The beautiful season is upon us, bringing with it that of grilling. Here are some tips for successful BBQ cooking while taking care to enhance wine pairings.
Know that the perception of the wine reacts according to the cooking. For whites and fish, if the flesh is overcooked, it will lose its fat and smoothness. It will feel like the fish is rolling in the mouth and the wine is taking up all the space. On the other hand, if it is not cooked enough, the fish will dominate and the wine will appear to pass unnoticed. For beef and reds, the level of cooking is even more important. The more you cook the meat, the less natural fat it will have. However, without the natural fat of the meat, the wine will not stick to the taste buds. The fat acts in fact as the vehicle of taste by coming to fix the wine to the taste buds. It also tenderizes the tannins in the wine. If your meat or fish does not have enough natural fat (ostrich or sole, for example), it is enough to accompany it with a sauce, preferably butter-based. Here are five wines to try with your first grills.
Drink less. Drink better.
Château de Nages, Old Vines 2017, Costières de Nîmes
2.5 g / L – ORGANIC | ★★★ | $$
SAQ code: 12268231
Michel Gassier has always been an ardent defender of Costières de Nîmes, a controlled designation of origin located just south of the Côtes-du-Rhône. He produces full, tasty and, above all, well-typed wines. Coming from a hot vintage, this old 2017 vines (grenache, syrah, mourvèdre) show a rich and imposing nose of ripe fruit, pepper and liquorice. It is full, warm and the tannins are polished. The finish is generous and of good length. Perfect with marinated skewers.
Château Fougas, Cuvée Prestige 2016, Côtes de Bourg
1.5 g / L – ORGANIC | ★★★ 1/2 | $$
SAQ code: 10392896
A lot of fun with this Bordeaux from one of the oldest properties in the Côtes de Bourg appellation. The 17 hectares of vines in one piece were converted to organic farming in 2007 and biodynamics in 2010. From a great vintage, Merlot (75%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (25%) give in unison in a wine with classic flavors of blackcurrant, gadelle and pencil lead. Suave texture with precise and elegant tannins. Long finish with notes of red fruit and cedar.
Sumarroca, Tuvi 2019, Penedes
1.2 g / L – ORGANIC | ★★ 1/2 | $ 1/2
SAQ code: 13574687
We especially know this Catalan house for its production of cava, but it also knows how to highlight its expertise by offering very good dry whites at very fair prices. A heterogeneous blend dominated by xarel-lo (pronounced “cha-rel-lo”) supplemented by gewurztraminer, riesling and viognier. On the nose, it has the impression of spring awakening: hues of flower, muscat and citrus. The mouth is full, saline and energetic. Simple and terribly effective with grilled sardines.
Cusumano, Angimbé 2019, Sicily
1.6 g / L | ★★ 1/2 | $ 1/2
SAQ code: 11097101
What a nice surprise that this wine made from insolia, a Sicilian grape variety formerly intended for the production of marsala, but which is now made of very fragrant dry whites. We add a little chardonnay, which brings roundness to the wine. Notes of peach, pear and nuts. Its simplicity makes it ideal for an aperitif, but it can easily be seated at the table with oily fish such as a salmon steak cooked unilaterally.
Burg Ravensburg, Lochle Grosses Gewächs Pinot Noir 2014, Baden
2.2 g / L – ORGANIC | ★★★★ | $$$$
SAQ code: 14212709
We end with madness. It’s not only in Burgundy where good Pinot Noir is produced. As proof, this irresistible grand cru (“Grosses Gewächs” in German) which comes from the region of Baden, in the southwest of Germany. With more than 750 years of history, Burg Ravensburg is one of the oldest properties in the country. A gourmet pinot, tender and of good density. Complex aromas of cherry and spices. Expensive, but absolutely delicious.
★★★ Very good
More stars than dollars: well worth the price.
As many stars as dollars: worth the price.
Fewer stars than dollars: wine is expensive.