Dad’s Day Bevis

By Leslee D. Miller

As we head into the month of June, and our weather finally turns true to its season, we know we can prepare to gear up for a few things – more time for grilling outside and more libations for pairing! And because backyard goodies will be at the top of your list for Dad’s day, just around the corner, I thought I’d toss out some easy pairing tips while you’re loading your fridge up with foods and bevis for your weekend menus.

Let’s start with Brats & Hot Dogs: While beer, yes, is the ultimate answer for pairing, don’t forget that there are some easy drinking grapes for this pairing, too.

One, let’s start with beer. Try the Founder’s Brewing ‘Dirty Bastard’ from Grand Rapids, Michigan. The ‘Dirty Bastard’ is a scotch styled ale, rich and malty with sweeter hints of smoke and peat. Paired to the smoky, oozing sausages that you may be planning for your Father’s Day menu – the combo will be a spot pairing!

On the wine side – try Malbec. My tag for this little grape seems appropriate, as I’ve deemed it ‘the hot dog of grapes’.  As it’s grown in South America, the grape takes on juicier dark berry components, perfect for these porky grilled bites.

Or, another goodie for this section and really works pretty darn well for almost anything PORK related is the grape Syrah.  Find a dense, chocolaty version from Washington state for your ribs and roasts or brats and dogs.

Here’s my South American recommendation: Tikal ‘Patriota’ from Mendoza, Argentina, a blend of Malbec and native grape, Bonarda lends notes of dark blueberry and raspberry fruit, with bits of smoke that will pair nicely to anything porky, salty and grilled!

Grilled Chicken or Fish (especially Salmon):  One can never go wrong with Pinot Noir, especially here.  There’s a reason why she’s the world’s most recent answer to everything food!  Most Pinot Noirs are easy drinking, light bodied and highly versatile to lighter fare like chicken, and especially good with cedar planked grilled salmon! You can pick up Pinot Noir from Oregon, California or South America to its native country France or even ‘down under’ from areas like: Marlborough, New Zealand. Select a few from your favorite retailer and let me know what countries were your favorites.

The Almighty German Potato Salad:  We are Minnesotan, after all!  One answer for ya, folks…Riesling!  Find a real German Riesling for this midwestern picnic food and I promise you, you won’t regret trying them together — it’s a bit life altering. I’m a huge fan of producer St. Urbans-Hof from the Mosel region of Germany. Try their ‘Urban’ Riesling for one that won’t break the bank – easy to find, too.

As for beer, why reinvent the wheel here? Ever hear the statement ‘what grows together, goes together’? Key, with this combo! Go with a real German wheat to snuggle up to the creamy, egg-like and mayo-y components of the salad. Try a producer like Erdinger or Paulaner for pairing. You can’t go wrong with either.

Snacks like Potato Chips, Fritos, or other Salty Treats:  Well, this one’s easy from the wine world–Champagne, of course! The classic brut (dry) styled Champagnes are perfect for this category.  Bubbles, remember…the answer to all things salty, fried or super heavy on your palate.  Incidentally, Champagne, also an amazing pairing to your picnic fried chicken.  Try it!

Last but not least, sometimes you just need a beverage that just isn’t paired to anything but just tastes darn good because you’re sippin’ it outside! For me, I drink dry rosés and ciders all year long for this purpose. Rosés are produced from every corner of the globe and they should not be sweet. Check out Spain or Germany for some of the hottest finds. One of my favorites this year comes from winemaking estate, Raventós i Blanc, which is located near Penedès, Spain. The winery makes a delicious Pinot Noir rosé that will knock your socks off.

As for beers, I’m a cider girl for this particular department. One of my favorite Twin Cities’ producers is Sociable Cider Werks. If you haven’t had a chance to get over to the northeast section of Minneapolis to their brewery and grab a growler of one of their many ciders, now’s the time to do – this weather is perfect for cider!

Need more suggestions for your Dad’s Day backyard eats, or really just about any occasion you’ll need a libation recommendation for? Head to Amusée’s website, catch up on our latest blog wine picks or to our Pinterest page @amuseewine for hundreds more – all tasted and approved (of course)! Clink, Clink!