Chef’s choice

Chef’s Choice – This month’s foodie selection as recommended by Chef Mark Graves of Marko’s on 2nd, 135 S. 2nd St. in Decatur To many, summertime is the season of the cookout. Whether you are at the lake, poolside or in your driveway with the garage door open, the grills are hot and the drinks are cold! Summer means poolside family potlucks, where the grill takes center stage, cold adult beverages and great tunes playing in the background.

Whether you’re grilling the all-American burger or side of Copper River salmon, one thing stands true: keep it simple. It’s already 90 degrees outside and you don’t want to spend the whole day standing in front of your Weber, sweating bullets while your guest relax with full bellies and cold drinks.

When I prepare for a cookout, especially during the dog days of summer I think “light and refreshing” with not only the food, but also with the drink of choice. For this particular article, I have chosen a simple Balsamic Grilled Salmon with Baby Arugula, Grilled Red Onion, Fresh Strawberry and Feta salad tossed in a Meyer’s Lemon Vinaigrette. And to drink, I’m paring Trinchero’s Mary’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. For those who prefer a refreshing cocktail over wine, the ever famous Moscow Mule is a great choice.

Pairs Well With…

When it comes to summer wines, I think Sauvingon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc is typically light, crisp and full of citrus fruit, yet round and complex with layers of flavors. With this meal, I would select Trinchero’s 2012 Mary’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. Merry’s Vineyard is clean, refreshing and boasts Napa Valley floral and tropical aromas with a citrus finish. It’s great for any outdoor summer cookout or just sitting on the deck after a long day at work to relax a bit. This bottle of Sauvignon Blanc will cost $17, and it’s well worth every penny.

For those who prefer a nice cocktail on these hot summer days, I recommend the classic, yet ever poplar, Moscow Mule. The mule is the perfect drink for a hot summer day. It light and refeshing with a peppery kick that comes from ginger beer. And it’s easy too! Vodka, Ginger Beer and a lime wedge. This tasty beverage is taking the nation by storm, and for good reason. This cocktail is a “patio pounder” to say the least, and it pairs nicely with anything fresh and off the grill


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