With the start of football season and fall weather looming, I naturally start to think about fun wines to pair with tailgating, backyard parties and barbecue. One of the things I like most about wine is that you can always find a great combination that really enhances the enjoyment of whatever food you prepare.
For me, Summation Red is the ultimate barbecue wine. When I first started to see this wine take shape I felt that this was a wine that could best be enjoyed with a juicy burger and that screamed “delicious.” The bright red fruit, the complexity of flavors, from spicy nuances to jammy berry notes, really pair well with burgers, sausages, ribs and even tri-tip.
I think one reason for the successful pairing with so many different foods and flavors is because of the complexity of the blending components. To start, I use Merlot for its lush palate. An added benefit comes from the vineyards where we grow Merlot, which are full of brambly, dried herb characters.
Then, I blend in Zinfandel for its ripe, delicious fruit flavors. Almost all of the Zin in this blend comes to us from vineyards in Mendocino County. These vineyards tend toward really bright cherry fruit flavors.
Next comes some Syrah for peppery, meaty flavors, jammy fruit and good structure. And finally, I always finish the blend by tasting to pick the perfect amount of Petite Sirah for its juicy, bold fruit characters and spice.
As I’ve said before, Summation is a renegade. The blend takes wines from disparate grape regions that come together to form a really delicious wine. The fact that you can bust it out with your burgers and brats on game day is just a bonus.