Don't look now, but summer is winding down. You can almost see Labor Day through the thermal waves of August. We've still got a few good weeks left, though, and there are still plenty of long, light evenings left for outdoor cooking — charred rare steak, dogs and burgers on the grill, long-smoked ribs or brisket — foods you might eat all year long but that have a special flavor when prepared over charcoal (or propane if you must) while the weather's warm.
The traditional beverages for such fare include beer
, iced tea, lemonade, and did we mention beer? But wine has a place on the cookout table
, too. The challenge is deciding which bottles will go best with the simple, full-flavored food you'll be cooking and eating outdoors. The Ultimate Summer Wine Pairings (Slideshow)
For suggestions, we reached out to the men and women who match wine and food for a living — sommeliers
, wine buyers, and wine-savvy proprietors at some of the nation's best restaurants. Their recommendations cover a lot of ground: crisp, cooling whites; hearty, earthy reds; an array of sparkling wines; and, of course, rosé
. One particular rosé, in fact — a Txakoli
from Spain's Basque Country — was favored by several of our respondents.
Some of our experts offered detailed tasting notes and specific vintages while others proffered more general advice. The results, though, add up to a definitive guide to the many possibilities of great wine drinking with the last cookouts of the season.
Learn more about the world of wine.