The Perfect Summer BBQ with Bordeaux Wines
We love a grilled lamb chop in the summer—they’re classier than burgers but take about the same amount of time (maybe less!) to prepare and that slight gamey taste that some people find off-putting can easily be obscured with garlic and herbs. In a food processor, blend together garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper (you can use something spicier than plain old black pepper here if you like), and enough olive oil to yield a thick paste. Rub this simple marinade thoroughly on to your lamb chops and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight. If using a charcoal grill, light a chimney of coals and arrange them so that there’s a “hot side” and “cool side” of the grill. Sear the chops for two minutes per side over the hot coals and then let sit for about three more minutes on the “cool side” for medium rare. We like to pair lamb with a fruity Cabernet Sauvignon or Cab/Merlot blend. Château Haut Pourjac is just one of many great choices from Bordeaux – produced on a family estate just across the river from Saint-Émilion, this wine is a vibrant mélange of red currant flavor, lively acidity, and subtle spice notes on the finish: the perfect partner for our marinated lamb chops.
Not in the mood for lamb? No worries! We’ve got you covered with a healthy and delicious recipe for Greek lemon chicken. Pound chicken breasts and thighs until they’re of roughly even thickness and whip up a quick marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, oregano, salt and black pepper. Ideally, your chicken should sit in the fridge entirely covered in the marinade (a large ziplock bag works well here) for at least a few hours, but you can get away with less if you’re pressed for time. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until an instant-read thermometer reads about 160 degrees when placed in the center of one of the chicken breasts. Let your chicken sit for a few minutes after removing from the grill, sprinkle with chopped fresh green herbs, and serve immediately with a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. Bordeaux Sauvignon Blancs — such as M. de Malle from Graves or Château La Rose du Pin from Entre-Deux-Mers – have a toasty quality that makes them an ideal companion for the char of grilled, citrus-scented poultry.
If you have guests of the pescatarian persuasion, we recommend blowing them away with a simple yet gourmet seeming Japanese-inspired miso glazed salmon. Whisk together white miso, mirin, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and minced fresh ginger and save a small dollop of the resulting concoction for later. Cover your salmon (either fillets or steaks work great here) with the rest of the glaze and marinate for about half an hour. Grill for about 4-7 minutes per side depending on desired doneness. Top each piece of salmon with a dollop of the reserved glaze and pair with a glass of rosé – Bordeaux rosés are almost always fresh and fruit forward: a great match for summery grilled fish!
When in season, any grilled corn on the cob is going to be delicious but, in our humble opinion, corn lives its best life in Mexican street food style. Simply grill ears of corn until some kernels on all sides are slightly blackened and then remove from heat. Make a paste of mayonnaise, hot chili powder, and salt (you can also add a crumbly cheese like cotija if you prefer) and spread onto a baking sheet or any flat surface. Squirt your corn cobs thoroughly with fresh lime juice and then dredge through the chili-mayo. Eat immediately with your hands and a glass of Bordeaux rosé!
As always, of course, whichever recipes and wines you end up choosing, we wish you happy BBQing!