Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thinking and Drinking on a Summer Evening

Summer's winding down. It's been warm, it's been sunny. The kids have hit the wall and are ready to return to school. And soon the real end of summer will be here in the U.S., that weekend when grills across America are fired up for one last time this - Labor Day Weekend. Labor Day weekend usually signifies the official end of summer. And it means grilling around my house. Many people switch to white wines in the summer, they're lighter and are generally served chilled. But if you're serving anything smoked or blackened, you're going to want to stay away from the chardonnays (and cabernets as well). Wines that have been aged in oak will clash with your smoky or blackened dinners. Instead, experts recommend serving a crisp, clean tasting wine. Serve a riesling for a change. It will go great with those smoky, barbecue-laden ribs. Or try a pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc or pinot noir - these serve well also.
What else will we be serving with our ribs? Fresh corn on the cob of course! It's in season now for most of the U.S. It's cheap, easy to cook, and best of all, most wines go with it!
As with the barbecued ribs, the best wines to serve with corn on the cob (whether it's grilled or boiled) are the fresh whites. California chardonnays that have been fermented and aged in stainless steel barrels are rising in popularity. Their clean, fresh flavors make them an excellent end-of-summer wine. For the budget minded, it's good to remember that the unoaked chardonnays are typically $2-$10 cheaper than their oaky cousins. Here are some recommendations for some fantastic unoaked chardonnays: Domaine Chandon, St. Supery, and Mer Soleil (all California wines). What do you recommend?

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