The end of summer is near, but don’t worry! There’s still plenty of great weather left to host cook-outs and barbecues. With Labor Day right around the corner, take the opportunity to try something unexpected. Sure, beer and barbecue go hand and hand, but certain wines provide a refreshing and unexpected twist when enjoyed with popular outdoor food.
Jon Lintvet, owner of Tap 26, the only importer and wholesaler in the country that exclusively distributes delicious wines on tap, knows a thing or two about wine. Yes, he’s all about wine on tap, but he assured me that doesn’t hold any grudges against bottles when it comes to summertime festivities. In his own words, here are his personal suggestions for your next summer get together.
• Rosé de Racine Carrée: Keeping it light? Try a Rose, like the Rosé de Racine Carrée from Languedoc, France, with a melon and prosciutto salad. I kid you not, the same wine goes wonderfully with a classic loaded up hot dog. The dryness and acidity of the wine balances out salt and cuts through the fat, not to mention that it makes meaty flavors pop. Trust me, pink is in, and it does not gender discriminate.
• Piccola Cellar’s Sauvignon Blanc: This type of wine is hard to beat on a late summer afternoon. Try one like Piccola Cellar’s Washington State Sauvignon Blanc with cedar plank grilled salmon. This wine by Victor Palencia is only available on tap and in 1.5 liter ‘bolsita’ totes that eliminate two bottles worth of glass waste. It is not like it’s cousin from New Zealand; there are no grassy overtones. The flavor of this Sauvignon Blanc is just full of wonderful grapefruit and citrus notes that bring the salmon to life. It’s extremely refreshing.
• Monkey Theorem Moscato: Next time you’re near the water, blow your friends’ minds with wine in a can. The Infinite Monkey Theorem Moscato is a light, spritzy, super floral, and sweet (did I mention sweet?) wine that goes great with spicy Italian sausage with hot peppers. If you’re looking to go less heavy, try it with fresh fruit and a mascarpone dip. Not to be confused with your mama’s Moscato, these cans are produced in Denver Colorado at a 30,000 square foot urban winery. It’s great for when you’re on the go because you won’t have glass bottles to worry about. The last time I took these to the river, they went like tic tacs. No wine snobs allowed.
• Château Rochet Lamothe: Grilled vegetables are hard to beat this time of year. Lightly oil eggplant, squash, and mushrooms, add a little peppercorn, and serve them with a light Malbec like Château Rochet Lamothe from Cahors, France, the birthplace of Malbec. This combination will make your mouth light up.
• Cà del Doge Prosecco: I can’t forget the bubbles: Prosecco. Try one that is extra dry, like Cà del Doge Prosecco from Veneto, Italy. My favorite dish to serve it with is grilled chicken with an orange marmalade glaze. The light, low alcohol acidity pulls forward the natural sugars and inherent sweetness of the chicken. Prosecco, to me, means bubbly green apples and honeysuckle; you can’t possibly go wrong.
Take inspiration from one of Jon’s food and wine pairings for your next cook-out, and your friends will be raving about it well after summer has passed. Better yet, save the planet by eliminating bottle waste, and order similar wines on tap from Tap26 for your get-together! Visit their website for more information.