Welcome to the first installment of the new Honest Cooking column, Fresh Press with The Crush.
By The Crush
The Crush is a popular wine podcast hosted wine biz professionals Whitney and Christina, who do their very best to make each show as fun and informative as possible, infusing wit and whimsy into the oft-too-serious world of wine (plus a sprinkling of beer and spirits). They are pleased as punch to have been given their very own column, where they hope to bring the same sense of conviviality to the page. Each of the ladies will give their own thoughts and wine recommendations depending on the topic. And since summer is in full swing, they’ll kick things off with a series of summer pairings to brighten up your BBQ.
First up: Wine to go with burgers and barkers!
(PS: barkers = hot dogs. Get it? Christina’s dad has a funny way with words.)
I’m a hot dog girl through and through. Over the past few weeks with a big US holiday on the calendar and BBQs galore, I’ve maybe consumed a dozen. When I sit down with a hot dog right off the grill the first thing I want is a big, cold glass of rosé. It has fruit, acidity, refreshment and it’s affordable and not too precious for a picnic table or poolside lounging. Here are several pink wines I’m loving this summer:
- The classic Provencal rosé: 2011 Domaine Saint Lucie MIP (Provence, France)
- For some pink bubbly: NV Domaine Brazilier Brut Rosé (Loire, France)
- An unfiltered, robust, wild card California rosé: 2011 La Clarine Farm Rosé (Sierra Foothills, California)
Who doesn’t love a good beef burger? (Except maybe a vegetarian.) That combo of juicy bloody beef (for medium rare is the only decent the way to go), crunchy pickles, cool tomatoes, crispy lettuce and tangy ketchup all in one squishy floury bun makes even the hardest of food critics go weak in the knees. All those flavors and textures rumbling around in your mouth are going to need a pretty ballsy wine to wash them down with– nothing too wimpy, but also no need for a big beastie Cabernet either. Seeing as it’s summer, try something that’s gutsy but with a bit of freshness and a light touch when it comes to oak. Since we had a Spanish wine expert on the last episode of The Crush, I’ve got Spain on the Brain. Here are a few Spanish beauties to sip with your burger:
Mencia, the grape from Bierzo in the northwest, is getting some well-deserved attention in wine geek circles for being rustic, fresh, mineral, and just really darn easy to drink. I’m loving Raul Perez’s Castro Ventosa Mencia Joven 2009 for its naked (unoaked) steaming wet stone earthy deliciousness.
Garnacha and Cariñena (aka Grenache and Carignan in France), the fun loving grapes of the southern half of France and northern half of Spain are also good summer burger wines both on their own and blended. Cellar Dosterras Vespres 2010 from Montsant (near the famous Priorat region) is making cracking wine from biodynamically farmed old vine Garnacha/Cariñena. It’s a big spicy bad boy without losing touch with its more elegant feminine side, just as good burger wine ought to be.