Balsamic and Rosemary-Marinated Florentine Steak
Pairing: 2005 Losi Millennium Chianti Classico Riserva
Dusty herbs and dried berry aromas introduce Querciavalle's great Classico. Oak barrel aging imparts a brawny quality, which is expertly balanced by the purity of the fruit flavors.
Grilled Lamb Chops with Ladolemono
Pairing: 2007 Boutari Kallisti Reserve
Nutty and honey-scented, this white is from one of Greece's big producers (Boutari owns six wineries throughout the country). The wine spends seven months in French barrels, proving Assyrtiko can improve with oak aging.
Grilled Skirt Steak with Fregola-Orange Salad
Pairing: 2005 Heitz Cellar Bella Oaks Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Heitz Cellar's Bella Oaks Cabernet is aged for more than three years in oak before it is bottled, resulting in a big, intense wine with firm tannins and rich, concentrated fruit.
Grilled Maple-Brined Pork Chops
Pairing: 2008 Guillot-Broux Sélection Mâcon Villages
Here's a refreshing, organic wine that's a great value. Six months in oak barrels contribute some weight, while leaving the stone-fruit and citrus flavors fresh and inviting.
Grilled Lamb Shwarma
Pairing: 2007 Obsidian Ridge Half Mile
The unusual spice notes of Hungarian oak and a bright floral lift from a high percentage of Petit Verdot make this Cabernet blend extremely compelling.
Grilled Sardines with Eggplant Puree and Tarragon Dressing
Pairing: 2008 Livon Braide Grande Pinot Grigio
Livon gives this Pinot Grigio some oak treatment (30 percent of it is fermented and aged in French barrels), which imparts well-integrated toast, vanilla and spice notes to flavors of bright grapefruit and apple.
Grilled Scallops with Honeydew-Avocado Salsa
Pairing: 2009 Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County Chardonnay
Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren's basic Chardonnay has been a go-to value white for many years now, and the '09 will only sustain the wine's reputation. Silky, with an alluring touch of sweet oak, it's classic California Chardonnay.
Open-Face Steak Sandwich with Pickled Green Tomatoes
Pairing: 2008 Monje Tradicional
Felipe Monje's family has been making wine on Tenerife since the 1750s. This smoky red blend of obscure local varieties is aged in large, old American oak barrels.