Updated August 2013
New Summer Wine Pairings to Try
Generally, grilled dishes mean bold flavors, and the top wine matches are intense and full-flavored, too—Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel. But sometimes, these classic pairings can seem ho-hum, so I’ve chosen six great substitutes.
New Pairing: Grilled Fish + Albariño
Albariño shares Sauvignon Blanc’s grapefruity tang, making it a great partner for grilled fish, yet it has a flinty minerality all its own.
Classic Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc
New Pairing: Grilled Pork or Beef + Monastrell
Spanish Monastrell, known as Mourvèdre in France, has the same luscious fruit that makes Zinfandel so good with grilled pork, but with a spicy edge that arguably creates an even better match.
Classic Pairing: Zinfandel
New Pairing: Grilled Steak + Malbec
Malbec, like Cabernet, has firm tannins that help it pair beautifully with steak, plus its fruit is as robust and dark.
Classic Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon
New Pairing: Grilled Chicken or Vegetables + Pinot Gris
Classic Pairing: Chardonnay
New Pairing: Grilled Salmon + Cru Beaujolais
Classic Pairing: Pinot Noir
New Pairing: Grilled Lamb + Nero d’Avola
Classic Pairing: Syrah
More Classic Summer Wine Pairings
On the Grill: Barbecued ribs, leg of lamb, steaks
In the Bottle: Powerful, tannic red: Cabernet Sauvignon, French Syrah
On the Grill: Hamburgers, sausages
In the Bottle: Rich, fruity red: Zinfandel, Australian Shiraz
On the Grill: Grilled tofu, pork chops, steak salad
In the Bottle: Medium-bodied, tangy red: Sangiovese, Grenache
On the Grill: Shrimp, scallops, lobster
In the Bottle: Succulent, minerally white: Pinot Gris
On the Grill: Halibut or other light fish, vegetables, citrus marinades
In the Bottle: Aromatic, zesty white: Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño
First published June 2008