Wine enhances food no matter the season. However, the flavors of summer meals—with the bright taste of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs and the delicious depth of flavor and crisp texture of grilled foods— truly shine when paired with the right wine. Summer food and wine pairing options are endless, and may even be intimidating for those just getting their feet wet (so to speak) in the world of wine.
Cap n’ Cork’s Christian Frappier and assistant manager Brian Cain offered some tasty summer meal suggestions, as well as delicious complementary wines.
Frappier described how he recently jazzed up this traditional summer salad—a platter of sliced ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella—by adding slices of fresh ripe peaches as well. Top the platter with a chiffonade of fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, a few drops of balsamic vinegar, and sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Serve with: a rosé from Provence, France.
On the Grill
Marinate tuna steaks (for just a few hours) in olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh herbs and finely chopped garlic before grilling; serve them “very rare,” suggested Frappier, for the best flavor.
Serve with: a (red) Malbec from France or Argentina
Cain said that a whole, boned trout is perfect for the grill; brush the skin with olive oil and herbs and grill the opened fish skin-side down until nicely crisped.
Serve with: a (white) Oregon pinot gris or Italian pinot grigio
Frappier said to look for well-marbled steaks (like a New York strip) to stand up to a hearty red wine; ribs or burgers are also enhanced with a big-flavored red.
Serve with: a (red) Zinfandel (Cain recommended 1000 Stories Zinfandel, which has been “bourbon barrel aged” and has a particular richness that stands up well to hearty meats)
Thick slices of pineapple or halves of ripe peaches caramelize nicely on the grill; serve with a little bit of ice-cream and some torn fresh mint or basil leaves.
Serve with: a light sparkling wine like Prosecco
Try these simple and straightforward recipes to make the most of late summer
produce and enjoy the ease and flavor of outdoor grilling. Matched
with delicious, complementary wines, summer never tasted so good!
Cap n’ Cork, Fort Wayne, 260.459.2094, capncork.com