As I write it is only two hours away from Memorial Day. Tomorrow I will go to our local parade and pay tribute to the many who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country in the interest of gaining and maintaining freedom; freedom which we take so for granted. I hope you’ll do likewise and then go home and crank up the grill. Next to the Fourth of July, Memorial Day is the biggest BBQ weekend of the year.
Real charcoal grills have given way in large part to the more convenient gas grills and where pocket books run deep and weather more moderate than Northern New England, grills have taken on the stature and cost of a major household appliance. Gloss Black Weber kettle grills have given way in large part to gargantuan stainless steel behemoths with rotisseries, side burners, warmer and racks. Somehow, as much I love cooking and would love to try my hand at grillingus maximus, I have a hard time justifying the cost of an outdoor cooker that costs far more tan my first several cars!
For my part, I am a bit of a purest who still uses a Weber Kettle (and used one at that) with honest to goodness real charcoal. Say what you want, but I’ve never had anything grilled on a gas grill that delivers that real BBQ taste like charcoal and while that is wonderful it also presents a challenge to pairing wine.
Basic rule of thumb is you need a bold wine to hold up to the bold flavors of charcoal and smoke. Zinfandel is a nice choice for many grilled meats but even sturdy whites would do well with lighter grilled meats and veggies. So, enjoy a parade, give thanks for all the luxuries of freedom we have that cost so many so much, and pop a cork with whatever you might throw on that grill. Experiment and see what works and what doesn’t. And then raise a glass to our men and women are so valiantly fighting for safety, our freedom and our faith.