Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Summer is coming and I am considering buying some wines for summer and also for barbecue. Barbecues are the most popular family gathering in the summer. What are the best wines for the summer season and barbecue?
—David W., China
It depends a little by what you mean by "barbecue," but in general my advice is to go for bold wines. If you’re simply grilling red meat, then reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are great choices, as they can stand up to smoky notes. If you’re putting barbecue sauce on these grilled meats, then Zinfandel, Sangiovese or Riesling (yes, Riesling) hold up to tangy, sweet flavors. If barbecue to you means grilled poultry, fish or veggies, then Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio are my suggestions.
But the best all-purpose barbecue wine—one that can stand up to everything I’ve listed above—is a rosé, especially one from France's Rhône Valley.