The weather is getting better, the nights are getting longer and there’s a lightness in the air. There’s no mistaking it – summer is on its way. With this changing season comes more opportunities for al fresco dining. From picnics to barbecues, these outdoor meals are begging to be paired with the perfect wine. And that’s where we come in. Here at the Ideal Wine Company, we’ve got all the pairings you’ll need for summer dining. Let’s get started…
For salads, cold vegetable dishes, and light appetizers:
These delicate and light dishes are the ideal option for summer. Whether you’re packing them for a picnic or using them as a delicious way to kick off the barbecue, you can expect to see a lot of fresh vegetables on your plate in summer. What better way to match this natural and light option than with an equally delicate wine? Try opting for a Prosecco – it’s refreshing but not quite as dry as Champagne. You’ll find that this option is just as crisp and bubbly as Champagne, but with a slightly sweeter and balanced flavour profile. Most importantly, it won’t overpower delicate vegetable salads but can cut through the richness of picnic favourites like potato salad and French onion dip. A big bonus – Prosecco perfectly captures the festive atmosphere of summer dining!
For seafood, veggie burgers, or chicken dishes:
When we think of light summer food, most of us tend to venture towards white meat and seafood. These light offerings are perfect delicate flavours for warmer months and can often be found on a barbecue or picnic spread. In general, white meat (without a sauce or marinade), seafood or even veggie burgers work well with a Sauvignon Blanc. Tart and citrusy, this wine is a welcomed refreshing hit on warmer days. The citrusy, grassy flavours and crisp acidity will balance the minerality tones in the shellfish without upstaging them. Perfect for lighter meat!
For steaks, burgers, brisket and sweet sausages:
A mainstay on most barbecues, red meats such as steak and burgers are perennially popular. Red wines that balance stone fruit notes with lush earthiness, like Sicilian Nero d’Avola, bare the ideal wine pairings for your summer red meat dishes. With ripe cherry flavours and a smooth tannic finish, you’ll find that the wine will highlight the umami flavours in steaks and burgers perfectly. This slightly sweet fruitiness will provide the perfect depth for rich meat.
For ribs and hot dogs:
Ribs and hot dogs are quintessentially summery for many of us – which means we can expect to find them at many summer parties. With these dishes, you’ll need to note that the meat is usually fattier or spicier, and – with ribs – often coated in a barbecue base. To match these characteristics, look to pair with a Malbec. The rich black fruits and cocoa notes will highlight the spices in hot dogs like no other wine can, while the tannins will cut through the fattiest of short ribs beautifully. Malbec will give your dishes the balance they’re in need of.
Summer is a time for relaxing and enjoying the – hopefully – beautiful weather. Whatever you’re eating, make sure to make it with a drink you enjoy. Remember, there’s always a perfect wine out there, no matter what you’re bringing to the picnic or barbecue!