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06.24.2006

WBW#23 Has Been Anounced: Fire Up The Barbie!

My favorite bit of food I ever personally cooked over an open flame was a piece of frozen elk meat, seared at 10:00 PM in the dead of a Colorado winter over a fire that required a couple liters of gasoline to ignite. A bunch of us high schoolers were freezing our butts off on an impromptu snow camping trip that we had decided to take, and I gotta say it's one of my best grilling memories ever. I can't remember what I was drinking with it, but it certainly wasn't wine. Though wine would have been a good choice for charcoal grilled elk venison at ten below zero.

Wine is a great grilling companion. With that in mind for the 23rd incarnation of Wine Blogging Wednesday, Vivi at Vivi's Wine Journal has asked us all to select and taste a wine that we think will go well with barbecue. Or grilling. Or whatever you plan to cook using burning things. Even frozen elk meat.

So whether it's summer where you are, or winter, build up a roaring pile of coals, and get something sizzling on top, even if you have to skewer it with a frozen tree branch, like I did on that cold Colorado night. Then pop the cork on a suitable wine, and blog about it on July 5th.

Americans, of course, have no excuse not to participate, as July 4th pretty much requires us to either host or attend a barbecue, if only to avoid social stigma for the rest of the year.

My favorite barbecue wines tend to be lighter red blends and pink wines of all sorts, both of which I like to serve a bit chilled, especially if it's hot outside. Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Chinon, and Languedoc reds from France, as well as reds from Southern Italy and Sicily are all excellent matches for grilled critters and veggies, and a nice rosé will go with just about anything. For those who may be grilling in colder climes, it's hard to beat a Zinfandel or Syrah with charred meats.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.