Every year I have great intentions of trying out new recipes during the summer grilling season. But my reality doesn’t always match my intentions. This year, I decided to do a little research early on, and found so many delicious grilling options I had to share them. And, the best part is all of them pair beautifully with wines found along the Wine Road.
Grilling & Sipping Experience
Before I dive into some of my grilling discoveries, I want to share the perfect way to taste new recipes and spend a day in Wine Country.
All American Zin Day is happening on Saturday, July 6th from 11 am to 4 pm at six wineries in Dry Creek Valley. It’s billed as pairing “an array of delicious Zinfandels and Primitivos with mouthwatering BBQ delicacies.” Here are the BBQ offerings from each participating winery:
- Barbecued Chicken Wings – Rued Wines
- Pulled Pork Sandwich – Kokomo Winery
- Traditional Tri-Tip Steak Sliders – Family Wineries Dry Creek
- Flank Steak – Talty Vineyards & Winery
- Sausage and Pepper and Onion Sandwich – Pedroncelli Winery
- Meatball Slider – Martarona Family Winery
If your mouth is watering in anticipation, you can purchase tickets in advance or at the door.
Other Tasting Options
If you want to expand your options on July 6th, check out Red, White, Blue & Sliders, Too! at Mounts Family Winery, also located in Dry Creek Valley. From 12 – 4 pm, they are offering two sliders for $10, and the tasting fee is waived with wine purchase.
Papapietro Perry, located across the parking lot from Family Wineries Dry Creek, will be hosting the Wing Man food truck from 11 am to 4 pm as part of their Sip & Eat Series. You can choose from an assortment of wings, from mild to very hot. The sides include fries (garlic & parm, sweet potato or plain Jane), coleslaw and spicy pickles. RSVP is requested to help the Wing Man plan enough for everyone. Wine will be available by the glass or bottle. Wine and food prices vary.
Late Day Option
If you don’t want your tasting experience to end at 4 o’clock, then be sure to scope out Russian River Vineyards’ Summer Celebration, happening on Saturday, July 6th from 5 – 8 pm, and on Sunday, July 7th from 3 – 6 pm. Located just south of Forestville on Hwy. 116, Russian River Vineyards invites you to join their winemaker and growers as they toast the harvest to come and celebrate the season with food and wine. Tickets are available online.
To see more summer wine and food tasting options, visit the Wine Road’s Winery Events page.
Grilling & Pairing Inspirations
My inspiration for new grilling and pairing options came from Alexander Valley Vineyards. In a recent email, they highlighted Grilled Watermelon Salad paired with their 2018 Dry Rosé of Sangiovese, among other terrific grilling and pairing options. It got me thinking about all the wonderful fresh fruit available during the summer, and how grilling it makes for a versatile appetizer, salad or dessert course.
Grilled watermelon is perfect with a dry Rosé. Or, serve grilled fresh pears over a bed of arugula drizzled with a white balsamic dressing and paired with a Sauvignon Blanc. Grilled peaches or nectarines sprinkled with blue cheese and served with a Late Harvest Muscat Blanc make an ideal finish to a summertime meal. Thanks, Alexander Valley Vineyards, for inspiring me to explore and remember that fresh grilled fruit is not only delicious, but pairs perfectly with wine!
Grilled Entrées With Wine
The web offers so many resources for recipes, but finding the perfect pairing isn’t always as easy to locate. One ideal resource I turn to is winery websites. Many of your favorite wineries offer wine and food pairings. Plus, the Wine Road has an entire database of recipes, all paired with just the right wines and more are added annually for Wine & Food Affair.
Here are some entrée options you might try during your summer of grilling exploration:
- Barrel-Stave Salmon paired with Pinot Noir compliments of Merry Edwards Winery.
- Bacon-Shrimp Kebabs paired with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc compliments of Julie Pedroncelli St. John from Pedroncelli.
- Honey Sesame Chicken Skewers paired with Chardonnay compliments of Chef John Ash and Sonoma-Cutrer.
- Grilled Marinated London Broil paired with Cabernet Sauvignon compliments of Rhonda Carano from Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery.
- Smoked Rib Roast paired with Malbec compliments of Bill and Dawn Williamson from Williamson Wines.
- Grilled Port Tenderloin with Wild Rice Pilaf paired with Cabernet Sauvignon complement of Jordan Vineyard & Winery.
- Grilled Bison Burgers paired with Cabernet Sauvignon compliments of Rodney Strong Vineyards.
Yet More Summer Grilling Tips
Kendall-Jackson has a blog dedicated to wine and food pairings. The blog from June 25, 2018 is entitled, “The Best BBQ and Wine Pairings.” There is a paragraph on how to select BBQ wines, and then a paragraph by paragraph breakdown on how to select pairings with each type of meat, seafood, summer fruits and vegetables, and more.
If you are looking for inspiration to get your summer grilling on, I hope you just found it.
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