Food Pairings

Summer will be here soon and so will the grilling and barbeque season, although some never stop doing either because of weather. So are the challenges of matching your wines selections and beer selections to match the food you will be cooking. Here are some ideas for you to try this summer.

Lemon Grilled Salmon: In your charcoal grill make two small piles of charcoal on either side of your grill leaving a space in the middle for indirect heating as this is where the fish will cook. Take double thick aluminum foil to make a tent for the fish, layer the bottom with 5 to 6 slices of 1/4 inch thick lemon slices. Lay the fish on top of the lemon slices and add 3 to 4 ounces of a good New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc like Kim Crawford. Add a bay leaf, a little kosher salt, black pepper, a little dry tarragon, then wrap it up leaving tent space above the fish. Grill covered for about twenty minutes, let it rest for about 10 more minutes and serve with a glass of the same wine with your favorite sides.

Salt & Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon: Again in your charcoal grill start a fire on one side of it leaving the other side empty. After letting your filet mignon come to room temperature (about twenty minutes) combine 3 tablespoons of kosher salt with 1 tablespoon of cracked black pepper. Rub the mixture evenly over the filet. Grill directly over the charcoal on all sides to achieve a slight charring (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). Move the filet then to the "cold" side of the grill for about fifteen to twenty minutes covered. Let the meat rest wrapped in foil for twenty minutes, slice and enjoy with some grilled corn, grilled zuchinni, and a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon like Summers Adriannas Cuvee.

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad: Here is an easy one for your gas or charcoal grill. Take boneless chicken breast and pound it to about 1/2 inch thickness between two pieces of plastic wrap. Put it then into a large ziplock bag with ½ a cup of your favorite Italian dressing for at least one hour. During that time make your spinach salad with all your favorite veggies. Grill your chicken breasts over direct heat 2 to 3 minutes per side until fairly firm. Let the chicken rest 5 to 10 minutes then slice as you would a London Broil and fan out over the salad, add your dressing again and go. I like serving a well chilled dry Rose like the Bastianich Rosato, or Barnard Griffon Rose of Sangiovese with this dish.