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Summer Matchmaking

Darpan News Desk, 05 May, 2016 11:52 AM
  • Summer Matchmaking

Spring’s warm temperatures have arrived, and Canadians are emerging from their winter hibernation and taking to their backyard grills.

Cooking over the open flame of a barbecue adds a new flavour dimension that can’t be equaled in the oven or on the stove. It also creates amazing opportunities to pair your grilled fare with Ontario wines for an even better gourmet experience.

“There is something about the smokiness and charred flavour of grilled food that matches so well with wine,” says Sommelier Marcel Morgenstern, co-owner of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Burnt Ship Bay winery. “You can do so much on your grill, and rest assured there is a wine to enjoy with it.”

While everybody has their own tastes and preferences, the flavours of grilled food often calls for a more bold wine. Marcel offers some suggestions for pairing wines with your barbecued meal:

Hamburgers. Beef is typically paired with a red wine, and hamburgers are no exception But you should also consider your condiments, sauces and toppings. Certain cheeses lend themselves quite nicely to different wines. But in general, look for an approachable red wine blend.

Grilled chicken. Delicious and healthy, chicken is amazing on the barbecue, and goes beautifully with a fresh and equally flavourful Pinot Grigio.

Grilled or smoked salmon. The acidity of a nice Ontario Riesling complements the natural fats of the salmon.

Steak. The be all and end all of barbecued meats, a nice cut of steak is simply delectable on the grill. Seared to perfection, it is loaded with flavour. Much of that flavour comes from fat in the meat, which also softens the tannins of a big, bold red. Seek out a varietal like Cabernet Merlot with a long, flavourful finish, which is perfect with cuts like New York striploin or ribeye.

While cooking. While great with the main course, wine is also great while you are standing over the open flame. A nice light Pinot Grigio in one hand, while you working the tongs with the other.

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