Enjoying red wine during the summer barbecue season usually involves imbibing fruit-forward or jammy offerings. The more austere and stately wines hibernate in the cellar, waiting for the colder weather and an unveiling at the candlelit dining room table.
Note: Continue reading full story on Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/budget-wine-in-chicago/muscular-red-wines-can-mask-minor-mishaps#ixzz1NCEghLyh
The approaching warm season has been a little wobbly in the Midwest. Still, it’s high time to fire up the grill. There are those, however, who are a little rusty at the craft of barbecuing. Also, some minds tend to wander (note to self), and there are moments when something on the barbecue takes a little too much direct heat. An overly thick plume of smoke will indicate something’s a little off.
Yes, those once-symmetrical grill marks might resemble a branded hide, and that fancy rosemary sprig now looks like a pyro’s mini Christmas tree. As long as the char is minimized and the morsel is still juicy, a meal is far from ruined.
This is the time where one needs to be nimble with their wine offerings. Perhaps in a more lucid moment, think ahead and break out a little something different in the genre of barbecue-friendly wines. No, that doesn’t mean brushing the dust off the cellar-dwellers, but a switch to something more muscular – with the heft to break through the unintended crust. Here are a few suggestions for those who allow their spatulas and tongs to take an extended break:
Vesevo Campania Beneventano Aglianico 2008: A red grape that’s native to southern Italy, Aglianico is a toothsome, brooding red, with an almost-leathery character. The Vesevo also puts forth a floral aroma; on the palate are lots of blackberries on steroids. In addition, note a more-than-intriguing spiciness. Well-seasoned lamb, whether ground in patties or as robust lamb sausage with peppers would be nice fellow travelers with this gem. $15.
Wrongo Dongo Monastrell 2008: Monastrell is what the Spanish call Mourvèdre, which is the grape that gives the backbone to French wines of the Rhône Valley (it complements Grenache nicely when blended). The Wrongo Dongo has big, yet not-so-forward fruit, plus long, balanced tannins. And, says Joe Alter of The Bottle Shop in Wilmette, “this is one of Monastrell’s more powerful versions.” $9.
Concannon Conservancy Petite Sirah Livermore 2008: When the marbling from a rib-eye begins to make the flames come up and char the beef a bit, worry not: Petite Sirah has a deceptive name; it’s as broad-shouldered as they come. This one has aromas of dark cherry, and violets, and it just gets bigger and richer in the mouth. $11.