Every week, Mark Oldman — wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers — shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he’ll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.
The aromatherapy of summer is the sweet perfume of a fired-up grill, accompanied by wine that complements whatever happens to be sizzling and smoking above the coals.
If burgers or steaks are your ‘cue of choice, you’ll never go wrong with a rich, fruit-forward red, preferably one with hints of smoke to match the food’s flavor and a tinge of oaky sweetness to flatter the meat’s marinade. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and simple versions of Cabernet Sauvignon get the job done with aplomb, often with a slightly dry sensation that pairs so well with the protein and fats of red meat. If the weather is as sweltering as your grill, don’t hesitate to make these reds more refreshing by giving them 10 or so minutes of refrigerator time.