Summer Barbeque Wine Recommendations from Lake Tahoe Wine Shop Experts

Thinking about that summer barbeque and wondering what wines to bring to the neighborhood soiree or serve in your own backyard? Here are some ideas from the experts, some savvy wine shop owners.

Will Clark, owner of 49WINES in Downieville had these thoughts while looking over his wine selections. He thinks that Pinot Noir could jump to the front of everyone’s shopping list. Pinot, a very versatile and food friendly wine, will work with whatever is on the grill, from hamburgers to salmon.

He recommends two wines: “Bogle Vineyards 2008 California Pinot Noir at $11 is an excellent value. This is a delicate, aromatic wine with clean cherry and berry fruitiness. Fresh and smooth. Another outstanding choice is Drytown Cellars "RED ON RED" blend. At $10, this blend of Zinfandel, Cab Franc and Syrah is perfect for barbeque meats of any kind. Alan Kreutzer, the winemaker, is well known for his blending skills which this wine shows off admirably.”

Will also cheers for the All-American hot dog, grilled not boiled. “It’s a summer barbeque must. Enjoy it with a glass of chilled Pacific Rim Riesling. At $10 a bottle, these are solid, very well crafted wines everyone will enjoy.”

Kali Kopley, owner of Uncorked, the wonderful wine shop & wine bar in the Village at Squaw, has recommendations for wines that are light, refreshing and perfect with BBQ. “That is how we like our summer wines, simple and delicious,” she says.

First is the Lioco 2009 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma. “A delicious slimmed-down Pinot Noir—one that you can leave in the ice bucket all afternoon. It was fermented in stainless steel using a native yeast. Aromas of sour red cherries, watermelon rind, and quince spin out of the glass. Tastes like wild strawberries and blood oranges. Enjoy with a bowl of summer Gazpacho and ample sunshine.” $15 a bottle.

Next, the Calera 2008 Chardonnay, Central Coast. “Josh Jensen's winemaker mentors in Burgundy were adamant that pinot noir and chardonnay must be grown in limestone rich soils to make great wines. Whatever his secret, we love Calera wines! This 2008 Central Coast Chardonnay offers generous aromas of ripe pineapple, honeysuckle, apple and succulent lime zest. At first, the taste is reminiscent of vanilla custard and lemon chiffon, at the same time possessing a soft, fun citrus zing. It continues on with a touch of toasty oak and a full, round texture. Delicious with grilled veggies and hawaiian style grilled chicken.” $20 a bottle.

Scott Willers, wine buyer for Obexer's General Store at 5300 West Lake Blvd, Homewood, recommends the Matchbook Cabernet Sauvignon. “It’s made from fruit grown in the Red Hills of Lake County,” he says. “This is a full bodied wine with a beautiful, ruby red color. Deep rich black fruit flavors with boysenberry, leather and herbal notes. Hints of cedar and cigar box add to the complexity. The full flavors stick around for a long and lingering finish. Great with barbequed filets or big juicy beef ribs.” 13.9% alcohol content. $16.99 a bottle.

Debby Bullentini, owner of the L'uva Bella Wine Gallery located in the Summit Sierra shopping center, Reno, recommends Elyse Howell Mountain Zinfandel to pair with a great steak or hamburger for the 4th of July. “ The Howell Mountain Zinfandel is dark ruby colored, with aromas of white pepper, blackberries, and cedar along with hints of bay, madrone and wild brush; true to the Howell Mountain terroir. The palate is elegant and restrained. Wild plums and blackberries mingle with cola and sassafras. This wine is seamless with great fruit purity, soft tannins and a complexity that draws you in for another taste.” $34.99 a bottle.
For more information on dining and the wide range of activities around Lake Tahoe, see the online version of The Tahoe Weekly. This article appeared in my column "It's Grape" in June 2010.

Watch for my forthcoming book: "Wineries of the Sierra and Its Foothills". Publication date early Summer 2011, Wine Appreciation Guild Publishing.

1 comment:

  1. The blackened, somewhat charred pieces of brisket ends that cannot be sliced. A prized menu item from some area restaurants. Also referred to as "brownies." Always be attentive to your meat to avoid this burnt ends.