Haute Summer: Wines for the Grill

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Summer is here and that means evenings of summer grilling! I recently spent an amazing weekend in East Hampton firing up the grill and thinking about summer wine and grilling pairings. I think that more people are using their grills to create special gourmet meals and are looking beyond the ubiquitous hamburgers and hot dogs so I was pleased to find some great wines from Francis Ford Coppola that are perfect for  gourmet grilling.

Francis Ford Coppola has been living and making wine in the Napa Valley for 3o years. He initially started his winemaking as a hobby and has since become and  innovator and powerhouse in the wine business Even though his product lines have boomed in past few years, his wines still show character and a sense of terrior. These next two offerings are perfect for your next summer gourmet grilling adventure.

Merlot is has sadly lost favor in the last few years. After a bit of a bashing in “Sideways” many turned their backs on this food and grill-friendly wine. The 2008 Diamond Collection Merlot from Francis Ford Coppola will happily bring you back to this fantastic varietal. It is bursting with candied red rasberries, vanilla and sweet spice. On the palatte it is rich with raspberry and stewed plums that are balanced by a refreshing acidity which keeps this wine a great red option even for a warm summer evening. With it’s red fruit, sweet spice and soft tannins, this wine is perfect for a grilled pork loin served with a fruit chutney.

Chardonnay is also a great option for your gourmet grilling. Not every Chardonnay will do, however, and it is important to find a balanced chardonnay with fruit, aromatics and only a hint of oak. The Diamond Pavilion Black Label Chardonnay, 2009 from Francis Coppola fits this perfectly. On the nose lime zest and fresh cut flowers lead to a palate which is rich with passion fruit and fresh apricots. It has a soft hint of French oak which allows this wine to stack up to grilling favorites such as a simple grilled chicken, grilled vegtables dotted with olive oil and fresh goat cheese or even a dessert of grilled peaces, walnuts and fresh cream.

Cheers to summer grilling!

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