Labor Day. Celebrate with wine suggestions from The Wine Ladies. September 2010

Dear Wine Ladies,

We’ll be lighting up the grill this Labor Day weekend and chilling with the whole family one last time before the leaves take a turn and the cooler nights descend upon us. We’ve got the menu set, Greek salad, grilled veggies including corn on the cob, chicken and barbeque ribs. To the wine, but which one? Mostly white wine drinkers we’d like to serve two whites, and one or two reds. Suggestions please?

Bill, Connecticut

Dear Bill,

We always welcome a crisp Sauvignon Blanc as a white wine option, perfect for one of the final hotter days marking the end of the summer. They are generally a little lighter in alcohol, and tend to pair well with a variety of grilled foods as well as salads. Grilled veggies and chicken often prepared with fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, rosemary and thyme are echoed in the grassy herbal notes of Sauvignon Blancs and the full flavor of these wines are also well equipped to stand up to the feta of a Greek salad. To the second white, not card-carrying members of the ABC Club, otherwise known as “Anything but Chardonnay” this grape still reigns, it is versatile and is a crowd pleaser. In contrast to the Sauvignon Blanc, select a Chardonnay with a touch of oak, fuller bodied with a bigger texture and bolder flavour. Perhaps one from Australia or California. The Chardonnay will pair well with the chicken, and for the exclusive white wine drinker, will stand up to the ribs too. To the red wines, offering a contrast once again, on the lighter side, opt for a Pinot Noir, which will behave nicely with the veggies and both main dishes, while a luscious, bold and fruity Zinfandel will provide for a match made in heaven with the barbeque ribs!

The Wine Ladies, Georgia and Susanne

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