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Summers are for being outside. Whether it's at the ballgame, a day at the beach or just simply
reading the newspaper on the deck nothing beats a nice summer's day. But when those long summer
days move to even longer evenings, the only thing left to do is fire up the grill! From steaks to sausages,
tuna to shrimp nearly everything tastes better cooked over fire. The smoky, charred flavors imparted by the
grill mixes with the spices covering the food to create a sublime mix of spicy tanginess that's probably
making your mouth water just by reading this! And to cap it all off, there are certain styles of wines that
pair perfectly with grilled foods. We love the summer here at Stew's, and we have lots of wines that are
great "on the grill." Here are a few of our favorites!
The southern part of France's Rhone Valley is home to Chateauneuf du Pape and most Cotes du Rhones. A
blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre generally, Rhones have masses of spicy black fruit, with a savoriness
that the French call “garrigue”, a brambly, earthy aroma that is like taking a deep breath on a Rhone hillside.
Bring on the steak and sausage! Cotes du Rhones are also among the best values in the wine world…try Ogier's
delicious example for only $11.99 and you'll see why.
OGIER COTES DU RHONE - $11.99
Closer to home, Zinfandels offer many of the same descriptors as Rhones, but typically substitute a sweeter, riper
berry note instead of the garrigue. Palette Ridge is a long-standing customer favorite, again at $11.99 making it
a great value. Of course for many of you, it has to be a Cabernet! We love the Hayes Ranch Cab, made by the Wente
Family who's been making wine for 125 years, it packs a lot of history and yumminess into its $8.99 price!
PALETTE RIDGE ZINFANDEL - $11.99
HAYES RANCH CABERNET - $9.99
Sometimes it's just too darned hot to deal with red wines, and luckily whites can be just as great a match as reds!
For grilled shrimp, chicken or even sausages, a nice Riesling is perfect! Wavelength ($9.99) has just a kiss of sweetness
and is a perfect foil to the smoky flavors in grilled foods. Chardonnay is also a choice for grilled fish (even shellfish),
and an even better option if there's corn on the cob with lots of butter! Try Venue's deliciously elegant Chard ($11.99)
the next time you're throwing chicken on the grill. Lastly, if you're grilling veggie kebabs, Portobello mushrooms or
chicken in an Italian marinade, a zippy Sauvignon Blanc is perfection in a glass! Give Laurel Cellars Sauvignon Blanc a look,
at $10.99 you can't go wrong.
WAVELENGTH RIESLING - $9.99
VENUE CHADONNAY - $11.99
LAUREL CELLARS SAUV. BLANC - $8.99
A warm summer's evening is one of life's little joys. Going back to our primal instincts by cooking our food over an open
fire helps us to feel alive, and picking the right wine to go with it is an enhancement our earliest ancestors never got to appreciate! Salut...
- Doug Zucker, Certified Wine Specialist, Stew Leonard's Wines