Grilling Time

Summer is always a great time for outdoor dining and cooking on the grill. But if you are like us, grilling is something that can be enjoyed all year long. Maybe you'll need a jacket and a hat, but even in Canada it's possible to fire up the bbq in February.

The pairing principles we use in our book - match, adjust, and mirror - still apply, you'll just have to adapt them slightly. 

Grilling often means meat (beef, ribs, burgers) and the fattier component in these foods help soften more tannic (younger) red wines. The effect of grilling turns up the intensity factor, however, so bolder wines might be called for. But remember, dining al fresco is also a more relaxed experience, so think about wines that you will enjoy - perhaps without food - as the meal is being prepared. 

And bbq usually involves sauces - sweet, spicy, and peppery - which can re-balance the entire relationship between food and wine. So always be ready to make adjustments.  

Of course our pairing principles also apply to chicken, fish, and vegetables, which are also terrific on the grill, so look for white and rosé wines that are a little more full-flavoured, and still have enough acidity to balance out the richness of the foods. 

You can never go wrong with sparkling wine, and something a little fuller and perhaps even rosé might be the ticket for the whole evening. 

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