in the glass; medium aromas of black and red berries, dusty earth, herbaceousness, minerality, dried tobacco, and baking spices; full body wine with slightly dusty medium+ tannins balanced with medium+ acidity, nice minerality runs across the palate, long dusty earth finish; click here to locate this wine.
Each of these wines are perfect for summer BBQ and grilling, they are all crowd-pleasers in both quality and in price! Cheers!