There’s no denying that an ice-cold beer and just about anything cooked on an outdoor grill make a great combination. But what about serving wines at a barbeque? The answer is a solid yes. Here are a few local wines to get you started.
Start off with a few white wines, which make excellent accompaniments to grilled shrimp, scallops, or oysters. Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris top the list of wine-pairing partners to serve with these and other shellfish.
Sedro-Woolley’s Skagit Crest Vineyard & Winery has a number of tasty white wines that should fit the bill. Their 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is packed with citrus flavors of lime and ruby red grapefruit, with undertones of green herbs and lemongrass and a crisp finish with plenty of bracing acidity.
The winery’s 2017 Pinot Gris also makes a great choice to serve with seafood and shellfish. It carries lovely aromatics of honeysuckle and field grasses with generous flavors of green melon, stone fruits, and a brisk, citrus-like finish. You’ll find these wines at Skagit Crest’s tasting room in downtown La Conner.
If you’re serving grilled salmon, consider matching it with a light to medium-bodied red such as Pinot Noir. Pinot’s natural acidity cuts through the fat content of the fish and its inherent earthy/savory qualities work as a nice complement to salmon’s charbroiled flavor.
Spoiled Dog Winery, located near Langley on Whidbey Island, is earning a reputation for producing some stellar Pinot Noir. Owner/winemaker Karen Krug sources her Pinot from a number of Pacific Northwest vineyards, including her own. Her 2018 Pinot Noir – Puget Sound from Whidbey’s Hezel Family Vineyard is a knockout, with huckleberry, raspberry, and strawberry flavors along with an overall ‘fresh’ quality.
Spoiled Dog also offers a just-released 2020 Rosé of Pinot Noir. Krug notes that the wine “has aromas of tropical fruit and citrus…with flavors of strawberry, lemon, soft rose petals, and a dash of white pepper.” Its dry-yet-fruity flavor profile makes it a terrific choice to serve with barbecued salmon.
And does any wine pair better with grilled beef or pork than a full-bodied red? Winemaker Mark Hulst has hit his stride with his amazing Skagit Cellars 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from Burgess Vineyard in Pasco, Washington. Stunning black cherry aromatics lead off, with more cherry and lush Marionberry flavors on the palate. The mile-long finish is silky, yet slightly textured, giving the wine incredible mouthfeel and an overall gorgeous quality.
Serve this Cabernet with a variety of grilled meats including burgers, steaks, pork chops, or ribs. It’s available at Skagit Cellars’ two tasting rooms located in La Conner and the town of Manson on Lake Chelan.
Finally, be sure to have a sweeter wine on hand to pair with a dessert such as grilled pineapple or fresh peaches. Bellingham’s Vartanyan Estate Winery 2020 Sweet Riesling is a newly released dessert wine that promises to be spectacular. Brimming with pear, tropical fruit, and nectarine flavors, the wine’s sweetness is perfectly balanced with vibrant acidity, making it a mouth-wateringly delicious choice to serve at the conclusion of your next barbeque.