Enough. Basta as we say in Italian. I’ve had it, I’m done. Sure, it has been an unusually hot summer in the Northeast, and I love my whites and rosés as much as the next Tomato, but it’s been a long summer and the grilling isn’t over yet.
I want some body, some bulk, some muscle, some power, some passion, even some heat, and I’m not just talking about my man!
But as for him, he should light the grill and open the red wine.
Honey, slap a steak on the grill, slow roast a pork shoulder on the Weber, brine me a chop, burn up a brisket and bring on the Barbecue, be it South Carolina, Texas, Southwest, or Kansas City style. They all call for a hearty red, and I’m ready for one.
OK, but don’t weigh me down, either. Give me something I’m not afraid to chill down a tad, maybe even drop an ice cube into, wine snob forbid! Acidity is what makes a red wine work in the summer, a bracing structure, a zesty frame.
Take, for example, BelnerO, my family’s Proprietary Reserve Sangiovese from the Castello Banfi estate in Montalcino, Tuscany. A new take on an old classic, this is a fruit-forward, full bodied wine that will be fine by the hearth in a few months, but just as nice alongside the campfire, chilled a few minute in the proverbial mountain spring.
Bring on the Carmenere, too, with its spicy character and bold flavor. Terrunyo and Casillero from Chile will do the trick nicely, thank you very much.
But that’s not all Chile can do. Head north to its cooler climates, and it can take a varietal like Syrah and offer it up full of minerality, bracing acidity and bright fruit flavor.
Or Malbecs from Trivento in Argentina, land of the grilled steak. Do you think that pairing happened by accident? These are people who take their fire, their beef, and their red wine quite seriously.
Back to Italy, the cowboys on the Tuscan coast are known for their grilled steaks, and pair it to a nice Morellino, such as that of the Val delle Rose estate, where the Sangiovese takes on a lighter, breezier character than its more famous inland Tuscan counterparts of Brunello and Chianti.
So the pool is open, the grill is fired up, the meat is on the heat and the red wine is more than fine. I’ve got just a bit of summer left, and I want to get out of it all the flavor I can.
Red Wines for Late Summer:
BelnerO Proprietor’s Reserve Sangiovese – A refined cuvée of noble red grapes perfected by our pioneering clonal research. This dark beauty, BelnerO, is produced at our innovative winery, chosen 11 consecutive years as Italy’s Premier Vineyard Estate. Fermented in our patented temperature controlled French oak and aged approximately 2 additional years. Unfiltered, and Nitrogen bottled to minimize sulfites. Average national retail is around $40
Maycas de Limari Riserva Especial Syrah – Maycas Reserva Especial Syrah is an intense ruby red with purple hues. Lush aromas of blueberry and blackberry mix harmoniously with hints of black pepper and toast. Full-bodied and smooth with dense black fruit flavors that highlight the overall elegance.. Average national retail $23.
Trivento Select Malbec – Deep red with violet hues. Powerful mix of typical red fruits like plum and cherry with vanilla hints from the oak. Good body with sweet tannins. Average national retail is around $11.
Casillero del Diablo Carmenere – A deep carmine color, this well-balanced red offers plum, chocolate and spice in the nose with sweet, round but firm tannins in the finish. Average national retail is around $9.
Terrunyo Carmenere - Full-bodied red that hints of chocolate, pepper, cigar box and spice. Average national retail is around $28.
Val delle Rose Morellino di Scansano Riserva – Intense ruby red. Richly perfumed nose with black-cherry aromas and hints of vanilla. This wine is complex, harmonious and well structured. Average national retail is around $20