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Great Summer Wines Under $20

Posted on June 25, 2008
Filed Under Food/Drink, Recipe | Comments Off on Great Summer Wines Under $20

When the weather gets steamy, fire up that grill and pour some of these summer wines to calm down, cool off and chill out.

To choose a wine to pair with something off the grill, consider two things: First, how hearty is the food, and second, what’s the dominant flavor? For lighter foods—white fish, vegetables, chicken breasts—pick a lighter wine. For heartier foods—sausages, burgers, steaks—choose a more robust wine. (Both reds and whites can be light, medium or full-bodied.)

What follows is a selection of great wines, all available for $20 or less, to go with grilled foods of all kinds. But don’t take these wine and food combinations as gospel. They’re really designed more as suggestions or jumping-off points for experimentation. Enjoy!

montes.jpg2006 Montes Limited Selection Sauvignon Blanc ($14)
Montes, one of Chile’s best Sauvignon Blanc producers, makes this crisp, citrusy reserve bottling with grapes from the Leyda valley, close to the Pacific Ocean. Great with fish and lighter foods.

chardo.png2004 Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay ($20)
This elegant and complex Chardonnay has lush citrus fruit aromas, buttery and smoky with toasty vanilla notes from the ten months of aging in French oak. This is a rich, mouth-filling wine balanced by bright natural acidity, crisp with a long, lingering finish.

crios.png2006 Susana Balbo Crios Rosé of Malbec ($19)
This stunner hails from the scenic Mendoza valley and was carefully crafted from Malbec grapes by one of the first female wine makers in Argentina. Think ripe strawberries and cherries–fruity without the sweetness. Goes well with both grilled meats and lighter fare like fish and chicken.

2up.png2005 2 Up Shiraz ($14)
This twist-off Australian Shiraz has robust flavors of ripe and overripe red raspberry, blackberry and blueberry with hints of earth, spice and vanilla for complexity. Great with burgers, steaks and heavier foods. Also, works with fine cheeses.

Or you can always make a Red Wine Sangria!
Serves: 6 – 8

Ingredients:
1 bottle dry red wine (such as Rioja, Zinfindel, or Merlot)
1 shot of brandy
¼ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
2 Tbsp sugar
½ orange, sliced
½ lemon, sliced
1 peach, sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
Sparkling water
Ice

Preparation:
1. Juice one to two oranges until you have ¼ cup of juice.
2. Add juice to a carafe or pitcher along with brandy and sugar and stir.
3. Add the sliced fruit and cinnamon sticks.
4. Pour in the entire bottle of wine.
5. Cover pitcher or carafe with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to drink (this can be made up to one day ahead). If you want to serve immediately, just move on to step 6.
6. Place ice into a glass and then pour in some sangria. Be sure to add as much fruit as you’d like.
7. Add a splash of sparkling water and serve.

sangria recipe from Denise Santoro Lincoln

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