Five for the Fourth, Wines for Holiday Grilling
After all, beer only fills you up and cuts down on stomach space for the holiday's most important food groups: ground beef, pork grease, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce. Wine, however, frees your inner glutton to shovel calories, cholesterol and carbohydrates until you rupture your stomach lining and collapse in front of the grill.
Therefore, since gluttony is next to godliness, or perhaps a rack of deeply smoky, falling-off-the-bone tender ribs, Charlie would like to present five wines--two reds, two whites and a rosé--that will play well with just about anything you throw on the grill. Except a bottle of beer.
Apothic Red 2009 Winemaker's Blend ($10). This California blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Merlot is a big, ripe sucker, perfect for pouring with burgers, ribs, sausages and other Manly Man favorites. It's got lots of ripe black cherry fruit, a good hit of oak and just enough acidity to keep them all honest. Not bad for 10 bucks.
Banrock Station 2008 Shiraz ($6). At this price buying this Australian product really should be considered stealing, even if it is totally legal. The wine is practically bursting with big, bold, luscious black cherry and plum fruit, tossing in little hints of chocolate and licorice and toasty oak. Buy a bottle and the next day you'll buy a case.
Les Rastellains 2009 Cotes du Rhone ($10). The French do many things with such grace: cook, wear haute couture, smoke cigarettes. Make rosé too. This wine is a fine example, a little floral and berry-ish on the nose, a suave blend of strawberry, citrus and minerals on the palate. An excellent pour with grilled or barbecued chicken.
Antis 2009 Torrontes ($10). Jump on the Torrontes bandwagon before everyone else does and jacks up the price. The white wine grape of Argentina, it teases you with seductive aromas of tropical fruit and honeysuckle but in your mouth it balances those flavors with green apple acidity and a tang of orange. Great with anything spicy.
Ferrari-Carano 2009 Bella Luce ($16). This beguiling mélange of Chardonnay, Muscat Canelli, Semillon, Muscat Giallo, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Riesling is one of the best and most appealing wines I've tasted in months. Floral, tropical and citrusy flavors come together seamlessly in a wine as delicious on its own as it is with food.
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