July is the month for ’cueing it up with some delicious red wines, and it’s ABC — anything but Cab. I have some hot wine suggestions to add some extra sizzle to your grillin’ and smokin’.

Remember that when pairing barbecue (and all) food with wine, match the weight of the food with the weight of the wine.

For instance, if preparing a juicy rib eye steak, serve it with a juicy, full-bodied Malbec such as the Deceros listed below. Suddenly, you have perfect harmony.

Another important consideration is whether a sauce is served with the entrée. Pair wines to the sauce, not the entrée itself. One example: salmon with a red wine and mushroom demi-glace sauce will allow you to serve a big, rich red wine. 

The perfect red wines for grilled or smoked meats, such as beef, lamb, pork, ham, venison, buffalo and elk, are red Zinfandel, GSMs (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre blend) or Shiraz and Malbec. Yes, many red wines work with barbecue, but these four have an element of spiciness to them, as well as rich, luscious red and black fruit flavors, which match with the spiciness and fruit flavors in many barbecue sauces.

With summer in full swing, sauce up your smoky ’que; pour a big glass of spicy, lush red wine; and kick back and enjoy a summer’s eve at its best.

Berry me with a glass of this

Decero 2006 Remolino Vineyard, Mendoza, Argentina — $17.49

This is nothing short of a blackberry explosion — blackberries, black cherries, black currant. It has notes of black pepper, cassis, licorice and toasty oak. It is amazingly lush and silky sip after sip. In fact, this high-energy Malbec is terribly addictive, so keep that in mind when you grab only one bottle at the store.

A concoction to cure all

Mr. Black’s Concoction, Barossa Valley Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre (GSM) 2004 — $20.99

This will blow your mind with layers of deep, ripe red and black fruit; allspice; pepper; and clove. It is dominantly Grenache at 47 percent, Shiraz at 40 percent and Mourvedre at 13 percent. It’s not for the faint of heart and requires topnotch smoked brisket, ribs or steak.

A rumble you won’t forget

Earthquake 2006 Red Zinfandel, California — $21.29

You may start to quake in your boots after a glass of this high-caliber, high-octane red wine. It is bold, powerful and dares to go where other Zins don’t. It is 15.5 percent alcohol, so seat belts are required at the dinner table. Smoked prime rib comes to mind with the Earthquake, but a medium-rare New York strip steak might result in a tie.

*Wine columnist Randa Warren is a Certified Master Sommelier; Certified Wine Educator; has earned a Diploma of Wine and Spirits, granted through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust in England; and is a Certified Specialist of Spirits.

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